CEAS Colloquium Series

Event
Posted : September 2, 2016

Media censorship in contemporary China is sustained effectively without losing its legitimacy domestically, even when the Chinese media became much more commercialized through media reform, and censorship in China in the post-Mao era is highly criticized globally. A high level of compliance is evident within the journalistic field and among the general public, although resistance and conflict are also reported occasionally. This talk provides historical perspective on the Chinese media censorship system by exploring how the CCP achieved such a high level of compliance among media workers in...

Event
Posted : September 2, 2016

For several decades now, IT developers in Japan have battled with their colleagues in other parts of the world for a chance to shape the ubiquitous computing protocols of the future. But as with the internet before it, attempts to establish global standards for ubiquitous computing continually bump up against the disparate needs and practices of specific populations. This talk explores debates over how to build a ubiquitous computing network with Japan in mind, from specific aspects of Japanese communication and urban design to the particular challenges of an aging and shrinking population....

Event
Posted : September 2, 2016

In April of 1936, the magazine Kamigata hanashi (Kamigata Story) was launched in Osaka. This was a rakugo (comic storytelling) magazine published monthly out of a local storyteller’s home. One mission of the magazine as laid out by the editor in the inaugural issue was to help breathe new life into a traditional art that was losing a popularity battle with manzai (two-person stand-up comedy) and other modern performing arts and media. In the second year (of four and a half) of the magazine’s run, the editor issued a call for yoshikono verses, which, like dodoitsu, are conventionally written...

Event
Posted : September 2, 2016

Of all the war atrocities committed by the Japanese military in China, perhaps the most notorious and curious case was that of the Hundred Man Killing Contest. As Japanese military units raced to capture the Chinese capital of Nanjing in late 1937, Tokyo Nichinichi shinbun reporters breathlessly covered the story of two officers competing to be the first to kill one hundred Chinese soldiers. Although the event is remembered today as an example of the cruelties of Japanese militarism, thinking about the Killing Contest as media spectacle can provide new insights on how total war transforms...

Event
Posted : September 2, 2016

The scholarship of Japanese Empire seems to have developed along a series of dichotomous ideas, including the victimizer and the victimized, the colonizer and the colonized, Naichi and Gaichi, and so forth and so on, though the more recent scholarship aims to multi-layer these simple dichotomies.  In my presentation, I try to make efforts to find the moments of humanism, and even humanitarianism, in Japan’s reign of its empire.  I do so by focusing on the destitute children deprived of parents in both sides of Japanese Empire, Japan proper and the occupied China.  In the early twentieth...

Event
Posted : September 2, 2016

As the earliest full-size towering pagoda extant in China, the pagoda at Songyuesi 嵩岳寺 in Dengfeng, Henan (ca. 523 CE) is one of the most important objects we have for understanding the creation of Buddhist sacred space in Asia. Yet the plan of this structure, incorporating both dodecagon and octagon, is mysterious in its complexity-doubly so because it may be the only surviving example of its kind. By focusing on the geometry used in its creation, in this paper describe one possibility for determining the interior and exterior dimensions of the Songyuesi Pagoda plan, effectively encoding the...

Event
Posted : August 15, 2016

How does one remember a traumatic experience, write about it, and turn it into a work of literature? How does traumatic memory shape its literary representation, and how does its literary representation in turn shape one’s memory? The study of trauma became prominent in the twentieth century with the rise of psychoanalysis and the outbreak of the World Wars, especially after the Holocaust; but the causes of trauma—war, death, violence, displacement—had appeared throughout human history. What happens when the received language of poetry resists the representation of pain and trauma? In the...

Event
Posted : July 27, 2016

According to a widely cited statistic, there are around 5,000 new novels published each day on the Chinese Internet. For all practical purposes, these publications are in fact books, even though they are not printed, and they challenge the PRC publishing regulation regime which holds that a book is only legal if it carries a “book number” (shuhao). Chinese regulators have tried various ways of bringing this avalanche of online publishing under control in recent years. Two concerns are paramount: firstly, that the online publishing boom might destabilize the state-controlled publishing system...

Event
Posted : July 26, 2016

Displaced persons during times of war provide a moral opportunity as well as a logistical problem. Some of the most vivid material examples underpinning such truisms come from the period ranging across the Second Sino-Japanese, Civil, and Cold Wars in mid twentieth century China and Japan. Plans for the development of the wartime economic engine overlapped with desires to pacify floods of refugees. Plans for rural cultivation mixed military and civilian personnel in experiments of territorial control and patriotic education. Government appropriation of land enacted through refugee bodies...

Event
Posted : July 26, 2016

Lecture will be in Chinese   This lecture shows how digital tools can lead us to a new research direction, especially regarding the intertextuality of the military campaigns of Liu Yu (365–422), the founder of the Liu-Song dynasty in 5th century China. Liu Song’s military campaigns became a favorite subject in both Southern and Northern dynasties, and it is the purpose of this talk to discuss how literati/scholars of that time presented the wars in their writings, and how geographical studies, genre studies, literary memories, etc., can all be reconsidered in a cohesive way. Yuan-ju Liu is...

Event
Posted : July 25, 2016

The Chinese system is like no other known to man, now or in history. By analysing the leadership of Xi Jinping, the meaning of ‘socialist market economy’, corruption, the party-state apparatus, the reach of the party, the mechanisms of repression, taxation and public services, and state-society relations, this book explains how the system works and where it may be moving.  Drawing on Chinese and international sources, on extensive collaboration with Chinese scholars, and on the political science of state analysis, the author concludes that under the new leadership of Xi Jinping, the system of...

Event
Posted : February 10, 2016

Tea men in sixteenth-century Japan inaugurated novel object-centered practices, employing all manner of things – paintings, calligraphies, metalwork vessels, lacquer containers, bamboo implements, and especially ceramics – in their pursuit of excellence in chanoyu, the practice of tea. Many of these dōgu, or utensils, were imported from abroad, made for settings other than chanoyu, and were not aestheticized in their original contexts; and so, physical and conceptual transformation was part and parcel of their use in Japan. In this presentation, I examine the ways in which objects were thus...

Event
Posted : January 27, 2016

For more than 25 years, John Kamm, executive director of The Dui Hua Foundation, has engaged the Chinese government in a dialogue on the rights of at-risk detainees: political and religious prisoners, juvenile offenders, women in prison, and those facing the death penalty. In his remarks to the Yale community, Kamm will provide an overview of the foundation’s work in recent months, focusing on the early release and better treatment of state security detainees, promotion of the UN Standards for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Measures (the Bangkok Rules), cooperation...

Event
Posted : January 7, 2016

While Donald Richie was the first notable  foreign observer of Japanese cinema, French critics became the tastemakers when the Musee Guimet in Paris began screening post war Japanese films in the early fifties, notably by Kenji Mizoguchi, whose work was rapidly hailed by a young critic at Cahiers du Cinema, Jacques Rivette, in turn creating a model that continues to this day, of a writer discovering and ‘making’ the work ‘his/hers’ before it is embraced by festivals and distributors. This lecture will look at the chronology and key actors of this intense relationship between Japan and France...

Event
Posted : January 7, 2016

For most of history, little has mattered more for human communities than their relations with the soil that provided most of their food and nutrients. For the past few centuries (the “Anthropocene”), on the other hand, nothing has mattered more for soils in China and the wider world than human action, which has accelerated erosion and rerouted nutrient flows, making humans into agents of geomorphological change. What understandings of environmental change prevailed in China’s erosion-prone loess plateau region during the nineteenth and early twentieth century, when human alteration of the...

Event
Posted : January 7, 2016

What is the role of Chinese theories of fiction in a globalized world? Is there something wrong with Western paradigms unable to fully accommodate Chinese literary experience? Can Chinese theories of fiction offer researchers in the West a deeper understanding of the “true” nature of fiction, and thereby put into question Eurocentric viewpoints and paradigms and contribute to the creation of more “objective” transcultural theories of fiction? I will try to answer these questions through discussing Chinese theories of fiction, in ancient and modern times, in the context of influential theories...

Event
Posted : January 7, 2016

Starting in the eleventh century, the Yellow River shifted from a long-term condition of relative stability to a later state of frequent floods and course changes.  Historical sources record the dates and characteristics of flood events, while soil cores reveal the increasing quantity of annual sediment deposition and its origin on the loess plateau.  All evidence confirms that the primary cause of the change was intensification of human activity in the grasslands of the Ordos basin, the loess soil region contained within the great bend of the Yellow River.  Settlement there was sparse until...

Event
Posted : January 6, 2016

Sin Saimdang (1504-1551) is undoubtedly the most famous female artist in Korean history, but why and how do we remember her? Even though we do not know what Saimdang looked like, we find her image on the 50 000 Won banknote. Facts about her life are scattered and none of the remaining works attributed to her, including painting, calligraphy and embroidery, can be confirmed as authentic. Yet, the material is overwhelming: about a hundred paintings are ascribed to Saimdang. Since the sixteenth century the literature and visual material has grown, with every century contributing its own ideas...

Event
Posted : January 6, 2016

Opponents of Shenzong’s anti-Tangut wars of choice from 1068 to 1085 lauded Renzong’s approach to war in the early 1040s as a superior model: Lose every major battle in a war of necessity against the Tangut Xi Xia, but retain the trust of the realm by negotiating an acceptable if inglorious peace. But when those same anti-war advocates came to power in the conservative Restoration that followed Shenzong’s death in 1085 they discovered that ending wars was difficult indeed. “The Politics of Peace and War” outlines some structural differences between wars of necessity and wars of choice, and...

Event
Posted : January 6, 2016

Now a global poetry, the haiku was originally a type of verse flourishing in Japan from the 16th through 19th centuries. Widely renowned for its minimalism of form (typically running 3 phrases in 17 syllabets) and aesthetics (deploying nature imagery to profound, even philosophical, effect), historically the haiku was much more: its surprisingly numerous modes tended to the erotic, satirical, crude and mischievous. Drawing from my forthcoming edited anthology, The Penguin Book of Haiku (London: Penguin Classics), I contend that the “Japanese” haiku was always a world literature, an invented...

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