Afleveringen

  • Tropics of Savagery: The Culture of Japanese Empire in Comparative Frame (U California Press, 2010) is an incisive and provocative study of the figures and tropes of “savagery” in Japanese colonial culture. Through a rigorous analysis of literary works, ethnographic studies, and a variety of other discourses, Robert Thomas Tierney demonstrates how imperial Japan constructed its own identity in relation both to the West and to the people it colonized. By examining the representations of Taiwanese aborigines and indigenous Micronesians in the works of prominent writers, he shows that the trope of the savage underwent several metamorphoses over the course of Japan's colonial period--violent headhunter to be subjugated, ethnographic other to be studied, happy primitive to be exoticized, and hybrid colonial subject to be assimilated.
    Dr. Robert Tierney is professor of Japanese literature in the Departments of East Asian Languages and Cultures and Comparative and World Literatures in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    Samee Siddiqui is a former journalist who is currently a PhD Candidate at the Department of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His dissertation explores discussions relating to religion, race, and empire between South Asian and Japanese figures in Tokyo from 1905 until 1945. You can find him on twitter @ssiddiqui83
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

  • How did Geluk Buddhism become the most widespread school of Tibetan Buddhism in Inner Asia and beyond? In Building a Religious Empire: Tibetan Buddhism, Bureaucracy, and the Rise of the Gelukpa (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2020), Brenton Sullivan reveals the compulsive efforts by Geluk lamas and "Buddhist bureaucrats" (bla dpon) in the early modern period to prescribe and control a proper way of living the life of a Buddhist monk and to define a proper way of administering the monastery. 
    Using monastic constitutions (bca' yig) and rare manuscripts dating primarily to the eighteenth century collected from research trips to Tibet and Mongolia, Sullivan shows that Geluk monasteries regulated scholastic curricula, liturgical sequences, financial protocols, and so on. These documents also appeal to notions of "impartiality" and "the common good," revealing a kind of preoccupation with rationalization and bureaucratic techniques normally associated with state-making.
    Sullivan points out that unlike with leaders of other schools of Tibetan Buddhism, Geluk lamas devoted an extraordinary amount of time to the institutional framework within which aspects of monastic life would take place. He argues in Building a Religious Empire that "this privileging of the monastic institution fostered a common religious identity that insulated it from nationalism along the lines of any specific religious leader, practice, or doctrine."
    Sullivan also reminds us that the remarkable success of Geluk Buddhism's spread to various places in Inner Asia can also be attributed to the mobility of monks and lamas, which "both ensured a degree of uniformity among Geluk monasteries and was facilitated by that uniformity." This mobility facilitated the creation of a system of overlapping networks and loyalties that collectively made up the Geluk school across Tibet and Mongolia. Mobility was also an important part of the Geluk lamas' administrative duties. Sullivan identifies that the Geluk school was "polycephalous," or "multi-headed," and "hydra-headed" at the same time, for it did not rely on a single lama or monastic seat for promoting and maintaining its teachings and organization but on a proliferation of such lamas in various monastic centers that are also regenerative. 
    Daigengna Duoer is a Ph.D. student at the Religious Studies Department, University of California, Santa Barbara.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

  • Zijn er afleveringen die ontbreken?

    Klik hier om de feed te vernieuwen.

  • How did Japanese academics study their "fields" in places like Manchuria and Inner Mongolia in the transwar decades? How did they transform in the postwar, under the US Occupation, and after? Into the Field: Human Scientists of Transwar Japan (Stanford UP, 2019) is the first monograph on the collective biography of this cohort of professional Japanese intellectuals, or in Miriam L. Kingsberg Kadia's words, "the men of one age."
    Kadia observes that during the transwar decades (1930s-1060s), these "men of one age" jointly embraced a set of unchanging assumptions regarding epistemology that was anchored in the ideal of "objectivity." The scholarship, or gakujutsu, that they aimed to produce were concerned with the quest of universal laws governing human society and the natural world, the use of a comprehensively delineated method to assure rigor in pursuit of "truth," and impartiality. Those who studied the human sciences applied the ideal of "objectivity" to the study of Self and Others in Japanese colonized and occupied lands.
    Following the lives of these transwar human scientists into the fields, Kadia reveals that these "men of one age," such as Izumi Seiichi, were both creators and creations of imperial epistemology. Kadia points out that although the duration of Japanese imperial control was too short to apply their academic findings to policy in much of the empire, Izumi and his colleagues "enjoyed outsized influence in justifying the empire as a hierarchy of confraternal races ruled for their own benefit by the putatively superior Japanese."
    The US Occupation in the postwar allowed the continuation of the pursuit of "objective" knowledge for the Japanese human scientists, as well as opening new avenues for them. Kadia argues that "what changed after 1945 were the values understood to constitute objectivity," namely ideals vaunted as characteristically American: democracy, capitalism, and peace. 
    During the Cold War, Kadia reminds us, the US saw strategic potential in Japan's studies of East Asia and Oceania, and the Japanese academics largely "upheld the convenient fiction of their reluctant cooperation with and quiet opposition to the former government." To rehabilitate Japan's scholarly reputation, the Japanese academics were integrated into a new transnational intellectual community that both reflected and supported US hegemony, although some Japanese academics resisted the subordination of domestic progress to grand strategy. 
    Daigengna Duoer is a Ph.D. student at the Religious Studies Department, University of California, Santa Barbara.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

  • Y. Yvon Wang draws on previously untapped archives--ranging from police archives and surveys to ephemeral texts and pictures--to argue that pornography in China represents a unique configuration of power and desire that both reflects and shapes historical processes. On the one hand, since the late imperial period, pornography has democratized pleasure in China and opened up new possibilities of imagining desire. On the other, ongoing controversies over its definition and control show how the regulatory ideas of premodern cultural politics and the popular products of early modern cultural markets have contoured the globalized world.
    Reinventing Licentiousness: Pornography and Modern China (Cornell University Press, 2021) emphasizes the material factors, particularly at the grassroots level of consumption and trade, that governed proper sexual desire and led to ideological shifts around the definition of pornography. By linking the past to the present and beyond, Wang's social and intellectual history showcases circulated pornographic material as a motor for cultural change. The result is an astonishing foray into what historicizing pornography can mean for our understandings of desire, legitimacy, capitalism, and culture.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

  • Jürgen Melzer’s Wings for the Rising Sun: A Transnational History of Japanese Aviation (Harvard UP, 2020) traces the history of Japanese aviation from its origins with hot-air balloons in the 1870s until the end of the Pacific War in 1945. Melzer’s narrative centers around three themes: transnational technology transfer and Japan’s efforts to attain technological independence, domestic efforts to mobilize public enthusiasm for aviation development (what Melzer calls “air-mindedness”), and the complicated interplay of aviation with military and diplomatic history. 
    The first chapters take us to the end of World War I, which was a turning point for Japanese aviation. Until that time, Japan had been most interested in French technologies, but the settlement of the Great War at Versailles provided an opportunity to take advantage of German aviation advancements. Parts 2 and 3 contrast the development of aviation in the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy, exposing crucial differences not only between the two services but within each one. Part 4 begins with Japan’s turn to American civil aviation technologies in the wake of the 1931 Manchurian Incident, and the subsequent impact of Japanese aggression and US retaliatory sanctions leading up to Pearl Harbor. The final chapter covers the fevered development of rocket- and jet-propelled aircraft during the war, and therefore in the context of resource shortages and a fast-ticking clock. Melzer, a former Lufthansa pilot, has written a book that will appeal to readers interested in STS, military history, international relations, and Western history, in addition to Japanese history aficionados.
    Nathan Hopson is an associate professor of Japanese and East Asian history in the Graduate School of Humanities, Nagoya University.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

  • Changan Jie, or Long Peace Street, stretches across central Beijing. Along it are several critical historical sites, including Zhongnanhai, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City: all important to Beijing’s history as the center of Imperial, Republican and then Communist China.
    Jonathan Chatwin, in his book Long Peace Street: A Walk in Modern China (Manchester University Press, 2019), recently published in paperback, uses the road as a way to present the modern history of Beijing and China. Starting at the street’s beginning at the former Capital Iron and Steel works, Chatwin takes the reader on a journey along Long Peace Street and through China’s political history, as it changes from a declining empire to a fast-growing and increasingly confident Communist state. The centerpiece of the book is the Forbidden City, which Jonathan recently wrote about for CNN: “Forbidden City at 600: How China's imperial palace survived against the odds”.
    In this interview, I ask Jonathan to chart this journey along Long Peace Street for us, talking about both the major sites we may have seen on our own journeys to Beijing, and some of the less well-known yet equally interesting points along this road. We talk about some of his own personal experiences writing the book, and Beijing’s relationship to its past.
    Jonathan Chatwin is a travel writer and journalist. His essays and articles have been published by the South China Morning Post, the British Film Institute, The Los Angeles Review of Books amongst other publications. He is also the author of Anywhere Out of the World: The Work of Bruce Chatwin (Manchester University Press: 2017), as well as the host of The Southern Tour Podcast‬, which examines China's reform and opening, through the prism of Deng Xiaoping's legendary 'Southern Tour' of 1992. He can be followed on Twitter at @jmchatwin.
    You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Long Peace Street. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.
    Nicholas Gordon is a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He is also a print and broadcast commentator on local and regional politics. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

  • Telling stories: that sounds innocuous enough. But for the first chronicle in the Japanese vernacular, A Tale of Flowering Fortunes (Eiga monogatari), there was more to worry about than a good yarn. The health of the community was at stake. Flowering Tales: Women Exorcising History in Heian Japan (Harvard University Press, 2020) is the first extensive literary study of this historical tale, which covers about 150 years of births, deaths, and happenings in late Heian society, a golden age of court literature in women’s hands. Takeshi Watanabe contends that the blossoming of tales, marked by The Tale of Genji, inspired Eiga’s new affective history: an exorcism of embittered spirits whose stories needed to be retold to ensure peace.
    Tracing the narrative arcs of politically marginalized figures, Watanabe shows how Eiga’s female authors adapted the discourse and strategies of The Tale of Genji to rechannel wayward ghosts into the community through genealogies that relied not on blood but on literary resonances. These reverberations, highlighted through comparisons to contemporaneous accounts in courtiers’ journals, echo through shared details of funerary practices, political life, and characterization. Flowering Tales reanimates these eleventh-century voices to trouble conceptions of history: how it ought to be recounted, who got to record it, and why remembering mattered.
    Jingyi Li is a PhD Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

  • Transpacific Correspondences: Dispatches from Japan’s Black Studies, an essay collection edited by Dr. Yuichiro Onishi and Dr Fumiko Sakashita, introduces a little-known, but critical history of Black Studies in Japan. Taking the Black Studies Association (Kokujin Kenkyu no Kai) as its focus, the collection charts the history of members of the Black Studies Association, and the ways in which Japanese scholars and writers studied, translated and disseminated the works of black radical thinkers, and were politically transformed by their engagement with this work. The collection is interdisciplinary in nature, covering important topics that would be of great interest to political theorists, black feminist theorists, historians, and scholars of music and literature. Transpacific Correspondence is an important contribution to the history of Afro-Asian encounters and the globalized field of Black Studies.
    Felicity Stone-Richards is a PhD student in Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is a comparative political theorist of Afro-diasporic and Japanese theory, and scholar of contemporary transnational political activism.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

  • In 1800, the Shogun’s chief minister wrote the following about the city of Edo:
    "Someone said that if Edo did not have frequent fires, then people would be more showy and flash. In the capital or in Osaka they do everything with lavish elegance: people hang up paintings in their homes or put out arrangements of flowers. But in Edo, even in the affluent areas, everything is restrained. People only display a single flower [in a bamboo tube or a simple pot]. The wealthy have fine chess sets, but the box will have paper fixed under the lid to double up as the board. Edo’s sense of conciseness comes from continual fires."
    According to Professor Timon Screech, author of Tokyo Before Tokyo: Power and Magic in the Shogun’s City of Edo (Reaktion Books, 2020), the city is the source of much of what we consider to be Japanese culture: sushi, Mt Fuji, cherry blossoms. Tokyo Before Tokyo is a rich illustrated volume that presents the vibrant visual history of Edo. The book is presented as a series of vignettes, dealing with key landmarks and districts from the old city, from the Shogun’s castle to the famous red-light Yoshiwara district.
    In this interview, Professor Screech and I talk about the different vignettes that make up Tokyo Before Tokyo, and the role that Edo played in old Japan. We also investigate his decision to focus on landmarks and districts, and whether any of old Edo can be seen in today’s Tokyo.
    Professor Timon Screech is Professor of the History of Art at SOAS University of London. He is the author of at least a dozen books on the visual culture of the Edo period, including perhaps his best-known work Sex and the Floating World: Erotic Images in Japan, 1700-1820 (University of Hawaii Press, 1999). In addition to Tokyo Before Tokyo, his other most recent book is The Shogun's Silver Telescope: God, Art, and Money in the English Quest for Japan, 1600-1625 (Oxford University Press, 2020). In 2019, Professor Screech was elected as a Fellow of the British Academy.
    You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Tokyo Before Tokyo. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.
    Nicholas Gordon is a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He is also a print and broadcast commentator on local and regional politics. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

  • This episode features three interviews with organizers and scholars concerned with Asian migrant sex work: SWAN Vancouver (Alison Clancey and Kelly Go), Dr. Lily Wong, and Dr. Yuri Doolan.
    On March 16, 2021, Robert Aaron Long targeted three Atlanta-area spas and massage parlors and killed eight people: Delania Ashley Yuan González, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Paul Andre Michels, Hyun Jung Grant, Soon Chung Park, Suncha Kim, and Yong Ae Yue. Six of these victims were Asian women. Within the days following the shooting, many groups representing women, Asian Americans, sex workers, and migrants, have collectively mourned and sent strength and solidarity to the eight victims and their families.
    This podcast episode seeks to express solidarity with these groups by highlighting the work of scholars and organizers who have been studying the racially encoded figures and the broader histories of Asian migrant sex work. We hope to give space here to understand how the violence that occurred on March 16 was imbricated within a racial capitalist structure that views Asian and Asian American women as disposable objects, a view that has been historically continuous with the histories of Chinese exclusion (initiated by fears of Chinese sex workers and yellow peril), and with over one hundred and fifty years of US imperialism in Asia, from the colonial theft of Hawai’i and the Philippine-American War to Japanese Incarceration, The Korean War, The Vietnam War, and the growth of over eight-hundred military bases across the world.
    As the organizers and scholars interviewed here stress, it is crucial now to join groups local and international that stand for the decriminalization of migration and sex work, and to reject calls for hate-crime laws or anti-sex trafficking laws, or any legislation that would bring more policing, all of which would only make migrants and sex workers more vulnerable and stigmatized.
    Christopher B. Patterson is an Assistant Professor in the Social Justice Institute at the University of British Columbia.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

  • Anecdote, Network, Gossip, Performance: Essays on the Shishuo xinyu (Harvard UP, 2021) is a study of the Shishuo xinyu, the most important anecdotal collection of medieval China—and arguably of the entire traditional era. In a set of interconnected essays, Jack W. Chen offers new readings of the Shishuo xinyu that draw upon social network analysis, performance studies, theories of ritual and mourning, and concepts of gossip and reputation to illuminate how the anecdotes of the collection imagine and represent a political and cultural elite. Whereas most accounts of the Shishuo have taken a historical approach, Chen argues that the work should be understood in literary terms.
    At its center, Anecdote, Network, Gossip, Performance is an extended meditation on the very nature of the anecdote form, both what the anecdote affords in terms of representing a social community and how it provides a space for the rehearsal of certain longstanding philosophical and cultural arguments. Although each of the chapters may be read separately as an essay in its own right, when taken together, they present a comprehensive account of the Shishuo in all of its literary complexity.
    Victoria Oana Lupașcu is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Asian Studies at University of Montréal. Her areas of interest include medical humanities, visual art, 20th and 21st Chinese, Brazilian and Romanian literature and Global South studies.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

  • The Art of Political Control in China (Cambridge University Press, 2019) shows how China's authoritarian state ensures political control by non-violent mechanisms. Daniel C. Mattingly demonstrates how coercive control is achieved through informal means to achieve goals such as land redistribution, the enforcement of family planning policies, and the suppression of protest. He draws on a broad combination of empirical evidence - from qualitative case studies, experiments and national surveys, to challenge conventional understandings of political control. Surprisingly, Mattingly shows that it is strong civil societies which strengthens the state's coercive capacities, while those that lack strong civil societies have the greatest potential to act collectively and spontaneously to resist the state. 
    The Art of Political Control in China was named one of Foreign Affairs Magazine as one of the best books in 2020. It is important reading for our times to understand how governments - and especially authoritarian governments - foster political compliance through coercive mechanisms.  
    Daniel Mattingly is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale University. His work focuses on the political economy of development and authoritarian politics with a focus on China. Some of his current research focuses on the military, revolutions, elite politics, and technological innovation in China, both in the present in past.
    Jane Richards is a doctoral student at the University of Hong Kong. You can find her on twitter where she follows all things related to human rights and Hong Kong politics @JaneRichardsHK
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

  • In this newly revised and updated 2nd edition of Voices of Early Modern Japan: Contemporary Accounts of Daily Life During the Age of the Shoguns (Routledge, 2020), Constantine Nomikos Vaporis offers an accessible collection of annotated historical documents of an extraordinary period in Japanese history, ranging from the unification of warring states under Tokugawa Ieyasu in the early 17th century to the overthrow of the shogunate just after the opening of Japan by the West in the mid-19th century. Through close examination of primary sources from "The Great Peace", this fascinating textbook offers fresh insights into the Tokugawa era: its political institutions, rigid class hierarchy, artistic and material culture, religious life, and more, demonstrating what historians can uncover from the words of ordinary people. New features include: An expanded section on religion, morality and ethics A new selection of maps and visual documents Sources from government documents and household records to diaries and personal correspondence, translated and examined in light of the latest scholarship Updated references for student projects and research assignments The first edition of Voices of Early Modern Japan was the winner of the 2013 Franklin R. Buchanan Prize for Curricular Materials. This fully revised textbook will prove a comprehensive resource for teachers and students of East Asian studies, history, culture, and anthropology.
    Jingyi Li is a PhD Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

  • In The Dutch Language in Japan (1600-1900): A Cultural and Sociolinguistic Study of Dutch as a Contact Language in Tokugawa and Meiji Japan (Brill, 2020), Christopher Joby offers the first book-length account of the knowledge and use of the Dutch language in Tokugawa and Meiji Japan. For most of this period, the Dutch were the only Europeans permitted to trade with Japan. Using the analytical tool of language process, this book explores the nature and consequences of contact between Dutch and Japanese and other language varieties. The processes analyzed include language learning, contact and competition, code-switching, translation, lexical, syntactic, and graphic interference, and language shift. The picture that emerges is that the multifarious uses of Dutch, especially the translation of Dutch books, would have a profound effect on the language, society, culture, and intellectual life of Japan.
    You can get The Dutch Language in Japan (1600-1900) at a discount at the Brill website by entering the code 72150 on check out. (Promo Code effective until May/31/2021)
    Jingyi Li is a Ph.D. Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

  • How do we make sense of the “durability and gigantic scale” of China’s economic expansion alongside the reports of “rising” and “explosive” corruption? How has China moved from an “impoverished communist regime to a capitalist superpower rivaling the United States” despite a crisis of corruption that its own leadership describes as “gave” and “shocking”? Dr. Yuen Yuen Ang’s her new book China’s Gilded Age: The Paradox of Economic Boom and Vast Corruption (Cambridge University Press, 2020) argues corruption comes in different forms and she “unbundles” different types of corruption to explain not only why China can boom but why political scientists need to “fundamentally revise our believes about the relationship between corruption and capitalism.” The book demystifies the Chinese paradox of growth with corruption by unbundling the four types of corruption and placing China in comparative-historical perspective. China is an outlier but not in the ways that most analysts assume. The closest parallel is the United States in the late 19th century, a gilded age characterized by both feverish growth and glaring inequality, conniving plutocrats and corrupt politicians. The book offers a four-part explanation for this paradox focused on the dominant type of corruption (access money which stimulates growth but generates distortions and risks), the relationship between the profit sharing model (where the rewards of leaders and bureaucrats are linked to economic performance) and access money, the role of capacity-building reforms in curtailing corruption involving theft and speed money, and the checking of predatory corruption by regional competition (spurring development and deal-making).
    Dr. Yuen Yuen Ang is an associate professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan. She works at the intersection of business, governance, and innovation to better understand how governments and organizations respond to deep uncertainty and complex, novel problems and which institutions are able to adapt. She considers China’s Gilded Age to be a sequel to her award-winning book, How China Escaped the Poverty Trap (Cornell University Press, 2016) and you can hear her conversation with my NBN colleague here. Dr. Ang translates her ideas to wider audiences in Foreign Affairs, Project Syndicate, and the South China Morning Post.
    Susan Liebell is an associate professor of political science at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Why Diehard Originalists Aren’t Really Originalists recently appeared in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage and “Retreat from the Rule of Law: Locke and the Perils of Stand Your Ground” was published in the Journal of Politics (July 2020). Email her comments at sliebell@sju.edu or tweet to @SusanLiebell.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

  • The study of religion in China has a long history across a number of interrelated disciplines. In recent years, scholars have been reassessing past scholarship and synthesizing it in new ways. The three-volume project “Concepts and Methods for the Study of Chinese Religions” is one of the most exciting of these endeavors and establishes productive groundwork for future research. It includes three books: Stefania Travagnin, André Laliberté, Concepts and Methods for the Study of Chinese Religions I: State of the Field and Disciplinary Approaches (De Gruyter, 2019); Stefania Travagnin, Gregory Scott, Concepts and Methods for the Study of Chinese Religions II: Intellectual History of Key Concepts (De Gruyter, 2020); and Stefania Travagnin, Paul R. Katz, Concepts and Methods for the Study of Chinese Religions III: Key Concepts in Practice (De Gruyter, 2019). The contributions evaluate the current state of scholarship, discusses a variety of analytical approaches and theories about methodology, epistemology, and the ontology of the field. The three books display an interdisciplinary approach and offer debates that transcend national traditions. It engages with a variety of methodologies for the study of East Asian religions and promotes dialogues with Western and Chinese voices. In my conversation with Stefania Travagnin, Professor at SOAS and co-editor of all 3 volumes, we discuss the catalyst for the project, co-editing and organizing of a large interdisciplinary effort, how one can define Chinese religions, representative disciplinary approaches and themes of previous scholarship, Chinese keywords and categories for studying religion, the importance of regional or local contexts, diaspora communities and global China, religious interaction and cross-tradition approaches, and future directions to advance the field of Chinese religions. Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Old Dominion University.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

  • Dennis Frost’s More than Medals: A History of the Paralympics and Disability Sports in Postwar Japan is a history of disability sports in modern Japan. The 1964, 1998, and upcoming Paralympics are important case studies, but Frost’s interests go far beyond this pinnacle of international, competitive disability sports. More than Medals explores the history and development of disability sports, highlighting Japan as an international actor, Oita prefecture as a domestic and international disability sports mecca, and most of all the ongoing tension between two visions of the purpose of disability sports: one which is primarily rehabilitative and the other which emphasizes elite athletic competition. This, as Frost shows, is fundamental to understanding the dynamics of accessibility and inclusivity in disabled sports. More than Medals will appeal to readers interested in the history of Japan, sports, and mega-events such as the Paralympics, as well as to those interested in disability studies.
    Nathan Hopson is an associate professor of Japanese and East Asian history in the Graduate School of Humanities, Nagoya University.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

  • In the seventeenth century, Japanese popular prose flourished as waves of newly literate readers gained access to the printed word. Commercial publishers released vast numbers of titles in response to readers’ hunger for books that promised them potent knowledge. However, traditional literary histories of this period position the writings of Ihara Saikaku at center stage, largely neglecting the breadth of popular prose. 
    In Pleasure in Profit: Popular Prose in Seventeenth-Century Japan (Cambridge UP, 2020), Laura Moretti investigates the vibrant world of vernacular popular literature. She marshals new data on the magnitude of the seventeenth-century publishing business and highlights the diversity and porosity of its publishing genres. Moretti explores how booksellers sparked interest among readers across the spectrum of literacies and demonstrates how they tantalized consumers with vital ethical, religious, societal, and interpersonal knowledge. She recasts books as tools for knowledge making, arguing that popular prose engaged its audience cognitively as well as aesthetically and emotionally to satisfy a burgeoning curiosity about the world. 
    Crucially, Moretti shows, readers experienced entertainment within the didactic, finding pleasure in the profit gained from acquiring knowledge by interacting with transformative literature. Drawing on a rich variety of archival materials to present a vivid portrait of seventeenth-century Japanese publishing, Pleasure in Profit also speaks to broader conversations about the category of the literary by offering a new view of popular prose that celebrates plurality.
    Jingyi Li is a PhD Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

  • How does revolution literature help to engage Mongolia’s nomadic population with the utopia of a “new society” promised by the Mongolian People’s Revolution Party? In Politics and Literature in Mongolia 1921-1948 (Amsterdam University Press, 2020), Simon Wickhamsmith explores the relationship between literature and politics in the period between the 1921 socialist revolution and the first Writers’ Congress in 1948.
    He argues that the literature of this time “helped to frame the ideology of socialism and the practice of the revolution for those Mongolians who had little understanding of what it could offer them.” Through discussing the works of Mongolian writers such as D. Natsagdorg, S. Buyannemeh, Ts. Damdinsüren, and D. Namdag, who wrote on education, health care, religion, and labor, the book reveals how these writers represented the new Mongolia and the difficulties that accompanied with it.
    Wickhamsmith reminds us that although the period between 1921-1948 saw a sustained literary development in Mongolia assisted in part through the financial and moral sponsorship of the Soviet Union, many writers also suffered from censorship and even torture and death. Politics and Literature in Mongolia 1921-1948 is one of the first books of its kind to translate some of the works by these writers into English, including works of poetry, fiction, and drama.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

  • There are currently eleven million Uyghurs living in China, but more than one million are being held in so-called reeducation camps. A cultural genocide is taking place under the guise of counterterrorism. 
    In this profound and explosive book, Sean Roberts shows how China is using the US-led global war on terror to erase and replace Uyghur culture and persecute this ethnic minority in what has become the largest program of mass detention and surveillance in the world. In The War on the Uyghurs: China's Internal Campaign Against a Muslim Minority, Roberts contextualises these harms in the PRC's colonial legacy of the region. He demonstrates how the Chinese government was able to brand Uyghur dissent as a dangerous terrorist threat which had links with al-Qaeda. He argues that a nominal militant threat was a 'self-fulfilling prophecy'; the limited response to more than a decade of harsh repression and surveillance. 
    This is the humanitarian catastrophe that the world needs to know about now. Beyond the destruction of Uyghur identity and culture, there are profound implications for the global community by this cultural genocide. 
    Dr. Sean R. Roberts is an Associate Professor of the Practice of International Affairs; Director, International Development Studies Program at the Elliot School of International Affairs, George Washington University.
    He is is a cultural anthropologist with extensive applied experience in international development work. Roberts conducted ethnographic fieldwork among the Uyghur people of Central Asia and China during the 1990s, and has published extensively on this community in scholarly journals and collected volumes. In 1996 he produced a documentary film on the community entitled Waiting for Uighurstan. You can find him on twitter at @robertsreport 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
    Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies