Bölümler

  • An interdisciplinary collection in the new field of environmental humanities, Chinese Environmental Ethics: Religions, Ontologies, and Practices (Rowman and Littlefield, 2021) brings together Chinese environmental ethics, religious ontology, and religious practice to explore how traditional Chinese religio-environmental ethics are actually put into social practice both in China’s past and present. It also examines how Chinese religious teachings offer a wealth of resources to the environmental project of forging new ontologies for humans co-existing with other living beings. Different chapters examine how: Buddhist ontology avoids anthropocentrism, fengshui (Chinese geomancy) can help protect the landscape from economic development, popular religion organizes tree-planting, ancient dream interpretation practices avoided constructing the possessive individual subjectivity of modern consumerism, Buddhist rituals and ethics promoted compassion for animals and modern recycling, Confucian ancestor rituals and tombs have deterred industrial expansion, and also how Daoism’s potential role to deter desertification in northern China was stymied by state operations in contemporary China.
    A significant advance in the field of Chinese environmental anthropology, the outstanding scholars in this volume provide a unique and much needed contribution to the scholarship on China and the environment.

    Mayfair Yang is professor of religious and East Asian studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has authored two monographs: Gifts, Favors, and Banquets: the Art of Social Relationships in China (American Ethnological Society Prize) and Re-enchanting Modernity in China: Ritual Economy and Religious Civil Society in Wenzhou) and has edited two books: Chinese Religiosities: Afflictions of Modernity and State Formation and Spaces of Their Own: Women’s Public Sphere in Transnational China.

    Gustavo E. Gutiérrez Suárez is PhD candidate in Social Anthropology, and BA in Social Communication. His areas of interest include Andean and Amazonian Anthropology, Film theory and aesthetics. You can follow him on Twitter vía @GustavoEGSuarez.
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  • Does Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida´s new administration represent the true beginning of the “Post-Abe” era for Japan? After the one-year transitional administration of Yoshihide Suga, Kishida was able to win a three-year term as head of the LDP, the premiership, and lower house election in fall 2021. Since then Kishida has proven to be reasonably popular, and is leaving his stamp on Japanese foreign policy, abandoning Abe´s close ties with Russian President Putin with a hardline toward Russia. Domestically Kishida promotes a “New Capitalism” that promises a reduction in income inequality compared to Abenomics.
    In this episode Kenneth Bo Nielsen is joined by Paul Midford to look at the new Kishida administration and discuss whether it will set Japan on a new course.
    Paul Midford is professor of political science at Meiji Gakuin University and the author of a recent book on Japan, “Overcoming Isolationism - Japan’s Leadership in East Asian Security Multilateralism”.
    Kenneth Bo Nielsen is an Associate Professor at the dept. of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo and one of the leaders of the Norwegian Network for Asian Studies.
    The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo.
    We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.
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  • In China and the International Human Rights Regime (Cambridge University Press, 2021), Rana Siu Inboden examines the evolution of China’s posture towards the U.N. human rights system since the early 1980s. The book examines in unprecedented details China’s role and impact on the complex negotiations between U.N. members over the International Covenant Against Torture and its optional protocol; the establishment of the U.N. Human Rights Council; and the monitoring powers of the International labour Organization. A former U.S. State Department official in the Bureau of Democracy, Labor and Human Rights, Inboden shows how China, through subtle yet persistent efforts, largely but not entirely successfully managed to constrain the U.N. human rights system. Based on a range of documentary and archival research, as well as extensive interview data, Inboden provides fresh insights into the motivations and influences driving China's conduct and explores China's rising position as a global power. In this interview, Inboden discusses her findings as well as more recent developments under the leadership of President Xi Jinping.
    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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  • Elizabeth Oyler and Katherine Saltzman-Li's book Cultural Imprints: War and Memory in the Samurai Age (Cornell UP, 2022) draws on literary works, artifacts, performing arts, and documents that were created by or about the samurai to examine individual "imprints," traces holding specifically grounded historical meanings that persist through time. The contributors to this interdisciplinary volume assess those imprints for what they can suggest about how thinkers, writers, artists, performers, and samurai themselves viewed warfare and its lingering impact at various points during the "samurai age," the long period from the establishment of the first shogunate in the twelfth century through the fall of the Tokugawa in 1868.
    The range of methodologies and materials discussed in Cultural Imprints challenges a uniform notion of warrior activity and sensibilities, breaking down an ahistorical, monolithic image of the samurai that developed late in the samurai age and that persists today. Highlighting the memory of warfare and its centrality in the cultural realm, Cultural Imprints demonstrates the warrior's far-reaching, enduring, and varied cultural influence across centuries of Japanese history.
    Contributors: Monica Bethe, William Fleming, Andrew Goble, Thomas Hare, Luke Roberts, Marimi Tateno, Alison Tokita, Elizabeth Oyler, Katherine Saltzman-Li.
    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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  • Defections from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) were an important part of the narrative of the Republic of China (ROC) in Taiwan during the Cold War, but their stories have previously barely been told, less still examined, in English.
    During the 1960s, 70s and 80s, the ROC government paid much special attention to these anti-communist heroes (fangong yishi). Their choices to leave behind the turmoil of the PRC were a propaganda coup for the Nationalist one-party state in Taiwan, proving the superiority of the "Free China" that they had created there. 
    In Defectors from the PRC to Taiwan, 1960-1989: The Anti-Communist Righteous Warriors (Routledge, 2022), Morris looks at the stories behind these headlines, what the defectors understood about the ROC before they arrived, and how they dealt with the reality of their post-defection lives in Taiwan. He also looks at how these dramatic individual histories of migration were understood to prove essential differences between the two regimes, while at the same time showing important continuities between the two Chinese states.
    A valuable resource for students and scholars of 20th century China and Taiwan, and of the Cold War and its impact in Asia.
    Andrew D. Morris is Professor of History at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and studies the modern histories of Taiwan and China. He is the author of Colonial Project, National Game: A History of Baseball in Taiwan (University of California Press, 2010) and Marrow of the Nation: A History of Sport and Physical Culture in Republican China (University of California Press, 2004). He edited the volume Japanese Taiwan: Colonial Rule and Its Contested Legacy (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015), and co-edited the volume The Minor Arts of Daily Life: Popular Culture in Taiwan (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2004, with David K. Jordan and Marc L. Moskowitz).
    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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  • The People’s Republic of China has undergone tumultuous and varied sociocultural developments over the course of its history. In this episode, Dr. Suvi Rautio talks about some of the ways in which people and communities have dealt with the resulting change (or lack of it) based on her ethnographic research. Dr. Rautio is currently working on a research project dealing with Maoist China, drawing from her own family history in Beijing to explore how intellectuals navigated life in China’s capital during social upheaval. By contrast, Dr. Rautio’s previous research has focused on rural village life in Southwest China – she has conducted fieldwork in a traditional Dong ethnic minority village where villagers and authorities try to combine heritage preservation and socioeconomic modernisation. We also discuss how similar struggles between preserving the old and making way for the new have unfolded in modern-day Beijing.
    Suvi Rautio is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki. Her current project focuses on the transmission of memory and loss among Beijing’s intellectual class during the Maoist era. She has also hosted podcasts on Chinese studies and anthropology in the New Books Network.
    Ari-Joonas Pitkänen is a doctoral candidate at the Centre for East Asian Studies, University of Turku.
    The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo.
    We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.
    About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk
    Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: http://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-asia-podcast
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  • Hakkenden is a classic work of Japanese literature: the story of the eight warriors, born from Princess Fuse and the dog Yatsufusa, has been adapted to manga, movies and anime. And its tropes continue to pop up in Japanese popular culture today.
    But there’s so much story in Hakkenden that Eight Dogs, or "Hakkenden": Part One―An Ill-Considered Jest (Cornell University Press: 2021), a new translation by Glynne Walley, doesn’t even get to the eight warriors before it’s end! Glynne’s translation sets the scene for the emergence of the eight dog warriors, translating everything in the book–including the medicine ads the author included to help pay the bills.
    In this interview, Glynne and I talk about what makes Hakkenden so special, Glynne’s translation choices, and how its themes and tropes persist to the present day.
    Glynne Walley is an Associate Professor of Japanese Literature at the University of Oregon and author ofGood Dogs: Edification, Entertainment & Kyokutei Bakin's Nansō Satomi hakkenden (Cornell East Asia Series, 2018), the first monograph-length study of Hakkenden, a landmark of premodern Japanese fiction.
    You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Hakkenden. 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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  • Corey Byrnes’ Fixing Landscape: A Techno-Poetic History of China’s Three Gorges (Columbia University Press, 2019) is a work of considerable historical and disciplinary depth. Byrnes brings together the Tang dynasty poetry of Du Fu, Song travel writing about the same, late Qing cartographic ventures, texts written by Western travelers in the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as contemporary Chinese film and landscape art (among many other sources) to analyze how the Three Gorges region has been written and rewritten. The books’ title, and its critical intervention, turns on the dual meaning of “fixing.” A “fixed” landscape is both a (constructed) space of cultural coherence and a terrain continuously altered to hew to social, political, economic, and even moral demands. By investigating aesthetic forms that seek to represent and mold the Three Gorges, Byrnes investigates how “landscape ideas act materially in the production of space.” The text is rich with sustained close readings of visual and textual landscape aesthetics; such formal analysis is in turn deftly woven into elegant arguments that speak not only to Chinese studies, but disciplines such as media theory and the environmental humanities. I greatly enjoyed our conversation, and the chance to speak to Corey about a book whose first iteration as a graduate project I witnessed in the early days of my own doctorate, an editing process about which you will hear more in the following episode.
    Julia Keblinska is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Center for Historical Research at the Ohio State University specializing in Chinese media history and comparative socialisms.
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  • Postcolonial feminist scholarship on the formation of gender relations primarily uses the analytic of colonizer-colonized dyad. In her new monograph, Gender Politics at Home and Abroad: Protestant Modernity in Colonial-Era Korea (Cambridge UP, 2020), Professor Hyaeweol Choi makes an important intervention by examining colonial Korea to propose a new framework that accounts for transnational encounters between national reformists, missionaries, and colonial authorities. Drawing from both major and minor archives in various geographic sites such as Korea, Japan, the US, Sweden, and Denmark, Choi locates the voices of the educated Korean women whose reform rhetoric and activities reflect transnational encounters. Postcolonial studies have shown us how archives are a contentious, political site with prominent feminist scholar Antoinette Burton pointing out the need to understand the interdependence between discursive visibility of minoritized people and their experiences. Through her research, Choi is able to show how educated women, despite their status as an elite minority, points to the larger structure of patriarchy and how it is constantly contested and reshaped by forces such as the state, ideologies of western domesticity, and religion.
    Gender Politics at Home and Abroad is an important read for scholars and public who are interested in postcolonial feminism, domesticity, transnational history, and colonial modernity. 
    Hyaeweol Choi is a Professor who holds joint appointments with Religious Studies and Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies at the University of Iowa. She is also a C. Maxwell and Elizabeth M. Stanley Family and Korea Foundation Chair in Korean Studies. Her publications include Gender and Mission Encounters in Korea: New Women, Old Ways (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009), New Women in Colonial Korea: A Sourcebook (London: Routledge, 2013), and Gender Politics at Home and Abroad: Protestant Modernity in Colonial-era Korea (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020).
    Da In Ann Choi is a PhD student at UCLA in the Gender Studies department. Her research interests include care labor and migration, reproductive justice, social movement, citizenship theory, and critical empire studies. She can be reached at [email protected]
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  • Political corruption remains … one of the most intriguing and challenging issues in social science research and public policy, perhaps because although it occurs in virtually all polities, its causes, patterns, and consequences often seem unique to each circumstance.
    – Cadres and Corruption by Xiaobo Lu (2000)
    Corruption is rampant in many authoritarian regimes, leading most observers to assume that autocrats have little incentive or ability to curb government wrongdoing. Corruption Control in Authoritarian Regimes – Lessons from East Asia, published by Cambridge University Press in 2022, shows that meaningful anti-corruption efforts by nondemocracies are more common and more often successful than is typically understood. Drawing on wide-ranging analysis of authoritarian anti-corruption efforts globally and in-depth case studies of key countries such as China, South Korea and Taiwan over time, Dr. Carothers constructs an original theory of authoritarian corruption control. He disputes views that hold democratic or quasi-democratic institutions as necessary for political governance successes and argues that corruption control in authoritarian regimes often depends on a powerful autocratic reformer having a free hand to enact and enforce measures curbing government wrongdoing. His book advances our understanding of authoritarian governance and durability while also opening up new avenues of inquiry about the politics of corruption control in East Asia and beyond.
    Christopher Carothers is a scholar of comparative politics and most recently affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Study of Contemporary China as a post-doctoral fellow. Professor Carothers research focuses on authoritarianism and corruption control with a regional focus on East Asia, and has written for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Politics and Society and the Journal of Democracy among others.
    Keith Krueger lectures in the SILC Business School at Shanghai University.
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  • In this account of the rapid erosion of liberties, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and civil and political rights in Hong Kong, Mark L. Clifford's latest book provides an historically in-depth, vivid political analysis of the rapidly changing situation in Hong Kong. When the British ceased its period of colonial rule in 1997, and Hong Kong was returned to the governance of the People's Republic of China, then Chinese Communist Party Leader, Deng Xiaoping promised that Hong Kong would maintain its way of life for the next 50 years. This way of life, the rule of law, and independent judiciary, a democratically elected government, and the sorts of human rights which shape societies in liberal democracies worldwide, were also guaranteed in Hong Kong's mini-constitution - The Basic Law. However, less than halfway through this "One Country, Two Systems" experiment, Hong Kongers rights and freedoms, and its rule of law and the values which have come to form the basis of a unique Hong Konger identity have been crushed.
    Today Hong Kong, Tomorrow the World: What China's Crackdown Reveals about its plans to End Freedom Everywhere (St. Martin's Press, 2022) is hard to put down; It is not just the way that Clifford brings to life the characters and pivotal moments in the rising tide of oppression, but also the implications of the situation in Hong Kong for the rest of the world act as a profound warning. This book is unique for its on the ground analysis and the insight it provides in framing Hong Kong as the geopolitical nexus between libertarian values of the West and Communist China's political system.  
    Mark L. Clifford is the president of the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Hong Kong. A Walter Bagehot Fellow at Columbia University, he lived in Asia from 1987 until 2021. Previously, Clifford was executive director of the Hong Kong-based Asia Business Council, the editor-in-chief of the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), and publisher and editor-in-chief of The Standard (Hong Kong). He held senior editorial positions at BusinessWeek and the Far Eastern Economic Review in Hong Kong and Seoul. He has won numerous academic, book, and journalism awards. He was also on the board of directors of Next Digital; the company that published the pro-democracy newspaper, Apple Daily, before it was forced to shutdown in June 2021. 
    Jane Richards is a doctoral student at the University of Hong Kong. You can find her on twitter where she follows all things related to human rights and Hong Kong politics @JaneRichardsHK
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  • The anti-feminist movement in South Korea is gaining global attention. The story has been covered by many western mainstream news outlets including the New York Times, CNN, and BBC. Is this trend a new trend in South Korea? Where does this anti-feminist idea come from?
    In this episode, we invite Prof. Ju Hui Judy Han and discuss South Korean feminist history and gender politics. We discuss pre- and post-democratization feminist movements, the new president’s worrisome position on gender issues, and predict the future feminist movements in South Korea. We end our conversation with the conclusion that although there have been many obstacles, we cannot overlook the progress at the grassroots level. If you are interested in learning about South Korean feminist history, join Myunghee Lee for this interview with Judy Han.
    This is the second episode in the series. The first episode can be found here.
    About the interviewer
    Myunghee Lee is a Postdoctoral Fellow at NIAS. She also is a Non-resident Fellow at the Center for International Trade and Security at the University of Georgia. Her research focuses on protest, authoritarian politics, and democratization.
    About the speaker
    Ju Hui Judy Han is a cultural geographer and assistant professor in Gender Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She holds a PhD in Geography from the University of California, Berkeley, and has previously taught at the University of Toronto in Canada. Her comics and writings about (im)mobilities, faith-based movements, and queer politics have been published in journals such as The Scholar & Feminist Online, Critical Asian Studies, positions: asia critique, Geoforum, and Journal of Korean Studies as well as in several edited books such as Rights Claiming in South Korea (2021), Digital Lives in the Global City (2020), Ethnographies of U.S. Empire (2018), and Territories of Poverty (2015). She is currently working on a book on “queer throughlines” and co-writing another book on protest cultures.
    The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo.
    We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.
    About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk
    Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: http://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-asia-podcast
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  • How has digital nationalism manifested amid the Covid-19 pandemic in China? How does anti-American sentiment in China feed into the disinformation campaigns in regard to the war on Ukraine? What lessons can we draw from Asian countries' handling of the public health crisis? Florian Schneider, Senior Lecturer in the Politics of Modern China at Leiden University, shares his research on the multiple dimensions of digital nationalism and how it is constructed and manifested in the complexity of digital networks.
    In his conversation with Joanne Kuai, PhD candidate at Karlstad University, Sweden and affiliated PhD at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Florian Schneider talks about the role that digital media plays in the construction of digital nationalism and how the Chinese state's legitimation mechanism could impact the decoupling of realities in China. He also shares insights from his newly co-edited book Public Health in Asia during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Amsterdam University Press, 2022) with lessons to be learned from how the Asian countries responded to the public health crisis.
    Florian Schneider is a Senior Lecturer in the Politics of Modern China at Leiden University and the director of the Leiden Asia Centre. He is the managing editor of the academic journal Asiascape: Digital Asia, and the author of Staging China: The Politics of Mass Spectacle (Leiden University Press, 2019) and China's Digital Nationalism (Oxford University Press, 2018).
    The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, and Asianettverket at the University of Oslo. We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.
    About NIAS: www.nias.ku.dk
    Transcripts of the Nordic Asia Podcasts: http://www.nias.ku.dk/nordic-asia-podcast
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  • Collaborative Damage: An Experimental Ethnography of Chinese Globalization (Cornell UP, 2022) is an experimental ethnography of Chinese globalization that compares data from two frontlines of China's global intervention—sub-Saharan Africa and Inner/Central Asia. Based on their fieldwork on Chinese infrastructure and resource-extraction projects in Mozambique and Mongolia, Mikkel Bunkenborg, Morten Nielsen, and Morten Axel Pedersen provide new empirical insights into neocolonialism and Sinophobia in the Global South.
    The core argument in Collaborative Damage is that the different participants studied in the globalization processes—local workers and cadres; Chinese managers and entrepreneurs; and the authors themselves, three Danish anthropologists—are intimately linked in paradoxical partnerships of mutual incomprehension. The authors call this "collaborative damage," which crucially refers not only to the misunderstandings and conflicts they observed in the field, but also to their own failure to agree about how to interpret the data. Via in-depth case studies and tragicomical tales of friendship, antagonism, irresolvable differences, and carefully maintained indifferences across disparate Sino-local worlds in Africa and Asia, Collaborative Damage tells a wide-ranging story of Chinese globalization in the twenty-first century.
    Adam Bobeck is a PhD candidate in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Leipzig. His PhD is entitled “Object-Oriented Azadari: Shi’i Muslim Rituals and Ontology”. For more about his work, see www.adambobeck.com.
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  • Present-day relations between ‘the West’ and each of China, Russia and North Korea are often fractious to say the least, yet today’s global atmosphere of menace or crisis just as often has to do with history as it does with contemporary disagreements. All states of course seek ‘usable pasts’ which may or may not be in conflict with one another, but as Katie Stallard shows in Dancing on Bones, leaders in each of Beijing, Moscow and Pyongyang have of late gone to particularly great lengths to shape historical narratives which justify their grip on power.
    Drawing on years of on-the-ground reporting and research in each of these three critically important countries, Stallard mixes analysis of political and historical events with first-hand interviews and reportage to offer a vivid sense of how history is put to ever-changing uses and why this matters. Accessibly written and richly referenced, Dancing on Bones: History and Power in China, Russia and North Korea (Oxford UP, 2022),sheds compelling light on often-under-considered connections between three countries which share much beyond their status as perceived ‘revisionist’ powers.
    Ed Pulford is a Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Manchester. His research focuses on friendships and histories between the Chinese, Korean and Russian worlds, and indigeneity in northeast Asia.
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  • In this timely book, award-winning journalist and longtime Hong Konger, Louisa Lim, weaves together Hong Kong's fraught political and social history with her own first hand account of the spirit of an indelible city. In her latest book, Indelible City: Dispossession and Defiance in Hong Kong, published by Riverhead Books in April 2022, Lim reflects on attempts at the erosion of Hong Kong identity, to be replaced with a future that Beijing seeks to impose. Since the British takeover in 1842, through to the tumultuous period of political upheaval to 2020,  Lim weaves the personal stories of local Hong Kongers to provide an authentic, textured account of a place, its people and a spirit which continues to endure. 
    Long-time Hong Konger Lousia Lim is a Senior Lecturer in audio-visual journalism, culture and communication at The University of Melbourne. She spent many years as a journalist in Hong Kong and China. Her first book, The People's Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited, was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Political Writing and the Helen Bernstein Prize for Excellence in Journalism. She co-hosts The Little Red Podcast, an award-winning podcast on China. 
    Jane Richards is a doctoral student at the University of Hong Kong. You can find her on twitter where she follows all things related to human rights and Hong Kong politics @JaneRichardsHK
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  • Yi’s eyes soften as he watches Jiazhi sing a Chinese folk song with subtle, feminine movements in the film, Lust, Caution. The room fills with laughter when Ali Wong unabashedly enacts her vulgar, bodily desires. What is the affect created through these performances? At different localities and temporalities, an actress and a comedian Tang Wei and Ali Wong embody ever-failing meaning of Chineseness, offering themselves for consumption and survival.
    In Vulgar Beauty: Acting Chinese in the Global Sensorium (Duke UP, 2022), Mila Zuo re-evaluates beauty to understand how it creates a feeling Chineseness, engendering a messy world of relationalities that challenge a stable binary of national identity. Using weidao, which escapes meaning in English as flavor and style of a person, object, or environment, Zuo challenges the Cartesian epistemology dividing mind/body and vision/hearing. Through in-depth analysis of films and shows, Zuo asks how five flavors of Chinese medicine, “bitter, salty, pungent, sweet, and sour” become “modalities of vulgar beauty” (33). Vulgar, often tied to the non-western and working-class bodies, becomes a means to complicate the relations between objecthood and subjecthood embodied in Chinese beauty.
    This beautifully written and theoretically rich book will be helpful resource for any scholars and public interested in film and media studies, Asian American studies, object studies, and gender studies. 
    Mila Zuo is an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre and Film at UBC. Her first book Vulgar Beauty: Acting Chinese in the Global Sensorium (Duke University Press, 2022) focuses on the affective racialization of Chinese women film stars, demonstrating the ways which vulgar, flavourful beauty disrupts Western and colonial notions of beauty. In addition to scholarship, Zuo directs and writes narrative films, visual essays, documentaries and music videos. Her short films have screened in international film festivals and universities, including Carnal Orient (2016) which premiered at Slamdance Film Festival, and her short narrative film Kin (2021), which was the recipient of the 2019 Oregon Media Arts Fellowship, and screened at HollyShorts Film Festival.
    Da In Ann Choi is a PhD student at UCLA in the Gender Studies department. Her research interests include care labor and migration, reproductive justice, social movement, citizenship theory, and critical empire studies. She can be reached at [email protected]
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  • A Bowl for a Coin: A Commodity History of Japanese Tea (U Hawaii Press, 2019) is the first book in any language to describe and analyze the history of all Japanese teas from the plant’s introduction to the archipelago around 750 to the present day. To understand the triumph of the tea plant in Japan, William Wayne Farris begins with its cultivation and goes on to describe the myriad ways in which the herb was processed into a palatable beverage, ultimately resulting in the wide variety of teas we enjoy today. Along the way, he traces in fascinating detail the shift in tea’s status from exotic gift item from China, tied to Heian (794–1185) court ritual and medicinal uses, to tax and commodity for exchange in the 1350s, to its complete nativization in Edo (1603–1868) art and literature and its eventual place on the table of every Japanese household. Farris maintains that the increasing sophistication of Japanese agriculture after 1350 is exemplified by tea farming, which became so advanced that Meiji (1868–1912) entrepreneurs were able to export significant amounts of Japanese tea to Euro-American markets. This in turn provided the much-needed foreign capital necessary to help secure Japan a place among the world’s industrialized nations. 
    Tea also had a hand in initiating Japan’s “industrious revolution”: From 1400, tea was being drunk in larger quantities by commoners as well as elites, and the stimulating, habit-forming beverage made it possible for laborers to apply handicraft skills in a meticulous, efficient, and prolonged manner. In addition to aiding in the protoindustrialization of Japan by 1800, tea had by that time become a central commodity in the formation of a burgeoning consumer society. The demand-pull of tea consumption necessitated even greater production into the postwar period—and this despite challenges posed to the industry by consumers’ growing taste for coffee. A Bowl for a Coin makes a convincing case for how tea—an age-old drink that continues to adapt itself to changing tastes in Japan and the world—can serve as a broad lens through which to view the development of Japanese society over many centuries.
    Jingyi Li is a PhD Candidate in Japanese History at the University of Arizona. She researches about early modern Japan, literati, and commercial publishing.
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  • Ban Wang's book China in the World: Culture, Politics, and World Vision (Duke University Press, 2022), traces the evolution of modern China from the late nineteenth century to the present. With a focus on tensions and connections between national formation and international outlooks, Wang shows how ancient visions persist even as China has adopted and revised the Western nation-state form. The concept of tianxia, meaning “all under heaven,” has constantly been updated into modern outlooks that value unity, equality, and reciprocity as key to overcoming interstate conflict, social fragmentation, and ethnic divides. Instead of geopolitical dominance, China’s worldviews stem as much from the age-old desire for world unity as from absorbing the Western ideas of the Enlightenment, humanism, and socialism. Examining political writings, literature, and film, Wang presents a narrative of the country’s pursuits of decolonization, national independence, notions of national form, socialist internationalism, alternative development, and solidarity with Third World nations. Rather than national exceptionalism, Chinese worldviews aspire to a shared, integrated, and equal world.
    Ban Wang is the William Haas Endowed Chair Professor in Chinese Studies in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and Comparative Literature at Stanford University. His major publications include The Sublime Figure of History: Aesthetics and Politics in Twentieth-Century China (Stanford UP 1997), Illuminations from the Past (Stanford UP 2004), History and Memory (in Chinese, Oxford UP, 2004), and Narrative Perspective and Irony in Chinese and American Fiction (2002). He edited Words and Their Stories: Essays on the Language of the Chinese Revolution (Brill, 2010); Chinese Visions of World Order (Duke UP 2017). He co-edited Trauma and Cinema (Hong Kong UP, 2004), The Image of China in the American Classroom (Nanjing UP, 2005), China and New Left Visions (Lexington, 2012), and Debating Socialist Legacy in China (Palgrave, 2014).
    Linshan Jiang is Ph.D. candidate in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research interests are modern and contemporary literature, film, and popular culture in mainland China, Taiwan and Japan; trauma and memory studies; gender and sexuality studies; queer studies; as well as comparative literature and translation studies.
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  • In this timely and insightful new book, Markus Bell presents the case study of Korean-Japanese – “Zainichi” – who have escaped North Korea in the years following the end of the Cold War. Through building alliances and long-distance relationships, Zainichi returnees resist forced integration and push back against life-threatening political purges to forge new ways of belonging and, ultimately, surviving against the odds. Outsiders: Memories of Migration to and From North Korea (Berghahn, 2022) is the story of Korean families who, despite experiencing loss, trauma and dislocation, manage to remake themselves in the process of transplanting their lives.
    Dr. Markus Bell is an anthropologist specializing in forced migration and labour migration, with over a decade of experience working with displaced people and migrant workers in the Asia Pacific region. He has taught at the Australian National University, University of Sheffield, and Goethe University, Frankfurt. He earned his PhD from the Australian National University in 2016. He works as a long-term consultant for the United Nations International Organisation for Migration, and is also a Research Fellow at La Trobe University, Melbourne. Tweets @mpsbell
    Lamis Abdelaaty is an assistant professor of political science at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. She is the author of Discrimination and Delegation: Explaining State Responses to Refugees (Oxford University Press, 2021). Email her comments at [email protected] or tweet to @LAbdelaaty.
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