Magical Realism and Feminist Subversion in China and Beyond

Thursday, Nov. 7, 4:00 pm in Liberal Arts Building #136

How do Chinese activists today get around increasingly repressive political censorship? While the pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong, and Beijing’s severe reaction to them, confirm the lack of rights in China, young people on the Mainland are creating more roundabout ways to communicate their subversive ideas. 

Online literature in China flourishes, with reinventions of traditional genres such as sword-fighting, with a subversive, contemporary edge. Young women use creative linguistic innovations to subvert censorship of feminist social media. After the censorship of the Me Too movement, they used the emojis of rice (mi) and rabbit (tu) in place of the English words (homophones for “Me” and “Too”). 

Persecution of feminists in China is on the rise, with both activists and authors imprisoned. Through the veil of magical realism, brave women continue to voice opposition via hugely popular online novels. As repression increases, so does resistance. This is similar to how magical realism was originally used in Latin America to criticize dictatorships while avoiding political censorship and persecution. In addition to the China focus, this lecture provides keys to understanding magical realism, including how the imagination shapes our ways of seeing and acting in the world. Drawing from my book Décoloniser l’imaginaire: du réalisme magique chez Maryse Condé, Marie NDiaye; et Sylvie Germain (L’Harmattan, 2007), it includes examples from China, the Francophone world, and beyond. 

Professor of Literature Kate Rose is currently on leave from China University of Mining and Technology. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Boston College and went on to get her PhD in Comparative Literature from Université de Montpellier, France. 

She is the author or co-author of multiple books, chapters, academic articles, and reviews on feminism, traumatic memory in literature, social linguistics, French Literature, Chinese literature, and indigenous literature of the Americas. She is also the author of several fictional short stories and one novel.

She is the editor of a forthcoming book in Routledge’s Series on Contemporary Literature, titled Displaced: Migration, Indigeneity, and Trauma. Currently she is seeking a department at NAU interested in integrating her interdisciplinary and international teaching and research. In the meantime, she works as a freelance editor, and part-time for a local publishing house. 

Nature Writing Retreat: Eco Poetry & Prose

poet, author, and writing instructor
Pam Davenport
“Tell me what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
~Mary Oliver, The Summer Day
Spend the day remembering you are part of Nature. This all day retreat in a Garden Setting will break down the barriers between you and the natural world. See things differently and discover how to use your Poetry and Prose to live and breathe and even to facilitate change.
Saturday, September 14
Check-In at 9:30 am
Instruction 10 am-4 pm

Fee $50 before Sept 1 
and $60 in Sept.
(Includes entrance to Arboretum)
Participants limited to 25

Register by mailing Registration Form and Check payable to  Nancy Brehm
925 N. Sinagua Heights Dr.
Flagstaff, AZ 86004

For more info call or email Nancy at: 


Arrive early and stay until 5 pm to enjoy the gardens. The Arboretum has lots of paths, a butterfly garden, a mushroom garden, art, a pond, and a climate change center. Maps and tours will be available after 9 am.

Participants should bring a brown bag lunch. Coolers will be available. Coffee, tea and muffins will be furnished in the morning. Healthy snacks and desserts will be available during the day. Participants are asked to bring a water bottle for refilling.

Pam Davenport's writing is inspired by the mountains and deserts of Arizona. After decades of teaching college writing and literature classes, Pam earned a Masters of Fine Arts in writing from Pacific University in Oregon. Her chapbook, A Midwest Girl Thanks Patti Smith won the Slipstream Chapbook Competition and will be published this summer. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and recipient of Arizona Authors' Assc. Annual Award for Poetry. Her poems have been published in Nimrod, Tinderbox, Slippery Elm, Poetry of the American Southwest, Chiron, New Verse News, and Pittsburgh Poetry Review.

After the Workshop

We had a great group on Sat for this workshop. The facilities were beautiful and the weather was perfect for our outside writing. Thanks to all who participated for making the workshop and the readings extraordinary.

Mark James, Flagstaff Arboretum Docent, gave a wonderful talk prior to our workshop on Sat. Plants discussed included columbine, yarrow, larkspur and puke weed. Thank you Mark for all the interesting info.

Point of View & Voice Workshop

by Margaret Erhart

This all day workshop will help you with effective use of Point of View and Voice.

June 1st
9am to 4pm

The day includes:
              • Presentation
              • Discussion
              • Writing Activities

The workshop will be held at the Flagstaff Senior Meadows Clubhouse.
1351 N. Pine Cliff Dr. in Flagstaff.

Parking is limited but you can park in the Basis School parking lot across the street.

Fee $40

(Includes Lunch)
Participants limited to 20
Register by mailing Registration Form and Check payable to  Nancy Brehm
925 N. Sinagua Heights Dr.
Flagstaff, AZ 86004

For more info call or email Nancy at: 


Margaret Erhart earned an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is the author of five novels and many essays and articles. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, and most recently in Northern Arizona’s Mountain Living Magazine. Her commentaries have aired on NPR. Her fourth novel, Crossing Bully Creek, won the Milkweed National Fiction Prize. Her fifth, The Butterflies of Grand Canyon, was a finalist for an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. She has taught poetry to first-graders in Tuba City, and fiction to college students. She lives and works in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Writing and Publishing on the Colorado Plateau

and the 
a showcase of local authors of the Colorado Plateau from a variety of different genres who will share their writing and publishing experiences:

Samantha Burton, Publications & Bookstore Manager

Samantha Burton works as a Bookstore and Publications Department Manager at the Museum of Northern Arizona. She holds a BA in English with an emphasis in Native American Literature. She has contributed to museum exhibits as a freelance Indigenous Consultant and has presented on the representation of Indigenous people in literature, media, and popular culture.

Jean Rukkila, author & illustrator 

Jean Rukkila fills blank pages with words and drawings. She's taught Arizona teachers and students how to make one-of-a-kind books. Her essays, poems, and stories have appeared in Mountain Gazette, Sonora Review, FlagLive and The Sun.

Don Lago, author 

Don Lago has published a dozen books, half of them from university presses, and writes creative non-fiction and history. As well as essays in national magazines and literary reviews, he's published three books about the history of the Grand Canyon and has lived in Flagstaff for 30 years. 
Gwen Waring, author, illustrator, ecologist

Gwen Waring is an ecologist and writer who is based in Flagstaff. Her love of the region is expressed through landscape painting and the writing of natural history. She's conducted research in most ecosystems in Arizona. Her new book, The Natural History of the San Francisco Peaks (2018) tells the story of this fabulous mountain based on research conducted over the last 130 years. 

Location and Time:

May 4th, 2019 2-4 p.m.

Branigar Hall @ Museum of Northern Arizona 
Free with admission to museum (Adults/$12 Seniors/$10)

Book Signing:

Presentations will be followed by a Question and Answer session which will be moderated by Flagstaff author, Margaret Erhart. The authors will be selling and signing their works following the presentation.

More Information, Contact: 

Barbara Shovers, Co-Coordinator, Flagstaff Writers Connection

Nancy Brehm, Co-Coordinator, Flagstaff Writers Connection

Margaret Erhart, Flagstaff Writers Connection Member