CEAS Colloquium Series

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Professor Ren’s lecture draws upon her recent publication, Building Globalization, which closely scrutinizes the growing phenomenon of transnational architecture and its profound effect on the development of urban space. Roaming from construction sites in Shanghai to architects’ offices in Paris, Professor Ren interviews hundreds of architects, developers, politicians, residents, and activists to explore this issue. She finds that in the rapidly transforming cities of modern China, iconic designs from prestigious international architects help private developers to distinguish their projects,...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Nikki Floyd is a postdoctoral fellow at Williams College in the Department of Asian Studies. She has long been interested in Japan-Korea relations, particularly during the colonial period. She has taught courses that examine modern Japanese and Korean literature in comparative perspective, and her dissertation, entitled “Bridging the Colonial Divide: Japanese-Korean Solidarity in the International Proletarian Literature Movement,” explores the solidarity relationship between left-wing writer-activists in the 1920s and 1930s. Floyd’s remarks will focus on the costs and benefits of...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

After 30 years of hyper growth, China’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) outlined new economic targets for growth and reform to face slower global economic growth and structural imbalances within its own economy. It calls for a slower pace of economic growth; more rapid increases in wages and consumption spending; a shift towards high value added manufacturing and services; development of affordable housing and social pensions; and deepening market reforms. The new targets appear to be a change of development strategy. This talk considers change and continuity in China’s development strategy...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

At the same time in 1940 that Japanese representatives of the Government Railways of Korea, an integral part of the Government General of Korea, were endeavoring to promote tourism, officials in the same colonial bureaucracy were strengthening assimilation policies designed to Japanize Koreans. But why would a Japanese tourist from the mother country want to visit Korea if it had been rendered into no more than a replica of Japan? Tourism and assimilation are concepts that do not necessarily go together. This lecture examines how individuals endeavoring to promote tourism represented an...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Deng in 1978 inherited a country bitterly divided by the devastating Cultural Revolution, the average annual per capita income was less than $100, there was not enough food to feed the population, and China was isolated from the world. When he left the political stage in 1992, China had been growing almost 10% a year, food supply was adequate, contacts with the world had exploded, over three hundred million people had been lifted above the poverty line, and China was on the way to becoming a major power. What forces shaped Deng? What was his strategy for bringing about these changes? How...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

This talk will discuss how Japan has responded to the “Triple Disaster” on March 11, 2010. It will focus on governmental responses at the national and local levels, civil society responses, and also those from business. It will also discuss the potential long-term effects of the disaster on Japan’s politics, economy, and society. Mary Alice Haddad is an Associate Professor of Government at Wesleyan University. Her publications include Politics and Volunteering in Japan: A Global Perspective (Cambridge 2007), Building Democracy in Japan (Cambridge 2012), and articles in journals such as...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Consider that country whose economy is “galloping ahead,” or that country which is “galloping into view,” or that country which seems about to “walk all over us”: China. Its economy has indeed been growing fast–about 9.4 percent per annum on average over the past three decades (but no better than South Korea and Taiwan from 1965 to 1997). Casually perusing newspapers and magazines tells us China is newly “in view” (but where was it before unviewed?). Book after book now suggests that China is emerging, rising, overcoming the U.S., “putting it in the shade;” it’s likely to be the superpower of...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Note: This talk will be given in Chinese The lecture discusses the biographies of five assassins in Sima Qian’s Records of the Grand Historian (Shiji史记). It examines the reasons for the inclusion and exclusion of certain assassins in Shiji, identifying some narrative strategies that are crucial to the Grand Historian’s historiography. In particular, the lecture will address the question regarding Sima Qian’s omission of a famous assassin Yao Li 要離, whose name and portrait later appeared on the wall of the famous Wuliang Temple, where six rather than five assassins were honored. Prof. Chi-...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

The eight-year war had many unintended consequences. One was the destruction or side-lining of some of the old elites, and the emergence of new ones. One of these is the impoverishment of the intellectual elites in Unoccupied China, and the compromised situation of intellectuals who lived under occupation. Another is the deeply compromised position of the rural elite in the Occupied Areas - labeled after the war by the CCP as traitors. The greatest rise in status during the war went to the military, both GMD and CCP. It emerged at the top of Chinese society. Other beneficiaries were less...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Before and After Superflat narrates the story of the Japanese contemporary art world since 1990. After 1995 and again after March 2011, art in Japan can be seen to reflect and refract the difficult issues faced by a formerly fast developing society now have to face sharp economic and political decline, demographic crisis, and social polarization. Considering the Echigo-Tsumari and Setouchi festivals, as well as local art in the city initiatives in Yokohama and North East Tokyo, we will look at how artists, squeezed out of the flattened time and restricted space of life and work in the global...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

How do we understand the increasing significance of guanxi in Chinese transitional economy? I propose a typology in which the transition from redistribution to markets is considered to occur in a two-dimensional space of changing degrees of institutional uncertainty and market competition. Capitalizing on large scale surveys in Chinese cities, we assess the effects of social networks on employment processes and outcomes. We find that 1) the proportion of network users in the acquisition of jobs increased over years; 2) network users are more crowded in the acquisition of competitive jobs than...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

“Fieldwork in Chinese Book Culture” presents one piece of a project designed to examine the ways in which the spread of woodblock publishing (and other print technologies) worked to integrate distant “frontier” regions of the empire into the Qing imperium. Here I examine the role that a community of peasant block cutters played in the expansion of woodblock publishing in Sichuan in the late eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth centuries.The talk focuses on several related questions: How did the labor relations between the block cutters and publishers shape the nature and scope of book...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

South Korea witnessed the cementing of the two-party political system and the big global corporate domination during the first decade of the 2000s that arguably sealed the triumph of neoliberalism and Francis Fukuyama’s conservative mantra of the “end of history.” Lost has been the ethical urgency, in other words, that places the past in the context of the Hegelian continuum of humankind’s progression toward its Utopian ideals. As argued throughout my book Virtual Hallyu: Korean Cinema of the Global Era, South Korea, despite its ongoing political crisis marred by the recalcitrant presence of...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

This talk begins with a radical claim: that nations, particularly nations such as Japan that are imagined along ethnic lines, are incapable of solving ecological problems. This relates to the manner in which the Japanese state imagines itself and its past. To illustrate this provocative claim, I explore “ethno-environmentalism,” or the belief advocated by Japanese thinkers that had the Japanese made historical decisions in the arena of industrialization that deployed distinctly Japanese practices rather than western ones, whether indigenous technologies or natural philosophies, the horror of...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

From the mid-1950s through the 1960s Japanese film theory increasingly dealt with the question of cinema’s specificity in relation to other forms of image-making media. A concept that played a crucial role here was the “image” (eizô), a term that dominated the debates around image-making practice and designated a special class of images produced and mediated by technological apparatuses. The rise of television played a key role in prompting this engagement with “image theories” (eizôron). Yet, the need to theorize television was not the sole cause of this discursive shift. Rather, the...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

How do we explain the unexpected resilience of the Chinese Communist political system? One answer, Elizabeth Perry suggests, lies in the Chinese Communists’ creative development and deployment of cultural resources – during their revolutionary rise to power and afterwards. Skillful “cultural positioning” and “cultural patronage,” on the part of Mao Zedong, his comrades and successors, has helped to construct a polity in which a once alien Communist system came to be accepted as essentially “Chinese.” Perry traces this process through a case study of the Anyuan coal mine, a place where Mao and...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

The Jinshin Rebellion of 672 was an epoch-making event that determined the shape of Yamato politics for the next hundred years. Its victor–the ruler we know as Tenmu–took advantage of his military success to reform the basic structure of court politics and establish an imperial-style state. This talk examines how the Jinshin Rebellion was historicized in its aftermath and in the early eighth century. While the official historiography of the Nihon shoki appears at first sight to be a unanimously positive portrayal of Tenmu’s victory, one can in fact identify distinct narrative strands...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

The organizational theory of the multinational firm holds that foreignness is a liability, and specifically that lack of embeddedness in host-country social networks is a source of competitive disadvantage; meanwhile the literature on labor market discrimination suggests that exploiting the bigotry of others can be a source of competitive advantage. We seek to turn the former literature somewhat on its head by building on insights from the latter. Specifically, we argue that multinationals wield a particularly significant competitive weapon: as outsiders, they can identify social schisms in...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

As the largest and most vocal minority groups in postwar Japan, the Koreans and the Burakumin have received much scholarly attention, especially in recent years. While enhancing our understanding of the way in which discrimination shapes the experiences of both of these groups, however, most studies of either minority overlook other salient aspects of their experience of discrimination, such as the tendency for similarly disadvantaged groups to end up living in the same communities, and the problems of mutual discrimination between them that often result. This presentation addresses such...

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