Afleveringen

  • When Japanese signals were decoded at Bletchley Park, who translated them into English? When Japanese soldiers were taken as prisoners of war, who interrogated them? When Japanese maps and plans were captured on the battlefield, who deciphered them for Britain? When Great Britain found itself at war with Japan in December 1941, there was a linguistic battle to be fought--but Britain was hopelessly unprepared. 
    Eavesdropping on the Emperor: Interrogators and Codebreakers in Britain's War With Japan (Oxford UP, 2021) traces the men and women with a talent for languages who were put on crash courses in Japanese, and unfolds the history of their war. Some were sent with their new skills to India; others to Mauritius, where there was a secret radio intercept station; or to Australia, where they worked with Australian and American codebreakers. Translating the despatches of the Japanese ambassador in Berlin after his conversations with Hitler; retrieving filthy but valuable documents from the battlefield in Burma; monitoring Japanese airwaves to warn of air-raids--Britain depended on these forgotten 'war heroes'. The accuracy of their translations was a matter of life or death, and they rose to the challenge. Based on declassified archives and interviews with the few survivors, this fascinating, globe-trotting book tells their stories.
    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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  • Is a Chinese invasion on Taiwan a storm on the horizon when the West is busy with the Ukrainian war? Will Nancy Pelosi’s plan to visit Taiwan in August, the first by a Speaker of the US House of Representatives since 1997, escalate tensions between China and Taiwan?
    Joining us Julie Chen to talk about this hot topic is Sean King, senior vice president at Park Strategies, a New York business advisory firm which has undertaken research and analysis on Taiwan and its neighborly relations. He is also an Affiliated Scholar at the University of Notre Dame Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies. Based on his experience in the government and business sectors, Sean King believes that Russia’s Ukraine invasion was not a prelude to China's moving on Taiwan. The two situations are very different. In Sean’s view, visits by US officials to Taiwan are not without precedent and Nancy Pelosi’s visit should not be viewed as a provocation by the United States or Taiwan.
    Julie Yu-Wen Chen is Professor of Chinese Studies at the Department of Cultures at the University of Helsinki (Finland). Dr. Chen serves as one of the editors of the Journal of Chinese Political Science (Springer, SSCI). Formerly, she was chair of Nordic Association of China Studies (NACS) and Editor-in-Chief of Asian Ethnicity (Taylor & Francis). You can find her on University of Helsinki Chinese Studies’ website, Youtube and Facebook, and her personal Twitter.
    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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  • China’s urban landscapes are full of radically different architectural styles which memorialise different eras in the country’s political past, from the remains of imperial palaces or city walls, to Republican-era shophouses, early-PRC medium-rise apartments, and soaring glass buildings of twenty-first-century vintage. But lodged – both temporally and physically – between these latter two are constructions from a time that is only now beginning to receive more attention, namely the early reform period of the 1970s-90s.
    This is exactly the timespan covered in Cole Roskam’s excellent new book Designing Reform: Architecture in the People's Republic of China, 1970-1992 (Yale UP, 2021) which shows that architecture had a key place in the emerging political, social and cultural developments of China’s pivotal post-Mao years. Examining stylistic, institutional, sociological and aesthetic aspects to Chinese architecture and its cross-border entanglements, this is a book which – as we transition deeper into Xi Jinping’s ‘new era’ – has much to say about an intriguing and occluded period of recent history which is not just Chinese but truly global.
    Ed Pulford is an Anthropologist and Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Manchester. His research focuses on friendships and histories between the Chinese, Korean and Russian worlds, and indigeneity in northeast Asia.
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  • Today I had the pleasure of talking to Professor Gonçalo Santos (University of Coimbra), about his new book, Chinese Village Life Today: Building Families in an Age of Transition, which was published in 2021 by University of Washington Press.
    Chinese Village Life Today is based on more than twenty years of Gonçalo Santos’s field research. The book paints a richly detailed portrait of a rural township in Guangdong Province, north of the industrialized Pearl River Delta region, to consider the intimate choices that village families make in the face of larger forces of modernization. Filled with vivid anecdotes and keen observations, the book offers a fresh perspective on China’s urban-rural divide and a grounded theoretical approach to understand how China’s rural transformation is changing the ways that local people shape their intimate daily lives - from marriage, childbirth, and childcare to personal hygiene and public sanitation.
    I highly recommend the book for anyone who wants to understand village life in China today, and more broadly for those interested in studies on medical anthropology and the workings of technocratic frameworks of governance.
    Dr. Suvi Rautio is an anthropologist of China.
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  • Why does Japanese immigration policy have such a bad name? What are the historical origins of tight immigration policies? Where have these policies left immigrants of Korean descent, many of who lost their Japanese nationality in the wake of the Pacific War? Are Koreans in Japan still torn between competing loyalties to North and South Korea? And what prospects are there for immigration reform in Japan, especially given the country’s aging population and urgent need for more labour?
    Sara Park is a lecturer in Japanese culture at the University of Helsinki, who has written widely on questions of gender, the family, immigration, ethnicity and minorities in Japan. Her latest book in Japanese is ヘルシンキ 生活の練習 (Practice of Life in Helsinki, Tokyo: Chikuma Shobo, 2021), about living through the Finnish Covid-19 lockdown.
    Duncan McCargo is director of the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies. He has previously published three editions of Contemporary Japan, a widely-assigned introductory text.
    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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  • Japan's Occupation of Java in the Second World War: A Transnational History (Bloomsbury, 2018) by Ethan Mark draws upon written and oral Japanese, Indonesian, Dutch and English-language sources to narrate the Japanese occupation of Java as a transnational intersection between two complex non-Western Asian societies – one a colonizer and the other colonized. The book places this narrative in a larger wartime context of domestic, regional, and global crisis.
    Japan's occupation of Java is here revealed in a radically new and nuanced light, as an ambiguous encounter revolutionary in the degree of mutual interests that drew the two sides together, fascinating and tragic in its evolution, and profound in the legacies left behind. Mark structures his study around a diverse group of Japanese and Indonesians captivated by the wartime vision of a 'Greater Asia.' The book is not only the first transnational study of Japan's wartime occupation of Java, but the first to focus on the Second World War experience in transnational terms 'on the ground' anywhere in Asia.
    Breaking new ground interpretatively, thematically, and narratively, Mark's monumental study is of vital significance for students and scholars of modern Asian and global history.
    Ethan Mark is a Senior University Lecturer in Modern Japanese History at Leiden University in the Netherlands. He specializes in modern Japanese history, with a particular expertise in Japanese imperialism and the social and cultural history of the 1920s-1940s. He is also a scholar of modern Indonesia.
    Shatrunjay Mall is a PhD candidate at the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He works on transnational Asian history, and his dissertation explores intellectual, political, and cultural intersections and affinities that emerged between Indian anti-colonialism and imperial Japan in the twentieth century.
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  • Since the founding of the Communist Party in China just over a century ago there is much the country has achieved. But who does the heavy lifting in China? And who walks away with the spoils? Cadre Country: How China Became the Chinese Communist Party (NewSouth Books, 2022) places the spotlight on the nation’s 40 million cadres—the managers and government officials employed by the ruling Communist Party to protect its great enterprise – to show how the Communist Party operates in China and how the stories the party tells about itself are based on thin foundations.
    The book pays particular attention to the history, language, and culture of the Communist Party but maintains a relentless focus on what has become of China since the Global Financial Crisis and in particular since Xi Jinping came to power. The party is in the act of swallowing a liberalised society, a marketized economy, and a diverse country. This matters for everyone, because the way China’s government behaves at home frames its conduct abroad.
    John Fitzgerald is an historian of China and the Chinese diaspora. He headed the Asia-Pacific Centre for Social Investment and Philanthropy at Swinburne University after serving five years as China Representative of The Ford Foundation in Beijing (2008-13). From 2015 to 2017 he served as President of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. His recent books include Cadre Country: How China became the Chinese Communist Party (2022), Taking the Low Road: China’s Influence in Australia’s States and Territories (edited, 2022), and Chinese Diaspora Charity and the Cantonese Pacific, 1850–1949 (edited with Hon-ming Yip, 2020). Earlier books include Big White Lie: Chinese Australians in White Australia (2007), awarded the Ernest Scott Prize of the Australian Historical Association, and Awakening China: Politics, Culture and Class in the Nationalist Revolution (1997), awarded the Joseph Levenson Prize of the US Association for Asian Studies. He is a graduate of the University of Sydney (BA 1976), Nanjing University (Language Cert 1977) and ANU (PhD 1983), and studied at UW Madison as a Fulbright post-doctoral fellow (1988).
    Dong Wang is distinguished professor of history and director of the Wellington Koo Institute for Modern China in World History at Shanghai University (since 2016), a member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, and an elected Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland.
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  • Citizenship is traditionally viewed as a legal status to be possessed. Cultivating Membership in Taiwan and Beyond: Relational Citizenship (Lexington, 2021) proposes the concept of relational citizenship to articulate the value-laden, interactive nature of belongingness. Hsin-I Cheng examines the role of relationality which produces and is a product of localized emotions. Cheng attends to particular histories and global trajectories embedded within uneven power relations. By focusing on Taiwan, a non-Western society with a tradition to adeptly attune to local experiences and those from various global influences, relational citizenship highlights the measures used to define and encourage interactions with newcomers. This book shows the multilayered communicative processes in which relations are gradually created, challenged, merged, disrupted, repaired, and solidified. Cheng further argues that this concept is not bound to nation-state geographic boundaries as relationality bleeds through national borders. Relational citizenship has the potential to move beyond the East vs. West epistemology to examine peoples’ lived realities wherein the sense of belonging is discursively accomplished, viscerally experienced, and publicly performed.
    Hsin-I Cheng is an associate professor in the Communication department at Santa Clara University. Her research and teaching interests focus on how multiple identities intersect and influence human interaction and relationships. She is the author of Culturing Interface: Identity, Communication, and Chinese Transnationalism (2008), and her work appears in Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, Language and Intercultural Communication, and Women & Language.
    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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  • How can we get our articles in Asian studies published? What criteria should we use in selecting what journals to target? On what basis do journal editors make decisions on what articles to publish? How should prospective authors deal with harsh and even contradictory reviewer reports?
    In this special double-length summer podcast, based on an online event convened by NIAS in 2021, two editors of Asian studies journals discuss the challenges of publishing high-quality articles in the field, in a lively and wide-ranging conversation with NIAS Director Duncan McCargo.
    Julie Yu-Wen Chen is Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Helsinki. One of the editors of the Journal of Chinese Political Science, until recently Julie was also the editor-in-chief of Asian Ethnicity.
    Hyung-Gu Lynn is AECL/KEPCO Chair in Korean Research at the University of British Columbiaand the longstanding editor of Pacific Affairs.
    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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  • In 1973, the Philadelphia Orchestra boarded a Pan Am 707 plane in Philadelphia for a once-in-a-lifetime journey: a multi-city tour of Maoist China, months after Nixon’s history-making visit. There was drama immediately after they landed in Shanghai. Chinese officials asked for a last-minute change to the program: Beethoven’s Sixth. After protests that the Orchestra didn’t bring scores with them, officials returned with copies haphazardly sourced from across the country, with different notations and different notes, forcing the orchestra to make do. That’s just one of the stories recounted in Jennifer Lin’s book, Beethoven in Beijing: Stories from the Philadelphia Orchestra's Historic Journey to China (Temple University Press: 2022). The book stems from the work Lin did in putting together a documentary film on the Philadelphia Orchestra’s trip; with so much left on the cutting room floor, she decided to turn it into an oral history. Jennifer Lin is an award-winning journalist, author, and documentary filmmaker. She produced and codirected the feature-length documentary, Beethoven in Beijing, which premiered on PBS’s Great Performances in 2021. For 31 years, she worked at the Philadelphia Inquirer as a reporter, including posts as a foreign correspondent in China, a financial correspondent on Wall Street, and a national correspondent in Washington, DC. She is the author of Shanghai Faithful: Betrayal and Forgiveness in a Chinese Christian Family (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers: 2017), and coauthor of Sole Sisters: Stories of Women and Running (Andrews McMeel Publishing: 2006). Her current documentary project is Beyond Yellowface about two New York City dancers trying to rid ballet of offensive Asian stereotypes.In this interview, Jennifer and I talk about the opening of China, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and how that 1973 visit still resonates today. You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Beethoven in Beijing. Follow on Facebook or 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.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

  • Contrary to intuition, many countries have found that having abundant natural resources such as petroleum or diamonds may be a curse as much as a blessing. Broad-based economic development may be stunted as resource extraction dominates the economy, and politics may be corrupted as different interest groups focus on controlling and redistributing resource rents instead of on governing well. In the worst cases, the fight for control over this wealth breaks into armed conflict. China is not usually considered in this light, since at the national level it has become a manufacturing powerhouse with natural resources only playing a minor economics role. However, the picture is different at the local level. 
    China's Contained Resource Curse: How Minerals Shape State Capital Labor Relations (Cambridge UP, 2022), by Jing Vivian Zhan, explores how mineral booms have affected business, the state, and ordinary people in China’s mineral-rich regions. Her book combines econometric analysis with an in-depth understanding developed over ten years of fieldwork and interviewing with key players.
    Zhan finds that many of the classic resource-curse pathologies occur at the local level in China. Businesspeople collude with or pressure the government to gain mining rights and avoid close inspection of labor standards. Local people see little benefit from the economic development as few jobs are created and other forms of development are largely crowded out. If they benefit from any revenue windfalls it is in the form of short-term government handouts aimed to keep the peace, rather than long-term investments in healthcare, education, and other social services. Meanwhile, the central government in Beijing is only slowly putting together a national regulatory framework that might enable a more sustainable and equitable development path, and has limited capacity to ensure that its policies are carried out at the local level.
    Vivian Zhan is an Associate Professor of the Department of Government and Public Administration at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She received her BA in English and International Studies from Foreign Affairs College of China, and her PhD in political science from University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests span comparative political economy, contemporary Chinese politics, and research methodology, with a focus on post-Mao reforms, intergovernmental relations and local governance. She is also interested in informal institutions and their impact on political and economic behaviours.
    Host Peter Lorentzen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of San Francisco, where he leads a new Master's program in Applied Economics focused on the digital economy. His own research focus is the political economy of governance in China.
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  • Veronika Mak’s Milk Craze: Body, Science, and Hope in China (U of Hawaii Press, 2021) mixes historical and ethnographic research on milk to understand the morality politics of class, labor, and identity in modern Hong Kong and the Shunde area of Guangdong. Beginning with the historical “milkscapes” of ancient China, Mak’s book explores the influence of British colonization on dairy culture in Hong Kong; the role of governments and corporations in making China one of the world’s largest producers and consumers of cow’s milk; and the medicalization and moralization of practices and identities around milk, breastmilk, and infant formula in contemporary Hong Kong. Along the way, Milk Craze examines the demolition of indigenous water-buffalo cheesemaking in Shunde, the development of Hong Kong silk-stocking milk tea, and the pressures created by society and pharmaceutical firms on working mothers to choose infant formula over breastfeeding.
    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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  • Hong Kong has always existed on the edge of empires, providing services and capabilities to powerful nations. And even to this day when the one country two systems idea is all but defunct, Beijing still needs Hong Kong to provide China with access to world markets – especially financial ones. But what next? Ho Fung Hung, Professor in Political Economy at Johns Hopkins University and author of City on the Edge: Hong Kong Under Chinese Rule (Cambridge UP, 2022) discusses the future of Hong Kong.
    Owen Bennett-Jones is a freelance journalist and writer. A former BBC correspondent and presenter he has been a resident foreign correspondent in Bucharest, Geneva, Islamabad, Hanoi and Beirut. He is recently wrote a history of the Bhutto dynasty which was published by Yale University Press.
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  • As COVID-19 disrupted maritime trade with China, the world was again reminded of the importance of shipping in global commerce. The roots of Nordic maritime trade relations with Asia go back centuries, and this history reveals interesting details about early Finnish interaction with China. For example, the Swedish East India Company’s 18th century trade voyages produced the first-ever Finnish academic dissertation on China, which was defended by Cadet Israel Reinius in Turku in 1749. In this episode, Dr. Erja Kettunen-Matilainen from the University of Turku introduces us to this fascinating but somewhat less known historical aspect of Finnish relations with China.
    Dr. Erja Kettunen-Matilainen is a Senior Research Fellow in Economic Geography and Adjunct Professor at the Department of Marketing and International Business at the University of Turku. She has written about Cadet Israel Reinius and Finland’s first China-related dissertation from 1749 as well as the participation of Finns in the Swedish East India Company’s trade voyages in the 18th century (in Finnish).
    Ari-Joonas Pitkänen is a Doctoral Researcher at the Centre for East Asian Studies, University of Turku.
    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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  • Today I talked to Sheila A. Smith about her book Japan Rearmed: The Politics of Military Power (Harvard UP, 2019).
    Modern Japan is not only responding to threats from North Korea and China but is also reevaluating its dependence on the United States, Sheila Smith shows. No longer convinced they can rely on Americans to defend their country, Tokyo's political leaders are now confronting the possibility that they may need to prepare the nation's military for war. Smith and Traphagan's conversation explores a variety of topics related to the intersection of culture and politics in relation to Japan's rearming, including an interesting discussion of Article 9 of Japan's constitution. Dr. Smith also provides some important observations on where Japan may be headed over the next few years as it continues to think through the nature and role of its military.  
    John W. Traphagan, Ph.D. is Professor and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Fellow in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is also a professor in the Program in Human Dimensions of Organizations.
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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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