CEAS Colloquium Series

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...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Five decades after the adoption of the (revised) US-Japan Security Treaty, two decades after the end of the Cold War, and amidst the present collapse of US-supported regimes across West Asia/North Africa, East Asia seems stable. But is it? Japan is no Egypt. And yet in East Asia, the relationship between the world’s No 1 and No 2 (till yesterday) powers remains rooted in the war, defeat, and occupation of nearly seven decades ago, reinforced by the structures of Cold War. The “master-servant” quality of the relationship that I wrote about in 2007 (Client State - Japan in the American Embrace...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Western research on Korean nationalism—for example, Shin Gi-wook’s Ethnic Nationalism in Korea (2006) often neglects aspects of Korean cultural nationalism, while accounts of Korean cultural nationalism rarely discuss the salient role of language in Korean nationalism. In recent work (“North and South Korea,” in Language and National Identity in Asia, 2007) Professor King has asserted that discussions of Korean “linguistic nationalism”—both North and South of the 38th parallel—are better recast as “script nationalism.”In this presentation, he will focus on a particular offshoot of Korean...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

This presentation examines the ways in which kunqu, an operatic genre of Chinese performance arts, provides objects, sites, and processes for traditional Chinese men to negotiate their masculinities. In particular, this presentation posits that traditional Chinese men manipulate kunqu arias/music to underscore the subjective and oftentimes conflicting components of their manhood.

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

The contentious relationship between modernism and realism has arguably defined Korean literary history throughout the twentieth century and into the present. In this paper I argue that the literary modernism that rose to prominence in 1930s colonial Korea was neither an escapist aesthetic practice severed from the socio-political context of its production nor a derivative and partial “alternative” to a purportedly original European modernism. Instead, I advance the thesis that Korean modernism, particularly in its linguistic relationship with the “real,” engaged in complex ways with the...

Event
Posted : September 13, 2013

More than six decades after the end of World War II, China is finally coming to terms with the devastating effects of the war against Japan on its society and culture. During the war, ideas of nationhood and citizenship were fundamentally challenged and rethought in the wake of mass population flight, physical destruction, and countless deaths. This talk will use wartime materials from Chinese archives of the Nationalist (Kuomintang) government to argue that modern ideas of state and citizenship in China were profoundly shaped by the experience of war, and that the effects of those ideas...

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