911 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

    W. Puck Brecher, "Animal Care in Japanese Tradition: A Short History" (Association for Asian Studies, 2022)

    W. Puck Brecher, "Animal Care in Japanese Tradition: A Short History" (Association for Asian Studies, 2022)

    In Animal Care in Japanese Tradition: A Short History (Association for Asian Studies, 2022), Brecher offers a brief overview of animals in Japanese culture and society from ancient times to the 1950s. Brecher questions common assumptions about the treatment and care of animals in Japan, correcting ahistorical understandings of the human-animal relationship that have gained widespread acceptance. 
    The subject itself is fascinating in its own right, but learning about it carries an additional benefit: it helps us challenge two pervasive assumptions about Japan. The first is that Japan differs fundamentally from other, particularly Western, nations. This premise reinforces the view that cultural differences carry greater historical importance than similarities. The second assumption is that societal changes connected to Japanese modernization are of greater historical importance than continuities, a notion that foregrounds modern Japan’s departure from its native traditions and its assimilation of Western ones. This volume’s historical overview of Japan’s relationship with animals does not dwell at length on these points, but its discussion of traditional animal care does enable us to revisit and reassess these issues in a new light. It also allows us to scrutinize Japanese tradition and interrogate ahistorical claims about Japan’s culturally endemic “love” and empathy for the natural world. Departing from existing scholarship on the subject, the book discovers theoretical and practical commonalities between “Japanese” and “Western” approaches to animal care and shows how this partially shared tradition facilitated Japanese modernization.
    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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    • 34 min
    Meng Zhang, "Timber and Forestry in Qing China: Sustaining the Market" (U Washington Press, 2021)

    Meng Zhang, "Timber and Forestry in Qing China: Sustaining the Market" (U Washington Press, 2021)

    Focusing on timber in Qing China (1644-1911), Dr. Meng Zhang's (Assistant Professor of History at Vanderbilt University) new book, Timber and Forestry in Qing China: Sustaining the Market (U Washington Press, 2021) traces the trade routes that connected population centers of the Lower Yangzi Delta to timber supplies on China's southwestern frontier. She documents innovative property rights systems and economic incentives that convinced landowners to invest years in growing trees. Delving into rare archives to reconstruct business histories, she considers both the formal legal mechanisms and the informal interactions that helped balance economic profit with environmental management. Of driving concern were questions of sustainability: How to maintain a reliable source of timber across decades and centuries? And how to sustain a business network across a thousand miles? This carefully constructed study makes a major contribution to Chinese economic and environmental history and to world-historical discourses on resource management, early modern commercialization, and sustainable development.
    Huiying Chen is a Ph.D. candidate at University of Illinois at Chicago. She studies the history of travel in eighteenth-century China. She can be reached at hchen87 AT uic.edu
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    • 43 min
    Helen Jin Kim, "Race for Revival: How Cold War South Korea Shaped the American Evangelical Empire" (Oxford UP, 2022)

    Helen Jin Kim, "Race for Revival: How Cold War South Korea Shaped the American Evangelical Empire" (Oxford UP, 2022)

    In 1973, Billy Graham, "America's Pastor," held his largest ever "crusade." But he was not, as one might expect, in the American heartland, but in South Korea. Why there? Race for Revival: How Cold War South Korea Shaped the American Evangelical Empire (Oxford UP, 2022) seeks not only to answer that question, but to retell the story of modern American evangelicalism through its relationship with South Korea. With the outbreak of the Korean War, the first "hot" war of the Cold War era, a new generation of white fundamentalists and neo-evangelicals forged networks with South Koreans that helped turn evangelical America into an empire. South Korean Protestants were used to bolster the image of the US as a non-imperial beacon of democratic hope, in spite of ongoing racial inequalities. At the same time, South Koreans used these racialized transpacific networks for their own purposes, seeking to reimagine their own place in the world order. They envisioned Korea as the "new emerging Christian kingdom," that would beat the American evangelical empire in a race for revival. Yet these nonstate networks ultimately foreshadowed the rise of the Christian Right in the US and South Korea in the 1980s and 1990s. Employing a bilingual and bi-national approach, Race for Revival reexamines the narrative of modern evangelicalism through an innovative transpacific framework, offering a new lens through which to understand evangelical history from the Korean War to the rise of Ronald Reagan.
    Byung Ho Choi is a PhD candidate in the History and Ecumenics program at Princeton Theological Seminary, concentrating in World Christianity and history of religions. His research focuses on the indigenous expressions of Christianities found in Southeast Asia, particularly Christianity that is practiced in the Muslim-dominant archipelagic nation of Indonesia. More broadly, he is interested in history and the anthropology of Christianity, complexities of religious conversion and social identity, inter-religious dialogue, ecumenism, and World Christianity.
    Sun Yong Lee is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History and Ecumenics, studying World Christianity and history of religions at Princeton Theological Seminary. Her research interests center on the history of Christianity in East Asia, Korea in particular. She is especially interested in women’s experiences in their mission encounters and their participation in the formation of Christianity and social changes. Her research expands to social theory of religion and indigenous religions.
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    • 1 hr 23 min
    Elsa L. Fan, "Commodities of Care: The Business of HIV Testing in China" (U Minnesota Press, 2021)

    Elsa L. Fan, "Commodities of Care: The Business of HIV Testing in China" (U Minnesota Press, 2021)

    Commodities of Care: The Business of HIV Testing in China (U Minnesota Press, 2021) examines the unanticipated effects of global health interventions, ideas, and practices as they unfold in communities of men who have sex with men (MSM) in China. Targeted for the scaling-up of HIV testing, Elsa L. Fan examines how the impact of this initiative has transformed these men from subjects of care into commodities of care: through the use of performance-based financing tied to HIV testing, MSM have become a source of economic and political capital.
    In ethnographic detail, Fan shows how this particular program, ushered in by global health donors, became the prevailing strategy to control the epidemic in China in the late 2000s. Fan examines the implementation of MSM testing and its effects among these men, arguing that the intervention produced new markets of men, driven by the push to meet testing metrics.
    Fan shows how men who have sex with men in China came to see themselves as part of a global MSM category, adopting new selfhoods and socialities inextricably tied to HIV and to testing. Wider trends in global health programming have shaped national public health responses in China and, this book reveals, have radically altered the ways health, disease, and care are addressed.
    Adam Bobeck is a PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Leipzig. His PhD is entitled “Object-Oriented Azadari: Shi’i Muslim Rituals and Ontology”. For more about his work, see www.adambobeck.com.
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    • 54 min
    The Struggle for Hong Kong: A Conversation with Jeffrey Wasserstrom

    The Struggle for Hong Kong: A Conversation with Jeffrey Wasserstrom

    Why should we view the anti-China protests that began in Hong Kong in 2019 through a comparative lens? How do earlier episodes in Hong Kong’s history help us make sense of what has happened? How far can we make useful parallels with other protest movements in places like Thailand and Myanmar? And is a distinct field of ‘Hong Kong studies’ now beginning to emerge?
    In May 2022, Jeffrey Wasserstrom gave a keynote address entitled ‘The Struggle for Hong Kong: Comparisons Across Space and Time’, to the conference Unknown Futures: A Seminar on Hong Kong, held at the University of Copenhagen. Here, Jeff is in conversation about Hong Kong in comparative perspective with Duncan McCargo, director of the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies and a professor of political science at the University of Copenhagen.
    Jeffrey Wasserstrom is Chancellor’s Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine. Jeff’s books include Student Protests in Twentieth-Century China: The View from Shanghai (Stanford 1991), and most recently Vigil: Hong Kong on the Brink (Columbia Global Reports, 2020), which examines the protests against Chinese rule that began in 2019.
    Enjoyed this podcast? You might also like this much-downloaded 2021 Nordic Asia Podcast episode, in which Wasana Wongsurawat and Mai Corlin Fredriksen discuss Popular Protests in the Age of #MilkTeaAlliance.
    The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo.
    We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.
    About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk
    Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: http://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-asia-podcast
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    • 30 min
    Victor Seow, "Carbon Technocracy: Energy Regimes in Modern East Asia" (U Chicago Press, 2022)

    Victor Seow, "Carbon Technocracy: Energy Regimes in Modern East Asia" (U Chicago Press, 2022)

    Victor Seow’s Carbon Technocracy: Energy regimes in Modern East Asia (U Chicago Press, 2021) is an account of the modern “world that carbon made” through the case study of the Fushun colliery in Manchuria. “Carbon technocracy” is a system dedicated to the optimal exploitation of fossil fuel resources. It is, as Seow shows, a system of consistent waste, environmental degradation, and labor exploitation, built on a fantasy of inexhaustible energy reserves mobilized toward endless and accelerating development. Fushun exemplifies the violence, contradictions, and, as we discuss in this interview, failures of imagination of successive Japanese, Chinese Nationalist, and Chinese Communist regimes. Carbon Technocracy balances macro-level questions about the mutual constitution of nation and global energy regimes with a sensitivity to individual laborers caught up in these machinations.
    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 16 min

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