CEAS Colloquium Series

Event
Posted : March 1, 2021

Following the end of World War II, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) spent the next three decades carrying out agrarian reform among nearly one third of the world’s rural population. The first step of this reform was a nation-wide Land Reform Movement in which the CCP helped redistribute 40 million hectares of land to over 300 million rural people. This land reform, the founding myth of the People’s Republic of China (1949– present) and the cornerstone of the Chinese Communist Revolution, embodies the idea that an equal redistribution of property leads to social and political equality....

Event
Posted : November 12, 2020

During the eighteenth century, ethnic Chinese emerged as the preeminent diasporic community in maritime East Asia. From the East China Sea to the Strait of Melaka, Chinese junks dominated the trading lanes, while settlers flooded into the sparsely populated interior of Southeast Asia. Scholars have spoken of the eighteenth century as a “Chinese century” in maritime East Asia. Although Chinese merchants and immigrants have long had an established presence in maritime East Asia, at least since the thirteenth century, their actual numbers and degree of influence varied over time. In fact, their...

Event
Posted : November 12, 2020

Modern Chinese Literature has routinely been understood through continental, land-based frameworks, defined by way of concepts such as the nation, race, and ethnicity. But what happens if we leave behind this terra firma, this seemingly solid conceptual ground, and instead approach Chinese/Sinophone literature from the perspective of the ocean? This talk proposes to rethink modern Chinese literature through an oceanic/maritime lens, drawing on recent conceptual work in archipelagic imaginaries, maritime heterotopologies, and seascape epistemologies. Reading texts by Syaman Rapongan and Ng Kim...

Event
Posted : November 12, 2020

While Chinese science fiction gains more visibility in the world, the new wave has gradually lost its momentum along its meandering course of succeeding in the market and gaining recognition from the government. In 2019, the image of Chinese science fiction turned into the planet-size spaceship The Wandering Earth, which attained successes at the box office while carrying on the Chinese Communist Party’s mission of building a “community for the shared destiny of humankind.” This talk looks into the profound invisibility of certain essential elements of science fiction in the cinematic...

Event
Posted : November 12, 2020

The Korean War was in reality two wars: the first half was a war over territory from June 1950 to November 1951; the second half was a war over POWs from late 1951 to July 1953. While the first war restored the territorial status quo ante, the second war’s only visible outcome was the “defection” of 14,220 Chinese prisoners to Taiwan and 7,574 North Korean prisoners to South Korea, the cost of which was a near doubling of the length of the war and numerous casualties on all sides. Contrary to the popular belief that an American conspiracy was to blame, Chang argues that two ill-conceived US...

Event
Posted : August 18, 2020

This talk examines the online discourse of black hāfu, or individuals of mixed black and Japanese descent. Although the term hāfu has customarily been associated with phenotypically white/Eurasian features and in the postwar period was used to situate Japanese in proximity to an idealized white modernity, in recent years it has increasingly come to refer to half-black Japanese as well. After a brief discussion of the history of mixed-descent individuals in Japan, the talk will explore how postwar and contemporary tropes of blackness and black hāfu in mainstream media and social media...

Event
Posted : August 18, 2020

We examine the influence of family background on appointment, promotion, and career length in the Qing civil service for officials who held provincial juren and national jinshi examination degrees and served between 1830 and 1912. For the analysis, we link three generations of family background information on exam degree holders to detailed and complete data on the appointment and career trajectories of officeholders in the China Government Employee Database-Qing (CGED-Q), which currently contains 4.1 million records of 345,071 officials. We show that family background influences on...

Event
Posted : August 18, 2020

Over the last decade, a group of scholars and thinkers in China have articulated a systematic critique of liberalism. They argue for the superiority of political sovereignty over the rule of law, and the need to “repoliticize” the state, often echoing the view of the legal theorist Carl Schmitt. It can be argued that Hong Kong’s system of rule of law under Chinese sovereignty represented a challenge to neostaist views. Analyzed in the context of neostatism, Hong Kong’s recent National Security Law takes on a broader significance as a central component of the leading ideology gradually being...

Event
Posted : August 18, 2020

This talk explores the connections between the earliest written cultures of the Korean peninsula and the Japanese archipelago through an examination of inscriptions on wooden strips known as mokkan. Recently excavated inscribed materials have provided new insight into the uses of Sinographic writing in the southern peninsular kingdoms of Paekche (ca. late third century-660CE) and Silla (ca. third century-935CE), such that it is now possible to investigate how early Japanese written culture was built upon a foundation developed on the Korean peninsula. Through an exploration of inscribed...

Event
Posted : August 17, 2020

This presentation will explore the representation of Manchuria in contemporary Japanese television productions, focusing on how these programs reveal changing discourses on the remembrance of Japanese colonialism in China. Through an analysis of TBS’s Return Home: The Forgotten Brides (Kyōkō kikoku: Wasuresarareta hanayometachi, 2012) and NHK’s Distant Bonds (Harukanaru Kizuna, 2009), it will reveal both the gendered dynamics of colonial memory as well as how such images serve to both expose and repress Japanese remembrance of NE China. Amanda Weiss is Assistant Professor of Japanese at...

Event
Posted : August 13, 2020

The talk will examine the knowledge sharing engagement with North Korea in the last ten years of the Canada-DPRK Knowledge Partnership Program (KPP). It will explore the results of engagement in terms of types of activities, channels, its impact, as well as the motives of North Korea, which led to these engagement activities. The talk will also discuss the implications of these engagement efforts for future relations with Pyongyang. Professor Kyung-Ae Park holds the Korea Foundation Chair at the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs at the University of British Columbia (UBC). She is...

Event
Posted : August 13, 2020

This talk aims to open up new spaces to discuss art and literature in socialist China. It analyzes the overarching themes of “labor” and “production” in the cinematic campaigns to promulgate the Marriage Law in 1950s China and reevaluates the primary goal of the law. By examining the contrasting representations of landlords and communist cadres, “backward” peasants and model workers, matchmakers and women’s directors in works such as Children’s Marriage (Ernü Qinshi, 1950), Zhao Xiaolan (1953) and Liu Qiao’er (1956), this talk explores how and why labor was romanticized in 1950s PRC films. It...

Event
Posted : August 13, 2020

Reproduction links the personal and the political. Individuals make reproductive decisions, guided by the meaning they attach to children and parenthood. At the same time, through policies that promote or limit births, the state attempts to regulate individuals’ reproductive behavior. This talk centers on urban Chinese individuals’ fertility decision-making under the 2016 universal two-child policy. By examining what children mean, I highlight how a gendered pursuit of individualism underlies women’s and men’s fertility aspiration and behavior. I shed light on the question of why state...

Event
Posted : August 13, 2020

The impressive development of digital technologies in the 21th century made possible today to preserve, share, and study premodern documents and texts in a way never seen before, opening the field to new academic methodologies and approaches going under the name of “digital humanities”. In the very same years the concept of “cultural heritage” growth both in complexity as well as in inclusiveness, as the category of intangible cultural heritage (ICH) extended the reach of safeguarding to include cultural practices such as songs, plays, food or handicraft. Both the so called “heritage studies...

Event
Posted : August 13, 2020

In this study, we draw on quantitative survey data and qualitative interview data to understand the emergence, experiences, and well-being implications of stigma and discrimination during China’s COVID-19 outbreak. We first draw on an experiment component embedded in the national survey to empirically establish the existence of stigma during the outbreak. Drawing on stigma theory and social stress process theory, we then use survey data to show the differential exposure to discrimination and quantify the role of perceived discrimination in shaping mental health and explaining region-based and...

Event
Posted : March 9, 2020

South Korea has long been known as the “plastic surgery capital of the world” with the highest rates of plastic surgery per capita globally. In this talk, I ask how cosmetic surgery becomes normalized as economically and socially viable? And, how does this normalization get disrupted? I argue that feminist abstraction is one method through which cosmetic surgery, and Korean beauty more broadly, is sold in contemporary global Korean cultural products such as K-pop and K-dramas. Feminist abstraction codes contemporary beauty regimes as resistance and in so doing, normalizes beauty regiments as...

Event
Posted : November 7, 2019

A great saga of scholarly debate in the Chinese tradition surrounds the “Tian wen” 天問 (Heavenly questions) poem in the Han anthology Chuci 楚辭. Because of the interrogative mode of the entire text, many of its lines lack sufficient context to be read on their own, a difficulty which, compounded by the poem’s archaic and sometimes wilfully opaque language, has given to rise to countless different readings of the poem. This study examines several key interpretations of the “Tian wen” across history, ranging from poetic responses by Jiang Yan 江淹 and Liu Zongyuan 柳宗元 to scholarly interpretations...

Event
Posted : October 31, 2019

In the aftermath of Europe’s empires, linguistic continuities such as Anglophone and Francophone writings emerged as bona fide, albeit controversial, cultural legacies and fields of inquiry. A robust production and consumption of such writings and critical debates gave rise to writers and literary works that circulated widely albeit unevenly through global debates on World Literature and Postcolonial Studies. In the case of the Japanese empire, there exists a significant body of literary works that emerged from linguistic comings and goings across imperial borderlines that persisted long...

Event
Posted : October 29, 2019

This presentation discusses Black femme characters in anime and manga-inspired media. That is, the “work of representation” as well as race, identity and cultural politics are brought to the forefront in this dialogue concerning the transnational as translational in Japanese feminist critique of film and media. Examples of popular manga, anime and genre-inspired film are examined. Audience is encouraged to bring samples to share and explore during Q & A. Dawn-Elissa Fischer is an associate professor at SF State University. She teaches, researches and writes about international Black...

Event
Posted : October 17, 2019

Recent studies of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) role in Chinese politics have argued that the military remains professional and subordinated to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). However, even the PLA itself acknowledges that its soldiers sometimes resist authority. This paper compiles a new dataset of all publicly reported refusals to serve and desertions in the People’s Republic of China from 2009-2018. Having identified 206 individual cases of resistance, this manuscript identifies three consistencies in PRC reporting about them: resistance is typically portrayed as occurring among...

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