Summer School on Modern Asian Literatures and Cultures


  • Department of Asian Studies, Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic
  • European Association for Chinese Studies


Department of Asian Studies, Palacký University Olomouc, Olomouc, Czech Republic

Important dates

  • Summer school: 8-12 July 2019
  • Application deadline: 26 May 2019
  • Registration deadline: 10 June 2019*

* The successful applicants will need to complete the registration procedure by paying the summer school registration fee by this deadline.


The 2019 summer school is dedicated to the modern Asian cultural record. For the purpose of this summer school, we include literature, film, music and art, focussing primarily on China, but the school also covers topics related to Indonesia, Japan, Korea and Vietnam. Leading experts from around the world will offer theoretical and comparative courses resonating with the school’s central theme: the tension between the local tradition and modernity.

Local tradition includes religion, philosophy, local custom and folklore. Modernity is the complex of capitalism, communism, consumerism, free market economy, and globalisation, jointly shaping the South and East Asian cultures. In particular, the school focuses on the latest developments in Asian fantasy literature, including internet literature, modern historiographic fiction, and science fiction.

The notion of literature here includes the full written cultural record, including its visualisations (film, theatre, comics, etc.) in the modern Asian cultures using both primary texts and translations. The other arts (music, visual arts, architecture, etc.) are understood in a conventional way.

Admission and deadlines

We invite applications from MA and PhD students in Chinese Studies and related fields from all over Europe. Applications by advanced undergraduates and non-European residents will also be considered. Applicants are requested to fill in the registration form. For any inquiries, please contact Mr Martin Lavička:

The deadline for applications is 26 May 2019. Applicants will be notified about the decision via email by 31 May 2019.

Costs for participants

  • €75/1920 CZK Registration fee (payable upon confirmation of a Summer School placement)
  • Travel to Olomouc
  • Czech visa (if applicable)

Free of charge

  • Tuition
  • Accommodation (single student rooms in university dormitory for six nights)
  • Coffee-breaks and snacks between the lectures
  • Guided city tour
  • Visa support (excluding visa fees)

Payment instructions

The summer school fee can be paid via bank transfer only.

(a) Payment in EUR:

  • Beneficary (Palacký University) bank name: Komerční banka, a.s., pob. Olomouc
  • Beneficary (Palacký University) bank address: tř. Svobody 14, 772 14 Olomouc, Czech Republic
  • Account number in EUR (IBAN): CZ98 0100 0000 4338 5509 0287
  • SWIFT (BIC code): KOMBCZPPxxx
  • Payment variable symbol: 992103741
  • Message to the recipient: ISS 2019 YOUR_SURNAME
  • Payment amount: 75 EUR

(b) Payment in CZK:

  • Beneficary (Palacký University) bank name: Komerční banka, a.s., pob. Olomouc
  • Beneficary (Palacký University) bank address: tř. Svobody 14, 772 14 Olomouc, Czech Republic
  • Account number in CZK (IBAN): CZ09 0100 0000 1910 9633 0227 (or 19-1096330227/0100)
  • Payment variable symbol: 992103741
  • Message to the recipient: ISS 2019 YOUR_SURNAME
  • Payment amount: 1920 CZK

We can send you a proof of payment (as areceipt in pdf format) on request. In case you need a receipt, please send us an e-mail stating your billing information (name of your institution, address, its tax identification number, etc.).


  • Shelley Wing Chan (Wittenberg University, USA)
  • Howard Choy (Wittenberg University, USA)
  • Vanessa Frangville (Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium)
  • Kendall Heitzman (University of Iowa)
  • Jan Mrázek (National University Singapore)
  • Katarzyna Sonnenberg (Jagiellonian University, Krakow)
  • Dušan Vávra (Masaryk University, Czech Republic)

Shelley Wing Chan is Professor of Chinese Language and Cultural Studies. She earned her Ph.D. from University of Colorado-Boulder, her MA from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her BA from Hong Kong Baptist University. She is the author of A Subversive Voice in China: The Fictional World of Mo Yan (New York: Cambria Press, 2011), and the editor of Mo Yan - Year 2000 Series: Close Readings on China (Hong Kong: Ming Po Press, 1999). Her articles, translations and book/film reviews on Chinese literature and culture have appeared in the United States, France, Germany, Australia, Sweden, China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Specializing in modern and contemporary Chinese literature, culture, language pedagogy, and gender studies, she taught at Stanford University, the University of Colorado-Boulder, Beloit College, and Kalamazoo College before joining the Wittenberg faculty in 2004.

Howard Y. F. Choy, Associate Professor of Chinese and East Asian Studies, received his Ph.D. in comparative literature and humanities from the University of Colorado. A journalist and theater critic from Hong Kong, he joined the Wittenberg faculty in the Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures and East Asian Studies in 2007. His research interests focus on Chinese culture and literature, with the most recent project being political jokes. Currently editing a volume of Liu Zaifu's selected essays and a collected critiques of Yan Lianke, he is the editor of Discourses of Disease: Writing Illness, the Mind and Body in Modern China (2016), the author of Remapping the Past: Fictions of History in Deng's China, 1979-1997 (2008), and the assistant author of The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Confucianism (2005).

Vanessa Frangville is currently Senior Lecturer and Chair in Chinese Studies at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium. She is also the co-director of East Centre for East Asian Studies at the ULB. She was previously a Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the Victoria Wellington University of Wellington, New Zealand. She holds a PhD in Chinese Studies from the University of Lyon 3, France, and completed two postdoctoral research projects in Taiwan and Japan. Her research deals with discourses on ethnicity and nation building in modern and contemporary China, with a special focus on cinema and “ethnic minority” film.

Kendall Heitzman is an associate professor of modern Japanese literature and culture at the University of Iowa. His forthcoming book Enduring Postwar: Yasuoka Shōtarō and Literary Memory in Japan (Vanderbilt University Press, 2019) examines the postwar writer Yasuoka Shōtarō (1920-2013) and the individual writer’s relationship to history and collective memory through the lens of memory studies. He is currently researching a project on second-generation war narratives—the vast body of written and visual texts that continue to be produced in surprising numbers even today by people with no direct memory of World War II or the early postwar period—and another on the history of Japanese writers at the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program. His articles on contemporary Japanese literature have appeared in the US-Japan Women’s Journal, Mechademia, Introducing Japanese Popular Culture (Routledge, 2018), and the Routledge Handbook of Modern Japanese Literature (2016).

Jan Mrázek (Ph.D. Cornell, 1998) is Associate Professor in the Department of Southeast Asian Studies Programme, National University of Singapore, teaching about Southeast Asian visual and performing arts and literature, as well as an experiential learning module, which involves seafaring in Indonesia. Art historian by academic training, half-trained as a Czech violinist and a Javanese puppeteer and a musician, and undisciplined by nature, he is the author of Phenomenology of a Puppet Theatre: Contemplations on the Art of Javanese Wayang Kulit (KITLV Press, 2005) and Wayang and Its Doubles: Javanese Puppet Theatre, Television and the Internet (NUS Press, 2019), and co-editor of What's the Use of Art? Functions, Movements, and Memories of Asian "Art Objects" (University of Hawaii Press, forthcoming). His current research focuses on the writings of Czechs who travelled to Southeast Asia in the colonial period. He also writes about sea, islands, and ships.

Katarzyna Sonnenberg is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. She pursued her studies in Japanese language and literature in Kraków (Jagiellonian University), Kanazawa (Kanazawa University) and Tokyo (Ochanomizu University). Her academic interests focus on the narrative strategies in early-modern and modern Japanese literature. She has published a number of articles and monographs including: At the Roots of the Modern Novel. A Comparative Reading of Ihara Saikaku’s The Life of an Amorous Woman and Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders (2015, Jagiellonian University Press), Opowiadanie siebie. Autobiografizm Higuchi Ichiyō [Narrating the Self. Autobiography and Fiction in Higuchi Ichiyō’s Works] (2014, Jagiellonian University Press).

Dušan Vávra is the Head of the Center for Chinese Studies at the Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, Brno. He received his PhD degree at the Department for the Study of Religions, Masaryk University, where he defended his thesis about Xuanxue ("the Learning of the Dark") of the 3rd to 4th Centuries. His research interests include Chinese Religions, Chinese philosophy, Daoism, and textuality in early China, which are covered in his numerous publications. His research is recently shifting to questions of Chinese identity in the modern era and modern Chinese literature.


This summer school is accredited by the Department of Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts, Palacký University Olomouc and students can receive four credits for successful participation. However, these credits are not ECTS Credits. Students are usually able to obtain credits from their home institution and we will be happy to assist you in any way we can, however, please be aware that the decision to award credits rests with your home institution.

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