CEAS Colloquium Series

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 22, 2019

One relevant consequence of the arrival and presence of the nanban-jin in Japan and of the complex interactions that developed in the context of the challenging encounter with the Japanese political, religious, and military elites, was an unprecedented repositioning of Japan and Europe in both European and Japanese world views, through the integration of knowledge originally developed over many centuries in European, Japanese, Korean and Chinese cartographic and cosmological traditions. World cartography was one of many nanban or foreign topics treated by Japanese painters on the broad...

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 : July 2, 2019

Dictator’s Modernity Dilemma: Development and Democracy in South Korea, 1961-1987 aims to reconcile the two seemingly contradictory views regarding Korea’s path to modernity and democracy. At first blush, South Korea illustrates the basic premise of modernization theory: economic development leads to democracy. However, under Park Chung Hee (1961-1979) and Chun Doo Hwan (1980-1988), Korea’s political system became increasingly authoritarian alongside the growth of the national economy. These South Korean autocrats sought legitimacy of their coup-born regimes by holding legislative elections...

Event
Posted : July 2, 2019

In 1949, at the end of a long period of wars, one of the biggest challenges facing leaders of the new People’s Republic of China was how much they did not know. The government of one of the world’s largest nations was committed to fundamentally reengineering its society and economy via socialist planning while having almost no reliable statistical data about their own country. Making It Count is the history of efforts to resolve this “crisis in counting.” Drawing on a wealth of sources culled from China, India, and the United States, Arunabh Ghosh explores the choices made by political...

Event
Posted : July 1, 2019

To understand the rise of classical Chinese poetry in the five-syllable line during the third and then again fifth centuries, it is essential to return to the “least-read major poet” Xie Lingyun. In this talk, I venture to answer some of the thorny questions in Xie Lingyun studies. What is wrong with the cliched label shanshui shi or “Landscape Poetry?” If we moved away from this traditional yet problematic categorization, how else might we situate Xie Lingyun’s poetry in the literary tradition, especially with regard to the development of shi poetry? Last but not least, how did Xie Lingyun...

Event
Posted : July 1, 2019

Chinese Indonesians are a culturally, socially, and politically diverse group.  In the political sphere, and despite the resistance of many Chinese diaspora to such characterisations, the overseas Chinese in Indonesia and elsewhere have often been seen as a resource for Beijing’s advancement of its interests abroad. During the Cold War, the Suharto regime institutionalised discrimination against the Chinese minority in Indonesia based on the charge that they were used by Beijing for exporting communist revolution. This had profound repercussions on the way that Chinese Indonesians expressed...

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...

Event
Posted : April 5, 2019

It should no longer be at all controversial to begin with the premise that the formation of the genre of science fiction is intimately intertwined with the history of empire. However, few of the existing analyses on the subject address the specific case of Japan, despite the fact that the examination of Japanese science fiction provides a particularly effective prism for illuminating these issues as a consequence of its historical position as the only non-Western colonial empire with a science fiction tradition that emerged out of its history of imperial conquest while at once fetishized...

Event
Posted : April 3, 2019

During the last eighty years of the Tokugawa period (1603–1867), gazetteers called meisho zue enjoyed tremendous commercial success as a fresh but familiar form of popular geography. The multivolume large-format books combined equal parts image and text in painstakingly sketched and researched surveys of meisho (famous places) located in cities, domains, provinces, and regions throughout the Japanese archipelago. This presentation demonstrates how meisho zue function as innovative maps that leverage the place-making capacities of the codex, graphic illustration, single sheet maps, and...

Event
Posted : April 2, 2019

While travelling in remote Upper Egypt, the most conservative and least developed part of the country, Peter Hessler stumbled upon a Chinese merchant selling lingerie to locals. Soon he realized that there were Chinese lingerie dealers scattered in towns throughout Egypt, and he spent two years tracking them down and observing their daily routines. He learned about their unexpected paths from China to the Nile, and also about how they had discovered this unique product niche.  Hessler’s investigation also took him to a Chinese development zone in the desert near the Red Sea, where a state-...

Event
Posted : April 1, 2019

What emerges from the collision of poetry and the digital? This talk will present an alternative account of both contemporary Japanese literature and the last two decades of the Japanese internet. By exploring poetry generators, game-poems, twitter poems, wiki poems, augmented reality poems, Japanese Sign Language poetry videos, and more, we will not only consider what effect did the internet have on poetry, but how poetry reimagined the internet itself. Andrew Campana is a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University, where he will be joining the Department of Asian Studies as...

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