New Books in East Asian Studies

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Interviews with Scholars of East Asia about their New Books

Marshall Poe


    • Dec 4, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekdays NEW EPISODES
    • 1h 2m AVG DURATION
    • 1,014 EPISODES

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    Latest episodes from New Books in East Asian Studies

    John Delury, "Agents of Subversion: The Fate of John T. Downey and the CIA's Covert War in China" (Cornell UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 4, 2022 69:30


    Agents of Subversion: The Fate of John T. Downey and the CIA's Covert War in China (Cornell University Press, 2022) by Dr. John Delury reconstructs the remarkable story of a botched mission into Manchuria, showing how it fit into a wider CIA campaign against Communist China and highlighting the intensity—and futility—of clandestine operations to overthrow Mao. In the winter of 1952, at the height of the Korean War, the CIA flew a covert mission into China to pick up an agent. Trained on a remote Pacific island, the agent belonged to an obscure anti-communist group known as the Third Force based out of Hong Kong. The exfiltration would fail disastrously, and one of the Americans on the mission, a recent Yale graduate named John T. Downey, ended up a prisoner of Mao Zedong's government for the next twenty years. Unraveling the truth behind decades of Cold War intrigue, Dr. Delury documents the damage that this hidden foreign policy did to American political life. The US government kept the public in the dark about decades of covert activity directed against China, while Downey languished in a Beijing prison and his mother lobbied desperately for his release. Mining little-known Chinese sources, Dr. Delury sheds new light on Mao's campaigns to eliminate counterrevolutionaries and how the chairman of the Chinese Communist Party used captive spies in diplomacy with the West. Agents of Subversion is an innovative work of transnational history, and it demonstrates both how the Chinese Communist regime used the fear of special agents to tighten its grip on society and why intellectuals in Cold War America presciently worried that subversion abroad could lead to repression at home. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. 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

    Adam Brookes, "Fragile Cargo: The World War II Race to Save the Treasures of China's Forbidden City" (Atria Books, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 2, 2022 60:52


    The two parallel Palace Museums in Beijing and Taiwan, and their separate collections of thousands of precious artworks and artifacts from imperial times, reflects a key moment in the 1940s when the Republic of China and the People's Republic became distinct entities. But the very survival of these vast troves of porcelain, sculpture, jade, paintings, books and many other items up to that moment was far from guaranteed given the epochal events unfolding across East Asia in the early part of the twentieth century. In Fragile Cargo: The World War II Race to Save the Treasures of China's Forbidden City (Atria Books, 2022), Adam Brookes tells the story of the evacuation and survival of these delicate ‘treasures', which during the 1930s to the 1940s travelled from their erstwhile palace home thousands of miles into western China, following rivers, railways and roads to evade the tides of war and revolution which threatened to catch up with and destroy them. Marshaled by attentive and often very brave curators, these objects and their improbable physical and symbolic journeys offer – in Brookes' vivid telling – an extraordinary and revealing perspective on a critically important era of imperial collapse, civil war and foreign invasion. Ed Pulford is an Anthropologist and 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

    Chris McMorran, "Ryokan: Mobilizing Hospitality in Rural Japan" (U Hawaii Press, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 2, 2022 36:53


    Today I talked to Chris McMorran about his new book Ryokan: Mobilizing Hospitality in Rural Japan (U Hawaii Press, 2022). Amid the decline of many of Japan's rural communities, the hot springs village resort of Kurokawa Onsen is a rare, bright spot. Its two dozen traditional inns, or ryokan, draw nearly a million tourists a year eager to admire its landscape, experience its hospitality, and soak in its hot springs. As a result, these ryokan have enticed village youth to return home to take over successful family businesses and revive the community.  Chris McMorran spent nearly two decades researching ryokan in Kurokawa, including a full year of welcoming guests, carrying luggage, scrubbing baths, cleaning rooms, washing dishes, and talking with co-workers and owners about their jobs, relationships, concerns, and aspirations. He presents the realities of ryokan work—celebrated, messy, ignored, exploitative, and liberating—and introduces the people who keep the inns running by making guests feel at home. McMorran explores how Kurokawa's ryokan mobilize hospitality to create a rural escape from the globalized dimensions of everyday life in urban Japan. Ryokan do this by fusing a romanticized notion of the countryside with an enduring notion of the hospitable woman embodied by nakai, the hired female staff who welcome guests, serve meals, and clean rooms. These women are the face of the ryokan. But hospitality often hides a harsh reality. McMorran found numerous nakai in their 50s, 60s, and 70s who escaped violent or unhappy marriages by finding employment in ryokan. Yet, despite years of experience, nakai remain socially and economically vulnerable. Through this intimate and inventive ethnography of a year in a ryokan, McMorran highlights the importance of both the generational work of ryokan owners and the daily work of their employees, while emphasizing the gulf between them. With its focus on small, family-owned businesses and a mobile, vulnerable workforce, Ryokan makes an invaluable contribution to scholarship on the Japanese workplace. It also will interest students and scholars in geography, mobility studies, and women's studies and anyone who has ever stayed at a ryokan and is curious about the work that takes place behind the scenes. 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

    The Future of Xi and China: A Discussion with Sue Lin Wong

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2022 49:53


    What will a Chinese-dominated world look like? And since Xi Jin Ping will probably rule China for life, what does he want to do; what does he believe in and what does he mean for China and the world? Sue Lin Wong has made an excellent podcast series on him called "The Prince: Searching for Xi Jinping" and discussed the Chinese leader with Owen Bennett-Jones. Owen Bennett-Jones is a freelance journalist and writer. A former BBC correspondent and presenter he has been a resident foreign correspondent in Bucharest, Geneva, Islamabad, Hanoi and Beirut. He is recently wrote a history of the Bhutto dynasty which was published by Yale 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

    Viren Murthy, "The Politics of Time in China and Japan: Back to the Future" (Routledge, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2022 59:58


    Drawing on a wide range of texts and using an interdisciplinary approach, The Politics of Time in China and Japan: Back to the Future (Routledge, 2022) by Viren Murthy shows how Chinese and Japanese intellectuals mobilized the past to create a better future. It is especially significant today given a world where, amidst tensions within Asia and the rise of China, East Asian intellectuals and governments constantly find new political meanings in their traditions. The essays illuminate how throughout Chinese and Japanese history, thinkers constantly weaved together nationalism, internationalism, and a politics of time. This volume explores a broad range of subjects such as premodern and early modern attempts to conjure a politics of Confucianism, twentieth-century Japanese Marxist interpretations of Buddhism, and Japanese and Chinese endeavors to imagine a new world order. In sum, this book shows us why understanding East Asian pasts are essential to making sense of ideological trends in contemporary China and Japan. For example, without understanding Confucianism and how modern intellectuals in China grappled with this body of thought, we would be unable to make sense of the Chinese government's current promotion of the Chinese classics. This book will interest students and scholars of political science, history, Asian studies, sociology, and philosophy. Viren Murthy is a Professor in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a transnational historian of Asia, and his research focuses on Chinese, Japanese and Indian intellectual history. His particular areas of study concern critiques of capitalism and modernity, and he is also interested in postcolonialism and Marxism. Shatrunjay Mall is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He works on transnational Asian history, and his dissertation explores intellectual, political, and cultural intersections and affinities that emerged between Indian anti-colonialism and imperial Japan in the twentieth century. 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

    Wei Yu Wayne Tan, "Blind in Early Modern Japan: Disability, Medicine, and Identity" (U Michigan Press, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2022 61:49


    While the loss of sight—whether in early modern Japan or now—may be understood as a disability, blind people in the Tokugawa period (1600–1868) could thrive because of disability. The blind of the era were prominent across a wide range of professions, and through a strong guild structure were able to exert contractual monopolies over certain trades. Blind in Early Modern Japan: Disability, Medicine, and Identity (U Michigan Press, 2022) illustrates the breadth and depth of those occupations, the power and respect that accrued to the guild members, and the lasting legacy of the Tokugawa guilds into the current moment. The book illustrates why disability must be assessed within a particular society's social, political, and medical context, and also the importance of bringing medical history into conversation with cultural history. A Euro-American-centric disability studies perspective that focuses on disability and oppression, the author contends, risks overlooking the unique situation in a non-Western society like Japan in which disability was constructed to enhance blind people's power. He explores what it meant to be blind in Japan at that time, and what it says about current frameworks for understanding disability. Glossary of foreign words/names: Zatōichi (a blind fictional hero) Kyokutei Bakin (a writer/author) Heike (a genre)  Biwa (a musical instrument) Koto< (a musical instrument)  Shamisen (a musical instrument) Ogino Chiichi (a blind musician) 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

    The Assassination and Legacy of Shinzo Abe

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 25, 2022 23:35


    The brutal assassination of Prime Minister Abe in July this year shocked Japan and has produced large and unexpected consequences for the nation´s politics. In this episode, we examine the fallout of the assassination on Abe's legacy, and on Japan: What are the consequences of Abe's association with the Unification Church for the role of religion in politics more generally? How much of Abe's political legacy will survive his assassination? And, how has current Prime Minister Kishida and the LDP dealt with the challenges brought about by the controversial state funeral that was accorded to Abe? To discuss these questions, Kenneth Bo Nielsen is joined by a long-term collaborator, Paul Midford, professor of political science at Meiji Gakuin University in Yokohama. Kenneth Bo Nielsen is an Associate Professor at the dept. of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo and one of the leaders of the Norwegian Network for Asian Studies. 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, the University of Helsinki, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo. We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about 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

    Paul D. Barclay, "Outcasts of Empire: Japan's Rule on Taiwan's 'Savage Border,' 1874-1945" (U California Press, 2018)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 24, 2022 71:41


    Outcasts of Empire: Japan's Rule on Taiwan's “Savage Border,” 1874-1945 (University of California Press, 2018) by Paul D. Barclay unveils the causes and consequences of capitalism's failure to “batter down all Chinese walls” in modern Taiwan. Adopting micro- and macrohistorical perspectives, Barclay argues that the interpreters, chiefs, and trading-post operators who mediated state-society relations on Taiwan's “savage border” during successive Qing and Japanese regimes rose to prominence and faded to obscurity in concert with a series of “long nineteenth century” global transformations. Superior firepower and large economic reserves ultimately enabled Japanese statesmen to discard mediators on the border and sideline a cohort of indigenous headmen who played both sides of the fence to maintain their chiefly status. Even with reluctant “allies” marginalized, however, the colonial state lacked sufficient resources to integrate Taiwan's indigenes into its disciplinary apparatus. The colonial state therefore created the Indigenous Territory, which exists to this day as a legacy of Japanese imperialism, local initiatives, and the global commodification of culture. Outcasts of Empire is available as a free e-book via open access. Visit the University of California Press website to learn more. Paul D. Barclay is a Professor of History at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania. His research interests include Japan and China, Indigenous Studies, comparative colonialism, and visual studies. Shatrunjay Mall is a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He works on transnational Asian history, and his dissertation explores intellectual, political, and cultural intersections and affinities that emerged between Indian anti-colonialism and imperial Japan in the twentieth century. 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

    Aynne Kokas, "Trafficking Data: How China Is Winning the Battle for Digital Sovereignty" (Oxford UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2022 54:40


    On August 6, 2020, the Trump Administration issued a ban on TikTok in the United States, requiring that the owner, Beijing-based Bytedance, sell the company to American investors or shut it down. Legions of TikTokers were devastated at the possible loss of their beloved platform, and for what: a political grudge with China? American suitors like Walmart and Oracle tried to make a deal with Bytedance to keep the platform operating in the US. But then something curious happened. The Chinese government refused to let Bytedance sell TikTok on national security grounds. As it turns out, the pandemic era platform for dance challenges is a Chinese government asset. As digital technologies and social media have evolved into organizing forces for the way in which we conduct our work and social lives, the business logic that undergirds these digital platforms has become clear: we are their product. We give these businesses information about everything--from where we live and work to what we like to do for entertainment, what we consume, where we travel, what we think politically, and with whom we are friends and acquaintances. We do this willingly, but often without a full understanding of how this information is stored or used, or what happens to it when it crosses international boundaries. As Aynne Kokas argues, both corporations and governments traffic much of this data without our consent--and sometimes illegally--for political and financial gain. In Trafficking Data: How China Is Winning the Battle for Digital Sovereignty (Oxford UP, 2022), Aynne Kokas looks at how technology firms in the two largest economies in the world, the United States and China, have exploited government policy (and the lack thereof) to gather information on citizens, putting US national security at risk. Kokas argues that US government leadership failures, Silicon Valley's disruption fetish, and Wall Street's addiction to growth have fuelled China's technological goldrush. In turn, American complacency yields an unprecedented opportunity for Chinese firms to gather data in the United States and quietly send it back to China, and by extension, to the Chinese government. Drawing on years of fieldwork in the US and China and a large trove of corporate and policy documents, Trafficking Data explains how China is fast becoming the global leader in internet governance and policy, and thus of the data that defines our public and private lives. Peter Lorentzen is economics professor at the University of San Francisco. He heads USF's Applied Economics Master's program, which focuses on the digital economy. His research is mainly on China's political economy. 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

    Towards a Green China

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2022 38:56


    What does the concept of ecological civilisation mean in practice? And how can we understand the relationship between grand visions, legal systems, green politics and development processes on the ground in contemporary China? In this episode we focus on China's environmental ambitions and its increasingly central role in efforts towards global sustainability, as well as the importance placed upon sustainable development by the Chinese Communist Party, and by Xi Jinping himself. To unpack these issues and discuss the potentials of a greener China, Arve Hansen is joined by some of Norway's leading experts on Chinese environmental politics and practice, Gørild Heggelund, Yong Zhou and Bjorn Leif Brauteseth. Bjorn Leif Brauteseth is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Development and the Environment, University of Oslo. Gørild Heggelund is Research Professor at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute. Yong Zhou is a postdoctoral Fellow at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, University of Oslo. Arve Hansen is a researcher at the Centre for Development and the Environment at the University of Oslo and one of the leaders of the Norwegian Network for Asian Studies. 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, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo. We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia. About NIAS. Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts 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

    Alexander Des Forges, "Testing the Literary: Prose and the Aesthetic in Early Modern China" (Harvard UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2022 58:37


    The eight-legged essay (bagu wen) was the one genre of writing that dominated in late imperial China. As the primary mode of expression in which men were schooled, writing and reading shiwen (modern or contemporary prose) epitomized literary production in Ming-Qing China, and it was vitally important for every  student, examination candidate, and examiner to master and know the genre intimately — but this genre hasn't yet been approached from a literary perspective.  Alexander Des Forges' new book Testing the Literary: Prose and the Aesthetic in Early Modern China (Harvard UP, 2021) does just that. Focusing on literary practice (the work of writing, reading, and commenting), this book explores how features such as literary voice, parallelism, subjectivity, and aesthetic originality were constructed in a genre not typically thought of as literature. Through careful reading, rich analysis, and the deft translation of eight-legged essays, Alex looks at prose aesthetics not as settled conclusions, but as features that prose writers developed, adhered to, and/or contested, all while they developed as a social class of literary producers.    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

    Sarah Dauncey, "Disability in Contemporary China: Citizenship, Identity and Culture" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2022 69:44


    In Disability in Contemporary China: Citizenship, Identity and Culture (Cambridge UP, 2022), Sarah Dauncey offers the first comprehensive exploration of disability and citizenship in Chinese society and culture from 1949 to the present. Through the analysis of a wide variety of Chinese sources, from film and documentary to literature and life writing, media and state documents, she sheds important new light on the ways in which disability and disabled identities have been represented and negotiated over this time. She exposes the standards against which disabled people have been held as the Chinese state has grappled with expectations of what makes the 'ideal' Chinese citizen. From this, she proposes an exciting new theoretical framework for understanding disabled citizenship in different societies - 'para-citizenship'. A far more dynamic relationship of identity and belonging than previously imagined, her new reading synthesises the often troubling contradictions of citizenship for disabled people - the perils of bodily and mental difference and the potential for personal and group empowerment. Professor Sarah Dauncey is a China specialist with 30 years' experience in visiting and studying China. She joined the School of Sociology and Social Policy in 2016 at the University of Nottingham, having previously served as Deputy Head and Director of Teaching at the School of Contemporary Chinese Studies. Shu Wan is currently matriculated as a doctoral student in history at the University at Buffalo. As a digital and disability historian, he serves in the editorial team of Digital Humanities Quarterly and Nursing Clio. 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

    Lynette H. Ong, "Outsourcing Repression: Everyday State Power in Contemporary China" (Oxford UP, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2022 46:22


    How do states coerce citizens into compliance while simultaneously minimizing backlash? In Outsourcing Repression: Everyday State Power in Contemporary China (Oxford UP, 2020), Lynette H. Ong examines how the Chinese state engages nonstate actors, from violent street gangsters to nonviolent grassroots brokers, to coerce and mobilize the masses for state pursuits, while reducing costs and minimizing resistance. She draws on ethnographic research conducted annually from 2011 to 2019--the years from Hu Jintao to Xi Jinping, a unique and original event dataset, and a collection of government regulations in a study of everyday land grabs and housing demolition in China. Her research highlights one of the ways in which modern authoritarians conceal their actions in order to maintain their popularity among ordinary citizens, a theme also explored in my earlier interview with Daniel Treisman about his book Spin Dictators. Author Lynette Ong is Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto, with a joint appointment at the Department of Political Science and the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy's Asian Institute. Her other books are The Street and the Ballot Box: Interactions Between Social Movements and Electoral Politics in Authoritarian Contexts (Cambridge University Press, Elements Series in Contentious Politics, 2022), and Prosper or Perish: Credit and Fiscal Systems in Rural China (Cornell University Press, 2012), She has published research articles in Perspectives on Politics, Journal of Comparative Politics, China Quarterly, China Journal, Journal of Contemporary Asia, and other prominent journals. Here research has also been covered in the Economist, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and the South China Morning Post. Host Peter Lorentzen is the Chair of the Economics Department at the University of San Francisco. His research focus is the political economy of governance in China and he is a member of the National Committee on US-China Relations (NCUSCR) and USF's new Center on Business Studies and Innovation in the Asia-Pacific. 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

    Steve Kemper, "Our Man In Tokyo: An American Ambassador and the Countdown to Pearl Harbor" (Mariner Books, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2022 42:18


    A gripping, behind-the-scenes account of the personalities and contending forces in Tokyo during the volatile decade that led to World War II, as seen through the eyes of the American ambassador who attempted to stop the slide to war.  In 1932, Japan was in crisis. Naval officers had assassinated the prime minister and conspiracies flourished. The military had a stranglehold on the government. War with Russia loomed, and propaganda campaigns swept the country, urging schoolchildren to give money to procure planes and tanks. Into this maelstrom stepped Joseph C. Grew, America's most experienced and talented diplomat. When Grew was appointed ambassador to Japan, not only was the country in turmoil, its relationship with America was rapidly deteriorating. For the next decade, Grew attempted to warn American leaders about the risks of Japan's raging nationalism and rising militarism, while also trying to stabilize Tokyo's increasingly erratic and volatile foreign policy. From domestic terrorism by Japanese extremists to the global rise of Hitler and the fateful attack on Pearl Harbor, the events that unfolded during Grew's tenure proved to be pivotal for Japan, and for the world. His dispatches from the darkening heart of the Japanese empire would prove prescient—for his time, and for our own. Drawing on Grew's diary of his time in Tokyo as well as U.S. embassy correspondence, diplomatic dispatches, and firsthand Japanese accounts, Our Man in Tokyo: An American Ambassador and the Countdown to Pearl Harbor (Mariner Books, 2022) brings to life a man who risked everything to avert another world war, the country where he staked it all—and the abyss that swallowed it. Caleb Zakarin is the Assistant Editor of the New Books Network (Twitter: @caleb_zakarin). 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

    Eric Tagliocozzo, "In Asian Waters: Oceanic Worlds from Yemen to Yokohama" (Princeton UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2022 35:15


    In the nineteenth century, one group of American merchants reported an odd request from the Vietnamese emperor. An envoy asked if the traders could help procure a commodity brought by a previous delegation: a precious good that turned out to be a bottle of Best Durham bottled mustard. That's one small anecdote in Eric Tagliocozzo's latest book, In Asian Waters: Oceanic Worlds from Yemen to Yokohama (Princeton University Press: 2022), which charts hundreds of years of history across Asia's waters, from the South China Sea through the Persian Gulf. Eric weaves together historical research and on-the-ground fieldwork to show how Asia's oceans can be a better way to understand the region than its land borders. In this interview, Eric and I talk about these Asian waters, stretching from the Middle East to East Asia, and the history and fieldwork that went into Eric's book. Eric Tagliacozzo is the John Stambaugh Professor of History at Cornell University. His many books include Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States along a Southeast Asian Frontier, 1865–1915 (Yale University Press: 2009) and The Longest Journey: Southeast Asians and the Pilgrimage to Mecca (Oxford University Press: 2013). You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of In Asian Waters. Follow 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

    Sisi Sung, "The Economics of Gender in China: Women, Work and the Glass Ceiling" (Routledge, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2022 25:19


    Alongside rapid socio-economic development, China has achieved remarkable gains in gender equality on metrics like health, education, and labor force participation. Yet, the glass ceiling phenomenon and the underrepresentation of women in management has worsened. Sisi Sung's The Economics of Gender in China (Routledge, 2022) develops a cross-disciplinary paradigm, with economics at its core, to better understand gender in China and women in management in the Chinese business context.  In addition to its theoretical advancements, The Economics of Gender in China uses in-depth interviews with managers in China's largest enterprises to form rich qualitative insights on women's managerial experiences and career choices. The book also focuses on the enduring power of stereotypes that specify women's roles in the family, organization, and society. The book's multi-disciplinary approach allows readers across disciplines with an interest in gender studies to find it useful as an introductory reference. Sisi Sung is a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, University of Erfurt, Germany, and a research fellow at Tsinghua University, China. This interview was conducted by Kelsi Caywood, a PhD student in Sociology at the University of Michigan, who researches comparative gender inequality in the United States and East Asia. Kelsi Caywood is a PhD Student in Sociology at the University of Michigan 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

    Natali Pearson, "Belitung: The Afterlives of a Shipwreck" (U Hawaii Press, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2022 36:16


    In 1998, the Belitung, a ninth-century western Indian Ocean–style vessel, was discovered in Indonesian waters. Onboard was a full cargo load, likely intended for the Middle Eastern market, of over 60,000 Chinese Tang-dynasty ceramics, gold, and other precious objects. It is one of the most significant shipwreck discoveries of recent times, revealing the global scale of ancient commercial endeavors and the centrality of the ocean within the Silk Road story. But this shipwreck also has a modern tale to tell, of how nation-states appropriate the remnants of the past for their own purposes, and of the international debates about who owns—and is responsible for—shared heritage. The commercial salvage of objects from the Belitung, and their subsequent sale to Singapore, contravened the principles of the 2001 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage and prompted international condemnation. The resulting controversy continues to reverberate in academic and curatorial circles. Major museums refused to host international traveling exhibitions of the collection, and some archaeologists announced they would rather see the objects thrown back in the sea than ever go on display. Shipwrecks are anchored in the public imagination, their stories of treasure and tragedy told in museums, cinema, and song. At the same time, they are sites of scholarly inquiry, a means by which maritime archaeologists interrogate the past through its material remains. Every shipwreck is an accidental time capsule, replete with the sunken stories of those on board, of the personal and commercial objects that went down with the vessel, and of an unfinished journey. In this moving and thought-provoking reflection of underwater cultural heritage management, Natali Pearson reveals valuable new information about the Belitung salvage, obtained firsthand from the salvagers, and the intricacies in the many conflicts and relationships that developed. In tracing the Belitung's lives and afterlives, Belitung: The Afterlives of a Shipwreck (U Hawaii Press, 2022) shifts our thinking about shipwrecks beyond popular tropes of romance, pirates, and treasure, and toward an understanding of how the relationships between sites, objects, and people shape the stories we tell of the past in the present. Like this interview? If so, you might also be interested in: Elisabeth Kramer, The Candidate's Dilemma: Anticorruptionism and Money Politics in Indonesian Election Campaigns Edward Aspinall and Ward Berenschot, Democracy for Sale: Elections, Clientelism, and the State in Indonesia Professor Michele Ford is the Director of the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, a university-wide multidisciplinary center at the University of Sydney, Australia. 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

    Christopher Marquis and Kunyuan Qiao, "Mao and Markets: The Communist Roots of Chinese Enterprise" (Yale UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2022 49:21


    Mao and Markets: The Communist Roots of Chinese Enterprise (Yale University Press, 2022) by Dr. Christopher Marquis & Dr. Kunyuan Qiao presents a thoroughly researched assessment of how China's economic success continues to be shaped by the communist ideology of Chairman Mao It was long assumed that as China embraced open markets and private enterprise, its state-controlled economy would fall by the wayside, that free markets would inevitably lead to a more liberal society. Instead, China's growth over the past four decades has positioned state capitalism as a durable foil to the orthodoxy of free markets, to the confusion of many in the West. Christopher Marquis and Kunyuan Qiao argue that China's economic success is based on—not in spite of—the continuing influence of Communist leader Mao Zedong. They illustrate how Mao's ideological principles, mass campaigns, and socialist institutions have enduringly influenced Chinese entrepreneurs' business strategies and the management of their ventures. Grounded in case studies and quantitative analyses, this book shows that while private enterprise is the engine of China's growth, Chinese companies see no contradictions between commercial drive and a dedication to Maoist ideology. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. 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

    Howard Chiang, "Transtopia in the Sinophone Pacific" (Columbia UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 14, 2022 59:54


    As a broad category of identity, “transgender” has given life to a vibrant field of academic research since the 1990s. Yet the Western origins of the field have tended to limit its cross-cultural scope. Howard Chiang proposes a new paradigm for doing transgender history in which geopolitics assumes central importance. Defined as the antidote to transphobia, transtopia challenges a minoritarian view of transgender experience and makes room for the variability of transness on a historical continuum. Against the backdrop of the Sinophone Pacific, Chiang argues that the concept of transgender identity must be rethought beyond a purely Western frame. At the same time, he challenges China-centrism in the study of East Asian gender and sexual configurations. Chiang brings Sinophone studies to bear on trans theory to deconstruct the ways in which sexual normativity and Chinese imperialism have been produced through one another. Grounded in an eclectic range of sources—from the archives of sexology to press reports of intersexuality, films about castration, and records of social activism—this book reorients anti-transphobic inquiry at the crossroads of area studies, medical humanities, and queer theory. Timely and provocative, Transtopia in the Sinophone Pacific (Columbia UP, 2021) highlights the urgency of interdisciplinary knowledge in debates over the promise and future of human diversity. Howard Chiang proposes a new paradigm for doing transgender history in which geopolitics assumes central importance. Defined as the antidote to transphobia, transtopia challenges a minoritarian view of transgender experience and makes room for the variability of transness on a historical continuum. Please join Howard in conversation with Thomas Baudinette to learn more about this book's exciting theoretical interventions into the fields of trans studies, gender and sexuality studies, and Sinophone studies. Thomas Baudinette is Lecturer in International Studies at Macquarie University, Australia. 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

    Meredith Schweig, "Renegade Rhymes: Rap Music, Narrative, and Knowledge in Taiwan" (U Chicago Press, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 11, 2022 96:20


    Like many states emerging from oppressive political rule, Taiwan saw a cultural explosion in the late 1980s, when nearly four decades of martial law under the Chinese Nationalist Party ended. As members of a multicultural, multilingual society with a complex history of migration and colonization, Taiwanese people entered this moment of political transformation eager to tell their stories and grapple with their identities. In Renegade Rhymes: Rap Music, Narrative, and Knowledge in Taiwan (U Chicago Press, 2022), ethnomusicologist Meredith Schweig shows how rap music has become a powerful tool in the post-authoritarian period for both exploring and producing new knowledge about the ethnic, cultural, and political history of Taiwan. Schweig draws on extensive ethnographic fieldwork, taking readers to concert venues, music video sets, scenes of protest, and more to show how early MCs from marginalized ethnic groups infused rap with important aspects of their own local languages, music, and narrative traditions. Aiming their critiques at the educational system and a neoliberal economy, new generations of rappers have used the art form to nurture associational bonds and rehearse rituals of democratic citizenship, making a new kind of sense out of their complicated present. Meredith Schweig is assistant professor of ethnomusicology at Emory. Her research explores twentieth- and twenty-first-century popular musics of East Asia, with a particular emphasis on narrative, gender, and cultural politics in post-authoritarian Taiwan. Li-Ping Chen is Postdoctoral Scholar and Teaching Fellow in the East Asian Studies Center at the University of Southern California. Her research interests include literary translingualism, diaspora, and nativism in Sinophone, 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

    Jianglin Li, "When the Iron Bird Flies: China's Secret War in Tibet" (Stanford UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2022 44:55


    In When the Iron Bird Flies: China's Secret War in Tibet (Stanford University Press, 2022), Jianglin Li presents an untold story that reshapes our understanding of Chinese and Tibetan history. From 1956 to 1962, devastating military conflicts took place in China's southwestern and northwestern regions. Official records at the time scarcely made mention of the campaign, and in the years since only lukewarm acknowledgment of the violence has surfaced. When the Iron Bird Flies, by Jianglin Li, breaks this decades long silence to reveal for the first time a comprehensive and explosive picture of the six years that would prove definitive in modern Tibetan and Chinese history. The CCP referred to the campaign as "suppressing the Tibetan rebellion." It would lead to the 14th Dalai Lama's exile in India, as well as the Tibetan diaspora in 1959, though the battles lasted three additional years after these events. Featuring key figures in modern Chinese history, the battles waged in this period covered a vast geographical region. This book offers a portrait of chaos, deception, heroism, and massive loss. Beyond the significant death toll across the Tibetan regions, the war also destroyed most Tibetan monasteries in a concerted effort to eradicate local religion and scholarship. Despite being considered a military success, to this day, the operations in the agricultural regions remain unknown. As large numbers of Tibetans have self-immolated in recent years to protest Chinese occupation, Li shows that the largest number of cases occurred in the sites most heavily affected by this hidden war. She argues persuasively that the events described in this book will shed more light on our current moment, and will help us understand the unrelenting struggle of the Tibetan people for their freedom. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars. 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

    Morgan Pitelka, "Reading Medieval Ruins: Urban Life and Destruction in Sixteenth-Century Japan" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 8, 2022 57:37


    The Japanese provincial city of Ichijōdani was destroyed in the civil wars of the late sixteenth century but never rebuilt. Archaeological excavations have since uncovered the most detailed late medieval urban site in the country. Drawing on analysis of specific excavated objects and decades of archaeological evidence to study daily life in Ichijōdani, Reading Medieval Ruins: Urban Life and Destruction in Sixteenth-Century Japan (Cambridge UP, 2022) illuminates the city's layout, the possessions and houses of its residents, its politics and experience of war, and religious and cultural networks. Morgan Pitelka demonstrates how provincial centers could be dynamic and vibrant nodes of industrial, cultural, economic, and political entrepreneurship and sophistication. In this study a new and vital understanding of late medieval society is revealed, one in which Ichijôdani played a central role in the vibrant age of Japan's sixteenth century. Morgan Pitelka is Bernard L. Herman Distinguished Professor of Japanese History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Samee Siddiqui is a PhD Candidate at the Department of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His dissertation explores discussions relating to religion, race, and empire between South Asian and Japanese figures in Tokyo from 1905 until 1945. 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

    Ghassan Moazzin, "Foreign Banks and Global Finance in Modern China" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 7, 2022 40:51


    Using previously unexplored and meticulously analyzed sources from China and to a lesser extent Japan, combined with those of Germany and the UK, Ghassan Moazzin provides a refreshing look at a number of levels: the workings of multinational banks, international networks of bankers, the interactions of Chinese and German empires with other state actors.  In Foreign Banks and Global Finance in Modern China: Banking on the Chinese Frontier, 1870-1919 (Cambridge UP, 2022), Moazzin introduces the novel concept of a "frontier bank" while building a case study around the Deutsch-Asiatische Bank (DAB). He aims to answer questions as to what is the role that individual actors such as the DAB play in early 20th century China?, What technological and business advancements build around multinational banks?, To what extent does our knowledge and understanding of capitalism is enabled by looking at local sources at end of the Chinese empire? Bernardo Batiz-Lazo is currently straddling between Newcastle and Mexico City. You can find him on twitter on issues related to business history of banking, fintech, payments and other musings. Not always in that order. @BatizLazo 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

    Ksenia Chizhova, "Kinship Novels of Early Modern Korea: Between Genealogical Time and the Domestic Everyday" (Columbia UP, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2022 59:06


    In the face of a Korean cultural world preoccupied with newness, literary output from the more measured and regulated Choson period (1392-1910) can seem difficult to engage with for readers both inside and outside the country. But as Ksenia Chizhova's Kinship Novels of Early Modern Korea: Between Genealogical Time and the Domestic Everyday (Columbia UP, 2021) shows, a particular genre of late-Chsoson lineage novels reflect not only the staid norms of Confucian patriarchy and heredity, but also a more textured world of unruly emotions, gendered family disputes, calligraphic creativity and scandal simmering under the surface of mundane domestic life. Ed Pulford is an Anthropologist and 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

    Brian A. Wong, "The Tao of Alibaba: Inside the Chinese Digital Giant That Is Changing the World" (PublicAffairs, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2022 64:18


    This podcast features Brian A. Wong, discussing his new book, The Tao of Alibaba: Inside the Chinese Digital Giant That is Changing the World (Public Affairs, 2022). Brian joined Alibaba early, as its 52nd employee and first American employee, and worked for them for nearly twenty years. His book provides both insider insights and an analytical perspective on how Alibaba grew to become one of the most important companies in the global digital economy. This well-written and engaging book explains Alibaba's unique organizational culture and how the Alibaba platform has helped spread economic opportunity beyond the elites in China's big cities to the broader world of small and medium businesses throughout the country. Brian Wong's Radii China is an independent media platform founded in 2017 dedicated to bridging the East and West by highlighting topics and issues that connect the world's young, globally-minded citizens. Listeners interested in the development of the US-China relationship are encouraged to participate in the NCUSCR's CHINA Town Hall, on November 17th, featuring a national webcast by former Ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr. Local partner events around the US, including one at the University of San Francisco, provide opportunities to discuss the topic further in person with other community members and local experts on China. In the interview, we also discuss Benjamin Ho's book Why Trust Matters, featured on this show last year. Peter Lorentzen is the Chair of the Economics Department at the University of San Francisco, where he leads a new Master's program in Applied Economics focused on the digital economy. His research focus is the political economy of governance in China and he is a member of the National Committee on US-China Relations (NCUSCR) and USF's new Center on Business Studies and Innovation in the Asia-Pacific. 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 A. Wong, "The Tao of Alibaba: Inside the Chinese Digital Giant That Is Changing the World" (PublicAffairs, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2022 64:18


    This podcast features Brian A. Wong, discussing his new book, The Tao of Alibaba: Inside the Chinese Digital Giant That is Changing the World (Public Affairs, 2022). Brian joined Alibaba early, as its 52nd employee and first American employee, and worked for them for nearly twenty years. His book provides both insider insights and an analytical perspective on how Alibaba grew to become one of the most important companies in the global digital economy. This well-written and engaging book explains Alibaba's unique organizational culture and how the Alibaba platform has helped spread economic opportunity beyond the elites in China's big cities to the broader world of small and medium businesses throughout the country. Brian Wong's Radii China is an independent media platform founded in 2017 dedicated to bridging the East and West by highlighting topics and issues that connect the world's young, globally-minded citizens. Listeners interested in the development of the US-China relationship are encouraged to participate in the NCUSCR's CHINA Town Hall, on November 17th, featuring a national webcast by former Ambassador Jon Huntsman Jr. Local partner events around the US, including one at the University of San Francisco, provide opportunities to discuss the topic further in person with other community members and local experts on China. In the interview, we also discuss Benjamin Ho's book Why Trust Matters, featured on this show last year. Peter Lorentzen is the Chair of the Economics Department at the University of San Francisco, where he leads a new Master's program in Applied Economics focused on the digital economy. His research focus is the political economy of governance in China and he is a member of the National Committee on US-China Relations (NCUSCR) and USF's new Center on Business Studies and Innovation in the Asia-Pacific. 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

    Yuhua Wang, "The Rise and Fall of Imperial China: The Social Origins of State Development" (Princeton UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 1, 2022 55:14


    How social networks shaped the imperial Chinese state China was the world's leading superpower for almost two millennia, falling behind only in the last two centuries and now rising to dominance again. What factors led to imperial China's decline?  The Rise and Fall of Imperial China: The Social Origins of State Development (Princeton UP, 2022) offers a systematic look at the Chinese state from the seventh century through to the twentieth. Focusing on how short-lived emperors often ruled a strong state while long-lasting emperors governed a weak one, Yuhua Wang shows why lessons from China's history can help us better understand state building. Wang argues that Chinese rulers faced a fundamental trade-off that he calls the sovereign's dilemma: a coherent elite that could collectively strengthen the state could also overthrow the ruler. This dilemma emerged because strengthening state capacity and keeping rulers in power for longer required different social networks in which central elites were embedded. Wang examines how these social networks shaped the Chinese state, and vice versa, and he looks at how the ruler's pursuit of power by fragmenting the elites became the final culprit for China's fall. Drawing on more than a thousand years of Chinese history, The Rise and Fall of Imperial China highlights the role of elite social relations in influencing the trajectories of state development. Javier Mejia is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Political Science Department at Stanford 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

    Kathleen Burkinshaw, "The Last Cherry Blossom" (Sky Pony, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 28, 2022 50:18


    Yuriko was happy growing up in Hiroshima when it was just her and Papa. But her aunt Kimiko and her cousin Genji are living with them now, and the family is only getting bigger with talk of a double marriage! And while things are changing at home, the world beyond their doors is even more unpredictable. World War II is coming to an end, and since the Japanese newspapers don't report lost battles, the Japanese people are not entirely certain of where Japan stands. Yuriko is used to the sirens and the air-raid drills, but things start to feel more real when the neighbours who have left to fight stop coming home. When the bombs hit Hiroshima, it's through Yuriko's twelve-year-old eyes that we witness the devastation and horror. This is a story that offers young readers insight into how children lived during the war, while also introducing them to Japanese culture. Based loosely on author Kathleen Burkinshaw's mother's first-hand experience surviving the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, The Last Cherry Blossom (Sky Pony Press, 2020) hopes to warn readers of the immense damage nuclear war can bring, while reminding them that the “enemy” in any war is often not so different from ourselves. Kathleen Burkinshaw is a Japanese American author and the daughter of a Hiroshima survivor residing in Charlotte, NC. She's a wife, mom, and owns a dog who thinks she's a kitchen ninja. Writing gives her an outlet for her daily struggle with chronic pain from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. In 2019 she spoke about her mother's experience in Hiroshima at the United Nations (NYC). This summer she spoke at UN worldwide virtual events as well as a Japanese American National Museum webinar with author Naomi Hirahara in honor of the 75th anniversary of atomic bombing. Kathleen has been featured on PBS, local NPR stations, Asian American magazines/newspapers, both Japanese and English programs on NHK World Japan, as well as in 2 major Japanese newspapers. She has presented to middle/high schools around the world for the past 10 years. The Last Cherry Blossom, is now a United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs Resource for Teachers and Students. And nominated for NC School Library Media Association YA book award and 2019-2020 VSBA, 2018 & 2016 Scholastic WNDB Reading Club selection, and a Finalist for the NC Sir Walter Raleigh Fiction Award, 2018 Sakura Medal, Japan, and 2016 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award (southeast region).  Bing Wang receives her PhD at the University of Leeds in 2020. Her research interests include the exploration of overseas Chinese cultural identity and critical heritage 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

    Anthony J. Barbieri-Low, "The Many Lives of the First Emperor of China" (U Washington Press, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 27, 2022 38:01


    In the strategy game Civilization VI, where players choose world leaders to be their avatar, Qin Shihuang, the First Emperor of China, has one goal in mind: building wonders (like the Great Wall of China). His workers can build wonders faster and more cheaply, and he hates leaders that build more wonders than he does. That largely corresponds to how people in the West think of the First Emperor: powerful, responsible for unifying China, despotic–and focused on building great works like the Great Wall and the Terracotta. Civilization VI isn't one of the many works detailed in Anthony Barbieri's most recent book, The Many Lives of the First Emperor of China (University of Washington Press: 2022). But it does explore the many ways the life of Qin Shihuang has been represented in books, historical works, mythology, political narratives, movies, tv shows and, yes, video games. We welcome Anthony back to the show to talk about the First Emperor, and how different writers, politicians, and producers portrayed the different aspects of his life. 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 is also the author of Ancient Egypt and Early China: State, Society, and Culture (University of Washington Press: 2021), which was also the subject of an Asian Review of Books interview last year. You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of The Many Lives of the First Emperor of China. Follow 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

    A. Carly Buxton, "Un-Thinking Collaboration: American Nisei in Transwar Japan" (U Hawaii Press, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2022 61:24


    Today I will be talking to Carly Buxton about her book Unthinking collaboration: American Nisei in transwar Japan, which came out this year [2022] with the University of Hawaiʹi Press. Unthinking Collaboration uncovers the little-known history of Japanese Americans who spent World War II in Japan.  Japanese Americans who found themselves in Japan during the war, could not leave but also, unlike their compatriots, were not interned. But, to survive many had to serve the Japanese state and act as Japanese during the war. When the war ended these same people were mobilized again, but now in the service of the American occupation. Weaving archival data with oral histories, personal narratives, material culture, and fiction, Unthinking Collaboration emphasizes the heterogeneity of Japanese immigrant experiences, and sheds light on broader issues of identity, race, and performance of individuals growing up in a bicultural or multicultural context. By distancing “collaboration” from its default elision with moral judgment, and by incorporating contemporary findings from psychology and behavioral science about the power of the subconscious mind to influence human behavior, Carly Buxton offers an alternative approach to history—one that posits historical subjects as deeply embedded in the realities of their physical and discursive environment. Walking beside Nisei as they navigate their everyday lives in war time and post war Japan, readers are urged to “un-think” long-held assumptions about the actions and decisions of individuals as represented in history. Unthinking Collaboration is an ambitious historical study that relates to broader questions of race and trust, empire-building, World War II, and its legacy on both the Western and Pacific fronts, as well as the questions of loyalty, treason, assimilation, and collaboration. Ran Zwigenberg is an associate professor at Pennsylvania State 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

    Hongwei Bao, "Queer China: Lesbian and Gay Literature and Visual Culture Under Postsocialism" (Routledge, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2022 58:40


    In Queer China: Lesbian and Gay Literature and Visual Culture Under Postsocialism (Routledge, 2020), associate professor of media and cultural studies at the University of Nottingham Hongwei Bao returns with a theory-driven, methodologically-diverse, empathetic, and insightful analysis of LGBTQ literature and visual culture in postsocialist China. A thorough introduction positions Bao as a participant observer and explores key concepts including “postsocialist metamorphosis,” defined as “the transformation of subjectivity, desire and sense of belonging in the postsocialist era” (4). After exploring the history of homosexuality's (re-)emergence in China's reform era by tracing public, intellectual discourse, Bao counters the misperception that Chinese gay and lesbian identities are the result of the influence of global (Western) gay culture. Instead, he identifies a variety of gender and sexual subjectivities unique to China's postsocialist conditions and historical context. Each chapter then explores rich case studies from queer China, touching upon a wide variety of cultural production types. From poetry to papercutting art, from comrade (tongzhi)/gay literature to girls' love fan fiction, from lesbian films to activist documentaries, and from a drag show in Shanghai to a public performance of a same-sex wedding in Beijing, Queer China provides unique analysis and insights and also acts as an archive of queer cultural production in postsocialist China. Laurie Dickmeyer is an Assistant Professor of History at Angelo State University, where she teaches courses in Asian and US history. Her research concerns nineteenth century US-China relations. She can be reached at laurie.dickmeyer@angelo.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

    Yoshiko Okuyama, "Reframing Disability in Manga" (U Hawaii Press, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 24, 2022 45:30


    Reframing Disability in Manga (University of Hawaii Press, 2020) analyzes popular Japanese manga published from the 1990s to the present that portray the everyday lives of adults and children with disabilities in an ableist society. It focuses on five representative conditions currently classified as shōgai (disabilities) in Japan―deafness, blindness, paraplegia, autism, and gender identity disorder―and explores the complexities and sociocultural issues surrounding each. Author Yoshiko Okuyama begins by looking at preindustrial understandings of difference in Japanese myths and legends before moving on to an overview of contemporary representations of disability in popular culture, uncovering socio-historical attitudes toward the physically, neurologically, or intellectually marked Other. She critiques how characters with disabilities have been represented in mass media, which has reinforced ableism in society and negatively influenced our understanding of human diversity in the past. Okuyama then presents fifteen case studies, each centered on a manga or manga series, that showcase how careful depictions of such characters as differently abled, rather than disabled or impaired, can influence cultural constructions of shōgai and promote social change. Informed by numerous interviews with manga authors and disability activists, Okuyama reveals positive messages of diversity embedded in manga and argues that greater awareness of disability in Japan in the last two decades is due in part to the popularity of these works, the accessibility of the medium, and the authentic stories they tell. Scholars and students in disability studies will find this book an invaluable resource as well as those with interests in Japanese cultural and media studies in general and manga and queer narrative and anti-normative discourse in Japan in particular. Yoshiko Okuyama is Professor of Japanese studies at the University of Hawai'i at Hilo, USA. Her recent publications include Japanese Mythology in Film: A Semiotic Approach to Reading Japanese Film and Anime (2015) and Reframing Disability in Manga (2020). Shu Wan is currently matriculated as a doctoral student in history at the University at Buffalo. As a digital and disability historian, he serves in the editorial team of Digital Humanities Quarterly and Nursing Clio. 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

    Michael Keevak, "On Saving Face: A Brief History of Western Appropriation" (Hong Kong UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 21, 2022 76:23


    In On Saving Face: A Brief History of Western Appropriation (Hong Kong UP, 2022), Michael Keevak traces the Western reception of the Chinese concept of “face” during the past two hundred years, arguing that it has always been linked to nineteenth-century colonialism. “Lose face” and “save face” have become so normalized in modern European languages that most users do not even realize that they are of Chinese origin. “Face” is an extremely complex and varied notion in all East Asian cultures. It involves proper behavior and the avoidance of conflict, encompassing every aspect of one's place in society as well as one's relationships with other people. One can “give face,” “get face,” “fight for face,” “tear up face,” and a host of other expressions. But when it began to become known to the Western trading community in China beginning in the middle of the nineteenth century, it was distorted and reduced to two phrases only, “lose face” and “save face,” both of which were used to suggest distinctly Western ideas of humiliation, embarrassment, honor, and reputation. The Chinese were judged as a race obsessed with the fear of “losing (their) face,” and they constantly resorted to vain attempts to “save” it in the face of Western correction. “Lose face” may be an authentic Chinese expression but “save face” is different. “Save face” was actually a Western invention. Michael Keevak is a professor in the Department of Foreign Languages at National Taiwan University. His books include Embassies to China: Diplomacy and Cultural Encounters Before the Opium Wars (2017), Becoming Yellow: A Short History of Racial Thinking (2011), The Story of a Stele: China's Nestorian Monument and Its Reception in the West, 1625–1916 (HKUP, 2008), The Pretended Asian: George Psalmanazar's Eighteenth-Century Formosan Hoax (2004), and Sexual Shakespeare: Forgery, Authorship, Portraiture (2001). Li-Ping Chen is Postdoctoral Scholar and Teaching Fellow in the East Asian Studies Center at the University of Southern California. Her research interests include literary translingualism, diaspora, and nativism in Sinophone, 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

    Reflections on Chinese Sexuality: A Conversation with Weiyi Hu

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 21, 2022 21:19


    How is sexuality experienced in contemporary China? What are the connections and tensions between China and the West in producing knowledges of sexuality? Dr Weiyi Hu notes that most of the seminal writings on sexuality are produced in the West, and that the definition of sexuality is largely theorised by Western scholars. In a conversation with Joanne Kuai, PhD candidate at Karlstad University, Sweden and an affiliated PhD student at NIAS, Dr. Weiyi Hu sketches an alternative approach that questions the unreflective reliance on Western understanding of sexuality, and to cut through a cluster of dualisms, such as East and West, in theorising Chinese sexuality. She combines Xiaomei Chen's concept of the Chinese Occidentalism discourse and Bourdieu's notion of symbolic capital to elucidate the connections and tensions between China and the West. Drawing on fieldwork, she argues that within contemporary Chinese culture the meaning of sexuality experienced in everyday life is charged with tensions between orthodoxy and heterodoxy. Weiyi Hu is a sessional facilitator at the University of Sydney, where she recently completed her doctorate in the social sciences. She is interested in the sociology of everyday life, sexuality, feminism, and familial relations in contemporary China. Born in Shanghai, she is fascinated by the complex ways that the Occident (West) is perceived, imagined, narrated, and experienced by Chinese peoples. 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 and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo. We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia. About NIAS: http://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

    Jennifer S. Prough, "Kyoto Revisited: Heritage Tourism in Contemporary Japan" (U Hawaii Press, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 21, 2022 57:04


    Kyoto Revisited: Heritage Tourism in Contemporary Japan (U Hawaii Press, 2022) looks at the uses and effects of heritage in tourism in Kyoto today seen through city policy and advertising, hotel infrastructure and tour guiding, season-based events, tourism to sites connected to the Bakumatsu-period hero Sakamoto Ryoma, and the phenomenon of walking in rental kimono. Emphasizing the ways experience-based tourism has been transforming Kyoto's tourist landscape, Prough examines how heritage has been understood, marketed, and experienced by both the tourist “industry” and domestic and international tourists. Heritage, Prough argues have multiple meanings. These meanings are created as “interested parties—state and local, public, and private—tell different stories about the past,” which are marketed in response to tourists' desire for face-to-face engagement in an experience economy. Through interviewing long-term tour guides and revealing the traces of past tourism forms in hotels and other tourist infrastructure, among other methodologies, Kyoto Revisited explores the local impact of global and national shifts in tourism on Kyoto's domestic and international tourism industry from the 1970s to the COVID era. Prough's period of fieldwork neatly overlapped with a rapid escalation in foreign tourist numbers to the city, with growing calls to address overtourism, and the current crisis in tourism with Japan closed to tourists. The book thus provides important insight into Kyoto during a decade of the biggest transitions in international tourism to the city in the last half century. Kyoto Revisited, thus, demonstrates not only how the past has been used to construct the city's identity and shape understandings of Japan for travelers, but also how these speak to broader trends in our contemporary moment. Ran Zwigenberg is an associate professor at Pennsylvania State 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

    Sabine Frühstück, "Gender and Sexuality in Modern Japan" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 21, 2022 153:08


    Gender and Sexuality in Modern Japan (Cambridge University Press 2022) is a new addition to a list of publications by Sabine Fruhstuck, one of the leading scholars in the world on the topic. Written for both academics and the general public alike, this book introduces and discusses debates about sex, gender, and sexuality in modern and contemporary Japan, spanning from the 1860s to the 2020s. In Fruhstuck's own words, this book aims to “balance descriptions of individual experience; institutional mechanisms based in law, pedagogy, and statecraft; and the socioculturally inflected politics within which those mechanisms have been embedded and which they have in turn shaped over an extended period that began with the nation- and empire-building of the late nineteenth century.” The book is divided into seven chapters, each tracing the movements of individuals, ideas, and things between and beyond the nation, empire, and cyberspace. At the end of each chapter, readers can find a handful of recommendations for pairing the text with literary works, documentaries, and other films. As Fruhstuck explains, the chapters share three analytical sensibilities. First, deriving from research in several nations' archives and bodies of knowledge in Japanese, German, and English, the book is a transnational historical study in which “'Japan' is configured as a malleable entity, as both a subject and object of global modernity, and a mediator between a global and a regional East Asian modernity.” Second, this book draws from History, Anthropology, Sociology, and Visual Studies, via a wide variety of sources ranging from print media and government documents to biographical accounts, from political pamphlets to pulp comics and contemporary art. Third, this book adopts a sensibility of “flexible intersectionality,” which aims to “invite readers to think at the varying levels of structures, dynamics, and subjectivities.” Sabine Frühstück is Professor and the Koichi Takashima Chair in Japanese Cultural Studies in the Department of East Asian Languages & Cultural Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Daigengna Duoer is a Ph.D. candidate in the Religious Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. 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

    Leah Kalmanson, "Cross-Cultural Existentialism: On the Meaning of Life in Asian and Western Thought" (Bloomsbury, 2020)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2022 59:09


    Does human existence have a meaning? If so, is that meaning found in the world outside of us, or is it something we bring to our experience? In Cross-Cultural Existentialism: On the Meaning of Life in Asian and Western Thought (Bloomsbury, 2020) Leah Kalmanson shows how East Asian philosophies challenge the dichotomy implicit in the way this question is often framed. Her book investigates Korean Buddhist meditation, Confucian ritual practices, and Yijing divination. Along the way she argues that the speculative approaches implicit in these traditions, contrary to the views of many modern European philosophers, means that metaphysical theorizing need not be in opposition to cultivating practical techniques and taking subjectivity seriously. Taking the Korean Buddhist nun Kim Iryŏp as her center point, Kalmanson traces lines of historical influence backwards to Song-dynasty Ruist (or “Confucian”) thinkers such as Zhu Xi and considers conceptual connections outwards to modern existentialists such as Georges Bataille, all the while reflecting on one of philosophy's big questions: just what does life mean, if anything? Malcolm Keating is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Yale-NUS College. His research focuses on Sanskrit works of philosophy in Indian traditions, in the areas of language and epistemology. He is the author of Language, Meaning, and Use in Indian Philosophy (Bloomsbury Press, 2019) and host of the podcast Sutras & Stuff. 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

    Matthew W. King, "In the Forest of the Blind: The Eurasian Journey of Faxian's Record of Buddhist Kingdoms" (Columbia UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2022 98:00


    What would an “anti-field history” of Buddhist Studies look like? What does the social history of knowledge look like when it both includes and exceeds the West/Nonwest binary, the ethnonational subject, the secular humanist gaze, and the moral narratives and metaphysical content of modernism? Matt W. King explores these critical questions and models innovative approaches in his second monograph, In the Forest of the Blind (Columbia University Press 2022), which uses Faxian's Record of Buddhist Kingdoms to expose “ecologies of interpretation” in both nineteenth-century European Orientalist scholarship and Inner Asian monastic cultures. Although Faxian's The Record of Buddhist Kingdoms (Foguoji) is a fifth-century CE travelogue about the Chinese Buddhist monk's journey into Central and South Asia, it later became the subject of Europe's first study of “Buddhist Asia” in the nineteenth century in Jean-Pierre Abel-Rémusat's Relation des Royaumes Bouddhiques, which was then translated from French into Mongolian by the Buryat scholar Dorji Banzarov, and then by the Mongolian monk Zava Damdin Lubsangdamdin from Mongolian into Tibetan. Tracing this fascinating history of trans-Eurasian circulation of knowledge production, King argues that “the circulatory history of Faxian's Record is not simply about Buddhist Asia forged in Europe into other places that were not Europe,” rather, the story is organized “by a chain of site-specific and differing orientations to knowledge itself – of treatments for traces of the past, of methodology.” In six creatively organized chapters, King discusses first discusses how Faxian's Record “orders time by means of space” in its early Chinese context, and then delves into the history of Orientalist Buddhist Studies showing how Abel-Rémusat's “poaching” of Qing sources facilitated the disciplining of Buddhist Asia into an object of a transregional science. In Chapters 3 and 5, we see an inversion of the Orientalist gaze and learn about the reception and reinterpretation of Orientalist scholarship among the “Oriental” subjects themselves, who attempted to make sense of Buddhist history, geography, and Asia's place and time in the world through Faxian's Record, via Abel-Rémusat's translation and scholarship. Here, King shows us that Abel-Rémusat's science of Buddhist Asia was turned, or rather silenced, into chö-jung (history of the Dharma). Unlike models from world history and transcultural studies that tend to focus on movement, contact, and exchange, In the Forest of the Blind instead focuses innovatively on connected but place-bound interpreters who hardly knew of each other and “who began anew from the silence of analytical practices staged elsewhere.” As an example of an “anti-field history,” this book, in King's words, attempts “not to look past the fetish of the subject, but to find the disciplinary implications of centerless, overlapping, and mutually incomprehensible relations of knowledge-power that are coproductive but unbeholden to any specific relation of force (such as colonizer/colonized).” The aim of the book, King explains, is “to imagine new disciplinary futures in Buddhist and Asian studies by implicating the disciplinary present in a more diverse, global, subversive, and dispersed disciplinary past that is more attentive to negative space and absence than to impact or influence.” Ending the book with a complete, annotated English translation of the Tibetan version of Faxian's Record, which was translated from a Mongolian translation of the French translation of the Chinese original, In the Forest of the Blind provides the readers with rich notes about continuities and discrepancies across all four trans-Eurasian versions. Matthew King is an Associate Professor in Transnational Buddhism in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Riverside. 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

    The Future of Cold War: A Discussion with Sergey Radchenko

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2022 48:29


    Are we in a new cold war? And if so, is the US up against China or Russia? Join Owen Bennett Jones for a discussion with Sergey Radchenko, the Wilson E. Schmidt Distinguished Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Radchenko is the author of Unwanted Visionaries: The Soviet Failure in Asia at the End of the Cold War and Two Suns in the Heavens: The Sino-Soviet Struggle for Supremacy, 1962-1967 among other works.  Owen Bennett-Jones is a freelance journalist and writer. A former BBC correspondent and presenter he has been a resident foreign correspondent in Bucharest, Geneva, Islamabad, Hanoi and Beirut. He is recently wrote a history of the Bhutto dynasty which was published by Yale 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

    Maria Adele Carrai and Jennifer Rudolph, "The China Questions 2: Critical Insights Into US-China Relations" (Harvard UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2022 21:50


    For decades Americans have described China as a rising power. That description no longer fits: China has already risen. What does this mean for the U.S.–China relationship? For the global economy and international security? In this conversation, Julie Yu-Wen Chen, Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Helsinki discusses with Maria Adele Carrai from New York University Shanghai. Maria Adele Carrai is co-creator of a website called Mapping Global China. She recently co-edited “The China Questions 2: Critical Insights into US-China Relations” (Harvard University Press, 2022) with Jennifer Rudolph and Michzel Szonyi to offer essential insights into the many dimensions of the world's most important bilateral relationship between the US and China. The voices included in The China Questions 2 recognize that the U.S.–China relationship has changed, and that the policy of engagement needs to change too. But they argue that zero-sum thinking is not the answer. Much that is good for one society is good for both—we are facing not another Cold War but rather a complex and contextually rooted mixture of conflict, competition, and cooperation that needs to be understood on its own terms. One unique feature of this book is that it even includes discussion of Chinese literature. In this episode, Maria Adele Carrai read a short passage from Xudong Zhang's chapter, illuminating how Chinese writers, with “their freedom, irreverence, and subversiveness undermine the suffocating (self-)censorship, stifling conformism and the formulaic media coverage. Like a spinning gyro rotating on an invisible axis, their work points to an aesthetically determined North Star, constant and free-standing, all the while attentive to and capable of absorbing the sound and fury, sighs, and laughter around this single-minded movement (Zhang, page 393). Julie Yu-Wen Chen is Professor of Chinese Studies at the Department of Cultures at the University of Helsinki (Finland). Dr. Chen serves as one of the editors of the Journal of Chinese Political Science (Springer, SSCI). Formerly, she was chair of Nordic Association of China Studies (NACS) and Editor-in-Chief of Asian Ethnicity (Taylor & Francis). You can find her on University of Helsinki Chinese Studies' website, Youtube and Facebook, and her personal Twitter. 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, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo. 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

    Scott Moore, "China's Next Act: How Sustainability and Technology Are Reshaping China's Rise and the World's Future" (Oxford UP, 2022)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 13, 2022 52:20


    “We'll compete with confidence; we'll cooperate wherever we can; we'll contest where we must.” That's the new China strategy as outlined by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier this year. But just exactly how countries should deal with China—including working with it, when the times call for it—is perhaps the thorniest question in international relations right now, at least in the West. Scott Moore gives his framework on the U.S. and China in China's Next Act: How Sustainability and Technology are Reshaping China's Rise and the World's Future (Oxford University Press, 2022). With reference to issues like public health, A.I and biotechnology, he gives his views on how the U.S. should approach China–cooperation, competition or conflict. In this interview, Scott and I talk about the U.S.-China relationship, how it's changed–and how U.S.-China competition could, under the right circumstances, still lead to global progress. Scott M. Moore is Director of China Programs and Strategic Initiatives in the Office of the Provost as well as a Lecturer in Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Moore was previously a Young Professional with the World Bank Group and served as Environment, Science, Technology, and Health Officer for China at the U.S. Department of State. He is also the author of Subnational Hydropolitics: Conflict, Cooperation, and Institution-Building in Shared River Basins (Oxford University Press: 2018). You can follow Scott on Twitter at @water_futures. You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of China's Next Act. Follow 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

    Thomas Baudinette, "Regimes of Desire: Young Gay Men, Media, and Masculinity in Tokyo" (U Michigan Press, 2021)

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2022 52:05


    Shinjuku Ni-chome is a nightlife district in central Tokyo filled with bars and clubs targeting the city's gay male community. Typically understood as a "safe space" where same-sex attracted men and women from across Japan's largest city can gather to find support from a relentlessly heteronormative society, Thomas Baudinette's Regimes of Desire: Young Gay Men, Media, and Masculinity in Tokyo (U Michigan Press, 2021) reveals that the neighborhood may not be as welcoming as previously depicted in prior literature. Through fieldwork observation and interviews with young men who regularly frequent the neighborhood's many bars, the book reveals that the district is instead a space where only certain performances of gay identity are considered desirable. In fact, the district is highly stratified, with Shinjuku Ni-chome's bar culture privileging "hard" masculine identities as the only legitimate expression of gay desire and thus excluding all those men who supposedly "fail" to live up to these hegemonic gendered ideals. Through careful analysis of media such as pornographic videos, manga comics, lifestyle magazines and online dating services, this book argues that the commercial imperatives of the Japanese gay media landscape and the bar culture of Shinjuku Ni-chome act together to limit the agency of young gay men so as to better exploit them economically.  Exploring the direct impacts of media consumption on the lives of four key informants who frequent the district's gay bars in search of community, fun and romance, Regimes of Desire reveals the complexity of Tokyo's most popular "gay town" and intervenes in debates over the changing nature of masculinity in contemporary Japan. Alexandra Hambleton is an assistant professor at Tsuda University in Tokyo, Japan. I write on media, gender, and sexuality in contemporary Japan with a particular interest in pornography and sex-positive feminism. 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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