Colloquium Series

The East Asian Studies Center’s Colloquium Series at Indiana University Bloomington brings together faculty from IU and other institutions to share current research with colleagues, students, and the general public in a relaxed environment. Light refreshments are generally provided at these noon talks, and guests are welcome to bring their own snacks or lunch.

*Also included below are the lectures from the Institute for Korean Studies Lecture Series (IKS). This semester's IKS colloquium theme is Grassroots Korea.

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Fall 2022 - Cities!

In this series we will explore different cities throughout East Asia, some solely historical and some thriving in the present day. Speakers from different regions will talk about how cities were shaped by politics and government while in turn shaping the inhabitants that called the city home and how these cities and their memory have shaped their future and the future of other urban centers in their country. 

Speaker: Manling Luo (Indiana University Bloomington)

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"Purifying Blood: Scientific Surveys and Medical Definitions of "Mixed-Blood" Koreans" by Inga Diederich (Colby College)

From the IKS Events page: This presentation examines the medico-scientific construction of “mixed-blood” as a legible racial category in Cold War South Korea to understand how scientists and doctors worked to create a normative “pure-blood” national subject on the one hand, while marginalizing racially and sexually “impure-bloods” on the other. Born from the post-war US military occupation of South Korea, Amerasian “mixed-blood (honhyǒl)” children threatened a postcolonial commitment to ethnic homogeneity that was championed by scientists intent on isolating “Korean blood” by biologically defining, medically pathologizing, and legally disowning “mixed-bloods.” “Purifying Blood” explores the interconnected racial projects of making “pure-Koreans” and “mixed-Koreans” during the Cold War decades in which American military personnel and their progeny transformed from a temporary exigency to a permanent fixture on the peninsula. By concentrating on medico-scientific experiments and surveys conducted on Amerasian children at orphanages, segregated “mixed-blood” schools, and criminal detention centers, it demonstrates how serological, physiognomic, and pathological studies worked in concert with legal rubrics of citizenship and national belonging to define and exclude these proximate racial others from the putatively homogenous national body. In so doing, it integrates and expands on scholarship in Korean Studies and Science Studies that have respectively illuminated the rise of ethnonationalism in modern Korean identity and the role of race science in postcolonial nation-building. A mixed-race-centered narrative of South Korea’s Cold War pursuit of scientific modernity reveals how pathologizing “mixed-bloods” proliferated newly biologized understandings of South Korea as a “pure-blood” nation that continue to resonate in state policies and personal relations today.

 

GA 2067 and via zoom

****CANCELLED DUE TO HURRICANES ON EAST COAST****

 

See the flyer here!

ABSTRACT

The Japanese provincial city of Ichijōdani was destroyed in the civil wars of the late sixteenth century but never rebuilt. Archaeological excavations have since uncovered the most detailed late medieval urban site in the country. Drawing on analysis of specific excavated objects and decades of archaeological evidence to study daily life in Ichijōdani, in this talk Morgan Pitelka will present the city’s layout, the possessions and houses of its residents, its politics and experience of war, and its religious and cultural networks. Methodologically, the presentation will spotlight the power of material culture as a historical source, and highlight what archaeological excavations can and can’t tell us about history. The presentation will also review the destruction of the city in 1573 in the context of Japan’s momentous “age of unification,” and challenge the representation of this historic shift in our larger understanding of the Japanese past.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Morgan Pitelka received his B.A. in East Asian Studies with honors from Oberlin College and his Ph.D. in East Asian Studies from Princeton University. Before joining the faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill (2010-present), he taught at Occidental College (2002-2010). His scholarship focuses on the history of late medieval and early modern Japan, with an emphasis on the samurai, tea culture, ceramics, cities, and material culture. His new project is an environmental history of Kyoto.

 

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"Working Women and Young Industrial Warriors: Daily Life and Daily Work in 1940s Pusan" by Hannah Shepherd (Yale University)

From the IKS Events page: 1940s Pusan was both a funnel for mobilized and later forced Korean labor, as well as a regional centre of industry itself. Its industries increasingly relied on the mobilization of women and students to replace male Korean workers sent to the Japanese home islands. The Pusan employment office (shokugyō shōkaijō), as well as coordinating the movement of laborers from Korea to the metropole, was also responsible for facilitating student “labor service,” (kinrō hōshi) apprenticeships, and employment. After the office’s nationalization in 1940, they began placements of graduates of the city’s elementary schools as “young industrial warriors” in the city’s shops and factories. The employment office also hoped to increase the number of working women in the city, holding a roundtable on the subject featuring Japanese and Korean women in September 1941. This talk looks at two sources produced by the employment office which feature the voices of ‘ordinary’ women and children, both Japanese and Korean, and uses them to ask questions about how historians can use such sources to reconstruct the personal histories and ordinary lives of people and the spaces they inhabited.

How should we approach these rare voices from within the colonial archive? What is the historical value of these personal histories and the worlds they allow us access to? Finally, what can we learn by reading “with” the archive as well as against it?

 

GA 2067 and via zoom

See the flyer here!

ABSTRACT

As the capital of the Western Han (202BCE-8CE), the Sui (581-618), and the Tang (618-907) dynasties, Chang’an was the heart of China’s early and medieval empires. But the fall of the Tang spelt the end of Chang’an’s life as the imperial capital. This post-capital period in the history of Chang’an has largely been ignored by scholars. As I show in this lecture, however, Chang’an did not slide into irrelevance. Using a wide array of sources including Song-dynasty gazetteers, Jin-dynasty stone inscriptions, and Yuan-dynasty maps alongside modern archaeological data, this lecture tells the story of the rebirth of a provincial city in the ruins of the imperial capital: A local warlord Han Jian (855–912), followed by generations of Song officials, repurposed the part of the city that housed the Tang imperial bureaucracy into a new city, about one sixteenth the size of Tang Chang’an. Subsequently, Tang walls and canals were reconstructed and redirected; stones and stelae were discarded or reused; monasteries and pagodas were selectively preserved. At the same time, new institutions such as Mosques and new population groups like the Quanzhen Daoists entered the city. The Song-Jin and then Jin-Mongol wars also rendered Chang’an into a center of military action and encouraged innovative fortification projects. By uncovering the urban history of post-capital Chang’an, this lecture shows that a comprehensive picture of Chinese urban history should not be limited to the southern and eastern cities, but should pay equal attention to the dynamic urban life that persisted in northern and northwestern China.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Xin Wen is a historian of medieval China and Inner Asia. He is an Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies and History at Princeton University. He received his PhD from the Committee on Inner Asian and Altaic Studies at Harvard University in 2017. His first monograph The King’s Road: Diplomacy and the Remaking of the Silk Road (forthcoming, Princeton University Press, January 2023) offers a new interpretation of the history of the Silk Road, emphasizing its importance as a diplomatic route, rather than a commercial one. Now he is working on his second book project titled Whale Fall: The Death and Rebirth of China’s Eternal Capital that investigates the dynamic urban life in and the lasting cultural significance of Chang’an in the five centuries after the fall of the Tang dynasty.

 

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Past Speakers

Theme: Social Protest In East Asia

How are social protests organized, and what are the historical, political, and cultural conditions that shape counter-hegemonic practices? How can we characterize the dialectic between representation and participation in social movements? And what are the cultural vehicles of protest that animate expressions of dissent and facilitate the mobilization of people? Although constituents such as “the masses/crowd” or “the people” have time and again been construed as privileged categories of resistance, social protests also happen outside the domain of the collective. Are mass protests a type of “weapons of the weak” or does such a characterization run the risk of ignoring or minimizing the hierarchies and pressures within that are also exerting control over the individuals? And what are the social dynamics that prevent practices of dissent from devolving into mob justice and uncontrolled vandalism? In this series we will explore different types of social protests in East Asia, some historical and some in the present day. Speakers from different regions and diverse disciplines will talk about how social movements gave voices to the marginalized, and how political legacies of the past are appropriated, reconfigured, and contested in protest practices of the present—both locally and cross-regionally.

  • Gardner Bovingdon (Indiana University Bloomington)
  • Ross King (University of British Columbia)*
  • Heng Du, (University of Arizona)+
  • Nick Kapur (Rutgers University - Camden)
  • Ho-fung Hung (Johns Hopkins University)
  • Hyaeweol Choi (University of Iowa)*
  • Hilary Finchum-Sung (Association for Asian Studies)*
  • Xiaofei Tian (Harvard University)+
  • Susan Hwang (Indiana University)

 

+ On Altars of Soil series
* Institute for Korean Studies

Theme: Indigenous East Asia

In traditional textbooks, we rarely hear about the history, languages and cultures of the many indigenous people and other ethnic minorities who live or have lived in East Asia. From the Ainu in Northern Japan to the Truku and Sediq in the highlands of Taiwan and the large Uighur and Tibetan minorities in China and many others, ethnic minorities and indigenous people have strived to protect their rich heritages and linguistic characteristics against colonial powers, expanding nation states, as well as the homogenization of globalization. EASC’s speaker series “Indigenous East Asia” this fall aims at giving voice to these people and placing them back on the map of East Asian civilizations. The series features scholars from various fields of linguistics, anthropology, history, and social science who all in different ways discuss the challenges and possibilities that face East Asian indigenous people in the twenty-first century and place them in their deep historical and cultural contexts. The series thereby addresses larger issues of identity formation, social agency, cultural resilience, and ethnicity in global and national policies.

  • Nozomi Tanaka (Indiana University Bloomington)
  • Robert Tierney (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
  • Sarah Allan (Darthmouth College) +
  • Kyoium Yun (University of Kansas) *
  • Nick Vogt (Indiana University Bloomington) +
  • Michael Brose (Indiana University Bloomington)
  • Jin Y Park (American University) *
  • Elizabeth Berger (University of California, Riverside) +
  • Scott Simon (University of Ottawa)
  • Guolong Lai (University of Florida) +
  • Eveline Washul (Indiana University Bloomington)
  • Roslynn Ang (NYU Shanghai)
  • Glenda Chao (Ursinus College) +

 

+ On Altars of Soil series
* Institute for Korean Studies

  • Emily Wilcox (William & Mary)
  • Bruce Fulton (University of British Columbia) and Ju-Chan Fulton (translator of Korean literature) 
  • Zhuoyi Wang (Hamilton College)
  • Avery Goldstein (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Lothar von Falkenhausen (UCLA)
  • Seo Young Park (Scripps College)
  • Hyun Ok Park (York University)
  • Jue Guo (Barnard College)
  • William H. Nienauser Jr. (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Johnathan Lipman (Stanford)

  • Paul Chang (Harvard University)
  • Yonjoo Cho (University of Texas at Tyler)
  • Gordon Matthews (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
  • Sheena Greitens (University of Texas at Austin)
  • Jessica Li (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)
  • Dorthea Mladenova (Leipzig University)
  • Nozomi Tanaka (Indiana University)
  • Wenhao Diao (University of Arizona)
  • Dominic Meng-Hsuan Yang (University of Missouri)
  • Minjeong Kim (San Diego State University)
  • Eunsil Oh (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

  • Hilary Finchum-Sung (Seoul National University)
  • Darcy Paquet (Indiana University)
  • Jessica Li (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)
  • Yonjoo Cho (Indiana University)
  • Wenhao Diao (University of Arizona)

  • Levi McLaughlin (North Carolina State University)
  • Yoshihisa Kitagawa (Indiana University)
  • Kazuyo Nakamura (Indiana University)
  • Ping Li (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)
  • Agnes Sohn Jordan (Indiana University)
  • Heather Blair (Indiana University)
  • Byungdae Kim (Korean Ministry of Unification)
  • Jungwon Kim (Columbia University)

  • Pil Ho Kim (Ohio State University)
  • Ke-chin Hsia & Fei Hsien Wang (Indiana University)
  • Margaret Tillman (Purdue University)
  • Misumi Sadler (University of Illinois)
  • Sheldon Garon (Princeton University)
  • Ria Chae (Indiana University)
  • Ming-Chen Lo (University of California, Davis)
  • Tim Gitzen (Indiana University)
  • James Anderson (University of North Carolina)
  • Terry Jackson (Adrian College)

  • Nan Kim (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
  • Lynn Struve (Indiana University)
  • Roald Maliangkay (Australia National University)
  • Young-Key Kim-Renaud (George Washington University)
  • Xiaoqing Diana Lin (Indiana University-Northwest)
  • Ding Xiang Warner (Cornell University)

  • Hae Yeon Choo (University of Toronto)
  • Christine Marran (University of Minnesota)
  • Todd Henry (University of California, San Diego)
  • Sally Hastings (Purdue University)
  • Jisoo Kim (George Washington University)
  • Edith Sarra (Indiana University)
  • Ken Liu (author)
  • Jessey J.C. Choo (Syracuse University)

  • Guojun Wang (Vanderbilt University)
  • Timothy Rich (Western Kentucky University)
  • Awi Mona (National Taiwan University & National Dong Hwa University)
  • Roderick Wilson (University of Illinois)
  • Eunjung Kim (Syracuse University)