New Books in East Asian Studies

Marshall Poe

Interviews with Scholars of East Asia about their New Books Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies read less
Society & CultureSociety & Culture

Episodes

Peter Harmsen, "Bernhard Sindberg: The Schindler of Nanjing" (Casemate, 2024)
3d ago
Peter Harmsen, "Bernhard Sindberg: The Schindler of Nanjing" (Casemate, 2024)
In December 1937, the Chinese capital, Nanjing, falls and the Japanese army unleash an orgy of torture, murder, and rape. Over the course of six weeks, hundreds of thousands of civilians and prisoners of war are killed. At the very onset of the atrocities, the Danish supervisor at a cement plant just outside the city, 26-year-old Bernhard Arp Sindberg, opens the factory gates and welcomes in 10,000 Chinese civilians to safety, beyond the reach of the blood-thirsty Japanese. He becomes an Asian equivalent of Oskar Schindler, the savior of Jews in the European Holocaust. Bernhard Sindberg: The Schindler of Nanjing (Casemate, 2024) follows Sindberg from his childhood in the old Viking city of Aarhus and on his first adventures as a sailor and a Foreign Legionnaire to the dramatic 104 days as a rescuer of thousands of helpless men, women, and children in the darkest hour of the Sino-Japanese War. It describes how after his remarkable achievement, he receded back into obscurity, spending decades more at sea and becoming a naturalized American citizen, before dying of old age in Los Angeles in 1983, completely unrecognized. In this respect, too, there is an obvious parallel with Schindler, who only attained posthumous fame. The book sets the record straight by providing the first complete account of Sindberg's life in English, based on archival sources hitherto unutilized by any historian as well as interviews with surviving relatives. What emerges is the surprising tale of a person who was average in every respect but rose to the occasion when faced with unimaginable brutality, discovering an inner strength and courage that transformed him into one of the great humanitarian figures of the 20th century and an inspiration for our modern age, demonstrating that the determined actions of one person--any person--can make a huge difference. 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
Peter Harmsen, "Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze" (Casemate, 2015)
5d ago
Peter Harmsen, "Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze" (Casemate, 2015)
Peter Harmsen's book Shanghai 1937: Stalingrad on the Yangtze (Casemate, 2015) describes one of the great forgotten battles of the 20th century. At its height it involved nearly a million Chinese and Japanese soldiers while sucking in three million civilians as unwilling spectators and victims. It turned what had been a Japanese adventure in China into a general war between the two oldest and proudest civilizations of the Far East. Ultimately, it led to Pearl Harbor and to seven decades of tumultuous history in Asia. The Battle of Shanghai was a pivotal event that helped define and shape the modern world. Actors from a variety of nations were present in Shanghai during the three fateful autumn months when the battle raged. The rich cast included China's ascetic Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek and his Japanese adversary, General Matsui Iwane, who wanted Asia to rise from disunity, but ultimately pushed it toward its deadliest conflict ever. Claire Chennault, later of "Flying Tiger" fame, was among the figures emerging in the course of the campaign, as was First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. In an ironic twist, Alexander von Falkenhausen, a stern German veteran of the Great War, abandoned his role as a mere advisor to the Chinese army and led it into battle against the Japanese invaders. In its sheer scale, the struggle for China's largest city was a sinister forewarning of what was in store for the rest of mankind only a few years hence. It demonstrated how technology had given rise to new forms of warfare, or had made old forms even more lethal. Amphibious landings, tank assaults, aerial dogfights and most importantly, urban combat, all happened in Shanghai in 1937. It was a dress rehearsal for World War II--or perhaps more correctly it was the inaugural act in the war--the first major battle in the global conflict. 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
Charles B. Jones, "Chinese Pure Land Buddhism: Understanding a Tradition of Practice" (U Hawaii Press, 2019)
5d ago
Charles B. Jones, "Chinese Pure Land Buddhism: Understanding a Tradition of Practice" (U Hawaii Press, 2019)
Today’s guest is Charles B. Jones, Associate Professor and Director of the Religion and Culture graduate program in the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America. He will be speaking with us about his new book Chinese Pure Land Buddhism: Understanding a Tradition of Practice, just published in the Pure Land Buddhist Studies series with University of Hawaiʻi Press. Jones is the author is several articles and books, including Buddhism in Taiwan: Religion and the State 1660-1990, which was a foundational work in the field and the first history of its type to be published in any language. Now, Jones is once again breaking new ground with this study of Chinese Pure Land Buddhism, which is the first book in any western language to provide a comprehensive overview of the Chinese Pure Land tradition, a notably understudied area in western-language Buddhist Studies scholarship. In this work, Jones explores many of the core doctrines, practices and controversies of Chinese Pure Land Buddhism, situating them historically and in the modern period, drawing on a wealth of previously unexamined primary sources, many of which he is making available to readers in English translation for the first time. This book challenges readers to rethink many longstanding assumptions about Chinese Pure Land Buddhism, including the nuanced relation of self-power and other-power as conceived in the Chinese tradition, the notion of Pure Land as a so-called “easy” path appealing to non-elite practitioners, debates about the nature of the Pure Land itself and how it is thought to exist in the world, the multifaceted practice of nian fo (念佛, nembutsu in Japanese or “buddha-recollection”), as well as the deeply fraught question of the historical development of the lineage of Pure Land “patriarchs”. This work will be of interest to all scholars of Buddhist Studies, and a valuable classroom resource for teaching Pure Land Buddhism, Buddhist Studies and Chinese Religions. Lina Verchery is a PhD candidate in Buddhist Studies at Harvard University. She specializes in the study of modern Chinese Buddhist monasticism, with a secondary focus in Religion and Film. She can be reached at linaverchery@fas.harvard.edu or via her website www.linaverchery.com. 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
Mai Corlin, "The Bishan Commune and the Practice of Socially Engaged Art in Rural China" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2020)
5d ago
Mai Corlin, "The Bishan Commune and the Practice of Socially Engaged Art in Rural China" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2020)
On the podcast today, I am joined by Mai Corlin, who is researcher at the department of cross-cultural and regional studies in the University of Copenhagen. Mai will be talking about her new book, The Bishan Commune and the Practice of Socially Engaged Art in Rural China (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020) Mai’s book examines the new rural reconstruction movement in Bishan village, Anhui province. She uses the Bishan Commune as a case study to explore the ways that art and culture can revive regional economies. The book´s focus is the socially engaged art projects in the Chinese countryside, with the artists and intellectuals who are involved, the villagers they meet and the local authorities with whom they negotiate. In recent years an increasing number of urban artists have turned towards the countryside in an attempt to revive rural areas perceived to be in a crisis. The vantage point of this book is the Bishan Commune. In 2010, Ou Ning drafted a notebook entitled Bishan Commune: How to Start Your Own Utopia. The notebook presents a utopian ideal of life based on anarchist Peter Kropotkin’s idea of mutual aid. In 2011 the Commune was established in Bishan Village in Anhui Province. The main questions of this book thus revolve around how an anarchist, utopian community unfolds to the backdrop of the political, social and historical landscape of rural China, or more directly: How do you start your own utopia in the Chinese countryside? 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
Simon Partner, "Koume's World: The Life and Work of a Samurai Woman Before and After the Meiji Restoration" (Columbia UP, 2023)
22-02-2024
Simon Partner, "Koume's World: The Life and Work of a Samurai Woman Before and After the Meiji Restoration" (Columbia UP, 2023)
In 1864, on a midsummer’s day, Kawai Koume, a 60-year old matriarch of a samurai family in Wakayama, makes a note in her diary, which she had dutifully written in for over three decades. There are reports of armed clashes in Kyoto. It’s said that the emperor has ordered the expulsion of the foreigners, and it’s also said that a large band of vagabond soldiers has gathered in Senju in Edo. It’s said that in Edo people are wearing their [winter] kimono linings, and in Nikko it has been snowing. I don’t know if it’s true. But really, every day we hear nothing but disturbing rumors. The Meiji Restoration, which ousts the shogun and restores the emperor’s power, happens four years later. Koume’s diary is the central document in Simon Partner’s latest book Koume’s World: The Life and Work of a Samurai Woman Before and After the Meiji Restoration (Columbia University Press, 2023) In this interview, Simon and I talk about Kawai Koume, her diary, and everything she witnessed in the decades covered by her journal. Simon Partner is professor of history at Duke University. He is the author of three previous books that chronicle modern Japanese history through the lives of ordinary people such as farmers, shopkeepers, and housewives, including most recently The Merchant’s Tale: Yokohama and the Transformation of Japan (Columbia University Press: 2018). You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Koume’s World. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an 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
Max Ward, "Thought Crime: Ideology and State Power in Interwar Japan" (Duke UP, 2019)
21-02-2024
Max Ward, "Thought Crime: Ideology and State Power in Interwar Japan" (Duke UP, 2019)
Max Ward’s Thought Crime: Ideology and State Power in Interwar Japan (Duke University Press, 2019) analyzes the trajectory and transformations of the implementation of Japan’s 1925 Peace Preservation Law from its conception until the early years of the 1940s. The law, which began as a state effort to tamp down radicalism and “dangerous thought” (mostly Marxism) and preserve and protect imperial sovereignty, spawned a massive apparatus populated by both state and nonstate actors dedicated to ideologically converting and rehabilitating thought criminals. In addition to being a case study of the nature and ideology of punishment and repentance for thought crimes in late Imperial Japan—and the way in which the emperor functioned as a “ghost in the machine” animating the pursuit of political repression—Ward’s book also provides insight into the policing of ideological threats and its relationship to national identity politics. Thought Crime follows the evolution and transformation of the Peace Preservation Law and its attendant social and institutional structures from interwar attempts to repress dangerous thought to a system of mass ideological conversion, and finally to the consequences of its integration into practices of total mobilization during wartime. 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
Ricky W. Law, "Transnational Nazism: Ideology and Culture in German Japanese Relations, 1919-1936" (Cambridge UP, 2019)
20-02-2024
Ricky W. Law, "Transnational Nazism: Ideology and Culture in German Japanese Relations, 1919-1936" (Cambridge UP, 2019)
In his new book, Transnational Nazism: Ideology and Culture in German Japanese Relations, 1919-1936 (Cambridge University Press, 2019), associate professor of history at Carnegie Mellon University Ricky W. Law examines the cultural context of Tokyo and Berlin’s political rapprochement in 1936. This study of interwar German-Japanese relations is the first to employ sources in both languages. Transnational Nazism was an ideological and cultural outlook that attracted non-Germans to become adherents of Hitler and National Socialism, and convinced German Nazis to identify with certain non-Aryans. Because of the distance between Germany and Japan, mass media was instrumental in shaping mutual perceptions and spreading transnational Nazism. This work surveys the two national media to examine the impact of transnational Nazism. When Hitler and the Nazi movement gained prominence, Japanese newspapers, lectures and pamphlets, nonfiction, and language textbooks transformed to promote the man and his party. Meanwhile, the ascendancy of Hitler and his regime created a niche for Japan in the Nazi worldview and Nazified newspapers, films, nonfiction, and voluntary associations. Craig Sorvillo is a PhD candidate in modern European history at the University of Florida. He specializes in Nazi Germany, and the Holocaust. He can be reached at craig.sorvillo@gmail.com or on twitter @craig_sorvillo. 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
Gwyn McClelland, "Dangerous Memory in Nagasaki: Prayers, Protests and Catholic Survivor Narratives" (Routledge, 2019)
19-02-2024
Gwyn McClelland, "Dangerous Memory in Nagasaki: Prayers, Protests and Catholic Survivor Narratives" (Routledge, 2019)
On 9th August 1945, the US dropped the second atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Of the dead, approximately 8500 were Catholic Christians, representing over sixty percent of the community. In Dangerous Memory in Nagasaki: Prayers, Protests, and Catholic Survivor Narratives (Routledge, 2019), Gwyn McClelland presents a collective biography, where nine Catholic survivors share personal and compelling stories about the aftermath of the bomb and their lives since that day.  Examining the Catholic community’s interpretation of the A-bomb, this book not only uses memory to provide a greater understanding of the destruction of the bombing, but also links it to the past experiences of religious persecution, drawing comparisons with the ‘Secret Christian’ groups which survived in the Japanese countryside after the banning of Christianity.  Through in-depth interviews, it emerges that the memory of the atomic bomb is viewed through the lens of a community which had experienced suffering and marginalisation for more than 400 years. Furthermore, it argues that their dangerous memory confronts Euro-American-centric narratives of the atomic bombings, whilst also challenging assumptions around a providential bomb. Dangerous Memory in Nagasaki presents the voices of Catholics, many of whom have not spoken of their losses within the framework of their faith before. As such, it will be invaluable to students and scholars of Japanese history, religion and war history. I asked Gwyn about three questions that we could face when reflecting on the complex survivor narratives provided by the Catholic victims of the nuclear Holocaust in Japan, or more precisely, what the book refers to as the "dangerous memory in Nagasaki."   Do Nagasaki Christians and their unique intercultural Mariology (i.e., Maria kannon and Maria with a keloid scar) present any issues to today's theology (especially with regard to their possible reception by the Vatican)? How was John Paul II's visit to Nagasaki, which put an emphasis on human responsibility regarding war atrocities, received among the survivors who embraced the traditional interpretation of their losses as a sacrificial hansai (a burnt offering) or a part of setsuri (providence)?  How can the nation of Japan (both Catholics and the rest of the country) move forward in light of the dangerous memory of Nagasaki?  The author's responses to these questions reflected his intellectual virtue as a patient witness to the extraordinary life stories of the war victims in Nagasaki. The interview ends with a note of undying hope, the future possibility of transformative reconciliations that can move the whole country forward, while doing justice to dangerous memories.    Gwyn McClelland holds a Master of Divinity from the University of Divinity, Melbourne, Australia and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Japanese history from Monash University. He is the winner of the 2019 John Legge prize for best thesis in Asian Studies, awarded by the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA). Takeshi Morisato is a philosopher and sometimes academic. He specializes in comparative and Japanese philosophy but he is also interested in making Japan and philosophy accessible to a wider audience. 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
Lu Xun, "Wild Grass and Morning Blossoms Gathered at Dusk" (Harvard UP, 2022)
13-02-2024
Lu Xun, "Wild Grass and Morning Blossoms Gathered at Dusk" (Harvard UP, 2022)
In this captivating translation of the imaginative prose essay collection Wild Grass (1927) and experimental memoir Morning Blossoms Gathered at Dusk (1928), Eileen J. Cheng expertly showcases the range and imagination of Lu Xun (1881–1936), generally considered to be the father of modern Chinese literature. Combined, these two books include stories and essays that touch on a wide range of topics including fallen leaves, alms seekers, dreams, dead fires, and all the different individuals who inspired Lu Xun’s writing. Through surreal prose and unreliable narrators, the books consider wide-reaching questions: What does it mean to be human? How can we know anything? Is pursuing self-knowledge necessary, even if it is impossible? Each translation is accompanied by an introduction that effectively situates the story within the life and work of Lu Xun. As a whole, Eileen’s translation Wild Grass and Morning Blossoms Gathered at Dusk (Harvard University Press, 2022) is an intriguing read, and for anyone who is used to Lu Xun’s more straightforward prose, it is entirely eye-opening, showing a radically different side to this canonical writer. Sarah Bramao-Ramos is a Research Assistant Professor at the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at the University of Hong Kong. She can be reached at sarahbr@hku.hk 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
Xuelei Huang, "Scents of China: A Modern History of Smell" (Cambridge UP, 2023)
10-02-2024
Xuelei Huang, "Scents of China: A Modern History of Smell" (Cambridge UP, 2023)
In this vivid and highly original reading of recent Chinese history, Scents of China: A Modern History of Smell (Cambridge University Press, 2023) Dr. Xuelei Huang documents the eclectic array of smells that permeated Chinese life from the High Qing through to the Mao period. Utilising interdisciplinary methodology and critically engaging with scholarship in the expanding fields of sensory and smell studies, she shows how this period of tumultuous change in China was experienced through the body and the senses. Drawing on unexplored archival materials, readers are introduced to the 'smellscapes' of China from the eighteenth to mid-twentieth century via perfumes, food, body odours, public health projects, consumerism and cosmetics, travel literature, fiction and political language. This pioneering and evocative study takes the reader on a sensory journey through modern Chinese history, examining the ways in which the experience of scent and modernity have intertwined. This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose forthcoming book focuses 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
Cheow Thia Chan, "Malaysian Crossings: Place and Language in the Worlding of Modern Chinese Literature" (Columbia UP, 2022)
10-02-2024
Cheow Thia Chan, "Malaysian Crossings: Place and Language in the Worlding of Modern Chinese Literature" (Columbia UP, 2022)
Malaysian Chinese (Mahua) literature is marginalized on several fronts. In the international literary space, which privileges the West, Malaysia is considered remote. The institutions of modern Chinese literature favor mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Within Malaysia, only texts in Malay, the national language, are considered national literature by the state. However, Mahua authors have produced creative and thought-provoking works that have won growing critical recognition, showing Malaysia to be a laboratory for imaginative Chinese writing. Highlighting Mahua literature’s distinctive mode of evolution, Cheow Thia Chan demonstrates that authors’ grasp of their marginality in the world-Chinese literary space has been the impetus for—rather than a barrier to—aesthetic inventiveness. He foregrounds the historical links between Malaysia and other Chinese-speaking regions, tracing how Mahua writers engage in the “worlding” of modern Chinese literature by navigating interconnected literary spaces. Focusing on writers including Lin Cantian, Han Suyin, Wang Anyi, and Li Yongping, whose works craft signature literary languages, Chan examines narrative representations of multilingual social realities and authorial reflections on colonial Malaya or independent Malaysia as valid literary terrain. Delineating the inter-Asian “crossings” of Mahua literary production—physical journeys, interactions among social groups, and mindset shifts—from the 1930s to the 2000s, he contends that new perspectives from the periphery are essential to understanding the globalization of modern Chinese literature. By emphasizing the inner diversities and connected histories in the margins, Malaysian Crossings: Place and Language in the Worlding of Modern Chinese Literature (Columbia UP, 2022) offers a powerful argument for remapping global Chinese literature and world literature. Cheow Thia Chan is assistant professor of Chinese studies at the National University of Singapore. His research interests include modern Chinese literature, Singapore and Malaysian Chinese Literature, Southeast Asian Chinese Studies, Diaspora Studies, and Urban Studies. Li-Ping Chen is a teaching fellow in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures 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
Anru Lee, "Haunted Modernities: Gender, Memory, and Placemaking in Postindustrial Taiwan" (U Hawaii Press, 2023)
09-02-2024
Anru Lee, "Haunted Modernities: Gender, Memory, and Placemaking in Postindustrial Taiwan" (U Hawaii Press, 2023)
On the podcast today, I am joined by Professor Anru Lee, who is professor of anthropology at John Jay College, the City University of New York. Anru will be talking about her new book, Haunted Modernities: Gender, Memory and Placemaking in Postindustrial Taiwan, which was published just last year in 2023 by University of Hawai’i Press. Haunted Modernities interrogates the nature of shared expressions of history, sentiment and memory as it investigates the role of the tragic death of twenty-five unwed women who drowned in a ferry accident on their way to work in factories in Taiwan’s Kaohsiung Export Processing Zone. By exploring the ways in which the deceased young women were perceived to “haunt” the living and the diverse renovations recommended, Professor Anru Lee illuminates how women workers in Taiwan have been conceptualized in the last several decades. In their proposals to renovate a memorial tomb in honor of their death, the interested parties forged specific accounts of history, transforming the collective burial site according to varying definitions of “heritage” as Taiwan shifted to a postindustrial economy, where factory jobs were no longer the main source of employment. Their plans engaged with acts of remembering—communal and individual—to create new ways of understanding the present. Haunted Modernities is a beautiful piece of scholar work that elucidates how “history” and “memory” are not simply about the past but part of a forward-looking process that emerges from the social, political, and economic needs of the present, legitimized and validated through its associations with the past. Dr. Suvi Rautio is an anthropologist of China. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies
Florence Mok, "Covert Colonialism: Governance, Surveillance and Political Culture in British Hong Kong, c.1966-97" (Manchester UP, 2023)
08-02-2024
Florence Mok, "Covert Colonialism: Governance, Surveillance and Political Culture in British Hong Kong, c.1966-97" (Manchester UP, 2023)
Florence Mok's book Covert Colonialism: Governance, Surveillance and Political Culture in British Hong Kong, c.1966-97 (Manchester UP, 2023) is timely and exciting for those who are interested in colonial governance and autonomy of the colonial polity. This is a long-ignored area in which colonial historians have made major interventions. Moving away from the existing focus on theories by political scientists and sociologists, this book uses under-exploited archival and unofficial data in London and Hong Kong to construct an empirical study of colonial governance and political culture in Hong Kong during a critical period. From 1966 to 1997, while in mainland China, the Cultural Revolution broke out and caused chaos, in other British colonies beginning or having completed decolonisation, in Hong Kong, the Star Ferry riots in 1966 gave rise to the setup of Town Talk, later MOOD, and then Talking Points, which were used to monitor and construct public opinions and feedback to policy making by the colonial government, thus titled ‘Covert Colonialism’. With seven cases featuring different communities, Florence shows how Hong Kong has become a democratic polity through these strategies mobilised by the colonial government. Failing to import the Western democratic framework into Hong Kong, the colonial government implemented an indirect way to allow the public to participate in the policymaking process and gradually shift Hong Kong people’s sentiments towards both mainland China and its coloniser. This book challenges the erroneous myth of political apathy and stability in Hong Kong, which was embraced by politicians. It will also generate meaningful discussions and heated debates on comparisons between ‘colonialism’ in different spaces and time: between Hong Kong and other former British colonies; and between colonial and post-colonial Hong Kong. Florence Mok is a Nanyang Assistant Professor of History at Nanyang Technological University. She is a historian of colonial Hong Kong and modern China, with an interest in environmental history, the Cold War and state-society relations. She received her BA and MA in History from Durham University. She completed her PhD in History at the University of York in 2019. Her doctoral research examined governance and political culture in 1970s Hong Kong. Her postdoctoral project explored Chinese Communist cultural activities in colonial Hong Kong during the Cold War. She is currently studying the history of natural disasters and crisis management. Bing Wang receives her PhD at the University of Leeds in 2020. Her research interests include exploring 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
Hedwig Amelia Waters, "Moral Economic Transitions in the Mongolian Borderlands: A Proportional Share" (UCL Press, 2023)
06-02-2024
Hedwig Amelia Waters, "Moral Economic Transitions in the Mongolian Borderlands: A Proportional Share" (UCL Press, 2023)
In the early 1990s, Mongolia began a transition from socialism to a market democracy. In the process, the country became more than ever dependent on international mining revenue. Nearly thirty years later, many of Mongolia's poor and rural feel that, rather than share in the prosperity the transition was supposed to spread, they have been forgotten. Moral Economic Transitions in the Mongolian Borderlands (UCL Press, 2023) analyzes this period of change from the viewpoint of the rural township of Magtaal on the Chinese border. After the end of socialism, the population of this resource-rich area found itself without employment or state institutions yet surrounded by lush nature and mere kilometers from the voracious Chinese market. A two-tiered resource-extractive political-economic system developed. At the same time as large-scale, formal, legally sanctioned conglomerates arrived to extract oil and other resources, local residents grew increasingly dependent on the Chinese-funded informal, illegal cross-border wildlife trade. More than a story about rampant capitalist extraction in the resource frontier, this book intimately details the complex inner worlds, moral ambiguities, and emergent collective politics constructed by individuals who feel caught in political-economic shifts that are largely outside of their control. Hedwig Amelia Waters is a Horizon Europe European Research Area Postdoctoral Fellow at Palacky University in the Czech Republic. Caleb Zakarin is the Assistant Editor of the New Books Network. 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
Kiribati in the Chinese Pacific: A Discussion with Rodolfo Maggio
02-02-2024
Kiribati in the Chinese Pacific: A Discussion with Rodolfo Maggio
Is Kiribati in the American lake, Indo-Pacific or Chinese Pacific? In this Episode, Julie Yu-Wen Chen talks to Rodolfo Maggio, a senior researcher at the University of Helsinki to conceptualize Kiribati as an interstitial island in the Chinese Pacific. Rodolfo Maggio is a social anthropologist of moral and economic values in the Asia-Pacific region. At the University of Helsinki, he is working on an ERC-funded project “properties of units and standards”. In 2023, he published an article in Political Geography that critically analyzes the case of a 2020 Chinese diplomatic visit in Kiribati. The event became known on August 16th, 2020, when Michael Field, a journalist writing with a focus on the South Pacific, posted a visually shocking photograph on Twitter. He typed the following words as a commentary to the exceptional circumstances that the picture depicted: “KIRIBATI - Event in which Chinese Ambassador Tang Songgen walked on backs of children as part of a welcome took place Friday/Saturday at Marakei, 80 km northeast of Tarawa, Kiribati”. Rodolfo Maggio uses his anthropological lens to clarify that the way the welcome ceremony for the Chinese diplomat has been enacted suggests that the “I-Kiribati political project” is far from being a passive acceptance of Chinese presence and influence in the Pacific Ocean. Julie Yu-Wen Chen is Professor of Chinese Studies at the Department of Cultures at the University of Helsinki (Finland) and visiting professor at the Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia at Mahidol University (Thailand). 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). Since 2023, she has been involved in the EU twinning project “The EU in the Volatile Indo-Pacific Region”, leading the preparatory research and providing supervision and counselling to junior researchers. 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
Shibani Mahtani and Timothy McLaughlin, "Among the Braves: Hope, Struggle, and Exile in the Battle for Hong Kong and the Future of Global Democracy" (Hachette, 2023)
02-02-2024
Shibani Mahtani and Timothy McLaughlin, "Among the Braves: Hope, Struggle, and Exile in the Battle for Hong Kong and the Future of Global Democracy" (Hachette, 2023)
In Among the Braves Hope, Struggle, and Exile in the Battles for Hong Kong and the Future of Global Democracy (Hachette, 2023) Shibani Mahtani and Timothy McLaughlin tell the story of Hong Kong's demise from Two Systems to One Country through the eyes of some of its key actors in the 2019 Anti-Extradition protests. In their richly evocative narrative, Mahtani and McLaughlin draw on their on-the-ground reporting, and weave this through a historical account to foreground the fight of the frontline protestors, referred to in Cantonese as "The Braves", who felt they had no other choice but to resist Beijing's increasingly authoritarian governance.  In this interview, we discussed the way that the changing political landscape of Hong Kong is demonstrative of the fragility of democratic institutions. We spoke about attempts by Beijing to erase historical memory through the imposition of increasingly draconian laws. Mahtani and McLaughlin will provide listeners with insight as to why Hong Kong matters, and why the rest of the world should take notice of the global erosion of democratic freedoms.  Shibani Mahtani is an international investigative correspondent for the Washington Post. She was previously the Post's Hong Kong and Southeast Asia bureau chief and a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal based in Singapore, Yangon, and Chicago. Her Hong Kong coverage was honored with prizes including a Human Rights Press Award for an investigation into police misconduct.  Timothy McLaughlin is a prize-winning contributing writer for The Atlantic. Previously he worked for Reuters news agency. His work has also appeared in publications including WIRED, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and Prospect. He has won multiple awards for his Hong Kong coverage, including two Best in Business Awards from the Society for Advancing Business Editing, and is a two-time finalist for The Livingston Award for International Reporting. Jane Richards is a Lecturer in Law at York Law School, UK. 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
Alex Burchmore, "New Export China: Translations Across Time and Place in Contemporary Chinese Porcelain Art" (U California Press, 2023)
02-02-2024
Alex Burchmore, "New Export China: Translations Across Time and Place in Contemporary Chinese Porcelain Art" (U California Press, 2023)
Why do so many contemporary Chinese artists use porcelain in their work? How do artists make sense of the legacy that porcelain has in China, and how do they use it to transmit ideas about China, Chinese art, and Chinese culture? In New Export China: Translations across Time and Place in Contemporary Chinese Porcelain Art (University of California Press, 2023), Alex Burchmore explores the place of ceramics in the work of four artists: Liu Jianhua, Ai Weiwei, Ah Xian, and Sin-ying Ho. By unpacking the history of porcelain production and export in China, the way artists make use of the unique features of ceramics, and the global reception of ceramics, Burchmore effectively demonstrates why understanding ceramics is central to understanding Chinese contemporary art. Filled with wonderfully nuanced readings of artworks and equally beautiful images, this book is sure to be of interest to readers looking to learn more about contemporary art and porcelain, and anyone looking to think about phrases like "Chinese art" and "mass production" in new ways.  Sarah Bramao-Ramos is a Research Assistant Professor at the Society of Fellows in the Humanities at the University of Hong Kong. She can be reached at sarahbr@hku.hk 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