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  • Postcolonial feminist scholarship on the formation of gender relations primarily uses the analytic of colonizer-colonized dyad. In her new monograph, Gender Politics at Home and Abroad: Protestant Modernity in Colonial-Era Korea (Cambridge UP, 2020), Professor Hyaeweol Choi makes an important intervention by examining colonial Korea to propose a new framework that accounts for transnational encounters between national reformists, missionaries, and colonial authorities. Drawing from both major and minor archives in various geographic sites such as Korea, Japan, the US, Sweden, and Denmark, Choi locates the voices of the educated Korean women whose reform rhetoric and activities reflect transnational encounters. Postcolonial studies have shown us how archives are a contentious, political site with prominent feminist scholar Antoinette Burton pointing out the need to understand the interdependence between discursive visibility of minoritized people and their experiences. Through her research, Choi is able to show how educated women, despite their status as an elite minority, points to the larger structure of patriarchy and how it is constantly contested and reshaped by forces such as the state, ideologies of western domesticity, and religion.
    Gender Politics at Home and Abroad is an important read for scholars and public who are interested in postcolonial feminism, domesticity, transnational history, and colonial modernity. 
    Hyaeweol Choi is a Professor who holds joint appointments with Religious Studies and Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies at the University of Iowa. She is also a C. Maxwell and Elizabeth M. Stanley Family and Korea Foundation Chair in Korean Studies. Her publications include Gender and Mission Encounters in Korea: New Women, Old Ways (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009), New Women in Colonial Korea: A Sourcebook (London: Routledge, 2013), and Gender Politics at Home and Abroad: Protestant Modernity in Colonial-era Korea (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020).
    Da In Ann Choi is a PhD student at UCLA in the Gender Studies department. Her research interests include care labor and migration, reproductive justice, social movement, citizenship theory, and critical empire studies. She can be reached at [email protected]
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  • Political corruption remains … one of the most intriguing and challenging issues in social science research and public policy, perhaps because although it occurs in virtually all polities, its causes, patterns, and consequences often seem unique to each circumstance.
    – Cadres and Corruption by Xiaobo Lu (2000)
    Corruption is rampant in many authoritarian regimes, leading most observers to assume that autocrats have little incentive or ability to curb government wrongdoing. Corruption Control in Authoritarian Regimes – Lessons from East Asia, published by Cambridge University Press in 2022, shows that meaningful anti-corruption efforts by nondemocracies are more common and more often successful than is typically understood. Drawing on wide-ranging analysis of authoritarian anti-corruption efforts globally and in-depth case studies of key countries such as China, South Korea and Taiwan over time, Dr. Carothers constructs an original theory of authoritarian corruption control. He disputes views that hold democratic or quasi-democratic institutions as necessary for political governance successes and argues that corruption control in authoritarian regimes often depends on a powerful autocratic reformer having a free hand to enact and enforce measures curbing government wrongdoing. His book advances our understanding of authoritarian governance and durability while also opening up new avenues of inquiry about the politics of corruption control in East Asia and beyond.
    Christopher Carothers is a scholar of comparative politics and most recently affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Study of Contemporary China as a post-doctoral fellow. Professor Carothers research focuses on authoritarianism and corruption control with a regional focus on East Asia, and has written for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Politics and Society and the Journal of Democracy among others.
    Keith Krueger lectures in the SILC Business School at Shanghai University.
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  • In this account of the rapid erosion of liberties, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and civil and political rights in Hong Kong, Mark L. Clifford's latest book provides an historically in-depth, vivid political analysis of the rapidly changing situation in Hong Kong. When the British ceased its period of colonial rule in 1997, and Hong Kong was returned to the governance of the People's Republic of China, then Chinese Communist Party Leader, Deng Xiaoping promised that Hong Kong would maintain its way of life for the next 50 years. This way of life, the rule of law, and independent judiciary, a democratically elected government, and the sorts of human rights which shape societies in liberal democracies worldwide, were also guaranteed in Hong Kong's mini-constitution - The Basic Law. However, less than halfway through this "One Country, Two Systems" experiment, Hong Kongers rights and freedoms, and its rule of law and the values which have come to form the basis of a unique Hong Konger identity have been crushed.
    Today Hong Kong, Tomorrow the World: What China's Crackdown Reveals about its plans to End Freedom Everywhere (St. Martin's Press, 2022) is hard to put down; It is not just the way that Clifford brings to life the characters and pivotal moments in the rising tide of oppression, but also the implications of the situation in Hong Kong for the rest of the world act as a profound warning. This book is unique for its on the ground analysis and the insight it provides in framing Hong Kong as the geopolitical nexus between libertarian values of the West and Communist China's political system.  
    Mark L. Clifford is the president of the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Hong Kong. A Walter Bagehot Fellow at Columbia University, he lived in Asia from 1987 until 2021. Previously, Clifford was executive director of the Hong Kong-based Asia Business Council, the editor-in-chief of the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), and publisher and editor-in-chief of The Standard (Hong Kong). He held senior editorial positions at BusinessWeek and the Far Eastern Economic Review in Hong Kong and Seoul. He has won numerous academic, book, and journalism awards. He was also on the board of directors of Next Digital; the company that published the pro-democracy newspaper, Apple Daily, before it was forced to shutdown in June 2021. 
    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
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  • The anti-feminist movement in South Korea is gaining global attention. The story has been covered by many western mainstream news outlets including the New York Times, CNN, and BBC. Is this trend a new trend in South Korea? Where does this anti-feminist idea come from?
    In this episode, we invite Prof. Ju Hui Judy Han and discuss South Korean feminist history and gender politics. We discuss pre- and post-democratization feminist movements, the new president’s worrisome position on gender issues, and predict the future feminist movements in South Korea. We end our conversation with the conclusion that although there have been many obstacles, we cannot overlook the progress at the grassroots level. If you are interested in learning about South Korean feminist history, join Myunghee Lee for this interview with Judy Han.
    This is the second episode in the series. The first episode can be found here.
    About the interviewer
    Myunghee Lee is a Postdoctoral Fellow at NIAS. She also is a Non-resident Fellow at the Center for International Trade and Security at the University of Georgia. Her research focuses on protest, authoritarian politics, and democratization.
    About the speaker
    Ju Hui Judy Han is a cultural geographer and assistant professor in Gender Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She holds a PhD in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley, and has previously taught at the University of Toronto in Canada. Her comics and writings about (im)mobilities, faith-based movements, and queer politics have been published in journals such as The Scholar & Feminist Online, Critical Asian Studies, positions: asia critique, Geoforum, and Journal of Korean Studies as well as in several edited books such as Rights Claiming in South Korea (2021), Digital Lives in the Global City (2020), Ethnographies of U.S. Empire (2018), and Territories of Poverty (2015). She is currently working on a book on “queer throughlines” and co-writing another book on protest cultures.
    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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  • How has digital nationalism manifested amid the Covid-19 pandemic in China? How does anti-American sentiment in China feed into the disinformation campaigns in regard to the war on Ukraine? What lessons can we draw from Asian countries' handling of the public health crisis? Florian Schneider, Senior Lecturer in the Politics of Modern China at Leiden University, shares his research on the multiple dimensions of digital nationalism and how it is constructed and manifested in the complexity of digital networks.
    In his conversation with Joanne Kuai, PhD candidate at Karlstad University, Sweden and affiliated PhD at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Florian Schneider talks about the role that digital media plays in the construction of digital nationalism and how the Chinese state's legitimation mechanism could impact the decoupling of realities in China. He also shares insights from his newly co-edited book Public Health in Asia during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Amsterdam University Press, 2022) with lessons to be learned from how the Asian countries responded to the public health crisis.
    Florian Schneider is a Senior Lecturer in the Politics of Modern China at Leiden University and the director of the Leiden Asia Centre. He is the managing editor of the academic journal Asiascape: Digital Asia, and the author of Staging China: The Politics of Mass Spectacle (Leiden University Press, 2019) and China's Digital Nationalism (Oxford University Press, 2018).
    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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  • Collaborative Damage: An Experimental Ethnography of Chinese Globalization (Cornell UP, 2022) is an experimental ethnography of Chinese globalization that compares data from two frontlines of China's global intervention—sub-Saharan Africa and Inner/Central Asia. Based on their fieldwork on Chinese infrastructure and resource-extraction projects in Mozambique and Mongolia, Mikkel Bunkenborg, Morten Nielsen, and Morten Axel Pedersen provide new empirical insights into neocolonialism and Sinophobia in the Global South.
    The core argument in Collaborative Damage is that the different participants studied in the globalization processes—local workers and cadres; Chinese managers and entrepreneurs; and the authors themselves, three Danish anthropologists—are intimately linked in paradoxical partnerships of mutual incomprehension. The authors call this "collaborative damage," which crucially refers not only to the misunderstandings and conflicts they observed in the field, but also to their own failure to agree about how to interpret the data. Via in-depth case studies and tragicomical tales of friendship, antagonism, irresolvable differences, and carefully maintained indifferences across disparate Sino-local worlds in Africa and Asia, Collaborative Damage tells a wide-ranging story of Chinese globalization in the twenty-first century.
    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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  • Present-day relations between ‘the West’ and each of China, Russia and North Korea are often fractious to say the least, yet today’s global atmosphere of menace or crisis just as often has to do with history as it does with contemporary disagreements. All states of course seek ‘usable pasts’ which may or may not be in conflict with one another, but as Katie Stallard shows in Dancing on Bones, leaders in each of Beijing, Moscow and Pyongyang have of late gone to particularly great lengths to shape historical narratives which justify their grip on power.
    Drawing on years of on-the-ground reporting and research in each of these three critically important countries, Stallard mixes analysis of political and historical events with first-hand interviews and reportage to offer a vivid sense of how history is put to ever-changing uses and why this matters. Accessibly written and richly referenced, Dancing on Bones: History and Power in China, Russia and North Korea (Oxford UP, 2022),sheds compelling light on often-under-considered connections between three countries which share much beyond their status as perceived ‘revisionist’ powers.
    Ed Pulford is a 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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  • In this timely book, award-winning journalist and longtime Hong Konger, Louisa Lim, weaves together Hong Kong's fraught political and social history with her own first hand account of the spirit of an indelible city. In her latest book, Indelible City: Dispossession and Defiance in Hong Kong, published by Riverhead Books in April 2022, Lim reflects on attempts at the erosion of Hong Kong identity, to be replaced with a future that Beijing seeks to impose. Since the British takeover in 1842, through to the tumultuous period of political upheaval to 2020,  Lim weaves the personal stories of local Hong Kongers to provide an authentic, textured account of a place, its people and a spirit which continues to endure. 
    Long-time Hong Konger Lousia Lim is a Senior Lecturer in audio-visual journalism, culture and communication at The University of Melbourne. She spent many years as a journalist in Hong Kong and China. Her first book, The People's Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited, was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Political Writing and the Helen Bernstein Prize for Excellence in Journalism. She co-hosts The Little Red Podcast, an award-winning podcast on China. 
    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
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  • Yi’s eyes soften as he watches Jiazhi sing a Chinese folk song with subtle, feminine movements in the film, Lust, Caution. The room fills with laughter when Ali Wong unabashedly enacts her vulgar, bodily desires. What is the affect created through these performances? At different localities and temporalities, an actress and a comedian Tang Wei and Ali Wong embody ever-failing meaning of Chineseness, offering themselves for consumption and survival.
    In Vulgar Beauty: Acting Chinese in the Global Sensorium (Duke UP, 2022), Mila Zuo re-evaluates beauty to understand how it creates a feeling Chineseness, engendering a messy world of relationalities that challenge a stable binary of national identity. Using weidao, which escapes meaning in English as flavor and style of a person, object, or environment, Zuo challenges the Cartesian epistemology dividing mind/body and vision/hearing. Through in-depth analysis of films and shows, Zuo asks how five flavors of Chinese medicine, “bitter, salty, pungent, sweet, and sour” become “modalities of vulgar beauty” (33). Vulgar, often tied to the non-western and working-class bodies, becomes a means to complicate the relations between objecthood and subjecthood embodied in Chinese beauty.
    This beautifully written and theoretically rich book will be helpful resource for any scholars and public interested in film and media studies, Asian American studies, object studies, and gender studies. 
    Mila Zuo is an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre and Film at UBC. Her first book Vulgar Beauty: Acting Chinese in the Global Sensorium (Duke University Press, 2022) focuses on the affective racialization of Chinese women film stars, demonstrating the ways which vulgar, flavourful beauty disrupts Western and colonial notions of beauty. In addition to scholarship, Zuo directs and writes narrative films, visual essays, documentaries and music videos. Her short films have screened in international film festivals and universities, including Carnal Orient (2016) which premiered at Slamdance Film Festival, and her short narrative film Kin (2021), which was the recipient of the 2019 Oregon Media Arts Fellowship, and screened at HollyShorts Film Festival.
    Da In Ann Choi is a PhD student at UCLA in the Gender Studies department. Her research interests include care labor and migration, reproductive justice, social movement, citizenship theory, and critical empire studies. She can be reached at [email protected]
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  • A Bowl for a Coin: A Commodity History of Japanese Tea (U Hawaii Press, 2019) is the first book in any language to describe and analyze the history of all Japanese teas from the plant’s introduction to the archipelago around 750 to the present day. To understand the triumph of the tea plant in Japan, William Wayne Farris begins with its cultivation and goes on to describe the myriad ways in which the herb was processed into a palatable beverage, ultimately resulting in the wide variety of teas we enjoy today. Along the way, he traces in fascinating detail the shift in tea’s status from exotic gift item from China, tied to Heian (794–1185) court ritual and medicinal uses, to tax and commodity for exchange in the 1350s, to its complete nativization in Edo (1603–1868) art and literature and its eventual place on the table of every Japanese household. Farris maintains that the increasing sophistication of Japanese agriculture after 1350 is exemplified by tea farming, which became so advanced that Meiji (1868–1912) entrepreneurs were able to export significant amounts of Japanese tea to Euro-American markets. This in turn provided the much-needed foreign capital necessary to help secure Japan a place among the world’s industrialized nations. 
    Tea also had a hand in initiating Japan’s “industrious revolution”: From 1400, tea was being drunk in larger quantities by commoners as well as elites, and the stimulating, habit-forming beverage made it possible for laborers to apply handicraft skills in a meticulous, efficient, and prolonged manner. In addition to aiding in the protoindustrialization of Japan by 1800, tea had by that time become a central commodity in the formation of a burgeoning consumer society. The demand-pull of tea consumption necessitated even greater production into the postwar period—and this despite challenges posed to the industry by consumers’ growing taste for coffee. A Bowl for a Coin makes a convincing case for how tea—an age-old drink that continues to adapt itself to changing tastes in Japan and the world—can serve as a broad lens through which to view the development of Japanese society over many centuries.
    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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  • Ban Wang's book China in the World: Culture, Politics, and World Vision (Duke University Press, 2022), traces the evolution of modern China from the late nineteenth century to the present. With a focus on tensions and connections between national formation and international outlooks, Wang shows how ancient visions persist even as China has adopted and revised the Western nation-state form. The concept of tianxia, meaning “all under heaven,” has constantly been updated into modern outlooks that value unity, equality, and reciprocity as key to overcoming interstate conflict, social fragmentation, and ethnic divides. Instead of geopolitical dominance, China’s worldviews stem as much from the age-old desire for world unity as from absorbing the Western ideas of the Enlightenment, humanism, and socialism. Examining political writings, literature, and film, Wang presents a narrative of the country’s pursuits of decolonization, national independence, notions of national form, socialist internationalism, alternative development, and solidarity with Third World nations. Rather than national exceptionalism, Chinese worldviews aspire to a shared, integrated, and equal world.
    Ban Wang is the William Haas Endowed Chair Professor in Chinese Studies in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and Comparative Literature at Stanford University. His major publications include The Sublime Figure of History: Aesthetics and Politics in Twentieth-Century China (Stanford UP 1997), Illuminations from the Past (Stanford UP 2004), History and Memory (in Chinese, Oxford UP, 2004), and Narrative Perspective and Irony in Chinese and American Fiction (2002). He edited Words and Their Stories: Essays on the Language of the Chinese Revolution (Brill, 2010); Chinese Visions of World Order (Duke UP 2017). He co-edited Trauma and Cinema (Hong Kong UP, 2004), The Image of China in the American Classroom (Nanjing UP, 2005), China and New Left Visions (Lexington, 2012), and Debating Socialist Legacy in China (Palgrave, 2014).
    Linshan Jiang is Ph.D. candidate in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research interests are modern and contemporary literature, film, and popular culture in mainland China, Taiwan and Japan; trauma and memory studies; gender and sexuality studies; queer studies; as well as comparative literature and translation studies.
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  • In this timely and insightful new book, Markus Bell presents the case study of Korean-Japanese – “Zainichi” – who have escaped North Korea in the years following the end of the Cold War. Through building alliances and long-distance relationships, Zainichi returnees resist forced integration and push back against life-threatening political purges to forge new ways of belonging and, ultimately, surviving against the odds. Outsiders: Memories of Migration to and From North Korea (Berghahn, 2022) is the story of Korean families who, despite experiencing loss, trauma and dislocation, manage to remake themselves in the process of transplanting their lives.
    Dr. Markus Bell is an anthropologist specializing in forced migration and labour migration, with over a decade of experience working with displaced people and migrant workers in the Asia Pacific region. He has taught at the Australian National University, University of Sheffield, and Goethe University, Frankfurt. He earned his PhD from the Australian National University in 2016. He works as a long-term consultant for the United Nations International Organisation for Migration, and is also a Research Fellow at La Trobe University, Melbourne. Tweets @mpsbell
    Lamis Abdelaaty is an assistant professor of political science at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. She is the author of Discrimination and Delegation: Explaining State Responses to Refugees (Oxford University Press, 2021). Email her comments at [email protected] or tweet to @LAbdelaaty.
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  • Does the rise of China mean that studying Japan is inexorably declining? Many students become interested in Japan because of popular culture, such manga and video games: is this a good or a bad thing? In an era of Google Translate and nifty smartphone apps, do people still need to spend years and years learning Japanese? What kind of problems do prevailing notions of methodological nationalism create for the study of Japan? And how can scholars of Japan best adapt to the rapidly-changing academic landscape?
    In this wide-ranging conversation with NIAS Director Duncan McCargo, Aike P. Rots, an associate professor of Japan Studies at the University of Oslo, explains the thinking behind an engaging March 2022 keynote address he gave to a conference at Copenhagen Business School on the topic of ‘Japan and Japanese Studies in the Twenty-First Century’.
    Aike Rots works on a variety of Asia-related issues, including religion, culture, biodiversity and the environment. He currently holds a European Research Council Starter Grant entitled ‘entitled ‘Whales of Power: Aquatic Mammals, Devotional Practices, and Environmental Change in Maritime East Asia’ .
    Read his short article on methodological nationalism in Japanese studies here:
    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.
    Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: http://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-asia-podcast
    About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk
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  • In Chinese Communist Espionage: An Intelligence Primer (Naval Institute Press, 2019), authors Mathew Brazil and Peter Mattis present an unprecedented look into the murky world of Chinese espionage. An introduction-cum-reference guide, the book describes the institutions, operations, individuals, and ideology that have shaped modern China’s intelligence apparatus.
    On the podcast, we talk about the role of ideology in the production and consumption of intelligence, why China’s intelligence services managed the transition to the digital age so effectively, who China thinks is winning the intelligence contest with the United States, and more. 
    Dr. Mathew (Matt) Brazil is a senior analyst at BluePath Labs in Washington, DC, and he is currently working on a second book which will be a narrative account of Beijing's contemporary espionage and influence offensive. Before helping to write Chinese Communist Espionage, he worked as a soldier, diplomat, export controller, and corporate security investigator. He has spent over eight years living and working in China.
    Peter Mattis has worked on a range of China-related issues in the U.S. government and within think tanks. Recently, he served in government as the Senate-appointed Staff Director on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. He began his career as a counterintelligence analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency, and he was a fellow at The Jamestown Foundation when he wrote Chinese Communist Espionage: A Primer.
    John Sakellariadis is a 2020-2021 Fulbright US Student Research Grantee. He holds a Master’s degree in public policy from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia and a Bachelor’s degree in History & Literature from Harvard University.
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  • Forging Leninism in China: Mao and the Remaking of the Chinese Communist Party, 1927–1934 (Cambridge University Press, 2022) is a re-examination of the events of the Chinese revolution and the transformation of the Chinese Communist Party from the years 1927 to 1934. Describing the transformation of the party as 'the forging of Leninism', Dr. Joseph Fewsmith offers a clear analysis of the development of the party. Drawing on supporting statements of party leaders and a wealth of historical material, he demonstrates how the Chinese Communist Party reshaped itself to become far more violent, more hierarchical, and more militarized during this time. He highlights the role of local educated youth in organizing the Chinese revolution, arguing that it was these local organizations, rather than Mao, who introduced Marxism into the countryside. Dr. Fewsmith presents a vivid story of local social history and conflict between Mao's revolutionaries and local Communists.
    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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  • Red Silk: Class, Gender, and Revolution in China's Yangzi Delta Silk Industry (Harvard UP, 2020) is a history of China's Yangzi Delta silk industry during the wars, crises, and revolutions of the mid-twentieth century. Based on extensive research in Chinese archives and focused on the 1950s, the book compares two very different groups of silk workers and their experiences in the revolution. Male silk weavers in Shanghai factories enjoyed close ties to the Communist party-state and benefited greatly from socialist policies after 1949. In contrast, workers in silk thread mills, or filatures, were mostly young women who lacked powerful organizations or ties to the revolutionary regime. For many filature workers, working conditions changed little after 1949 and politicized production campaigns added a new burden within the brutal and oppressive factory regime in place since the nineteenth century. Both groups of workers and their employers had to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. Their actions--protests, petitions, bribery, tax evasion--compelled the party-state to adjust its policies, producing new challenges. The results, though initially positive for many, were ultimately disastrous. By the end of the 1950s, there was widespread conflict and deprivation among silk workers and, despite its impressive recovery under Communist rule, the industry faced a crisis worse than war and revolution.
    Robert Cliver is Professor of History at California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt. He has published widely on the labor history of modern China, including in Labor History and Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review.
    Ghassan Moazzin is an Assistant Professor at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences and the Department of History at the University of Hong Kong. He works on the economic and business history of 19th and 20th century China, with a particular focus on the history of foreign banking, international finance and electricity in modern China. His first book, Foreign Banks and Global Finance in Modern China: Banking on the Chinese Frontier, 1870–1919, is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press.
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  • After Japan’s devastating defeat in World War II, by late 1945, local Japanese turned their energies towards creating new behaviors and institutions that would give young people better skills to combat repression at home and coercion abroad. They rapidly transformed their political culture – policies, institutions, and public opinion – to create a more equitable, democratic, and peaceful society.
    Post-Fascist Japan: Political Culture in Kamakura after the Second World War (Bloomsbury, 2018) by Laura Hein explores this phenomenon, focusing on a group of highly educated Japanese based in the city of Kamakura, where the new political culture was particularly visible. The book argues that these leftist elites, many of whom had been seen as ‘the enemy’ during the war, saw the problem as one of fascism, an ideology that had succeeded because it had addressed real problems. They turned their efforts to overtly political-legal systems but also to ostensibly non-political and community institutions such as universities, art museums, local tourism, and environmental policies, aiming not only for reconciliation over the past but also to reduce the anxieties that had drawn so many towards fascism.
    Crucially, Hein uses “post-fascism” to denote the worldviews of progressives and leftists who had experienced fascism, and therefore wanted to create a new political culture from its ashes. This is a form of “anti-fascism” but shaped by the experience of fascism, and different from how scholars in other contexts have used the term “post-fascism” to denote neo-fascist movements in different parts of the world.
    By focusing on people who had an outsized influence on Japan's political culture, Hein's study is local, national, and transnational. She grounds her discussion using specific personalities, showing their ideas about ‘post-fascism’, how they implemented them and how they interacted with the American occupiers.
    With authoritarianism undergoing a contemporary resurgence, Post-Fascist Japan reminds us of how local Japanese intellectuals and policymakers built institutions, crafted policies, and tried to imagine a world after fascism, following the deadliest conflict in human history.
    Laura Hein is the Harold H. and Virginia Anderson Professor of History at Northwestern University. She specializes in modern Japan, and her research focuses on the history of Japan in the 20th century, its international relations, and the effects of World War II and the Cold War. She is the author of numerous books and articles, many of which have been translated into Japanese.
    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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  • Feminisms with Chinese Characteristics (Syracuse University Press, 2021), co-edited by Ping Zhu and Hui Faye Xiao, offers an examination of the ways in which Chinese feminist ideas have developed since the mid-1990s. By juxtaposing the plural “feminisms” with “Chinese characteristics,” they both underline the importance of integrating Chinese culture, history, and tradition in the discussions of Chinese feminisms, and stress the difference between the plethora of contemporary Chinese feminisms and the singular state feminism. There are twelve chapters in this interdisciplinary collection. It addresses the theme of feminisms with Chinese characteristics from different perspectives rendered from lived experiences, historical reflections, theoretical ruminations, and cultural and sociopolitical critiques, painting a panoramic picture of Chinese feminisms in the age of globalization.
    Ping Zhu is associate professor of Chinese literature at the University of Oklahoma. She is the author of Gender and Subjectivities in Early Twentieth-Century Chinese Literature and Culture and the coeditor of Maoist Laughter. She is also the acting editor-in-chief of the biennial literary journal Chinese Literature Today, which will become Chinese Literature and Thought Today in 2022.
    Hui Faye Xiao is professor of Chinese literature at the University of Kansas. She is the author of Family Revolution: Marital Strife in Contemporary Chinese Literature and Visual Culture and Youth Economy, Crisis, and Reinvention in Twenty-First-Century China: Morning Sun in the Tiny Times.
    Linshan Jiang is Ph.D. candidate in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research interests are modern and contemporary literature, film, and popular culture in mainland China, Taiwan and Japan; trauma and memory studies; gender and sexuality studies; queer studies; as well as comparative literature and translation studies.
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  • It is the late twenty-first century, and Momo is the most celebrated dermal care technician in all of T City. Humanity has migrated to domes at the bottom of the sea to escape devastating climate change. The world is dominated by powerful media conglomerates and runs on exploited cyborg labor. Momo prefers to keep to herself, and anyway she’s too busy for other relationships: her clients include some of the city’s best-known media personalities. But after meeting her estranged mother, she begins to explore her true identity, a journey that leads to questioning the bounds of gender, memory, self, and reality.
    First published in Taiwan in 1995, The Membranes is a classic of queer speculative fiction in Chinese. Chi Ta-wei weaves dystopian tropes—heirloom animals, radiation-proof combat drones, sinister surveillance technologies—into a sensitive portrait of one young woman’s quest for self-understanding. Predicting everything from fitness tracking to social media saturation, this visionary and sublime novel stands out for its queer and trans themes. The Membranes reveals the diversity and originality of contemporary speculative fiction in Chinese, exploring gender and sexuality, technological domination, and regimes of capital, all while applying an unflinching self-reflexivity to the reader’s own role. Ari Larissa Heinrich’s translation brings Chi’s hybrid punk sensibility to all readers interested in books that test the limits of where speculative fiction can go.
    Chi Ta-wei is a renowned writer and scholar from Taiwan. Chi’s scholarly work focuses on LGBT studies, disability studies, and Sinophone literary history, while his award-winning creative writing ranges from science fiction to queer short stories. He is an associate professor of Taiwanese literature at the National Chengchi University.
    Ari Larissa Heinrich is a professor of Chinese literature and media at the Australian National University. They are the author of Chinese Surplus: Biopolitical Aesthetics and the Medically Commodified Body (2018) and other books, and the translator of Qiu Miaojin’s novel Last Words from Montmartre (2014).

    Morteza Hajizadeh is a Ph.D. graduate in English from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. His research interests are Cultural Studies; Critical Theory; Environmental History; Medieval (Intellectual) History; Gothic Studies; 18th and 19th Century British Literature. YouTube Channel. Twitter.
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  • China has the reputation for being a strong security state. After the pro-democracy Tiananmen protests, the Chinese government moved to increase stability maintenance – and that approach is reflected in today’s suppression of social unrest in Xinjiang where somewhere between 800,000-2 million members of the Uighur minority have been interned in camps. Throughout the country, the government has maintained stability by installing millions of cameras. The Chinese and International press emphasize these actions – projecting a view of China as a strong security state. 
    But Suzanne E. Scoggins argues that the decision to prioritize stability maintenance comes at the expense of everyday policing. In remarkable interviews with police officers and analysis of policing journal articles she assesses resource allocation, police reforms, and structural patterns of control – to find a weak police force unable to protect citizens against violent crime. Policing China: Street-Level Cops in the Shadow of Protest (Cornell UP, 2021) provides a surprising – and more accurate – understanding of how the police function in China – how they can be so ineffective at everyday crime management while still being very good at stability maintenance. The podcast includes a remarkable conversation about how research access in China is changing – as well as the role of the National Committee on US-China Relations.
    Dr. Suzanne E. Scoggins is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Director of Asian Studies at Clark University. She is also a Public Intellectuals Program Fellow at The National Committee on United States-China Relations.
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