“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.”
— Mark Twain

Marco Polo Reaches the Distant Shores of Netflix

Posted: November 8th, 2014 | No Comments »

Netflix is running trailers for its latest big TV series – Marco Polo. Some will love it, some will hate it….

Here’s the trailer

and here’s the creator James Fusco talking about it with some “historians”….

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Shanghai’s Russkiye Zapiski (Russian Annals)

Posted: November 7th, 2014 | 1 Comment »

I know very little about this publication from 1930s/1940s Shanghai – Russkiye Zapiski, or Russian Annals. This letterhead is from 1940 and shows the publication as bi-monthly and headquartered on the rue du Roi Albert, now Shanxi Road South. I believe the publication was established around 1937 and had links with White Russian emigre groups in Paris (noting that it was based in the French Concession in Shanghai). Things are slightly confused due to spellings and translations – it appears in records as Russkie and also as Russian Notes as well as Annals. The publication appears to have been founded in Shanghai though perhaps funded by the Russian emigre community in France. And that’s all I know I’m afraid.

Russian Annals headed paper 1940

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Royal Asiatic Society Shanghai – Looting and Burning the Yuanmingyuan: The event of 1860, its Afterlife and Interpretation Today in China – 8/11/14

Posted: November 6th, 2014 | No Comments »

RAS WEEKENDER

SATURDAY 8th November 2014
4pm for 4.15pm
 
Tavern at the Radisson Xingguo Hotel
Looting and Burning the Yuanmingyuan:

The event of 1860, its Afterlife and Interpretation Today in China

Dr. Ines Eben v. Racknitz
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The looting and burning of the Yuanmingyuan, one of the most splendid residences of the ruling Qing emperors, by allied British and French troops during the China expedition of 1860, is until today remembered in China as a symbol of humiliation and defeat. Whereas this act of vandalism in the so-called “Old Summer Palace” is hardly known in Europe, it became, along with the Boxer rebellion, a strong argument against “Western imperialism” during the history of the long 20th century in China.
The lecture will describe how this event became a part of a Chinese “cultural memory”, discuss the “life of the ruins” at the fin de siècle, and describe the reconstruction work and situation today.
Ines Eben v. Racknitz studied sinology, comparative literature and religious studies in Leipzig, Beijing, Berlin and Stanford University. She graduated with an Magister Artium in sinology from Freie Universität Berlin. After working for Siemens in Shanghai and The Guardian’s correspondent office in Berlin, Ines continued her studies at University of Konstanz and graduated with a PhD in history.
Currently, she holds a post as a lecturer in the department of history at Nanjing University and ist the first foreign professor to teach Chinese history at Nanjing university. Her research interests are in late Imperial China, the Republic of China, and the history of China’s international relations. Her book about the China expedition of 1860 and the looting and burning of the Yuanming yuan appeared in 2012 in Germany.
ENTRANCE:  Members 70 RMB – Non Members 100 RMB
Includes a glass of wine or soft drink
Priority for RAS members. Those unable to make the donation but wishing to attend may contact us for exemption.
MEMBERSHIP applications and membership renewals will be available at this event.
WEBSITE:  www.royalasiaticsociety.org.cn
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Graphic Images and Consumer Culture – Republican Era Advertising in China

Posted: November 5th, 2014 | No Comments »

Graphic Images and Consumer Culture is in Chinese but worth it for the images alone…

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本書從歷史學、傳播學、廣告學、藝術史、政治宣傳等跨學科研究的視角出發,以報刊雜誌廣告和月份牌廣告 畫等視覺圖像為分析對象,集中討論近代中國(包括上海、台灣和舊滿洲)廣告文化的特色,以及日本廣告對近代中國商業文化的影響。主要內容包括:報刊廣告的 文化翻譯問題;廣告與商業競爭;南京路四大百貨公司的廣告媒體功能;外來廣告技術的接受和本地化;上海和大阪印刷業的人才交流;女性作為「現代性」的文化 符號;以及中國社會主義的政治宣傳藝術。本書有助我們理解商業視覺藝術怎樣創造「東亞現代性」、如何與「殖民主義」和「社會主義」相結合,又如何在地區交 流中形成等問題,並提供了嶄新的視點和研究方法。

本書不僅以研究中國商業史、廣告史、藝術史、傳播學及中日文化交流史的學者為對象,也可作 為本科與研究生課程的教材,而且對從事亞洲研究、女性研究、市場營銷、創意產業、流行文化、都市文化、消費文化和商業文化研究的學者和學生,以至有意了解 近代中國社會文化的普羅讀者亦有所助益。

吳詠梅,現為香港大學現代語言文化學院名譽助理教授。

李培德,現為香港大學經濟及工商管理學院客席副教授。

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That’s China London Launch with Mark Kitto – 5/11/14 – Daunts Marylebone

Posted: November 4th, 2014 | No Comments »

It may seem like just yesterday to some of us, but to many younger people the events that took place in Shanghai back in the 1990s and early 2000s are indeed ancient history, so they probably now get included on China Rhyming.

Anyway, the saga of Mark Kitto and the That’s magazine empire in China has become quite legendary (and the details in brief here for those not in the know) and now there’s a book by the man himself detailing those events….That’s China

launching this week at Daunts in Marylebone and China Rhymers are invited….

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 In his best-selling debut, China Cuckoo, Mark Kitto described how he ‘lost a fortune and found a life in China’. In That’s China, the thrilling prequel, he tells the story of how he made that fortune. To the Chinese Communist Party, media is state owned propaganda. No individuals, let alone foreigners, will ever have a stake in it For seven roller coaster years, Mark Kitto outwitted powerful competitors and jealous partners to build the most profitable and popular English language publishing business in China since 1949. No foreigner in modern times has come so close to the heart of the Chinese propaganda machine on his own terms. Not even Rupert. Told with Kitto’s trademark self-deprecating humour and potentially unsettling honesty, That’s China is a rare thing, a business saga that will have you on the edge of your seat all the way to the final showdown; in the highest law court in China.

 

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Hong Kong International Literary Festival 2014

Posted: November 4th, 2014 | No Comments »

Hong Kong Lit Fest 2014 gets underway from October 31st to November 9th…a few events of possible interest to China Rhymers….

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November 5th – Frank Dikotter will be talking about China immediately post-1949 – The Tragedy of Liberation

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Following the critically acclaimed Mao’s Great Famine, Frank Dikötter’s latest book The Tragedy of Liberation is the second in a planned trilogy about the history of China under Mao Zedong, making use of new archival evidence to look at the first decade of the People’s Republic of China. The book, nominated for the Orwell Prize, was declared by the South China Morning Post to be “essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the nature and history of the communist state.” In this session, Frank Dikötter will take us into a profoundly dark period of Chinese history.

November 6th – Mark O’Neill will be talking about his history of the Coolie Corps in WW1 – The Chinese Labour Corps

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During WWI, tens of thousands of Chinese labourers travelled to Europe to work both on the war front and on the home front. They return to China at the end of the conflict but their brave contributions have been largely ignored in histories of the war to end all wars. In his concise book The Chinese Labour Corps, part of Penguin’s series on WWI in China, O’Neill explores this overlooked chapter in the history of the First World War.

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Los Angeles Review of Books Luminary Dinner with Lisa See – November 8th

Posted: November 3rd, 2014 | No Comments »

As you may know I occasionally review and blog for the Los Angeles Review of Books, an excellent institution well worthy of support. You can support the LARB by subscribing or buying their publication online or attending a luminary dinner. The next LARB Luminary Dinner happens to have a China feel to it as Lisa See (subject of several blog posts over the years) is the luminary being given dinner. If you’re in the LA area it should be a good dinner, a good cause, and a good luminary.

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The next LARB Luminary Dinner will feature American writer and novelist Lisa See, author of On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family and the New York Times bestselling novels Flower Net, The Interior, Snow Flower and the Secret FanPeony in Love, Shanghai Girls, and China Dolls. Both Shanghai Girls and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan received honorable mentions from the Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature. Ms. See was honored as National Woman of the Year by the Organization of Chinese American Women in 2001 and was the recipient of the Chinese American Museum’s History Makers Award in Fall 2003

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A Few Posts on Madrid #4 – Classical Chinese Studies on the Metro

Posted: November 2nd, 2014 | No Comments »

Any slightly forgetful Sinologists or classical Chinese scholars on the Madrid metro system are in luck. This handy book vending machine spotted on the Getafe Central metro station contains Lao Tzu and several other Chinese classics handily….

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