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Friday, August 22, 2014

China Academy of Translation launched in Beijing

By Zhang Lulu (at
Cai Mingzhao (R), deputy director of China's Publicity Department and head of the State Council Information Office, and Zhou Mingwei, president of the China International Publishing Group, attend the launch ceremony of the China Academy of Translation on July 29. [Photo/]

The China Academy of Translation was launched in a ceremony in Beijing on July 29.

The academy, the first of its kind in China, aims to respond to many of the problems and opportunities that China is facing, as it continues to open up to the outside world.

"Under the new circumstances, translation has become more and more important and is an increasingly difficult task in introducing China's development to the outside world, participating in global dialogue, promoting the world's understanding about China and enhancing the friendship between the Chinese people and people around the world," Cai Mingzhao, deputy director of China’s Publicity Department and head of the State Council Information Office, said during the launch ceremony.

The China Academy of Translation will be based on the resources and translation professionals in China International Publishing Group (CIPG), an organization that boasts a large number of translation experts and talents in China.

Zhou Mingwei, president of the CIPG and also the head of the newly launched academy, summarized the mission of the academy.

It will study the development of the translation industry in China, research major problems in translating Chinese contemporary political and cultural works, set up a talent pool of translators, improve the evaluation system of China’s translation professionals and provide training to both Chinese and foreign translators, Zhou said.

The launch ceremony was attended by more than 150 governmental officials and translation experts.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

TinkINChina webpage and network

Another promising website for us to familiarize ourselves with--ThinkINChina (

I found it when trolling for something quickly by Yan Xuetong--who turns out to have given a talk at their regular sessions (apparently held at Bridge Café in Beijing). Seems mostly a record of talks with associated handy short reading lists (full text) in English. Group includes Matt Frechen, bright young American political scientist I know who is a full-time faculty member at Qinghua.  From their "About" info:

ThinkIN China is an intellectual community that was created in Beijing in September 2010 by a group of young researchers who live and work in China.
TIC was born at Bridge Café – a popular café’ in the heart of Beijing’s academic crossroad – out of the genuine desire to build an informal platform where Chinese and foreign academics of all ages can discuss and help each other by exchanging ideas and information.
TIC turns this platform into a living community by organizing monthly public discussions with renowned Chinese scholars, academic workshops in the best Chinese universities and social events that help young students and researchers to get easily involved into Beijing’s academic environment.
TIC can be seen like a town square, like a Greek ‘agora’, an open space where people meet and ideas flow. It is a young, curious and passionate network that believes in knowledge based on direct experience, a community that wants to think about China, from within China.
 you can watch and share the video also on youtube

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Mapping the Intellectual Public Sphere in China

This is the first step in our mapping of intellectual life in China today to help us see the moving parts of the intellectual public sphere in which the scholars and intellectuals we select operate. In order to know who they read and who might read them, we need to know the major media outlets and the structure and operation of the Chinese public sphere, which I insist on calling a "directed public sphere".

Our goals are: first to help us "see the playing field" in order to pick significant and relevant intellectuals. Second, we will publish some versions of this "map" as part of our findings--to be helpful to other scholars.

I. Base Line Survey We build on the initial survey Yu Zhansui 于展绥 did for me in 2005 when he was a graduate student at UBC. His work provides a 2005 "base line" for our mapping effort. His lists are annotated and all but #2 are have both Chinese and English--a style I think we should maintain on our blog. I am putting four documents he produced into our shared Dropbox under the sub-folder "Institutions of Contemporary Chinese Thought" (this folder will also contain other relevant docs to do with this topic):

1. Yu Zhansui--Fifty Most Influential Intellectuals in Contemporary China

2. Yu Zhansui--中国有重要影响的思想文化网站简介 (on websites; Chinese annotations only)

3. Yu Zhansui--Some Influential Academic Presses & Media in China

4. Yu Zhansui--Some Most Influential Journals in Contemporary China

We will want to develop a 2015 version of these. Two initial observations from the 2005 lists.  First, we are dealing with many of the same names ten years later--Wang Hui, Gang Yan, Ge Zhaoguang (though Zhansui's gloss of Kang Xiaoguang--4th on his list--interestingly makes no mention of New Confucianism). Second, Zhansui's shortest list is likely to be our longest--websites and electronic media. As he notes, in 2005 web presence was largely electronic archives of print journals and a limited number of electronic bulletin boards. The Internet world is massively different today.

II. DACHS and "50 Public Intellectuals" from 2004  Also from 2005 is Nicholas Volland's annotated web archive of the 50 public intellectuals profiles in 南方人物周刊 on Sept. 8, 2004. The PDF of the web page is in Dropbox, but to use the many handy hotlinks use the url:
Many DACHS archive links require you to register, but this one does not.

Nick's annotated web archive is a fine example of the broader DACHS project: The Digital Archive for Chinese Studies run by the China Seminar at University of Heidelberg. We should familiarize ourselves with it and consider if we want to do anything similar or (as in the case of CIW's "Thinking China") if it would be better simply to arrange to contribute. Hanno Lecher appears to be in charge; Barbara Mitller is active on the site. Find out about DACHS at:

III. Background Reading: The World According to Tim For a narrative orientation of at least major themes, people, and institutions in China's intellectual world 1975-2015, I am putting two chapters from my The Intellectual in Modern Chinese History in the Dropbox folder: Ch. 5 "Reviving Reform: Correcting Revolutionary Errors (1976-1995)" and Ch. 6 "Rejuvenation: Securing the Chinese Dream (1996-2014)". If I have succeeded, this should be a relatively painless way to get what reading a dozen monographs and articles will. If not, at least it warns the team of how I am approaching our topic. There's plenty more to read and we've begun a bibliography of relevant secondary studies in the major languages.