In late 1960, the film "The World of Suzie Wong," based on the 1957 novel of the same name, premiered in New York. The film might be best summarized as being about a mediocre white man who turns up in Hong Kong hoping to find himself, doing so by falling in love with a prostitute…Read more Who/what/where in the world is “Suzy Wong?”
“I too am afraid” 「我也怕」
Last night, a Taiwanese friend messaged me about the US presidential election. My succinct response: 「我也怕」 ("I too am afraid.") Maybe this goes without saying, but I didn't sleep much. I began the morning with a email from a distressed student, unable to attend class because of their emotional state after the results of the…Read more “I too am afraid” 「我也怕」
Audio recording of my paper presentation from the Association for Asian Studies Conference 2015
Click here for the paper abstract. Click here for the full panel abstract. For the sake of turning this into a movie for upload to Youtube, I included some of the images shown during my presentation. They aren't cued to the talk, however, so you needn't worry about following along. All images are also located…Read more Audio recording of my paper presentation from the Association for Asian Studies Conference 2015
Didactic literature that no longer seems edifying: what’s the point?
Lienü zhuan is a collective biography of exemplary Chinese women compiled at the end of the 1st century BCE. It was, according to Ban Gu, a 1st century CE historian, intended to counteract the influence of lower-class, immoral women who destabilized the dynasty and to provide the emperor with positive examples of female virtue so…Read more Didactic literature that no longer seems edifying: what’s the point?
9-in-1 elections: A candidate who won’t win, and a plea for candidates who might
Next Saturday, Taiwanese will go to the polls in local elections for a record number of posts: over 11,000 nationwide. Since nine categories of elected offices (from mayors down to village wardens) make up the 11,130 open posts, the elections have been termed the 9-in-1 elections. Mr. Chao Yan-ching is running for Taipei mayor. He…Read more 9-in-1 elections: A candidate who won’t win, and a plea for candidates who might
A Novel of China: The Mandarin’s Daughter, 1876
While traveling to DC and back last week, I read The Mandarin's Daughter by Samuel Mossman, 1876, which is another 19th century novel about China that I read so you don't have to. (Previously: Out in China by Mrs. Archibald Little, 1902) Mossman's introduction states that the amount of fiction in his novel, The Mandarin's…Read more A Novel of China: The Mandarin’s Daughter, 1876
Recommended Reading: Against My Fear, I See That You Hope
As students in Hong Kong lead the territory in protesting against Chinese efforts to block direct elections in 2017, I find myself trying very hard not to get pulled into watching, waiting, and weeping from afar as I did during the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan during March and April earlier this year. For those of…Read more Recommended Reading: Against My Fear, I See That You Hope
Contextualizing heterodox sects in China
Has anyone else been following this story? NY Times: 5 Sect Members Go on Trial in Killing at McDonald’s in China I first heard about this sect, Eastern Lightning or the Church of Almighty God, when I was in Taiwan last year. Since this murder in May earlier this year, they have been getting far…Read more Contextualizing heterodox sects in China
Filial modern women buy our towels!
I've included pictures from Yu Zhi's Illustrated Stories of Twenty Four Filial Women here before. Those illustrations come from the 1872 woodblock print edition, available via Google Books*. The University of Chicago library also has two editions of the text, with illustrations purportedly redrawn by none other than Wu Youru, the famous Shanghai lithographic print…Read more Filial modern women buy our towels!
The end of Chinese religion?
After two weeks in Beijing in 2012, I finally realized why I felt the city seemed so lifeless, even as it teemed with millions of people and their very real, full lives. Where were the temples? Where were the markers of a neighborhood like Tudi Gong shrines? Where were the folding tables full of offerings…Read more The end of Chinese religion?