Episodi

  • Liang Luo's book The Global White Snake (U Michigan Press, 2021) examines the Chinese White Snake legends and their extensive, multidirectional travels within Asia and across the globe. Such travels across linguistic and cultural boundaries have generated distinctive traditions as the White Snake has been reinvented in the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and English-speaking worlds, among others. Moreover, the inter-Asian voyages and global circulations of the White Snake legends have enabled them to become repositories of diverse and complex meanings for a great number of people, serving as reservoirs for polyphonic expressions ranging from the attempts to consolidate authoritarian power to the celebrations of minority rights and activism.
    The Global White Snake uncovers how the White Snake legend often acts as an unsettling narrative of radical tolerance for hybrid sexualities, loving across traditional boundaries, subverting authority, and valuing the strange and the uncanny. A timely mediation and reflection on our contemporary moment of continued struggle for minority rights and social justice, The Global White Snake revives the radical anti-authoritarian spirit slithering under the tales of monsters and demons, love and lust, and reminds us of the power of the fantastic and the fabulous in inspiring and empowering personal and social transformations.
    Huiying Chen is a Ph.D. candidate at University of Illinois at Chicago. She studies the history of travel in eighteenth-century China. She can be reached at hchen87 AT uic.edu
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  • In The Values in Numbers: Reading Japanese Literature in a Global Information Age (Columbia UP, 2021), Hoyt Long offers both a reinterpretation of modern Japanese literature through computational methods and an introduction to the history, theory, and practice of looking at literature through numbers. He weaves explanations of these methods and their application together with reflection on the kinds of reasoning such methodologies facilitate.
    Hoyt Long is Associate Professor of Japanese Literature, and East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago.
    Katie McDonough is Senior Research Associate, The Alan Turing Institute.
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  • 'I broke a law simply by being born.' In the late 1980s, Shen Yang was born during the fiercest years of China's One-Child Policy. As the second daughter of the family, she was a massive liability - an excess child, a product of illegal birth. From being raised by her grandparents in a remote village as soon as she was born, to being whisked away to her aunt's home in a distant faraway city, Shen Yang's existence was doomed to be shrouded in the utmost secrecy and silence. Armed with a false identity and ID card, she experienced years of neglect and humiliation from her aunt's volatile family who saw her as yet another burden to bear. On top of it all, it seemed her own biological parents had come to forget about her. 
    In More Than One Child: Memoirs of an Illegal Daughter (Balestier Press, 2021), by turns witty and inspiring, Shen Yang bravely provides a vivid account of the family planning era in China, as she jots down her journey towards overcoming the limits of her upbringing and forging her own identity amidst the sorrows of her childhood. More than One Child is not only Shen Yang's story; it is the untold story of the enormous, yet invisible community of excess-birth children. And this book is Shen Yang's way of saying goodbye to her childhood, and goodbye to an era. 'This is the voice of China's Invisible Generation - vividly written, well balanced, brilliant, humorous and very sharp - it elicits a rollercoaster of emotions that breaks through the silence shrouding the lives of excess children born during the One-Child Policy.' --Xinran (Author of The Good Women of China, and The Promise: Love and Loss in Modern China) "The One-Child-per-Family policy was a tragedy forced upon China's mothers, children and their families. Finally, in this book, Shen Yang has dared to tell the truth, speaking out bravely about the experiences she lived through." --Ma Jian (Author of The Dark Road) "Now that the one-child policy has been relaxed, the stories of these illegal children will soon be a part of China's national collective memory. But to those who grew up tainted with this humiliation, the scars are permanent. One is Chinese writer Shen Yang, who wrote her story in part to extinguish the nightmares that still haunt her." 
    John W. Traphagan, Ph.D. is Professor and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Fellow in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is also a professor in the Program in Human Dimensions of Organizations.
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  • What is image-based abuse? Why has it been on the rise in Asia, especially amid the Covid-19 pandemic? What has been done to tackle the issue? Raquel Carvalho, Asia Correspondent for the South China Morning Post, shares the story of how a group of journalists across some Asian newsrooms collaborated in a months-long investigation and uncover the stories inside the online groups spreading stolen sexual images of women and children, how the victims are struggling to have such content removed from online platforms, and how sextortion syndicates in Asia and Africa are raking in millions from targets around the world.
    In a conversation with Joanne Kuai, a visiting PhD Candidate at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, the Portuguese journalist currently based in Hong Kong tells about why the cases of women threatened with the release of their intimate photos or videos have increased in recent years, how this type of abuse tears the victims’ lives apart, and how ill-equipped authorities are struggling to deal with the cases. Advocates and survivors say too little is being done to stop the abuse. While the cases proliferated in countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, and South Korea, some women – and a few men – have decided to take action.
    The SCMP’s series of stories on image-based abuse is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute’s Asian Stories project, in collaboration with The Korea Times, Indonesia’s Tempo magazine, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, and Manila-based ABS-CBN. Most of Raquel Carvalho’s investigative and in-depth stories have been focused on human rights, cross-border security, illicit trade and corruption. She was previously the chief reporter at a Portuguese daily newspaper in Macau, where she moved to from Europe in 2008.
    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, Asianettverket at the University of Oslo, and the Stockholm Centre for Global Asia at Stockholm University.
    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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  • As in colonial situations elsewhere, Korean experiences of Japanese empire featured many attempts by the imperial authorities to regulate intimate aspects of Korean life, including intermarriage between colonizer and colonized peoples. While official messaging and policy promoted Korean-Japanese unions, cultural output including films, short stories and novels from the time also focused on the topic, including works by Korean writers authored in both Korean and Japanese languages.
    In Imperial Romance: Fictions of Colonial Intimacy in Korea, 1905-1945 (Cornell UP, 2020), Su Yun Kim places the works of several prominent authors alongside official documents and media reports from the time to show how these reflect the political, ethnic, linguistic and of course affective complexities of romantic relations in an imperial setting. This intriguing book offers a revealing window into a lesser-studied dimension of empire at the interpersonal level, shedding light on questions of identity, domination and sentiment amid a colonial history which remains contested to this day.
    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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  • Maiko Masquerade: Crafting Geisha Girlhood in Japan (University of California Press, 2021) explores Japanese representations of the maiko, or apprentice geisha, in films, manga, and other popular media as an icon of exemplary girlhood. Dr. Jan Bardsley traces how the maiko, long stigmatized as a victim of sexual exploitation, emerges in the 2000s as the chaste keeper of Kyoto’s classical artistic traditions. Insider accounts by maiko and geisha, their leaders and fans, show pride in the training, challenges, and rewards maiko face. No longer viewed as a toy for men’s amusement, she serves as catalyst for women’s consumer fun. This change inspires stories of ordinary girls—and even one boy—striving to embody the maiko ideal, engaging in masquerades that highlight questions of personal choice, gender performance, and national identity.
    Dr. Jan Bardsley is Professor Emerita of Asian Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
    Emily Ruth Allen (@emmyru91) is a PhD candidate in Musicology at Florida State University. She is currently working on a dissertation about parade musics in Mobile, Alabama’s Carnival celebrations.
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  • Resolving the Contemporary Tensions of Regional Places: What Japan Can Teach Us offers a fresh and unique view of regional society, regional economies and the future of regional places. Anthony S. Rausch takes up contemporary and fundamentally universal regional-place tensions-regional relocation, local finance, and leadership, local economies together with specifically regional economic and cultural revitalization, and the potential in higher education and resident volunteerism for regional places-and outlines how these tensions are unfolding in regional Japan. The objectives inherent in these themes are increasingly important for regional areas: drawing urbanites to relocate in regional municipalities, dealing with the instability of regional banking, addressing tax inequalities across geographically regional economies, responding to the potential loss of cultural history, and understanding the changing dynamics of higher education and local volunteerism in regional society. The responses proposed by the author build on uniquely Japanese approaches: better utilizing an akiya vacant house information bank, activating and connecting regional think tanks with regional banking, articulating the geographic inequality of a hometown tax scheme (furusato nozei) and proposing a way to achieve the objectives of the furusato nozei scheme through cultivation of regional cultural economies, and responding to policy trends in education and increasing individual interest in volunteering by turning these into resources for regional revitalization. 
    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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  • It’s a cliche to call North Korea the most isolated country in the world. Those of us living outside the country often have very little idea of what life there is like, often only seeing what its government would like us to see: military parades, missile launches, and joyous crowds.
    Yet Lindsey Miller, author of North Korea: Like Nowhere Else: Two Years of Living in the World's Most Secretive State (September Publishing: 2021) is a window into how ordinary North Koreans live. They are more than the stereotypes portrayed by their government or by those looking in from outside of the country, as revealed by the photos and stories Lindsey tells in her book.
    In this interview, Lindsey and I talk about what it was like to live in North Korea, some of the Koreans she met on her stay, and why some of the narratives about the country can be so hard to shift.
    Lindsey Miller is a musical director and award-winning composer. For the last ten years, she has worked in theatres across the UK, Europe, North America and Asia and has most recently worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company. During 2017–19, Lindsey lived in Pyongyang, North Korea, while accompanying her husband on a diplomatic posting. She can be followed on Twitter at @LindseyMiller87.
    You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of North Korea: Like Nowhere Else. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.
    Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.
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  • In the late nineteenth century, as much of the world adopted some variant of the gold standard, China remained the most populous country still using silver. Yet China had no unified national currency; there was not one monetary standard but many. Silver coins circulated alongside chunks of silver and every transaction became an "encounter of wits." China and the End of Global Silver, 1873–1937 (Cornell UP, 2020) focuses on how officials, policy makers, bankers, merchants, academics, and journalists in China and around the world answered a simple question: how should China change its monetary system? Far from a narrow, technical issue, Chinese monetary reform is a dramatic story full of political revolutions, economic depressions, chance, and contingency. As different governments in China attempted to create a unified monetary standard in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the United States, England, and Japan tried to shape the direction of Chinese monetary reform for their own benefit. 
    Austin Dean argues convincingly that the Silver Era in world history ended owing to the interaction of imperial competition in East Asia and the state-building projects of different governments in China. When the Nationalist government of China went off the silver standard in 1935, it marked a key moment not just in Chinese history but in world history.
    Austin Dean is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. His work has appeared in Modern China and the Journal of American-East Asian Relations. He is on twitter @thelicentiate.
    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, tentatively titled 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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  • Every year millions of high school seniors in China take the gaokao, China’s standardized college entrance exam. Students, parents, and head teachers all devote years, sweat, and tears to this consequential and chancy exam — even though the ideal of the gaokao as a fair, objective, and scientific measure of individual merit is known to be something of a myth.
    Why examinees and their families continue to believe in the relative fairness of the gaokao is what Zachary Howlett’s book, Meritocracy and Its Discontents: Anxiety and the National College Entrance Exam in China (Cornell University Press, 2021), seeks to explore. Based on fieldwork conducted in China’s Fujian province, this rich and engaging book looks at what it means for individuals and communities to believe in both the gaokao and the myth of meritocracy that it engenders. Accessible to both experts and those entirely unfamiliar with the gaokao, this book offers a fresh perspective on the role of examinations in the lives of individuals and in their communities, as well as a useful comparative tool, that of ‘fateful rites of passage,’ for future work. It is also filled with stories of examination candidates, their hopes, dreams, and the lengths that they (and their teachers and parents) go to in order to succeed, all of which should be of interest to anyone who has ever experienced a fateful right of passage of their own.
    Sarah Bramao-Ramos is a PhD candidate in History and East Asian Languages at Harvard. She works on Manchu language books and is interested in anything with a kesike. She can be reached at sbramaoramos@g.harvard.edu
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  • When we think about modern trade, we tend to think about the sea: port cities and large ships carrying goods back and forth. It’s a story that tends to put Europe at the center, as the pinnacle of shipping and maritime technology.
    Jagjeet Lally’s India and the Silk Roads: The History of a Trading World (Hurst, 2021) corrects this narrative. For Jagjeet, the way we talk about globalization misses the continued land trade that happened throughout Central Asia, with India as a hub. Traders traveled through today’s India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere, sharing commodities and goods, culture and information, under both Indian and British rulers.
    In this interview, Jagjeet and I talk about the Indian caravan trade, and the routes traders took as they transported goods, cultures and ideas across Central Asia. We’ll also talk about what we miss in the way we talk about globalization in the present.
    Jagjeet is Associate Professor in the History of Early Modern and Modern India at University College London, where he is also Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of South Asia and the Indian Ocean World.
    You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of India and the Silk Roads. Follow on Facebook or on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.
    Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.
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  • We think we know the history of China’s opening to the outside world. Maoist China was closed off, until Deng Xiaoping decided to reform the economy and open up to international trade, leading to the economic powerhouse we see today.
    Except Deng’s opening was built upon an existing foundation of international trade, as shown by Professor Jason Kelly’s Market Maoists: The Communist Origins of China’s Capitalist Ascent (Harvard University Press, 2021)
    Jason M. Kelly is a historian of modern China with interests in Chinese foreign relations during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, commerce and diplomacy, U.S.-China relations, and East Asian international history. He is currently an assistant professor in the Strategy & Policy Department at the U.S. Naval War College and an associate in research at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University.
    The views he expressed in this interview are his own, and not those of the U.S. Naval War College.
    We’re joined in this interview by fellow NBN host Sarah Bramao-Ramos. Sarah is a PHD candidate at Harvard University that studies Qing China and, like Jason, is a graduate associate at the Fairbank Center.
    Today, the three of us talk about trade policy in Maoist China, and what that means for our understanding of the country’s attitude towards both the capitalist and socialist worlds. We also discuss what this history may mean for how we understand China’s attitude towards trade today.
    Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.
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  • Since the end of World War II, Japan has not sought to remilitarize, and its postwar constitution commits to renouncing aggressive warfare. Yet many inside and outside Japan have asked whether the country should or will return to commanding armed forces amid an increasingly challenging regional and global context and as domestic politics have shifted in favor of demonstrations of national strength.

    Tom Phuong Le offers a novel explanation of Japan’s reluctance to remilitarize that foregrounds the relationship between demographics and security. Japan's Aging Peace: Pacifism and Militarism in the Twenty-First Century (Columbia UP, 2021) demonstrates how changing perceptions of security across generations have culminated in a culture of antimilitarism that constrains the government’s efforts to pursue a more martial foreign policy. Le challenges a simple opposition between militarism and pacifism, arguing that Japanese security discourse should be understood in terms of “multiple militarisms,” which can legitimate choices such as the mobilization of the Japan Self-Defense Forces for peacekeeping operations and humanitarian relief missions. Le highlights how factors that are not typically linked to security policy, such as aging and declining populations and gender inequality, have played crucial roles. He contends that the case of Japan challenges the presumption in international relations scholarship that states must pursue the use of force or be punished, showing how widespread normative beliefs have restrained Japanese policy makers. Drawing on interviews with policy makers, military personnel, atomic bomb survivors, museum coordinators, grassroots activists, and other stakeholders, as well as analysis of peace museums and social movements, Japan’s Aging Peace provides new insights for scholars of Asian politics, international relations, and Japanese foreign policy.
    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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  • The US military camptowns were established shortly after the Second World War in 1945, appropriating the Japanese comfort stations. The Korean government actively supported the creation of camptowns for its own economic and national security interests. Utilizing the Japanese colonial policy, the US military and the South Korean government sought to control camptown women’s bodies through vaginal examinations, isolation wards, and jails, monitoring women for potential venereal diseases. Denigrated as a “traitor” for “mixing flesh with foreigners,” camptown women and their labors were disavowed in Korean society.[1] However, the Korean government also depended on camptown women for its economic development: camptown women’s earnings accounted for 10% of Korea’s foreign currency.[2] Speaking against this silence, Grace Cho’s new memoir, Tastes Like War (Feminist Press at CUNY, 2021), brings to light not only the pain and trauma of militarized violence as experienced by her mother who worked as a camptown woman in the 1960s and 1970s, but also the beauty and poignant resilience of her life.
    In Tastes Like War: A Memoir (Feminist Press, 2021), Cho explores the connection between food, war, trauma, family, and love. After marrying a merchant marine, Cho’s mother moved to a white town of Chehalis in Washington in the 1970s. Abundance, social mobility, and progress – America promised Cho’s mother what seemed beyond her grasp in Korea. However, the daily traumas of racialized violence and institutionalized abuses at her workplace furthered her fragmentation as a Third World subject whose body and subjectivity were created by complex ties between the histories of empire, militarized and sexual violence, and racialization. To understand the roots of her mother’s schizophrenia, Cho delves into this history, focusing not only on the traumas but also on hope, strength, beauty, and resilience as embodied by her mother. The everyday acts of cooking Korean meals and foraging for mushrooms and blackberries signaled her mother’s will to survive no matter the condition set by the global empire. Through the act of writing, Cho reconstructs the fragments of her mother’s life – illustrating her mother’s persistent and creative drive for life despite the historical violence that continued to condition her present and the future. 
    [1] First quote is from Cho, Haunting the Korean Diaspora, 94 and second quote is from Cho, Tastes Like War, 93.
    [2] Park, Emmanuel Moonchil, dir. Podŭrapge (Comfort). 2020; Seoul, Korea: Independent, 2020. Vimeo.
    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 dainachoi@g.ucla.edu.
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  • A concise, accessible account of strategy and the Second World War, Strategy and the Second World War: How the War Was Won, and Lost (Robinson, 2021), by renowned Historian Jeremy Black offers up a new look at this somewhat tired subject. In 1941, the Second World War became global, when Nazi Germany attacked the Soviet Union; Japan attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor; and Germany declared war on the United States. In this timely book, which fills a real gap, Black engages with the strategic issues of the time - as they developed chronologically, and interacted - and relates these to subsequent debates about the choices made, revealing their continued political resonances. Beginning with Appeasement and the Soviet-German pact as key strategic means, Black examines the consequences of the fall of France for the strategies of all the powers. He shows how Allied strategy-making was more effective at the Anglo-American level than with the Soviet Union, not only for ideological and political reasons, but also because the Americans and British had a better grasp of the global dimension. He explores how German and Japanese strategies evolved as the war went badly for the Axis powers, and discusses the extent to which seeking to mold the post-war world informed Allied strategic choices from 1943 onwards, and the role these played in post-war politics, notably in the Cold War. Strategy was a crucial tool not only for conducting the war; it remains the key to understanding it today. In short, Strategy and the Second World War is both educational and enjoyable look at this always interesting topic. A book for both the academic and the lay educated public.
    Charles Coutinho Ph. D. of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written for Chatham House’s International Affairs, the Institute of Historical Research's Reviews in History and the University of Rouen's online periodical Cercles.
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  • There's been a lot of resurgent interest in the Silk Routes lately, particularly looking at the cultural, political, and economic connections between "East" and "West" that challenge long held narratives of a world that only became interconnected in the last half millennium. Even so, it's been rarely appreciated how much of the history of Eurasian medicine in the premodern period hinges on cross-cultural interactions and knowledge transmissions along these same lines of contact. Using manuscripts found in key Eurasian nodes of the medieval world - Dunhuang, Kucha, the Cairo Geniza, and Tabriz - this fascinating and much-needed book analyses a number of case-studies of Eurasian medical encounters, giving a voice to places, languages, people and narratives which were once prominent but have gone silent.
    ReOrienting Histories of Medicine: Encounters Along the Silk Roads (Bloomsbury, 2021) is an important book for those interested in the history of medicine and the transmissions of knowledge that have taken place over the course of global history.
    Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim is Reader in History at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is the co-editor of Rashid al-Din: Agent and Mediator of Cultural Exchanges in Ilkhanid Iran, Islam and Tibet: Interactions along the Musk Routes, and Astro-Medicine: Astrology and Medicine, East and West.
    Christopher S. Rose is a social historian of medicine focusing on Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean in the 19th and 20th century. He currently teaches History at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas and Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas.
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  • Tuberculosis: The Singapore Experience, 1867-2018 (Routledge, 2021), co-written by Dr. Loh, a historian and Dr. Hsu Li Yang, a medical doctor offers an inter-disciplinary analysis of the way in the which the disease was managed from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. This book charts the relationship between disease, society and the state, outlining the struggles of colonial and post-colonial governments to cope with infectious disease and to establish effective public health programmes and institutions. British colonial administrators initially viewed tuberculosis as a racial problem linked to the poverty, housing and insanitary habits of the Chinese working class. After the Second World War, ambitious medical and urban improvement initiatives were instituted by the returning British colonial government with considerable success. These schemes in the post-colonial period set the tone for continuous biopolitical intervention by the post-colonial Singapore state whose struggle against infectious disease in a densely populated city never really ended. The focus on infections makes this book an apt one to discuss when Singapore – and the world- is still struggling against Covid-19 and its multiple variants.
    Dr. Loh Kah Seng a historian of Singapore and an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia. He is interested in urban history and social history of cities. He currently runs Chronicles Research and Education, a research consultancy on Singapore heritage.
    Faizah Zakaria is assistant professor of history at Nanyang Technological University. You can find her website at www.faizahzak.com and on Twitter @laurelinarien.
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  • Agriculture has been among the toughest political battlegrounds in postwar Japan and represents an ideal case study in institutional stability and change. Inefficient land use and a rapidly aging workforce have long been undermining the economic viability of the agricultural sector. Yet vested interests in the small-scale, part-time agricultural production structure have obstructed major reforms. Change has instead occurred in more subtle ways. Since the mid-1990s, a gradual reform process has dismantled some of the core pillars of the postwar agricultural support and protection regime. Harvesting State Support analyzes this process by shifting the analytical focus to the local level.
    In Harvesting State Support: Institutional Change and Local Agency in Japanese Agriculture (U Toronto Press, 2021), Hanno Jentzsch investigates how local actors, including farmers, local governments, and local agricultural cooperatives, have translated abstract policies into local practice. Showing how local variants are constructed through recombining national reforms with the local informal institutional environment, Harvesting State Support reveals new links between agricultural reform and other shifts in Japan’s political economy. This is an important book that should be read by anyone interested in the intersection of local and larger institutions as they influence agriculture in post-industrial society.
    John W. Traphagan, Ph.D. is Professor and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Fellow in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is also a professor in the Program in Human Dimensions of Organizations.
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  • Adaptive reuse, or using a building for a new purpose, has become popular around the world, but discussion about adaptive reuse in Asia is relatively scarce. As a result, this architectural innovation in Asia, which includes redesigned institutional buildings, awards for cultural heritage conservation projects, and adapted reuse field studies, is overdue for consideration. Asian Revitalization’s review of adaptive reuse begins by comparing the global presence of adaptive reuse to its presence in Asia and evolves into a detailed examination of adaptive reuse’s relationship to urban development and sustainability, how adaptive reuse supports heritage buildings, and its connection to best practices in heritage conservation in Asia. The text grounds its analysis in essays, timelines, and case studies that focus on revitalization in Hong Kong, commercial development in Shanghai, and community building in Singapore in addition to analysis of government policy documents and extensive fieldwork. At a time when sustainable development is crucial, Asian Revitalization can provide classrooms and a professional readership with a valuable resource about Asia’s participation in this flourishing and creative architectural movement.
    Bryan Toepfer, AIA, NCARB, CAPM is the Principal Architect for TOEPFER Architecture, PLLC, an Architecture firm specializing in Residential Architecture and Virtual Reality. He has authored two books, “Contractors CANNOT Build Your House,” and “Six Months Now, ARCHITECT for Life.” He is an Adjunct Professor at Alfred State College and the Director of Education for the AIA Rochester Board of Directors. Always eager to help anyone understand the world of Architecture, he can be reached by sending an email to btoepfer@toepferarchitecture.
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  • Spies deep behind enemy lines; double agents; a Chinese American James Bond; black propaganda radio broadcasters; guerrilla fighters; pirates; smugglers; prostitutes and dancers as spies; and Asian Americans collaborating with Axis Powers.
    All these colorful individuals form the story of Asian Americans in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of today's CIA. Brian Masaru Hayashi brings to light for the first time the role played by Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Americans in America's first centralized intelligence agency in its fight against the Imperial Japanese forces in east Asia during World War II. They served deep behind enemy lines gathering intelligence for American and Chinese troops locked in a desperate struggle against Imperial Japanese forces on the Asian continent. Other Asian Americans produced and disseminated statements by bogus peace groups inside the Japanese empire to weaken the fighting resolve of the Japanese. Still others served with guerrilla forces attacking enemy supply and communication lines behind enemy lines. Engaged in this deadly conflict, these Asian Americans agents encountered pirates, smugglers, prostitutes, and dancers serving as the enemy's spies, all the while being subverted from within the OSS by a double agent and without by co-ethnic collaborators in wartime Shanghai.
    Drawing on recently declassified documents, Asian American Spies: How Asian Americans Helped Win the Allied Victory (Oxford UP, 2021) challenges the romanticized and stereotyped image of these Chinese, Japanese, and Korean American agents--the Model Minority-while offering a fresh perspective on the Allied victory in the Pacific Theater of World War II.
    Jessica Moloughney is a public librarian in New York and a recent graduate of Queens College with a Master’s Degree in History and Library Science.
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