Qiu Miaojin Conference grad panel–cfp

CFP: Grad student panel, Qiu Miaojin Conference at HKU (Nov 28-29)

Dear MCLC list members,

On November 28-29, 2019, the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Hong Kong will host a 2-day conference on the work of queer Taiwan writer Qiu Miaojin. The conference planning is now at its final stage, but we hope to recruit 1-2 more graduate students who can present on Qiu Miaojin’s work. I provide a description of the conference below. Due to limited budget, we unfortunately can’t provide funding for travel and accommodation at this point. Lunch and dinner will be provided. Confirmed speakers include: Ari Larissa Heinrich, Tze-Lan Sang, Luo Yijun, Chi Ta-wei, Fan-Ting Cheng, Bonnie Huie, Evans Chan, Lolita Hu Ching-fang, and more.

Please send inquiry and abstract to Alvin K. Wong at Continue reading

China and the World–cfp

Upcoming Conference: “China and the World: Language, Culture, Politics”, Sofia University, December 12-13, 2019

The Sinology Departments of Sofia University in Bulgaria and the Department of China Studies of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University are jointly organizing a conference that aims at bringing together leading European and East Asian scholars to engage with the subject of China’s increasing role in Central and Eastern Europe, and the Balkans in particular.

Conference details:

Venue: Sofia University, Bulgaria
Dates: 12-13th Dec 2019
Abstract submission deadline: 30th August 201 Continue reading

Environmental Activism, Social Media and Protest

I am writing to announce the debut of my book, Environmental Activism, Social Media, and Protest in China: Becoming Activists Over Wild Public Networks. The manuscript takes a close look at environmental protests and the ways in which activists deploy social media to organize outrage and demand change in China, an authoritarian country affected by censorship, surveillance, and state-controlled media. Specifically, I examine anti-PX protests in Xiamen in 2007, Dalian in 2011, and Maoming in 2014.

Blending media, social movement, affect, and network theories, I propose the concept of wild public networks, which supplant the Habermasian public sphere with a dynamic understanding of contemporary argument in a densely panmediated environment awash with images, video, gifs, and creative inventions meant to sidestep censors. I also introduce and advance the concept of force majeure as a way of understanding protests and the various and multiple repercussions they have over time and across space outside of their instrumental success or failure.

Environmental Activism, Social Media, and Protest in China: Becoming Activists Over Wild Public Networks is available through Lexington Books and those that use the discount code LEX30AUTH19 can receive 30% off the list price.

Elizabeth Brunner  <>

HK protesters descend on airport

Source: NYT (8/9/19)
Hong Kong Protesters Descend on Airport, With Plans to Stay for Days
By Katherine Li and 

Protesters, most wearing black, in the arrivals hall of Hong Kong’s international airport on Friday. Credit: Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

HONG KONG — Thousands of black-clad antigovernment protesters demonstrated at Hong Kong’s international airport on Friday, taking aim at both a global transit hub and the city’s closely guarded reputation for order and efficiency.

The protest in the airport’s arrivals hall, which is planned to last through Sunday, comes as Hong Kong reels from its worst political crisis since Britain handed the former colony back to China in 1997, and less than a week after protests and a general strike caused chaos in the city and led to 148 arrests. Continue reading

China bans Golden Horse participation

Source: Taipei Times (8/8/19)
China bans Golden Horse participation
JUMP CUT: The film festival’s organizing committee said that the jury process and all events would continue as planned, despite the absence of Chinese participants
By Reuters, BEIJING and TAIPEI

Chinese director Zhang Yimou holds his award for Best Director at the 55th Golden Horse Awards in Taipei on Nov. 17 last year. Photo: AP

The China Film Administration yesterday said that it was blocking the Chinese movie industry from participating in the Golden Horse Awards, without a giving a reason.

China Film News, a magazine published by the agency, made the announcement on its official WeChat account.

“China Film Administration says that it will suspend mainland movies and their personnel from participating in 2019’s 55th Golden Horse Awards,” it said.

The move comes after the annual event, the Chinese-speaking world’s version of the Oscars, became a lightning rod for questions about Taiwanese independence last year, sparking a debate between Taiwanese and Chinese stars, as well as netizens. Continue reading

Deflating the Dictators–cfp

Special Issue of “Humanities” Journal: “Deflating the Dictators: Satire, Humor, and Twenty-First-Century Tyranny”

The journal Humanities seeks to publish international analyses of current efforts by satirists and humorists to call attention to the injustice and abuse inflicted by autocrats. Which satirists are engaging in a national or international struggle for justice against repressive leadership and with what means? How are satire and the related mode of humor currently functioning, despite censorship, in oppressive regimes? How do current satirical or humorous texts depicting oppression incorporate facts and artefacts that generate countercultural memories and thereby fill gaps in other historical or mass media narratives?

A few examples of such artworks include Day of the Oprichnik by Vladimir Sorokin (2006); United States of Banana by Giannina Braschi (2011); the Masasit Mati acting group’s finger-puppet show series “Top Goon: Diaries of a Little Dictator” (2011-2012), created to deflate Syrian president Bashar al-Assad; and Trevor Stankiewicz’s mixed genre satirical play The Darfur Compromised (2015). As Martha C. Nussbaum writes, “the ability to imagine vividly, and then to assess judicially, another person’s pain, to participate in it and then to ask about its significance, is a powerful way of learning what the human facts are and of acquiring a motivation to alter them” (Poetic Justice 91). This issue of Humanities delves into the political outcries and aesthetic innovations of satirical and humorous responses to twenty-first-century oppressive regimes.

Please send essays to Jill Twark, East Carolina University, by October 30, 2019. URL:

Contact Info:
Dr. Jill Twark
Dept. of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Mailstop 556
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858, USA
Contact Email:

EASC 2020–cfp

Call for Papers

The 23rd biennial conference of the European Association for Chinese Studies (EACS) will be held at Leipzig University (Germany) from 25 August 2020 to 29 August 2020. Local organisation is provided by the Institute of East Asian Studies, Leipzig University. The EACS biennial conference is the biggest Chinese Studies meeting in Europe, typically featuring between 400 and 500 paper presentations.

Leipzig University is Germany’s second-oldest university, having been founded in 1409. Germany’s first chair in East Asian Languages was established here in 1878; the Institute of East Asian Studies opened its doors in 1914. The city of Leipzig has a population of just under 600,000; it is a city of music, having been home to many composers (Johann Sebastian Bach, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Robert & Clara Schumann, Richard Wagner, to name just a few) and the well-known Gewandhaus symphony orchestra. The conference will take place on the university’s campus in the historic city centre. Continue reading

Forbidden City opens wide

Source: NYT (8/3/19)
The Forbidden City Opens Wide as China Projects New Pride in Its Past
President Xi Jinping has pushed “cultural self-confidence” as a signature policy, and one of the beneficiaries has been the former home of emperors, neglected no longer.
By Ian Johnson

Visitors now throng the Forbidden City in Beijing. Credit: Yan Cong for The New York Times

BEIJING — For much of the past century, the Forbidden City has been an imposing void in the otherwise bustling heart of Beijing.

The 180-acre compound, where emperors and their advisers plotted China’s course for centuries, was stripped of its purpose when the last emperor abdicated in 1912. Since then, the palace grounds have at times lain empty or been treated as a perfunctory museum, with most of the halls closed to the public and the few that were open crammed with tourists on package tours.

But as the Forbidden City approaches its 600th birthday next year, a dramatic change has been taking place, with even dark and dusty corners of the palace restored to their former glories for all to see. Continue reading

Modern Archaics review by Jon Kowallis

Source: 长江学术 (8/3/19)
寇志明著 卢姗译 | 现代“拟古主义者”:再论“旧派诗人”与其继承者
From: 寇志明 卢姗 长江学术

〔澳〕寇志明  著 卢  姗  译
(新南威尔士大学,澳大利亚  悉尼  NSW 2052;浙江大学 中文系,浙江  杭州  310028)

摘要:吴盛青教授在《现代“拟古主义者”:1900—1937中国诗词传统的延续和创新》这本书中,通过研究20世纪初至日本侵华战争爆发前夕词和诗的新变化,挑战了在1911年辛亥革命推翻清政府统治和倡导白话文的新文化运动兴起之后旧体诗已经失去它原本的地位和意义这一观点。吴盛青认为,20世纪初期旧体诗的创作为诗人们提供了文本和社会空间,由此诗人们得以反思文学主体性、文学想象以及文体创新,并且重新确立集体认同感,加深文化记忆。这些观点固然不错,但我认为,旧体诗还为他们提供了更加权威的文化话语权,而且这样的话语权在一个瞬息万变的世界中显得愈发重要。书中富有逻辑性的阐述,包括对传统和现代二分主义的颠覆均具有启发意义。在这样一种全新的看似矛盾却又互相依赖的结构中,“传统”成为了一个具有生命力的领域。我们借由“传统”,可以探索“现代主义者”和“拟古主义者”之间动态的互相作用和对峙冲突;并且在高度美学化的形式和实践中,得以更加深入地了解“传统”的意义。 Continue reading

A New Zealand university and Chinese censorship

Source: The Spinoff (8/3/19)
We must speak out on AUT, China and threats to academic freedom
Jacob Edmond | Guest writer


The AUT vice-chancellor denies that a Tiananmen Square commemoration was cancelled at the request of the Chinese embassy, but the emails released are enough to send a severe chill through New Zealand’s universities, writes Jacob Edmond

Auckland has a long and proud history of remembering the victims of the June 4, 1989 crackdown on student protests across China. Unfortunately, as the recent actions of Auckland University of Technology have underscored, the city’s universities have a more mixed record.

It is perhaps not that widely known, but one of the relatively few and earliest permanent memorials to the victims of June 4 stands in central Auckland. The memorial was unveiled on 17 September 1989 on the grounds of St Andrew’s First Presbyterian Church on Alten Rd. The initial plan had been to place the stone within the grounds of the University of Auckland. But when the University of Auckland authorities refused permission, St Andrew’s offered a home, and the stone stands there to this day. Continue reading

Yenching Academy grads questioned by FBI

Source: NPR (8/1/19)
American Graduates Of China’s Yenching Academy Are Being Questioned By The FBI
By Emily Feng

People cycle past a building at Peking University in Beijing in 2016. The university hosts Yenching Academy, a prestigious graduate studies program. Thomas Peter/Reuters

A sudden knock at one’s door. An unexpected call to meet off campus. Surreptitious visits to family members.

American graduates of the prestigious Yenching Academy, a one- to two-year master’s degree program housed at Beijing’s elite Peking University, are being approached and questioned by the FBI about the time they spent in China. In the last two years, at least five Yenching graduates have been approached by agents to gather intelligence on the program and to ascertain whether they have been co-opted by Chinese espionage efforts.

Brian Kim is one of them. Five months ago, Kim received a call from an unfamiliar number. “It was a person who claimed to be an FBI agent, and I immediately thought it was a scam call,” Kim recalls. Continue reading

Emory position

Assistant or Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Chinese Studies
Department of Russian and East Asian Languages and Cultures
Emory University

The Department of Russian and East Asian Languages and Cultures (REALC) invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant or Associate Professor position in modern and contemporary Chinese Studies to begin Fall 2020. Candidates must have a Ph.D. in modern and contemporary Chinese literature, cultural studies, or related field. Current Ph.D. candidates should confirm in their cover letters that their Ph.D. will be awarded by August 1, 2020. Candidates must demonstrate an active research agenda and a commitment to teaching at the undergraduate level and to development of graduate programming. The Department is particularly interested in candidates working across genres and media or whose scholarship is inter-disciplinary and inter-regional (within East Asia and beyond).

The successful candidate will play an important part in the development of the Chinese program within the Department. Teaching responsibilities are normally two courses per semester and will include survey courses in modern Chinese literature, courses in the candidate’s research specialization and others as dictated by curricular need. Candidates will also adhere to best practices and demonstrate an ability to advance Emory College’s goals of diversity and inclusion. Native or near native proficiency in both English and Chinese is required. Continue reading

The Translatability of Revolution review

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Yi Zheng’s review of The Translatability of Revolution: Guo Moruo and Twentieth-Century Chinese Culture (Harvard University Asia Center), by Pu Wang. The review appears below and at is online home:

My thanks to MCLC literary studies book review editor, Nicholas Kaldis, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk Denton, editor

The Translatability of Revolution:
Guo Moruo and Twentieth-Century Chinese Culture

By Pu Wang

Reviewed by Yi Zheng
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright July, 2019)

Pu Wang, The Translatability of Revolution: Guo Moruo and Twentieth-Century Chinese Culture Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2018. xvi + 336 pp. ISBN: 978-0-674-98718-0.

Owing largely to the controversial nature of his political affiliations and intellectual achievements, Guo Moruo has to date not received adequate academic attention in the English-speaking world. There are notable studies of Guo’s historiography, literary theory and practice, and his intellectual and life choices.[1] His early poems and poetics have also received substantial treatment.[2] But as one of twentieth-century China’s most important poets, translators, dramatists, and scholars, his work is understudied and underappreciated. The Translatability of Revolution: Guo Moruo and Twentieth-Century Chinese Culture is ground-breaking in affording Guo his rightful place. Pu Wang’s comprehensive new study of Guo’s life and work is not only a first, but also an intellectual and literary-historical tour-de-force that both demonstrates excellent scholarship and offers remarkable insights into Chinese literature, history, comparative literature, and translation studies. Continue reading

Forging the Golden Urn review

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Joseph Lawson’s review of Forging the Golden Urn: The Qing Empire and the Politics of Reincarnation in Tibet (Columbia, 2018), by Max Oidtmann. The review appears below and at its online home here: My thanks to Nicholas Kaldis, MCLC literary studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk Denton, editor

Forging the Golden Urn: The Qing Empire
and the Politics of Reincarnation in Tibet

By Max Oidtmann

Reviewed by Joseph Lawson
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright July, 2019)

Max Oidtmann, Forging the Golden Urn: The Qing Empire and the Politics of Reincarnation in Tibet New York: Columbia University Press, 2018. Xvii + 330 pp. ISBN: 978-0-231-18406-9 (cloth).

The Geluk church, headed by the Dalai Lama, was the most powerful institution in the Qing Empire not under the control of the Qing court. It is still arguably the largest extra-bureaucratic nongovernmental organization in China, as Max Oidtmann points out in the introduction of his terrific book on relations between the Qing court and the Geluk hierarchy. Neglected relative to Manchu or Mongol archives until recently, the Qing Empire’s Tibetan institutions and sources are the subject of an emerging body of research by Paul Nietupski, Peter Schweiger, Yudru Tsomu, and now Oidtmann with this new book on how the Qing court asserted control over the process for recognizing the reincarnations of powerful lamas. Continue reading

KFLC 2020–cfp

KFLC (Kentucky Foreign Language Conference), April 16-18, 2020
Lexington, Kentucky
Call for Papers

The KFLC is proud to open sessions devoted to the presentation of scholarly research in the area of East Asian Studies. Abstracts are invited in all areas and aspects of this field, including, but not limited to:

  • Class, gender, ethnicity/race
  • Colonialism and Diaspora
  • Memory, violence, and nation
  • Popular culture in global markets
  • Performance, agency, and identity
  • Ethics of literary-cultural studies
  • Classical literature; new readings
  • Media studies, music studies, film studies
  • Social movements – justice, citizenship, and resistance
  • The avant-garde – arts in contexts
  • Body, space, and the public sphere
  • The politics of writing – writing within/against culture

Paper presentations are 20 minutes followed by a 10-minute question & answer session. In addition to individual abstracts for paper presentations, proposals for panels of 5 papers will be considered. Continue reading