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, online environment. On campus, light refreshments are provided at these noon talks, and guests are welcome to bring their own snacks or lunch.
As the first English-language history of dance in the People’s Republic of China, it previously unexamined dance films, a wide range of Chinese-language published and archival materials, and ethnographic field research to analyze the work of major Chinese choreographers from 1935 to 2015. Wilcox challenges the previously held view that Soviet ballet was the primary transnational force shaping China’s socialist dance creation, instead showing the impact of a broader range of intercultural connections, from Trinidad and London to North Korea and Uzbekistan. She shows the important role that ethnic minority and diaspora artists played in twentieth-century Chinese dance history and demonstrates continuities and changes from the early socialist period to new choreography that has emerged in the past two decades. A central argument of the book is that socialist dance experiments laid the basis for what is today known around the world as “Chinese Dance.”
Emily Wilcox is Associate Professor of Chinese Studies in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at William & Mary. Wilcox previously taught at the University of Michigan from 2013 to 2020, where she served most recently as Associate Professor of Modern Chinese Studies, Director of Graduate Studies, and Associate Chair of the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures. Wilcox is a specialist in Chinese cultural studies and history, with a focus on dance and performance in the People’s Republic of China. She is the author of Revolutionary Bodies: Chinese Dance and the Socialist Legacy (University of California Press 2019) and co-editor of Corporeal Politics: Dancing East Asia (University of Michigan Press 2020). She is co-creator of the digital image collection Pioneers of Chinese Dance and co-curator of the 2017 exhibition “Chinese Dance: National Movements in a Revolutionary Age, 1945-1965.” Wilcox has given lectures around the world and has published more than twenty academic articles and book chapters, in both English and Chinese, on Asian dance and performance.
During the Pacific War, more than 200,000 Korean girls were forced into sexual servitude for Japanese soldiers. They lived in horrific conditions in “comfort stations” across Japanese-occupied territories. Barely 10 percent survived to return to Korea, where they lived as social outcasts. Since then, self-declared comfort women have come forward only to have their testimonies and calls for compensation largely denied by the Japanese government.
Kim Soom tells the story of a woman who was kidnapped at the age of thirteen while gathering snails for her starving family. The horrors of her life as a sex slave follow her back to Korea, where she lives in isolation gripped by the fear that her past will be discovered. Yet, when she learns that the last known comfort woman is dying, she decides to tell her there will still be “one left” after her passing, and embarks on a painful journey.
One Leftis a provocative, extensively researched novel constructed from the testimonies of dozens of comfort women. The first Korean novel devoted to this subject, it rekindled conversations about comfort women as well as the violent legacies of Japanese colonialism. This first-ever English translation recovers the overlooked and disavowed stories of Korea’s most marginalized women.
This book is written accessibly and with students in mind—makingOne Leftan ideal complement to courses on Asian studies, literature, and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies.
This talk offers a comparative close reading of Disney’s animated film Mulan (1998) and its 2020 eponymous live-action remake. Departing from the common perception that the live-action Mulan is simply an “Orientalist distortion” of the Chinese legend, the talk closely examines where the remake breaks free from and where it still embraces the animation’s cultural appropriation of China. In doing so, the talk demonstrates how the remake makes a commendable yet compromised feminist intervention into both the millennium-long legend and Disney’s cultural imagination.
Zhuoyi Wang received his doctorate in comparative literature from the University of Washington at Seattle. He is an Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures at Hamilton College, the author of Revolutionary Cycles in Chinese Cinema, 1951-1979, and a co-editor of Maoist Laughter. He has published in journals such as Arts, Chinese Literature Today, Journal of Chinese Cinemas, China Review International, Cinema and TV Culture, Literature and Art Studies, Journal of Beijing Film Academy, and Phoenix Weekly. He has given over 70 invited talks on various topics about his main research interest, comparative study of Chinese language and Hollywood cinemas, at educational and research institutions in the US, mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
China’s grand strategy in the Xi Jinping era, though clearly distinctive, is not a fundamental departure from that of his predecessors in the post-Cold War years. Each embraced a grand strategy aiming to accomplish what is now labeled “rejuvenation.” Xi’s approach, however, has entailed a bolder foreign policy and has triggered reactions that cast doubt on the prospects for realizing the goal of rejuvenation.
Avery Goldsteinis the David M. Knott Professor of Global Politics and International Relations in the Department of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. His research addresses international relations, security studies, and Chinese politics.
Where should we locate the origins of modern Korea’s environmental problems? How should we organize and narrate the events, occurrences and entities of environmental history in Korea? Many assume that environmental issues emerged in the 1960s when heavy industrialization visibly started to pollute air and water in the urban. This presentation, however, traces the origins of environmental issues in the late nineteenth century with the modernization of agriculture and an assault against soil. Going beyond the simplistic binary of the exploitative cities (and industrialists) vs. exploited agrarian areas (and farmers), this presentation illuminates how the modern destruction of soil set the stage for what came to be identified as a period of environmental destruction since the 1960s. Overall, this presentation calls for spatially re-conceptualizing “environmental problems” and using the paradigm of “everyday ecology” to shift a focus from industrialization in cities to agriculture and the rural in writing a critical environmental history on the relationship between power and ecology. .
Albert Park is the Bank of America Associate Professor of Pacific Basin Studies in the Department of History at Claremont McKenna College (The Claremont Colleges).
This event is brought to you by the Institute for Korean Studies co-sponsored by the East Asian Studies Center.
Co-sponsored by the Tang Center for Early China. Click to see the flyer here!
Texts and archaeological finds offer complementary evidence for the study of ancient China; for that reason, they are often considered in conjunction. But the study of these two bodies of material requires different methods and skills, and their integration is often problematic.Even when texts and archaeology seem to agree, closer analysis may show subtle inconsistencies; rather than explaining them away, researchers should sound them out carefully as this will offer opportunities for an improved understanding of both kinds of evidence.This lecture focuses on one example for such an investigation: the constellation of Zhou-period (ca. 1046-256 BC) ritual vessels and bells as discussed in ritual texts and revealed by archaeological excavations.
Lothar von Falkenhausenis Distinguished Professor of Chinese Archaeology and Art History at UCLA and Changjiang Visiting Professor at Xibei University (Xi’an, China). Educated at Bonn, Peking, Kyoto, and Harvard Universities, he received his PhD in anthropology from Harvard in 1988. His research concerns the archaeology of the Chinese Bronze Age and related topics. He has published extensively on method and theory in East Asian archaeology. He is currently working on a monograph that will foreground the archaeological evidence for economic developments in 1st-millennium BC China, a sequel to his award-winning Chinese Society in the Age of Confucius (Los Angeles, 2006). Falkenhausen is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the American Philosophical Society, and a Full Member of the German Archaeological Institute.
Stitching the 24-Hour City reveals the intense speed of garment production and everyday life in Dongdaemun, a lively market in Seoul, South Korea. Once the site of uprisings against oppressive working conditions in the 1970s and 80s, Dongdaemun has now become iconic for its creative economy, nightlife, and fast-fashion factories, and shopping plazas. Seo Young Park follows the work of people who witnessed and experienced the rapidly changing marketplace from the inside. Through this approach, Park examines the meanings and politics of work, focusing on what it takes for people to enable speedy production and circulation and also how they incorporate the critique of speed in the ways they make sense of their own work.
The talk provides in-depth ethnographic accounts of the garment designers, workers, and traders who sustain the extraordinary speed of fast fashion production and circulation, as well as the labor activists who challenge it. Attending to their narratives and practices of work, Park argues that speed is, rather than a singular drive of acceleration, an entanglement of uneven paces and cycles of life, labor, the market, and the city itself. Stitching the 24-Hour City exposes the understudied experiences with Dongdaemun fast fashion, peeling back layers of temporal politics of labor and urban space to record the human source of the speed that characterizes the never-ending movement of the twenty-four-hour city.
Seo Young Park is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Scripps College.
This event is brought to you by the Institute for Korean Studies and co-sponsored by the East Asian Studies Center.
Kwanghwamun Square as the Commons: On the Sewol Occupy Movement
The poignant expressions—“We are all the Sewŏl ferry” and “We are all sunken deep under the sea”—characterize the Sewŏl ferry incident as a metonym of the collective death under the capitalist democracy in South Korea. This talk focuses on the five-year-long occupy struggle to uncover the truth of the disaster in Kwanghwamun Square, Seoul, especially the Yellow Ribbon Workshop and its pursued autonomy from the 416 United that oversaw the occupy site. I conceptualize the workshop’s hand-making and free-sharing of yellow ribbons—the symbol of the disaster—as aplaythat breaks the dictatorship of consumption and organizes a new social life. In critique of the statist-juridical order, workshop participants take on a rhizomatic character, such as indiscipline, non-cumulative relationship, and cellular participation. I contrast this play with the dark tourism, while interpreting it as an alternative to the proliferating healing industries and cultures.
Hyun Ok Parkis a Professor in the Department of Sociology at York University.
This event is brought to you by the Institute for Korean Studies and co-sponsored by the East Asian Studies Center.
This lecture is co-sponsored by IU's Islamic Studies Program.
Ming-Qing Neo-Confucian orthodoxy, stressing genealogy, rituals of family solidarity, and moral-textual preparation for the civil service examinations, enshrined conservative values such as loyalty and obedience to established authority (忠) and filial devotion (孝) as the necessary foundations of a stable social order. Ma Zhu, a late 17th century Yunnanese literatus studying in Beijing, responded with a delicate simultaneity in the “Loyalty and Filiality” chapter of his Compass of Islam (Qingzhen zhinan). Citing conventional Islamic and Chinese sources, he told exemplary stories and praised God’s revelations and omnipotence, combining ethical systems he perceived as entirely compatible. This talk focuses on the evidence Ma Zhu presented to reconcile Islamic and Chinese justifications of loyalty and filiality while reiterating the Islamic God’s power and uniqueness.
Johnathan Lipman was trained as an historian of early modern and modern China at Stanford. He has served on the faculty of Mount Holyoke College from 1977 to 2015, holding the Felicia Gressitt Bock Chair in Asian Studies. He has also taught at Doshisha University, Quest University (Canada), Oregon State University, Yale, Harvard, and the University of Washington. Prof. Lipman’s research deals primarily with the long-term residence and acculturation of Muslims in China. Author of Familiar Strangers: A History of Muslims in Northwest China, he also edited Islamic Thought in China (2016), co-edited Violence in China: Essays in Culture and Counterculture (1990) and Islam and Chinese Society: Genealogies, Lineage, and Local Communities (2020), and co-wrote, Modern East Asia: An Integrated History (2011). His current research focuses on the life and thought of Ma Zhu (馬注), a Yunnanese Muslim scholar of the early Qing period, author of a Chinese-language introduction to Islam (清真指南) still in print 300 years after its composition.