2016 HEAS Conference Panels


Keynote speeches

Opening Keynote, Professor Ezra Vogel (CGIS-S010, February 20th, 9:10AM-9:40AM)

Closing Keynote, Professor Karen Thornber (CGIS-S010, February 21st, 5:00PM-5:30PM)


February 20th (Saturday)


Panel A: On the South Seas: Nanyang as Center and Periphery (CGIS-S050, 9:45AM-12:15PM)

Discussant: David Wang (Harvard University) 

Kunyi Zou (National University of Singapore)
In Search for "Self" and "Nation": Liu Kang and the Cultural Interpretation of Nanyang Art

This paper explores the connection between arts, artists and Singapore’s nation-building project. Through using historical approach exploring the production and exploitation of a unique art style called Nanyang Art, the paper reveals the sophisticated process of socio-cultural formation, identification and nationalization of transnational forces in Singapore during its nation building process. The art style was created by a group of overseas Chinese artists who lived transnational life from Shanghai, Europe, Indonesia, to Singapore. Painted by using the combination of western and eastern style, embracing Southeast Asia as a scene, and inclusive of various ethnicities in the painting, Nanyang Art serves as a medium for negotiating Singapore identity in its nation-building process. The famous artist, Liu Kang and Singapore government had played significant role in this process. In other words, there are links and parallels between arts, artists, and nation-building project.


Ke Liang Ng (National Taiwan University)

Doing Race, Being Chinese: Reproduction of Racial Conflict in Malaysia’s National Education System

Malaysia has been plagued with the racial conflicts since independence from Britain in 1957. Despite the government attempted to integrate the different racial groups into a “united-nation” through the implementation of National Education System, the racial conflict remains one of the major problem in the contemporary Malaysia. This paper examined how the national education system reproduces the racial conflicts between Malay and non-Malay. The data used in this study includes information obtained from archives and in-depth interview. The three major findings described as follow: Firstly, the establishment of National Education System was based on the ‘social contract’ which conferred the different citizenship along the racial line; Secondly, the racial identity of Chinese students was intensified when they encountered the racialized educational institution; Last but not least, the Chinese students, Chinese politicians and Chinese medias co-constitute the political dynamic of contemporary ‘historic bargain’ in the way of ‘doing race’.

Pin-yi Li (National Taiwan University)
Seeing “Culture(s)” through the Analysis of Museum Classifications in Singapore

Multiculturalism is a crucial feature of Singapore’s society. There are four main ethnic groups highlighted in official discourses, which are the Chinese, Malays, Indians and Others. Their images are often seen and consciously constructed and represented in the museum displays of Singapore. The National Heritage Board (NHB) and some private institutions in Singapore have been dedicated to the construction of museums for various purposes over the past two decades. In this paper, I propose the classification logic behind museum types in Singapore, which is based on the ethnographic work done early in 2015. After discussing the classification, I consider what is favored in representing “culture(s)”, particularly in Singapore’s national discourses, utilizing the National Museum of Singapore as a case study. Additionally, generating a concrete model of the museum classification system would be beneficial for further analysis of correlations between each museum, hence completing the museum-oriented ethnographical writing.

Nicholas Y. H. Wong (University of Chicago)
Whither Ng Kim Chew’s Nanyang People’s Republic?: History, Ethics, and Literary Writing

Recently, Ng Kim Chew (黃錦樹), modernist writer based in Taiwan, put forth several collected volumes of historical fiction about Malayan communism—Memorandum on the People’s Republic of Nanyang (2013), Still Seeing Buyeo (2014), and Fish (2015). Ng daringly re-imagines the history of the Cold War in Asia through the fictive People’s Republic of Nanyang and Malaya, with famous political figures and strange, unknown personages living fragmented, alternative histories of the communist insurrections in colonial Malaya and postcolonial Malaysia (1948-1989). Shifting away from usual scholarship in Sinophone studies that isolates Ng’s uses of language, script, and literary form as ways of disarticulating essential notions of Chinese-ness, my essay considers the act of writing (to “rewrite” or “reimagine”) history as part of Ng’s ethical project of critiquing Cold War knowledge formations and its relation to Sinophone aesthetic modernity.


Panel B: Popular Culture and Media (CGIS-S040, 9:45AM-12:15PM)

Discussant: Alexander Zahlten (Harvard University)

Yuki Ohsawa (University of British Columbia)

Technological Bodies: Reconceptualizing the Robot/Human Relationship through Japanese Anime and Manga

What do we imagine when we hear the words “robots” or “cyborgs” together with “Japan”? Why do we feel that images of technological bodies and Japan have a connection? Since the 1950s, Japanese popular culture, such as manga and anime, has created a wide range of imaginations of technological bodies—robots, transformable bodies, and cyborgs. I will analyze representative robot manga and animation that were very popular in each of the decades from the 1950s to the 1990s, to reveal 1) the relation between the robot body, influenced by advanced technology, and human beings; and 2) the conceptualization of the modern body. Also, this paper will reveal the limited presentations of sex and gender in those robot bodies, to argue that, even though robots and cyborgs offer an opportunity to overcome traditional, restrictive, or normative categories of sex and gender, ultimately the majority of these works fall back on the relative ‘safety’ of traditional, normative conceptions of these terms.

Christopher Kessler (University of Washington)

The Economic Impact of Subculture: A Case Study of the Otaku of Akihabara

The study of culture has been an underutilized means to understanding economies; however, it can be a useful tool in understanding economic activity. Understanding patterns that shape people’s identity is critical to understanding economic behavior (Virgil Storr, 2013). Furthermore, entrepreneurship itself “is primarily a cultural process. The seeing of profit opportunities is a matter of cultural interpretation” (Don Lavoie, 1991). This paper demonstrates the impact of the otaku subculture on the Japanese economy. It discusses Akihabara, an otaku space which emerged as a post-war electronics black market and has continued to prosper, despite recession. The paper then discusses responses of Japanese firms to otaku consumptive practices. It also discusses otaku as a productive force, re-marketing new versions of existing products in a practice of “prosumerism.” The paper concludes by looking at governmental appropriation of otaku activity to achieve soft power in Asia through cultural tourism and exportation of cultural media.

Young Sun Park (University of Southern California)

Saving the Children, Saving the World: Korean War Orphans in the American Media in the 1950s

Why did Korean War orphans become the focus of the cameras by Americans throughout the 1950s? In the paper, I demonstrate that the children of the Korean War played a more complex role than merely solidifying the neocolonial relations between the U.S. and Korea under the Cold War. The U.S. media were repeating the similar stories of Korean War orphans: a miserable child of the troubled nation by communist threat who was saved through American benevolence. I contend the U.S. media was selectively choosing positive American images for the domestic audience, filtering any potentially negative stories of American treatment of Korean War orphans. I argue the filtering was possible because of American assumptions, which supported the U.S. role as the champion for freedom and humanitarianism against communism.

Yoomin Nam (Korea University)

Comparative Study of Light Novels in Korea and Japan

There are several theories of what a light novel is, but the most prevalent opinion is “an entertainment novel for teenagers that has illustrations of manga and animation on the cover or contents”. The market has rapidly grown with the media franchise effects such as game or animation, making the light novel an important cultural phenomenon in modern Japanese society. Its popularity has spread beyond Japan with light novels translated and published in many countries. Japanese light novels were introduced to Korea in earnest in 2002 since Japanese sub-culture is easily accessible, and since then, the market has grown continuously. Currently, translated Japanese light novels account for a considerable proportion of the translation publishing market in Korea. Recently, a Korean light novel label was established for the publication of original works. This study thus aims to compare the two countries' light novels and the environment that surrounds the novels, and interpret the differences in the perspective of each country's culture. 

Panel C: Constructing Feminine Morality in Literature (CGIS-S020, 9:45AM-12:15PM)

Discussant: Wai-Yee Li (Harvard University)

Hanruo Zhang (Renmin University)

Imagining Female Quarters: the Gendered Chinese Screen in Song Dynasty Lyrics

In Chinese literary history, expression of love and depiction of sex were largely exiled from literary writings, especially in Song dynasty when neo-Confucianism pervaded in society. One exception is song lyrics (ci) where writers were free to depict love affairs and private affections. They set their imaginary love affairs with courtesans in imaginary female quarters, constructing luxurious and confined boudoirs. The screen becomes an important object in female boudoir and helps to heighten eroticism or indicates female desire. As furniture, the screen divides the room into interior and exterior spaces, which leads to a double ‘male gaze’. Readers not only gaze into the female quarters, but also into the space behind the screen where more private affairs are set. As a painting medium, the screen patterns become metaphors of female desire. These sharply contrast with screens depicted in literati lyrics and thus the screen becomes a gendered image in song lyrics.

Shiau-Yun Chen (Cornell University)

The Circulated Image of Ideal Women: Examining the Biographies of Two Chaste Wives in Late Imperial China

This paper discusses the circulation of the biographies of Zhang Zhennu (張貞女) and Tang Guimei (唐貴梅), whose names were spread by men of letters in the 16th-19th centuries as famous chaste wives. While this circulation catered to the physiographic macroregions of China, when the author of the biography was prominent and had nation-wide readership, it went beyond regional boundaries. Also, there was inversion of male writers’ writing when men participated in the formation of these figures. If these stories had not been written by males, both Zhang and Tang might have been considered licentious or unfilial. These women’s moral identities existed because of the male writers’ writing. However, the male writers also lost their own identities and were recorded in gazetteers not because of their literary or political talents, but only because they wrote about famous women and participated in the construction of female morality.

Ke Hu (Columbia University)

Seeing through Women’s Biographies in State-Issued Moral Guide: How did the Chosŏn Court Transplant Confucian Female Virtues to Korea?

Samgang Haengsil-to (Illustrated Exemplars of the Three Bonds) is one of Chosŏn’s most celebrated moral guides. It collected biographies of both Chinese and Korean filial sons, loyal subjects and devoted women in order to visualize Confucian virtues and educate its populace. Since this book is one of the significant official texts compiled at the early stage of Chosŏn’s Confucianization, this paper will primarily focus on its representation of women in order to see how the Chosŏn court transplanted Confucian female virtues to Korea. It will not only compare those edited Chinese devoted women’s biographies with their originals, but also present similarities and differences between those Chinese and Korean stories in the book. Then, it will argue that Chosŏn’s Confucianization was made possible only through its Chosŏnization, during which process Confucians negotiated and compromised with Korea’s local customs in an effort to adjust Confucian values to the native society.

Ting-Yi Wang (Harvard University)
Narrative and Judgment of Women in Zuozhuan: Taking Mu Ji and Qi Jiang as Examples

As one of the Confucian Classics, Zuozhuan respects rites and norms. Understanding the authors’ attitude towards characters reveals the judgment standard and core values of Zuozhuan. However, there are some seemingly self-contradictory judgments towards different female characters in the text. This article will interpret the judgment of Zuozhuan by analyzing how narratives depict different choices women make when encountering similar dilemmas, and by referring to ancient records, compare and contrast the requirements facing the women of Zuozhuan and of the Eastern Zhou. I suggest that, under certain circumstances, Zuozhuan has a flexible attitude and judges women differently from general standards in the Eastern Zhou, leaving an effect of de-gendering and treating men and women equally without discrimination. Instead of gender, it is the depth of those female characters’ insights, the strength of their determination as well as the consequences following their decisions that Zuozhuan takes into account when examining their deeds. 


Panel D: Tools of Empire: Facets of Twentieth Century Japanese Colonialism (CGIS-S010, 9:45AM-12:15PM)

Discussant: Carter Eckert (Harvard University)

Yung Hian Ng (Harvard University)
Statues and Spoons: Japanese Metal Requisitions in Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong, 1941- 1945

Late into the Second World War, Japan turned to metal requisition drives across its empire to obtain material for ammunition in face of depleting resources. Each of these places has different narratives of Japanese colonization and occupation -- Taiwan tends to have nostalgic accounts, Korea maintains a myopic ethno- nationalistic narrative of exploitations, while the occupation in Hong Kong is largely forgotten. Through investigating and comparing the metal requisition exercises from 1941-1945 in these places followed by an examination of postwar narratives, the study aims to challenge the conventional historical narratives in these places. The paper concludes that difference in objects requisitioned, direct disruptions in daily lives, measures of requisition and stricter enforcement towards the end of the war and postwar trajectory in these places are crucial in contributing to the different narratives of events today.

Xiaoran He (Pennsylvania State University)

Reimagining Modernity in Twentieth-century Asia: Gender and Moral Discourses in Wartime Manchuria

The status that Chinese periodicals had with the state gave them flexibility in presenting a legitimate grey zone of discourse with official acquiescence that ultimately challenged the state ideology. The certitude of the “good wife, wise mother” paradigm appraised by the state-constructed “tradition-within-modernity” model of womanhood gave way to the commencement of re-discovering the self and social representation of the self for women. The official designated role of women as ones in service of men, the state, and the war came to be coveted with confessional literatures pursuing women’s alternative identities emerging in periodicals. Writings about quotidian practical knowledge, where women’s initiative and significance were appreciated, endowed women with values more in their own terms rather than merely in the name of orthodox Confucianism or the state. Hence, the wartime period witnessed a widening spread of everyday knowledge and the knowledge about the inner realm of humans, with which the image of women was modified.

Joyce Chiong (Stanford University)

Syonan-To in the Japanese Empire: What Policies Did the Japanese Use in Singapore and How Did They Compare to Those Used in Other Colonies?

Singapore was occupied by the Japanese as Syonan-to in the final years of the Japanese Empire. As one of its smallest colonies, the Japanese Occupation of Singapore has garnered limited academic attention. This paper seeks to examine the governing methods used by the Japanese in Singapore, and compare these methods with those of colonial Korea and Taiwan. While similar policies such as kominka were used, the Occupation was also known to be extremely exploitative, with the Sook Ching Massacre, exploitation of comfort women, and widespread violence by the Kempeitai. Did the Japanese have the same goals for Singapore as they had for Korea when they applied kominka policies? If they envisioned Singapore to be just an economic and military base, why did they need to “Japanize” Singaporeans? In exploring these questions, the paper aims to make sense of Singapore’s experience with reference to the larger Japanese colonial project.

Ying Guo (University of British Columbia)

“The New Land” Called Manchuria: On Winter Jasmine as a Manchukuo Propaganda Film between Lost Land China and Distant Land Japan

As an independent and mature entertainment film of Manying (Manchurian Motion Picture Association) released in 1942, Winter Jasmine (迎春花) starring Li Xianglan, was a collective production of Japanese filmmakers and Chinese actors with different political orientations. As a didactic production, unlike “Continental Trilogy” hot in Japan for representing “taming of the Chinese shrew”, Winter Jasmine depicts a Japanese man’s new life in Manchukuo, which begins with joyful adventures but ends suddenly with a double failure of love and blending into the local society. The producer of the film, Iwasaki Akira was actually an influential left-wing film theorist not only in Japan but also in China before he worked in Manying. The ideological ambiguity of this film and Iwasaki’s journey between Japan, Shanghai and Manchukuo, bring out more thoughts of the complexity of colonization and propaganda.


Panel E: From the State to the Local: Chinese Public Policy through Modern Times (CGIS-S010, 1:30PM-4:00PM) 

Discussant: Anthony Saich (Harvard University)

Ruochen Chen (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Gentry, Merchant and the Society: Management of A Jiangnan Market Town in Late Qing (1796-1911)

Chinese market towns should be explored beyond the prosperous commerce that flowed through them. Early 19th century, a time period when state power of the Qing was debilitating and the influence of foreigners was yet to ripen, was chosen by the author to unravel the layered social and power structure of Nanxun, a Jiangnan market town. Literary gathering, relief activity, lineage building, charitable enterprise and religious institution would be discussed in the paper to show how the interaction and cooperation among various local groups resulted in social order and effective management of the town. I am going to argue that although Nanxun was known as a place of commercial prosperity, members of its leadership had to covert to or collaborate with literati for local management. And although the local leaders were able to reach self- government de facto, the symbolic state power never relinquished its supervising gaze on the territory.

Kevin Luo (University of Toronto)

Taxation, Class, and Nationalism: Revisiting Theories of Authoritarian Party Genesis in Republican China (1917-1927)

Why was the Kuomintang (KMT) able to establish an autocratic coalition in early Republican China, despite many unfavorable conditions including a weak tax collection capacity, resistance and mistrust from the commercial class, and growing urban insecurities about class conflict? Many contemporary theories of ‘authoritarian genesis’ have illustrated how challenging political environments can motivate autocratic parties to bargain with economic elites and develop broader social coalitions. However, I aim to show how these arguments often underestimate conflicts between regime, the bourgeois class, and labor, in the context of what Prasenjit Duara calls ‘state involution’. By examining the KMT’s taxation efforts and interactions with local merchants during the Canton Period (1917-1927), I highlight three key issues in producing a successful outcome for autocratic coalition building: monopolization of taxable revenues, dynamic political bargaining vis-à-vis labor unrest, and the promotion of economic nationalism to temporarily suspend class conflict.

Jihyun Han (Cornell University)
Labor Competitions and Urban Life in Post-Liberation Shenyang

This paper traces how labor competitions in factories shaped a new urban atmosphere in the northeastern city of Shenyang (沈阳). When the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) took over Shenyang in November 1948, more than half of the population was workers in state-owned enterprises and their families, and this proportion increased continually. Due to this socioeconomic situation, Shenyang was a central node in the formulation of, experimentation with, and extension of labor policies in the early years of CCP rule. Three stages of labor competitions in Shenyang—the solution to the ambivalence toward retained workers in 1948, institutionalization in 1949, and the connection to workers’ families and the expansion to society at large from 1950 to 1951—brought about a new urban environment in which the CCP could consolidate its political influence and stabilize society.

Lisa Melcher (Free University of Berlin)
A Multiplicity of Orders: Spatial Planning of Towns in China

Looking at contemporary spatial planning, I argue that it is plausible to think of local policy making and strategic planning as being guided by multiple, at times diverging normative conceptualizations and imaginations about development. Existing literature largely sees politicians as maximizing their advantage in reaction to a political structure of incentives and institutions. I present a heuristic framework derived from Boltanski & Thévenot’s (1991/2006) ‘orders of justification’ which posits that actors reflexively navigate a number of different logics that explain the world and define objectives. In an empirical example, the rationalities of the planning profession are being discussed to extend the scope of possible explanations for the framing of planning problems in spatial planning in China.


Panel F: New Perspectives on Modern Japanese History (CGIS-S020, 1:30PM-4:00PM)

Discussant: Andrew Gordon (Harvard University)

David Coldren (University of Hawaii at Manoa)

Legacies of World War II: Yasukuni Shrine, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, and War Memory in Japan

Since the conclusion of World War II in 1945, the Japanese people have been engaged in a debate regarding the “correct way” of remembering the conflict. In the midst of this debate, the Yasukuni Shrine and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial have become important mnemonic sites that seem to engender conflicting recollections of WWII and its meaning. This paper will critically analyze and compare these two war memorials to determine what memories they elicit and how they do so, focusing on three central aspects: the physical space of the memorial, on-site museum representation, and ritual. This paper thus hopes to explain the relationship they have with one another and with Japanese war memory as a whole.

Jonas Rüegg (Harvard University)

Japan’s Colonization of Ogasawara and the Tokugawa Pivot to the Pacific

This paper discusses the colonization of the Ogasawara Archipelago undertaken by the Tokugawa government of Japan between 1861 and 1863. Even though the Tokugawa had previously treated Ogasawara as a foreign territory, the advent of Western whaling techniques transformed the open sea into a space of industrial production, thus making the tiny archipelago interesting for Japanese policy makers. What followed was a thoroughly planned experiment with colonialism colonization. Assimilating local islanders, establishing Japanese settlements, and exploiting maritime resources combined earlier experiences in subjugating Ezo with modern territorial claims. Not ethnicity, but rather the control of space by law defined the new borders of the modernizing nation state. Discussing a period of radical cultural change, this paper illustrates how the periphery served as an experimenting ground for globalization, as Japan redefined its environment and itself in the last years of Tokugawa rule.

Tomomi Shimizu (Seijo University)
The Controversial Nude: Debate over the Nude Woman in Meiji and Taisho Period

The controversial nudes of the Meiji and Taisho periods frequently provoked discussion on whether or not nudes were obscene. During these periods, authorities restricted the painting of nudes, and conflicts arising between authorities’ restrictions and painters’ views about nudes caused changes in the form of painting. We consider the nudes in three exhibitions and attempt to ascertain the effects of the authorities’ restrictions and related laws on these works. Restrictions imposed by the police tended to affect the style of nudes produced and exhibited during the Meiji and Taisho periods. Furthermore, the authorities’ criteria for restriction varied depending on whether the lower part of the body was exposed or whether a realistic situation was depicted. Therefore, the style of nudes painted during these periods was shaped by the restrictions imposed by the authorities.


Panel G: Early China: History and Text (CGIS-S040, 1:30PM-4:00PM)

Discussant: Brian Lander (Harvard University)

Ka Ki Alan Ho (McGill University)
The Hidden Pedigree in the ‘West’: A Study of Dou Family’s Area Control in Hexi and Western Regions in Early Eastern Han

This paper aims at briefly introducing how the Dou family could overshadow the central government in its management of the Western regions in the 1st century CE. By filling the power vacuum left since 9 CE, the Dou family became the de facto rather than de jure moderator of the Hexi and the Western regions. Especially after Guangwu denied the request of a Protector General from some Western regions states in 45 CE, the Dou family was able to construct a local network through which it dominated the area for about a half-century. This paper will use the case of Dou family to raise questions about what it meant to control an area, especially in a period of dynastic transition, and to analyze the interstate relations shifting from central government to the local governor.

Dewei Shen (Yale University)
The Enterprise of Imaging the Empire: Maps and Territorial Managements in the Western Han

Although recent studies of Han administrative manuscripts have deepened our understandings about how the Western Han organized its localities and frontiers, one important question remains unasked: on what grounds did the emperor, his generals, local bureaucrats, and regional lords envision and comprehend the vast empire topo-geographically? In this paper, I situate my perspective in the utilization of maps. I argue that, imaging via maps, by its essence, was a highly involved enterprise that not only enabled imperial engineering of local demographics and military configurations, but also produced epistemic instruments for the ruling groups. For this reason, the leak of secretive map information to antagonistic hands could result in dynastic crisis. Since map representation interacted intimately with the actual territorial managements, the paper also investigates the Western Han’s administrations in its northern and southern frontiers, in order to exhibit the externalizing process of the epistemic mechanism as encoded in excavated maps.

Jie Huang (Wuhan University/Harvard-Yenching Institute)
Rereading the Received Shang shu (尚書) Materials in Light of Excavated Version: Focusing on the Jin teng (金縢)

This paper is a comparative textual study of the excavated Jin teng (金縢) text in the Qinghua University collection of Bamboo-strip manuscripts with its counterparts in the Shang shu and the Shi ji. It analyzes the differences between the excavated and received versions, and explores the reasons for these differences using theories of traditional Chinese textual criticism, paleography and historical phonology. It argues that the bamboo strip version of Jin teng is a much more original version than the Shang shu version, and the latter one is a revised version based on the former one. Both versions belong to the same textual tradition, providing important insights on how received texts came to their present form over more than two millennia of transmission. It also argues for the importance of paying attention to the way each character was used during that period when editing, transcribing, reading and interpreting excavated texts from early period.

Mengmeng Ji (Fudan University/Harvard-Yenching Institute)
The Preserved and Adjusted Strangeness of Liu Bang: Another Interpretation of Ban Gu’s Idea of the Heavenly Mandate

The supernatural content in “The Annals of Emperor Gao” in Hanshu has been seen as the signs of Heavenly Mandate, which enthroned Liu Bang and legitimated the founding of the Han dynasty. The texts involving supernatural content are a combination of both Sima Qian’s existing narratives in Shiji and Ban Gu’s own adjustments. My analysis of the texts shows that Ban Gu has chosen to preserve sections of Shiji that emphasized interaction between Heaven and Liu Bang, and his own adjustments further strengthen this interactive feature. My paper thus explores Ban Gu’s idea concerning the relationship between Heaven and individual presented in his historical narration: instead of static and unidirectionally dominant pattern, Ban Gu seems to suggest multiple possible proportions of the Heavenly Mandate and personal effort in his “recipe for success”, suggesting a more interactive and dynamic view concerning Heaven and Individual.


Panel H: Resistance and Revolution: Reimagining Post-1949 Chinese Society (CGIS-S050, 1:30PM-4:00PM)

Discussant: Arunabh Ghosh (Harvard University)

Zi Yang (Georgetown University)
Mapping China’s Illicit Gun Trade

China is one of the world’s top small arms producers, and the products of official arms companies such as Norinco (beifang gongye) make regular appearances in conflicts around the globe. Despite the country’s position as one of the world’s largest arms producers, strict Chinese gun laws are designed to ensure few, if any, of its own citizens have the legal right to keep arms. Much less noticed is China’s growing problem with domestic production of illegal firearms, which have helped fuel a recent spike in crime. Why, despite the tough gun laws in place, does China’s illicit gun trade continue to flourish? China’s expanding gun trade is a byproduct of its well-to-do population’s growing demand for illegal goods. However, the existing ban, which makes legal gun purchases for law abiding citizens nearly impossible, has resulted in the disproportionate allocation of guns to criminal groups, adding new challenges to the maintenance of public and social order.

Christopher Tang (Cornell University)

Between Nationalism and Internationalism: Internationalist Propaganda of the Early Cultural Revolution and Popular Chinese Imaginations of the World, 1966-68

This paper explores two groups of domestically deployed internationalist propaganda texts from the early Cultural Revolution (1966-68): state-sponsored publications and original Red Guard texts. Documenting and compiling accounts of foreigners offering praise for Mao, the Cultural Revolution, and Red Guard accomplishments, these texts helped to mobilize for, and shape the violence of, the early Cultural Revolution in China. These works portrayed a world looking to emulate China’s revolutionary trajectory and drawing inspiration from its world historic Cultural Revolution. Resonating with a popular Chinese nationalism yearning for China’s return to a place of global centrality, these texts helped a Chinese readership imagine themselves at the forefront of a broad, global community, and inspired ideas of their domestic actions holding transnational effect. Amidst the Cultural Revolution’s evolving atmosphere of paranoia and pursuit of ‘enemies,’ the movement’s perceived global dimensions raised the stakes of its success and facilitated its descent into widespread violence by 1968.

Hang Tu (Harvard University)
Specters of Lu Xun (鲁迅): Wang Hui(汪晖) and the (Un)Making of a New Left Intellectual in Postsocialist China

This essay probes into the controversial revisiting of the red legacy initiated by Wang Hui, arguably the most prominent New Left Intellectual in contemporary China. Recognizing the catastrophic effect of Maosim, Wang tries to excavate those moments in the RPC years that could be recuperated as a resistance against capitalist modernity. I analyze the making of Wang Hui’s critical intervention from his intellectual origin as a Lu Xun scholar. Lu Xun’s thought served as a recurring theme in the historical come-into-being of Wang Hui’s proclamation against capitalism. Wang Hui’s appropriation of Lu Xun raises important questions about the peculiar dynamics of the post-Mao left wing intellectual politics caught between socialist revolution and market reform. It also points to the problem of autonomy in the changing relations between intellectuals and the party-state in postsocialist China.

Weiqiong Sun (Yale University)
Writing the Great Famine into China’s Trauma Drama

The Three Years of Great Chinese Famine between the years 1959 and 1961, an event marked by unprecedented human suffering, has gradually reentered the public spotlight of Western scholars as more and more statistics are made available. However, the overall exposure is still limited in mainland China. The absence of this destructive event in public discourse signals the government’s deliberate erasure. Along with large-scale destruction and casualties, the famine reveals crucial aspects of the Chinese society that are denied from the general public. Moreover, such a catastrophe has the inherent capacity to evoke a long repressed sense of collective belonging and inevitably raises the query of “what kind of society are we?” This essay thereby attempts to assess China’s potential of healing the traumatic famine and argues that a reformative and critical introspection of the famine can help break its current stalemate of moral crisis.


Panel I: Social Issues in Contemporary South Korea (CGIS-S020, 4:15PM-6:15PM)

Discussant: Paul Y. Chang (Harvard University)

Youngoh Jung (University of California, San Diego)

The Normalization of Universal Male Conscription in South Korean Society and the State Regulation of Draft Evasion and Conscientious Objection: 1950-1987

This paper traces the history of conscientious objection and draft evasion, as well as the normalization of the universal male conscription system, from 1950 to 1987 in the Republic of Korea. During the Korean War, draft evasion was a rampant problem that the Syngman Rhee regime (1948- 1960) failed to control. The compulsory conscription system was stabilized and began to be normalized during the Pak Chŏng Hŭi regime (1961–1979), when social impetuses were established to necessitate the completion of military service. It also coincided with the increased criminalization of draft evasion, as well as the persecution and stigmatization of religious conscientious objectors. This process was supported by a national surveillance system which made possible the intensification of a nation-wide crackdown on draft evasion and conscientious objection. The successful implementation of these disciplinary mechanisms perpetuated the normalized existence of universal male conscription and the persecution of its objectors.

Yunyoung Kim (Ewha Womans University)

Precarious Elderly Workers in Post-industrial South Korea

This study aims to examine precariousness of the elderly workers in post-industrial Korea in the context of the transition to the service economy. With the rapidly ageing population, many countries and institutions have stressed the importance of encouraging elderly to participate in the labour market. Compared to other OECD countries, Korea already has relatively high participation rate of elderly workers. However, since Korea is an immature welfare state with an immature income maintenance system, many older people cannot receive enough transfers to live and have no choice but to work after retirement age. They are still poor, even though they work and have income, resulting from the low quality of their jobs in the post- industrial South Korea. Previous studies on elderly workers have focused on their income or employment status separately; however, we suggest that employment, income and social security should be included in the precarious work for understanding the precariousness of elderly workers. Thus, this study employs a set theory to conceptualize of precarious work and examines the size and type of precarious work of elderly workers and how different configurations of precarious work are associated with class structure in the service economy.

Jihye Han (Free University of Berlin)
Why do Koreans choose to be Edu-Poor?

“Education Poor (Edu-Poor)” stands for ‘a household living in poverty because of the overspending on education despite the debt and deficit.’ According to the 2011 Korean Household Survey, more than 70% of the Edu-Poor accounted for the middle class. However, the reason why has not been sufficiently studied. This paper attempts to explain the emergence of the Edu-Poor through the positional competition caused by the developmental state growth strategy and the rapid higher education expansion mobilizing private sector during the democratization in the 1980s. As a result of the export-centered economic strategy, the domestic job market growth in high productivity service sector has been limited while graduates are oversupplied through the private higher education institution. Although the return is very limited, the middle class Koreans continuously take the risk of being poor by overspending on private education to manage the very risk of their children due to the institutional distrust.


Panel J: Emerging Trends in North Korea (CGIS-S010, 4:15PM-6:15PM)

Discussant: John Park (Harvard University)

Jonathan Corrado (Georgetown University)
New World Enters Through North Korea’s Marketplace

How has the increased presence of foreign products, media, and ideas affected ordinary North Korean peoples’ views on culture, history, governance, and the economy? This paper dissects how the jangmadang (grassroots market) has affected the attitudes and aspirations of everyday North Koreans. The increasing reliance of the general population to earn a living through market activity poses a serious challenge to the ideological underpinnings of the Kim Dynasty because residents have come to consider market sales a fundamental right. Through foreign media and marketization, the bulk of the population has crossed an ideological barrier that cannot be uncrossed. To characterize North Korea’s current ideological shift as a simple action-reaction interchange between protagonist and antagonist would be to disregard the key dynamic. We are instead witnessing a nationwide, high stakes negotiation, an incremental merging and unmerging of the state-sanctioned ideology and the grassroots-market inspired worldview. The main locus of change is therefore not in the crime or the punishment; but in the feedback between market vendor and MPS agent, the mutual adaptation between cadre and smuggler, the accommodation between black market and reform.

David Tian (Georgetown University)

Scarlet Fever in North Korea: Public Health as a Motivating Factor in China’s Policies toward North Korean Defectors

Despite facing severe denunciation as well as being a signatory to several international refugee treaties, China refuses to recognize North Korean defectors as refugees and repatriates them back to North Korea, where they likely face persecution from the regime for leaving the country. Previous theories to explain China’s behavior have included its alliance with North Korea, North Korea’s role as a “buffer zone” between American troops in South Korea and China, and the fear of an influx of refugees destabilizing Northeast China. However, what is not paid enough attention to is the fact that the poor sanitation and lack of effective healthcare in North Korea has led to the spread of communicable disease, which the Chinese government seeks to prevent from penetrating its borders. Hence, this paper argues that another reason China does not seem to be willing to cooperate on the issue of North Korean refugees is due to concerns about public health. Therefore, perhaps by addressing China’s health concerns, the international community can expect cooperation from the Chinese government on this issue.

Peter Moody (Columbia University)
Chollima, The Thousand Li Flying Horse: Neotraditionalism at Work in North Korea

This paper uses the lens of Neotraditionalism to elucidate the largely unexplored political aspect of the Chollima (or Flying Horse) Movement of North Korea. With its widespread use of a mythical, speedy horse from China as a rallying cry to inspire workers, this late 1950s and early 1960s worker mobilization movement was above all a series of legitimacy-enhancing exercises and the primary means by which the North Korean regime preserved the hegemony of Kim Il Sung following the Korean War. The term Neotraditionalism is reformulated to correspond with what the Chollima Movement involved: namely, the excavation and systematic reproduction of some element of a culture’s past, the framing of that traditional element or return to some form of traditional authority as progressive or modern, and the practice of making the reprocessed fragments of tradition a pervasive and permanent part of modern culture.


Panel K: Ethnic Policy and Identity in Premodern China (CGIS-S050, 4:15PM-6:15PM)

Discussant: Mark C. Elliott (Harvard University)

Hajnalka Elias (Cambridge University)

The Silent Majority: Minorities of the Southwest in Early Imperial China (A Study of the ‘Yanjing tu 鹽井圖’ and Early Textual Sources)

Early salt production in the southwest of China is documented in textual sources, and is depicted on the Han pictorial brick-tile titled “Yanjing tu 鹽井圖”, unearthed from tombs in present-day Sichuan. The Yanjing tu may reflect the region’s wealth and the tomb owner’s engagement in salt mining, but also represents a ‘story’ particular to this border territory and its people, many of whom were of ethnic origin, identified as the minorities today, although in fact they were the region’s principal inhabitants at the time. These “barbarians (Yi 夷)”, treated with suspicion and prejudice in early historiography, played a key role in the sourcing of brine, as a supply of seasonal labour and in the manufacture of salt as a tribute item to the Han court. The southwest’s regional identity was shaped by the ethnic population whose contribution to its economic and social life warrants further examination.

Christopher Eirkson (University of Pittsburgh)
Borrowed Statecraft: Ethnic Law as a Yuan-Ming Connection

Early Ming Dynasty law is extraordinarily concerned with distinguishing between Mongols and Chinese. Is this evidence of pre-modern recognition of “proto-ethnicity”? If so, how did it come about? I posit that a re- examination of ethnically-based laws in the tenth through fourteenth centuries reveals that the Ming Dynasty retained significant ideas about culture and ethnicity that were developed by the Yuan state from Jurchen and Khitan foundations. Prior to the Mongol Yuan Dynasty, such stark ethnic laws did not exist in China. While laws distinguishing Chinese and foreigners had Tang-era precedents, laws distinguishing specific ethnic populations and creating for them legal privileges and restrictions were a Khitan-Jurchen-Yuan innovation carried on by the Ming Dynasty. This analysis places the Ming Dynasty much closer to its Mongol predecessor and the centuries of “non-Chinese” history upon which the Mongols themselves drew.

Minsu Park (Seoul National University/Harvard-Yenching Institute)
Following the Heavens ('順天'): Local Administration of the Metropolitan Region in Early Qing China (1644-1722)

This project examines the local administration of the metropolitan region in early Qing China, focusing on how the dual system, the individual-centered Banner System and the regional-centered local administrative system initially conflicted with each other but later became stabilized. Local administration has been regarded as tightly regulated system, but this research explores the evolution and unseen tensions within the system that existed especially in early Qing period. This research also argues that the issue of Manchu-Han tension went beyond the questions of ethnicity and identity, and mattered even in the establishment of administrative rule over the newly conquered area. The Manchus endeavored to maintain balance between protecting their privileges and maintaining social stability of the metropolitan region. That process not only shows the continuity and change between the Ming and Qing, but also lets us re-imagine the coexistence and tolerance between Han and Manchu.


February 21st (Sunday)


Panel L: Cross-Cultural Translation (CGIS-S040, 9:00AM-11:00AM)

Discussant: Miya Qiong Xie (Harvard University)

Wakako Suzuki (University of California, Los Angeles)

The Afterlife of the Grimms’ Kinder-und Hausmärchen in Japan: The Development of Japanese Folk Tales in the Age of Growing Print Industry

This paper presents the role that translations of the Grimms’ fairy tales (Märchen) played in both the development of Japanese children’s literature and the new concepts that distinguished folktales as stories specifically for children. In particular, I will examine how Japanese intellectuals, translators, and educators— as well as publishers, governments, and the entertainment industry—interpreted, translated, and transformed the Grimms’ Kinder-und Hausmärchen (Children’s and Household Tales) to adjust them to the political, social, and cultural climate after the Meiji Restoration. This examination will show how fairy tales (dō wa 童話) were reproduced, particularly with an educational purpose, for Japanese children.

Min Zhou (Peking University)

The “Invisible” Source: On the Role of English-Japanese Integrated Readers in Zhou Zuoren’s Early Translations by Examining his Translation of The Gold Bug

Zhou Zuoren’s translations before 1906 are believed to be translated directly from English texts, especially with the case of Yu Chong Yuan (玉虫缘), his translation of The Gold Bug by Edgar Allen Poe, which stood as an example of literal translation in Zhou’s early translations. However, the original source text of Yu Chong Yuan was not presented purely in English but from the English-Japanese integrated reader Studies on English Literature (英文学研究) compiled by a Japanese scholar Yamagata Isoo (山县五十雄) as the fourth volume titled Nuggets (宝ほり(掘宝)). Not only did the translation strategy called “rewriting via testing” promoted by Yamagata cast a direct impact on Zhou’s translation of The Gold Bug, but the deliberate organisation of texts in Digging Nuggets, which anatomised the process of translation as separated actions by arranging the English text, annotations of the corresponding translation in Japanese, the literary introduction, notes from the translator and the translated texts in order, did also enlighten Zhou Zuoren to a great extent in his early translation practices. The invisible Japanese source was the actual origin of the Chinese version and thus directly anchored the textual features of Zhou’s translation in Chinese.


Panel M: Politicizing Spirituality: Religion and the State (CGIS-S050, 9:00AM-11:00AM)

Discussant: Kevin Caffrey (Harvard University)

Gde Metera (Northwestern University)

Incorporating Religion into the State in South Kalimantan: A New Assumption of Studying the State-Religion Relations in Post-Colonial Southeast Asia

This paper tries to develop a novel assumption in studying state-religion relations in Muslim democracies learning from the experience of post-colonial Southeast Asia. The new assumption of incorporation of religion into law instead of assumption of secularization currently prevailing in the literature can yield a valuable insight in regard to the study on ‘twin tolerations’ (Stepan 2000) and formalization of Sharia laws. Utilizing the new assumption and based on an ethnographic fieldwork in South Kalimantan, Indonesia in the summer 2013, the case study that this paper is presenting specifically illuminates how the subnational government is struggling in implementing Sharia laws at the subnational level which eventually encourages both the re-strengthening of infrastructural power of the state as well as the disruption of the religiosity of the citizens giving credence to the observation made by An-Na’im on the perils of formalization of Sharia (2008).

Sangyop Lee (Stanford University)

The Emergence of the “Five-Terrace Mountain” Cult in Korea

Most scholars have considered the appearance and development of the Mount Odae (Ch. Wutai 五臺) cult in Korea as yet another example of Chinese culture’s “transplantation” to the empire’s periphery and of its subsequent “indigenization” by the local elite. The present study questions the validity of this prevailing understanding of the Mount Odae cult and proposes another model of cultural diffusion with which it argues that we can better approximate the cult’s history. From a philological analysis of two Koryŏ dynasty accounts of the Mount Odae cult, this study will suggest that the story of the Korean Mount Odae cult may then be better told as that of inspiration and emergence than of transmission and localization, that the cult should be understood as an indigenous, independent materialization of the floating abstract idea of “Mañjuśrī’s five- terrace mountain” by the isolated Buddhist community on Mount Odae.

Myunggyo Kim (Harvard University)
Interdependent State-Society Relations in China: The Case of Falun Gong

Recent explosive growth of Christian population and organizations in China resemble that of qigong groups two decades ago. Falun Gong, as a latecomer in the qigong boom which began in the 1980s, demonstrated a remarkable rate of growth and boasted an incredibly effective organizational structure which allowed Falun Gong to penetrate deeply and widely into the Chinese society. This paper seeks to identify the contributing factors to Falun Gong’s rapid nation-wide expansion by asking the question “why did Falun Gong gain sudden popularity among various social groups?” By tracing the developmental path of Falun Gong in comparison to that of other Chinese social organizations, I argue that Falun Gong rose to sudden popularity because the authoritarian Chinese government created political opportunities that allowed Falun Gong to thrive.


Panel N: Inner Asia: Centering the Periphery (CGIS-S020, 9:00AM-11:00AM)

Discussant: Joshua Freeman (Harvard University)

Ling-wei Kung (Columbia University)

Between Dragon and Bear: Imaginations of Kazakhstan between the Qing and Russian Empires

Since the Russian Empire expanded its territory to Inner Asia and Siberia in the seventeenth century, the Qing dynasty keenly realized the threat from the far west. The competitions between two empires profoundly shaped not only the destiny of Inner Asia but also the boundaries of modern China. After the Zunghar Khanate, the powerful Mongolian polity and the dead foe of the Qing in present-day Xinjiang, was smashed by the Qianlong emperor in the eighteenth century, Kazakh people rapidly filled up the power vacuum left by Zunghar Mongols in Inner Asia. Between the Qing and Russian Empires, Kazakh nomads developed a set of special strategy to find the power balance between two ambitious neighbors. The double- faced diplomacy played by Kazakhstan created divergent imaginations to the Qing and Russia. Based on the letters between the Russian Senate (Сенат) and Qing's Lifanyuan (the board of frontier affairs) and secret palace memorials in Manchu language, this work discusses how did the Qing and Russia imagine Kazakhstan during the eighteenth to nineteenth centuries, and how did the imperial imaginations form the political boundaries of modern China.

Lina Wang (University of Washington)

Uyghur Diaspora in Turkey: Imagining Homeland

The Uyghur people are Sunni Muslims of Turkic origin living in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region. The first contemporary large wave of Uyghur migration to Turkey dates back to 1950s. Variation in Uyghur diaspora’s answer to “where is the homeland” remains an unresolved puzzle. The purpose of this paper is to explore Uyghur diaspora’s construction of their homeland. Based on framing theory and Anderson’s “imagined communities”, this paper analyzes how Uyghur diaspora intellectuals in Turkey frame the symbolic “homeland” to consolidate Uyghur identity. By content analysis of Mehmet Emin Buğra and İsa Yusuf Alptekin’s books, Buğra’s Pan-Turk journal Türkistan Sesi, Uyghur organizations’ quarterly Turkish report Doğu Türkistan’ın Sesi and quarterly magazine Gökbayrak, this study examines how the historical, cultural, religious, and political dimensions of the Uyghur people were framed to the Uyghur diaspora in Turkey and the Turkish public from 1950s to 1990s.

Daniel Miller (University of Washington)
Strategic Goals, Strategic Loans: Chinese Foreign Development Investment in Central Asia

Current data suggests that the People’s Republic of China is pursuing large development projects (300 million to 5 billion USD) in Central Asia at a staggering rate. Some evidence indicates Chinese investment in this region is outpacing all other geographic areas in year over year growth. Puzzlingly, the characteristics of these investments are often divorced from profit maximization and this variance correlates strongly with individual project focus. Extant literature on PRC domestic development investment tells us that project strategic value strongly impacts funding details. Internationally, are strategic regime goals equally explanatory for variance in funding? If so, what can the details of these individual policy choices tell us about the PRC regime? A systemic analysis of China’s investment choices in Central Asian development projects shows strategic regime goals determine investment selection and details. These cases also indicate the PRC’s overall intentions in the region.


Panel O: Constructing the Nation through Gender, Education, and Geography (CGIS-S010, 9:00AM-11:00AM)

Discussant: Amin Ghadimi (Harvard University)

Wen-Wei Lan (National Taiwan University)
“Feudal Donors and Peasant Teachers: The Gōgaku and Shizudani School”

In Japan, the Shizudani school was the first gōgaku, a school to teach reading, writing, Confucianism to the lower social classes of society. The Shizudani school was founded by the feudal lord of Okayama, Ikeda Mitsumasa, in 1670. Although the student and budget of the school was small, the commoners in the immediate neighborhood began inviting the students of the Shizudani school to group learning events to teach the commoners Confucian ideals, manners, and morals. That is, the villagers took the initiative to improve manners and public morals of their own design. The support base for the Shizudani school was the locals’ eagerness to learn. This paper aims to analyze the history of the Shizudani school, to elucidate the distinctive characteristics of the gōgaku model, and the general accessibility of education in a feudal society. This is crucial in order to refine our understanding of public education in Tokugawa Japan.

Jami Wilson (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs)

Eugenics, Nationalism, and Elitism in the Gender Roles of Republican China: Pan Guangdan’s “New Ways to Teach Women to be Mothers”

This study explores the writings of Pan Guangdan (1899–1967), the Chinese sociologist who is credited with the introduction of eugenics to China, on gender roles, education reform, and new motherhood in relation to eugenics. Pan applied eugenics to promoting motherhood based on his conviction that the production of wealth and culture was every man’s duty and human reproduction was every woman’s duty. Pan’s movement “New Ways to Teach Women to be Mothers” in the 1930s-40s advocated that all women become mothers who raise and educate their children single-handedly without the help of nannies, wet nurses, maids, or nurseries. Pan’s scientific and progressive ideas of eugenics paradoxically justified a conservative agenda that confines women in the household; and Pan's premises of Social Darwinism and nationalism required the sacrifice of women for the good of the nation. This study will rethink eugenics, gender role, nationalism, and Chinese masculine elitism in the Republican era.

Yu-chi Chang (Brown University)
Teaching National Humiliation: Geographical studies and Map-making in the Early Twentieth Century China

This article will be focusing on the role of “national humiliation” in geographic knowledge production during the early Republican period by investigating scholarly and popular works on Chinese geography and “maps of national humiliation.” National humiliation, the sense of crisis, and concerns over territories together forged a grand discourse in the enterprise of historical geography and cartography in the early twentieth century China. Early twentieth-century Chinese intellectuals and map-makers expressed their sense of being afflicted by the legacy and historical memory of foreign coercion dating to the nineteenth century. They hoped to “teach” the common people about China’s national humiliation. The forms of presenting past suffering for the country were embodiments of the historical memory of being humiliated as well as responses to the impending crisis of foreign invasion.


Panel P: Exhibiting History: (Re)defining the Nation in Museums (CGIS-S040, 12:15PM-2:15PM) 

Discussant: Peggy Levitt (Wellesley College/Hauser Institute, Harvard Kennedy School)

Sofia Bollo (University of Zurich)

Chinese Civilization/s on Display: Re-imaging Ancient China in Museums

This project compares displays of Chinese Neolithic pottery in museums in China to engage with the current practices of representation and interpretation of Chinese prehistoric past. With an emphasis on the material mediatory role of objects in the museum setting, this study seeks to investigate the museological construction of narratives about prehistory performed by multiple perspectives acting in their relational context. I am providing a new framework to understand what has been called ‘primitive China’, bringing together insights on different exhibition strategies, revaluations of prehistoric cultures as well as the unprecedented boom of museums in China, through a multi-sample and multi-perspective comparative approach. Three domains constitute the basic research framework: curators, objects and visitors, which is a good analytical tool to help describe and compare the relationships and connections between curator, display and visitors. In museums each perspective can potentially create particular stories, which together work towards the production of overarching narratives about prehistoric China.

Mengge Cao (McGill University)

Reimagining the Red China in Small Things: Bethune Memorabilia Collection from the Osler Library of McGill University

In the mid-1960s, McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine initiated an exchange program that sent Canadian doctors to China. During the exchange, participants not only took part in medical research, but also attended commemoration ceremonies for Dr. Norman Bethune (1890-1939), the Canadian doctor who volunteered as a battlefield surgeon during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Thanks to the exchange program, various Bethune memorabilia produced during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) were brought back to Canada. By situating these memorabilia within the visual culture formed during the Cultural Revolution, I investigate their afterlife as the symbol of rapprochement between Canada and China during 1970s. Combining visual analysis and archival research, I attempt to demonstrate that the small objects in the Bethune Collection could help us understand the turning point of Sino-Canadian relation.

Pi-Te Chiu (National Taiwan Normal University)

The Museumification of Military Dependents’ Villages in Taiwan and Its Representation: A Case of Hsinchu City Military Dependents’ Villages Museum

With the retreat of the K.M.T. government to Taiwan, military dependents’ villages were built in the late 1940s and 1950s. They were regarded as provisional residences for soldiers of the K.M.T. Armed Forces and their dependents from mainland China. Since the second half of the 1980s, there has been growing numbers of dramas and literature works focusing on life in these villages. In addition, the first Museum of Military Dependents’ Villages was instituted in 2002. However, the reappearances of military dependents’ villages were all identical, including in museums. This article aims to investigate the museumification and representation of Hsinchu City Military Dependents’ Villages Museum in Taiwan. By examining panels of the permanent exhibition and the visitor guide, this article will analyze: What words were used to represent the military dependents’ villages? The present study enhances the previous studies’ findings by providing a much more detailed examination of military dependents’ villages.

Christopher Kim (Harvard University)

Museum Narratives and National Identity Construction: Retelling Contested Histories in China and Korea

National museums are deliberately arranged spaces in which national identity is constantly negotiated and constructed, produced and consumed. This paper focuses specifically on demonstrating how national historical narratives are constructed in national museums in China and South Korea. It argues that museums in both countries are heavily involved in the process of “doing history,” as these historical narratives are tailored to augment and reinforce certain ideas of nationhood: China as an inclusive and united multiethnic nation, and Korea as a politically and culturally autonomous nation. The case study analyzed in this paper is the differing treatment of the history of the ancient kingdom of Goguryeo (37 BC–668 AD)—claimed by both modern China and Korea—in the National Museum of China and the National Museum of Korea.

Panel Q: East Asian International Relations (CGIS-S010, 12:15PM-2:15PM)

Discussant: Jeremy Friedman (Harvard University)

Sarang Kim (International Graduate School of English)
Clashing Collective Memory between Korea and Japan

This paper examines how differing social memory construction process over the past, especially concerning wartime period, has led Korea and Japan to engage in their respective version of imagined communities and its impact on relations between two countries. This will be examined particularly through Dokdo/Takeshima territorial controversy in which Korea and Japan base their territorial claims on different historical and socio-cultural sources. In this process, the fundamental differences between two countries and source of their conflict can be examined. At the same time, Korea and Japan share similarities in terms of how the issue has become perpetuating part of their respective social memory. Understanding differences and similarities might be used as a point of reference for prospective future relationships between two countries. This dynamic process will be explored mainly through written sources and media analysis in order to examine how social memory formation process becomes visible and palpable in practice.

Diana Schnelle (Ruhr University Bochum)

Russia's pivot to Asia: Implications for Japan

This paper examines Russia's 'turn to East' and its implications for Asia and Japan using a role theoretical approach. It argues that the recent regional as well as global dynamics are not solely a product of a geopolitical 'hard power' shift that is attracting the interest of realist and neo-realist scholars, but are also a function of the ongoing construction and re-construction of roles played by different states in the international society. In this context, Russia's role-making in Asia and its growing assertiveness in contesting the global leadership role of the US have a significant impact on the regional order and thereby influence Japan's foreign policy behavior.


Panel R: Culture and Tourism: Transnational Flow Between China, Taiwan, and Korea (CGIS-S050, 12:15PM-2:15PM)

Discussant: Pei-yin Lin (University of Hong Kong/Harvard-Yenching Institute)

Mi Sook Park (University of Sheffield)
Transnational cultural flows in East Asia: The Role of State and Transnational Cultural Flows in East Asia 

Transnational cultural flows have undergone rapid transformations within the era of globalisation. As in the West, transnational cultural flows in East Asia have been diffused into various forms through popular culture. This paper designs way to analyse the relations between the role of the state and transnational cultural flows in East Asia. It unpacks the relationship between states and popular culture through the case of the Korean Wave in China. My findings demonstrate how the transnational cultural flow has taken place within the framework of state-led developmentalism in Asia. With respect to the Asian developmentalist theory, it will challenge the dominant media imperialist theory. It supports (1) the transformation of culture by the Chinese state; (2) the impact of the Chinese state’s cultural policy on the circulation of Korean media products; and (3) the interplay of states’ policies with other significant factors, such as the international treaties between China and South Korea.

Clinton Harper (University of Wyoming)
Taiwan, Tourism, and Peace: Reacting to the Chinese Tourist Wave

With the recent lifting of Taiwan’s travel ban on mainland Chinese in 2008, Chinese tourists have begun visiting Taiwan in droves. Increasingly able to travel, the “Chinese tourist wave” has become the world’s largest source of outbound tourists and Taiwan’s primary market, creating unprecedented amounts of cross-cultural, host-tourist interactions between Taiwan and China. While the global tourism industry grows exponentially, the impact of tourism development’s effects on host-tourist relations continues to attract much attention. Utilizing the theory that tourism can lead to peace, previous research has claimed that host-tourist interactions can positively affect attitudes, promote peace, and reduce prejudices of a tourist towards the host country. However, as Chinese outbound tourism to Taiwan is a relatively new phenomenon, research on the ability of tourism to act as a social force for peace in Cross-Strait relations remains limited. Given historical Cross-Strait tensions and the issue of Taiwanese independence, it begs the question as to if increased people-to-people exchanges between China and Taiwan are advancing the cause of peace, defined as the presence of harmonious relations. Through field-research conducted in one of Taiwan’s largest tourist cities, Hualien, this project will use in-depth interviews and participant observation to qualitatively answer the question of whether or not increased host-tourist interactions between China and Taiwan are positively affecting Hualien residents’ attitudes towards mainland Chinese and furthering the cause of peace.

Lillian Tsay (University of Tokyo)
Reimagining “The Other”: Gazing at Taiwan in Postwar Japan through Tourist Discourses

The end of the Second World War marked a complete new world order and public imagination in East Asia. The former colonial relationships between Japan transformed into a new post-colonial relationship under the Cold War structure while both sides changed rapidly during this period. This paper will present this dynamic connection through the representations of Taiwan in Japanese travel media. The texts are analyzed critically with close discussions with government policies, advertising campaigns, the rise of magazine readership, and the changing role of women in global consumerism in Japan. The analysis shows that the major constitution of Japanese tourists to Taiwan have changed from businessmen to young and independent women, and bringing about the changes in the general image of Taiwan in media from a male gaze with sexual implications to gourmets consumed mostly by women, which also implies a new political landscape and cultural imagination of a new era.


Panel S: The New Geopolitics of China (CGIS-S050, 2:30PM-5:00PM)

Discussant: Ivan Rasmussen (Harvard University)

Audrey Dugué-Nevers (University of Sheffield)
China and Soft Power in the Process of Globalization

This paper provides a theoretical approach regarding the shifting global order shaping international relations, and about China wielding the American foreign policy concept of soft power to alter its image, from a potential “threat” to a “peaceful rise”. The 21st century is a multi-polar world where economies are intertwined, which creates a balance of powers. China’s dramatic economic growth, spanning three decades in a globalised economy, illustrates that China has become a regional leader and a prominent actor in international affairs. Soft power, through attractiveness to ideas, values and culture, is shaping the preferences of others. As a result of the circulation of goods, ideas and culture, states are influenced by external forces. It is thus relevant to examine how states are striving to attenuate the impacts of globalisation on foreign policy and economic power. As such, China is seeking to expand its cultural and diplomatic influence worldwide, so that its recent dramatic rise and leading position in East Asia is not being negatively perceived. As with cooperation in international politics, it touches upon trust and alliances: strategies to monitor one’s image rely on institutions or membership to international organisations for instance. This paper thus examines the Western concept of soft power applied in an East Asian context, as a tool managing communication domestically and fostering long-term relationships with other nations.

Martin Kossa (City University of Hong Kong)

China as an Arctic Stakeholder: Domestic Motives, Actors and Foreign Policy

Over the past decade, China has been steadily increasing its presence in the Arctic region and came to call itself an Arctic stakeholder. However, Beijing still lacks an official Arctic policy and, at present, it seems that such white paper is in the early stages of its drafting. At the same time, there seem to be several actors within China that are interested in the Arctic region and have the capacity to influence China`s Arctic decision- making process. As such, this research explores the motives behind China`s Arctic engagement, identifying the main domestic actors influencing China`s foreign policy in the region and reflects on linkages between China’s proactive diplomacy and the Arctic. As research analyzing Chinese foreign policy, this study also aspires to further develop our understanding of the process of state policy transformation in an era of increasing fragmentation, decentralization and internationalization.

Nhu Truong (McGill University)
Neoclassical Realism Reversed: Disentangling China’s Aggression in the South China Sea

China’s forceful and provocative behavior in the South China Sea starting in 2009 constitutes an unprecedented pattern of aggression that destabilizes the region. Such aggression also calls the very notion of a shared common identity based on the cultural norms and lineage of an imaginary Asia to question by revealing the fragility of its construction and its durability as a pathway to regional peace. I suggest that a revision of the neoclassical realism by subsuming the logic of diversionary theory under this theoretical framework will provide a deeper understanding of China’s behavior and the particular timing of its aggression. I argue that, unstable domestic political conditions caused by declining economic performance and heightened intra-elite competitions within China had created diversionary motives for China’s aggressive foreign policies during 2009-2014. In spite of China’s diversionary motives, China faces significant constraints by international institutions and environment. It is this critical linkage between domestic and international politics that explains the waves of aggression and retraction by China in the South China Sea during 2009-2014.

Panel T: Narratives in Motion: City, Nation, and Sexuality in Cinematic (Re)Presentation (CGIS-S020, 2:30PM-5:30PM) 

Discussant: Feng-Mei Heberer (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Ning Yu (University of Tokyo)
Queer Video Activism and its Political Possibilities in Mainland China: The Beijing Queer Film Festival as a Case Study

In China, the DV camera has facilitated the growth of individual/personal filmmaking practices since the late 1990s. This kind of democratization of filmmaking has opened up the means of film production to non- professional media workers and boosted the boom of video activism in mainland China. In LGBTQ rights- based activism, video also has become an important vehicle for political action. This article explores the political possibilities of queer video activism through the case study of the Beijing Queer Film Festival (BQFF) within the context of Chinese independent film movement and sexual minorities movement. I will highlight the development of the BQFF in the early twenty-first century China, and discuss the political possibilities of the festival. I argue that the intersection of multiple movements from which the BQFF emerged has enabled sexual minorities to “speak back” to a repressive Chinese society that had denied, and continues to deny their queer agency.

Qianru Zhao (Duke University)

An (Impossible) Urban Legend: The Fragmented Labyrinth in Lou Ye’s Suzhou River

This paper takes the cinematic reconfigurations of modern urban space in Suzhou River, such as reshaping the metropolitan Shanghai into fragmented, estranged labyrinths, as a key to relocate understandings of the incessantly-changing heterogenic city and its transient dwellers, “strangers.” The paper will also illuminate how it engages with the transformation of Chinese cities within in the documentary proclivity, reaching deep into the politics of daily life and the daily life of politics, contributing to a more comprehensive reservoir of cultural images for urban Shanghai. It would further analyze that with impressive interpretative possibilities, Suzhou River disrupts the mimetic referentiality of the filmic medium, expressing the poststructuralist skepticism towards metanarratives through the symptomatic metafictive devices, such as the omniscient/omnipresent narrator-videographer. By presenting an impossible urban legend about two “mermaids,” the film circumvents the cliché grandeur of the urban modernity, thus echoing with the evernewness and fluidity of the urban space itself.

Kun Xian Shen (National Taiwan University)
Minoritizing Sinophone Cinema: Relocating Ilo Ilo through the Trans/national Lens of an In/dependent Film

Singaporean cinema has always been a minoritized subject within the studies of Chinese-language or Sinophone cinema. The critically-acclaimed Singaporean film Ilo Ilo, directed by Anthony Chen, serves as a great example. The film straddles across a boundary between emphasis on Chinese speaking group and an obvious presence of the Filipino language. While such transnational encounter of different cultures and languages seems to boast critical power against monolingual or nationalistic view, the director cheers the film as the success of Singaporean national culture. Thus, to engage with such paradox, I examined the work of languages in the film, and also considered the conflicting logics of international film festival and domestic market. By switching between “transnational” and “national,” Chen is able to win applause at both festivals and at home. And such strategy of minoritizing “sinophone,” namely, downplaying the importance of single ethnic characters, becomes a necessary lens through which we understand Singaporean, if not other, films.

Dihao Zhou (Duke University)
Postcolonial Trace and Decolonial Trick: Intimacy and National Subject in Cape No.7

The paper considers Taiwanese film Cape No. 7 (2008) as psychological repression and relief of fundamental social anxieties that revolve around the Taiwanese national subject in the overlapping context of fierce capitalist globalization and suspended decolonization in the postcolonial period. Through examining the performance of the local amateur band led by the hero and the visualized reification of the heroine, the paper reveals the ambiguous and ironic social consciousness towards encroaching transnational capital, from which Taiwanese tends to escape, and simultaneously, with which Taiwanese reconciles in a narcissistic fantasy. Furthermore, this paper initiates a "triple contrapuntal reading" that connects the film text with previous works produced in Japanese empire. By analyzing the changing gendered allegories on Japan and Taiwan, the paper elucidates the simultaneity, the continuity, and the permutation of colonial power in the text production across the empire and its postcolonial remnant.

Panel U: On New Lands: Diaspora Retold (CGIS-S010, 2:30PM-5:00PM)

Discussant: Karen L. Thornber (Harvard University)

Xinzi Rao (University of Heidelberg)
[Re]imagining Chinese Christians in Germany: A Transcultural Exploration of “Chinese-ness”

This paper proposes a [re]imagination of Chinese Christians in Germany, based on two years of fieldwork. I problematize three key terms – “Chinese-ness”, “Christianity”, and “fellowship” – and offer a [re]imagination of culture, religion and religious community. Literature on Chinese migrants rarely focuses on the religious perspective and thus tends to “imagine” these people as atheist. In fact, 20-30% of transcultural Chinese are Christians. I call my informants “transcultural Chinese” because this term best captures the complex dynamics of their unique community. Instead of being a fellowship that only welcomes believers from the People’s Republic of China, the “Chinese” in the name of the fellowships must be understood culturally rather than politically. My transcultural approach to their focus on being “Chinese” and preserving the “Chinese- ness” of the fellowship, which lies in sharing the same language, similar experiences and selected cultural traditions, illuminates perception of members’ identities and agency.

Maarika Rickansrud (Harvard University)

Challenging ‘Zainichi Literature’ as Category: The Works of Noguchi (Chō) Kakuchū and Yi Yangji

The authors Noguchi Kakuchu (b. 1905) and Yi Yangji (b. 1955), are both considered as exemplary Zainichi writers. The term ‘Zainichi’ derives its complexity not only from a colonial past, but also from a drastically changed view of ‘multiculturalism’ within Japan over recent decades. Even though the two authors are separated by fifty years and shaped by vastly different social and historical conditions, they are both placed within the monolithic category of ‘zainichi literature.’ Through challenging the zainichi diasporic experience and how it has been addressed or appropriated by scholars, this paper seeks to explore the zainichi diasporic experience through gendered and nation-bound frames. In this paper, I focus on the ways in which Noguchi and Yi negotiate the Self through the tenuous relations between a lived or imagined memory of Japan or Korea and how these tensions reveal the ways ‘foundational myths’ of the zainichi experience negotiate our access and interpretation of authors placed in this category.

Derek Sheridan (Brown University)
The Ambivalence of Ascendance: Chinese Migrant Entrepreneurs, the “Image” of Global China in Dar-es-Salaam

In this paper, based on ethnographic fieldwork in Tanzania, I use the everyday harassment and extortion of Chinese expatriates by low-level Tanzanian officials, and discourses of discontent about these encounters, to examine the negotiation of Chinese citizenship within a global hierarchy of value. I discuss how Chinese perceptions of vulnerability when living and working abroad entail contested attributions of responsibility. Expatriate Chinese often claim to be denied the kinds of consular protections available to “white” foreigners. Chinese officials and community leaders, on the other hand, claim that it is particular “low-quality” expatriates whose behavior creates vulnerabilities for themselves and Chinese as a whole. I explore this tension through debates and examples about how to properly interact with corrupt officials. The situation bespeaks an historical conjuncture where Chinese are contesting the kind of state an ascendant China should be in the world and the kind of subjects global Chinese should aspire to be.

Fang He (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Revisiting “Golden Lilies” in the Transpacific World: Footbinding and American Enforcement of Chinese Exclusion Law

During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), footbinding had become a widespread practice among all social classes in China. In the United States, “otherness” of China appeared most vividly in the custom of footbinding. Paradoxically, however, bound feet were seen as a sign of better morals and higher class by American immigration officials and thus became a means to obtain exemption from American laws against Chinese immigration in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In this essay, I will first describe the varied meanings of footbinding that emerged on the both sides of the Pacific. Second, I will demonstrate the way in which these perceptions, interpretations and stereotypes of bound feet affected American immigration officials’ enforcement of Chinese exclusion laws.

Panel V: Medicine and Society (CGIS-S040, 2:30PM-5:00PM)

Discussant: Shigehisa Kuriyama (Harvard University)

Timothy Benedict (Princeton University)
Practicing Spiritual Care in the Japanese Hospice

This paper introduces how spiritual care is practiced and defined in Japanese hospices. It also seeks to reimagine what constitutes the core of spiritual care by demonstrating three different ways spiritual care is commonly offered to patients. It suggests that spiritual care in Japan often goes beyond simply helping patients vocalize spiritual pain and addressing their anxieties through counseling, religious support or being a sympathetic presence. Rather, much of spiritual care is also conducted in the margins of daily care, and through special hospice events or even prosaic activities—an approach that elicits less resistance by Japanese patients.

Harlan David Chambers (Columbia University)

“Comrade, you’re sick!”: Models of Health at the Yan’an Base Area (1942–1946)

During the Yan’an era, the Chinese Communist Party produced a series of revolutionary models that offer valuable insight into the development of the party on the eve of its national victory. These models reflect efforts to craft new, revolutionary forms of human life. They were geared at mobilizing others in the creation of a new society. This paper will analyze three revolutionary models from this period: the first is a theoretical model, Mao’s theory of contradiction; the second is a “Model Hygienic Household” from the Yan’an Hygiene Movement; and the third is Han Qixiang, a celebrated folk artist from the base region who was designated as a model for the party’s storytelling campaign. This analysis thus navigates political theory, the history of hygiene education, and cultural production in order to trace the Communist Party’s development of a new field of visual power that blurred the distinctions between politics and biology.

Xiaoshun Zeng (University of Washington)

Reimagining East Asian Medicine in Modern China: A Case Study of Yunnan White Medicine in the Twentieth Century

This paper undertakes a case study of a well-known Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) product—Yunnan White Medicine, a stanching and wound-healing power invented by Dr. Qu Huanzhang (1882-1938), an herbal practitioner in Yunnan Province. Centering on the issue of medical authenticity, the paper will explore how the nation-state building agenda in the twentieth century significantly transformed the landscape of Traditional Chinese Medicine in modern China. This paper reconstructs the legend of how Dr. Qu invented Baiyao and how Baiyao gained fame through various political, commercial and medical networks in the early twentieth century. It addresses the issue of the authenticity of Baiyao’s secret formula after Qu family’s drugstore was incorporated into the state-run pharmaceutical factory in 1950s. It discusses the construction of Baiyao’s “ethnic identity,” suggesting that the new category of Ethnic Medicine adds a third component to the bifurcated field of medicine (i.e. Western medicine Chinese medicine) in China.

Rie Yamada (University of Tokyo)
The History of Associations for Families of People with Mental Disorders in Japan

This research focuses on associations organized for families of people with mental health conditions, which are called kazokukai in Japanese, to unveil their influence on Japanese psychiatric system in post war era. This study examines documents of National Federation of Families of the Mentally Ill (Zenkaren in Japanese), which was the first crested national association for families of mental health conditions in the world, provided by Community Mental Health & welfare Bonding Organization. Also, I searched archives of 1960- 2010 in the National Diet Library, using Zenkaren as a keyword. In this presentation, I will briefly introduce Japanese law on psychiatry, then, argue the role of families of people with mental disorders. In conclusion, family performed a crucial role during 1965 to the late 1980s, not only as an agent of social movement but also as an agent of producing scientific knowledge, which changed direction of Japanese psychiatric system.