CEAS Colloquium Series

Event
Posted : August 30, 2013

After a bloody civil war that followed the end of World War II, Mao Zedong hoisted the red flag over Beijing’s Forbidden City in 1949. Instead of liberating the country, the communists transformed China into one of the worst tyrannies of the twentieth century, sending at least five million civilians to an early grave and bringing misery to countless more. Frank Dikötter talks about his new book, which draws on newly opened party archives, interviews and memoirs to interweave the stories of ordinary men and women with the brutal politics of Mao’s court. People of all walks of life...

Event
Posted : August 30, 2013

PRICE INFLATION is intrinsic to new capital creation in modern capitalism, and “inflationary accumulation” via the banking system has funded rapid industrial growth. This idea was sketched out by Joseph Schumpeter 100 years ago, though it has been mostly forgotten since. Japan in the 20th century illustrates this process very clearly, as I explore in my bookCapital as Will and Imagination: Schumpeter’s Guide to the Postwar Japanese Miracle(Cornell, 2013). The 20th century was also the most inflationary century in history.   Already, the 21st century looks different. Japan is where the modern-...

Event
Posted : August 30, 2013

Based on ethnographic studies in public hospitals in four Chinese cities in 2011-2013, this project examines the institutional and cultural factors behind the practice of unofficial payments for hospital care in urban China. The corporatization of public hospitals that started in the 1980s and intensified in the 1990s-2000s resulted in earning them widespread distrust. The generalized distrust in hospitals and physicians induced patients to revive a tradition of delivering hongbao (red packets containing money) to physicians, but imbued it with new meanings and new practices. Patients offered...

Event
Posted : August 30, 2013

According to the constant stream of media accounts, relations between North and South Korea are a predictably constant, frozen in a perpetual cease fire, or unstably liquid, always on the verge of a breakthrough or armageddon. This talk aim to depart from these approaches by taking a longer period of history than the news cycle permits and analyzing different dimensions and sites of North-South interactions to argue that while the absence of full normalized relations creates a figurative vacuum, interpretations and uses of international pressures for domestic purposes by both North and South...

Event
Posted : August 30, 2013

*THIS TALK WILL BE IN CHINESE* As a puppet state of Japan, Manchukuo created an ideology of New Manchu in the northeastern part of China. This paper first explores how Manchu turned into New Manchu, and then discusses the logic of imperialism hidden behind the rhetoric of new Manchu. The logic implied that Japan was advanced, civilized and attractive but Manchu was underdeveloped, inferior and uncivilized, so Manchu needed to be civilized and transformed by Japan. The paper finally discusses who lives happily under the governance of the Manchukuo, and tries to examine the complicated...

Event
Posted : August 30, 2013

One of the most striking symbols created by Daoism—China’s indigenous religion—is the hybrid “imagetext” that creates ambiguity between words and images, legibility and illegibility, the representational and the nonrepresentational. Various charts, talismans, and magical writs preserved in the fifteenth-century Daoist Canon appropriate elements of writings to create new visual forms. Daoist practice of “imagetext” highlights the long-lasting fascination with writing in religious Daoism. Not a simple interface of text and image, “imagetext” is imbedded in cosmological and spatial dimensions,...

Event
Posted : August 30, 2013

In the conventional understanding of Chinese history, the Song dynasty (960-1279) appears as a period during which civil officials, fortified by a renewal of Confucian values and recruited through an expanded civil service system, inaugurated a period of civilian rule that led to a domination of literati over military officials in the administration of the dynasty. This view derives ultimately from the official Song History (Songshi) of 1345. Based on an examination of the dynasty’s financial administration, my present research challenges this assumption and proposes that the deeper structure...

Event
Posted : August 30, 2013

In this lecture, Jane Portal will explore both the traditional and the more innovative art being produced in North Korea under the present regime. She will discuss the role of archaeology in North Korea through some specific examples. She will also discuss the Kim cult as manifested in North Korea and the art produced in this closely controlled environment. Using examples seen and some acquired during two trips to North Korea in 2001 and 2002, she will present a variety of different types of art and suggest some influences on their production. Having studied Chinese at Cambridge University,...

Event
Posted : August 30, 2013

In his recent monograph from Harvard University Press, Writing War, Moore analyzed over two hundred diaries by Japanese, Chinese, and American servicemen from the Asia-Pacific Theater of the Second World War. Reading closely texts in manuscript, self-published, and commercially published form, Moore explains what diaries can tell us about subjectivity in America, China, and Japan, and the experience of ‘total war.’ Addressing thorny issues such as privacy, reliability, and the boundaries between language and experience, Moore will conclude the talk by discussing his new project on the wartime...

Event
Posted : August 9, 2013

Japan experienced a lot of wars in the 20th century. From the Russo-Japanese war through the Manchurian Incident, the Sino-Japanese War, and the Pacific War, what was the typical correspondence between different religions in Japan, including Buddhism, Christianity, and Shinto, to the war? Did they support and justify the war or did they oppose it? What did the Japanese Army and Government think about religion? Was religion used to protect the freedom of Japanese citizens or as a means of control and war mobilization? This lecture will explore these actual conditions, structures, and doctrines...

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