Call for Papers for the upcoming conference “Chinese Popular Culture in Translation and Transmission”

University of Leicester, UK
22–23rd Jul 2021*
Deadline: 15th Jan 2021

Popular culture is elusive to define, yet through a multitude of forms and expressions, its influences across cultural boundaries are often effective, efficient and far-reaching. The conference will bring together academics, researchers and practitioners to exchange views and ideas about Chinese popular culture in the context of global circulation. It aims to outline scenes and trajectories of Chinese popular culture in translation and transmission from the 1990s, focusing on paradigms, trends, shifts and issues in the processes of production, dissemination and consumption. The conference also seeks to understand contemporary China in the global cultural flow, exchange and mediation, particularly through digital technologies, transnational markets and new media industries.

Invited and Keynote Speakers

Hongwei Bao (University of Nottingham)
Paul Bowman (Cardiff University)
Natascha Bruce (Translator)
Nicky Harman (Translator)
Jack Hargreaves (Translator)
Jiang Jiehong (Birmingham City University)
Emily Jones (Translator)
Kangqin Li (Literary Agent)


We welcome proposals for 15-minute presentations, as well as submissions of panels of three speakers and a Chair, from scholars and practitioners. Possible topics and panels may include but are not limited to:

* Due to the uncertainties with Covid-19 and other related issues, we will review the situation by 31 March 2021 and keep you informed.


  • Cross-cultural production, circulation and consumption of Chinese popular culture, such as internet literature, TV drama series, films, entertainment shows, theatre and computer games;
  • Approaches and practices in transmitting Chinese popular culture outside China;
  • Global representations and reproductions of Chinese popular culture;
  • Conceptualisations and methodologies relevant to the three topics above.


Please send your abstract of 300 words and a short biography to

Submission of Abstracts: 15 January 2021
Acceptance of Abstracts: 1 February 2021
Conference registration fee†:
Regular: £120
Student: £80
Conference Dinner: £30

Publication Opportunities

East Asian Journal of Popular Culture will publish a special issue on the conference theme in Spring 2023.‡ Depending on the quality of papers, we also plan a proposal for an edited volume with one of the leading academic publishers.

Conference Organisers

The Centre for Translation and Interpreting Studies, University of Leicester, UK
Dr Yan Ying
School of English Studies, Shanghai International Studies University, China
Prof Sun Huijun

† The registration fee is based on an in-person on-site conference. If the conference is held in another form, we
will review the fee accordingly.

‡ Regardless of the situation with the conference, we are committed to the publication of this special issue.

Keynote and Invited Speakers (in alphabetical order)

Hongwei Bao is Associate Professor in Media Studies at the University of Nottingham, UK, where he also directs the Centre for Contemporary East Asian Cultural Studies. He holds a PhD in Gender and Cultural Studies from the University of Sydney, Australia. His research primarily focuses on queer media and visual cultures in contemporary China. He is the author of Queer Comrades: Gay Identity and Tongzhi Activism in Postsocialist China (NIAS Press, 2018) and Queer China: Lesbian and Gay Literature and Visual Culture under Postsocialism (Routledge, 2020).

Paul Bowman is professor of cultural studies at Cardiff University. He has researched and written widely on film, political theory, popular culture, East-West encounters, and martial arts. He is founder and director of The Martial Arts Studies Research Network and co-editor of the journal Martial Arts Studies. He is author of 12 academic monographs, including Deconstructing Popular Culture (2008), Theorizing Bruce Lee (2010), Reading Rey Chow (2013), Mythologies of Martial Arts (2017), and – forthcoming in December 2020 – The Invention of Martial Arts: Popular Culture Between Asia and America (Oxford University Press).

Natascha Bruce translates Chinese-language fiction and poetry into English. Her work includes Lonely Face [孤寂的脸] by Yeng Pway Ngon 英培安 (Balestier, 2019; shortlisted for the TA First Translation Prize), Lake Like a Mirror [湖⾯如鏡] by Ho Sok Fong 賀淑芳 (Granta, 2019) and, with Nicky Harman, A Classic Tragedy [天籁] by Xu Xiaobin 徐⼩斌 (forthcoming from Balestier). She has translated short stories for magazines including Granta, Words Without Borders, Wasafiri and Chinese Literature Today, and for anthologies including That We May Live (Two Lines, 2020) and Antipodean China (forthcoming from Giramondo). Her translation of ‘Cloth Birds’ [布⿃], a poem by Dorothy Tse 謝曉虹, won the 2019 Words Without Borders Poems in Translation Prize. In 2020, she and Tse were the translator and writer in residence (respectively) at Leeds University’s Centre for New Chinese Writing.

Jack Hargreaves is a Chinese-English translator from East Yorkshire, now based in London. Specialising in literary and academic translation, his work has appeared on Asymptote Journal, Paper Republic and LA Review of Books China Channel and includes writing by Zhu Yiye 朱一 叶, Isaac Hsu 许顺镗, Yuan Ling 袁凌, Liu Xinglong 刘醒龙, Lu Yinyin 陆茵茵 and Ye Duoduo 叶多多. He translated Shen Dacheng’s 沈大成 short story ‘Novelist in the Attic’ 《阁楼小说 家》 for Comma Press’ The Book of Shanghai. Forthcoming translations include Li Juan’s 李 娟Winter Pasture 《冬牧场》, Yang Dian’s 杨典 flash fiction collection A Contrarian’s Tales 《懒慢抄》, A History of Chinese Philosophical Thought《中国哲学思想史》 by Zhang Xianghao 张祥浩 and Buddhism and Buddhology《中国佛教与佛学》 by Hong Xiuping 洪 修平.

Nicky Harman lives in the UK and translates full-time from Chinese, focussing on fiction, literary non-fiction, and occasionally poetry. Several of her translations have been recipients of an English PEN Translates award and she has won a Mao Tai Cup People’s Literature Chinese-English translation prize (2015), and first prize in the 2013 China International Translation Contest, Chinese-to-English section, with Jia Pingwa’s ‘Backflow River’, [倒流河]. When not translating, she works on, a non-profit website promoting Chinese literature in translation, where she is also a Trustee. She organizes translationfocused events, mentors new translators, gives regular talks and workshops on translation, and judges translation competitions. She was co-Chair of the Translators Association (Society of Authors, UK) from 2014 to 2017. She blogs on Asian Books Blog, and tweets, with Helen Wang, as China Fiction Book Club @cfbcuk.

Jiang Jiehong is Professor of Chinese Art and Director of the Centre for Chinese Visual Arts at Birmingham City University and Principal Editor of the Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art (Intellect). Jiang is author of many books including the Revolution Continues: New Art from China (2008), Red: China’s Cultural Revolution (2010), An Era without Memory: Chinese Contemporary Photography on Urban Transformation (2015) and The Art of Contemporary China (forthcoming in 2021). He was Lead Curator of the Fourth Guangzhou Triennial: the Unseen (2012), the Third Asia Triennial Manchester: Harmonious Society (2014), This Is Shanghai (Liverpool 2018) and the First Thailand Biennale: Edge of the Wonderland (2018-19).

Emily Jones learnt Chinese at the universities of Cambridge, Ningbo and Qingdao and was the recipient of a BCLT mentorship in translation in 2011. Her publications include the crime novel 《性之罪》, translated as Black Holes, by 何家弘He Jiahong; 《天行者》, translated as The Sky Dwellers, by 刘醒龙Liu Xinglong; and 《李喬短篇小說精選集》translated as Fiction and Other Stories, by 李喬Lee Chiao as well as samples, short stories, poetry, fiction and non-fiction for various publishers. She is a founding Trustee of Paper Republic,, a charity which promotes Chinese literature in English translation.

Kangqin Li completed her PhD in American studies at University of Leicester in 2014. She worked as rights manager and editor at Shanghai 99, a Chinese publishing house that publishes translated literature, for five years. In 2019, she set up a London-based independent literary agency, New River Literary, handling the foreign rights of books from Asia. Books represented by New River include Zhang Yueran’s Cocoon, Ho Sok Fong’s Lake Like a Mirror, Li Kotomi’s Solo Dance, Makoto Shinkai and Naruki Nagakawa’s She and Her Cat, Seishu Hase’s The Boy and the Dog, and Zijin Chen’s Bad Kids. Dr Li is one of the three translators of John Updike’s The Early Stories: 1953–1975, published in China by Shanghai Translation Publishing House in 2020. She has also been reader and publishing advisor for MacLehose Press and Granta Books since 2010.

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