Archives conférences EUR

Retrouvez ici, les conférences qui ont eu lieu dans le cadre du programme graduate school lancé en 2021-2022.

Conférences 2021-2022

15/10

Erik HARMS

Yale University

Speculation speculation: Everyday views of Property Investors, Urban Planning, and Developers in Ho Chi Minh City

12/11

Christina SCHWENKEL

U. of California, Irvine

Unplanned Obsolescence: On the Future of Utopias Past

10/12

Sheldon GARON

Princeton University

Five Things You’d Want to Know in Explaining Japan’s Surrender in 1945

28/01

Eric FLORENCE

U. de Liège

Playing with visibility and the politics of recognition in authoritarian context. The case of workers’ grassroots collective in China.

11/02

Seung Yung KIM

Kansai Gaigo U.

From Entente to Estrangement: Japanese-French Diplomacy from 1905 to 1933

11/03

NI Zhange

Virginia Tech.

Posthumanism and the Internet-based Popular Novels in Postsocialist China

01/04

Barbara WALL

U. of Copenhaguen

A graphical approach to the story universe of The Journey to the West

Conférence annulée et repoussée à une date ultérieure

13/05

Antii LEPPÄNEN

University of Turku

Approaching neighborhoods and marketplaces ethnographically: an anthropologist with Korean shopkeepers.

Conférences 2022-2023

Fragrant Frontier: Spice Stories from the Vietnamese Uplands 

Conférencier : Annuska Derks (University of Zurich)

Spices have connected and transformed the environments, politics, economies and cuisines of vastly different societies around the world. Despite their widespread availability, not much is known about the origins of many of the spices we keep in our kitchen cabinets, the people who cultivate them, or the routes they take from local farms to supermarkets around the world. In this talk, I seek to demystify the roots and routes of contemporary spices from the Vietnamese Uplands. Focusing in particular on ‘cinnamon’ and star anise, I will pay attention to the various actors, interventions and imbalances as well as the tactics of (de)commodification along the spice chains. While underlining distinctiveness has become a central element in creating value in a highly competitive and volatile global spice market, efforts to produce distinctiveness are contradictory and constantly negotiated. Tracing Vietnamese star anise and ‘cinnamon’ therefore provide fascinating cases for exploring the intersections of the lived practices of spice cultivation and the global market for ‘exotic’ spices.

Annuska Derks is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Zurich. Annuska has conducted extensive research in Southeast Asia and has a special interest in questions of social change, mobility and inequality. Her earlier research focused on migration and transnationalism; labour, bondage and trafficking; as well as on gender and sexuality in Cambodia and Thailand. Her recent projects examine processes of development and change through a material lens and explore the movements and entanglements of things and people by tracing the social lives of everyday objects and spices in Vietnam. Her newest project looks into the making of innovation in Vietnam, in particular in relation to renewable energy and its power to shape the daily lives, social relations and aspirations of people, often with very unequal outcomes.

A graphical approach to the story universe of The Journey to the West

Conférencier : Barbara Wall (University of Copenhagen)

The urge to find the authentic original of a story seems to be a universal longing. Recently, narratologists like Barbara Herrnstein Smith, but also experts for East Asian literatures like Michael Emmerich or Lena Henningsen draw our attention away from the often unknowable original and instead towards the variants of a story. While this suggestion brings a breath of fresh air to the field of narrative studies, it also poses a fundamental problem. If a story does not necessarily exist as a static original, but is comprised of many variants, how should we then imagine the story? This presentation proposes imagining the story not as a separate static unit, but rather as a story cloud that includes all variants and changes its form when new variants join, or old variants fall into oblivion. The main aim of this paper is therefore to find ways to make story clouds more graspable through visualizations. Specifically, for this endeavor we will focus on one of the most popular story clouds in East Asia, The Journey to the West. Methodologically, we draw on Tim Tangherliniäs actant-relationship model, which we will apply to variants of The Journey to the West and use the data to visualize the story cloud, especially its actantial core.

Barbara Wall is Associate Professor in Korea Studies at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen. With an academic background in China Studies, Japan Studies and Korea Studies, Barbara mainly works in the field of narrative studies. She is especially interested in the circulation, translation and adaptation of literary works of fiction in East Asia.

 

Chinese Workers Under Economic Upgrading: Assessing the Social Impact of Automation and Digitalization

Conférencier : Chris Chan, (Royal Holloway, University of London)

To tackle internal and external challenges, the Chinese government has made great efforts to promote economic upgrading with the strategies of automation and digitalization, but little scholarly attention has been paid to its social consequences. This presentation will evaluate the impact of economic upgrading on working conditions and livelihood of migrant workers in the Pearl River Delta. It is found that social upgrading does not follow economic upgrading, but migrant workers use strategies of resistance, re-employment, reskilling, reducing living costs, relocation to other cities, and returning to farming to survive during the economic restructuring.

 

Chris Chan is a Senior Lecturer in School of Business and Management, Royal Holloway, University of London. His research focus is on work and employment in China and Asia. He graduated with a MA in Comparative Labour Studies and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Warwick. Prior to relocation to the UK in 2022, he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and the Director of Center for Social Innovation Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Lighter and Darker Aspects of the Nobel Prize in Literature

Conférencier : Inoue Takashi (Shirayuri University)

Nobel laureates are not chosen purely on their supposed literary superiority. The nomination-selection process also hinges on nonliterary, and sometimes unworthy reasons. Yet, we should still value this prize which enhances literary activities from writers and challenges them to produce original texts. I will illustrate my point through the example of four famous Japanese (or Japan-related) writers: Kawabata Yasunari, Mishima Yukio, Oe Kenzaburo and Kazuo Ishiguro. 

 

Takashi INOUE is a professor of modern and contemporary Japanese Literature at Shirayuri University. He is a renowned specialist of Mishima Yukio and has notably edited the most recent edition of Mishima complete works. Published in 2020, his updated biography on Mishima was awarded the prestigious Yomiuri Prize for Literature (Yomiuri Bungaku-shô).  In his recent research, Takashi INOUE considers modern Japanese literature from the viewpoint of World Literature.

Digital History: The Japan Biographical Database

Conférencier : Bettina Gramlich-Oka (Sophia University, professeur invitée UPCité)

In this talk I address some of the recent developments in the field of digital history in Asian Studies. Special focus is my ongoing network studies project and the online database “Japan Biographical Database.” Online biographical databases are recent digital tools that allow to conduct network analysis and prosopography. Whereas my own research is the specific time and place of the Tokugawa period (1603–1867), the methodological approach can and is also applied to other regions and time periods in Asia. Since its beginning in 2010, the Japan Biographical Database has steadily grown and various other projects have joined. An overview of the database, its potential, and many functions will hopefully spur further interest in this new kind of research that also can be applied to the classroom.

 

Bettina Gramlich-Oka is Professor of Japanese History at the Faculty of Liberal Arts, Sophia University. Some of her publications include Thinking Like a Man: Tadano Makuzu (Brill, 2006) and the coedited volume Economic Thought in Early Modern Japan (Brill, 2010). In the past years, her research centers on the exploration of networks of the Rai family from Hiroshima during the Tokugawa period. The development of the online Japan Biographical Database (https://jbdb.jp/) is part of this endeavor, as well as the coedited volume with Anne Walthall, Miyazaki Fumiko, Sugano Noriko, Women and Networks in Nineteenth Century Japan (University of Michigan Press, 2020). Gramlich-Oka is currently the chief editor of Monumenta Nipponica.

 

The K-body: Corporeal Management and New Masculinity in South Korea

Conférencier : Kenneth Sewoong Koo (Korea Exposé)

The recent emergence of South Korea as a new center of global popular culture has meant that the ideals of the physical self as presented by such products have fueled arguments for creation of an alternate, more affirmative 21st-century corporeal standard, not least in light of the putatively Korean mode of masculinity, and feminity by extension, as models that delegitimize outdated notions of gender identity, in particular ‘toxic masculinity’ of the yore.
In examining the discourse of corporeal management in South Korea over the past two decades, this lecture calls into question this ostensibly liberating aspect of the new, so-called ‘Korean masculinity’ and explores an increasingly onerous regulatory regime that envisions the birth of a new docile consumer base.

Se-Woong Koo is founder of Korea Exposé, an independent media outlet that operated from 2014 to 2019 with a focus on the Korean Peninsula. He earned his PhD from Stanford University, and has been a postdoctoral research fellow at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, a Henry Hart Rice Foundation Faculty Fellow and Lecturer at Yale University, and a member of the faculty at the Asian University for Women. He currently works as an independent researcher and contributes to The New York Times, BBC, The New York Magazine, Al Jazeera and other publications on the topic of Korean society and politics.

Rejuvenating Communism. Youth Organizations and Elite Renewal in Post-Mao China

Conférencier : Jérôme Doyon (University of Edimburg, Lecturer in the International Relations of East Asia)

Vendredi 10 mars à 17h30

Despite the decreasing importance of ideology and the alternative career options provided by a liberalized employment market, working for the administration remains one of the most coveted career paths for young Chinese. What motivates young and educated Chinese to commit to a long-term career in the party-state? These issues are central to the Chinese regime’s ability to renew its elite, maintain its cohesion, and survive. In this talk, Jérôme Doyon presents his new book, Rejuvenating Communism (University of Michigan Press, 2023), which examines how young Chinese officials’ political commitment and ambition are cultivated.

Jérôme Doyon is an Assistant Professor at the Centre for International Relations (CERI) at Sciences Po Paris. . Prior to joining Sciences Po, he held fellowships and positions at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Oxford School for Global and Area Studies, the University of Edinburgh, and the SOAS China Institute.

Environnement et autochtonie chez les Thổ du Vietnam sous les Nguyễn

Conférencier : Bradley Camp-Davis (Eastern Connecticut State University)

Beginning in the 1820s, the Vietnamese empire under the Nguyễn intensified its control over territory through several changes in policy. For Khmer people in the Mekong Delta and many Tai communities in the Northwest, the imperial authorities used the label « thổ » 土. As this presentation explains, this term became a more than just a label to distinguish Việt and non-Việt groups. It also provided a conceptual grounding for an imperial discourse of indigeneity (autochthonie), one with deep resonances beyond the nineteenth century.

Bradley Camp-Davis is an Associate Professor in Eastern Connecticut State University. A historian of imperial China and Southeast Asia, his work crosses boundaries of geography and discipline, combining ethnographic research with archival sources to investigate the histories of communities in the uplands of the China-Southeast Asia borderlands.

Séries de conférences : Graduate School of East Asian studies

Conférences (2023-2024) :

Noga Ganany (University of Cambridge)

Literature and Religion in Late Imperial China

Jeudi 12 octobre 2023

Modération : Junliang Pan

In Ming and Qing belles-lettres and performance arts, the boundaries between entertainment, art, ritual and reverence were often blurred. On stage, gods and immortals regaled spectators – and the deities themselves – with adventures of transcendence and retribution. In the world of publishing, novels incorporated Buddhist sutras and Daoist manuals for cultivation, erotic stories were printed alongside didactic morality tracts, and hagiographic narratives sported practical instructions for the worship of their protagonists. This interplay not only complicates our understanding of reading and spectatorship during the Ming and Qing dynasties, but also highlights the need for a new theoretical model in our field to approach this recurring conflation, reciprocity, and mutual influence between writing and worship in late imperial China. During this talk, I will focus on several representative examples from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to demonstrate the range of this interconnectedness between the literary and religious realms in late imperial China and argue that they should be treated as nodes on a shared cultural continuum.

Noga Ganany is Assistant Professor in the Study of Late Imperial China at University of Cambridge. Before receiving her PhD. from Columbia University (2018), Noga studied in Israel, France, China, and Japan. Her research focuses on the interplay between literature and religion in late-imperial China, primarily during the Ming and Qing dynasties. She is also interested in the history of the book, travel and pilgrimage, popular culture, and religious practice. Her first book, tentatively titled Origin Narratives: Hagiographic Literature and Religious Practice in Late Ming Book Culture, examines a subgenre of commercially-published books celebrating the lives of heroes, gods, and immortals.

Sharalyn Orbaugh (University of British Columbia)

Testimony vs. Propaganda: Love and Kamishibai in Japan’s Colonial Empire

Jeudi 9 novembre 2023

Moderation : Marianne Simon-Oikawa     

Between 1932 and 1945 the Japanese government used a propaganda form known as kamishibai (paper theatre) to encourage support for its imperialism and militarism both on the home front and in the colonies and occupied territories: China, Korea, Manchuria, and Taiwan. Many historians emphasize the frequent use of <hate> as a motivator in World War Two propaganda, but this presentation will examine the surprising use of <love> as a tool of persuasion in kamishibai stories and images. To conclude, the propaganda messages found in kamishibai will be compared to historical testimony, in which Japanese people and colonial subjects describe their opinions toward Japan and its war.

Sharalyn Orbaugh is Professor of Modern Japanese Literature and Popular Culture, and Head of the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Her research focuses on the political and social functions of popular culture media such as manga, anime, and kamishibai.

Holly Stephens (University of Edinburgh)

The Programme to Improve Rice Production in Colonial Korea: Inspections, Regulations, and the Creation of a Commodity 

Jeudi 7 décembre 2023

Moderation : Florence Galmiche and Justine Guichard

Introduced in 1920, the Programme to Increase Rice Production (朝鮮産米増殖企劃) is well known as a representative agricultural policy of the colonial government, with the goal to increase the export of Korean rice to Japan. Accordingly, much research into colonial rice policies has focused on the impact of the PIRP, both in the expansion of rural debt that financed elaborate irrigation projects as well as the declining domestic consumption of rice even as exports to Japan increased. However, colonial attempts to “improve” (改良) rice production have received less attention, even as they worked in parallel with projects to increase rice cultivation and its export.

This talk examines colonial attempts to improve Korean rice production as a complement to existing understandings of colonial rice policies. In some cases, “improvement” overlapped with the goal of increasing rice production, as in the promotion of high-yielding seed varieties. Nonetheless, a focus on improvement also brings into view additional consequences of Japanese efforts to develop Korean rice as a commodity for export. Through a focus on grain inspections (米穀検査), which were mandated for rice exports from 1915, this talk explores the development of the grain-processing industry in colonial Korea, the bifurcation of a colonial market for rice as a commercial good, and the implications of improvement policies for Korean farmers.

Holly Stephens is a historian of Korea and Japan, with research interests that include economic history, agriculture, empire, everyday life, village organizations, and the emergence of the modern state. Her current monograph project—Empire by Association: The Re-Organization of the Rural Economy in Modern Korea—examines the changes to Korean agriculture from the late nineteenth century through the colonial period amidst immense political upheaval. Using previously unexamined farmers’ diaries, the project traces the formation and operation of new agricultural organizations that linked Korean farmers to regional and global markets, as new ideas about the state’s role in the economy and the adoption of scientific farming methods combined to transform agricultural production.

Juliane Noth (Freie Universität Berlin)

To Rebel is Justified: Red Guard Art and the Mass Production of Images

Jeudi 25 janvier 2024

Moderation : Alice Bianchi

During the early years of the Cultural Revolution, much of the artworks and visual materials produced by Red Guards and rebels was produced speedily, anonymously, and often collectively. These images have so far been only cursorily treated in studies of PRC art, arguably because of their (often) amateur quality, the narrow scope of their subject matter (mostly Mao portraits and a limited number of slogans) and their obvious propagandistic function. This relative disregard of early Cultural Revolution visual culture in scholarship stands in stark contrast to its strong, varied and well-studied reception in contemporary art. Indeed, Red Guard and rebel arts may well be described as serial, performative, and as deploying display modes that are similar to installation art. In this paper, I argue that it was the intersections between subject matter, formats, modes of production and distribution, as well as forms of display that encourage such a posteriori readings. I will discuss how the organization of the Red Guards and rebel groups and the mass mobilization led to the production and reproduction of images and texts on a massive scale, in which the narrow thematic scope of the works led to a foregrounding of their formal properties.

Juliane Noth is Professor of East Asian Art History at Freie Universität Berlin and Researcher at the China Academy of Art. The focus of her research is on twentieth-century Chinese art, on how it was redefined with regard to historical practices as well as global entanglements, and on its institutional frameworks. Her latest monograph is Transmedial Landscapes and Modern Chinese Painting (Harvard Asia Center 2022). Currently she is working on two research projects: “Artistic Practices during the Cultural Revolution: Actors, Media, Institutions” and “Art Academies in China: Global Histories and Institutional Practices”.

Barak Kushner (University of Cambridge)

East Asia’s Postwar Battle over History and Memory – the Hidden Legacy of War Crimes Tribunals

Jeudi 15 février 2024

Moderation : Ken Daimaru

The war crimes tribunals in East Asia formed and cemented national divides that persist into the present day. In 1946 the Allies convened the Tokyo Trial to prosecute Japanese wartime atrocities and Japan’s empire. At its conclusion one of the judges voiced dissent, claiming that the justice found at Tokyo was only « the sham employment of a legal process for the satisfaction of a thirst for revenge. »

I argue that war crimes tribunals allow for the history of the defeated to be heard. In contemporary East Asia a fierce battle between memory and history has consolidated political camps across this debate. The Tokyo Trial courtroom, as well as the thousands of other war crimes tribunals opened in about fifty venues across Asia, were legal stages where prosecution and defense curated facts and evidence to craft their story about World War Two. These narratives and counter narratives form the basis of postwar memory concerning Japan’s imperial aims across the region. The archival record and the interpretation of court testimony together shape a competing set of histories for public consumption. This talk offers compelling evidence that despite the passage of seven decades since the end of the war, East Asia is more divided than united by history.

Barak Kushner is Professor of East Asian History and currently Co-Chair of the Faculty of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge. He has edited several volumes and written three monographs: Men to Devils, Devils to Men: Japanese War Crimes and Chinese Justice (Harvard University Press, 2015), winner of the American Historical Association’s 2016 John K. Fairbank Prize; Slurp! A culinary and social history of ramen – Japan’s favorite noodle soup (Brill, 2012), awarded the 2013 Sophie Coe Prize for Food History; and The Thought War – Japanese Imperial Propaganda (Hawaii 2006). His next book is forthcoming from Cornell University Press and titled, The Geography of Injustice: East Asia’s Battle between Memory and History.

Nguyen Minh (Bielefeld University)

Transnational Mobility, Kinship and Aspiration for the Good Life in Rural Central Vietnam

Jeudi 7 mars 2024

Moderation : Marie Gibert-Flutre

This paper examines the connection between kinship, transnational mobility and aspiration through an ethnographic study conducted in rural central Vietnam, where many villagers engage in transnational migration to Europe. My ethnography indicates that practices of kinship are at the heart of the expanding transnational economic network built up by people from the region in recent decades in pursuit of their aspiration for the good life. Transnational mobility, with all its precarious conditions, becomes more viable as a pathway to a better life, sometimes also wealth accumulation, thanks to the workings of kinship as an aspirational project and as infrastructure of transnational economic activities. These in turn consolidate the social and economic significance of kinship in the region and more generally. Kinship and mobility are as such mutually reproducing in ways that facilitate people’s pursuit of the good life. Meanwhile, both kinship and aspiration are problematic social arenas whose imperatives, shaped by state and market discourses of entrepreneurism and self-responsibility, put enormous pressures on transnational migrants and their families to be economically successful against all odds.

Minh T.N. Nguyen is Professor of Social Anthropology at Bielefeld University. Her research focuses on labour and work, care and welfare, migration and mobility in Vietnam, China and Southeast Asia and more generally in the Global South. She is the author of Vietnam’s Socialist Servants: Domesticity, Gender, Class and Identity (Routledge, 2014) and Waste and Wealth: An Ethnography of Labour, Value and Morality in a Vietnamese Recycling Economy (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Jong-Chol AN (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice)

Gender Equality or Traditional Culture: Legal Cases Afterwards the Abolishment of the Household Head System in Korea

Jeudi 4 avril 2024

It is widely known that Korean society is tense between gender equality and the “Confucian” tradition of patrilineal heritage. After a long tug-of-war-among Korean social forces, the hojuje or Household Head system notorious for discrimination against women was abolished [Korean Constitutional Court (KCC), 2004Hun-Ga5, etc., (consolidated), February 3, 2005]. This presentation concerns the Korean Court’s decisions on women and chongjung or lineage clans. Around the time of the landmark hojuje case, the Korean Supreme Court (KSC) decided that a woman was entitled to enjoy chongjung membership. (KSC, 2002Da1178). However, these cases in the 2000s left a fundamental question of the “Confucian tradition” or customary law in Korea unanswered. 

Thus, this paper deals with a case on a woman household head’s remaining property (KCC, 2012Hŏnba396, 2014Hŏnba394, April 28, 2016) in which the property came to belong to her remaining family, not to a married daughter. The decision was about the role of customary law even before enacting the Civil Code (1958). Thus, this case triggered an unanswered question about the character and jurisdiction of customary law related to gender and tradition in Korean society. KCC’s majority opinion seems to adopt an eclectic position that customary law cannot stand against a civil code and that a regular court can decide whether customs exist and become null. Thus, KCC adopted a passive role in customary law, although custom also plays a role in law. This lecture will also introduce several other relevant cases, showing the contour of Constitutional jurisprudence and the position of customary law in Korea.  

Jong-Chol An is an Associate Professor in the Department of Asian and North African Studies at Ca’ Foscari University of Venezia. He is a historian specializing in Korean foreign relations and law and society. He is working on a manuscript related to the origins of the Korean judiciary. Publication: “Historical Development of Judicial Independence in South Korea: Focus on Colonial and Post-Colonial Period,” in Sojin Lim and Niki J.P. Alsford eds., Routledge Handbook of Contemporary South Korea (Routledge, 2021), pp. 26-41; “Making Mission Compatible with Democracy: James Earnest Fisher and His Activities as a Missionary and a US Government Official in Korea, 1945-1948,” Korea Journal 60/4 (Winter 2020): 115-142.

Sarah Turner (McGill University)

Slow forms of infrastructural violence: the complexities of Vietnamese state plans and ethnic minority livelihoods in Vietnam’s mountainous northern borderlands

Jeudi 25 avril 2024

Moderation : Marie Gibert-Flutre

In Vietnam’s northern borderlands, ethnic minority farmers carefully navigate the Vietnamese state’s efforts to exert control and integrate these mountainous areas into ‘modernization’ projects. In particular, the state aims to reshape local rural livelihoods and resources through numerous infrastructure programs. While scholars have studied visible infrastructure projects like dams and highways elsewhere in the Southeast Asian Massif, I focus on less-documented state-driven endeavors: hybrid seed systems, market upgrades, and tourism infrastructure expansion. Drawing on critical infrastructural literature, I examine the impact of these state programs on ethnic minority livelihoods. While the state appears successful in ‘modernizing’ the region in many ways, I highlight how ethnic minority farmers adapt, subtly resisting state initiatives when they are not in tune with local livelihood needs. I argue for increased attention to how such state projects are perpetuating slow infrastructural violence in the Massif.

Sarah Turner is a Professor in the Department of Geography, McGill University, Canada. Her research focuses on the ways by which individuals who find themselves somehow marginalised, be it economically, politically, or ethnically, make a living in rural and urban Asia. Her current projects include a focus on ethnic minority livelihoods in the Sino-Vietnamese borderlands, including farmer everyday politics when faced with inappropriate agrarian programmes and infrastructure projects. She also studies informal economy livelihoods and resistance tactics in Hanoi, Vietnam. She has co-authored Frontier livelihoods: Hmong in the Sino-Vietnamese borderlands with C. Bonnin and J. Michaud (University of Washington Press, 2015), and is an editor of Geoforum.   

Conférences (2022-2023) :

Chris Chan, (Royal Holloway, University of London)

Chinese Workers Under Economic Upgrading: Assessing the Social Impact of Automation and Digitalization

Jeudi 27 octobre 2022

To tackle internal and external challenges, the Chinese government has made great efforts to promote economic upgrading with the strategies of automation and digitalization, but little scholarly attention has been paid to its social consequences. This presentation will evaluate the impact of economic upgrading on working conditions and livelihood of migrant workers in the Pearl River Delta. It is found that social upgrading does not follow economic upgrading, but migrant workers use strategies of resistance, re-employment, reskilling, reducing living costs, relocation to other cities, and returning to farming to survive during the economic restructuring.

 

Chris Chan is a Senior Lecturer in School of Business and Management, Royal Holloway, University of London. His research focus is on work and employment in China and Asia. He graduated with a MA in Comparative Labour Studies and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Warwick. Prior to relocation to the UK in 2022, he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and the Director of Center for Social Innovation Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Inoue Takashi (Shirayuri University)

Lighter and Darker Aspects of the Nobel Prize in Literature

Jeudi 8 décembre 2022

Nobel laureates are not chosen purely on their supposed literary superiority. The nomination-selection process also hinges on nonliterary, and sometimes unworthy reasons. Yet, we should still value this prize which enhances literary activities from writers and challenges them to produce original texts. I will illustrate my point through the example of four famous Japanese (or Japan-related) writers: Kawabata Yasunari, Mishima Yukio, Oe Kenzaburo and Kazuo Ishiguro. 

 

Takashi INOUE is a professor of modern and contemporary Japanese Literature at Shirayuri University. He is a renowned specialist of Mishima Yukio and has notably edited the most recent edition of Mishima complete works. Published in 2020, his updated biography on Mishima was awarded the prestigious Yomiuri Prize for Literature (Yomiuri Bungaku-shô).  In his recent research, Takashi INOUE considers modern Japanese literature from the viewpoint of World Literature.

Bettina Gramlich-Oka (Sophia University)

Digital History: The Japan Biographical Database

Jeudi 26 janvier 2023

In this talk I address some of the recent developments in the field of digital history in Asian Studies. Special focus is my ongoing network studies project and the online database “Japan Biographical Database.” Online biographical databases are recent digital tools that allow to conduct network analysis and prosopography. Whereas my own research is the specific time and place of the Tokugawa period (1603–1867), the methodological approach can and is also applied to other regions and time periods in Asia. Since its beginning in 2010, the Japan Biographical Database has steadily grown and various other projects have joined. An overview of the database, its potential, and many functions will hopefully spur further interest in this new kind of research that also can be applied to the classroom.

 

Bettina Gramlich-Oka is Professor of Japanese History at the Faculty of Liberal Arts, Sophia University. Some of her publications include Thinking Like a Man: Tadano Makuzu (Brill, 2006) and the coedited volume Economic Thought in Early Modern Japan (Brill, 2010). In the past years, her research centers on the exploration of networks of the Rai family from Hiroshima during the Tokugawa period. The development of the online Japan Biographical Database (https://jbdb.jp/) is part of this endeavor, as well as the coedited volume with Anne Walthall, Miyazaki Fumiko, Sugano Noriko, Women and Networks in Nineteenth Century Japan (University of Michigan Press, 2020). Gramlich-Oka is currently the chief editor of Monumenta Nipponica.

Kenneth Sewoong Koo (Korea Exposé)

The K-body: Corporeal Management and New Masculinity in South Korea

Jeudi 9 février 2023

The recent emergence of South Korea as a new center of global popular culture has meant that the ideals of the physical self as presented by such products have fueled arguments for creation of an alternate, more affirmative 21st-century corporeal standard, not least in light of the putatively Korean mode of masculinity, and feminity by extension, as models that delegitimize outdated notions of gender identity, in particular ‘toxic masculinity’ of the yore.
In examining the discourse of corporeal management in South Korea over the past two decades, this lecture calls into question this ostensibly liberating aspect of the new, so-called ‘Korean masculinity’ and explores an increasingly onerous regulatory regime that envisions the birth of a new docile consumer base.

Se-Woong Koo is founder of Korea Exposé, an independent media outlet that operated from 2014 to 2019 with a focus on the Korean Peninsula. He earned his PhD from Stanford University, and has been a postdoctoral research fellow at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, a Henry Hart Rice Foundation Faculty Fellow and Lecturer at Yale University, and a member of the faculty at the Asian University for Women. He currently works as an independent researcher and contributes to The New York Times, BBC, The New York Magazine, Al Jazeera and other publications on the topic of Korean society and politics.

Jérôme Doyon (University of Edimburg)

Rejuvenating Communism. Youth Organizations and Elite Renewal in Post-Mao China

Vendredi 10 mars 2023

Despite the decreasing importance of ideology and the alternative career options provided by a liberalized employment market, working for the administration remains one of the most coveted career paths for young Chinese. What motivates young and educated Chinese to commit to a long-term career in the party-state? These issues are central to the Chinese regime’s ability to renew its elite, maintain its cohesion, and survive. In this talk, Jérôme Doyon presents his new book, Rejuvenating Communism (University of Michigan Press, 2023), which examines how young Chinese officials’ political commitment and ambition are cultivated.

Jérôme Doyon is an Assistant Professor at the Centre for International Relations (CERI) at Sciences Po Paris. . Prior to joining Sciences Po, he held fellowships and positions at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Oxford School for Global and Area Studies, the University of Edinburgh, and the SOAS China Institute.

Bradley Camp-Davis (Eastern Connecticut State University)

Environnement et autochtonie chez les Thổ du Vietnam sous les Nguyễn

Mardi 14 mars 2023

Beginning in the 1820s, the Vietnamese empire under the Nguyễn intensified its control over territory through several changes in policy. For Khmer people in the Mekong Delta and many Tai communities in the Northwest, the imperial authorities used the label « thổ » 土. As this presentation explains, this term became a more than just a label to distinguish Việt and non-Việt groups. It also provided a conceptual grounding for an imperial discourse of indigeneity (autochthonie), one with deep resonances beyond the nineteenth century.

Bradley Camp-Davis is an Associate Professor in Eastern Connecticut State University. A historian of imperial China and Southeast Asia, his work crosses boundaries of geography and discipline, combining ethnographic research with archival sources to investigate the histories of communities in the uplands of the China-Southeast Asia borderlands.

Barbara Wall (University of Copenhagen)

A graphical approach to the story universe of The Journey to the West

Jeudi 6 avril 2023

The urge to find the authentic original of a story seems to be a universal longing. Recently, narratologists like Barbara Herrnstein Smith, but also experts for East Asian literatures like Michael Emmerich or Lena Henningsen draw our attention away from the often unknowable original and instead towards the variants of a story. While this suggestion brings a breath of fresh air to the field of narrative studies, it also poses a fundamental problem. If a story does not necessarily exist as a static original, but is comprised of many variants, how should we then imagine the story? This presentation proposes imagining the story not as a separate static unit, but rather as a story cloud that includes all variants and changes its form when new variants join, or old variants fall into oblivion. The main aim of this paper is therefore to find ways to make story clouds more graspable through visualizations. Specifically, for this endeavor we will focus on one of the most popular story clouds in East Asia, The Journey to the West. Methodologically, we draw on Tim Tangherliniäs actant-relationship model, which we will apply to variants of The Journey to the West and use the data to visualize the story cloud, especially its actantial core.

Barbara Wall is Associate Professor in Korea Studies at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen. With an academic background in China Studies, Japan Studies and Korea Studies, Barbara mainly works in the field of narrative studies. She is especially interested in the circulation, translation and adaptation of literary works of fiction in East Asia.

Annuska Derks (University of Zurich)

Fragrant Frontier: Spice Stories from the Vietnamese Uplands 

Jeudi 13 avril 2023

Spices have connected and transformed the environments, politics, economies and cuisines of vastly different societies around the world. Despite their widespread availability, not much is known about the origins of many of the spices we keep in our kitchen cabinets, the people who cultivate them, or the routes they take from local farms to supermarkets around the world. In this talk, I seek to demystify the roots and routes of contemporary spices from the Vietnamese Uplands. Focusing in particular on ‘cinnamon’ and star anise, I will pay attention to the various actors, interventions and imbalances as well as the tactics of (de)commodification along the spice chains. While underlining distinctiveness has become a central element in creating value in a highly competitive and volatile global spice market, efforts to produce distinctiveness are contradictory and constantly negotiated. Tracing Vietnamese star anise and ‘cinnamon’ therefore provide fascinating cases for exploring the intersections of the lived practices of spice cultivation and the global market for ‘exotic’ spices.

Annuska Derks is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Zurich. Annuska has conducted extensive research in Southeast Asia and has a special interest in questions of social change, mobility and inequality. Her earlier research focused on migration and transnationalism; labour, bondage and trafficking; as well as on gender and sexuality in Cambodia and Thailand. Her recent projects examine processes of development and change through a material lens and explore the movements and entanglements of things and people by tracing the social lives of everyday objects and spices in Vietnam. Her newest project looks into the making of innovation in Vietnam, in particular in relation to renewable energy and its power to shape the daily lives, social relations and aspirations of people, often with very unequal outcomes.

Conférences (2021-2022) :

Erik HARMS (Yale University)

Speculation speculation: Everyday views of Property Investors, Urban Planning, and Developers in Ho Chi Minh City

15/10/2021

Christina SCHWENKEL (University of California)

Unplanned Obsolescence: On the Future of Utopias Past

12/11/2021

Sheldon GARON (Princeton University)

Five Things You’d Want to Know in Explaining Japan’s Surrender in 1945

10/12/2021

Eric FLORENCE (Université de Liège)

Playing with visibility and the politics of recognition in authoritarian context. The case of workers’ grassroots collective in China.

28/01/2022

Seung Yung KIM (Kansai Gaigo University)

From Entente to Estrangement: Japanese-French Diplomacy from 1905 to 1933

11/02/2022

NI Zhange (Virginia Tech.)

Posthumanism and the Internet-based Popular Novels in Postsocialist China

11/03/2022

Barbara WALL (University of Copenhaguen)

A graphical approach to the story universe of The Journey to the West

01/04/2022

Antii LEPPÄNEN (University of Turku)

Approaching neighborhoods and marketplaces ethnographically: an anthropologist with Korean shopkeepers.

13/05/2022

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