945 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of East Asia about their New Books
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New Books in East Asian Studies Marshall Poe

    • Society & Culture

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

    Annah Lake Zhu, "Rosewood: Endangered Species Conservation and the Rise of Global China" (Harvard UP, 2022)

    Annah Lake Zhu, "Rosewood: Endangered Species Conservation and the Rise of Global China" (Harvard UP, 2022)

    Money does strange things to people, as Annah Lake Zhu notes in her latest book Rosewood: Endangered Species Conservation and the Rise of Global China (Harvard University Press: 2022)
    In Madagascar, loggers, flush with cash from the rosewood trade, don’t quite know how to react to their newfound largesse, sometimes demanding less money for their wares out of confusion. Rumors abound of how loggers make their money. There’s no way that simple wood could garner so much profit, people say, so observers think they must be trading something else–like human bones.
    Annah’s book studies globalization, the rise of China, and global environmental politics through trade in one commodity: Madagascar rosewood, used in furniture. In this interview, Annah and I talk about this important material–the commodity, the cultural product, and the conservation target–in China and Madagascar.
    Annah Lake Zhu is Assistant Professor of Environmental Policy at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, a veteran of the United Nations Environment Programme in Geneva, and a former Peace Corps volunteer in Madagascar. Her work has been published in Science, Geoforum, and Political Geography.
    You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Rosewood. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.
    Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.
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    • 37 min
    Fiona Moore, "Global Taiwanese: Asian Skilled Labour Migrants in a Changing World" (U Toronto Press, 2021)

    Fiona Moore, "Global Taiwanese: Asian Skilled Labour Migrants in a Changing World" (U Toronto Press, 2021)

    In Global Taiwanese: Asian Skilled Labour Migrants in a Changing World (U Toronto Press, 2021), Fiona Moore explores the different ways in which Taiwanese expatriates in London and Toronto, along with professionals living in Taipei, use their shared Taiwanese identities to construct and maintain global and local networks.
    Based on a three-year-long ethnographic study that incorporates interviews with people from diverse backgrounds, generations, and histories, this book explores what their different experiences tell us about migration in “tolerant” and “hostile” regimes.
    Global Taiwanese considers the implications in leveraging their Taiwanese ethnic identity for both business and personal purposes. As people become increasingly mobile, ethnic identity becomes more important as a means of negotiating transnational encounters; however, at the same time, the opportunities it offers are rooted in local cultural practices, requiring professionals and other migrants to develop complex social strategies that link and cross the global and local levels.
    With rich ethnographic detail, this book contributes to the understanding of the migrant experience and how it varies from location to location, how migration more generally changes in response to wider socioeconomic factors, and, finally, of the specific case of Taiwan and how the distinctive nature of its diaspora emerges through wider discourses of Chineseness and pan-Asian identity.
    Fiona Moore is a professor in the School of Business and Management at Royal Holloway University of London.
    Li-Ping Chen is Postdoctoral Scholar and Teaching Fellow in the East Asian Studies Center at the University of Southern California. Her research interests include literary translingualism, diaspora, and nativism in Sinophone, inter-Asian, and transpacific contexts.
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    • 1 hr
    Angela Ki Che Leung et al., "Moral Foods: The Construction of Nutrition and Health in Modern Asia" (U Hawaii Press, 2019)

    Angela Ki Che Leung et al., "Moral Foods: The Construction of Nutrition and Health in Modern Asia" (U Hawaii Press, 2019)

    The twelve chapters of Moral Foods: The Construction of Nutrition and Health in Modern Asia (U Hawai’i Press, 2020) are divided into three sections: Good Foods, Bad Foods, and Moral Foods. Using case studies from nineteenth- and twentieth-century China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, and Malaysia, these chapters investigate the moralization of food in modern Asia. These studies on moral food regimes are highly specific, but their implications, especially about the malleability of food as an object of moralization, are far reaching. The first chapter in Good Foods, by Francesca Bray, examines the construction of rice as a symbol of self in Japan and Malaysia. Jia-Chen Fu’s contribution looks at the “goodness” of soymilk in China. Izumi Nakayama’s work is about the emergence of breastmilk as a “good food” in Meiji-period Japan. Finally, Michael Liu writes about Chinese experimentation with nutrition during WWII. David Arnold’s chapter on moral foods―especially rice―in India during the period of British colonial rule begins the second section on “bad” and even “dangerous” foods. The other three chapters in this section address bad foods in South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong, respectively. Tae-Ho Kim looks at discourses on rice, barley, and wheat in modern South Korea. Tatsuya Mitsuda writes on the creation of badness around sweet confections in Japan. Finally, Robert Peckham examines bad foods in the context of British colonial public health programs in Hong Kong. In the final section, Lawrence Zhang shows how changing visions of the health and morality of tea track with geopolitical, cultural, and scientific developments in the modern relations between East Asia and the West. Angela Ki Che Leung’s looks at the modern reinterpretation of vegetarianism in China. Volker Scheid also looks at China, specifically at the reconstitution of traditional Chinese medicinal knowledge and practice. Finally, Hilary Smith’s chapter tackles the moral meanings that accrued to milk in modern China. Each of these chapters shares the volume’s overall interest in both the moral regimes of food in the context of modern nation-building and the bodies and lives of consumers.
    Nathan Hopson is an associate professor of Japanese language and history in the University of Bergen's Department of Foreign Languages.
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    • 1 hr 1 min
    Anoma Van Der Veere et al., "Public Health in Asia During the Covid-19 Pandemic" (Amsterdam UP, 2022)

    Anoma Van Der Veere et al., "Public Health in Asia During the Covid-19 Pandemic" (Amsterdam UP, 2022)

    Every nation in Asia has dealt with COVID-19 differently and with varying levels of success in the absence of clear and effective leadership from the WHO. As a result, the WHO’s role in Asia as a global health organization is coming under increasing pressure. As its credibility is slowly being eroded by public displays of incompetence and negligence, it has also become an arena of contestation. Moreover, while the pandemic continues to undermine the future of global health governance as a whole, the highly interdependent economies in Asia have exposed the speed with which pandemics can spread, as intensive regional travel and business connections have caused every area in the region to be hit hard. The migrant labor necessary to sustain globalized economies has been strained and the security of international workers is now more precarious than ever, as millions have been left stranded, seen their entry blocked, or have limited access to health services. Public Health in Asia During the Covid-19 Pandemic (Amsterdam UP, 2022) provides an accessible framework for understanding the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Asia, with a specific emphasis on global governance in health and labor.
    This is an open-access book.
    Jingyi Li is a PhD Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing.
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    • 58 min
    William Matthews, "Cosmic Coherence: A Cognitive Anthropology Through Chinese Divination" (Berghahn Books, 2021)

    William Matthews, "Cosmic Coherence: A Cognitive Anthropology Through Chinese Divination" (Berghahn Books, 2021)

    Today I spoke to anthropologist William Matthews about his new book, Cosmic Coherence: A Cognitive Anthropology Through Chinese Divination (Berghahn Books, 2021). This book explores how humans are unique in their ability to create systematic accounts of the world – theories based on guiding cosmological principles. Mathews explains the role that cognition plays in creating cosmologies, and explores this through the ethnography and history of Yijing divination in China. Diviners explain the cosmos in terms of a single substance, qi, unfolding across scales of increasing complexity to create natural phenomena and human experience. Combined with an understanding of human cognition, it shows how this conception of scale offers a new way for anthropologists and other social scientists to think about cosmology, comparison and cultural difference.
    Dr. Suvi Rautio is an anthropologist of China.
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    • 1 hr 42 min
    Roselyn Hsueh, "Micro-Institutional Foundations of Capitalism" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

    Roselyn Hsueh, "Micro-Institutional Foundations of Capitalism" (Cambridge UP, 2022)

    Roselyn Hsueh’s Micro-Institutional Foundations of Capitalism (Cambridge, 2022) presents a new framework for understanding how developing countries integrate into the global economy. Examining the labor-intensive textile sector and the capital-intensive telecommunications sector in China, India, and Russia, Hsueh shows how differences in the way elites perceive the strategic value of a sector can lead to dramatically different patterns of governance.
    Author Roselyn Hsueh is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Temple University, where she co-directs the Certificate in Political Economy. She is also the author of China’s Regulatory State: A New Strategy for Globalization and scholarly articles and book chapters on states and markets, comparative regulation and governance, and development and globalization. She is a frequent commentator on international politics, finance and trade, and comparative economic development. BBC World News, The Economist, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, National Public Radio, The Washington Post, and other media outlets have featured her research. She earned her B.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
    Host Peter Lorentzen is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of San Francisco. His own research focus is the political economy of governance in China.
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    • 51 min

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