Episodios

  • In his latest monograph, All Against All: The Long Winter of 1933 and The Origins of the Second World War (Harper, 2020), Professor Paul Jankowski (Brandeis University) provides a wide-angled account of a critical period of world history, the interwar years, in which the world transitioned from postwar to the prewar and saw the disintegration of collective security and international institutions created after the First World War. Drawing on international history’s methodology of multi-archival research, Jankowski constructs an elegantly written and deeply researched narrative history of this decline by looking at both high-level diplomacy and the changing popular mentalities that influenced many of the decisions of policymakers.
    Steven P. Rodriguez is a PhD candidate in history at Vanderbilt University. His research focuses on the history of Latin American student migration to the United States during the first half of the twentieth century. You can reach him at steven.p.rodriguez@vanderbilt.edu and follow his twitter at @SPatrickRod.
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  • Most of our discussions about how “technology will change the world” focus on the global cities that drive the world economy. Even when we talk about China, we focus on its major cities: Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. 
    Xiaowei Wang corrects this metronormativity in their recent book Blockchain Chicken Farm: And Other Stories of Tech in China's Countryside (FSG Originals: 2020), which explores how rural China is not just adapting the technology used around the world, but innovating on it.  
    In this interview, we talk about the frontiers of technology that are being charted in rural China, and why China’s countryside may be the best place to understand how technology, capitalism and society will intersect in the coming years — often in not altogether positive ways. We also talk about some of the more recent developments in how Chinese technology is treated in the United States, with reference to their recent articles: "WeChat Has Both Connected Families and Torn Them Apart" in Slate and "How the Theatrics of Banning TikTok Enables Repression at Home" in The Nation.
    Xiaowei Wang is the creative director at Logic Magazine, whose work encompasses community-based and public art projects, data visualization, technology, ecology, and education. Their projects have been featured in The New York Times, the BBC, CNN, VICE, and elsewhere. You can follow them on Twitter at @xrw.
    You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Blockchain Chicken Farm. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.
    Nicholas Gordon is a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. In his day job, he’s a researcher and writer for a think tank in economic and sustainable development. He is also a print and broadcast commentator on local and regional politics. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.
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  • In a bustling city-center of Seoul, women in yellow vests protesting over the “final” resettlement between the Japanese and Korean governments every Wednesday is an iconic sight, testifying to the strength and resilience of the “comfort women” movement. In her award-winning book Embodied Reckonings: “Comfort Women,” Performance, and Transpacific Redress (University of Michigan Press, 2018), Elizabeth Son examines a long neglected aspect of the “comfort women” advocacy movement: embodied practices of the former “comfort women” and activists as they protest against the historical amnesia of sexual slavery. Through a transpacific framework, Son shows how the “comfort women” movement holds Asian American and Asian activists together as they collectively address America’s imperialist past and seek redress against militarized sexual violence. Son’s monograph takes the reader to the materiality, physicality, and aurality of the Wednesday demonstrations as the collective presence of former “comfort women” and activists refuse the label “post” of post-colonial, and counter the forced historical amnesia of “comfort women” history. Son further examines the testimonies of “comfort women” during the Women’s Tribunal, which was organized transnationally to highlight the failure of Tokyo Tribunal and other international organizations in recognizing sexual slavery as a crime. Transpacific redressive theater further critiques cultural amnesia, and transpacific memorials connect “comfort women” from formerly colonized nations as well as Japan to rise in solidarity against the universal atrocity of the war. In examining embodied aspects of transpacific redress of the “comfort women” movement, Son’s work asks important questions surrounding the limits/possibilities of transpacific alliances, historical erasure of sexual slavery and the violent legacy of militarized imperialism.
    Elizabeth Son is Associate Professor and the Director of the Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre and Drama (IPTD) Program at Northwestern University. She was an inaugural Mellon/ACLS Scholars & Society fellow, and was a scholar-in-residence at KAN-WIN: Empowering Women in the Asian American Community. She continues to partner with KAN-WIN as a crisis hotline volunteer and co-founding member of their “comfort women” justice advocacy team.
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  • For centuries Southeast Asia has enjoyed a relatively pleasant relationship with China, its massive neighbor to the north. While Chinese merchants and laborers were common throughout the region, with exception of a 1,000-year occupation of northern Vietnam, China has rarely attempted to exercise control over Southeast Asia. However, in the past two decades, as the Chinese economy has grown by leaps and bounds, the People’s Republic of China has begun to play an increasingly assertive role in mainland and maritime Southeast Asia. President Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative and Maritime Silkroad project seek to build infrastructure throughout the region; Chinese investors have built casinos in Cambodia and Laos, drawing gamblers south; China’s navy has been building bases on tiny islands, shoals, and reefs in the disputed South China Sea; and citizens from the People’s Republic of China have started to move to Malaysia and Singapore to escape east China’s infamous pollution. Meanwhile, Sinophobia remains a potent force in Indonesian and Malaysian politics; Thai and Khmer social media is full of reports and rumors of bad behavior by Chinese tourists; nationalist mobs in Vietnam have attacked Chinese owned businesses; and Chinese dams are creating an environmental disaster for the lower Mekong Basin. Sebastian Strangio’s In the Dragon’s Shadow: Southeast Asia in the Chinese Century (Yale UP, 2020) carefully dissects the People’s Republic of China’s complicated relationships with its southern neighbors.
    Sebastian Strangio is the Southeast Asia editor for The Diplomat. Since 2008, his work has been published in Foreign Policy, The New York Times, The Economist, The New Republic, Forbes, Al Jazeera, The Atlantic, The Phnom Penh Post, and many other publications. In addition to living and working in Cambodia, he has reported from the various ASEAN nations, Russia, South Korea, and Bangladesh. His first book, Hun Sen’s Cambodia was first published by Yale University Press and Silkworm Books in 2014. It was named as one of the 2015 Books of the Year by Foreign Affairs. Yale University Press has just issued a revised and updated paperback edition of the book under the title Cambodia: From Pol Pot to Hun Sen And Beyond.
    Michael G. Vann is a professor of world history at California State University, Sacramento. A specialist in imperialism and the Cold War in Southeast Asia, he is the author of The Great Hanoi Rat Hunt: Empires, Disease, and Modernity in French Colonial Vietnam (Oxford, 2018). When he’s not quietly reading or happily talking about new books with smart people, Mike can be found surfing in Santa Cruz, California.
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  • Zhuangzi and the Becoming of Nothingness (SUNY Press, 2018) offers a radical rereading of the Daoist classic Zhuangzi by bringing to light the role of nothingness in grounding the cosmological and metaphysical aspects of its thought. Through a careful analysis of the text and its appended commentaries, David Chai reveals not only how nothingness physically enriches the myriad things of the world, but also why the Zhuangzi prefers nothingness over being as a means to expound the authentic way of Dao. Chai weaves together Dao, nothingness, and being in order to reassess the nature and significance of Daoist philosophy, both within its own historical milieu and for modern readers interested in applying the principles of Daoism to their own lived experiences. Chai concludes that nothingness is neither a nihilistic force nor an existential threat; instead, it is a vital component of Dao's creative power and the life-praxis of the sage.
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  • Greater interest in what is happening in the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang in recent years has generated a proportional need for context, and especially insights into the politics and policies being enacted there and how these interface with local perspectives. For this reason and many others, David Tobin’s Securing China's Northwest Frontier: (Cambridge UP, 2020) is a vital contribution to our understanding of the PRC state-building and narrative-creation efforts which justify projects like the region’s vast network of detention camps. More than this, the book also delves into the lives of ordinary residents of Urumqi, the region’s capital, and how they respond to state efforts to craft a hegemonic vision of Chinese state- and nationhood.
    Moving smoothly from the promotion and performance of discourses of ethnic unity, to discussion of how Xinjiang’s Uyghur population is officially constructed simultaneously as integral to a process of ethnic “fusion” and irreconcilably “Other”, the book draws on textual analysis and fieldwork in the region to reveal a textured picture of a place and populations under immense stress. Urumqi residents of different backgrounds, Tobin shows, have differential abilities to voice alternative views of what identity and security mean, which in turn cut to the very heart of what “China” means and represents for its own citizens and, perhaps, for those beyond its borders too.
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  • Mongolia is sometimes seen as one of the few examples of a successful youth-led revolution, where a 1990 movement forced the Soviet-appointed Politburo to resign. In Young Mongols: Forging Democracy in the Wild, Wild East (Penguin Random House SEA: 2020), Aubrey Menard profiles many of today’s young activists in Mongolia, in a wide array of different areas like pollution, feminism, LGBT rights, and journalism.
    In this interview, we discuss several of the activists profiled in her book, as well as discuss the development of Mongolia's democracy. We talk about whether we can think about young Mongolians as a "generation", and whether the country's experience supports or challenges normal democratic theory. We also touch base on what's been happening in Mongolia since she published her book.
    Aubrey Menard is an expert on political transitions, elections and democracy, working on democracy and governance issues in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, Central America and the United States. She lived in Mongolia as a Luce Scholar from 2015 to 2016. You can follow her on Twitter at @AubreyMenard.
    You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, where you can find its review of Young Mongols. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.
    Nicholas Gordon is a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. In his day job, he’s a researcher and writer for a think tank in economic and sustainable development. He is also a print and broadcast commentator on local and regional politics. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.
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  • “Imagine you live in a freewheeling city like New York or London – one of the world’s leading financial, educational, and cultural centres. Then imagine that one of the world’s most infamous authoritarian regimes makes direct control over your city, introducing secret police, warrant less surveillance and searches, massive repression and the arrest of protestors, and aggressive prosecution… This is what just happened in Hong Kong”
    --Michael C. Davis
    It is difficult to understand the pace or extent of the changes in Hong Kong since the protests began in June 2019, however in his latest book, Michael C. Davis breaks down for both the uninitiated and expert alike, the political, legal and informal events that have shaped Hong Kong under China’s ever expanding controls. In recent years, Beijing’s increasing interference with Hong Kong’s autonomy has begun to erode the promised “one country, two systems” model. The tension between one country and two systems came to a head in 2019; the world watched Hong Kong’s widespread protests demanding the maintenance of Hong Kong’s autonomy, rule of law and basic freedoms. In an attempt to quell the resistance movement, in 2020 Beijing introduced a National Security Law which has had a chilling effect on society. In Making Hong Kong China: The Rollback of Human Rights and the Rule of Law (Columbia UP, 2020), Professor Davis contextualizes these events in Hong Kong’s political history, giving the reader unique understandings about the events of 2019 and 2020.
    Professor Michael C. Davis has taught human rights and constitutional law in Hong Kong for over three decades. Through that time, he has witnessed first-hand the changes from the period before the handover in 1997 under British Colonial Rule, including the events after the Tiananmen crackdown in 1989. He was instrumental in the organisation of the massive 2003 and 2004 protests, and witnessed first-hand the protests of the 2014 Occupy Central movement. He brings his unique insights to this book. Davis is the author of a number of books and his scholarship engages a wide range of issues relating to human rights, the rule of law and constitutionalism in emerging states. He is widely published in both academic circles and also popular news media. In 2014 he was awarded the 2014 Human Rights Press Award for his commentary by the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents Club.
    Jane Richards is a doctoral candidate in Human Rights Law at the University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include disability, equality, criminal law and civil disobedience. You can find her on twitter @JaneRichardsHK where she avidly follows the Hong Kong’s protests and its politics.
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  • The Art of Persistence: Akamatsu Toshiko and the Visual Cultures of Transwar Japan (U Hawaii Press, 2019) examines the relations between art and politics in transwar Japan, exploring these via a microhistory of the artist, memoirist, and activist Akamatsu Toshiko (also known as Maruki Toshi, 1912–2000). Scaling up from the details of Akamatsu’s lived experience, the book addresses major events in modern Japanese history, including colonization and empire, war, the nuclear bombings, and the transwar proletarian movement. More broadly, it outlines an ethical position known as persistence, which occupies the grey area between complicity and resistance: Like resilience, persistence signals a commitment to not disappearing—a fierce act of taking up space but often from a position of privilege, among the classes and people in power. Akamatsu grew up in a settler-colonial family in rural Hokkaido before attending arts college in Tokyo and becoming one of the first women to receive formal training as an oil painter in Japan. She later worked as a governess in the home of a Moscow diplomat and traveled to the Japanese Mandate in Micronesia before returning home to write and illustrate children’s books set in the Pacific. She married the surrealist poet and painter Maruki Iri (1901–1995), and together in 1948—and in defiance of Occupation censorship—they began creating and exhibiting the Nuclear Series, some of the most influential and powerful artwork depicting the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing. For the next forty or more years, the couple toured the world to protest war and nuclear proliferation and were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995.
    With abundant excerpts and drawings from Akamatsu’s journals and sketchbooks, The Art of Persistence offers a bridge between scholarship on imperial Japan and postwar memory cultures, arguing for the importance of each individual’s historical agency. While uncovering the longue durée of Japan’s visual cultures of war, it charts the development of the national(ist) “literature for little citizens” movement and Japan’s postwar reorientation toward global multiculturalism. Finally, the work proposes ways to enlist artwork generally, and the museum specifically, as a site of ethical engagement.
    Charlotte Eubanks is associate professor of comparative literature, Japanese and Asian Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. She studies the material culture of books and word/image relations, with a focus on Japanese literature from the medieval period to the present. Her articles have appeared in Ars Orientalis, Book History, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies, PMLA, Symposium, Word &Image, and a range of other venues. She is associate editor at the journal Verge: Studies in Global Asias.
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  • We think of blue and white porcelain as the ultimate global commodity: throughout East and Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean including the African coasts, the Americas and Europe, consumers desired Chinese porcelains. Many of these were made in the kilns in and surrounding Jingdezhen. Found in almost every part of the world, Jingdezhen's porcelains had a far-reaching impact on global consumption, which in turn shaped the local manufacturing processes. The imperial kilns of Jingdezhen produced ceramics for the court, while nearby private kilns manufactured for the global market. 
    In The City of Blue and White: Chinese Porcelain and the Early Modern World (Cambridge UP, 2020), Anne Gerritsen asks how this kiln complex could manufacture such quality, quantity and variety. She explores how objects tell the story of the past, connecting texts with objects, objects with natural resources, and skilled hands with the shapes and designs they produced. Through the manufacture and consumption of Jingdezhen's porcelains, she argues, China participated in the early modern world.
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  • From glove puppets of Chinese origin and Hakka religious processions, to wartime political theatre and contemporary choirs and dance groups, the diverse performance practices of ethnic Chinese communities throughout Southeast Asia highlight the complexity of minority self-representation and sense of identity of a community that is often considered solely in socioeconomic terms. Each performance form is placed in its social and historical context, highlighting how Sino-Southeast Asian groups and individuals have represented themselves locally and nationally to the region's majority populations as well as to state power.
    In this episode, Dr Josh Stenberg talks to Dr Natali Pearson about Sino-Southeast Asian self-representation in performance arts, and challenges essentialist readings of ethnicity or minority. In showing the fluidity and adaptability of Sino-Southeast Asian identities as expressed in performance and public display, Dr Stenberg enriches our understanding of Southeast Asian cultures and art forms, Southeast Asian Chinese identities, and transnational cultural exchanges.
    Dr Josh Stenberg is a Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies in the School of Languages and Cultures at the University of Sydney. A scholar of Sino-Southeast Asian performance and literature, he examines the intersection of ethnic and political identity through the cultural performance of minority ethnic communities. He is the author of Minority Stages: Sino-Indonesian Performance and Public Display (University of Hawaii Press, 2019). In 2020, Dr Stenberg was awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) to conduct further research into the reception of China's state-funded cultural diplomacy initiatives among Overseas Chinese communities in multicultural societies.
    For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website here.
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  • “To mother, from Tsuneno (confidential). I’m writing with spring greetings. I went to Kanda Minagawa-chō in Edo—quite unexpectedly—and I ended up in so much trouble!”
    This letter, hidden in an archive in Niigata Prefecture, inspired Professor Amy Stanley to write her latest work: Stranger in the Shogun’s City: A Japanese Woman and Her World (Scribner, 2020). She traces Tsuneno’s life, from growing up in a rural community through her escape to the city of Edo, where she lives in the final decades of the Tokugawa Shogunate. 
    In this interview with Professor Stanley, we discuss her book: the life of its main character and its historical setting. We touch on how Tsuneno's life tells us more about life, especially the life of women, during this period of Japanese history. We also talk about what inspired her to write about this ordinary woman, and what the research process was like.
    Amy Stanley is a Professor of History at Northwestern University, where she is a historian of early and modern Japan, with special interest in women's history. You can follow her on Twitter at @astanley711.
    You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Stranger in the Shogun's City. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.
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  • In 1702, the second emperor of the Qing dynasty ordered construction of a new summer palace in Rehe (now Chengde, Hebei) to support his annual tours north among the court’s Inner Mongolian allies. The Mountain Estate to Escape the Heat (Bishu Shanzhuang) was strategically located at the node of mountain “veins” through which the Qing empire’s geomantic energy was said to flow. At this site, from late spring through early autumn, the Kangxi emperor presided over rituals of intimacy and exchange that celebrated his rule: garden tours, banquets, entertainments, and gift giving. 
    Stephen Whiteman's book, Where Dragon Veins Meet: The Kangxi Emperor and His Estate at Rehe (University of Washington Press in 2020) draws on resources and methods from art and architectural history, garden and landscape history, early modern global history, and historical geography to reconstruct the Mountain Estate as it evolved under Kangxi, illustrating the importance of landscape as a medium for ideological expression during the early Qing and in the early modern world more broadly. Examination of paintings, prints, historical maps, newly created maps informed by GIS-based research, and personal accounts reveals the significance of geographic space and its representation in the negotiation of Qing imperial ideology. The first monograph in any language to focus solely on the art and architecture of the Kangxi court, Where Dragon Veins Meet illuminates the court’s production and deployment of landscape as a reflection of contemporary concerns and offers new insight into the sources and forms of Qing power through material expressions.
    Suvi Rautio is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Helsinki. As an anthropologist, her interests delve into themes, such as Chinese state-society relations, space and memory, to deconstruct the social orderings of marginalized populations living in China and reveal the layers of social difference that characterize the nation today. suvi.rautio@helsinki.fi
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  • Abe Shinzō is seen today through many lenses: as the longest-serving prime minister in the history of Japan; as a pragmatic leader with a consistent policy vision and a commitment to the art of statecraft; as a nationalist whose strong historical revisionist beliefs led him to make inflammatory moves that opened old wounds and antagonized Japan’s neighbors. In his new biography, The Iconoclast: Shinzō Abe and the New Japan (Hurst, 2020), Tobias Harris presents a painstakingly researched, engagingly written, and fair assessment of Abe’s political career and legacy.
    Beginning with Abe’s familial connection to the leaders of the Meiji Restoration, Harris show how the political dynasty linking Abe to his father Abe Shintarō and his grandfather Kishi Nobusuke played significant—and often controversial—roles in the political history of Japan dating back to the 1930s. Readers will witness Abe’s gradual rise through the ranks of the Liberal Democratic Party and his complex relationships with leading figures in both Japanese and US political circles. Harris skillfully analyzes the failure of Abe’s first premiership, the lessons he learned during his time in the political wilderness, and his path to reelection in 2012, which marked the beginning of his historic second administration.
    Harris’s balanced discussion of the Abe administration’s accomplishments and failures leaves no stone unturned, providing insight into everything from the Abenomics program and Abe’s efforts to revise the postwar constitution to an insider’s view of his diplomatic engagement with the Obama and Trump administrations and his attempts to improve Japan’s international relations. Readers predisposed to dislike Abe because of his revisionist perspective on Japanese history will be challenged to see him in a wider context, and Harris raises poignant questions about Abe’s missed opportunities for his champions to consider.
    Steve Wills is Associate Professor of History at Nebraska Wesleyan University and one of the hosts of the New Books in East Asian Studies series.
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  • Shinra Myojin and Buddhist Networks of the East Asian “Mediterranean” (University of Hawaii Press, 2020) is a fascinating study of the transcultural underpinnings of Medieval East Asian Buddhist traditions with an emphasis on Shinra Myōjin, a deity integral to the institutional development of the Medieval Japanese Tendai faction, the Jimon. It demonstrates the linkage between continental Buddhist Culture and Buddhism in Medieval Japan through the intersectionality of various subjective and objective actors such as, traveling monks from Japan bound for China, merchants and other immigrants from the Korean peninsula, archetypal old man and pestilence deities, as medieval Japanese aristocrats and Shungendō practitioners in the theoretical space of the East Asian Mediterranean. For those interested in transcultural Buddhist studies, Tendai Buddhism, and the diffusion of Buddhism in East Asia, more broadly this interview with Sujung Kim, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at DePauw University, should be an enjoyable and insightful listen.
    Trevor McManis is a novice monk in a branch of the Vietnamese, Línjǐ school at Phước Sơn temple in Modesto, California.
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  • In 1990, the Japanese government introduced the Nikkei-jin (Japanese descendant) visa and since then it has attracted more than 190,000 Nikkei Brazilian nationals to Japan. In Jesus Loves Japan: Return Migration and Global Pentecostalism in a Brazilian Diaspora (Stanford UP, 2019), Dr. Ikeuchi points out that “Unlike Japanese migrants in early twentieth-century Brazil, Brazilian migrants in twenty-first-century Japan lack solid governmental support from their home country, sufficient socioeconomic capital, and birthright citizenship.” Trapped in a suspended time and space of the precariousness of unskilled labor, Dr. Ikeuchi argues that many Brazilian migrants turned to Pentecostalism, a religion that allowed these people who have been “putting aside living” and feeling “neither here nor there” in Japan to find temporal and cultural belonging.
    Suma Ikeuchi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages & Cultural Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara.
    Daigengna Duoer is a PhD student at the Religious Studies Department, University of California, Santa Barbara. Her dissertation researches on transnational and transregional Buddhist networks connecting twentieth-century Inner Mongolia, Manchuria, Republican China, Tibet, and the Japanese Empire.
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  • In the past decade alone, more than ten million corpses have been exhumed and reburied across the Chinese landscape. The campaign has transformed China's graveyards into sites of acute personal, social, political, and economic contestation.
    In The Chinese Deathscape. Grave Reform in Modern China, three historians of China, Jeffrey Snyder-Reinke, Christian Henriot, and Thomas S. Mullaney, chart out the history of China's rapidly shifting deathscape. Each essay grapples with a different dimension of grave relocation and burial reform in China over the past three centuries: from the phenomenon of "baby towers" in the Lower Yangzi region of late imperial China, to the histories of death in the city of Shanghai, and finally to the history of grave relocation during the contemporary period, examined by Mullaney, when both its scale and tempo increased dramatically. Rounding off these historical analyses, a colophon by platform developers David McClure and Glen Worthey speaks to new reading methodologies emerging from a format in which text and map move in concert to advance historical argumentation.
    The Chinese Deathscape is published as part of Stanford University Press’ digital project series which aims to confer the same level of academic credibility on digital projects as academic print books receive. Innovative yet unostentatious, this platform sets new standards for combining interactive, scalable spatial exhibits with academic long-form narrative.
    Thomas S. Mullaney is Professor of Chinese History at Stanford University and a Guggenheim Fellow. Among many other projects, he runs his own Youtube channel.
    Luca Scholz is Lecturer in Digital Humanities at the University of Manchester (UK). His research focuses on European and spatial history. He tweets at @DrLucaScholz.
     
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  • Studies on marriage migration often portray marriage migrants as victims of globalization and patriarchy. Although there are intersecting oppressions among female migrant workers, the tendency to conflate marriage migration with sex trafficking among humanitarian organizations and scholars lead to erasure of divergent experiences.
    In her book, Elusive Belonging: Marriage Immigrants and "Multiculturalism" in Rural South Korea (University of Hawai’i Press, 2018), Minjeong Kim challenges this narrative by showing how the feeling of belonging eludes a simple binary between authenticity of love [read as inclusion] and exclusion. Through in-depth interviews with thirty-five Filipinas, twenty-five Korean husbands, and eight Korean community members, Kim explores emotional citizenship created between couples, in-law families, as well as the transnational network of Filipina migrants. As scholarship on citizenship and migration highlights the importance of emotions in creating communities and identities for migrants in their host countries, Kim shows how Filipina’s social identities, along with their locations, intersect with multiplicity of emotions to shape their belonging within diverse national, familial, and co-ethnic spaces. Through her rich ethnography of international marriage couples in rural South Korea, Kim reminds us of the danger of victim narrative that can flatten marriage migrants’ experiences, and offers us a new way of thinking about citizenship that is shaped by migrants themselves through a multiplicity of emotions.
    Minjeong Kim is Associate Professor and Department Chair of Sociology at San Diego State University. Her research areas include gender, family and international migration, as well as Asian American studies and the media.
    Da In Choi is a PhD student at UCLA in the Gender Studies department. Her research interests include reproductive justice movement, care labor and migration, affect theory, citizenship, and critical empire studies. She can be reached at dainachoi@g.ucla.edu.
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  • The breathless pace of China’s economic reform has brought about deep ruptures in socioeconomic structures and people’s inner landscape. Faced with increasing market-driven competition and profound social changes, more and more middle-class urbanites are turning to Western-style psychological counseling to grapple with their mental distress. Anxious China: Inner Revolution and Politics of Psychotherapy (University of California Press, 2020) offers an in-depth ethnographic account of how an unfolding “inner revolution” is reconfiguring selfhood, psyche, family dynamics, sociality, and the mode of governing in post-socialist times. Li Zhang shows that anxiety—broadly construed in both medical and social terms—has become a powerful indicator for the general pulse of contemporary Chinese society. It is in this particular context that Zhang traces how a new psychotherapeutic culture takes root, thrives, and transforms itself across a wide range of personal, social, and political domains.
    Suvi Rautio is a Course Lecturer at the University of Helsinki. As an anthropologist, her research seeks to deconstruct the social orderings of marginalized populations living in China to reveal the layers of social difference that characterize the nation today. She can be reached at suviprautio@gmail.com
     
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  • When you mention Japanese War crimes in World War Two, you’ll often get different responses from different generations. The oldest among us will talk about the Bataan Death March. Younger people, coming of age in the 1990s, will mention the Rape of Nanking or the comfort women forced into service by the Japanese army. Occasionally, someone will mention biological warfare.
    Frank Jacob has offered a valuable service by surveying Japanese mistreatment of civilians and soldiers comprehensively. His book, Japanese War Crimes during World War II: Atrocity and the Psychology of Collective Violence (Praeger, 2018), is short and doesn’t treat any event or issue in depth. But he offers a lucid and thorough evaluation of the literature and nuggets of additional insight. And he frames it with a thoughtful attempt to explain the conduct about which he is writing.
    If you’re looking for a deep dive into a particular topic, you’re not the audience Jacob had in mind. But this is a good place to come to grips with the broad picture of Japanese misconduct during the war.
    Kelly McFall is Professor of History and Director of the Honors Program at Newman University. He’s the author of four modules in the Reacting to the Past series, including The Needs of Others: Human Rights, International Organizations and Intervention in Rwanda, 1994, published by W. W. Norton Press.
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