CEAS Colloquium Series

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...

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

Sculptors during the Kamakura period at times looked to unconventional sources for their images in other projects. One of the most noteworthy instances of this practice occurred in 1256 when the sculptor Kaijō carved statues of Aizen Myōō and Jizō from wood from the pillars of the Great Buddha Hall at Tōdaiji that had burned in 1180.  When preparing to carve the statues Kaijō and his patron, the monk Jakuchō, consecrated the wood, and then Kaijō and his assistants maintained the Eight Pure Precepts while sculpting the images.  Through the use of repurposed wood from structures with potent...

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...

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