CEAS Colloquium Series

Event
Posted : December 14, 2016

Based on archives, local gazetteers, 35 in-depth interviews in Beijing and Shanghai and many diaries and studying/working notes given by former Educated Youths, autobiographies, memoirs, documentary literature and reportage etc., this talk shows that firstly, the hunger for books and knowledge of the educated youths was stratified, and youths from city cadres and intellectuals’ families constituted the main body of personal reading activity during the Cultural Revolution. They found ways and means to obtain books to read, but in comparison, thirst for reading was not significant for the...

Event
Posted : November 17, 2016

The later reception of the Chuci anthology has been largely framed around the representation of the attributed author Qu Yuan as a loyal subject. This talk instead traces the earlier reception and contested status of Qu Yuan during the Han dynasty, to open up a space for the language of the Chuci to be deployed for a different orientation: as part of the repertoire of imperial performance in Xie Lingyun’s poetry. Harrison Huang received his Ph.D. from The University of California, Berkeley. He specializes in medieval Chinese poetry and intellectual history. His research interests...

Event
Posted : November 11, 2016

Yakushiji temple in Nara houses a 2.5-meter bronze sculpture of the Master of Medicine Buddha with two attendant bodhisattvas; the triad was completed ca. 718. A temple of the same name was vowed by Emperor Tenmu (r. 672–686) in 680 for an earlier capital, Fujiwara, when his chief consort, later Empress Jitō (r. 686–697), became ill. Visually and metaphorically, the 1.5-meter bronze pedestal beneath the Master of Medicine icon supports the Buddha’s promise to quell forces that sicken people and foster chaos. The elegant and powerful blend of Indic foreign figures, Chinese cosmology, grape...

Event
Posted : September 2, 2016

A major cult figure in southwest China from the ninth to thirteenth centuries, Liu Benzun was best known for sacrificing parts of his body to quell demons and save lives. This paper examines key figurations of Liu at cave temples in Anyue and Dazu as part of a broader study of how these sites reshaped the mountain setting, which has long been the destination for Buddhist ascetics, for lay devotees. Central to my discussion is the presentation of Liu’s Ten Austerities as a spectacular relief across a cliff surface at Baodingshan, which is in a marked contrast with the Cave of Perfect...

Event
Posted : September 2, 2016

From the debut of the Buddha Śākyamuni in early historical Japan through the fifteenth century, the Indian sage often cut a remote and un-affecting figure. Only late in Japan’s tumultuous sixteenth century did new stories of his life, filled with original poetry, drama, and derring-do, begin to circulate as commercial books. In turn, these print commodities were adapted for the puppet theater from the middle of the seventeenth century, and for the kabuki stage from the mid-nineteenth. Largely overlooked by scholars of Japanese Buddhism and the Japanese theater, these new staging’s of the life...

Event
Posted : September 2, 2016

Nanban byōbu, screen paintings depicting the arrivals of Europeans in late 16th - early 17th century Japan, constitute one of the most numerous genres of Japanese painting. Long admired for their visual accounts of the brief encounter between Japan and Europe in the age of exploration, Nanban screens have opened avenues of research for the study of genre painting, the Momoyama period, and the history of European maritime exploration and missionary activity in East Asia. This lecture will approach Nanban screens from the perspective of the history of early modern Japanese painting, addressing...

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...

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