CEAS Colloquium Series

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...

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...

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