CEAS Colloquium Series

Event
Posted : January 23, 2018

It was said that more than 60,000 Japanese people remained in Manchuria when the last repatriation ship returned to Japan from China. Many remaining Japanese people in Manchuria engaged in the Chinese communist revolution at the request by the Communist Party of China. Some radical communists groups organized the cultural movements at factories, hospitals and coal mines. Dr. Tsuboi’s paper will consider their movements within the context of refugee (displaced person) problematics and discuss what /who was the refugee in the northeast Asia in 1950th. Dr. Hideto Tsuboi is a Japanese...

Event
Posted : January 5, 2018

Due to inclement weather affecting guest travel, this event has been postponed until further notice. Thank you for your understanding. This talk is dedicated to the rhetorical analysis of illness narratives in early medieval Chinese self-writing. Professor Richter will first elaborate on reasons for the rarity of accounts of the physical in Chinese autobiographical literature of the period, whether related to illness and healing or not, and then set out to determine the rhetorical functions of those illness narratives that have made it into self-writing. These functions clearly emerge as...

Event
Posted : January 5, 2018

Professor William Hedberg’s presentation focuses on the reception and continued popularity of Chinese vernacular fiction in Meiji- and Taishō-period Japan, with special focus on the novel The Water Margin (Ch. Shuihu zhuan, Jp. Suikoden).  The story of 108 outlaw gallants who band together in the marshes of northeastern China, The Water Margin reached new heights of popularity in the modern era, when authors as disparate as Mori Ōgai, Tokutomi Sohō, Masaoka Shiki, and Akutagawa Ryūnosuke presented the novel as an uncannily proto-modern example of literary realism, as well as a key point...

Event
Posted : January 2, 2018

On the thirteenth day of the second month of Jishō 3 (1179), the notorious Rokuhara Novice and Former Chancellor, Taira no Kiyomori, presented a partial copy of the Chinese text Imperial Readings of the Taiping Era to the Japanese court. Nakayama Tadachika, the courtier who recorded the event in his diary, grudgingly observed that the text had “never before come to our sovereignty.” The performative appeal of such a gift is clear, for mastery of things Chinese reflected cultural capital like little else in late-twelfth and thirteenth-century Japan: Kiyomori’s gesture encapsulates the ideal of...

Event
Posted : December 21, 2017

In the first half of the twentieth century a number of Japanese companies began investing in offshore guano mining. Beginning in the North Pacific, in the interwar period guano prospectors fanned out across the South China Sea, surveying and claiming uninhabited islands that they hoped would prove commercially valuable. To defend their claims they cultivated close connections with the Imperial Japanese Navy and took care to couch their activities in terms of the national strategic interest. As a result the Japanese government increasingly found itself drawn into island sovereignty disputes...

Event
Posted : December 20, 2017

The 2008 Sichuan earthquake killed 87,000 people and left 5 million homeless. In response to the devastation, an unprecedented wave of volunteers and civic associations streamed into Sichuan to offer help. The Politics of Compassion examines how civically engaged citizens acted on the ground, how they understood the meaning of their actions, and how the political climate shaped their actions and understandings. Using extensive data from interviews, observations, and textual materials, Bin Xu shows that the large-scale civic engagement was not just a natural outpouring of compassion, but also...

Event
Posted : December 20, 2017

Although the tomb of Yelü Yuzhi (d. 941) and his wife Chonggun (d. 942) was partially looted in 1992, it still provides the most comprehensive material record of known members of the early Liao ruling elite. Yuzhi was a cousin of Abaoji, the dynastic founder, and a brother of Abaoji’s right-hand man Helu; Chonggun was a sister of the second Liao empress. Although they, like their imperial relatives, were proud Kitans, their tomb was furnished with artifacts reflecting Chinese and Turkic artisanal traditions. The multicultural nature of this burial is typical for early Liao nobility and...

Event
Posted : December 13, 2017

In this presentation, Dr. Ambaras examines the histories of people who moved, the relationships they created, and the anxieties they provoked, in the spatial and social borderlands between Japan and China from the 1860s to the 1940s. Japan’s imbrication in new geopolitical structures and spatial flows engendered forms of intimacy that were seen as problematic, or even horrific, because they transgressed notions of territory marked by stable, defensible borders and notions of place marked by distinct identities and social roles. Yet rather than see those borders and roles as already...

Event
Posted : December 8, 2017

The role of cities in the schemes and visions of Chinese political activists and administrators has varied widely over the past 120 years. Economic conditions shaping cities have also shifted radically. In the current era of fantastical urban growth, can any continuities be seen in China’s urban history? This talk addresses this question via a survey of scholarship in the field and the results of my own work on the history of Chengdu, an important provincial capital and cultural center, from the late Qing to the early Communist period. Of particular interest is how the state has promoted as...

Event
Posted : October 24, 2017

The advent of sports broadcasting in Japan in the 1920s necessitated the creation of new forms of oral narrative performance. The sporting events themselves offered the narrative frame, and the task before the radio broadcaster was to present that bare sequence of events with enough structure and art to hold the audience’s attention to a spectacle that they couldn’t actually see. The contemporary discourses around these broadcasts traded on the rhetoric of an immediacy that was undeniable while also being, in many ways, a consensual fiction. The first half of the presentation outlines the...

Event
Posted : October 10, 2017

Refreshments will be served. This power-point talk will have three main topics: How the traditional decision to burn the archives was overcome, how the archives became scattered and where the different types and categories of materials ended up, and, finally, some thoughts on future directions for archival research.

Event
Posted : October 5, 2017

This lecture will be in Chinese This paper is a preliminary study of the relationship between traditional community associations in villages, towns, and cities that originally involved semi-annual sacrifices and the Buddhist religion during the Wei, Jin, Northern-Southern, Sui and Tang dynasties (fourth-tenth centuries). It reveals that during Jin, Southern-North-ern and Sui, the main conflict between the early associations and Buddhist monks concerned the killing of ani-mals. It further shows that later, in the seventh-tenth centuries, the two traditions came to a less confrontational...

Event
Posted : September 29, 2017

In this talk, I consider written texts from the northwest border region during the Han dynasty. I bring in a new interpretive framework, incorporate new excavated documents, and reconsider previously known materials to challenge common assumptions about textual culture in early China. The implications of this line of research challenge received understandings of text in early society. I propose that those living in the region constituted a literate community of commoners linked to the broader textual culture of the empire. And while scholars have often viewed text as the exclusive province of...

Event
Posted : September 29, 2017

This talk explores the concept and representations of post-mortem paradises in Ancient Egypt and Early China.  The notion of a paradise for the worthy, accessed through personal piety, ethical conduct or ritual knowledge, developed at a particular historical moment in the development of each of these great civilizations and expressed a genuine desire on the part of regular people for salvation and immortality. These expressions would have a lasting impact on the development of paradisiacal realms in the later universal religions of Christianity and Buddhism.  After a brief introduction to the...

Event
Posted : September 27, 2017

Collusion between businessmen and officials relies upon strong trust. In China, bureaucratic rotations and promotions across jurisdictions are a common practice. When officials are transferred to new places, it is hard for them to immediately establish trust with local businesses. Consequently, they tend to bring their trusted businessmen along with them. This paper studies this phenomenon using two unique administrative datasets, firm registry and bureaucratic promotion databases. We find an immediate spike in investment flow, particularly in real estate and construction industries,...

Event
Posted : September 27, 2017

How does migration shape collective resistance in migrant-sending communities (i.e. rural China)? This study integrates perspectives from social movements and migration to develop a framework in which migration simultaneously influences the cognitive and social foundation of collective action. The study draws on several data sources: a longitudinal rural survey, in-depth interviews, and a case study of Wukan. Results show that migrants act as a vehicle of political transmission and spur collective resistance in rural China, but the role of migration differs by the form and scale of collective...

Event
Posted : September 25, 2017

Zang Di, who has been honored three times as one of China’s top ten poets, is a featured poet at the Princeton Poetry Festival on October 5-6, 2017. His new collection, The Roots of Wisdom, translated by award-winning translator Eleanor Goodman, will be published at the same time by Zephyr Press. In this bilingual book, Zang Di uses rich, emotional language to explore the natural world, including his beloved Weiming Lake at Peking University — his “Walden.” Zang Di will also give readings at Harvard University’s Yenching Library on September 27, and at Yale University on October 9, during his...

Event
Posted : September 20, 2017

Japan has failed to see significant economic development in contrast to its East Asian neighbors for over a quarter century since its economic bubble burst. Even China surpassed Japan in its gross national product and Korea challenged Japanese technological leadership in the consumer goods industry with Samsung beating Sony in the cell phone market worldwide. In the international imagination Japan is now no longer associated with reliable cars, ubiquitous TV displays, or computer hardware but with manga, anime and video games. To its dismay or delight Japan has been transformed from a country...

Event
Posted : September 19, 2017

The effect of China’s civil examination system (keju) on human capital outcomes persists to this day. Using the variation in the density of jinshi—the highest qualification—across 278 Chinese prefectures in the Ming-Qing period (1368-1905) to proxy for the keju effect, and river distance to a prefecture’s nearest locations of pine and bamboo—the main ingredients for producing ink and paper—as instrumental variable, we find that an additional jinshi per 10,000 people during the Ming-Qing period leads to an increase in schooling of 0.7 years in the present day. Moreover, the...

Event
Posted : February 23, 2017

In the history of epigraphic study in China, which traces its history back to the eleventh century or much earlier, the 1980s was undisputedly one of the pivotal turning points. The influx of young aspiring scholars to the post-Cultural Revolution Chinese academia, who enthusiastically conducted extensive fieldwork across China to uncover epitaphs, sculptures, and other forms of stele inscriptions, marked a new phase in the scholarship of Chinese history. Their plentiful findings led to the publication of hundreds of new epigraphic collections since the 1990s, which ushered in the emergence...

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