Crackdown on extreme nationalism

Source: China Digital Times (7/3/24)
Chinese Social Media Platforms Launch Crackdown on Extreme Nationalism and Xenophobic Hate-Speech after Fatal Suzhou Stabbing

Chinese social media platforms have announced a belated crackdown on “extreme nationalism” and xenophobic hate-speech online, following last week’s fatal stabbing at a school bus stop in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, in which a Japanese mother and child were injured by a knife-wielding man, and Chinese school bus attendant Hu Youping was killed after trying to intervene. Just two weeks earlier, four visiting American teachers were stabbed and injured by another man at a public park in Jilin, in northeastern China. Both stabbings are believed to have been motivated by xenophobic sentiment, and many online commenters have witheringly described the attackers as “modern-day Boxers,” referring to the anti-foreign rebels who launched the Boxer Rebellion approximately 125 years ago.

In the last few weeks, CDT editors have compiled numerous essaysarticles, and netizen comments pointing out apparent links between the recent spate of attacks and the vitriolic anti-Japanese and other xenophobic content that is tolerated on Chinese television, social media, and even in school textbooks. It is worth nothing that several of these essays were censored and taken offline in the days following the Suzhou attack. The hate-speech crackdown announced by social media platforms this week seems to reflect a belated realization that xenophobic online content may be fueling hatred and even radicalizing some individuals to carry out offline attacks. Continue reading Crackdown on extreme nationalism

Prism 20.2

Publication News | Prism 20:2
Edited by Prof Zhiyi Yang and Prof David Der-wei Wang

We are pleased to announce the publication of “Classicism in Digital Times: Cultural Remembrance as Reimagination in the Sinophone Cyberspace,” a special issue of Prism (20:2), edited by David Der-wei Wang and Zhiyi Yang.

Contributors to this special issue explore “Chineseness” in the digital age, presenting the many facets of the multicentered, multidimensional, and multifunctional phenomenon of “Sinophone classicism.” The authors posit that digital technology leads to intense disruption and fragmentation of geopolitical and ethno-cultural communities by building kinetic connections among atomized individuals who act as agents of cultural remembrance and imagination. The ramifications of this virtual cultural-linguistic nationalism remain to be observed in long-term academic studies, the authors argue, beginning with this special issue.

Contributors to this issue include Fangdai Chen, Yedong Sh-Chen, Tarryn Li-Min Chun, Rossella Ferrari, Chieh-Ting Hsieh, Liang Luo, Michael O’Krent, Xiaofei Tian, Laura Vermeeren, David Der-Wei Wang, Zhiyi Yang, and Michelle Yeh.

Browse the table of contents at Buy this issue at

Prism Editorial Office <>

Professionalism and Amateurism (MCLC)–cfp

CFP: Professionalism and Amateurism in Modern and Contemporary Chinese Arts
Special Issue of Modern Chinese Literature and Culture
Guest edited by Ruijiao Dong, Man He, and Yizhou Huang

This special issue welcomes essays on professionalism and amateurism in modern and contemporary Chinese arts. From the anti-commercialism in the 1920s to the unification of “red and expert” (Mao Zedong, 1958) in socialist China; from the market-oriented professional artists after 1978 to current-day practitioners who work with foreign commissions and the international festival circuit, the evolving meanings of professionalism in Chinese arts has yielded various (un)spoken rules in the making and the reception of arts in China. Correspondingly, the definition of amateurism has also transformed in a shifting political and cultural terrain. Once, it was celebrated as the mode of participatory mass art, and, at other times, it was disparaged as cheesy and unproductive. Understandings of these two concepts, as well as their porous boundaries have been repeatedly ruptured and redefined. How do we trace this shifting ground on which professionalism and amateurism have assumed new meanings and significance? How do the expressions of professionalism and amateurism in the social, political, and cultural discourses channel into Chinese arts, and how do Chinese arts, in turn, continuously shape and reshape these discourses? How do professionalism and amateurism produce and formulate each other in Chinese arts?

We invite scholars from various backgrounds, such as literature and media Studies, art history, sociology, and Chinese studies, to name a few, to formulate an interdisciplinary conversation. To hold together such a vast area of studies, we, as theatre and performance scholars, are keen to bring in performance studies as a theoretical approach and performance as a generative concept in Chinese studies. Since the 1960s, performance studies has significantly reshaped humanistic inquiries by expanding the object of studies, interrogating critical theories, and championing interdisciplinarity. Despite their prevalence, performance and performance studies are often suggested but remain unarticulated in Chinese studies scholarship, especially when the concept of performance is evoked beyond theatre, dance, and performance art. Guobin Yang and Hongwei Bao are among the few scholars outside of theatre, dance, and performance studies who deploy performance as an analytical lens. Yang uses it to examine Red Guard radicalism and social activism during the Wuhan lockdown (The Red Guard Generation and Political Activism in China, 2016; The Wuhan Lockdown, 2022) whereas Bao explicates how “the articulation between queerness and performance inevitably generates political and critical potentials” (Contemporary Chinese Queer Performance, 2023). Continue reading Professionalism and Amateurism (MCLC)–cfp

Netizens reflect on anti-Japanese propaganda

Source: China Digital Times (6/26/24)
Netizens Reflect on Anti-Japanese Propaganda after Stabbing at School Bus Stop
By Alexander Boyd

A stabbing at a school bus stop in Eastern China that left two Japanese nationals and a Chinese national injured is the latest instance of anti-foreigner violence to rock China in the last month. Two weeks ago, four instructors from Iowa’s Cornell College were stabbed in a park in northern China. Details of this latest attack are sparse: a Japanese mother and her child were stabbed while waiting for a school bus to Suzhou’s Japanese School, a school for Japanese children that follows a Japanese curriculum. Both sustained minor injuries. A Chinese bystander who attempted to prevent the attacker from boarding the school bus was grievously injured and remains in the hospital as of publication. On Weibo, reactions to the news ranged from despair over xenophobic propaganda to admiration of the Chinese bystander’s bravery. Particular ire focused on a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson’s insistence that this attack—like the one in Jilin—was “random”:

Cor-Universe:When certain emotions get stirred up, they can lead to murder.

吃瓜的专业群众SH:If we don’t reform our education and propaganda systems, there’ll only be more of these “Boxers” going forward.

迷路的羊羔:Xenophobic propaganda: scares off foreign business → leading to job losses→ which inspire attacks on foreigners → scaring off more foreign businesses → causing more job losses → leading to even more xenophobic propaganda → scaring off more businesses → thus more job loss … I term this an “Okamoto cycle.” [A reference to a 2022 incident in which Chinese men, the Six Okamoto Gentlemen, opened up a Japanese convenience store franchise and then pretended to be anti-Japanese to drum up business.]

千里虽遥:Random attacks happen randomly, but xenophobic social media videos that incite hatred against everyday people and businesses should be brought under control.

你的眼我的脸:Why are these “random attacks” happening so regularly?

紫雨hz-1974:Once the Boxers rise up, it’s hard to suppress them. Continue reading Netizens reflect on anti-Japanese propaganda

TAP 15.2–cfp


We are pleased to announce a new CFP for Trans Asia Photography.

CALL FOR PAPERS – Vol. 15, No. 2 (Winter 2025)
Trans Asia Photography invites submissions for a general issue, Volume 15, no. 2 (Winter 2025). The journal examines all aspects of photographic history, theory, and practice by centering images in or of Asia, conceived as a territory, network, and cultural imaginary. It welcomes:

• articles (5,000–7,000 words) that broaden understanding of Asian photography in transnational contexts
• shorter pieces (1,000–2,000 words) in formats that include interviews, curatorial or visual essays, and portfolios

Deadline: September 1, 2024

Trans Asia Photography is an international, refereed, open-access journal based at the University of Toronto and published by Duke University Press. It provides a venue for interdisciplinary exploration of photography and Asia.

Guidance for authors on submissions can be found at:

For more information, contact the editors:

The TAP Editorial Team
Deepali Dewan, Royal Ontario Museum & University of Toronto
Yi Gu, University of Toronto
Thy Phu, University of Toronto

Global Asias in a Deglobalizing World–cfp

Global Asias in a Deglobalizing World?
The 64th Annual Meeting of the Southeast Conference of the Association for Asian Studies
Hosted by the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY
January 24-26, 2025

As an academic discipline with roots tracing back to the Cold War era and its associated ideologies, Asian studies is currently facing a host of new challenges and opportunities due to the evolving geopolitical landscape within the Asia-Pacific region and globally. The forthcoming 2025 SEC-AAS conference serves as a vital platform for scholarly engagement and debate aimed at advancing the field of Asian studies amidst what could be arguably termed as a process of “deglobalization.” Factors such as the wars in Ukraine and Palestine, the escalating tension between China and the United States as well as other countries in Asia, and the rise of ultranationalist groups worldwide collectively contribute to this significant restructuring process that could bring about profound changes.

We cordially invite conference participants to evaluate the dynamic concepts and methodologies that are paramount to our understanding of Global Asias at this pivotal moment. These encompass, though are not confined to, overarching themes such as “Global,” “Asia(s),” “Asian/ness,” “Asian American,” “Asian Diaspora,” “Asia-Pacific,” and “Transpacific.” Of particular interest are submissions that focus on understudied areas, notably South and Southeast Asia, and that offer innovative and unconventional perspectives on the following submissions that engage with, but are not limited to: Continue reading Global Asias in a Deglobalizing World–cfp

Writing Chinese: Technology and Literature–cfp

Below is a new call for papers for a special issue of our peer-reviewed, fully open access journal Writing Chinese: A Journal of Contemporary Sinophone Literature. Deadline is 31st August.

Special Issue Guest Editor: Dr Heather Inwood, University of Cambridge
Managing Editor: Dr Xunnan Li, University of Leeds
Keynotes: Prof Michel Hockx (University of Notre-Dame) and Prof Jiang Yuqin (Shenzhen University)

Call for Papers: Writing Chinese: Technology and Literature

With the rapid development of digital technologies such as the internet, artificial intelligence (AI), extended reality (XR), and other innovations in the twenty-first century, these advancements have become integral to the production, consumption, content, and education of literature. In the Sinophone world, the intersection of technology and literature has been explored through various lenses, including the context of the internet, intermedial or transmedia production, and the reconfiguration of literary content through digital technologies.

Given the significant technological advancements and capacities in the Sinophone world, there is a pressing need to conceptualize and contextualize the relationship between digital technologies and Sinophone literature. We invite scholars to submit papers that investigate this dynamic interplay, offering new insights and fostering a deeper understanding of how digital technologies are shaping Sinophone literary landscapes.

In preparing this special issue, we are calling for original research papers (up to 8,000 words) focussing on any aspect of Chinese or Sinophone literature and technology. We are especially interested in research articles that critically explore literary works relating to one or more of the following broad themes:

  • Sinophone literature and culture in the digital or post-digital eras
  • Sinophone science fiction and technologies
  • Use of technologies in Sinophone literary and cultural production
  • Chinese internet culture and online literature (CIL)

Please follow the Author Guidelines ( on our website before submission and submit on the template through the portal. All articles will be subject to the usual (double-blind) peer review process. The deadline for full submissions for this Special Issue is 31st August 2024.  For preliminary enquiries relating to submissions for this Special Issue, please contact the Managing Editor, Dr Xunnan Li at

NB: Alongside this special issue, we are also accepting research submissions for the journal on an on-going basis. For enquiries relating to general submissions to the journal, please contact

Posted by: Frances Weightman <>

Do China’s children have a crime problem?

Source: NYT (6/26/24)
China’s Anguished Debate: Do Its Children Have a Crime Problem?
China has been considered relatively progressive on juvenile justice. But several high-profile killings have prompted calls for the law to come down more harshly on minors.
By Vivian Wang, Reporting from Beijing

A framed black-and-white photograph of a young girl sits on a desk, near some pieces of fruit.

A photograph of Gong Xinyue in her bedroom, in her village in northwestern China. Credit…Andrea Verdelli for The New York Times

For nearly two years, Gong Junli has been waiting. Since his 8-year-old daughter, Xinyue, was stabbed multiple times and her body left in a grove of poplar trees in northwestern China, he has imagined her killer finally being brought to justice.

But justice is complicated when the accused is also a child.

The boy who the police say killed Xinyue was 13 years old at the time. As his trial opens on Wednesday, it will try to answer a question gripping Chinese society: How should China deal with young children accused of heinous crimes?

Countries around the world have long struggled to balance punishment and forgiveness for children. But the debate is especially notable in China, where a history of relative leniency toward young offenders stands in stark contrast to the limited rights of adult criminal defendants. For decades, the government has emphasized educating and rehabilitating juvenile offenders, rather than imprisoning them.

Recently, though, a backlash has emerged. Following a spate of high-profile killings allegedly committed by children in recent years, many Chinese have called for the country to come down more harshly. And the government has responded. Xinyue’s killing is one of the first cases known to go to trial since the government lowered the age, to 12 from 14, at which children can be prosecuted on charges of murder and other serious crimes. Continue reading Do China’s children have a crime problem?

ACLS 2024-25 competitions

The American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is pleased to announce its 2024-25 fellowship and grant competitions. ACLS offers programs that promote research across all fields of the humanities and interpretive social sciences.

Our application, peer review, and award processes aim to promote inclusive excellence, and we welcome applicants from groups that are underrepresented in the academic humanities and from across the diverse landscape of higher education.

Learn about application information and eligibility criteria for all programs.

Application deadlines vary by program. ACLS is now accepting applications for fellowship and grant programs with September, October, and early November deadlines. Other programs, including The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies, ACLS Digital Justice Grants, and the Luce/ACLS Program in China Studies, will begin accepting applications in the coming months.

September 25, 2024, 9:00 PM EDT

  • ACLS Fellowships (for scholars across all postdoctoral career stages in all fields of the humanities and interpretive social sciences)

October 30, 2024, 9:00 PM EDT

Continue reading ACLS 2024-25 competitions

The Conformed Body book launch

Book Launch: The Conformed Body: Contemporary Art in China

The book launch for Professor Jiang Jiehong’s The Conformed Body: Contemporary Art in China, published by Brill, will include a presentation by Professor Jiang Jiehong (Birmingham City University), remarks by Professor Chris Berry (King’s College London) and Dr Wenny Teo (The Courtauld Institute of Art), and a panel conversation moderated by Dr Panpan Yang (SOAS University of London).

Sample books will also be available.

The event is part of SOAS East Asian Research Seminar (EARS). It is free and open to all. But booking is essential. The event is in-person only.

Monday, July 8, 5 – 6:40pm London Time

The event will take place at Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre (BGLT) within the SOAS Brunei Gallery.
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1B 5DQ

About the new book
Through the perspective of the ‘conformed body’, this groundbreaking book examines the role in art of everyday conformist practices in the People’s Republic of China, such as mass assemblies and bodily trainings and exercises, as well as their impact on people’s perceptions and collective memories. It identifies related artworks, reassesses artistic interpretations with critical reflections, and explores a key origin of artistic productions in post-Mao China. Featuring 200 colour illustrations, the book discusses works by more than 30 internationally acclaimed Chinese contemporary artists, including Ai Weiwei, Geng Jianyi, Song Dong, Xu Bing, Zhang Peili and Zhang Xiaogang.

Register/More info

We look forward to seeing you.

Panpan Yang <>

The Mighty Hero Gan Fengchi

The Chinese Film Classics Project is delighted to announce the publication of Frank S. Zhou’s translation of the film The Mighty Hero Gan Fengchi 大俠甘鳳池 (Dumas Young 楊小仲, dir., 1928):

My thanks to Frank for sharing his translation with the Chinese Film Classics Project, and to Liu Yuqing for creating the subtitles.

  • Christopher Rea


The Mighty Hero Gan Fengchi 大俠甘鳳池 (1928) is a partially-extant silent film released in China by the Great Wall Film Company during a peak in popularity of the wuxia (martial-chivalry) genre. The surviving 23 minutes of the film are filled with fight scenes, eye-catching sets, and special effects—notably multiple disappearances into thin air and an airborne clash between three “lightsabers” that shoot out of the warriors’ palms. As we pick up the story, Gan Fengchi and his two child disciples are battling against officialdom, represented by the fighters Cloud Ace and Cloud Eternity. What accounts for the children’s defiance of authority? Have they been poisoned and forgotten themselves? Or have the officials they fight betrayed the people? As the two sides spar over the Circuit Intendant’s seal of office and the children right other wrongs, a challenge arrives to settle a decade-old grudge on Crouching Tiger Mountain…

The historical Gan Fengchi is said to have been from Nanjing and lived during the reigns of the Qing emperors Kangxi and Yongzheng. Gan became a figure of literature and folklore, including a Qing-era biography by Wang Youliang 王友亮 (A Brief Biography of Gan Fengchi 甘鳳池小傳), a two-part Republican-era novel entitled The Blood-Soaked Mighty Hero Gan Fengchi 血滴子大俠甘鳳池, and a later novel by Liang Yusheng 梁羽生. A Cantonese-language sound film of the same title directed by Lin Cang 林蒼, featuring a Ming restoration plot, was released in Hong Kong in 1939. Continue reading The Mighty Hero Gan Fengchi

Retelling Trauma and Imagining Catastrophe–cfp

CFP: Retelling Trauma and Imagining Catastrophe in the Modern East Asian and Sinophone World
Edited Volume with Amsterdam University Press
Co-Editors:  Géraldine Fiss and Wendy (Xiaoxue) Sun

In today’s culture, images and narratives of potential catastrophes and traumatic aftermaths have taken hold of the popular imagination. Inspired by Eva Horn’s quest in The Future as Catastrophe, this volume invites examinations of past traumas and future catastrophes in modern East Asian literature and film, including the broader Sinophone world and Asian diaspora.

We seek interdisciplinary perspectives from fields such as memory studies, gender studies, posthumanism, ecocriticism, trauma studies, and others to explore the literary, cinematic, visual, and poetic depictions of trauma and catastrophe in modern and contemporary East Asia. This volume aims to investigate how traumatic memories shape narratives of the past and reconstruct present reality through literature, film, and other arts. We also explore how imaginings of future disasters engage with our present and create alternative realities. By deciphering collective remembrance of the past and fantasies of future disasters, we hope to provide a platform for interpreting and perceiving modern East Asian reality with greater knowledge, rationality, sympathy, and solidarity.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Trauma studies
  • Narrative studies
  • War and memory studies
  • Gender and memory studies
  • Science fiction studies
  • Reproduction and futurism
  • Ecocritical studies
  • Ecoliterature, Ecopoetry, and Ecocinema
  • Queer studies
  • Posthumanism
  • World Literature

Submission Deadline: September 1, 2024

If interested, please send a 300-word abstract and a brief bio to:

Who is Hua Mulan?

Source: Cotsen Children’s Library, Princeton (6/10/24)
Who is Hua Mulan?

So you think you know who Mulan is? Perhaps you know the feisty girl from the eponymous cross-dressing warrior of the 1998 Disney animated film Mulan. She is the rebellious teenager who escapes the suffocating social expectations for a maiden and heads to the battle zone, where she finds peace with who she is. Or, if you are a Chinese speaker, you may have first learned about the weaver-turned-soldier from the “Ballad of Mulan,” the lyrics of a folk song first preserved in writing in as early as the sixth century. In the memorable rhyming text she is the filial and brave daughter who is determined to shield her aging father from a perilous military life.

Mulan’s story is included in an advertisement booklet titled Women’s Twenty-Four Filial Exemplars in Color Pictures 女子二十四孝彩圖, published by a pharmaceutical company in Shanghai in 1941. Whereas the historic figures featured in the classic Twenty-Four Filial Exemplars were nearly all male, the booklet focuses on young Chinese girls’ and women’s filial piety. The caption emphasizes that when Mulan returns home after serving eleven years in the army, she is “apparently still a virgin” (page 7). The facing page advertises fish liver oil, said to have ingredients supplied by an American vitamin company. In Nü zi er shi si xiao cai tu. Shanghai: Xin Yi Pharmaceutical Company, 1941. (Cotsen 75832)

China’s Bravest Girl: The Legend of Hua Mu Lan, told by Charlie Chin 陳建文; illustrated by Tomie Arai 新居富枝; Chinese translation by Wang Xing Chu 王性初. Emeryville, CA: Children’s Book Press, 1993. (Cotsen 17732)

Have you ever wondered, however, what kind of Chinese girl Mulan was? Weren’t women in ancient China supposed to have their feet bound? How could Mulan have gotten away from the crippling practice? Was Mulan’s family rich or poor–and does it matter? Did Mulan really grow up in those circular communal buildings portrayed in Disney’s live-action adaptation of 2020? If not, where was her hometown? [CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE]

Louis Cha’s epic tale goes global

Source: China Daily (6/21/24)
Louis Cha’s epic tale goes global
By Xu Fan

[Photo provided to]

Adapted from one of the best-known works by the renowned martial arts novelist Louis Cha, known as Jin Yong, The Legend of Heroes: Hot Blooded has swiftly gained international acclaim, resonating across diverse overseas markets, as confirmed by its producers.

Set in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the narrative follows the journey of Guo Jing, a diligent yet unremarkable rural youth who evolves into a legendary swordsman through a series of adventures, intertwined with his romance with Huang Rong, the clever daughter of a daring swordsman.

The 30-episode series, Hot Blooded, premiered online on June 17 and is currently available on various overseas platforms like WeTV, Netflix, YouTube, and Rakuten Viki. The drama is either already released or scheduled for broadcast on numerous prominent local online platforms in nearly 10 countries, including South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Russia and Cambodia, with plans for further screenings in the United States, France, India, Africa and the Middle East.

Part of The Legend of Heroes franchise, which commenced two years ago with a vision of five stand-alone stories, each adapted from different Jin Yong novels and entrusted to five distinct directors, Hot Blooded is the initial installment based on The Legend of the Condor Heroes. This classic tale, serialized in the Hong Kong Commercial Daily from 1957 to 1959, has seen numerous adaptations over the years, including the popular 1983 version starring Felix Wong Yat-wa and Barbara Yung Mei-ling.

Directed by Yang Lei, acclaimed for the sci-fi drama Three-Body, and featuring actors Ci Sha as Guo Jing and Bao Shang’en as Huang Rong, Hot Blooded employs a dynamic narrative style to engage a broader audience, particularly the younger generation. The script strategically balances pace and depth, aiming to highlight the chivalrous themes and explore the intricate personas of characters like Yang Kang, a pivotal figure with complex loyalties, as noted by critics. Continue reading Louis Cha’s epic tale goes global

Suipian no. 1

碎篇 // Suipian // Fragments
Tabitha Speelman

Welcome to the 1st edition of Suipian, my new personal newsletter in which I share thoughts and resources that help me make sense of Chinese society and its relationship to the rest of the world.

You’re receiving this because you have been subscribed to Changpian, my previous newsletter sharing Chinese nonfiction writing. Suipian, too, will share selected writing from and on China that I found worth my time, but recommendations will include more genres, including academic and policy research, and will now be in both Chinese and English (and beyond). 碎篇 is of course derived from 碎片 or ‘fragments’ but another character I kept thinking of was the 随 of 随笔, and there will be some of that too, mainly in the form of reporting notes.

To me, the shift from Changpian to Suipian reflects change in my own life (with chronic illness leading to more fragmented reading) and real shifts in the China media landscape. The small boom in nonfiction writing at Chinese domestic media has passed, and my Wechat timeline is no longer the treasure trove it was in the late 2010s. At the same time, with more Chinese writers and journalists working outside China, the amount of high-quality content on Chinese society produced in other parts of the world and in other languages is growing every day.

Also, geopolitics happened. Where in my early years as a reporter in China, I focused on telling stories that aimed to shed some light on ‘China beyond the headlines,’ that’s more difficult now that ‘China’ seems to be in all the headlines. I still try to highlight individual perspectives and diversity, but the new context of geopolitical and narrative shifts I can hardly keep up with somehow makes it very different. Continue reading Suipian no. 1