Episoder

  • Rachael Hutchinson and Jérémie Pelletier-Gagnon's edited volume Japanese Role-Playing Games: Genre, Representation, and Liminality in the JRPG (Lexington Books, 2022) examines the origins, boundaries, and transnational effects of the genre, addressing significant formal elements as well as narrative themes, character construction, and player involvement. Contributors from Japan, Europe, North America, and Australia employ a variety of theoretical approaches to analyze popular game series and individual titles, introducing an English-speaking audience to Japanese video game scholarship while also extending postcolonial and philosophical readings to the Japanese game text. In a three-pronged approach, the collection uses these analyses to look at genre, representation, and liminality, engaging with a multitude of concepts including stereotypes, intersectionality, and the political and social effects of JRPGs on players and industry conventions. Broadly, this collection considers JRPGs as networked systems, including evolved iterations of MMORPGs and card-collecting “social games” for mobile devices. Scholars of media studies, game studies, Asian studies, and Japanese culture will find this book particularly useful.
    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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  • Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has dramatically affected international politics, and the effects are also felt in East Asia. We have heard a lot about China’s position regarding the war, but the situation has also affected security and defense calculations in Japan, one of the key allies of the West in Asia. How did Japan react to the war, what has it meant for Japan's own territorial dispute with Russia, and how do the evolving East Asian, Indo-Pacific, and European security environments look from a Japanese perspective? In this episode, Ari-Joonas Pitkänen is joined by two specialists on Japanese society and politics, Dr. Kamila Szczepanska and Dr. Silja Keva, to answer these questions.
    Dr. Kamila Szczepanska is a University Lecturer at the Centre for East Asian Studies and Adjunct Professor at the Department of Philosophy, Political Science and Contemporary History at the University of Turku. Dr. Silja Keva is a University Teacher at the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku.
    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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  • Amid a vast influx of rural migrants into urban areas, China has allowed cities wide latitude in providing education and other social services. While millions of people have been welcomed into the megacities as a source of cheap labor, local governments have used various tools to limit their access to full citizenship.
    The Urbanization of People: The Politics of Development, Labor Markets, and Schooling in the Chinese City (Columbia University Press, 2022) by Eli D. Friedman reveals how cities in China have granted public goods to the privileged while condemning poor and working-class migrants to insecurity, constant mobility, and degraded educational opportunities. Using the school as a lens on urban life, Eli Friedman investigates how the state manages flows of people into the city. He demonstrates that urban governments are providing quality public education to those who need it least: school admissions for nonlocals heavily favor families with high levels of economic and cultural capital. Those deemed not useful are left to enroll their children in precarious resource-starved private schools that sometimes are subjected to forced demolition. Over time, these populations are shunted away to smaller locales with inferior public services.

    Based on extensive ethnographic research and hundreds of in-depth interviews, this interdisciplinary book details the policy framework that produces unequal outcomes as well as providing a fine-grained account of the life experiences of people drawn into the cities as workers but excluded as full citizens.
    Michael O. Johnston, Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Sociology at William Penn University. His most recent research, “The Queen and Her Royal Court: A Content Analysis of Doing Gender at a Tulip Queen Pageant,” was published in Gender Issues Journal. He researches culture, social identity, placemaking, and media representations of social life at festivals and celebrations. He is currently working on a book titled Community Media Representations of Place and Identity at Tug Fest: Reconstructing the Mississippi River. You can learn more about Dr. Johnston on his website, Google Scholar, on Twitter @ProfessorJohnst, or by email at [email protected]
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  • What is artificial intelligence (AI) with Chinese characteristics? Why is the Chinese Government labelling AI as a matter of security? How has AI been empowering China’s authoritarian governance? Jinghan Zeng, Professor of China and International Studies at Lancaster University, talks about his latest book Artificial Intelligence (AI) with Chinese Characteristics: National Strategy, Security and Authoritarian Governance (Palgrave, 2022) at the Nordic Asia Podcast.
    In his conversation with Joanne Kuai, PhD candidate at Karlstad University, Sweden and affiliated PhD at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Jinghan Zeng introduces his book which argues that China’s AI approach is sophisticated and multifaceted, and it has brought about both considerable benefits and challenges to China. The book suggests that a more accurate understanding of AI with Chinese characteristics is essential in order to inform the debate regarding what lessons can be learnt from China’s AI approach and how to respond to China’s rise as the AI leader, if not a superpower.
    Jinghan Zeng is Professor of China and International Studies at Lancaster University. He is also Academic Director of China Engagement and Director of Lancaster University Confucius Institute. He plays a key role in supporting the development and implementation of the University’s China strategy. He is the author of Slogan Politics: Understanding Chinese Foreign Policy Concepts (2020) and The Chinese Communist Party's Capacity to Rule: Ideology, Legitimacy and Party Cohesion (2015). He is also the co-editor of One Belt, One Road, One Story?: Towards an EU-China Strategic Narrative (2021).
    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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  • The Dragon Daughter and Other Lin Lan Fairy Tales (Princeton University Press, 2022) by Dr. Juwen Zhang brings together forty-two magical Chinese tales, most appearing for the first time in English. These stories have been carefully selected from more than a thousand originally published in the early twentieth century under the pseudonyms Lin Lan and Lady Lin Lan—previously unknown in the West, and now acclaimed as the Brothers Grimm of China.
    The birth of the tales began in 1924, when one author, Li Xiaofeng, published a set of literary stories under the Lin Lan pen name, an alias that would eventually be shared by an editorial team. Together, this group gathered fairy tales (tonghua) from rural regions across China. Combining traditional oral Chinese narratives with elements from the West, the selections in this collection represent different themes and genres—from folk legends to comic tales. Characters fall for fairies, experience predestined love, and have love/hate relationships with siblings. Garden snails and snakes transform into cooking girls, and dragon daughters construct houses. An introduction offers historical and social context for understanding the role that the Lin Lan stories played in modern China.
    This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.
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  • On October 27, 1930, members of six Taiwanese indigenous groups ambushed the Japanese attendees of an athletic competition at the Musha Elementary School, killing 134. The uprising came as a shock to Japanese colonial authorities, whose response was swift and brutal. Heavy artillery and battalions of troops assaulted the region, spraying a wide area with banned poison gas. The Seediq from Mhebu, who led the uprising, were brought to the brink of genocide.
    Over the ensuing decades, the Musha Incident became seen as a central moment in Taiwan’s colonial history, and different political regimes and movements have seized on it for various purposes. Under the Japanese, it was used to attest to the “barbarity” of Taiwan’s indigenous tribes; the Nationalist regime cited the uprising as proof of the Taiwanese peoples’ heroism and solidarity with the Chinese in resisting the Japanese; and pro-independence groups in Taiwan have portrayed the Seediq people and their history as exemplars of Taiwan’s “authentic” cultural traditions, which stand apart from that of mainland China.
    This book brings together leading scholars to provide new perspectives on one of the most traumatic episodes in Taiwan’s modern history and its fraught legacies. Contributors from a variety of disciplines revisit the Musha Incident and its afterlife in history, literature, film, art, and popular culture. They unravel the complexities surrounding it by confronting a history of exploitation, contradictions, and misunderstandings. The book also features conversations with influential cultural figures in Taiwan who have attempted to tell the story of the uprising.
    Michael Berry is professor of modern Chinese literature and film at the University of California, Los Angeles. His books include Speaking in Images: Interviews with Contemporary Chinese Filmmakers (2005) and A History of Pain: Trauma in Modern Chinese Literature and Film (2008), and he is the translator of several novels, including Chang Ta-chun’s Wild Kids: Two Novels About Growing Up (2000) and Wu He’s Remains of Life (2017).
    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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  • Sarah Teasley's Designing Modern Japan (Reaktion, 2022) unpicks the history of Japanese design from the mid-nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth, focusing on continuities and disruptions within communities and practices of design. Designing Modern Japan explores design in the unfolding contexts of modernization, empire and war, defeat and reconstruction, postwar economic acceleration, and beyond. Throughout, Teasley is sensitive to issues of gender and class within the communities of design she studies. The book combines the history of design with social, economic, and geopolitical history, placing design and its material objects carefully in the larger currents of modern and contemporary Japan. Designing Modern Japan is a history of both the people who shaped Japanese design and the designs that were integral to life in modern Japan.
    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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  • Yi Gu's Chinese Ways of Seeing and Open-Air Painting (Harvard UP, 2020) examines the rise of open-air painting in 20th-century China, showing how this emphatically new form of landscape painting precipitated and participated in an ocular turn. In its urgent embrace of Cartesian optics and its interrelationship with new technologies like photography, open-air painting taught Chinese artists (and citizens) new, modern "ways of seeing." Gu traces the birth of the form in the early 20th century, showing readers the rise of this new perceptual mode not only through close analysis of painting, but also through her rich archive of sources like textbooks and art treatises that demonstrate the urgency and importance of the open-air movement to Chinese modernity. Indeed, as Gu shows in her third chapter, this modern way of painting and seeing significantly impacted how "traditional" Chinese landscape painting was (and continues to be) understood. Gu demonstrates that this "tradition" was invented precisely in relation to the new optics of open-air painting. The book also analyzes the role of open-air landscape painting in China's wartime struggle and in the new socialist state, both moments in which artists were compelled (by patriotism and then, the state) to represent the nation in politically appropriate ways. In Gu's narrative, open-air landscape thus emerges as a crucial political form. Her compelling theoretical argument is enriched not only with nuanced visual analysis and careful archival work, but also beautiful images that fill her book. As you will hear in our short aside about archives and sources, obtaining such visual materials for the book was no easy task! I look forward to teaching my students new ways of seeing Chinese media history by assigning this book in future classes.
    Julia Keblinska is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Center for Historical Research at the Ohio State University specializing in Chinese media history and comparative socialisms.
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  • China has one of the largest queer populations in the world, but what does it mean to be queer in a Confucian society in which kinship roles, ties, and ideologies are of paramount importance? This book analyzes queer cultures in China, offering an alternative to western blueprints of queer individual identity. Using a critical approach—“queering Chinese kinship”—Lin Song scrutinizes the relationship between queerness and family relations, questioning the Eurocentric assumption of the separation of queerness from family ties. Offering five case studies of queer representations, Queering Chinese Kinship: Queer Public Culture in Globalizing China (Hong Kong UP, 2021)also challenges the tendency in current scholarship to understand queer cultures as predominantly marginalized. Shedding light on cultural expressions of queerness and kinship, this book highlights queer politics as an integral part of contemporary Chinese public culture.
    Dr. Lin Song is a scholar of media and cultural studies, and Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism & Communication at Jinan University in Guangzhou, China. He holds a PhD in Gender Studies from The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and is currently working on projects related to Emotional and algorithmic governance in China during the COVID-19 outbreak, and Erotic self-representation and queer cultural production in Chinese DIY pornography.
    Cody Skahan ([email protected]) is an anthropologist by training, starting an MA program in Anthropology at the University of Iceland in August 2022 as a Leifur Eriksson Fellow. His work focuses on the intersections of queerness, environmentalisms, and tourism in Iceland. Cody has a blog at where he sometimes writes about Games User Research and will totally, 100% in the future post the podcast and other projects he is working on.
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  • In Minor China: Method, Materialisms, and the Aesthetic (Duke UP, 2021), Hentyle Yapp analyzes contemporary Chinese art as it circulates on the global art market to outline the limitations of Western understandings of non-Western art. Yapp reconsiders the all-too-common narratives about Chinese art that celebrate the heroic artist who embodies political resistance against the authoritarian state. These narratives, as Yapp establishes, prevent Chinese art, aesthetics, and politics from being discussed in the West outside the terms of Western liberalism and notions of the “universal.” Yapp engages with art ranging from photography and performance to curation and installations to foreground what he calls the minor as method—tracking aesthetic and intellectual practices that challenge the predetermined ideas and political concerns that uphold dominant conceptions of history, the state, and the subject. By examining the minor in the work of artists such as Ai Weiwei, Zhang Huan, Cao Fei, Cai Guo-Qiang, Carol Yinghua Lu, and others, Yapp demonstrates that the minor allows for discussing non-Western art more broadly and for reconfiguring dominant political and aesthetic institutions and structures.
    Hentyle Yapp, Associate Professor of Performance Studies at the University of California, San Diego and coeditor of Saturation: Race, Art, and the Circulation of Value.
    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.
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  • Hear from Professor Chris Gerteis, director of the International Publishing Initiative at Tokyo University. Avi and Chris have a fascinating discussion about the role of English language publication in universities and colleges in Asia and his work to assist faculty to publish their books with respected university publishers. Chris shares some of the unexpected hurdles in helping Japanese scholars to publish their work and how reviewers can be more open and understanding to different writing styles, formats, and tones.
    Avi Staiman is the founder and CEO of Academic Language Experts
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  • Joshua Neves’ Underglobalization: Beijing's Media Urbanism and the Chimera of Legitimacy (Duke University Press, 2020) examines the interplay of contemporary Chinese media practices with urban space, locating his analysis in political and postcolonial theory. His interdisciplinary approach, as noted in our interview, works to move past the traditional boundaries of Chinese studies and to understand the concatenation of Chinese piratical and official media practices in relation to modes of mediated citizenship as it exists across postcolonial urban spaces. Neves considers urban space in terms of planning and ruin, explores theatrical and televisual screen practices in situ in Chinese cities, and asks us to consider piracy not merely in terms of copied objects like DVDs, but rather in terms of technological intimacies and infrastructures. The book is richly illustrated, complementing Neves analytical argument with evidence of his urban methodology—an ambulatory, photographic mapping of the Beijing which allows us to accompany the scholar through his text. I hope you enjoy our conversation and excuse the faux pas with which I inadvertently opened the podcast!
    Julia Keblinska is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Center for Historical Research at the Ohio State University specializing in Chinese media history and comparative socialisms.
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  • In this episode, I talk to two of the editors of Reorienting Hong Kong’s Resistance: Leftism, Decoloniality, and Internationalism (Palgrave MacMillan, 2022), Ellie Tse and JN Chien about this timely and important volume.
    The book brings together writing from activists and scholars that examine leftist and decolonial forms of resistance that have emerged from Hong Kong’s contemporary era of protests. Practices such as labor unionism, police abolition, land justice struggles, and other radical expressions of self-governance may not explicitly operate under the banners of leftism and decoloniality. Nevertheless, examining them within these frameworks uncovers historical, transnational, and prefigurative sightlines that can help to contextualize and interpret their impact for Hong Kong’s political future. This collection offers insights not only into Hong Kong's local struggles, but their interconnectedness with global movements as the city remains on the frontlines of international politics.
    Wen Liu is assistant research fellow at the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, in Taiwan. She received her Ph.D. from Critical Social Psychology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. Broadly interested in issues of race, sexuality, and affect, she has published in journals such as American Quarterly, Feminism & Psychology, Journal of Asian American Studies, and Subjectivity.
    JN Chien is a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California researching US-Hong Kong integration in the Cold War transpacific through economic history, labor, migration, and detention in the shadow of multiple imperialisms. His writing has been published in Hong Kong Studies, The Nation, Jacobin, and Lausan.
    Christina Chung is a Ph.D. candidate researching the intersections of decolonial feminism and Hong Kong contemporary art at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her writing has been published by Asia Art Archive, College Arts Association Reviews, and in the anthology: Creating Across Cultures: Women in the Arts from China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan (East Slope Publishing, 2017).
    Ellie Tse is a Ph.D. student in Cultural and Comparative Studies at the Department of Asian Languages & Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research addresses the aftermath of inter-imperial encounters via visual, spatial and architectural practices across the Sinophone Pacific with a focus on Hong Kong.
    Clara Iwasaki is an assistant professor of modern Chinese literature at the University of Alberta.
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  • Jessamyn Abel’s Dream Super-Express: A Cultural History of the World’s First Bullet Train (Stanford UP, 2022) is a history of Japan’s famous super-express (shinkansen) and “the bullet train imaginary.” In other words, it is both a history of infrastructure and mobility on the one hand, and a cultural and social history of the ways that the train was planned, interpreted, and built up as a symbol of a new Japan both at home and in the world on the other. The bullet train transformed the speed and volume of the flows of people and information across Japan, and became the embodiment of a dawning information society and a national brand. But it was also an agent of destruction for communities in its way; a source of anxiety for artists, activists, and others; and an object of nostalgia for those who connected it to Japan’s imperial past. While triumphalism eventually became hegemonic in public narratives about the shinkansen, Abel unearths the tensions, conflicts, and concerns often drowned out in the “monumentalization” of the bullet train as Japan’s Dream Super-Express.
    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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  • Chinese science fiction has been booming lately through the translation of books like Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem, but where did the current surge come from? In Celestial Empire: The Emergence of Chinese Science Fiction (Wesleyan University Press, 2017), Nathaniel Isaacson introduces the genre’s origins in China and tracks its development from roughly 1904 to 1934. During that period, China’s final dynasty, the Qing, came to an end amid European nations’ increasing control of China, the Republic of China was established, and Japan conquered Manchuria while the Chinese Communist Party was established and grew into a major political-cultural force. Isaacson connects these political shifts to the establishment of science fiction in China through key works by authors like Lu Xun, Wu Jianren, and Lao She. In so doing, he shows how Chinese science fiction is connected to Edward Said’s concept of Orientalism, depicting authors’ struggles to subvert Orientalist attitudes toward China. Isaacson traces how Orientalism and its attendant colonialist projects were intertwined with Western scientific knowledge in such a way as to make science fiction a fruitful medium for cultural debates over China’s role in the world.
    Nathaniel Isaacson is an Associate Professor of Modern Chinese Literature in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature at North Carolina State University. His research interests include the history of Chinese science and science fiction, Chinese cinema, cultural studies, and literary translation. Nathaniel has published articles and translations in the Oxford Handbook of Modern Chinese Literatures, Osiris, Science Fiction Studies, Renditions, Pathlight, and Chinese Literature Today. His book, Celestial Empire: the Emergence of Chinese Science Fiction (2017), examines the emergence of sf in late Qing China. His current book project, Moving the People: the Aesthetics of Mass Transit in Modern China, examines narratives of development as a theme in modern Chinese literary and visual culture primarily through the figure of the train.
    Amanda Kennell is an Assistant Teaching Professor of International Studies at North Carolina State University. She writes about Japanese media and is currently completing Alice in Japanese Wonderlands: Translation, Adaptation, Mediation, a book about contemporary media and Japanese adaptations of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland novels.
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  • In Hidden Hand: Exposing How the Chinese Communist Party is Reshaping the World (Oneworld, 2021), Dr. Clive Hamilton and Dr. Mareike Ohlberg explores how the Chinese Communist Party is determined to reshape the world in its image.
    The book details China’s decades-long infiltration of the West threatens democracy, human rights, privacy, security and free speech. Throughout North America and Europe, political and business elites, Wall Street, Hollywood, think tanks, universities and the Chinese diaspora are being manipulated with money, pressure and privilege. In this book, the authors reveal the myriad ways the CCP is fulfilling its dream of undermining liberal values and controlling the world.
    This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose doctoral work focused on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.
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  • Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers across East and Southeast Asia have found themselves turning to Thai soap operas known as “Boys Love series” as a source of comfort and joy. Originally deriving from Japanese comic book culture, Boys Love, or BL, represents just one of many instances where the queer popular culture of Japan has transformed sexual culture in Southeast Asia through the development of new expressions of gender and sexuality.
    Joining Dr Natali Pearson on SSEAC Stories, Dr Thomas Baudinette shines the spotlight on the influence of Japanese queer popular across Southeast Asia, highlighting how, across the region, young consumers – most prominently from sexual minority communities – have been turning away from Western media to draw upon Japanese popular culture in the ongoing search for affirmative representation and tools to not only make sense of their minoritised sexualities, but to also advocate for their emancipation.
    About Tom Baudinette:
    Dr Thomas Baudinette is Senior Lecturer in Japanese and International Studies, Department of Media, Communication, Creative Arts, Language, and Literature at Macquarie University. Thomas’s scholarly research focuses upon the role of Asian popular culture in informing knowledge about gender and sexuality across East and Southeast Asia. His first book is Regimes of Desire: Young Gay Men, Media, and Masculinity in Tokyo (University of Michigan Press, 2021). His second book is Boys Love Media in Thailand: Celebrity, Fans, and Transnational Asian Queer Popular Culture (Bloomsbury, forthcoming).
    For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website: www.sydney.edu.au/sseac.
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  • Europeans have been writing about China for centuries–ever since The Travels of Marco Polo described it as a faraway and mystical kingdom. European thinkers like Voltaire and Montesquieu used China to support their own theories of political philosophy, then writers in early modernity tried to explain why China was falling behind–and then, with the rise of Maoist China, how it represented true revolutionary potential.
    China Through European Eyes: 800 Years Of Cultural And Intellectual Encounter (World Scientific, 2022), edited by Professor Kerry Brown and Gemma Chenger Deng collects an assortment of these observations written over several centuries, from illustrious writers like Matteo Ricci, Voltaire, Leibniz, Weber, Marx, and Beauvoir.
    In this interview, Kerry and I talk about how the way Europeans understood China changed and shifted over eight centuries–and the ways in which they parallel the way we talk about cHina today.
    Kerry Brown is Professor of Chinese Studies and Director of the Lau China Institute at King's College London. He is an Associate of the Asia Pacific Programme at Chatham House, London, an adjunct of the Australia New Zealand School of Government in Melbourne, and the co-editor of the Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, run by the German Institute for Global Affairs in Hamburg. From 1998 to 2005 he worked at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, as First Secretary at the British Embassy in Beijing, and then as Head of the Indonesia, Philippine and East Timor Section. He is the author of almost 20 books on modern Chinese politics.
    You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of China Through European Eyes. 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 [email protected]
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  • In this Pandemic Perspectives Podcast, Ideas Roadshow founder and host Howard Burton talks to Michael Berry, Director of the UCLA Center for Chinese Studies on American scapegoating, Chinese censorship and the sad story of Fang Fang's brave and influential COVID-19 memoir, Wuhan Diary.
    Ideas Roadshow's Pandemic Perspectives Project consists of three distinct, reinforcing elements: a documentary film (Pandemic Perspectives), book (Pandemic Perspectives: A filmmaker's journey in 10 essays) and a series of 24 detailed podcasts with many of the film's expert participants. Visit www.ideasroadshow.com for more details.
    Howard Burton is the founder of Ideas Roadshow and host of the Ideas Roadshow Podcast. He can be reached at [email protected]
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  • Popular representations of the past are everywhere in Japan, from cell phone charms to manga, from television dramas to video games to young people dressed as their favorite historical figures hanging out in the hip Harajuku district. But how does this mass consumption of the past affect the way consumers think about history and what it means to be Japanese?
    By analyzing representations of the famous sixteenth-century samurai leader Toyotomi Hideyoshi in historical fiction based on Taikōki, the original biography of him, this book explores how and why Hideyoshi has had a continued and ever-changing presence in popular culture in twentieth- and twenty-first-century Japan. The multiple fictionalized histories of Hideyoshi published as serial novels and novellas before, during, and after World War II demonstrate how imaginative re-presentations of Japan’s past have been used by various actors throughout the modern era.
    In The Afterlife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi: Historical Fiction and Popular Culture in Japan (Harvard UP, 2022), Susan Furukawa discovers a Hideyoshi who is always changing to meet the needs of the current era, and in the process expands our understanding of the powerful role that historical narratives play in Japan.
    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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