Artists and Writers in Residence

BUCSA  Artists and Writers in Residence Program

A great educational institution signals its excellence and its vision not only through high-tech labs, programs in mathematics, or the study of ancient texts, but also in the way it champions the arts and artists. The new BUCSA Artists and Writers in Residence program brings Asian creative professionals to BU for periods of one to three months to collaborate with our faculty and to guest-co-teach appropriate courses. The goal of this program is to foster cross-cultural understanding through the appreciation of the arts, and through direct interaction with these artists and writers to enrich the cultural awareness of our students, faculty and the broader Boston community.


xu xingXU Xing 徐星 is a prominent Chinese writer and documentary filmmaker. Often called ”The Chinese Jack Kerouac,” his works have consistently engaged with national and international issues of politics, power, and moral responsibility. At the same time these larger issues are always evoked through the lives of the common working people in China. We are delighted to announce that with support from the BU Arts Initiative and the BU Center for the Humanities, we have invited XU Xing to Boston University as BUCSA’s first incumbent of the Artist and Writer in Residence program. With this program we hope to provide opportunities for our students and faculty to interact with unusual and outstanding writers and artists as an interdisciplinary and cross-school collaborative experience.

Xu enjoyed his most prolific period as a writer during the 1980s and 1990s, and his books reached a broad international audience when they were translated into French, English and German. These works include “Variations Without a Theme” 无主题变奏 and “All That is Left is Yours ” 剩下的都属于你. In the early 1990s he migrated to Germany, staying in Heidelberg. After returning to his hometown Beijing, he began shooting documentary films. His work A Chronicle of My Cultural Revolution 我的文革编年史 (2009) was based on his personal experiences growing up in the Chinese Cultural Revolution. In his 2015 documentary Crime Summary 罪证摘要, Xu searches for peasants in Zhejiang who had been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison during the Cultural Revolution. His most recent work (2017) is his new film The Day of Reckoning 腊月三十日到来, which uses a heartbreaking love story between a husband and wife as a vehicle with which to confront the contortions of China’s political history since 1949.

Xu Xing will be in residence at Boston University from early February until late April. He will be co-teaching a film course with Prof. Cathy Yeh on the New Chinese documentary movement which began during the 1990s and continues until today. His films will be screened during the time he is at BU and he will offer several workshops on different aspects of documentary filmmaking. In addition to one public lecture at BU, he will be also be reaching out to the greater Boston community where he will be giving lectures and screenings of his films.

We welcome everyone to participate in the events relating to Xu Xing and his work while he is at BU this spring!

XU Xing CV English