CEAS Colloquium Series

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

This illustrated lecture surveys optical theories in early Greece as well as the current neuroscience on perception, both for their intrinsic interest and for the contrasts they provide with the moral technology of optics in early China, as expressed in two canonical works, the and the . Modern neuroscience and Greek optics provide useful vocabulary, as well as a repertoire of distinctions (between sight and perception, between outside and inner vision, between commonsense perception and scientific or philosophic skepticisms, and so forth) that serve to highlight the specific contents and...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Lectures and discussion will be in Chinese.

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Lecture and discussion will be in Chinese.

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

This lecture will examine an historical event that supposedly occurred in 961 and became known subsequently as “Dissolving Military Power over a Cup of Wine.” This incident, in which the new Song Emperor T’ai-tsu convinces his army comrades to relinquish their military authority over cups of wine at a banquet, became a metaphor for the Song transition from military to civil authority. My lecture will chronicle the political use of this “event” over the course of Song history and its evolution into a “policy of the ancestors.”

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

The stone garden at the Zen temple Ryôanji is not only one of the most famous gardens in the world, it is an emblem of Japanese culture. However, in inverse ration to the garden’s renown, its history—including patronage, designer, original design, and date—is obscure. Although the garden is often said to stand for timeless purity and simplicity as well as for “nothingness” and “emptiness,” the countless interpretations and visual iterations suggest that it is largely a construct of our own age. This talk does not add to this impressive hermeneutic enterprise but rather it first sketches the...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

The Biographies of Foreign Women (Waiguo lienu chuan) was compiled by Xue Shaohui (1866-1911) and her husband Chen Shoupeng in 1902 and first published in 1906. Chen searched and orally translated two hundred fifty-three biographies of Western women, dated from antiquity to 1885, and Xue rewrote them into ten categories.A leading woman writer and thinker in China’s reform era (1890s-1911), Xue openly argued against male reformer’s nationalistic approach that subordinated women’s issues to larger national concerns, and advocated to prioritize women’s self-improvement over national empowerment...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

In 1815, Shikitei Sanba wrote manuscript prefaces for two privately produced books: a scrapbook in which he had collected ephemera and broadsheets related to the history of Edo’s raconteurs and a much more ambitious compilation, a sixteen volume collection of playbills that traced the history of the city’s licensed kabuki theaters, the earliest examples dating back a century to the 1720s. As physical objects, both books are deeply suggestive: each is a manuscript comprised entirely of printed matter, a unique object fashioned from the mass produced. These collections are constituted of...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

In the November 2004 issue of the Journal of Asian Studies, Gail Hershatter published a “state of the field” article covering about 500 recent scholarly publications about women in China’s long twentieth century. This paper takes the form of an extended afterthought and a series of suggestions for the study of women in recent Chinese history, made in a spirit of creeping discomfort. Making gender visible and audible cannot be considered a finished project. If we take seriously what we have learned in the past three decades, however, we cannot continue to mine “the gender field” as though...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

This presentation explores the last stage of life in Japan, a society characterized by both the practice of high tech medicine and the locating of selfhood in social context. Common to other postindustrial societies, contemporary Japan offers and expects people to make choices to define who they are as individuals, including choices about how to die. But “dying one’s own way” in Japan does not always incorporate the sort of autonomous decision making that defines dying well in American and western European bioethics.

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

From a strictly theoretical perspective, the seemingly generous Chinese policies toward ethnic minorities make little sense. Given the authoritarian nature of the Chinese government and the small share of minorities in the general population (8%), the state should have little problem suppressing any sign of uprisings, which means that minorities, even if they have some rebellious attributes, cannot credibly threaten an uprising. Indeed, the CCP regime has successfully suppressed many minority rebellions since 1949. Despite the over-whelming might of the CCP, the party in the reform era has...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Professor Aoki will present an interesting result of empirical research on recent changes in the linkage of corporate governance and organizational architecture in Japan and show the emergence of a new-pattern: linkage of semi-market oriented governance with quasi-traditional employment system as a core, with increasing mobility of labor in periphery. He will discuss whether this is a transitory phenomenon to the American type model or represents a new type of corporate governance institution adapted to new economic environments.

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

From the first moment that Huang Liushuang (better known as Anna May Wong) landed in Shanghai in February 1936, she found herself in a maelstrom of controversy. By the time of this first visit to her ancestral homeland, Wong was already a bona-fide movie star: even cast as the bit part of “Mongol Slave” in Douglas Fairbanks’ 1924 blockbuster hit “Thief of Baghdad,” she had stolen the show.Wong was the first Chinese-American movie star in Hollywood, appearing in many films with Asian themes, though usually as slave girl or Chinese femme fatale. Upon her first arrival in China (she was a third-...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

This paper aims to complicate our understanding of a series of late imperial Chinese dramatic and narrative works dealing with qing (desire) by exploring one of their defining features. Particularly, it examines the impact of China’s religions on the discourse about desire as manifested in dramatic and narrative works from the late Ming (1368-1644) through the Qianlong period (1736-1795) and Honglou meng. In the literary scene of this period, we may be able to detect one persistent and consistent pattern, in the lives of the literati as well as in their works. In real life, many literati...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Please note this lecture will be given in Chinese. “Throne abdication” (“Shan Rang”) issues were mentioned by a few recently discovered bamboo texts such as “Tang Yu Zhi Dao” unearthed in Guodian, Hubei Province, “Ron Cheng Shi” and “Zi Gao” collected in Shanghai Museum. This suggests that thoughts on “throne abdication” emerged during the early and middle periods of Warring States, when Confucians, Mohists, Legists and diplomats (“zongheng jia” in Chinese) were all involved. At the same time, various practices of “throne abdication” were emerged in political arena as well. Thoughts on “...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

The peripheral status of Asian football in the global order of the world sport is rooted in the historical experience of military, political and economic dominance of the West. Since football reached the Far East at a time when European colonialism was giving way to growing US American influence in the region, it never acquired significant meaning in the relationship between the West and the East. However, within the postcolonial world of the North Pacific, football has become a powerful cultural resource for representational purposes. In my presentation I will take a look at the way in which...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

The fledging practice of Chinese architectural history in the early twentieth century focused on identifying, documenting, and categorizing surviving monuments into distinct typological, material, and stylistic groupings and periods. Different “modern” criteria were used as the basis in constructing stylistic periods. In hindsight, the subjective selection and interpretation of materials for classification and periodization betrays partisan nationalism, Sino-Marxist historical materialism, and even concerns for local tourism. Much present-day research into pre-modern Chinese architectural...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

At least since the publication of Robert Putnam’s Making Democracy Work, students of democracy have argued that, in the proper sort of associational life, citizens adopt norms of generalized reciprocity and learn to trust even those with whom they have weak ties. These notions of trust and reciprocity are presumed to reinforce practices that support good democratic government and combat patronage and, thus, corruption. Better democratic government is the product of a vigorous civil society.But are we looking at the whole picture? In my examination of small-town, patron-client politics in...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

During the last 40 years, the Japanese education system has become increasingly privatized. Most notable is the development of an extra-school education industry, – commonly known as juku, or cram schools – which has become an integral and almost indispensable part of the education in Japan. On average, parents of sixth graders spend more than $2,200 a year for extra-school programs, and the figure goes up for ninth graders: over $3,200.Such a demand for privatized education raises the family’s need for financial resources, and thus one would think it provides incentives for mothers to work...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Professor ZHANG Hui’s lecture will focus on Zhu Zhiqing’s (1898-1948) criticism on ,Shi Daxu (Great Preface), in order to revisit the longstanding dialogue between the aesthetic and the political interpretations of Shijing. Prof. Zhang hopes that this rereading will help us not only to consider the challenges confronted by modern hermeneutics, but also to revalue the quarrels between the ancients and the moderns in the context of literary criticism.

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Against the backdrop of new forms of economic and technological globalization, the past 15 years has been a time of complex transition in Japan. The cultural and artistic refigurations of this period have included, among other things, a kind of return to history. This paper examines this return to history. The focus is on several types of imagery, with connections to anime, “Superflat” art and elsewhere; the paper looks at the ways in which Japan (and the world) are positioned within these image-types, and some of the implications of these images of Japan within the contemporary world.

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