CEAS Colloquium Series

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...

Event
Posted : October 10, 2019

Ginza Bricktown (1872) is celebrated as an exemplar of Japanese efforts to rapidly modernize and Westernize following the Meiji Restoration of 1868.  By constructing a district of Western-style brick buildings and paved streets at the center of the capital, the story goes, Meiji Government leaders could demonstrate Japan’s newfound progress to observers both foreign and domestic.  Yet this narrative elides the political conflicts and local contestation that challenged the planning and construction of Bricktown from the outset and prompted its early termination.  This talk will revisit...

Event
Posted : September 26, 2019

In this talk, Christine Marran, Professor of Japanese Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of Minnesota and co-convener for the UMN’s Environmental Humanities Initiative, will discuss how environmental phenomena associated with climate change inherently test the capacities of particular modes of writing and literary analysis. Starting with author Amitav Ghosh’s claim that the imaginary of the modern realist novel is incompatible with the representation of climate, Marran will discuss forms of Japanese writing to suggest how literary studies can address environmental...

Event
Posted : September 26, 2019

From the Park Chung-hee syndrome to the contentious debates surrounding the legislation to deal with “pro-Japanese collaborators” of the colonial period and the rise of the New Right the textbook controversy, South Korea in the last two decades has been waging internecine struggles so fierce and contentious, it has been called a civil war, tout court. These debates reveal that Korean society is deeply divided over how centrally their country’s history of overcoming the colonial and authoritarian past should underlie current political consciousness and a vision for the future. Should South...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2019

The formal patriarchal order of samurai life in Tokugawa Japan (1600-1868) discursively erased women of samurai status from much public documentation and encouraged a misogynistic culture. Yet families still needed to keep some records by and about their women. This talk will discuss samurai women’s lives based on the family records of one samurai household and reveals a surprising degree of generalized respect for women’s authority in the family. Luke Roberts is professor of history at UC Santa Barbara, where he focuses in early modern political economy and social history. He is author of...

Event
Posted : September 5, 2019

In early-nineteenth-century Japan, before the advent of mechanical recordings of sound and images, music and famous lines from the stage circulated widely in woodblock print. These printed invocations of performance—including everything from kabuki plays to popular songs and street shows—played an instrumental role in organizing the visual and auditory properties of early modern prose fiction, especially popular genres of illustrated fiction. In this talk, I examine soundscapes relating to the kabuki and other theater genres that were called up through both the text and the pictures in works...

Event
Posted : September 5, 2019

In the modernizing context of the early twentieth century, intellectuals from South America to East Asia addressed the increasing importance of the movies for the transformation of embodied attitudes. Seen by local elites as a pedagogical apparatus, film delivered promises of becoming modern through its mimetic power over the spectators’s bodies. In this talk I will propose that, at the intercrossing between the dissatisfaction and hopes for film displayed by intellectuals in Taishō Japan, such as Murayama Tomoyoshi, and Brazil’s post-slavery First Republic discourse on film, such as...

Event
Posted : August 7, 2019

February 13, 11AM Book Signing at Yale Bookstore This talk will focus on patterns of protest and the tightening of political controls in Hong Kong during the last few decades, paying particular attention to the 2014 Umbrella Movement and of this dramatic events of 2019, including the most recently June 4th anniversary vigil, which the speaker attended. The resenter, who has been visiting Hong Kong regularly since 1987, will draw on his work as a specialist in the history of anti-authoritarian movements in various parts of the world and his work on global cities of Asia. The presentation will...

Event
Posted : July 5, 2019

In 1939, Japan passed the Film Law to mobilize cinema in the empire’s war efforts, and the colonial government in Korea continued moving toward total control of the domestic culture industry. From such political turns, Korean filmmakers and producers found both perils and opportunities in the film business. Korean cinema was on the verge of losing its ethnic ground, as it was to be incorporated into the empire’s greater film sphere; at the same time, the national cinema’s crisis presented an opportunity for colonial filmmakers to explore a larger film market ensured by the empire’s expansion...

Event
Posted : June 28, 2019

This talk challenges the audience to decipher one of the most astonishing cross-cultural enigmas: How, through transreading—which integrates lento reading, poetic translation, creative writing, and cultural hermeneutics—Franz Kafka transplants the seed of Dao and nurtures it in a European mind. Distinct from the approaches of his contemporaries, Kafka’s Dao is a patience game with words and thoughts maneuvered like marbles. Not only does Kafka’s game echo the voices of ancient Chinese poet-philosophers Laozi and Zhuangzi, but it also delivers their messages in an uncompromising way that...

Event
Posted : June 28, 2019

 (Lecture is in Chinese only) Qian Zhongshu’s wide-ranging works that exhibit his broad and deep understanding of diverse traditions are recognized for elucidating his experience using historical and cultural phenomena as the backdrop. Traversing freely across cultures, his writing merges understandings from a myriad of disciplines to showcase the striking connections and universal values between disparate literary, historical, and intellectual traditions, ancient and modern, Chinese and Western. Professor Ji Jin’s lecture will delve into this distinct space for discourse opened up by...

Event
Posted : June 28, 2019

The League of Nations Advisory Committee on the Traffic in Opium and Other Dangerous Drugs, created in 1920, culminated almost eight decades of political turmoil over opium trafficking, which was by far the largest state-backed drug trade in the age of empire. Opponents of opium had long struggled to rein in the profitable drug. Opium’s Long Shadow shows how diverse local protests crossed imperial, national, and colonial boundaries to gain traction globally and harness public opinion as a moral deterrent in international politics after World War I. Steffen Rimner traces the far-flung...

Event
Posted : June 28, 2019

In November 1973, media reports described a strange phenomenon—people, mostly housewives it seemed, were lining up at stores by the hundreds in a rush to buy toilet paper. Almost immediately adopting the language of a panic, newspapers were puzzled about why people were suddenly going to such lengths to get their hands on toilet paper, of all things. This assumption of irrationality was echoed in later studies of the frenzied purchasing, resonated with the scholarly literature about panics, and endured in histories and memories of the “toilet paper panic” as emblematic of the disorienting...

Event
Posted : June 27, 2019

At a time when Korean Studies scholarship seems intent on “interrogating,” “contesting,” “asserting,” and “problematizing,” it has become all too easy to lose sight of the millennia-old Korean literary tradition and its potential for continuing to inform Korean cultural expression in the new millennium. In this presentation I wish to emphasize the powers of endurance of a literary tradition that is equal parts oral, local, lyric, and performative on the one hand, and recorded (primarily in Chinese until the modern era), cosmopolitan, and conceptual on the other. The Korean literary tradition...

Event
Posted : June 27, 2019

Formulaic literature (fangshu) constitutes one of the largest categories of printed texts in late imperial China, yet historians have largely considered recipes as of secondary importance to medical theory. Upon scrutiny, the seemingly simple act of sharing medical recipes in print can be parsed into a variety of sub-genres that evolved in time. In Ming-Qing times, medical recipes functioned as coveted cultural capital that enabled individuals to express their visions for personal and social well-being, opening up new spaces for historical interpretation. In this talk, I offer an outline of a...

Event
Posted : June 27, 2019

This presentation discusses the relationship between human emotions and slavery in Chosŏn Korea (1392–1910) by examining legislative processes as well as private practices concerning the status of the offspring of a yangban man and his slave-status concubine. The legislative discussions and decisions on the topic at the royal court often subscribed to the notion that these children were also the yangban’s “flesh and blood” and called for compassion, a Confucian emotional norm expected of parents. When yangban fathers manumitted their slave-status children, they recorded their feelings in the...

Event
Posted : June 27, 2019

In this talk, Karen Teoh draws from her book, Schooling Diaspora: Women, Education, and the Overseas Chinese in British Malaya and Singapore, 1850s-1960s (Oxford University Press, 2018), to explore the political and cultural meanings of “going home.” From the 1940s-70s, a wave of ethnic Chinese living outside China re-migrated to their ancestral homeland. They were “returning” to a place they had never seen in order to help build a nation to which they felt they belonged. Initially hailed by the Chinese government as patriots and contributors to post-1949 Communist society, returned overseas...

Event
Posted : April 8, 2019

The Saishôshi Tennô-in residence was built for Retired Emperor Gotoba in 1207. The purpose of this talk is to understand the aesthetic, symbolic and political issues of this exceptional undertaking which combines architecture, religion, painting and poetry. First of all, we will recount in detail the genesis of the project, using mainly the Meigetsu-ki (The Journal of the Harvest Moon), the diary of Fujiwara no Teika, who was the main coordinator of the enterprise. Then, we will analyse some of the twenty-nine poems which were actually written on the sliding doors of the Palace (gosho) — the...

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