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  • A three-thousand-year history of the Yellow River and the legacy of interactions between humans and the natural landscape From Neolithic times to the present day, the Yellow River and its watershed have both shaped and been shaped by human society. Using the Yellow River to illustrate the long-term effects of environmentally significant human activity, Ruth Mostern unravels the long history of the human relationship with water and soil and the consequences, at times disastrous, of ecological transformations that resulted from human decisions. As Mostern follows the Yellow River through three millennia of history, she underlines how governments consistently ignored the dynamic interrelationships of the river's varied ecosystems--grasslands, riparian forests, wetlands, and deserts--and the ecological and cultural impacts of their policies. With an interdisciplinary approach informed by archival research and GIS (geographical information system) records, this groundbreaking volume provides unique insight into patterns, transformations, and devastating ruptures throughout ecological history and offers profound conclusions about the way we continue to affect the natural systems upon which we depend.
    This scale, detail, and clarity of this work was inspiring. Ruth Mostern's long-term environmental history of the Yellow River, is not the story of a single channel but of a series of landscapes and entanglements between the human and natural world. Replete with detailed explanations of physical geography and water management technologies, The Yellow River: A Natural and Unnatural History (Yale UP, 2021) succeeds not only in meticulously addressing the geographical and cultural heart of Chinese history, but also in speaking to our present moment through its recurring portrayal of the relationship between environmental awareness and political possibility. 
    Lance Pursey is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Aberdeen. He works on the history and archaeology of the Liao dynasty, and therefore is drawn to complicated questions of identity in premodern China like a moth is drawn to flame. He can be reached at lance.pursey@abdn.ac.uk.
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  • In 2021, a team of divers led by renowned maritime archaeologist Dr Michael Flecker and sponsored by the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute surveyed two historic shipwrecks discovered in the Singapore Strait, working for several months to bring their submerged cargos to the surface. Chinese trade ceramics found in these cargos date their demise to the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries – pivotal moments in the history of the globe-spanning China Trade. The most intriguing aspect of this salvage operation, however, is the discovery in the remains of the older vessel of the most substantial cargo of Yuan-dynasty blue-and-white porcelain yet found in Southeast Asian waters.
    Joining Dr Natali Pearson on SSEAC Stories, Dr Alex Burchmore argues that these discoveries provide valuable insights into the complex interactions between China and Southeast Asia, allowing us to reposition Southeast Asia at the centre of historic trade narratives. Through the international trade of Chinese ceramics, Dr Burchmore invites us to reimagine the past, rethinking traditional narratives of Chineseness across the region, as well as Australia’s identity in the Asia-Pacific.
    About Alex Burchmore:
    Dr Alex Burchmore is an art historian specialising in the study of Chinese and Southeast Asian art, past and present, with a particular focus on ceramics, trade and exchange, and the interweaving of the personal and material. Alex received his PhD from the Australian National University in 2019 and joined the University of Sydney’s Museum and Heritage Studies department in 2021. His first book, New Export China: Translations Across Time and Place in Contemporary Chinese Porcelain Art (University of California Press, 2023), traces the extent to which artists within and beyond China have used porcelain to shape their personal, historical, and cultural identities, from the 1990s to the present. His recent publications include a study of the ‘material Chineseness’ of ink and porcelain in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art and a chapter dedicated to the ‘fugitive luxury’ of contemporary Chinese ceramics in The Allure of Matter: Materiality Across Chinese Art (University of Chicago Press, 2021).
    For more information or to browse additional resources, visit the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s website: www.sydney.edu.au/sseac.
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  • Anti-vaccination movements pose an increasing threat to global public health, but what of vaccine hesitancy? Join us for a discussion on the effects of vaccine hesitancy in Japan during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. University of Turku's Centre for East Asian Studies University Teacher Dr. Yoko Demelius and University Lecturer Dr. Kamila Szczepanska discuss historical, cultural, and legal factors that have led to present trends ranging from general vaccine skepticism to online and real-life anti-vaccination activism. Learn about historical developments in Japanese public health policy as well as socio-demographic factors that contribute to current attitudes. Dr. Szczepanska and Dr. Demelius also speak of the state of domestic vaccine manufacturing and Research & Development, and the significant continuing influence of anti-vaccination propaganda and misinformation campaigns from the US and Europe.
    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
    Satoko Naito is a docent of Japanese studies at the Centre for East Asian Studies, University of Turku, Finland. Research interests include Japanese literature, cultural history, and gender studies.
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  • In mid-November, Washington and Beijing mutually agreed to start granting journalist visas again, putting an end to months of reciprocal visa rejections and denials. A perhaps minor, yet still important, thawing among grander narratives of decoupling and worsening relations between the two countries.
    Cheng Li’s Middle Class Shanghai: Reshaping U.S.-China Engagement (Brookings, 2021) plots out a new way to understand the U.S.-China relationship. Cheng Li’s book attempts to show the importance of the city of Shanghai to China’s economic and political development, and studies its population to show the continued value of engagement between Americans and Chinese. Readers can find an excerpt from Middle Class Shanghai on the Brookings website: Shanghai’s dynamic art scene.
    Cheng Li is the director of the John L. Thornton China Center and a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings. He is also a director of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.
    We’re joined in this interview by Brian Wong. Brian is a Co-Founder of the Oxford Political Review, a columnist with the Hong Kong Economic Journal and a contributor to the Neican newsletter.
    The three of us talk about the city of Shanghai, its importance to China, and why looking at US-China relations through the prism of a single city might be a better way to understand the international system.
    You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Middle Class Shanghai. 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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  • Founded in 1676 during a cosmopolitan early modern period, Mindröling monastery became a key site for Buddhist education and a Tibetan civilizational center. Its founders sought to systematize and institutionalize a worldview rooted in Buddhist philosophy, engaging with contemporaries from across Tibetan Buddhist schools while crystallizing what it meant to be part of their own Nyingma school. At the monastery, ritual performance, meditation, renunciation, and training in the skills of a bureaucrat or member of the literati went hand in hand. Studying at Mindröling entailed training the senses and cultivating the objects of the senses through poetry, ritual music, monastic dance, visual arts, and incense production, as well as medicine and astrology.
    Dominique Townsend investigates the ritual, artistic, and cultural practices inculcated at Mindröling to demonstrate how early modern Tibetans integrated Buddhist and worldly activities through training in aesthetics. Considering laypeople as well as monastics and women as well as men, A Buddhist Sensibility: Aesthetic Education at Tibet's Mindröling Monastery (Columbia UP, 2021) sheds new light on the forms of knowledge valued in early modern Tibetan societies, especially among the ruling classes. Townsend traces how tastes, values, and sensibilities were cultivated and spread, showing what it meant for a person, lay or monastic, to be deemed well educated. Combining historical and literary analysis with fieldwork in Tibetan Buddhist communities, this book reveals how monastic institutions work as centers of cultural production beyond the boundaries of what is conventionally deemed Buddhist.
    Jue Liang is scholar of Buddhism in general, and Tibetan Buddhism in particular. My research examines women in Tibetan Buddhist communities past and present using a combination of textual and ethnographical studies.
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  • Viktoriya Kim, Nelia Balgoa, and Beverley Anne Yamamoto's book The Politics of International Marriage in Japan (Rutgers UP, 2021) provides an in-depth exploration and analysis of marriages between Japanese nationals and migrants from three broad ethnic/cultural groups - spouses from the former Soviet Union countries, the Philippines, and Western countries. It reveals how the marriage migrants navigate the intricacies and trajectories of their marriages with Japanese people while living in Japan. Seen from the lens of ‘gendered geographies of power’, the book explores how state-level politics and policies towards marriage, migration, and gender affect the personal power politics in operation within the relationships of these international couples. Overall, the book discusses how ethnic identity intersects with gender in the negotiation of spaces and power relations between and amongst couples; and the role states and structural inequalities play in these processes, resulting in a reconfiguration of our notions of what international marriages are and how powerful gender and the state are in understanding the power relations in these unions.
    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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  • Ghastly Tales from the Yotsuya Kaidan (Chisokudo, 2020) is a newly revised and corrected translation of what is perhaps the most famous and oft told tales of horror in Japan. The legend of Iwa and her curse blurs the lines between fact and fiction as it spins its terrifying tale of ghostly vengeance. For nearly three hundred years in the repertoire of itinerant storytellers, in dramatic performances on stage, and in modern adaptations for anime and film, Iwa’s story has lost none of its intoxicating power over the imagination.
    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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  • When did the Cold War in East Asia really begin? According to ADI-NIAS researcher Kuan-Jen Chen, the answer is 1945 – if we view the Cold War through a maritime lens. In conversation with NIAS Director Duncan McCargo, KJ explains how he is using Japanese and Taiwanese sources to gain a more nuanced perspective on East Asian Cold War maritime history, which is far from a simple narrative of American naval dominance. KJ also discusses the relevance of the Cold War context to understanding recent geostrategic developments in the region, and why he is trying to put international historians into a more fruitful dialogue with scholars of international relations.
    Kuan-Jen Chen (https://kjchen.net/) is the Asian Dynamics Initiative-Nordic Institute of Asian Studies Postdoctoral Fellow in Asian Studies at the University of Copenhagen. He has published articles in various journals including Cold War History and the Journal of American-East Asian Relations. KJ is currently completing a book based on his Cambridge PhD, entitled The Making of America’s  Maritime Order in Cold War East Asia: Sovereignty, Local Interests, and International Security.
    KJ was recently jointly awarded Taiwan’s 2021 Openbook Award in Translation for his co-translation into Chinese of Barak Kushner’s Men to Devils, Devils to Men: Japanese War Crimes and Chinese Justice, Harvard 2015 (see NBN podcast 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, 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 can be found here. About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk
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  • Diaspora’s Homeland: Modern China in the Age of Global Migration (Duke University Press, 2018) by Shelly Chan provides a broad historical study of how the mass migration of more than twenty million Chinese overseas influenced China’s politics, economics, and culture. Chan develops the concept of “diaspora moments” – a series of recurring disjunctions in which migrant temporalities come into tension with local, national, and global ones – to map the multiple historical geographies in which the Chinese homeland and diaspora emerge. Chan describes several distinct moments, including the lifting of the Qing emigration ban in 1893 and the legacy of indentured Chinese migration to the Americas, intellectual debates in the 1920s and 1930s about whether Chinese emigration in the South China Seas (Nanyang) and Southeast Asia constituted colonization and whether Confucianism should be the basis for a modern Chinese identity. She also looks at the intersection of gender, returns to China of displaced Chinese from Southeast Asia, and Communist campaigns in the 1950s and 1960s. Adopting a transnational frame, Chan narrates Chinese history through a reconceptualization of diaspora to show how mass migration helped establish China as a nation-state within a global system.
    Shelly Chan is an associate professor of history at the University of California, Santa Cruz, specializing in modern China and the Chinese diaspora.
    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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  • Ian Reader and John Shultz's Pilgrims Until We Die: Unending Pilgrimage in Shikoku (Oxford University Press, 2021)" explores the Shikoku pilgrimage by focusing on the themes of repetition and perpetual pilgrimage. Reader and Shultz employ a wide array of methods to portray how these itinerant pilgrims view their unending life on the trails. Some spend most of their life walking the pilgrimage, while others use cars and other methods of modern transportation, allowing them to complete the circuit hundreds of times. The Shikokubyō or the Shikoku illness is a common term that people use to describe a sense of addiction to the pilgrimage, revealing how the pilgrimage has become a part of their life. Based in extensive fieldwork this book shows that unending pilgrimage is the dominant theme of the Shikoku pilgrimage, and argues that this is not specific to Shikoku but found widely in global contexts, although it has barely been examined in studies of pilgrimage. It counteracts normative portrayals of pilgrimage as a transient activity involving temporarily leaving home to visit sacred places outside the everyday parameters of life; rather pilgrimage, for many participants, means creating a sense of home and permanence on the road. As such this book presents new theoretical perspectives on pilgrimage in general, along with rich ethnographic examples of pilgrimage practices in contemporary Japan.
    Raditya Nuradi is a Phd student at Kyushu University. He works on religion and popular culture, particularly anime pilgrimages. He’s done fieldwork at Hitoyoshi city, Kumamoto prefecture.
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  • Modernity arrived in Japan, as elsewhere, through new forms of ownership. In A Fictional Commons: Natsume Soseki and the Properties of Modern Literature (Duke UP, 2021), Michael K. Bourdaghs explores how the literary and theoretical works of Natsume Sōseki (1867–1916), widely celebrated as Japan's greatest modern novelist, exploited the contradictions and ambiguities that haunted this new system. Many of his works feature narratives about inheritance, thievery, and the struggle to obtain or preserve material wealth while also imagining alternative ways of owning and sharing. For Sōseki, literature was a means for thinking through—and beyond—private property. Bourdaghs puts Sōseki into dialogue with thinkers from his own era (including William James and Mizuno Rentarō, author of Japan’s first copyright law) and discusses how his work anticipates such theorists as Karatani Kōjin and Franco Moretti. As Bourdaghs shows, Sōseki both appropriated and rejected concepts of ownership and subjectivity in ways that theorized literature as a critical response to the emergence of global capitalism.
    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 late 1970s to the mid-1980s, a period commonly referred to as the post-Mao cultural thaw, was a key transitional phase in the evolution of Chinese science fiction. This period served as a bridge between science-popularization science fiction of the 1950s and 1960s and New Wave Chinese science fiction from the 1990s into the twenty-first century. Chinese Science Fiction during the Post-Mao Cultural Thaw (University of Toronto Press, 2021) surveys the field of Chinese science fiction and its multimedia practice, analysing and assessing science fiction works by well-known writers such as Ye Yonglie, Zheng Wenguang, Tong Enzheng, and Xiao Jianheng, as well as the often-overlooked tech–science fiction writers of the post-Mao thaw.
    Exploring the socio-political and cultural dynamics of science-related Chinese literature during this period, Hua Li combines close readings of original Chinese literary texts with literary analysis informed by scholarship on science fiction as a genre, Chinese literary history, and media studies. Li argues that this science fiction of the post-Mao thaw began its rise as a type of government-backed literature, yet it often stirred up controversy and received pushback as a contentious and boundary-breaking genre. Topically structured and interdisciplinary in scope, Chinese Science Fiction during the Post-Mao Cultural Thaw will appeal to both scholars and fans of science fiction.
    Hua Li is an associate professor at Montana State University.
    Clara Iwasaki is an assistant professor in the East Asian Studies department at the University of Alberta.
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  • Once you understand that markets require public institutions of governance and regulation in order to function well, and further, you accept that nations may have different preferences over the shape that those institutions and regulations should take, you have started to tell a story that leads you to radically different endings.
    – Dani Rodrik, The Globalization Paradox (2011)
    Influenced by Dani Rodrik’s research and teaching at Harvard’s Kennedy School, Yeling Tan, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Oregon, and non-resident scholar at UCSD’s 21st Century China Center, has written a book that brings together her interest and expertise in China’s political economy: Disaggregrating China, Inc.: State Strategies in the Liberal Economic Order (Cornell University Press, 2021).
    As you will hear, Professor Tan is interested in the dynamics of international and domestic politics with a focus on the tensions involving policy change within political economies. The development and the role of institutions especially with regard to China, given its political structure and economic governance, has provided just such an intriguing case for Tan who has been immersed in PRC-related study since graduate school.
    The book frames the story of China’s WTO entry and assesses its impact on the country’s complex and sprawling structures of economic governance with the kind of inspiration that makes well-written and researched economic history as compelling as it is empirically rigorous. Professor Tan’s analysis and argument fits within the interdisciplinary sphere most aptly described as political economy as she systematically ‘disaggregates’ China’s institutional response as a one-party state to the globalizing effects of WTO engagement. Her book draws upon a rich research literature including the post-Mao reform and opening period to frame her research questions before moving into her own theory, methods, and findings – a unique contribution to the field filling the lack of studies focused on external institutional influences on the political economy of China.
    As such, she moves us beyond the caricatured and monolithic simplifications underlying the bipartisan, ideologically driven interpretations reassessing the outcome of China’s WTO entry and subsequent trade policy. To liberally paraphrase a key source of her intellectual inspiration, Rodrik’s The Globalization Paradox: acknowledging the role of public institutions and the various value preferences of nations to help shape well-performing markets will lead you, as with Tan’s story, to the start of an understanding of the relationship of markets and institutions with a radically different ending in the China context.
    Yeling Tan is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Oregon.
    Keith Krueger lectures at the SILC Business School in Shanghai University.
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  • What sequence of events led Hong Kong to lose its long-held status as a liberal enclave of China? What drove its population to rise up against its government and confront Beijing? And why did China’s rulers decide to effectively put an end to the freedoms guaranteed under the One-Country-Two-Systems arrangement by imposing in June 2020 a draconian National Security Law designed to eliminate any political opposition that has already led to hundreds of arrests?
    In Defying the Dragon: Hong Kong and the World’s Largest Dictatorship (Hurst, 2021), the prominent Hong Kong journalist and broadcaster Stephen Vines offers a blow-by-blow account of the 2019-2020 protest movement. The books details the emergence of an increasingly assertive and defiant Hong Kong political identity, the collapse of trust in the Beijing-anointed government, the PRC’s increasingly hands-on assertion of its sovereignty over the territory, and the deteriorating relationship between the West and an overly confident but inwardly insecure Chinese state.
    Nicholas Bequelin is a human rights professional with a PhD in history and a scholarly bent. He has worked about 20 years for Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, most recently as Regional director for Asia. He’s currently a Visiting Scholar and Lecturer at Yale Law School.
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  • One of the most famous rulers in Chinese history, the Yongle emperor (r. 1402–24) gained renown for constructing Beijing’s magnificent Forbidden City, directing ambitious naval expeditions, and creating the world’s largest encyclopedia. What the Emperor Built: Architecture and Empire in the Early Ming (U Washington Press, 2020) is the first book-length study devoted to the architectural projects of a single Chinese emperor.
    Focusing on the imperial palaces in Beijing, a Daoist architectural complex on Mount Wudang, and a Buddhist temple on the Sino-Tibetan frontier, Aurelia Campbell demonstrates how the siting, design, and use of Yongle’s palaces and temples helped cement his authority and legitimize his usurpation of power. Campbell offers insight into Yongle’s sense of empire—from the far-flung locations in which he built, to the distant regions from which he extracted construction materials, and to the use of tens of thousands of craftsmen and other laborers. Through his constructions, Yongle connected himself to the divine, interacted with his subjects, and extended imperial influence across space and time.
    Spanning issues of architectural design and construction technologies, this deft analysis reveals remarkable advancements in timber-frame construction and implements an art-historical approach to examine patronage, audience, and reception, situating the buildings within their larger historical and religious contexts.
    Noelle Giuffrida is a professor and curator of Asian art at the School of Art and the David Owsley Museum of Art at Ball State University. Email: ngiuffrida@bsu.edu.
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  • Why did so many of South Korea’s senior citizens take to the streets between 2016 and 2019? What motivated their participation in rallies? And what do these rallies tell us about the state of South Korea’s democracy? Korea Foundation and Nordic Institute of Asian Studies postdoctoral researcher Myunghee Lee discusses these and other questions with Petra Desatova.
    Myunghee Lee is a Korea Foundation and Nordic Institute of Asian Studies postdoctoral researcher at the University of Copenhagen. Her research focuses on protest, social movement, authoritarianism, and democratization. Her work appears in journals such as International Security, International Studies Review, and Politics & Gender.
    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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  • Revisiting Japan's Restoration: New Approaches to the Study of the Meiji Transformation (Routledge, 2021) presents the reader with thirty-one short chapters that capture an exciting new moment in the study of the Meiji Restoration. The chapters offer a kaleidoscope of approaches and interpretations of the Restoration that showcase the strengths of the most recent interpretative trends in history writing on Japan while simultaneously offering new research pathways.
    On a scale probably never before seen in the study of the Restoration outside Japan, the short chapters in this volume reveal unique aspects of the transformative event and process not previously explored in previous research. They do this in three core ways: through selecting and deploying different time frames in their historical analysis; by creative experimentation with different spatial units through which to ascertain historical experience; and by innovative selection of unique and highly original topics for analysis. The volume offers students and teachers of Japanese history, modern history, and East Asian studies an important resource for coming to grips with the multifaceted nature of Japan’s nineteenth-century transformation.
    The volume will also have broader appeal to scholars working in fields such as early modern/modern world history, global history, Asian modernities, gender studies, economic history, and postcolonial studies.
    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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  • Timothy Yang’s A Medicated Empire: The Pharmaceutical Industry and Modern Japan (Cornell 2021) is a case study of Hoshi Pharmaceutical, a Japanese drug company that exemplified the push for a modern “culture of self-medication.” The history of Hoshi is tightly intertwined with state promotion of Western biomedicine beginning in the late nineteenth century, but also reveals tensions between pharmaceutical manufacturers’ self-promotion “as a humanitarian endeavor for greater social good” and their profit motive. As the title suggests, A Medicated Empire also expands our understanding of the production and consumption of drugs―licit and illicit―in the Japanese empire, exploring topics including how companies like Hoshi exploited national-defense concerns to secure lucrative government support in times of crisis on the one hand, and the differential marketing and regulation of pharmaceuticals such as opium to Japanese and colonial subjects. In the latter sections of the book, these elements are central to the story of Hoshi’s fall and rise: the opium scandal which crippled and bankrupted the company in the early 1930s and its resurrection and profiteering as Japan geared up for war later in the decade. Throughout, Yang is sensitive to the tensions between state-led national strengthening, corporate profit motives, and the desires of individuals to optimize their health, and also to the imperial context in which the particular story of Hoshi played out. This book will of course be of interest to historians of Japan, STS, and business, among others, but as we discuss in the podcast, many of its core issues―trust in pharma, government interventions in public health, etc.—are more salient today than ever.
    Nathan Hopson is an associate professor of Japanese language and history in the University of Bergen's Department of Foreign Languages.
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  • Rayna Denison’s Anime: A Critical Introduction (Bloomsbury, 2015) uses genre as a window into the evolving global phenomenon of Japanese animation. Denison’s wide-ranging analysis tackles the anime themselves – including classics such as Astro Boy, Akira, Urotsukidōji, Spirited Away, and Natsume’s Book of Friends – but also the mechanics behind anime production and distribution in Japan, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Tracking anime’s circulation through these locations over time reveals key differences in how generic terms such as horror, nichijōkei/slice-of-life, and even anime itself are understood. Examining production and distribution contexts like the industry and fan event, Tokyo International Anime Fair, further discloses how companies and fans contextualize and re-contextualize anime to encourage its popularization in new time periods and markets. Denison depicts anime as an intricate global phenomenon that is constantly metamorphosing even on the level of individual anime texts, which are at the extreme re-cut, re-scripted, and re-dubbed to fit new contexts in an eternal evolution.
    Amanda Kennell is an Assistant Teaching Professor of International Studies at North Carolina State University. She writes about Japanese media and is currently finishing up a book on Japanese adaptations of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland novels.
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  • Mediatized Taiwanese Mandarin: Popular Culture, Masculinity, and Social Perceptions (Springer, 2021) explores how language ideologies have emerged for gangtaiqiang through a combination of indexical and ideological processes in televised media. Gangtaiqiang (Hong Kong-Taiwan accent), a socially recognizable form of mediatized Taiwanese Mandarin, has become a stereotype for many Chinese mainlanders who have little real-life interaction with Taiwanese people. Using both qualitative and quantitative approaches, the author examines how Chinese millennials perceive gangtaiqiang by focusing on the following questions: 1) the role of televised media in the formation of language attitudes, and 2) how shifting gender ideologies are performed and embodied such attitudes. This book presents empirical evidence to argue that gangtaiqiang should, in fact, be conceptualized as a mediatized variety of Mandarin, rather than the actual speech of people in Hong Kong or Taiwan. The analyses in this book point to an emerging realignment among the Chinese towards gangtaiqiang, a variety traditionally associated with chic, urban television celebrities and young cosmopolitan types. In contrast to Beijing Mandarin, Taiwanese Mandarin is now perceived to be pretentious, babyish, and emasculated, mirroring the power dynamics between Taiwan and China.
    Chun-Yi Peng is an Associate Professor at Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY. His primary research interests are in the fields of sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology.
    Li-Ping Chen is Postdoctoral Scholar and Teaching Fellow in the East Asian Studies Center at the University of Southern California. Her research interests include literary translingualism, diaspora, and nativism in Sinophone, inter-Asian, and transpacific contexts.
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