CEAS Colloquium Series

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Poetry played an important role in Japan’s missions to the Tang court from the seventh to ninth centuries. Whether composed by the envoys themselves, mothers seeing off their sons, previous envoys dedicating poems to an incumbent ambassador in Japan, or by Chinese officials and friends celebrating their Japanese guests at farewell banquets in China, poetry—both vernacular and Sino-Japanese— accompanied the perilous route of the Japanese Tang envoys from their embarkment at Naniwa Port to the Tang capital Chang’an and back.How do the Tang embassies appear through the mirror of poetry? How did...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Among the numerous challenges facing Chosôn Korea in the late 19th century was the need to clarify and modify Korea’s international status, particularly the nature of its relationship with the Qing Empire. A close examination of the key elements in Korea’s efforts-treaties, legations, and the politics of symbol and display-reveals a story far more problematic and complicated than the simple narrative of the Chosôn Kingdom struggling to pry itself loose from a traditional Sino-centric order in favor of entering the Western-style “family of nations.” Moreover, the simple categories of...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

This presentation will address the understudied Great Korea Exposition, a major cultural spectacle aimed at commemorating the history of the Japanese Empire and promoting the struggles of the Asia-Pacific War (1937-45). Held in the fall of 1940, this celebration coincided with the thirtieth anniversary of Japan’s rule over colonial Korea and the 2,600th anniversary of the mythical foundations of the Japanese Imperial nation. As I will suggest, the convergence of past, present, and future on a completely new exposition site (and one closely linked to other sacralized sites throughout the...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

As modern classifications separated sho (calligraphy) from its traditional partner ga (painting), calligraphy as bijutsu (fine art) was being questioned. As a calligrapher, Nakamura Fusetsu (1866-1943) studied the works of the Stele School in China, introducing an archaic style that was unfamiliar to the Japanese audience at the time. In so doing, not only did he establish links to leading Chinese calligraphers and theorists, notably Kang Youwei, he also brought sho closer to fashionable notions of “art” predicated on inventiveness and historicism. This paper focuses on the theoretical and...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

By most accounts, 1877 marks the year when Baron Ferdinand von Richthofen coined the term die Seidenstrasse (Silk Road). Little has been written about what Richthofen had in mind in 1877 but his neologism generally bookmarks a division between pre-modern Silk Road history, and modern Silk Road re-discovery and studies. This paper explores Richthofen’s conception from the twin perspectives of classics and cartography - of nineteenth century studies of antiquity, and a symbolic “field” of German precolonial geography of China and Central Asia. In Richthofen’s juxtaposition of classical Chinese...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Archaeological excavations during the past half-century have brought to light important evidence on social developments in pre-Imperial China. This lecture will focus on finds from a dozen or so cemeteries that allow us to observe the division, during the 6th century BC, of a formerly homogeneous ruling class into two hermetically distinct segments. Whereas the rarefied upper stratum comprised the ruling families of the various states that existed in China during that period, the far less privileged lower aristocracy was the social basis for the intellectual developments that occurred in...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Yi Gwangsu’s Jaesaeng (Rebirth) was one of the most popular novels in colonial Korea during the 1920s. One reason for its popularity was that it was a romance novel set against the backdrop of the March First Movement Jaesaeng was also one of the first full-length novels to feature the “new woman” and her more commodified and eroticized counterpart, the “modern girl.” The “modern girl” was an embodiment of the excesses of modernity; in particular, the crass materialism and the craze for romance that overwhelmed Korean society after 1919. By depicting the fall of a “new woman” into a “...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

There are many countries that enjoy prosperity without political liberty in the non-Western world today. People who find this situation hard to accept must find ways, however difficult, to realize liberty in these countries. Through the analysis of Japanese experience, this presentation aims to think about some of these ways, other than simply denouncing the lack of human rights and forcing Western models on these countries. Japan enjoys liberal democracy although it does not have strong liberalism still today. If we analyze its history carefully, we can see an example of a dynamic public...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

North Korean leaders have issued numerous fashion statements with an intention to promote fashion as a national project meant to groom ideal corporeality. While many other socialist regimes glorified masculine clothing as preferred means to represent revolutionized women, North Korean fashion has continuously explored and expressed various degrees of femininity which seemingly contradicted astringent revolutionary spirit. The varying visual representations of traditional femininity and state organized socialist ideals, which often equals masculinity, collide in North Korea so as to mark a...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

North Korean leaders have issued numerous fashion statements with an intention to promote fashion as a national project meant to groom ideal corporeality. While many other socialist regimes glorified masculine clothing as preferred means to represent revolutionized women, North Korean fashion has continuously explored and expressed various degrees of femininity which seemingly contradicted astringent revolutionary spirit. The varying visual representations of traditional femininity and state organized socialist ideals, which often equals masculinity, collide in North Korea so as to mark a...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

One of the current impediments in US-DPRK relations is the presence of North Korea on the US State Department list of ‘state sponsors of terrorism.’ North Korea has been on this list since 1988, even though, according to the State Department itself, the DPRK has not sponsored any terrorist acts since the bombing of a Korean Airlines flight in 1987. In the Six-Party Agreement of February 13, 2007, the United States promised to ‘begin the process of removing the designation of the DPRK as a state-sponsor of terrorism.’ What are the justifications for North Korea to remain designated as a state...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Translation has long been deemed primarily a verbal shift from one language to another, an art of verbal performance. But this attitude cannot explain why and how translation may play a role in the formation of a nation’s modernity, a time when people evaluate and re-evaluate their history and adjust to a new situation, wherein the local and the alien, the old and the new are in constant conflict. The relatively new field of translation studies has helped scholars throughout the world to appreciate the ideological function of translation. In the past two decades Chinese scholars too have...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

The lecture will be about the afterlife of Lu Xun’s “Ah Q”–as may be seen in the reincarnations of Ah Q in MURAKAMI Haruki’s (1949-) fiction and Wong Karwai’s film. All these rewritings of the image of Ah Q have touched on our search for new cultural identities.

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

All kinds of religions have been reviving in reform-era China despite restrictive regulations. To describe and explain the paradoxical phenomena, I borrow some notions of the “shortage economy” by Janos Kornai (1980, 1992) who made the most penetrating analysis of the material economy in the classic Communist/Socialist System. Besides describing demand-side dynamics of queuing up, searching, substituting, and suppressing the demand for religion, I also hope to develop a conceptual framework that would incorporate both conventional religions and their competing alternatives into the model,...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Numerous scholarly works on “memory projects” as the culture and politics of nation-states in the modern world have been produced. Yet remaking of the past is not the monopoly of modernity. This paper investigates the problem of engineering memory in Chosŏn Korea. In particular, I examine the emergence of new cultural imagery built by the state and its “national” elites to legitimate the state’s rule and its position in the changing environment of East Asia. This “national” project involved intellectual movements to revisit and rewrite Chosŏn Korea’s historical past. At the same time, I...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

China recently overtook the US as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases by volume and, with future projected growth rates, China’s emissions could double in the next two decades. Climate change mitigation requires constructive dialogue not only with the Chinese government but with a broad spectrum of stakeholders in China, including experts, civil society and policy makers. This presentation will explore China’s environmental and climate change crisis and examine the obstacles and opportunities for dialogue. Isabel Hilton is a London based writer and broadcaster who has reported...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

In 1992 lesbian activist Kakefuda Hiroko published a book entitled “What it means to be a ‘lesbian’ ” – a scathing attack on Japan’s heteronormative mainstream culture. Kakefuda claimed that the category “rezubian” had become so closely aligned with male pornographic fantasy that it was impossible for her to reclaim the term to express her own female agency. Yet how and why did this male colonization of “lesbian” sexuality take place in Japanese popular culture? During the Edo period, scant attention was paid to women’s same-sex sexuality and Meiji and Taisho-period discourses tended to...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Professor Ogawa is renowned for his studies in medieval Chinese Painting, particularly the intriguing relation of time and space in landscape painting. His publications deal with important Song masters, such as Guo Xi, Li Tang and Mi Youren. He is also interested in the cultural interactions between China and Japan, discussing the cross-cultural significance of Muxi’s (Mokkei) and Sesshu’s works. His talk will introduce the collaborative project he is currently conducting in the United States. It is a continuation of the compilation of the Composite Catalogues of Chinese Paintings (Chugoku...

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