CEAS Postdoctoral Associates Lecture Series

Event
Posted : September 16, 2019

Lunch will be served. TBD Paula R. Curtis is a historian of premodern Japan, specializing in the medieval period. Her research interests include commoner history, documentary forgery, and material culture. Her current work focuses on socioeconomic networks formed through the exchange of counterfeit documents among metal caster organizations, the imperial court, and provincial warlords. She is also interested in digital humanities and the use of digital tools to analyze premodern historical sources. Dr. Curtis received her BA from Gettysburg College, her MA from Ohio State University, and her...

Event
Posted : September 16, 2019

Lunch will be served. TBD Russell Burge is a historian of modern Korea. His dissertation, “The Promised Republic: Developmental Society and the Making of Modern Seoul,” examined urbanization and social change in 1960s and 1970s South Korea. While at Yale he will develop this project into a book manuscript, part of a larger intellectual project of de-centering the bureaucrats and industrialists who have anchored our histories of East Asian development and focusing on questions of urban subalternity, access to the city, and the contentious politics of development. Burge’s other intellectual...

Event
Posted : September 16, 2019

Lunch will be served. Japan’s 1882 Criminal Code stopped recognizing concubines as family members, but the household registration (koseki) continued to record children born to concubines under fathers’ registries until 1942. During this time, Japanese family law divided offspring into three groups: (1) legitimate children (chakushi) born to married couples, (2) children by concubines (shoshi) listed on fathers’ registries, and (3) illegitimate children (shiseishi) without paternal recognition listed on maternal family registries. This trifold categorization, as opposed to a legitimate-...

Event
Posted : September 16, 2019

Lunch will be served. The past few decades have seen the proliferation of “natures” in Taipei. Reflecting rising environmental consciousness in this island nation, words like lü (green), shengtai (ecology), and ziran (nature), are now firmly part of the city’s official discourse and policies. As green urbanism sees increasing support among Taipei’s officials and planners, various environmental amenities (riverside parks, bicycle paths, and hike trails) have been built to foster urban citizens’ intimacy with Taipei’s rivers, forests, and mountains.  Especially focusing on the transformation of...

Event
Posted : September 16, 2019

Lunch will be served. In most recent accounts of Qing China’s (1644-1912) social order, the crucial military and administrative role of a hereditary group of imperial servitors organized under the Eight Banner system is linked to the Manchu identity that many banner people shared with the Qing imperial family. This talk, based in large part on research in the Qing imperial archives on Han members of the banner system, argues that Manchu identity is not a sufficient explanation of the role that banner people played in the Qing imperial order. Rather, banner people were a multiethnic group that...

Event
Posted : September 16, 2019

Lunch will be served. Legislators are typically members of political parties, but few democracies require legislators to remain with a single party. Legislators are free to switch from one political party to another between elections, but the consequences of party switching  remain unknown. Do voters reward party defection if it benefits themselves and their district? Or do they punish these defectors at the ballot box? This research looks at both the electoral and party-based outcomes of party defection. Using Japan as a primary case study, it explores whether party switchers benefit or...

Event
Posted : September 16, 2019

Lunch will be served. In recent years and particularly since the global financial crisis, zombie firms—unprofitable businesses supported by financial relief—have generated widespread concern due to their purported harm to economic vitality. Studies contend that these firms congest the normal flow of capital and human resources to healthy businesses, thereby defying creative destruction and hurting investment and employment growth. Addressing zombie firms from a political economy perspective, I examine a novel hypothesis about the role of credit guarantees in sustaining these weak firms....

Event
Posted : September 5, 2018

In modern authoritarian China, urban statistics may not be available or is available but inaccessible to the public. Dr. Chang will introduce a method called “the view from above” that overcomes these barriers such that even in the absence of official urban statistics and even where available city maps have on them only outlines, he can still produce maps that show detailed land use. He owes this power to the method’s two procedural arms, integrative scaling and inferential digitisation: the one integrates information from one scale to information at another scale, and the other infers land...

Event
Posted : September 5, 2018

This presentation investigates the origins and the development of transnational adoption of Korean biracial children, including the symbolic meanings they carried in Korean society. It would demonstrate the representation of biracial children in Korea during the 1950s, analyze the state policies towards them, and trace the historical origins of transnational adoption of Korean children. After the 1945 liberation from the Japanese colonial rule, building a nation-state became the most urgent task for Korean society. The nationalistic discourse of kungmin, which means literally “people of the...

Event
Posted : September 5, 2018

In 1873, the Hokkaido Colonial Agency built an orchard on the grounds of its new capitol building, located in the center of Sapporo. This orchard facilitated the transfer of fruit trees and other plants throughout Hokkaido, Japan, and the wider world, and helped turn Hokkaido’s forests and marshes into an agricultural landscape that resembled New England or Wisconsin. This conscious remaking of Hokkaido’s environment to facilitate Japanese expansion resembled the processes of settler-colonialism around the world, but also drew on long-standing efforts by the Japanese state to settle the...

Event
Posted : September 4, 2018

Lunch will be served. The Jin dynasty (1115-1234) ruled in north China for over one hundred years, yet Jin painting remains under-studied. This is due largely to the fact that there are only a handful of extant Jin paintings on silk and paper. However, many painted tombs from north China, dating approximately to the period of Jin rule, have been excavated and published in recent decades. In this talk, I contend that in order to understand “Jin painting” and its place in the history of painting in China, definitions of “painting” must be pushed beyond silk and paper. Furthermore, we must...

Event
Posted : October 5, 2017

Lunch will be served. This talk contends that China’s approach to developing biotechnology centers on the principle of “technological domestication”, whereby social anxieties surrounding genetically modified technology are recast as an opposition to foreign aggressors, be they countries, companies, or individual actors. This nationalist frame is a principle of institution building, generating not only distinctly “Chinese” technologies, but also new ethical frameworks, modalities of social order, and ontologies of state, science, and market collaboration. In this talk, I focus on how these...

Event
Posted : October 5, 2017

Lunch will be served. “The principle of all things, is that they all have good and bad fortune Storing things when they are cheap, and selling them when they are expensive, that is the way to make great profits.” ———Sim Wŏn’gwŏn, 1880. “Buy low, sell high”: this advice would be readily recognizable to any contemporary Wall Street trader, yet the quote above is taken from the diary of a nineteenth-century Korean farmer living through a period of immense political, economic, and social upheaval. This talk explores the background to Sim Wŏn’gwŏn’s economic logic and its application in his daily...

Event
Posted : October 5, 2017

Lunch will be served. The Xiongnu have been of considerable scholarly interest since their first description by Sima Qian in his Shiji from the early first century BCE, and are best known as the nemesis of the “Middle Country” during the Han Dynasty, described by their Han contemporaries as brutal horse riding barbarians that live by the drawing of the bow. This lecture will explore the character of the Xiongnu from a four-field anthropological approach (Culture, Language, Archaeology and Bioanthropological), examining what each field has to offer to the discussion to date, and what we can...

Event
Posted : October 5, 2017

Lunch will be served. The traditional oral literature of the Ainu in Northern Japan has been developed almost exclusively around the background of the traditional living environment of the Ainu people. Cultural and religious elements in the stories, as well as the space in which the protagonists are acting, are based on an idealized everyday reality of the Ainu. The establishment and extension of the literary space has a high relevance in the narrations, and is represented by many linguistic structures and rhetorical figures. Many Ainu stories take place only inside those culturally and...

Event
Posted : February 13, 2017

Lunch will be provided. Focused on a group of Okinawan construction workers in Tokyo, this talk tracks the transformation of working day time into the narcotic of gambling, such that the worker - turned gambler - stakes his social existence on a negativity that repulses the normative gaze of general Japanese society. Klaus Yamamoto-Hammering’s writing so far has focused on the violence of state recognition in contemporary Japan, and specifically, on the intersection of this violence with certain social differences which statist discourse would eliminate. As an anthropologist, Yamamoto-...

Event
Posted : January 27, 2017

Lunch will be provided. Tokyo has recently decided to utilize foreign aid more strategically so as to make ‘Proactive Contributions to Peace and Security’ and align aid with what is identified as Japanese national interests: to protect an international order governed by rules and based on democracy, human rights and rule of law. Some scholars have even started to talk about Japan as a ‘Normative Power’—an actor with the ability to set what is considered ‘normal’ in international affairs. In this talk I make the case that Japan could be identified as a normative power with regards to framing...

Event
Posted : January 26, 2017

Lunch will be provided. In the early 1970s, second-generation “Zainichi” Koreans in Japan—many of whom, in contrast to their parents, had little or no Korean language ability—were starting to outnumber the first generation. At this time, Zainichi authors debated the ethical and psychological implications of writing in Japanese. At stake was the question of whether these authors could maintain a specifically Korean identity if that identity could be expressed only in the Japanese language. Kim Sŏkpŏm (1925- ) was a particularly active participant in this debate, writing numerous essays on the...

Event
Posted : January 4, 2017

This talk explores the circulation of West African dance in contemporary Seoul through dance classes and festivals, and the perspectives of Korean individuals, particularly women, practicing West African dance on the corporeal and affective qualities of blackness and Koreanness. Based on an ethnographic case study on Guinean Dance Class at the Salim Health Co-op, a feminist and community-oriented organization, I show how the West African dance practice is mobilized as a “liberating” experience for the female dancing body that has been traditionally seen as lewd and suspicious throughout the...

Event
Posted : November 7, 2016

In 1934, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began the Long March, a 9,000-kilometer retreat from its base areas in Southern China that eventually took it to the plains of Northern China. It was in Northern China that the CCP earned its reputation as one of the most effective insurgent forces of the 20th century. There, it swam as “fish” among the “sea” of the people, fighting first the Japanese from 1937 to 1945 and then against the Chinese Nationalist (Kuomintang, KMT) from 1946 to 1949 in the Chinese Civil War. Why was the CCP so successful in Northern China and so manifestly unsuccessful in...

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