555 episodes

Interviews with Scholars of East Asia about their New Books

New Books in East Asian Studies New Books Network

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.7 • 43 Ratings

Interviews with Scholars of East Asia about their New Books

    Eyck Freymann, "One Belt One Road: Chinese Power Meets the World" (Harvard UP, 2020)

    Eyck Freymann, "One Belt One Road: Chinese Power Meets the World" (Harvard UP, 2020)

    China’s One Belt One Road policy, or OBOR, represents the largest infrastructure program in history. Yet little is known about it with any certainty. How can something so large be so bewildering?
    In One Belt One Road: Chinese Power Meets the World (Harvard East Asian Monographs, 2020), Eyck Freymann, a DPhil Candidate in China Studies at the University of Oxford, explores the nature, function, and purposes of OBOR. Drawing on primary documents in five languages, interviews with senior officials, and on-the-ground case studies in Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Greece, Freymann sifts through the purposeful ambiguity of the Chinese Communist Party and unravels a series of popular myths about OBOR.
    He finds that OBOR is not controlled by a monolithic state apparatus; that recipient nations do not consider OBOR a debt trap; and that appeal of OBOR is growing, not shrinking.
    Ultimately, Freymann argues that the infrastructure projects are a sideshow to something else: Xi Jinping’s project to restore China’s greatness in world affairs and to solidify his place at the helm of the new Chinese empire. 
    John Sakellariadis is a 2020-2021 Fulbright US Student Research Grantee. He holds a Master’s degree in public policy from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia and a Bachelor’s degree in History & Literature from Harvard University.
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    • 1 hr 4 min
    Vince Cable, "China: Engage!--Avoid The New Cold War" (Bite-Sized Books, 2020)

    Vince Cable, "China: Engage!--Avoid The New Cold War" (Bite-Sized Books, 2020)

    Anyone doing business with China will have been shocked by the speed with which political and economic relations with Western, and some other, countries – like India – have deteriorated in 2020, but especially the USA and the UK. A crucial issue for the future is whether this is a passing phase, caused by temporary shocks like the Pandemic and by the personalities of leaders in China and the USA. Alternatively, this could be the beginning of a new Cold War characterised by prolonged hostility on several levels, especially the economic.
    Sir Vince Cable was Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade in the UK's coalition government 2010-15, and before entering parliament he had an extensive career in government, international organisations, universities and business, latterly as Chief Economist of Shell. He has enjoyed Visiting Professorships at the LSE, Nottingham, Sheffield and St Mary’s and Birmingham City Universities. He has been at the heart of trade with China, and brings to this book a depth of understanding and a clarity of thought that is so important today when emotion and feelings dominate over facts, reality and sense. ]
    His analysis in China: Engage! - Avoid the New Cold War (Bite-Sized Books, 2020) is precise, forensic and clear and he brings to the debate about China realism and facts and this book is vital reading for all of us concerned with international trade and international relations. The march towards a cold war with China led by the US, and apparently supported by the UK, is dangerous and Sir Vince Cable's perspective is a corrective to many of the so-called "alternative facts" that are in circulation.
    This book is timely and important and vital for anyone concerned for the future of international trade.
    Kirk Meighoo is a TV and podcast host, former university lecturer, author and former Senator in Trinidad and Tobago. He hosts his own podcast, Independent Thought & Freedom, where he interviews some of the most interesting people from around the world who are shaking up politics, economics, society and ideas. You can find it in the iTunes Store or any of your favorite podcast providers. You can also subscribe to his YouTube channel. If you are an academic who wants to get heard nationally, please check out his free training at becomeapublicintellectual.com.
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    • 1 hr 2 min
    Covell F. Meyskens, "Mao's Third Front: The Militarization of Cold War China" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    Covell F. Meyskens, "Mao's Third Front: The Militarization of Cold War China" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

    In 1964, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) made a momentous policy decision. In response to rising tensions with the United States and Soviet Union, a top-secret massive military industrial complex in the mountains of inland China was built, which the CCP hoped to keep hidden from enemy bombers. Mao named this the Third Front. The Third Front received more government investment than any other developmental initiative of the Mao era, and yet this huge industrial war machine, which saw the mobilization of fifteen million people, was not officially acknowledged for over a decade and a half. In Mao's Third Front: The Militarization of Cold War China (Cambridge UP, 2020), Covell Meyskens provides the first history of the Third Front campaign. He shows how the militarization of Chinese industrialization linked millions of everyday lives to the global Cold War, merging global geopolitics with local change.
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    • 1 hr 29 min
    Paul Jankowski, "All Against All: The Long Winter of 1933 and the Origins of the Second World War" (Harper, 2020)

    Paul Jankowski, "All Against All: The Long Winter of 1933 and the Origins of the Second World War" (Harper, 2020)

    In his latest monograph, All Against All: The Long Winter of 1933 and The Origins of the Second World War (Harper, 2020), Professor Paul Jankowski (Brandeis University) provides a wide-angled account of a critical period of world history, the interwar years, in which the world transitioned from postwar to the prewar and saw the disintegration of collective security and international institutions created after the First World War. Drawing on international history’s methodology of multi-archival research, Jankowski constructs an elegantly written and deeply researched narrative history of this decline by looking at both high-level diplomacy and the changing popular mentalities that influenced many of the decisions of policymakers.
    Steven P. Rodriguez is a PhD candidate in history at Vanderbilt University. His research focuses on the history of Latin American student migration to the United States during the first half of the twentieth century. You can reach him at steven.p.rodriguez@vanderbilt.edu and follow his twitter at @SPatrickRod.
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    • 50 min
    Elizabeth Son, "Embodied Reckonings: 'Comfort Women,' Performance, and Transpacific Redress" (U Michigan Press, 2018)

    Elizabeth Son, "Embodied Reckonings: 'Comfort Women,' Performance, and Transpacific Redress" (U Michigan Press, 2018)

    In a bustling city-center of Seoul, women in yellow vests protesting over the “final” resettlement between the Japanese and Korean governments every Wednesday is an iconic sight, testifying to the strength and resilience of the “comfort women” movement. In her award-winning book Embodied Reckonings: “Comfort Women,” Performance, and Transpacific Redress (University of Michigan Press, 2018), Elizabeth Son examines a long neglected aspect of the “comfort women” advocacy movement: embodied practices of the former “comfort women” and activists as they protest against the historical amnesia of sexual slavery. Through a transpacific framework, Son shows how the “comfort women” movement holds Asian American and Asian activists together as they collectively address America’s imperialist past and seek redress against militarized sexual violence. Son’s monograph takes the reader to the materiality, physicality, and aurality of the Wednesday demonstrations as the collective presence of former “comfort women” and activists refuse the label “post” of post-colonial, and counter the forced historical amnesia of “comfort women” history. Son further examines the testimonies of “comfort women” during the Women’s Tribunal, which was organized transnationally to highlight the failure of Tokyo Tribunal and other international organizations in recognizing sexual slavery as a crime. Transpacific redressive theater further critiques cultural amnesia, and transpacific memorials connect “comfort women” from formerly colonized nations as well as Japan to rise in solidarity against the universal atrocity of the war. In examining embodied aspects of transpacific redress of the “comfort women” movement, Son’s work asks important questions surrounding the limits/possibilities of transpacific alliances, historical erasure of sexual slavery and the violent legacy of militarized imperialism.
    Elizabeth Son is Associate Professor and the Director of the Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre and Drama (IPTD) Program at Northwestern University. She was an inaugural Mellon/ACLS Scholars & Society fellow, and was a scholar-in-residence at KAN-WIN: Empowering Women in the Asian American Community. She continues to partner with KAN-WIN as a crisis hotline volunteer and co-founding member of their “comfort women” justice advocacy team.
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    • 45 min
    Xiaowei Wang, "Blockchain Chicken Farm: And Other Stories of Tech in China's Countryside" (FSG Originals, 2020)

    Xiaowei Wang, "Blockchain Chicken Farm: And Other Stories of Tech in China's Countryside" (FSG Originals, 2020)

    Most of our discussions about how “technology will change the world” focus on the global cities that drive the world economy. Even when we talk about China, we focus on its major cities: Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. 
    Xiaowei Wang corrects this metronormativity in their recent book Blockchain Chicken Farm: And Other Stories of Tech in China's Countryside (FSG Originals: 2020), which explores how rural China is not just adapting the technology used around the world, but innovating on it.  
    In this interview, we talk about the frontiers of technology that are being charted in rural China, and why China’s countryside may be the best place to understand how technology, capitalism and society will intersect in the coming years — often in not altogether positive ways. We also talk about some of the more recent developments in how Chinese technology is treated in the United States, with reference to their recent articles: "WeChat Has Both Connected Families and Torn Them Apart" in Slate and "How the Theatrics of Banning TikTok Enables Repression at Home" in The Nation.
    Xiaowei Wang is the creative director at Logic Magazine, whose work encompasses community-based and public art projects, data visualization, technology, ecology, and education. Their projects have been featured in The New York Times, the BBC, CNN, VICE, and elsewhere. You can follow them on Twitter at @xrw.
    You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Blockchain Chicken Farm. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.
    Nicholas Gordon is a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. In his day job, he’s a researcher and writer for a think tank in economic and sustainable development. He is also a print and broadcast commentator on local and regional politics. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.
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    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
43 Ratings

43 Ratings

Eduardoj151 ,

Some great listens.

Some are more interesting than others but it’s worth it to find the gems. Recent episode with Harriet Evans was a wonderful one.

sjtmadison ,

Very useful for researchers

I'm a PhD candidate and I use this to keep up to date

TricksterCoyote ,

Love the interviews!

I love learning about East Asian countries and culture. This podcast is great for exposing me to literature on the topic. Thank you for sharing!

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