Books and Films by Andrew Field

798 Arts District Academia alumni Amy Chua apocatropolis Art Art Deco Astronomy Australia Ba Jin Bad Girl Fiction Beijing Beijing Olympics blues Blues and Jazz Bob Dylan Book Review Book Reviews Buddhism bund Cchinese culture CChinese Indie Rock Chairman Mao Changsha Chen Liangyu China China Bounder China Journalism Chinese Cinema chinese culture Chinese Folk Music chinese history Chinese Indie Rock Chinese Intellectuals Chinese Literature Chinese Minorities Chinese Mothers Chinese New Year Chinglish Christine Choi CIEE Coco Zhao Columbia University Comet McNaught Contemporary Chinese Art Courtesans Cui Jian D22 dancing Darfur dartmouth college David Spindler Democracy Digital Media City Documentary Film Dongtan drama Driving in China earthquake ECNU Campus Eco-City Ed Lanfranco Education ehwa university Environment Ethnicity Family food Frederic Wakeman French Concession French Concession Tour Genocide Global Warming Globalization Great Wall Greg Girard H-ASIA Helen Feng Hollywood Hostesses Hunan Hutongs Interview Iraq James Farrer jazz Jia Zhangke John Cusack Kaiser Kuo Korea Literature on China Live Music long bar Lu Xun Lynn Pan Mao Livehouse Mao Years Mao Zedong MCLC Media and Censorship moganshan lu mountain climbing Mu Shiying Multimedia Muse Music night nightlife NYU NYU Shanghai Old Beijing Old Shanghai Olympics Pamela Crossley Paramount Ballroom park Parks and Gardens Peace Hotel Peter Hessler Phebe 3D Piano plays poetry Policing Shanghai Politics Preservation Propaganda public manners Putuoshan Railways Red Collector rock concert Seoul Sex Sex in China shanghai Shanghai Bund Shanghai Fox-trot Shanghai Literary Festival Shanghai Photography Shanghai's Dancing World shaoxing sichuan Snapline Songdo sports Spring Steve Sweeting students Study Abroad Programs SUBS summer program Sustainability Suzhou Sydney tess johnston Thomas Dolby Tianzifang Tibet traffic Transportation travel TwoCities Gallery Ullens Center Uluru UNSW Victor Mair Video Wei Hui Whitey Smith William T. de Bary World Expo xintiandi Xu Jilin Yangzi River Yonsei University zhabei Zhabei Park Zhang Ailing Zhoushan Islands Ziyo


More talks for Shanghai Nightscapes

I'm afraid I haven't been doing a good job of keeping up with this journaling for my website. I blame this largely on Facebook, which has absorbed most of my 'blogging' efforts. It's a lot more rewarding when you get instant recognition for your posts in the form of 'likes' and comments. Harder to keep up the the blog slog when you don't get any feedback.  Nevertheless I'm still using this website as the fundamental repository for all of my writing and film projects.

This is a busy week for me. In addition to all of my duties, responsibilities, projects etc. for my current job with Duke Kunshan University, I've been asked to give two public talks in Shanghai and one public walk. The first talk happened on Wednesday morning, where I gave a talk on Shanghai nightlife in the Age of Deco based on Shanghai Nightscapes and my earlier book Shanghai's Dancing World for the Shanghai Art Deco World Congress. Then on Thursday evening I gave a tour of the Bund at night for a sizeable group of participants in the Art Deco Congress. We visited the Astor House, Peace Hotel, and Waldorf Astoria, and ended the night with a great blues band at the House of Blues and Jazz.

Tomorrow I give a talk for the Shanghai Literary Festival at 1 pm at M on the Bund in their new Glam Bar.  Thanks to Michelle Garnaut for including me in this event. This will be my third book talk for SLF in the past five years. Of course the focus will be on Shanghai Nightscapes.

Speaking of which, That's Shanghai published an interview with me and James in order to promote this talk.

Hope to see some of you there!


Shanghai Nightscapes book talk for Royal Asiatic Society, Sept 12

James Farrer and I will be holding a series of book talks in the coming week.  We are especially looking forward to our talk for the Royal Asiatic Society in Shanghai.  For more info on this talk, please see this website.


Shanghai Nightscapes Goes Live

Finally, nearly twenty years after this project was first conceived in the Hithouse Bar near Fudan University, over a couple of soggy, warm beers and the bleery-eyed environment of a student-populated disco bar, our book Shanghai Nightscapes is now being launched into the world.  Special thanks goes out to Doug Mitchell and the rest of the team at U Chicago Press, as well as to our various editors and compilers.  James Farrer, my coauthor, was the driving force behind this project's completion, and definitely deserves top billing. I hope that those who read the book will find something of themselves reflected in its contents.

You may find the book on Amazon or just go directly to the publisher, University of Chicago Press.  Happy reading!


That's a Fine Cuppa Cha: Another Rave Review of Mu Shiying

My publisher just sent me the link to this article about my book on Mu Shiying published in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal.  Thanks to the reviewer, Huiwen Shi, for writing such a positive and insightful yet also critical review.



What Makes a City Habitable? Workshopping with Toby Lincoln and SASS, and a Night of Cow's Heads and Craft Brews

The rainy weather of Shanghai in recent weeks has brought a pall to the city, but fortunately the arrival of a number of old friends and colleagues from the USA, UK and elsewhere for the summer workshop and conference season has lifted my spirits greatly. Earlier this week, I met up with Toby Lincoln, a scholar and researcher of Chinese urban history and professor at University of Leicester the UK.  We joined his fiance and another old friend and colleague of mine, John Crespi, professor of Chinese language and literature at Colgate University, for an evening of conversation and a sampling of fine Belgian draft beers at Cafe des Stagiares on Dagu Road. 

On Friday, July 3, I joined Toby and Xu Tao, the two co-organizers of the Habitable Cities Workshop held at the SASS building in Shanghai. We were joined by a dozen or so colleagues in the field of modern Chinese history whose work focuses on some aspect of urban China in the 20th century. The purpose of the workshop was to present papers on their subjects and then align everyone on the project of an edited volume that Toby is putting together on The Habitable City.  You can find the workshop outline and paper topics here.


Toby has just published his first book, Urbanizing China in War and Peace: The Case of Wuxi County, hence the smile. I look forward to reading it when I get a chance.

Now he's saddled himself with an even tougher project: herding wild cats. He has succeeded in getting a grant to pull together an edited volume, and I wish him the best of luck for this challenging yet ultimately rewarding job.

The papers individually were all very promising and showcased the original research of the participants. The cities covered in the workshop included Shanghai of course, but also Wuxi, Tianjin, Dalian, Lushun, and Kunming, thus encompassing a fairly good cross-section of modern Chinese cities.

Most focused on the Republican Era with a little overlap into the 1950s. Rob Cliver's paper on silk textile weavers and factory workers in Shanghai and Wuxi, part of his larger project on the silk industry of the Lower Yangzi region, focused mainly on the early years of Communist rule, turning some of our notions about CCP support for workers' rights on their head.

The focus of much of the discussion that went on in between the delivery of papers was how to better align the papers towards the common purpose and theme of the book: "habitability". As anybody who has put together an edited volume knows, that's the greatest challenge, and one of the questions we all pondered was what constitutes a habitable city?

During the conference I was able to briefly catch up with the legendary historian of Shanghai, Xiong Yuezhi, who gave a keynote speech at the conference. Dr. Xiong was very helpful when I first came to Shanghai in 1996 to research my dissertation on Shanghai's jazz-age cabaret industry. Over the decades he has published, edited, and otherwise produced an amazing body of work on the history of Shanghai.

Afterwards, we all headed to a nearby Chinese restaurant whose gaudy, super-fancy decor stunned us all.  Toby held court as we continued our conversations and waited for the food to be laid on our tables. Then, the piece de resistance arrived...

After enjoying the fine meal, some of us took cabs out to the Fuxing Road/Yongfu Road intersection where we sampled the beers at Boxing Cat Brewery (most of us chose the IPA). 

Following that, we walked over to the JZ Club to catch some Latino rhythms by an all-star cast of Shanghai horn players, and retired up to third floor to continue our conversations.

As mentioned earlier in this post, one of the topics that we discussed and debated throughout the day and into the night was what makes a city "habitable." If you accept my own definition of habitability as one that features top institutes of higher learning, gatherings of enlightened scholars, fine dining (cow's heads notwithstanding), excellent craft brews, hot live music, and frequent visits from old friends and colleagues, then Shanghai definitely qualifies.