New Books in East Asian Studies

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Interviews with Scholars of East Asia about their New Books

Marshall Poe


    • Oct 26, 2021 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekdays NEW EPISODES
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    • 741 EPISODES

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    Latest episodes from New Books in East Asian Studies

    Hongjian Wang, "Decadence in Modern Chinese Literature and Culture: A Comparative and Literary-Historical Reevaluation" (Cambria Press, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2021 88:52

    European Decadence, a controversial artistic movement that flourished mainly in late-nineteenth-century France and Britain, has inspired several generations of Chinese writers and literary scholars since it was introduced to China in the early 1920s. Translated into Chinese as tuifei, which has strong hedonistic and pessimistic connotations, the concept of Decadence has proven instrumental in multiple waves of cultural rebellion, but has also become susceptible to moralistic criticism. Many contemporary scholars have sought to rehabilitate Chinese Decadence but have found it difficult to dissociate it from the negative connotations of tuifei. More importantly, few have reconnected Decadence with its steadfast pursuit of intellectual pleasure and unique paradoxes or explored the specific socio-historical conditions and cultural dynamics that gave rise to Decadence. Decadence in Modern Chinese Literature and Culture: A Comparative and Literary-Historical Reevaluation (Cambria Press, 2020) is the first comprehensive study of Decadence in Chinese literature since the early twentieth century. Standing at the intersection of comparative literature and cultural history, it transcends the framework of tuifei by locating European Decadence in its sociocultural context and uses it as a critical lens to examine Chinese Decadent literature and Chinese society. Its in-depth analysis reveals that some Chinese writers and literary scholars creatively appropriated the concept of Decadence for enlightenment purposes or to bid farewell to revolution. Meanwhile, the socialist system, by first fostering strong senses of elitism among certain privileged groups and then rescinding its ideological endorsement and material support, played a crucial role in the emergence of Chinese Decadent literature in the European sense. Decadence in Modern Chinese Literature and Culture is an important book for scholars and students interested in Decadence, modern Chinese literature and cultural history, Asian studies, and comparative literature. This book is in the Cambria Sinophone World Series headed by Victor H. Mair (University of Pennsylvania). Victoria Oana Lupașcu is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Asian Studies at University of Montréal. Her areas of interest include medical humanities, visual art, 20th and 21st Chinese, Brazilian and Romanian literature and Global South studies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Rebecca Copeland and Linda C. Ehrlich, "Yamamba: In Search of the Japanese Mountain Witch" (Stone Bridge, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2021 58:33

    Alluring, nurturing, dangerous, and vulnerable, the yamamba, or Japanese mountain witch, has intrigued audiences for centuries. What is it about the fusion of mountains with the solitary old woman that produces such an enigmatic figure? And why does she still call to us in this modern, scientific era? Co-editors Rebecca Copeland and Linda C. Ehrlich first met the yamamba in the powerful short story “The Smile of the Mountain Witch” by acclaimed woman writer Ōba Minako. The story revealed the compelling way creative women can take charge of misogynistic tropes, invert them, and use them to tell new stories of female empowerment.  Yamamba: In Search of the Japanese Mountain Witch (Stone Bridge Press, 2021) represents the creative and surprising ways artists and scholars from North America and Japan have encountered the yamamba. Matthew Hayes is the Japanese Studies and Asian American Studies Librarian at Duke University and a researcher in the area of early modern Japanese Buddhism. You can find him on Twitter at @_matthewhayes_. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Toby Lincoln, "An Urban History of China" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2021 92:18

    In An Urban History of China (Cambridge UP, 2021), Toby Lincoln offers the first history of Chinese cities from their origins to the present. Despite being an agricultural society for thousands of years, China had an imperial urban civilization. Over the last century, this urban civilization has been transformed into the world's largest modern urban society. Throughout their long history, Chinese cities have been shaped by interactions with those around the world, and the story of urban China is a crucial part of the history of how the world has become an urban society. Exploring the global connections of Chinese cities, the urban system, urban governance, and daily life alongside introductions to major historical debates and extracts from primary sources, this is essential reading for all those interested in China and in urban history. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Gary Bettinson, "The Sensuous Cinema of Wong Kar-wai: Film Poetics and the Aesthetic of Disturbance" (Hong Kong UP, 2014)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 22, 2021 89:38

    The widely acclaimed films of Wong Kar-wai are characterized by their sumptuous yet complex visual and sonic style. This study of Wong's filmmaking techniques uses a poetics approach to examine how form, music, narration, characterization, genre, and other artistic elements work together to produce certain effects on audiences. Bettinson argues that Wong's films are permeated by an aesthetic of sensuousness and “disturbance” achieved through techniques such as narrative interruptions, facial masking, opaque cuts, and other complex strategies. The effect is to jolt the viewer out of complete aesthetic absorption. Each of the chapters focuses on a single aspect of Wong's filmmaking. The book also discusses Wong's influence on other filmmakers in Hong Kong and around the world. The Sensuous Cinema of Wong Kar-wai: Film Poetics and the Aesthetic of Disturbance (Hong Kong University Press, 2014) will appeal to all who are interested in authorship and aesthetics in film studies, to scholars in Asian studies, media and cultural studies, and to anyone with an interest in Hong Kong cinema in general, and Wong's films in particular. Gary Bettinson is a senior lecturer in film studies at Lancaster University, UK. He is editor of Asian Cinema, Directory of World Cinema: China and author (with Richard Rushton) of What is Film Theory? An Introduction to Contemporary Debates. Gustavo E. Gutiérrez Suárez is MA in Anthropology, and BA in Social Communication. His areas of interest include Andean and Amazonian Anthropology, Film theory and aesthetics. You can follow him on Twitter vía @GustavoEGSuarez. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Nick R. Smith, "The End of the Village: Planning the Urbanization of Rural China" (U Minnesota Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 22, 2021 89:29

    Today I spoke to Nick R. Smith to talk about how China's expansive new era of urbanization threatens to undermine the foundations of rural life, which he writes about in his recently published book The End of the Village: Planning the Urbanization of Rural China (U Minnesota Press, 2021). Centered on the mountainous region of Chongqing, which serves as an experimental site for the country's new urban development policies, The End of the Village analyzes the radical expansion of urbanization and its consequences for China's villagers. It reveals a fundamental rewriting of the nation's social contract, as villages that once organized rural life and guaranteed rural livelihoods are replaced by an increasingly urbanized landscape dominated by state institutions.  Throughout this comprehensive study of China's "urban-rural coordination" policy, Nick R. Smith traces the diminishing autonomy of the country's rural populations and their subordination to larger urban networks and shared administrative structures. Outside Chongqing's urban centers, competing forces are at work in reshaping the social, political, and spatial organization of its villages. While municipal planners and policy makers seek to extend state power structures beyond the boundaries of the city, village leaders and inhabitants try to maintain control over their communities' uncertain futures through strategies such as collectivization, shareholding, real estate development, and migration. As China seeks to rectify the development crises of previous decades through rapid urban growth, such drastic transformations threaten to displace existing ways of life for more than 600 million residents. Offering an unprecedented look at the country's contentious shift in urban planning and policy, The End of the Village exposes the precarious future of rural life in China and suggests a critical reappraisal of how we think about urbanization. Dr. Suvi Rautio is an anthropologist of China. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Emily Mokros, "The Peking Gazette in Late Imperial China: State News and Political Authority" (U Washington Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2021 63:32

    In the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), China experienced far greater access to political information than suggested by the blunt measures of control and censorship employed by modern Chinese regimes. A tenuous partnership between the court and the dynamic commercial publishing enterprises of late imperial China enabled the publication of gazettes in a wide range of print and manuscript formats. For both domestic and foreign readers these official gazettes offered vital information about the Qing state and its activities, transmitting state news across a vast empire and beyond. And the most essential window onto Qing politics was the Peking Gazette, a genre that circulated globally over the course of the dynasty. The Peking Gazette in Late Imperial China: State News and Political Authority (U Washington Press, 2021) presents a comprehensive history of the Peking Gazette and frames it as the cornerstone of a Qing information policy that, paradoxically, prized both transparency and secrecy. Gazettes gave readers a glimpse into the state's inner workings but also served as a carefully curated form of public relations. Historian Emily Mokros draws from international archives to reconstruct who read the gazette and how they used it to guide their interactions with the Chinese state. Her research into the Peking Gazette's evolution over more than two centuries is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding the relationship between media, information, and state power. Sarah Bramao-Ramos is a PhD candidate in History and East Asian Languages at Harvard. She works on Manchu language books and is interested in anything with a kesike. She can be reached at sbramaoramos@g.harvard.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Laurence Coderre, "Newborn Socialist Things: Materiality in Maoist China" (Duke UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2021 81:23

    Laurence Coderre's Newborn Socialist Things: Materiality in Maoist China (Duke UP, 2021) is an exciting book that considers Chinese socialist culture seriously in terms of materiality and theory by tracing the contours of Maoist China through the heretofore unexpected lens of the commodity and consumerism. In Coderre's book, the “newborn socialist thing,” a critical concept developed by theorists working to give shape to the coming utopia, is both a historical object and a model that provides the conceptual mapping for her project. Across six chapters that handle terrain as diverse as sounding practices, political theory textbooks, porcelainware, and mirrors, Coderre shows that the newborn socialist thing is much more than a discrete object but rather an “un-thing-like” constellation of objects and bodies that function in relation to each other. In her own words: “instead of distinguishing an object from its production, usage, and discursive apparatus, an old or newborn thing brought all these together into a single conceptual entity, comprising both human and nonhuman actors” (6). In attending to the expansiveness and ambiguity of the newborn socialist thing, the book innovatively explores the media environment of revolution as it negotiates the troubling, enduring fact of commodity culture.  The project, of great worth in its own terms, is underscored by the author's desire to understand Chinese contemporary consumer culture. Indeed, the book's short conclusion is pregnant with suggestion, asking readers to consider postsocialism not merely in terms of rupture with a failed socialist project, but as an inheritor of the relationalities developed in the era of the newborn socialist thing. Interview conducted by Julia Keblinska, Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Center for Historical Research at the Ohio State University specializing in Chinese media history and comparative socialisms. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    David J. Mozina, "Knotting the Banner: Ritual and Relationship in Daoist Practice" (U Hawaii Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2021 72:37

    Mozina's Knotting the Banner: Ritual and Relationship in Daoist Practice (U Hawaii Press, 2021) weaves together ethnography, textual analysis, photography, and film, inviting readers into the religious world of Daoist practice in today's south China by exploring one particular ritual called the Banner Rite to Summon Sire Yin, as practiced in central Hunan province. Performed as the first public ritual by a Daoist apprentice at his own ordination, the Banner Rite seeks to summon Celestial Lord Yin Jiao, the ferocious martial deity who supplies the exorcistic power to protect and heal bodies and spaces from illness and misfortune. A lot is at stake. If the apprentice cannot successfully summon the deity in front of his village community and the pantheon of gods in attendance, he would not be able to be ordained that day and would risk losing the confidence of villagers who might hire him in the future. Through a close reading of the ritual in its social and historical contexts, Mozina shows that the efficacy of rituals like the Banner Rite is driven by the ability of a master to form an intimate relationship with exorcistic deities like Yin Jiao, which is far from guaranteed. Mozina reveals the ways in which such ritual claims are rooted in the great liturgical movements of the Song and Yuan dynasties (960–1368) and how they are performed these days amid the social and economic pressures of rural life in the post-Mao era. Knotting the Banner will be of interest to students and scholars of Daoism and Chinese religion and will also appeal to historians of religion and anthropologists, especially those working on ritual. Noelle Giuffrida is a professor and curator of Asian art at the School of Art and the David Owsley Museum of Art at Ball State University. Her research focuses on Chinese art, particularly the history of collecting and exhibiting premodern works in American museums after World War II and the visual culture of Daoism in late imperial China. Her teaching and curatorial experience extend broadly both temporally—from Neolithic to contemporary—and cross-culturally to China, Korea, and Japan, as well as to South and Southeast Asia. Her book Separating Sheep from Goats: Sherman E. Lee's Collecting of Chinese Art in Postwar America (University of California Press, 2018) uses American curator and museum director Sherman E. Lee (1918–2008) as a lens through which to investigate the history of collecting and exhibiting Chinese art. Email her at ngiuffrida@bsu.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Robert Hellyer, "Green with Milk and Sugar: When Japan Filled America's Tea Cups" (Columbia UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 15, 2021 46:25

    Robert Hellyer's Green with Milk and Sugar: When Japan Filled America's Tea Cups (Columbia UP, 2021) is a tale of American and Japanese teaways, skillfully weaving together stories of Midwesterners drinking green tea (with milk and sugar, to be sure), the recent and complex origins of Japan's love of now-ubiquitous sencha, Ceylon tea merchants exploiting American racism, Chinese tea production expertise, and the author's own family history in the Japan-America tea trade going back to the nineteenth century. Transnational histories and commodities histories are notoriously delicate dances, but Hellyer has produced a very readable and eye-opening look at the modern history and culture of tea. Green with Milk and Sugar will be of interest to a diverse group of historians—scholars of North America, East Asia, commerce and trade, food, etc.—but also to a general audience who will be pulled in by the author's personal connections as well as the delightfully jargon-free narrative. Nathan Hopson is an associate professor of Japanese language and history in the University of Bergen's Department of Foreign Languages. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Elizabeth Lacouture, "Dwelling in the World: Family, House, and Home in Tianjin, China, 1860-1960" (Columbia UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2021 39:09

    To call the hundred years that straddle the nineteenth- and twentieth-centuries as a radical period of change for China is an understatement, moving from the Imperial period, through the Republican era, and ending in the rise of the PRC. Dr. Elizabeth LaCouture's Dwelling in the World: Family, House, and Home in Tianjin, China, 1860–1960, published by Columbia University Pres explores this history by looking at Tianjin: a city divided into nine foreign concessions, and perhaps, at the time, the world's most cosmopolitan—and colonized—cities. With a focus on family and the home, Dr. Lacouture explores the interplay between these massive political changes and the lives of ordinary people. In this interview, Dr LaCouture.and I talk about Tianjin, changing Chinese politics, and how that affected views of gender, the family, and the home. We also investigate the thorny distinction between modernization and Westernization. Dr. Elizabeth LaCouture is the founding director of the Gender Studies Program at the University of Hong Kong, where she is an assistant professor of gender studies and history. You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Dwelling in the World. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Timon Screech, "The Shogun's Silver Telescope: God, Art, and Money in the English Quest for Japan, 1600-1625" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 7, 2021 49:31

    An English mission to Japan arrives in 1613 with all the standard English commodities, including wool and cloth: which the English hope to trade for Japanese silver. But there's a gift for the Shogun among them: a silver telescope. As Timon Screech explains in his latest book, The Shogun's Silver Telescope: God, Art, and Money in the English Quest for Japan, 1600-1625 (Oxford University Press, 2020), there was a lot of meaning behind that telescope. It represented an English state trying to chart its own part as a Protestant country, denoting their support for science and a more open culture in the face of a more backward Catholic Europe. Screech's book charts the background behind this simple gift and what it meant for both Japan and England. In this interview, Timon and I follow the English journeys to Japan, the reasons for these trips, and what the English encountered when they got there. And we'll think about what we learn from this—ultimately failed—effort to start a trading relationship between these two islands. Professor Timon Screech is Professor at Nichibunken or the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto, after thirty years at SOAS. He is the author of at least a dozen books on the visual culture of the Edo period, including perhaps his best-known work Sex and the Floating World: Erotic Images in Japan, 1700-1820 (University of Hawaii Press, 1999). His other most recent book (and previous interview subject) is Tokyo Before Tokyo: Power and Magic in the Shogun's City of Edo (Reaktion Books: 2020). In 2019, he was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy. You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of The Shogun's Silver Telescope. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Susanne Klien, "Urban Migrants in Rural Japan: Between Agency and Anomie in a Post-growth Society" (SUNY Press, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 6, 2021 56:43

    Susanne Klien's book Urban Migrants in Rural Japan: Between Agency and Anomie in a Post-growth Society (SUNY Press, 2020) provides a fresh perspective on theoretical notions of rurality and emerging modes of working and living in post-growth Japan. By exploring narratives and trajectories of individuals who relocate from urban to rural areas and seek new modes of working and living, this multi-sited ethnography reveals the changing role of rurality, from postwar notions of a stagnant backwater to contemporary sites of experimentation. The individual cases presented in the book vividly illustrate changing lifestyles and perceptions of work. What emerges from Urban Migrants in Rural Japan is the emotionally fraught quest of many individuals for a personally fulfilling lifestyle and the conflicting neoliberal constraints many settlers face. In fact, flexibility often coincides with precarity and self-exploitation. Klien shows how mobility serves as a strategic mechanism for neophytes in rural Japan who hedge their bets; gain time; and seek assurance, inspiration, and courage to do (or further postpone doing) what they ultimately feel makes sense to them.  John W. Traphagan, Ph.D. is Professor and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Fellow in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is also a professor in the Program in Human Dimensions of Organizations. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Orion Klautau and Hans Martin Krämer, "Buddhism and Modernity: Sources from Nineteenth-Century Japan" (U Hawaii Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 6, 2021 67:21

    Buddhism and Modernity: Sources from Nineteenth-Century Japan (University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2021) is a welcome new collection of twenty sources on modern Japanese Buddhism, translated and with introductions. The editors (Hans Martin Krämer and Orion Klautau) and translators have curated a diverse array of materials focusing on the struggles of Japanese Buddhism to come to terms with, accommodate to, and find its way in modernity from the mid-nineteenth century into the early decades of the twentieth. The book is helpfully divided into five thematic sections: Sectarian Reform, the Nation, Science and Philosophy, Social Reform, and Japan and Asia. Each contains works by important and influential Buddhist thinkers, such as Inoue Enryō, Shimaji Mokurai, and Shaku Sōen.  Overall, Buddhism and Modernity sketches out a picture of Japanese Buddhism negotiating a new sense of nation, “religion,” empire, Asia, and the “proper” shape of society in a period in which Japan's Buddhist traditions were facing novel and complex internal and external challenges. This book will be of interest to scholars of religion and Japan, of course, but the translators' introductions to each selection and the length of those selections make it suitable for classroom use as well. The selections we will be discussing today were (in order) translated by Hoshino Seiji, Kaneyama Mitsuhiro and Nathaniel Gallant, Ryan Ward, Iwata Mami and Stephan Kigensan Licha, and Michael Mohr. Nathan Hopson is an associate professor of Japanese and East Asian history in the Graduate School of Humanities, Nagoya University. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Gideon Fujiwara, "From Country to Nation: Ethnographic Studies, Kokugaku, and Spirits in Nineteenth-Century Japan" (Cornell UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 5, 2021 53:19

    From Country to Nation: Ethnographic Studies, Kokugaku, and Spirits in Nineteenth-Century Japan (Cornell UP, 2021) tracks the emergence of the modern Japanese nation in the nineteenth century through the history of some of its local aspirants. It explores how kokugaku (Japan studies) scholars envisioned their place within Japan and the globe, while living in a castle town and domain far north of the political capital. Gideon Fujiwara follows the story of Hirao Rosen and fellow scholars in the northeastern domain of Tsugaru. On discovering a newly "opened" Japan facing the dominant Western powers and a defeated Qing China, Rosen and other Tsugaru intellectuals embraced kokugaku to secure a place for their local "country" within the broader nation and to reorient their native Tsugaru within the spiritual landscape of an Imperial Japan protected by the gods. Although Rosen and his fellows celebrated the rise of Imperial Japan, their resistance to the Western influence and modernity embraced by the Meiji state ultimately resulted in their own disorientation and estrangement. By analyzing their writings—treatises, travelogues, letters, poetry, liturgies, and diaries—alongside their artwork, Fujiwara reveals how this socially diverse group of scholars experienced the Meiji Restoration from the peripheries. Using compelling firsthand accounts, Fujiwara tells the story of the rise of modern Japan, from the perspective of local intellectuals who envisioned their local "country" within a nation that emerged as an empire of the modern world. Jingyi Li is a PhD Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Yan Liu, "Healing with Poisons: Potent Medicines in Medieval China" (U Washington Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 1, 2021 87:58

    At first glance, medicine and poison might seem to be opposites. But in China's formative era of pharmacy (200–800 CE), poisons were strategically deployed as healing agents to cure everything from chills to pains to epidemics. Healing with Poisons: Potent Medicines in Medieval China (U Washington Press, 2021) explores the ways physicians, religious devotees, court officials, and laypeople used powerful substances to both treat intractable illnesses and enhance life. It illustrates how the Chinese concept of du—a word carrying a core meaning of “potency”—led practitioners to devise a variety of techniques to transform dangerous poisons into efficacious medicines. Recounting scandals and controversies involving poisons from the Era of Division to the early Tang period, Yan Liu considers how the concept of du was central to the ways people of medieval China perceived both their bodies and the body politic. Liu also examines a wide range of du-possessing minerals, plants, and animal products in classical Chinese pharmacy, including the highly poisonous herb aconite and the popular arsenic drug Five-Stone Powder. By recovering alternative modes of understanding wellness and the body's interaction with potent medicines, this study cautions against arbitrary classifications and exemplifies the importance of paying attention to the technical, political, and cultural conditions in which substances become truly meaningful. Healing with Poisons is freely available in an open access edition thanks to TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem) and the generous support of the University at Buffalo Libraries. Open access edition: DOI 10.6069/9780295749013. Yan Liu is assistant professor of history at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Victoria Oana Lupașcu is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Asian Studies at University of Montréal. Her areas of interest include medical humanities, visual art, 20th and 21st Chinese, Brazilian and Romanian literature and Global South studies. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Elaine Yuan, "The Web of Meaning: The Internet in a Changing Chinese Society" (U Toronto Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 1, 2021 26:15

    What is the impact of Internet technology communication in China? How do Chinese people view "privacy" differently from the western perspective? How is the newly passed China's Personal Information Protection Law going to impact people's lives? In a conversation with Joanne Kuai, a visiting PhD Candidate at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Elaine Yuan, an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois, Chicago, talks about her recent book, The Web of Meaning: the Internet in a Changing Chinese Society (University of Toronto Press, 2021). Elaine Yuan's research focuses on how new and emerging forms of communication mediate various social institutions and relations. She has extensively researched the subjects of network and mobile communication, social media, digital infrastructure, and cultural change processes. Her latest book examines the role of the Internet as symbolic fields for reproducing the cultural practices of privacy, nationalism, and the network market in China. Through three empirical cases – online privacy, cyber-nationalism, and the network market – the book traces how different social actors negotiate the practices, social relations, and power structures that define these evolving institutions in Chinese society. Examining rich user-generated social media data with innovative methods such as semantic network analysis and topic modelling, The Web of Meaning provides a solid empirical base to critique for critiquing the power relationships embedded in Chinese society's very fibre. The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, Asianettverket at the University of Oslo, and the Stockholm Centre for Global Asia at Stockholm University. We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia. About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: http://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-asia-podcast Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Ying Jia Tan, "Recharging China in War and Revolution, 1882-1955" (Cornell UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 1, 2021 77:01

    In Recharging China in War and Revolution, 1882–1955 (Cornell University Press, 2021), Ying Jia Tan explores the fascinating politics of Chinese power consumption as electrical industries developed during seven decades of revolution and warfare. Tan traces this history from the textile-factory power shortages of the late Qing, through the struggle over China's electrical industries during its civil war, to the 1937 Japanese invasion that robbed China of 97 percent of its generative capacity. Along the way, he demonstrates that power industries became an integral part of the nation's military-industrial complex, showing how competing regimes asserted economic sovereignty through the nationalization of electricity. Based on a wide range of published records, engineering reports, and archival collections in China, Taiwan, Japan, and the United States, Recharging China in War and Revolution, 1882–1955 argues that, even in times of peace, the Chinese economy operated as though still at war, constructing power systems that met immediate demands but sacrificed efficiency and longevity. Thanks to generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, through The Sustainable History Monograph Pilot, the ebook editions of this book are available as Open Access volumes from Cornell Open (cornellopen.org), archive.org and other repositories. Ying Jia Tan is Assistant Professor at Wesleyan University and works on the history of energy in modern China He is currently working on a second book project on the plastic industry in Chinese East Asia in the twentieth century.  Ghassan Moazzin is an Assistant Professor at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Department of History at the University of Hong Kong. He works on the economic and business history of 19th and 20th century China, with a particular focus on the history of foreign banking, international finance and electricity in modern China. His first book, Foreign Banks and Global Finance in Modern China: Banking on the Chinese Frontier, 1870–1919, is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Jeevan Vasagar, "Lion City: Singapore and the Invention of Modern Asia" (Pegasus Books, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 30, 2021 27:44

    Everyone looks to Singapore as a role model for what they want their country to be. Several countries from China to Rwanda hope to emulate its high administrative competence, standard of living, and “social harmony.” Post-Brexit Britain wants to copy the city-state's assertive and independent position in the world economy and its aggressive support for international business. Housing policy advocates look to Singapore and its 90% home ownership rate. But these are all simplistic views of the city-state, that miss its history, its opportunities, and its challenges. Jeevan Vasagar's Lion City: Singapore and the Invention of Modern Asia (Pegasus Books: 2022), delves into those more complicated details, giving a better portrayal of the city and the choices it's made as it tries to navigate a more complicated global environment. In this interview, Jeevan and I talk about, well, Singapore: its history, its leadership, and its policies. We'll talk about how its administration is trying to chart a future for the country—and whether that might be successful. Jeevan Vasagar is the Environment Editor for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and was formerly the Financial Times Correspondent for Singapore and Malaysia. He can be followed on Twitter at @jeevanvasagar. You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Lion City. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Minhua Ling, "The Inconvenient Generation: Migrant Youth Coming of Age on Shanghai's Edge" (Stanford UP, 2019)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 29, 2021 81:46

    On the podcast today, I am joined by Minhua Ling, Assistant Professor in the Centre for China Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong to talk about her book, The Inconvenient Generation: Migrant youth coming of age on Shanghai's edge, which was published in 2019 by Stanford University Press. After three decades of massive rural-to-urban migration in China, a burgeoning population of over 35 million second-generation migrants living in its cities poses a challenge to Chinese socialist modes of population management and urban governance. In The Inconvenient Generation: Migrant Youth Coming of Age on Shanghai's Edge (Stanford UP, 2019), Minhua Ling offers the first longitudinal study of these migrant youth as they come of age at a time of competing economic and social imperatives. Through richly textured ethnography probing into the policy-making behind urban governance and its segmented inclusion, Minhua Ling offers an earnest voice to the aspirations and experiences of second-generation young men and women migrants against the backdrop of a re-emergent global Shanghai. Minhua Ling's book is an excellent companion for anyone interested in the politics of citizenship in late socialist China, and an ideal text for more general courses in the anthropology of China and urban studies. Beyond China, The Inconvenient Generation will interest anyone concerned about the inequalities of segmented inclusion that migrants face around the world. Dr. Suvi Rautio is an anthropologist of China. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Erica Baffelli et al., "The Bloomsbury Handbook of Japanese Religions" (Bloomsbury, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 29, 2021 50:49

    The Bloomsbury Handbook of Japanese Religions is edited by Erica Baffelli, Fabio Rambelli, and Andrea Castiglioni published by Bloomsbury, 2021. The Bloomsbury Handbook of Japanese Religions offers a comprehensive overview of the current state of the field of Japanese Religions with a specific focus on overlooked topics. Instead of the traditional chapters, the book is structured as a collection of short essays on more than 20 keywords within Japanese religions, providing the main issues in these topics while also pointing to new directions for research. Raditya Nuradi is a Phd student at Kyushu University. He works on religion and popular culture, particularly anime pilgrimages. He's done fieldwork at Hitoyoshi city, Kumamoto prefecture. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Kimiko Tanaka and Nan E. Johnson, "Successful Aging in a Rural Community in Japan" (Carolina Academic Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 29, 2021 64:49

    Kimiko Tanaka and Nan E. Johnson's Successful Aging in a Rural Community in Japan (Carolina Academic Press, 2021) discusses population aging in rural Japan and shows how rural communities have changed socially and demographically in recent years. The authors explain how rural depopulation has led to political consolidation and how the welfare system in Japan is placing more responsibility and autonomy on municipalities. Some rural towns in Japan, such as the study community of Kawanehonchō, are actively responding to the demographic challenges through programs initiated by municipal governments that reflect the interests and voices of local residents. The authors review theoretical frameworks (collective efficacy theory and social capital) to understand the inseparability of successful aging from the social and political environments of neighborhoods and communities and discuss the ongoing challenges people living in rural Japan face as populations continue to shrink. This is an interesting and important book of interest to scholars and others concerned with issues in gerontology and rural health.   John W. Traphagan, Ph.D. is Professor and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Fellow in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is also a professor in the Program in Human Dimensions of Organizations. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Kyokutei Bakin, "Eight Dogs, or 'Hakkenden': Part One—An Ill-Considered Jest" (Cornell UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2021 56:26

    Kyokutei Bakin's Nansō Satomi hakkenden is one of the monuments of Japanese literature. This multigenerational samurai saga was one of the most popular and influential books of the nineteenth century and has been adapted many times into film, television, fiction, and comics. An Ill-Considered Jest, the first part of Hakkenden, tells the story of the Satomi clan patriarch Yoshizane and his daughter Princess Fuse. An ill-advised comment forces Yoshizane to betroth his daughter to the family dog, creating a supernatural union that ultimately produces the Eight Dog Warriors. Princess Fuse's heroic and tragic sacrifice, and her strength, intelligence, and self-determination throughout, render her an immortal character within Japanese fiction. Eight Dogs is the culmination of centuries of premodern Japanese tale-telling, combining aspects of historical romance, fantasy, Tokugawa-era popular fiction, and Chinese vernacular stories. Glynne Walley's lively translation--Eight Dogs, or 'Hakkenden': Part One—An Ill-Considered Jest (Cornell UP, 2021)--conveys the witty and colorful prose of the original, producing a faithful and entertaining edition of this important literary classic. Jingyi Li is a PhD Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Erin Y. Huang, "Urban Horror: Neoliberal Post-Socialism and the Limits of Visibility" (Duke UP, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 26, 2021 86:13

    Erin Y. Huang's Urban Horror: Neoliberal Post-Socialism and the Limits of Visibility (Duke UP, 2020) is an expansive and ambitious book that explores the affective territory of “neoliberal post-socialist China” as it manifests in contemporary Chinese (language) cinema. Pushing beyond the geographic boundaries of the PRC and the confines of art cinema, Huang's book reads the post-socialist condition as it manifests in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and across a variety of film genres. The term urban horror, derived from Engels' writings on the industrial factory and theoretically developed in Huang's book in conversation with Merleau-Ponty, Lefebvre, and Rancière, defines a “sociopolitical public affect that exceeds comprehension.” This affect, Huang argues, reappears in Chinese cinemas within and beyond the People's Republic.  In so doing, urban horror rehearses potential revolutionary dissent and resistance in the era of neoliberal post-socialism as it unfolds spaces beyond familiar post-socialist locales. As she works to address the changing grounds of China's contemporary sociopolitical aesthetics, Huang considers the shifting meanings of the image as it travels between various genres and media materialities, including the intriguing “feminist blockbuster” and immersive cinema experiences. In the following interview, we discuss the questions that frame Huang's inquiry and delve into the chapters that make up the body of her book. Readers and listeners should look forward not only to hearing about Huang's elegant theoretical framing, but also to the compelling and lively close readings that showcase her argument across an exciting spectrum of Chinese media products. Julia Keblinska is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Center for Historical Research at the Ohio State University specializing in Chinese media history and comparative socialisms. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Grace C. Huang, "Chiang Kai-Shek's Politics of Shame: Leadership, Legacy, and National Identity in China" (Harvard UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 24, 2021 49:09


    Once a powerful figure who reversed the disintegration of China and steered the country to Allied victory in World War II, Chiang Kai-shek fled into exile following his 1949 defeat in the Chinese civil war. As attention pivoted to Mao Zedong's communist experiment, Chiang was relegated to the dustbin of history. In Chiang Kai-shek's Politics of Shame, Grace Huang reconsiders Chiang's leadership and legacy by drawing on an extraordinary and uncensored collection of his diaries, telegrams, and speeches stitched together by his secretaries. She paints a new, intriguing portrait of this twentieth-century leader who advanced a Confucian politics of shame to confront Japanese incursion into China and urge unity among his people. In also comparing Chiang's response to imperialism to those of Mao, Yuan Shikai, and Mahatma Gandhi, Grace widens the implications of her findings to explore alternatives to Western expressions of nationalism and modernity and reveal how leaders of vulnerable states can use potent cultural tools to inspire their country and contribute to an enduring national identity. Grace Huang is professor of government at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY. She likes to tackle a range of intellectual questions, including: what are the conditions in leadership that promote collective inspiration versus collective hysteria or violence? How do talented subordinates weigh their ability to modify a leader's deleterious actions against their moral culpability of participating in those policies? How does a particular democratic ideology and culture shape the choices of working mothers, and how do such mothers make decisions about care, family, and work? Her research interests include political leadership, the political uses of shame in Chinese leadership, and gender, labor, and the family. She can be reached at ghuang@stlawu.edu. Dong Wang is distinguished professor of history and director of the Wellington Koo Institute for Modern China in World History at Shanghai University (since 2016), a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and an elected Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies


    Anthony J. Barbieri-Low, "Ancient Egypt and Early China: State, Society, and Culture" (U Washington Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 23, 2021 38:20

    One would think that comparing civilizations as far removed in time and space as Ancient Egypt and Ancient China might not reveal much. Yet Professor Tony Barbieri's Ancient Egypt and Early China: State, Society, and Culture (University of Washington Press: 2021) gleans much from a deeply-researched comparison of political structures, diplomatic relations, legal systems, ideas of the afterlife, and other aspects. In other words, despite being separated by thousands of years and thousands of kilometers, the proto-empires of Egypt and China have a surprising amount of things in common. A lecture detailing Professor Barbieri's book can be found on YouTube here. In this interview, Professor Barbieri and I talk about the various similarities and differences between these two ancient civilizations, and what we can learn from engaging in such a comparative study. Anthony J. Barbieri-Low is professor of history at the University of California Santa Barbara. His book Artisans in Early Imperial China won top prizes from the Association for Asian Studies, American Historical Association, College Art Association, and International Convention of Asia Scholars. He can be followed on Twitter at @ABarbieriLow You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Ancient Egypt and Early China. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    M. W. Shores, "The Comic Storytelling of Western Japan: Satire and Social Mobility in Kamigata Rakugo" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 22, 2021 82:47

    Rakugo, a popular form of comic storytelling, has played a major role in Japanese culture and society. Developed during the Edo (1600–1868) and Meiji (1868–1912) periods, it is still popular today, with many contemporary Japanese comedians having originally trained as rakugo artists. Rakugo is divided into two distinct strands, the Tokyo tradition and the Osaka tradition, with the latter having previously been largely overlooked. This pioneering study of the Kamigata (Osaka) rakugo tradition presents the first complete English translation of five classic rakugo stories, and offers a history of comic storytelling in Kamigata (modern Kansai, Kinki) from the seventeenth century to the present day. Considering the art in terms of gender, literature, performance, and society, The Comic Storytelling of Western Japan: Satire and Social Mobility in Kamigata Rakugo (Cambridge UP, 2021) grounds Kamigata rakugo in its distinct cultural context and sheds light on the 'other' rakugo for students and scholars of Japanese culture and history. Jingyi Li is a PhD Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World: Chinese-Inspired Architecture

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 22, 2021 95:53

    Howard chats with Dang Qun, one of the three founding partners of Beijing-based MAD architects, about aesthetics, history, cultural distinctiveness and architecture's unique balance of the concrete and ethereal. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Dafydd Fell, "Taiwan's Green Parties: Alternative Politics in Taiwan" (Routledge, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 21, 2021 74:48

    Examining the Green Party Taiwan (GPT) since its establishment through the aftermath of the most recent national elections in January 2020, Dafydd Fell's Taiwan's Green Parties: Alternative Politics in Taiwan (Routledge, 2021) focuses on Taiwan's most important movement party over the last two and a half decades. Despite its limited electoral impact, its leaders have played a critical role in a range of social movements, including anti-nuclear and LGBT rights campaigns. Plotting the party's evolution in electoral politics as well as its engagement with the global green movement, this volume analyses key patterns of party change in electoral campaign appeals, organisation and its human face. The second half of the volume concentrates on explaining both the party's electoral impact and why the party has adjusted ideologically and organisationally over time. Based on a wide range of material collected, including focus groups, interviews and political communication data, the research relies heavily on analysis of campaign material and the voices of party activists and also considers other Green Parties, such as the splinter Trees Party and GPT-Social Democratic Alliance. Applying a wide range of theoretical frameworks to plot and explain small party development, this book will appeal both to students and scholars of Taiwan's politics and civil society but also to readers with an interest in small parties and particularly environmental parties and movements. Dafydd Fell is Reader in Comparative Politics with special reference to Taiwan at SOAS University of London. He is also the Director of the SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies. Li-Ping Chen is Postdoctoral Scholar and Teaching Fellow in the East Asian Studies at the University of Southern California. Her research interests include literary translingualism, diaspora, and nativism in inter-Asian and transpacific contexts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Liang Luo, "The Global White Snake" (U Michigan Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 17, 2021 89:20

    Liang Luo's book The Global White Snake (U Michigan Press, 2021) examines the Chinese White Snake legends and their extensive, multidirectional travels within Asia and across the globe. Such travels across linguistic and cultural boundaries have generated distinctive traditions as the White Snake has been reinvented in the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and English-speaking worlds, among others. Moreover, the inter-Asian voyages and global circulations of the White Snake legends have enabled them to become repositories of diverse and complex meanings for a great number of people, serving as reservoirs for polyphonic expressions ranging from the attempts to consolidate authoritarian power to the celebrations of minority rights and activism. The Global White Snake uncovers how the White Snake legend often acts as an unsettling narrative of radical tolerance for hybrid sexualities, loving across traditional boundaries, subverting authority, and valuing the strange and the uncanny. A timely mediation and reflection on our contemporary moment of continued struggle for minority rights and social justice, The Global White Snake revives the radical anti-authoritarian spirit slithering under the tales of monsters and demons, love and lust, and reminds us of the power of the fantastic and the fabulous in inspiring and empowering personal and social transformations. Huiying Chen is a Ph.D. candidate at University of Illinois at Chicago. She studies the history of travel in eighteenth-century China. She can be reached at hchen87 AT uic.edu Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Hoyt Long, "The Values in Numbers: Reading Japanese Literature in a Global Information Age" (Columbia UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2021 85:50

    In The Values in Numbers: Reading Japanese Literature in a Global Information Age (Columbia UP, 2021), Hoyt Long offers both a reinterpretation of modern Japanese literature through computational methods and an introduction to the history, theory, and practice of looking at literature through numbers. He weaves explanations of these methods and their application together with reflection on the kinds of reasoning such methodologies facilitate. Hoyt Long is Associate Professor of Japanese Literature, and East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. Katie McDonough is Senior Research Associate, The Alan Turing Institute. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Shen Yang, "More Than One Child: Memoirs of an Illegal Daughter" (Balestier Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 13, 2021 49:07

    'I broke a law simply by being born.' In the late 1980s, Shen Yang was born during the fiercest years of China's One-Child Policy. As the second daughter of the family, she was a massive liability - an excess child, a product of illegal birth. From being raised by her grandparents in a remote village as soon as she was born, to being whisked away to her aunt's home in a distant faraway city, Shen Yang's existence was doomed to be shrouded in the utmost secrecy and silence. Armed with a false identity and ID card, she experienced years of neglect and humiliation from her aunt's volatile family who saw her as yet another burden to bear. On top of it all, it seemed her own biological parents had come to forget about her.  In More Than One Child: Memoirs of an Illegal Daughter (Balestier Press, 2021), by turns witty and inspiring, Shen Yang bravely provides a vivid account of the family planning era in China, as she jots down her journey towards overcoming the limits of her upbringing and forging her own identity amidst the sorrows of her childhood. More than One Child is not only Shen Yang's story; it is the untold story of the enormous, yet invisible community of excess-birth children. And this book is Shen Yang's way of saying goodbye to her childhood, and goodbye to an era. 'This is the voice of China's Invisible Generation - vividly written, well balanced, brilliant, humorous and very sharp - it elicits a rollercoaster of emotions that breaks through the silence shrouding the lives of excess children born during the One-Child Policy.' --Xinran (Author of The Good Women of China, and The Promise: Love and Loss in Modern China) "The One-Child-per-Family policy was a tragedy forced upon China's mothers, children and their families. Finally, in this book, Shen Yang has dared to tell the truth, speaking out bravely about the experiences she lived through." --Ma Jian (Author of The Dark Road) "Now that the one-child policy has been relaxed, the stories of these illegal children will soon be a part of China's national collective memory. But to those who grew up tainted with this humiliation, the scars are permanent. One is Chinese writer Shen Yang, who wrote her story in part to extinguish the nightmares that still haunt her."  John W. Traphagan, Ph.D. is Professor and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Fellow in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is also a professor in the Program in Human Dimensions of Organizations. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Porn, Privacy and Pain: The Rise of Image-based Abuse in Asia

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 10, 2021 28:10

    What is image-based abuse? Why has it been on the rise in Asia, especially amid the Covid-19 pandemic? What has been done to tackle the issue? Raquel Carvalho, Asia Correspondent for the South China Morning Post, shares the story of how a group of journalists across some Asian newsrooms collaborated in a months-long investigation and uncover the stories inside the online groups spreading stolen sexual images of women and children, how the victims are struggling to have such content removed from online platforms, and how sextortion syndicates in Asia and Africa are raking in millions from targets around the world. In a conversation with Joanne Kuai, a visiting PhD Candidate at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, the Portuguese journalist currently based in Hong Kong tells about why the cases of women threatened with the release of their intimate photos or videos have increased in recent years, how this type of abuse tears the victims' lives apart, and how ill-equipped authorities are struggling to deal with the cases. Advocates and survivors say too little is being done to stop the abuse. While the cases proliferated in countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, and South Korea, some women – and a few men – have decided to take action. The SCMP's series of stories on image-based abuse is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute's Asian Stories project, in collaboration with The Korea Times, Indonesia's Tempo magazine, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, and Manila-based ABS-CBN. Most of Raquel Carvalho's investigative and in-depth stories have been focused on human rights, cross-border security, illicit trade and corruption. She was previously the chief reporter at a Portuguese daily newspaper in Macau, where she moved to from Europe in 2008. The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, Asianettverket at the University of Oslo, and the Stockholm Centre for Global Asia at Stockholm University. We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia. Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: http://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-asia-podcast About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Su Yun Kim, "Imperial Romance: Fictions of Colonial Intimacy in Korea, 1905-1945" (Cornell UP, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2021 68:25

    As in colonial situations elsewhere, Korean experiences of Japanese empire featured many attempts by the imperial authorities to regulate intimate aspects of Korean life, including intermarriage between colonizer and colonized peoples. While official messaging and policy promoted Korean-Japanese unions, cultural output including films, short stories and novels from the time also focused on the topic, including works by Korean writers authored in both Korean and Japanese languages. In Imperial Romance: Fictions of Colonial Intimacy in Korea, 1905-1945 (Cornell UP, 2020), Su Yun Kim places the works of several prominent authors alongside official documents and media reports from the time to show how these reflect the political, ethnic, linguistic and of course affective complexities of romantic relations in an imperial setting. This intriguing book offers a revealing window into a lesser-studied dimension of empire at the interpersonal level, shedding light on questions of identity, domination and sentiment amid a colonial history which remains contested to this day. Ed Pulford is a Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Manchester. His research focuses on friendships and histories between the Chinese, Korean and Russian worlds, and indigeneity in northeast Asia. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Jan Bardsley, "Maiko Masquerade: Crafting Geisha Girlhood in Japan" (U California Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 6, 2021 66:24

    Maiko Masquerade: Crafting Geisha Girlhood in Japan (University of California Press, 2021) explores Japanese representations of the maiko, or apprentice geisha, in films, manga, and other popular media as an icon of exemplary girlhood. Dr. Jan Bardsley traces how the maiko, long stigmatized as a victim of sexual exploitation, emerges in the 2000s as the chaste keeper of Kyoto's classical artistic traditions. Insider accounts by maiko and geisha, their leaders and fans, show pride in the training, challenges, and rewards maiko face. No longer viewed as a toy for men's amusement, she serves as catalyst for women's consumer fun. This change inspires stories of ordinary girls—and even one boy—striving to embody the maiko ideal, engaging in masquerades that highlight questions of personal choice, gender performance, and national identity. Dr. Jan Bardsley is Professor Emerita of Asian Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Emily Ruth Allen (@emmyru91) is a PhD candidate in Musicology at Florida State University. She is currently working on a dissertation about parade musics in Mobile, Alabama's Carnival celebrations. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Anthony S. Rausch, "Resolving the Contemporary Tensions of Regional Places: What Japan Can Teach Us" (2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 3, 2021 55:41

    Resolving the Contemporary Tensions of Regional Places: What Japan Can Teach Us offers a fresh and unique view of regional society, regional economies and the future of regional places. Anthony S. Rausch takes up contemporary and fundamentally universal regional-place tensions-regional relocation, local finance, and leadership, local economies together with specifically regional economic and cultural revitalization, and the potential in higher education and resident volunteerism for regional places-and outlines how these tensions are unfolding in regional Japan. The objectives inherent in these themes are increasingly important for regional areas: drawing urbanites to relocate in regional municipalities, dealing with the instability of regional banking, addressing tax inequalities across geographically regional economies, responding to the potential loss of cultural history, and understanding the changing dynamics of higher education and local volunteerism in regional society. The responses proposed by the author build on uniquely Japanese approaches: better utilizing an akiya vacant house information bank, activating and connecting regional think tanks with regional banking, articulating the geographic inequality of a hometown tax scheme (furusato nozei) and proposing a way to achieve the objectives of the furusato nozei scheme through cultivation of regional cultural economies, and responding to policy trends in education and increasing individual interest in volunteering by turning these into resources for regional revitalization.  Jingyi Li is a PhD Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Lindsey Miller, "North Korea: Like Nowhere Else" (September, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 2, 2021 34:51

    It's a cliche to call North Korea the most isolated country in the world. Those of us living outside the country often have very little idea of what life there is like, often only seeing what its government would like us to see: military parades, missile launches, and joyous crowds. Yet Lindsey Miller, author of North Korea: Like Nowhere Else: Two Years of Living in the World's Most Secretive State (September Publishing: 2021) is a window into how ordinary North Koreans live. They are more than the stereotypes portrayed by their government or by those looking in from outside of the country, as revealed by the photos and stories Lindsey tells in her book. In this interview, Lindsey and I talk about what it was like to live in North Korea, some of the Koreans she met on her stay, and why some of the narratives about the country can be so hard to shift. Lindsey Miller is a musical director and award-winning composer. For the last ten years, she has worked in theatres across the UK, Europe, North America and Asia and has most recently worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company. During 2017–19, Lindsey lived in Pyongyang, North Korea, while accompanying her husband on a diplomatic posting. She can be followed on Twitter at @LindseyMiller87. You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of North Korea: Like Nowhere Else. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Austin Dean, "China and the End of Global Silver, 1873–1937" (Cornell UP, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 1, 2021 81:06

    In the late nineteenth century, as much of the world adopted some variant of the gold standard, China remained the most populous country still using silver. Yet China had no unified national currency; there was not one monetary standard but many. Silver coins circulated alongside chunks of silver and every transaction became an "encounter of wits." China and the End of Global Silver, 1873–1937 (Cornell UP, 2020) focuses on how officials, policy makers, bankers, merchants, academics, and journalists in China and around the world answered a simple question: how should China change its monetary system? Far from a narrow, technical issue, Chinese monetary reform is a dramatic story full of political revolutions, economic depressions, chance, and contingency. As different governments in China attempted to create a unified monetary standard in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the United States, England, and Japan tried to shape the direction of Chinese monetary reform for their own benefit.  Austin Dean argues convincingly that the Silver Era in world history ended owing to the interaction of imperial competition in East Asia and the state-building projects of different governments in China. When the Nationalist government of China went off the silver standard in 1935, it marked a key moment not just in Chinese history but in world history. Austin Dean is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His work has appeared in Modern China and the Journal of American-East Asian Relations. He is on twitter @thelicentiate. Ghassan Moazzin is an Assistant Professor at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Department of History at the University of Hong Kong. He works on the economic and business history of 19th and 20th century China, with a particular focus on the history of foreign banking, international finance and electricity in modern China. His first book, tentatively titled Foreign Banks and Global Finance in Modern China: Banking on the Chinese Frontier, 1870–1919, is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Zachary M. Howlett, "Meritocracy and Its Discontents: Anxiety and the National College Entrance Exam in China" (Cornell UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 27, 2021 75:29

    Every year millions of high school seniors in China take the gaokao, China's standardized college entrance exam. Students, parents, and head teachers all devote years, sweat, and tears to this consequential and chancy exam — even though the ideal of the gaokao as a fair, objective, and scientific measure of individual merit is known to be something of a myth. Why examinees and their families continue to believe in the relative fairness of the gaokao is what Zachary Howlett's book, Meritocracy and Its Discontents: Anxiety and the National College Entrance Exam in China (Cornell University Press, 2021), seeks to explore. Based on fieldwork conducted in China's Fujian province, this rich and engaging book looks at what it means for individuals and communities to believe in both the gaokao and the myth of meritocracy that it engenders. Accessible to both experts and those entirely unfamiliar with the gaokao, this book offers a fresh perspective on the role of examinations in the lives of individuals and in their communities, as well as a useful comparative tool, that of ‘fateful rites of passage,' for future work. It is also filled with stories of examination candidates, their hopes, dreams, and the lengths that they (and their teachers and parents) go to in order to succeed, all of which should be of interest to anyone who has ever experienced a fateful right of passage of their own. Sarah Bramao-Ramos is a PhD candidate in History and East Asian Languages at Harvard. She works on Manchu language books and is interested in anything with a kesike. She can be reached at sbramaoramos@g.harvard.edu Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Jagjeet Lally, "India and the Silk Roads: The History of a Trading World" (Oxford UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2021 41:04

    When we think about modern trade, we tend to think about the sea: port cities and large ships carrying goods back and forth. It's a story that tends to put Europe at the center, as the pinnacle of shipping and maritime technology. Jagjeet Lally's India and the Silk Roads: The History of a Trading World (Hurst, 2021) corrects this narrative. For Jagjeet, the way we talk about globalization misses the continued land trade that happened throughout Central Asia, with India as a hub. Traders traveled through today's India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere, sharing commodities and goods, culture and information, under both Indian and British rulers. In this interview, Jagjeet and I talk about the Indian caravan trade, and the routes traders took as they transported goods, cultures and ideas across Central Asia. We'll also talk about what we miss in the way we talk about globalization in the present. Jagjeet is Associate Professor in the History of Early Modern and Modern India at University College London, where he is also Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of South Asia and the Indian Ocean World. You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of India and the Silk Roads. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Jason M. Kelly, "Market Maoists: The Communist Origins of China's Capitalist Ascent" (Harvard UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 19, 2021 33:10

    We think we know the history of China's opening to the outside world. Maoist China was closed off, until Deng Xiaoping decided to reform the economy and open up to international trade, leading to the economic powerhouse we see today. Except Deng's opening was built upon an existing foundation of international trade, as shown by Professor Jason Kelly's Market Maoists: The Communist Origins of China's Capitalist Ascent (Harvard University Press, 2021) Jason M. Kelly is a historian of modern China with interests in Chinese foreign relations during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, commerce and diplomacy, U.S.-China relations, and East Asian international history. He is currently an assistant professor in the Strategy & Policy Department at the U.S. Naval War College and an associate in research at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University. The views he expressed in this interview are his own, and not those of the U.S. Naval War College. We're joined in this interview by fellow NBN host Sarah Bramao-Ramos. Sarah is a PHD candidate at Harvard University that studies Qing China and, like Jason, is a graduate associate at the Fairbank Center. Today, the three of us talk about trade policy in Maoist China, and what that means for our understanding of the country's attitude towards both the capitalist and socialist worlds. We also discuss what this history may mean for how we understand China's attitude towards trade today. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Tom Phuong Le, "Japan's Aging Peace: Pacifism and Militarism in the Twenty-First Century" (Columbia UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 18, 2021 53:55

    Since the end of World War II, Japan has not sought to remilitarize, and its postwar constitution commits to renouncing aggressive warfare. Yet many inside and outside Japan have asked whether the country should or will return to commanding armed forces amid an increasingly challenging regional and global context and as domestic politics have shifted in favor of demonstrations of national strength. Tom Phuong Le offers a novel explanation of Japan's reluctance to remilitarize that foregrounds the relationship between demographics and security. Japan's Aging Peace: Pacifism and Militarism in the Twenty-First Century (Columbia UP, 2021) demonstrates how changing perceptions of security across generations have culminated in a culture of antimilitarism that constrains the government's efforts to pursue a more martial foreign policy. Le challenges a simple opposition between militarism and pacifism, arguing that Japanese security discourse should be understood in terms of “multiple militarisms,” which can legitimate choices such as the mobilization of the Japan Self-Defense Forces for peacekeeping operations and humanitarian relief missions. Le highlights how factors that are not typically linked to security policy, such as aging and declining populations and gender inequality, have played crucial roles. He contends that the case of Japan challenges the presumption in international relations scholarship that states must pursue the use of force or be punished, showing how widespread normative beliefs have restrained Japanese policy makers. Drawing on interviews with policy makers, military personnel, atomic bomb survivors, museum coordinators, grassroots activists, and other stakeholders, as well as analysis of peace museums and social movements, Japan's Aging Peace provides new insights for scholars of Asian politics, international relations, and Japanese foreign policy. Jingyi Li is a PhD Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Grace M. Cho, "Tastes Like War: A Memoir" (Feminist Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 18, 2021 60:26

    The US military camptowns were established shortly after the Second World War in 1945, appropriating the Japanese comfort stations. The Korean government actively supported the creation of camptowns for its own economic and national security interests. Utilizing the Japanese colonial policy, the US military and the South Korean government sought to control camptown women's bodies through vaginal examinations, isolation wards, and jails, monitoring women for potential venereal diseases. Denigrated as a “traitor” for “mixing flesh with foreigners,” camptown women and their labors were disavowed in Korean society.[1] However, the Korean government also depended on camptown women for its economic development: camptown women's earnings accounted for 10% of Korea's foreign currency.[2] Speaking against this silence, Grace Cho's new memoir, Tastes Like War (Feminist Press at CUNY, 2021), brings to light not only the pain and trauma of militarized violence as experienced by her mother who worked as a camptown woman in the 1960s and 1970s, but also the beauty and poignant resilience of her life. In Tastes Like War: A Memoir (Feminist Press, 2021), Cho explores the connection between food, war, trauma, family, and love. After marrying a merchant marine, Cho's mother moved to a white town of Chehalis in Washington in the 1970s. Abundance, social mobility, and progress – America promised Cho's mother what seemed beyond her grasp in Korea. However, the daily traumas of racialized violence and institutionalized abuses at her workplace furthered her fragmentation as a Third World subject whose body and subjectivity were created by complex ties between the histories of empire, militarized and sexual violence, and racialization. To understand the roots of her mother's schizophrenia, Cho delves into this history, focusing not only on the traumas but also on hope, strength, beauty, and resilience as embodied by her mother. The everyday acts of cooking Korean meals and foraging for mushrooms and blackberries signaled her mother's will to survive no matter the condition set by the global empire. Through the act of writing, Cho reconstructs the fragments of her mother's life – illustrating her mother's persistent and creative drive for life despite the historical violence that continued to condition her present and the future.  [1] First quote is from Cho, Haunting the Korean Diaspora, 94 and second quote is from Cho, Tastes Like War, 93. [2] Park, Emmanuel Moonchil, dir. Podŭrapge (Comfort). 2020; Seoul, Korea: Independent, 2020. Vimeo. Da In Ann Choi is a PhD student at UCLA in the Gender Studies department. Her research interests include care labor and migration, reproductive justice, social movement, citizenship theory, and critical empire studies. She can be reached at dainachoi@g.ucla.edu. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Jeremy Black, "Strategy and the Second World War: How the War Was Won, and Lost" (Robinson, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 18, 2021 31:01


    A concise, accessible account of strategy and the Second World War, Strategy and the Second World War: How the War Was Won, and Lost (Robinson, 2021), by renowned Historian Jeremy Black offers up a new look at this somewhat tired subject. In 1941, the Second World War became global, when Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union; Japan attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor; and Germany declared war on the United States. In this timely book, which fills a real gap, Black engages with the strategic issues of the time - as they developed chronologically, and interacted - and relates these to subsequent debates about the choices made, revealing their continued political resonances. Beginning with Appeasement and the Soviet-German pact as key strategic means, Black examines the consequences of the fall of France for the strategies of all the powers. He shows how Allied strategy-making was more effective at the Anglo-American level than with the Soviet Union, not only for ideological and political reasons, but also because the Americans and British had a better grasp of the global dimension. He explores how German and Japanese strategies evolved as the war went badly for the Axis powers, and discusses the extent to which seeking to mold the post-war world informed Allied strategic choices from 1943 onwards, and the role these played in post-war politics, notably in the Cold War. Strategy was a crucial tool not only for conducting the war; it remains the key to understanding it today. In short, Strategy and the Second World War is both educational and enjoyable look at this always interesting topic. A book for both the academic and the lay educated public. Charles Coutinho Ph. D. of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written for Chatham House's International Affairs, the Institute of Historical Research's Reviews in History and the University of Rouen's online periodical Cercles. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies


    Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim, "ReOrienting Histories of Medicine: Encounters Along the Silk Roads" (Bloomsbury, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2021 61:28

    There's been a lot of resurgent interest in the Silk Routes lately, particularly looking at the cultural, political, and economic connections between "East" and "West" that challenge long held narratives of a world that only became interconnected in the last half millennium. Even so, it's been rarely appreciated how much of the history of Eurasian medicine in the premodern period hinges on cross-cultural interactions and knowledge transmissions along these same lines of contact. Using manuscripts found in key Eurasian nodes of the medieval world - Dunhuang, Kucha, the Cairo Geniza, and Tabriz - this fascinating and much-needed book analyses a number of case-studies of Eurasian medical encounters, giving a voice to places, languages, people and narratives which were once prominent but have gone silent. ReOrienting Histories of Medicine: Encounters Along the Silk Roads (Bloomsbury, 2021) is an important book for those interested in the history of medicine and the transmissions of knowledge that have taken place over the course of global history. Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim is Reader in History at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is the co-editor of Rashid al-Din: Agent and Mediator of Cultural Exchanges in Ilkhanid Iran, Islam and Tibet: Interactions along the Musk Routes, and Astro-Medicine: Astrology and Medicine, East and West. Christopher S. Rose is a social historian of medicine focusing on Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean in the 19th and 20th century. He currently teaches History at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas and Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Kah Seng Loh and Li Yang Hsu, "Tuberculosis: The Singapore Experience, 1867-2018" (Routledge, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2021 43:35

    Tuberculosis: The Singapore Experience, 1867-2018 (Routledge, 2021), co-written by Dr. Loh, a historian and Dr. Hsu Li Yang, a medical doctor offers an inter-disciplinary analysis of the way in the which the disease was managed from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. This book charts the relationship between disease, society and the state, outlining the struggles of colonial and post-colonial governments to cope with infectious disease and to establish effective public health programmes and institutions. British colonial administrators initially viewed tuberculosis as a racial problem linked to the poverty, housing and insanitary habits of the Chinese working class. After the Second World War, ambitious medical and urban improvement initiatives were instituted by the returning British colonial government with considerable success. These schemes in the post-colonial period set the tone for continuous biopolitical intervention by the post-colonial Singapore state whose struggle against infectious disease in a densely populated city never really ended. The focus on infections makes this book an apt one to discuss when Singapore – and the world- is still struggling against Covid-19 and its multiple variants. Dr. Loh Kah Seng a historian of Singapore and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia. He is interested in urban history and social history of cities. He currently runs Chronicles Research and Education, a research consultancy on Singapore heritage. Faizah Zakaria is assistant professor of history at Nanyang Technological University. You can find her website at www.faizahzak.com and on Twitter @laurelinarien. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Hanno Jentzsch, "Harvesting State Support: Institutional Change and Local Agency in Japanese Agriculture" (U Toronto Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 11, 2021 40:47

    Agriculture has been among the toughest political battlegrounds in postwar Japan and represents an ideal case study in institutional stability and change. Inefficient land use and a rapidly aging workforce have long been undermining the economic viability of the agricultural sector. Yet vested interests in the small-scale, part-time agricultural production structure have obstructed major reforms. Change has instead occurred in more subtle ways. Since the mid-1990s, a gradual reform process has dismantled some of the core pillars of the postwar agricultural support and protection regime. Harvesting State Support analyzes this process by shifting the analytical focus to the local level. In Harvesting State Support: Institutional Change and Local Agency in Japanese Agriculture (U Toronto Press, 2021), Hanno Jentzsch investigates how local actors, including farmers, local governments, and local agricultural cooperatives, have translated abstract policies into local practice. Showing how local variants are constructed through recombining national reforms with the local informal institutional environment, Harvesting State Support reveals new links between agricultural reform and other shifts in Japan's political economy. This is an important book that should be read by anyone interested in the intersection of local and larger institutions as they influence agriculture in post-industrial society. John W. Traphagan, Ph.D. is Professor and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Fellow in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is also a professor in the Program in Human Dimensions of Organizations. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Katie Cummer and Lynne D. DiStefano, "Asian Revitalization: Adaptive Reuse in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Singapore" (Hong Kong UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2021 59:57

    Adaptive reuse, or using a building for a new purpose, has become popular around the world, but discussion about adaptive reuse in Asia is relatively scarce. As a result, this architectural innovation in Asia, which includes redesigned institutional buildings, awards for cultural heritage conservation projects, and adapted reuse field studies, is overdue for consideration. Asian Revitalization's review of adaptive reuse begins by comparing the global presence of adaptive reuse to its presence in Asia and evolves into a detailed examination of adaptive reuse's relationship to urban development and sustainability, how adaptive reuse supports heritage buildings, and its connection to best practices in heritage conservation in Asia. The text grounds its analysis in essays, timelines, and case studies that focus on revitalization in Hong Kong, commercial development in Shanghai, and community building in Singapore in addition to analysis of government policy documents and extensive fieldwork. At a time when sustainable development is crucial, Asian Revitalization can provide classrooms and a professional readership with a valuable resource about Asia's participation in this flourishing and creative architectural movement. Bryan Toepfer, AIA, NCARB, CAPM is the Principal Architect for TOEPFER Architecture, PLLC, an Architecture firm specializing in Residential Architecture and Virtual Reality. He has authored two books, “Contractors CANNOT Build Your House,” and “Six Months Now, ARCHITECT for Life.” He is an Adjunct Professor at Alfred State College and the Director of Education for the AIA Rochester Board of Directors. Always eager to help anyone understand the world of Architecture, he can be reached by sending an email to btoepfer@toepferarchitecture. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Brian Masaru Hayashi, "Asian American Spies: How Asian Americans Helped Win the Allied Victory" (Oxford UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2021 68:58

    Spies deep behind enemy lines; double agents; a Chinese American James Bond; black propaganda radio broadcasters; guerrilla fighters; pirates; smugglers; prostitutes and dancers as spies; and Asian Americans collaborating with Axis Powers. All these colorful individuals form the story of Asian Americans in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of today's CIA. Brian Masaru Hayashi brings to light for the first time the role played by Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Americans in America's first centralized intelligence agency in its fight against the Imperial Japanese forces in east Asia during World War II. They served deep behind enemy lines gathering intelligence for American and Chinese troops locked in a desperate struggle against Imperial Japanese forces on the Asian continent. Other Asian Americans produced and disseminated statements by bogus peace groups inside the Japanese empire to weaken the fighting resolve of the Japanese. Still others served with guerrilla forces attacking enemy supply and communication lines behind enemy lines. Engaged in this deadly conflict, these Asian Americans agents encountered pirates, smugglers, prostitutes, and dancers serving as the enemy's spies, all the while being subverted from within the OSS by a double agent and without by co-ethnic collaborators in wartime Shanghai. Drawing on recently declassified documents, Asian American Spies: How Asian Americans Helped Win the Allied Victory (Oxford UP, 2021) challenges the romanticized and stereotyped image of these Chinese, Japanese, and Korean American agents--the Model Minority-while offering a fresh perspective on the Allied victory in the Pacific Theater of World War II. Jessica Moloughney is a public librarian in New York and a recent graduate of Queens College with a Master's Degree in History and Library Science. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Hoyt Long, "The Values in Numbers: Reading Japanese Literature in a Global Information Age" (Columbia UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2021 59:00

    Ideas about how to study and understand cultural history—particularly literature—are rapidly changing as new digital archives and tools for searching them become available. This is not the first information age, however, to challenge ideas about how and why we value literature and the role numbers might play in this process. The Values in Numbers: Reading Japanese Literature in a Global Information Age (Columbia UP, 2021) tells the longer history of this evolving global conversation from the perspective of Japan and maps its potential futures for the study of Japanese literature and world literature more broadly. Hoyt Long offers both a reinterpretation of modern Japanese literature through computational methods and an introduction to the history, theory, and practice of looking at literature through numbers. He weaves explanations of these methods and their application to literature together with critical reflection on the kinds of reasoning such methodologies facilitate. Chapters guide readers through increasingly complex techniques while making novel arguments about topics of fundamental concern, including the role of quantitative thinking in Japanese literary criticism; the canonization of modern literature in print and digital media; the rise of psychological fiction as a genre; the transnational circulation of modernist forms; and discourses of race under empire. Long models how computational methods can be applied outside English-language contexts and to languages written in non-Latin scripts. Drawing from fields as diverse as the history of science, book history, world literature, and critical race theory, this book demonstrates the value of numbers in literary study and the values literary critics can bring to the reading of difference in numbers. Jingyi Li is a PhD Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

    Daryl R. Ireland, "John Song: Modern Chinese Christianity and the Making of a New Man" (Baylor UP, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 2, 2021 106:08


    Dubbed the "Billy Sunday of China" for the staggering number of people he led to Christ, John Song has captured the imagination of generations of readers. His story, as it became popular in the West, possessed memorable, if not necessarily true, elements: Song was converted while he studied in New York at Union Theological Seminary in 1927, but his modernist professors placed him in an insane asylum because of his fundamentalism; upon his release, he returned to China and drew enormous crowds as he introduced hundreds of thousands of people to the Old-Time Religion.  In John Song: Modern Chinese Christianity and the Making of a New Man (Baylor UP, 2020), Daryl Ireland upends conventional images of John Song and theologically conservative Chinese Christianity. Working with never before used sources, this groundbreaking book paints the picture of a man who struggled alongside his Chinese contemporaries to find a way to save their nation. Unlike reformers who attempted to update ancient traditions, and revolutionaries who tried to escape the past altogether, Song hammered out the contours of a modern Chinese life in the furnace of his revivals. With sharp storytelling and careful analysis, Ireland reveals how Song ingeniously reformulated the Christian faith so that it was transformative and transferrable throughout China and Southeast Asia. It created new men and women who thrived in the region's newly globalized cities. Song's style of Christianity continues to prove resilient and still animates the extraordinary growth of the Chinese church today. Byung Ho Choi is a Ph.D. Student from South Korea in the Department of History & Ecumenics, concentrating in World Christianity and history of religions at Princeton Theological Seminary. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies


    Chris Miller, "We Shall Be Masters: Russian Pivots to East Asia from Peter the Great to Putin" (Harvard UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 29, 2021 47:51


    Russia's position between Europe and Asia has led to differing conceptions of “what Russia is” to its leaders. Russia's vast holdings east of the Urals have often inspired those who led Russia to look eastward for national glory, whether through trade, soft power, or outright force. Yet these Russian “pivots to Asia” often ended soon after they began, with outcomes far more limited than what those who launched them hoped to achieve. Chris Miller's We Shall Be Masters: Russian Pivots to East Asia from Peter the Great to Putin (Harvard University Press, 2021) studies many attempts to chart an Asian policy—from bold imperial dreams of a thriving Russian Far East to Soviet efforts to inspire the developing world through soft power—and why all these policies ended up disappointing their drafters. In this interview, Chris and I talk about Russia's engagement with the Far East, stretching from its initial forays on the Pacific Coast of North America through to the present day. We talk about why “pivots to Asia” are so hard: both for the Russians, and perhaps for other great powers considering the same policy. Chris Miller is an assistant professor of international history at The Fletcher School at Tufts University and co-director of the school's Russia and Eurasia Program. He is the author of Putinomics: Power and Money in Resurgent Russia (University of North Carolina Press, 2018) and The Struggle to Save the Soviet Economy (University of North Carolina Press, 2016). He has previously served as the associate director of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy at Yale, a lecturer at the New Economic School in Moscow, a visiting researcher at the Carnegie Moscow Center, a research associate at the Brookings Institution, and as a fellow at the German Marshall Fund's Transatlantic Academy. He can be followed on Twitter at @crmiller1. You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of We Shall Be Masters. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies


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