UCLA at the 2005 Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting
UCLA students, graduates, and faculty present their research in Chicago on March 31-April 3, 2005.
Below we present abstracts of the papers presented by and the panels organized by members of the UCLA Asian Studies family.
More information about the AAS and its annual meeting is available at aasianst.org. The 2005 meeting will be held in Chicago on March 31-April 3, 2005. If you would like to learn more about past AAS Conferences, please visit http://www.international.ucla.edu/asia/article.asp? parentid=8204 for the 2003 AAS Conference in New York or http://international.ucla.edu/asia/article.asp?parentid=3469 for the last year's AAS Conference held in San Diego.
Joel Andreas, Johns Hopkins University
Eileen J. Cheng, Pomona College
Kristine Dennehy, California State University, Fullerton
David S Diffrient
Dongping Han, Warren Wilson College
Richard D. McBride, II, Washington University, St. Louis
Sung Deuk Oak
Mario Poceski, University of Florida
Bruce Rusk, Stanford University
Nhung Tuyet Tran, University of Toronto
Patrick R. Uhlmann
Robert E. Buswell
Eugenia Y. Lean, Columbia University
Eleanor T. Lipat
Hiromi Mizuno, University of Minnesota.
Richard von Glahn
Andrew H. Wedeman, University of Nebraska
R. Bin Wong
Angela Zito, New York University
Windfalls and Pitfalls: The Use of Digitized Source Material in the Study of Asian Buddhism
Organizer, Chair, and Discussant: Morten Schlütter, University of Iowa
In recent years the availability of digital primary sources and other digitized resources has had an ever-increasing impact on Asian Buddhist studies. New digital materials are constantly appearing and more and more scholars are turning to these resources, in many ways transforming the kind of research that is being carried out. In this panel, an international group of scholars will discuss various recently digitized resources and raise a number of questions and issues regarding how these sources are conceived, produced and used.
There is almost universal agreement that the use of digitized source materials can enhance scholarship, but the problems that might arise with their use remain largely unexamined. For example, we need to ask whether the use of digitized materials changes the kind of questions we ask in our research, or even if it limits scholarly inquiry in some way. Also, production and publication of digitized sources have usually not been subject to the review and quality control process that scholarly publications normally go through. Even so, they are often received uncritically by the academic community. The panel seeks to begin a conversation about the impact of the availability and use of digitized sources in the study of Asian Buddhism, and hopes to encourage greater scholarly reflection on digitization in Asian studies in general. The presentations will be kept short to allow extensive audience participation and the papers will be made available before the meeting, announced on the appropriate online discussion groups.
The Digital Tripitaka Koreana 2004
Jongmyung Kim, Youngsan University
In this presentation I will discuss an important new research tool, the Digital Tripitaka Koreana 2004 (hereafter, TK 2004), which will be published in July 2004 by the Research Institute of the Tripitaka Koreana. This is a digitized edition of the unique Korean Buddhist canon, originally published in 1236–1251. The TK 2004 consists of two CD-ROMs: the first is for public use and includes a program CD, the TK, and the Japanese Taisho edition of the Buddhist canon (hereafter, T); and the second is aimed at specialists and contains the TK, the T, and several additional research tools, such as the Koryo Taejangyong Electronic Dictionary of Buddhist Terms, the Electronic Dictionary of Chinese Characters, and the Dictionary of Concise Chinese Characters. Along with the TK 2004, the Dictionary of Variant Chinese Characters in the TK will be published. In it, over 70,000 variant Chinese characters that do not appear in standard Chinese character dictionaries are included. Furthermore, the Comparative Analysis of the Tripitaka Koreana, which notes all differences in texts common to the TK and the T, will soon be published. Finally, the unified Tripitaka project, which will include punctuated digitized versions of the TK and the T, as well as Buddhist texts in Sanskrit, Pali, and Tibetan, will be completed in 2005. In this paper, I will present an in-depth discussion of the benefits and problems faced by the academic end-user of this and other digital resources in East Asian Buddhist studies.
Digitized Sources in the Study of Chan Buddhism
Mario Poceski, University of Florida
This paper explores the prospects and challenges posed by the use of digitized sources in the study of Chinese Buddhism, with a focus on materials about the history of Chan during the Tang dynasty. The first part of the paper surveys the scope and quality of the available sources, including digitized versions of the Buddhist canon, Chan texts, historical and literary collections, images of Chan art and Buddhist artifacts, historical maps, and reference works. It also identifies areas of weakness and the need for additional sources. The second part explores the possibilities and potential pitfalls in the use of digitalized sources. On the positive side, digitization provides researchers with easy access to large amounts of texts and data with convenient search capabilities, along with the benefit of portability. That serves as an equalizer in academia, as scholars from small institutions with limited library resources can access materials previously found only at research universities. Conversely, an increased reliance on digital materials can precipitate a technical divide, putting scholars without requisite computer skills and adequate resources at a disadvantage. Search capabilities might also discourage the reading of classical Chan texts and other pertinent sources, thus inhibiting the discovery of new materials and perspectives. That might have a negative impact on research and graduate education, providing disincentives for careful reading and study of original texts, and perhaps encouraging dilettantism, exemplified by the fitting of passages from medieval materials into preset conceptual grids without a grasp of the unique religious and historical milieus of Tang China.
Historical Inscriptions at Cloud Dwelling Monastery: Preparations for a CD-ROM
Matthias Arnold, University of Heidelberg
Through more than five centuries about fifteen thousand steles engraved with Buddhist canonical texts were produced at the Cloud Dwelling Monastery (Yunjusi) at Fangshan in China. Beginning 616 C.E., a great number of inscriptions were written in commemoration of this huge undertaking. A project at the University of Heidelberg is working on putting the most significant of these historical inscriptions on CD-ROM for the use of researchers. Presenting the inscriptions on CD-ROM poses several problems of both conception and design. First, the texts have to appear in different forms, i.e., the user should be able to read a Chinese transcription parallel to an image of the rubbing, and the annotated Chinese text parallel to an English translation. Users should be able to zoom in and out on the images of the rubbings, and text in the parallel windows must follow this movement. Second, much scholarship has already been done on the inscriptions, and different readings and interpretations exist. The CD-ROM must indicate these variants. Third, the inscriptions contain valuable historical information on the process by which the project of engraving the Buddhist steles was carried out. Many persons listed as involved, for instance, are mentioned in no other source. Thus, the CD-ROM must not only provide full-text search, but also offer special indices and background information. My paper will introduce the user interface of this ongoing project and discuss solutions for the kind of problems mentioned above, as well as address the opportunities and issues for scholarship that the project presents.
Digitization in Tibetan Buddhist Studies: Problems and Remedies
Jan Ulrich Sobisch, University of Copenhagen
In the last fifteen to twenty years, digitization has made a significant impact on Tibetan Buddhist studies. The two major targets of digitization efforts have been the production of electronic Buddhist texts and dictionaries. While there is no doubt that electronic texts and dictionaries can be of great value in research, it has also become clear that the digitization of Tibetan texts has given rise to several problematic issues that must be confronted and remedied. One problem is that many conventions of careful and critical scholarship in philology and lexicology seem to have been summarily dispensed with by producers of Tibetan electronic texts and dictionaries. Another disturbing trend is the seeming emphasis on quantity rather than quality, which frequently leads to hurried publication of electronic resources. The result is sometimes disastrous and often discouraging from a scholarly point of view. A third problem is that electronic texts and dictionaries are often used in an uncritical and superficial manner. If we want better digital resources, and a more responsible use of them, we must first understand the current problems. In my paper I provide a brief outline of the shortcomings of some of the available Tibetan digital texts and dictionaries and analyze their possible causes. I will also illustrate in some detail the kind of mistakes that arise from using "bad" digital texts and dictionaries, and discuss some of the possible remedies.
Literature of the Haebang konggan
Organizer and Chair: Bruce Fulton, University of British Columbia
Discussant: Scott Swaner, University of Washington
The Haebang konggan is, strictly speaking, the period from August 15, 1945, when the Korean peninsula was liberated from Japanese colonial rule, to the formation three years later of the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; in the Korean literature field the end date is sometimes extended to the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. The term Haebang konggang means "post-Liberation space"; the designation is apt, for the literature of this time exists in a virtual vacuum in English-language scholarship on Korean literature. One reason for this is that Haebang konggan literature is to a large extent the literature of the wôlbuk chakka, the 100-odd "gone-north writers" whose migration from southern to northern Korea from 1945 to 1950 effectively removed them from consideration by South Korean scholars—due to the prevailing National Security Laws—until the democratization movement in South Korea in 1987. Equally important, the space for ideological discourse in the 1945–1948 period was unprecedented in the history of early-modern Korea, so that Korean-language scholarship on the literary history of the Haebang konggan has tended to emphasize the competing ideologies of writers; analysis of individual writers and their works published during this period is by comparison underrepresented. Our purpose in this panel is to consider or reconsider four major writers of twentieth-century Korea—Yôm Sangsôp (1897–1963), Kim Yôngnang (1903–50), Sô Chôngju (1915–2000), and Hwang Sunwôn (1915–2000)—and to examine how the circumstances of the Haebang konggan may have shaped their work both at that time and thereafter.
Kim Yôngnang’s Later Poetry
Ann Y. Choi, Rutgers University
As one of the founders of the Shimunhak (Poetry) journal in 1930, Kim Yôngnang debuted on the stage of sunsu shi (pure poetry), which purportedly stood in opposition to the rise of purpose-driven leftist literature. His poetry for the most part marked by attention to rhythm and sounds and devoid of message or document, the poet himself is said to have achieved a high level of sophistication in the revelation of "the extraordinary moment"; Kim’s "southern rhythms" (alluding to his use of local dialect) are seen as standing next to and complementing Kim Sowôl’s (1902–1934) "northern rhythms." Such is the attempt made by some post-Liberation critics to unite the two halves of the peninsula via limiting the function of the lyric form to the nationalist cause; others fault the poet for his lack of political consciousness. By examining the poems that Kim Yôngnang wrote during the last five years of his life vis-à-vis his active, if inconsistent, socio-political life, this paper aims to bring critical light to the simplified assessment of the poet as a bourgeois escaping history or a songbird doing his part to build his nation.
Political Subtext in Hwang Sunwôn’s Mongnômi maûl ûi kae
Bruce Fulton, University of British Columbia
This paper is part of an ongoing endeavor to reassess the significance of Hwang Sunwôn in the development of short fiction in modern Korea. Hwang’s short fiction has long been interpreted on the basis of an ill-defined notion of aesthetics according to which he is often pigeonholed as an exemplar of lyricism and romanticism, an author who rarely dealt at length with the realities of Korean history and society in the manner of, for example, socially engaged fiction writing of the 1970s. The Mongnômi maûl ûi kae (The Dog of Crossover Village, 1948) short-story collection, though, reveals an author who is strikingly contemporary in terms of his thematic concerns, sophisticated worldview, and multifaceted narrative style. Belying the propensity in existing scholarship to categorize Hwang as a practitioner of pure literature (rather than a socially engaged writer), six of the seven stories in this collection reflect the turbulent social and political circumstances of the Haebang konggan. This should not be surprising, for there is ample evidence in Hwang’s life and works that he had a highly developed social and political consciousness. The title story (1947) is especially rich in political subtext: it can be read as an allegory of Korean fears of outsiders (whether the Japanese colonizers or the more recent occupants of the Korean peninsula, the USSR and the U.S.). An analysis of this collection is necessary to provide a more balanced view—and one that is long overdue—of modern Korea’s most important writer of short fiction.
From Flesh to Spirit: Sô Chôngju’s Aesthetic Shift during the Haebang konggan
Mickey Hong, UCLA
The project of establishing a new national literature began as soon as Korea was liberated. The confrontation between ideology and purity groups was revived in the debate over how to purge colonial influence and restore Korean consciousness. The writers regained their artistic freedom, but they were split over the direction of Korean literature as they had been in the 1920s. The Left/Right dichotomy reemerged the summer Sô Chôngju (Midang, 1915–2000) died, and critics both condemned his lack of political engagement and defended his artistic merit. The controversy reminds us that colonial manifestations remain in Korean literary discourse.
Sô’s prolific career expanded over half a century and his work underwent various poetic transformations, but my paper examines the first and major change from his debut collection, Hwasa chip (Flower Snake, 1938) to his second work, Kwich’okto (The Cuckoo, 1946). His early poetry exuding Baudelairian desire and rebellion were replaced by a traditional aesthetic. The second collection indulges in conventional sentiments yet embodies political reality. The post-Liberation leftist poets wanted to sever themselves from the past and rationalized their work as nation-building. The value of Sô’s poetic realm, although romanticized, was that it rediscovered Korean characteristics by invoking antiquity. Among the focuses of my discussion are the historical devastation by external powers forming Korea’s literary culture, and Sô as a leading modernist who was suddenly forced to imagine a new poetry of the nation’s experience and hope.
Securing the National Home in Yôm Sangsôp’s Hyop’ung
Theodore Hughes, Columbia University
The end of Japanese colonial rule in August 1945 was accompanied by rapid changes in the Korean literary scene. Writers associated with the opposing leftist and nationalist camps of the 1920s and early 1930s emerged either from self-imposed silence or collaboration with the colonial regime during the Greater East Asian War to confront a new order imposed on the peninsula: dual military occupations (U.S. in the South; USSR in the North) and the threat of a lasting national division. This paper locates Yôm Sangsôp’s Hyop’ung (Dawn Wind, 1948) as part of the post-1945 rearticulation of colonial-period left-right debates, examining in particular the ways in which the text turns to Yôm’s earlier production of an ethical, nationalist bourgeois subjectivity in Samdae (Three Generations, 1931) not only to once more counter the left, but also to figure the U.S. military occupation as a continuing form of colonial power.
Both Samdae and Hyop’ung appropriate the detective novel form. If Yôm’s task in Samdae is to construct knowing subjects who will secure the national home by simultaneously negotiating class conflict and outwitting the repressive forces of the colonial state, Hyop’ung seeks to produce a postcolonial subject that both rejects the North as offering an inauthentic, totalitarian modernity and transforms what emerges in the text as the orientalist gaze of the U.S. occupation into an object of investigation.
Re-emergent Region: New Perspectives on Southeast Asia-China Interactions
Organizer and Chair: Philip A. Kuhn, Harvard University
Discussant: R. Bin Wong, UCLA
Southeast Asia and China have, for millennia, been linked by commercial interaction, human movement, and political aspirations, and woven together by technological and cultural interflow. These links have been disrupted or repatterned, initially by the expansion of European imperialist powers, and subsequently by the revolutions which emerged in the twentieth century. Today, the situation is undergoing change again. This process is, in various ways, reviving some of the older ties which long linked these areas. If we are to understand the changes now taking place in the region, the growing interdependencies and alliances which are emerging, we need to examine them through both contemporary and historical lenses. But academic "area studies" have continued to divide Southeast Asia and East Asia. Many aspects of human existence that have extended across these boundaries have not been systematically studied.
Southeast Asia-China interactions is an emerging research focus at the Asia Research Institute (ARI), National University of Singapore. Our panel seeks to bring attention to ARI’s research focus and new publication series. We and our publication series, "Southeast Asia and China: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives," try to understand the long-term links between the polities and societies of East Asia and Southeast Asia. We will, for this panel, focus on the flow of political power, peoples, trade networks, goods and cultures of consumption between Southeast Asia and China from the 15th to the 21st century. Linkages and their dynamics between Southeast Asia and East Asia are the essential and common elements of our panel.
The Zheng He Voyages: A Reassessment
Geoff Wade, National University of Singapore
The Ming eunuch navigator Zheng He is lauded in contemporary China as a great maritime voyager, an ambassador of peace and friendship, and a potent symbol for Chinese patriotic education. The eunuch and his voyaging colleagues will receive more than their fair share of public attention over the year 2005, a year marking the 600th anniversary of the first voyage commanded by Zheng He. The attention they will garner will in part be celebratory, but at the same time there will be critical, scholarly notice paid to the nature of the voyages and how they might be perceived both in East Asian and world history. On the basis of Ming texts, this paper will examine Zheng He as an agent of the Ming state, pursuing one strand of that state’s colonial expansion in the early 15th century. In conjunction with the successful colonial enterprise which the Yong-le emperor pursued in Yun-nan and the ultimately unsuccessful colonial venture in Dai Viet, the Zheng He voyages will be here examined as an alternative form of protocolonialism—one which the Portuguese were to pursue almost a century later. The argument to be advanced is that these voyages were military expeditions with both political and commercial purposes, aiming to achieve a pax Ming throughout Southeast Asia and, by controlling the maritime trade centres, to take control of the trade routes and thereby the trade controlled until then mainly by the Arabs.
The Making of a Transnational Social Sphere: Institutional Linkages and the Construction of the Homeland in Singapore, 1945–2005
Hong Liu, National University of Singapore
The "Homeland," Philip Kuhn argues, has to be understood "both as objective facts (the Chinese revolution and the modern Chinese state [and, one may add, the qiaoxiang, ancestral hometown]); and as subjective visions in the minds of Chinese overseas." By using Singapore as a site of geographical focus, this paper explores the linkages and interactions between the "objective facts" and "subjective visions" and how the homeland has been interrogated, imagined, and reconstructed at the time of decolonialization and globalization. The first section of the paper is conceptual, arguing for the importance of institutions in the configurations of the homeland. By looking at the locality/business associations’ linkages and dissociations with China, the second section examines the processes of the loss of the hometown (1945–65) and the remaking of the homeland (1965–90) and the ramifications for diasporic interactions. The third section discusses the dynamics and mechanisms behind Singapore’s drive in building itself as a major nexus of the emerging global Chinese networks in the closing decades of the 20th century. It is in this context that Chinese new migrants form an integral segment of the transnational social sphere and new patterns of homeland linkages have emerged. This paper concludes that an historically grounded institutional approach to the homeland facilitates a better understanding of Southeast Asia-China interactions and that the focus on the making of a transnational social sphere takes us beyond the conventional nation-state framework and qiaoxiang paradigm that have been predominant in the studies of Chinese overseas.
Opium: Mechanism of Commodity and Culture Transmission
Yangwen Zheng, National University of Singapore
While historians have produced excellent works on the opium trade, British imperialism and opium regimes, they have not studied the most important aspect of the opium theatre—consumption. The question I ask first is at what point did opium became a luxury item; and secondly why it became so popular and widespread after people discovered its recreational value. This paper is a chapter of my forthcoming book titled "The Social Life of Opium in China" (CUP). It studies the introduction and naturalization of the opium culture of consumption in China. My paper will demonstrate the political, commercial and cultural ties between the peoples of Southeast Asia and China since the early Ming. These ties were created and maintained by seafaring Chinese, both merchants and laborers. They sojourned to and from Southeast Asia; they also carried many Southeast Asian or New World goods and cultures back to China. Tobacco, smoking, the peanut, the sweet potato, birds’ nests and fragrance came to China this way; so did opium from the Ming. This was opium’s journey to China and this was opium’s mechanisms of transmission. This would extend to North America and Europe in the nineteenth century as the Chinese frequented more foreign shores and settled in more strange lands. The seafaring Chinese people are the interface and link between China and Southeast Asia. They changed consumer behavior and helped to shape the history of China.
Narratives of Passage in Prewar Japan: Heroes, Fantasy, and Ambition in Male Adolescence
Organizer and Chair: Jason G. Karlin, University of Tokyo
Discussant: Hiromi Mizuno, University of Minnesota.
Despite recent work on gender in modern Japan, questions concerning the conflict-ridden process of development, including the paths of gender development and identification, have remained relatively unproblematized, especially for masculinities. Rather than viewing this developmental process as arising prima facie from the socialization of sex roles or the subjection of bodies, greater work remains in order to understand the active construction of gender identity and gender relations within modern Japan. This panel takes an historical perspective in examining how the gender regime of male adolescence was shaped by the intersections of nationalism, imperialism, and capitalism in the prewar period.
The transition from boyhood to manhood is a dynamic process marked by conflicts and compromises as part of an active process of gender negotiation that challenges monolithic notions of the ideological and discursive construction of gender. The presenters on this panel all seek to understand the multiple and complex narratives of passage to adulthood that informed the active process of gender development. The mass media, including magazines and novels, propagated gender norms and social expectations for boys through mediated and stereotypical images of manhood that shaped the transition to adulthood. However—as the papers here reveal—the heroes, fantasies, and ambitions that inspired masculine identification both confirmed and contested state ideological goals. Moreover, this panel will demonstrate the multitudinous ways in which the narratives of passage in prewar Japan were inextricably linked to other social structures, institutions, and identities.
"Dynamite Don!" Radical Students, Patriotic Youth, and Science Fiction Novels in the Meiji Era
Xavier Bensky, University of Chicago
When dynamite first made its appearance in Japan, it was strongly identified as a revolutionary, anti-government symbol. Its uses by the Phenians and the Russian Nihilists, for example, were sensationalized in the Japanese partisan press during the height of the Freedom and People’s Rights Movement in the 1880s. This presumed capability of dynamite to force political change had a particular appeal to the rough and violence-prone student activists called sôshi who deeply resented the Meiji state and its policies, as is testified by their popular enka song "Dynamite don!"
However, with the Rescript on Education (kyôiku chokugo) and the rise of nationalism in the 1890s as Japan headed towards the Sino-Japanese War, there appeared a new vision of the patriotic youth (shônen or seinen) obedient to the state. Concurrently, the symbolism of dynamite was no longer wielded by isolated revolutionaries but rather by the partisans of the "wealthy nation, strong army" policy, as the specter of terrorist bombings gave way to detonations in land excavation projects and ammunition for cannons, sea mines and torpedoes. The heroes of Oshikawa Shunrô’s widely-read science-fiction novels, such as Hideo and Yanagawa in "‘The Undersea Warship" (1900)—at the helm of fantastic weapons that defeat invading colonialists and free oppressed Asian nations—epitomized this new role in the popular imagination.
By tracing the twin trajectories of male adolescent subjectivity and the symbolism of dynamite in the Meiji period, I hope to reveal new insights into the genesis of Japanese science fiction literature.
"Making Heroes from Heroes": Nationalism, Masculinity, and Misogyny in Meiji Japan
Jason G. Karlin, University of Tokyo
In Meiji Japan, numerous intellectuals and middle-class reformers influenced by the ideas of Thomas Carlyle promoted the worship of heroes (eiyûron) as essential for the initiation of boys into men. In particular, Yamaji Aizan and Fukumoto Nichinan wrote of the importance of heroes to the mission of modernizing Japan. From historical biographies that extolled "great men" from Japanese history as exemplars of the liberal belief in human agency to the fictional heroes of "adventure novels" (bôken shosetsu), hero myths emphasized the nation as the medium of individuation for replacing dependency on the maternal with self-direction and purpose in male adolescence. As the hero archetype of late Meiji Japan evolved, heroism was no longer tied to service to the state alone, but also glorified righteous resistance in defiance of state authority.
Moreover, these narratives encoded norms of masculinity that reinforced gender differences by constructing femininity as inscrutable, deceptive, and dangerous. Rather than erasing women altogether, adventure novels often depict women as transitive figures who are capable of transforming themselves into dangerous creatures. Unlike Western adventure fiction, Japanese hero narratives often function as cautionary tales against the lures of romantic love. If not deceptive, then women are often victims activating male subjectivity. The punishment of women becomes the enabling condition for male heroism as they are often represented as needing protection and rescue. In this way, the male adolescent’s subjectivity is founded not only on escaping female dependence, but on the punishment of women.
Narratives of Struggle and Success: Superior Students, Entrance Examinations, and the Taisho Mass Media
Mark Alan Jones, Central Connecticut State University
A new image of the child as yûtôsei (superior student) emerged in Taisho Japan and, with. it, a new rite of passage—the entrance examination to secondary education. Guided by the prewar incarnation of the kyôiku mama (education mother) the yûtôsei was the elementary-school student who dedicated his life to educational achievement. Different than the Meiji era’s "‘little citizen" (shôkokumin), the yûtôsei was a vision of the child born not of nationalism but of social aspiration. Social-climbing urban families now saw the child’s attaining top grades and passing the newly-instituted entrance examination as the surest means to social ascent.
Stories of the yûtôsei’s struggles and successes filled newspapers and magazines. Inspiring accounts of successful examination preparation were placed alongside chronicles of students who died from overstudy. These narratives publicized the ideal of the yûtôsei and also shaped its meaning. Through these stories, the Taisho mass media declared the entrance examination an unfeeling yet meritocratic means to sort talent. At the same time, they promised families that, through priming and pluck, "any child can become a superior student" and pass the entrance examination. With such a promise, the mass media conjured images of a dynamic society where those who worked hardest were the likeliest to realize upward mobility. The mass media became, in the process, a choreographer of the urban imagination and a force that ultimately redefined not only childhood but also the meaning of the term "middle class," now no longer depicted as the province of the few but as a possibility for the many.
The Martial, the Male, and the Media: Representing War in Japanese Children’s Magazines, 1937–1945
Owen Griffiths, Mount Allison University
Historically, war has been a male pursuit. Men have initiated and prosecuted wars, while other men (historians, writers) have represented them to generations of readers. These experiences and stories continue to define us in terms of nationality, ethnicity, religion, and gender. The nexus of war, nation, and gender is especially complex but there is no doubt that representations of war profoundly influence gender role construction. They serve as latent sources of masculinity in rare moments of peace when various media remind us of the heroic and/or wasteful struggles of the past. In times of actual war, however, these representations are manifested with renewed ferocity in the name of heroism and national crisis.
This interaction of latent and manifest masculinity is the general subject of my paper. Focusing on Japan from 1937 to 1945, I analyze the process by which preexisting, latent representations of martial masculinity were transformed into overt, manifest images of men at war. Specifically, I examine the print media’s role in this process by analyzing how war and martial masculinity were represented to boys through the magazines they consumed by choice.
My purpose is to shift the focus of gender construction away from home, school, and state and toward the print media during its "golden age" in the 1930s and 1940s. Similarly, focusing on children’s magazines allows me to analyze the world of children’s entertainment, a relatively unexamined realm of Japanese society but one that is central to understanding the relationship between war, gender role construction, and national discourse.
Roundtable: Electronic Resources and Korean Studies
Organizer and Chair: Hyokyoung Yi, University of Washington
Discussants: Joy Kim, University of Southern California; Kyungmi Chun, University of Hawaii, Manoa; Mikyung Kang, University of California, Los Angeles; Lucia Park, University of British Columbia; Sun-Yoon Kim Lee, University of Southern California; Choong Nam Yoon, Harvard University
Internet and information technologies have significantly advanced over the past several years, thus changing the research tools and styles of scholars in almost every discipline. The field of Korean studies is no exception. More and more materials are converted into electronic formats often with full-text data. With great search functions available online, the fast and convenient transfer of information is increasingly in demand among Korean scholars. Thanks to the Korean government’s information focused initiatives, libraries and institutes are developing electronic databases to improve research on old Korean classic texts, which are often used as primary sources for the subject of history. In addition, a significant number of research papers are available through commercial e-journal databases.
Information experts in libraries would like to share their knowledge and expertise with Korean scholars and introduce the broad range of online resources in many disciplines that are available for quality research on Korean studies. Topics include the following:
• Major online resources in Korea such as Koreaa2z, Krpia, EncyKorea, Dbpia, KISS KoreanStudies Information, e-books, and more.
• Major free Internet sites with full-text, news archives, statistics, government documents, indeces, etc.
• Electronically available English language materials on Korea
• Skills for selecting and evaluating information resources
• How to obtain Korean resources available in Korea and North America
• Building course resources using electronic information
• Overcoming technological challenges using Korean languages in an electronic environment
The discussion of the topics will provide opportunities for Korean scholars to learn more about available online resources and for information experts to evaluate needs and issues from users.
East by Southeast: Maritime Trade, Networks, and Exchanges between China and the Philippines and Indonesia, Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries
Organizer: Lucille Chia, University of California, Riverside
Chair and Discussant: Richard von Glahn, University of California, Los Angeles
This panel presents new research and poses new questions on the commercial and social networks in the early modern period connecting China and two of its important trading partners in the Nanyang area: the Philippine and Indonesian islands. The three papers examine the growing complexities of intra-Asian trade partly brought about by but by no means determined by the participation of the European newcomers. The first essay explores and refines what we know about the dynamics of Chinese migration to and the trade with the Philippines, and the effects on the society and economy of southern Fujian, from whence the Chinese came. The second contributes to the ongoing debate on whether the Dutch East India Company’s massive intrusion into the trade of Java from the late seventeenth century onward largely destroyed the heretofore thriving commerce conducted by Chinese and indigenous merchants. The third looks at the patterns in the marketing of tobacco and opium and the new ways in which these substances were consumed in the Indonesian Archipelago, prior to the Dutch and the Spanish Philippine colonial administrations’ decisions to monopolize the revenues from the production and distribution of these commodities. The evidence analyzed by these papers shows how China and Southeast Asia were vitally linked from the sixteenth century onward and challenges some of the received wisdom concerning the histories of these regions.
The Butcher, the Baker, and the Carpenter: Chinese Sojourners in the Spanish Philippines and Their Impact on Southern Fujian (Sixteenth to Eighteenth Centuries)
Lucille Chia, University of California, Riverside
This paper considers the impact on southern Fujian (Minnan) in southeast China of trade with and migration to the Spanish Philippines (late sixteenth to eighteenth centuries) by examining the Chinese there and their links with their native places. Although earlier studies have examined Sino-Philippine and the related trans-Pacific trade, as well as the role of Chinese settlers and their descendants in Philippine history, few have considered how this early instance of the Chinese diaspora affected the region from which the emigration originated. We can more fully understand the history of southern coastal China by expanding its study in two different directions: looking at its interactions with Southeast Asia, and distinguishing between the commercial and migration patterns from the various parts of Minnan. For example, why did the economic fortunes of Zhangzhou decline, while those of Quanzhou managed to revive after the political and economic turmoil of the mid- and late seventeenth century? And why did the natives of Zhangzhou first go the Philippines but later changed their primary destinations to Taiwan and Java, and were replaced in the Philippines largely by natives of Quanzhou? And what were the relationships among the Minnan merchants, laborers, and farmers who went to the Philippines? By using a combination of largely Chinese and Spanish sources, we can start to answer such detailed questions concerning the history of southern Fujian and the complexities of Chinese business and social networks in Southeast Asia during the early modern period.
All about Money: The "Chinese Century" and Java’s Maritime Commerce, ca. 1775
Gerrit Knaap, Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Studies of insular Southeast Asia maritime commerce during the early modern period have long been concerned about the volume and nature of the trade conducted by Asian ship masters and merchants. But it is only in the last decade or two that the ongoing debate about the characteristics of Asian trade has been systematically documented with empirical data, such as shipping lists and other information from the archives of the Dutch East India Company for eighteenth-century Java. This paper asks the following questions: What actually were the "leading commodities" in Java’s maritime commerce? And, from the viewpoint of the economic "actors," can the eighteenth century in Java, as in other parts of South East Asia, be labeled a "Chinese century," in which local Chinese businessmen increasingly dominated the economy and replaced native traders and producers? Answers can be found in the analysis of archival sources concerning shipping and trade in the fourteen major ports of the island of Java for the eighteenth century. Not surprisingly, an analysis focusing on the volume and weight of the merchandise suggests that Java rice, and to a lesser extent timber, were the main commodities. When the value of commodities is taken into account, however, this picture must be radically revised. With the help of price information, we can make an educated estimate of the turnover of trade.
Developing Habits: Tobacco and Opium in the Indonesian Archipelago (Seventeenth to Eighteenth Centuries)
George B. Souza, University of Texas, San Antonio
This paper examines the general patterns in the commercialization and consumption of tobacco and opium in the Indonesian Archipelago in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It discusses the connections between the practice of smoking tobacco and opium throughout this region. Tobacco grown in China, the Philippines, and Java became an export commodity and a valued item of exchange within the South China Sea region. Not only did smoking tobacco, a relatively recent practice introduced from America, quickly spread throughout East and Southeast Asia, it also transformed the way opium was ingested—from chewing or swallowing to being smoked together with tobacco in a pipe, and thereby greatly increased the consumption of opium. The coupling of these two commodities resulted in the Dutch East India Company’s increasing involvement in the commercialization of Indian opium from Bengal to Java, and the colonial port of Batavia on Java became a distribution center for both tobacco and Bengal opium. Finally, this paper explains how research using Dutch records in the Netherlands and in Java helps us better understand the role and involvement of Chinese, indigenous Javanese, and other merchant groups in the redistribution of these commodities from Batavia via inter-island trade to markets and consumers throughout the Indonesian Archipelago.
Gender and Law: Religious Decrees, Cultural Mores, and Colonial Courts in Early Modern Asia and Southeast Asia
Organizer: Eric Alan Jones, Northern Illinois University
Chair and Discussant: Jean Gelman Taylor, University of New South Wales
The papers on this panel aim to provide a better understanding the interaction of Asian and Southeast Asian women with the law, rule, and regulatory systems of the past. State codes, company edicts, and religious decrees all sought, in their own way, to enumerate a legal space for the women under their respective mandates. While clarification of these juridical positions remains an important endeavor, this panel also aims to balance the articulation of those mandates from on high with the lived experiences and the daily realities of women on the ground.
States, Law, and the Regulation of Marriage and Sexuality in Early Modern Southeast Asia
Barbara Watson Andaya, University of Hawaii, Manoa
It is generally accepted that the alliances between state and religious/philosophical interests in early modern Southeast Asian states were a major factor in redefining and regulating appropriate roles for men and women. Whether indigenous or European, these alliances placed a high priority on settled communities, which could be more easily tapped for labor and for tribute, and where approved beliefs and values could be promoted. Because enforcement of any overarching authority relied so heavily on the metaphor of family hierarchies, regulation of marriage through the promotion of correct sexual relations between men and women became a major preoccupation of the legal-religious codes that are so characteristic of this period. As elsewhere, however, the processes by which Southeast Asian states sought to tighten the links between subjects and government also endorsed new scripts for male dominance as the relationship between husband and wife was projected as the template for a more patriarchal social and political order.
The Dharma of Women’s Work: Gender, Labor, and Law in the Textile Industry of Early Modern South India
Ian C. Wendt, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Women were central participants in the early modern South Indian textile industry. As spinners, warpers, washers, cotton cleaners and agrarian laborers, their work contributed the majority of the value added to a textile during its transformation from cotton to cloth. The detailed activities and economics of women’s labor were thoroughly recorded within the documentation of the textile industry during the 17th and 18th centuries. Much of the evidence of their labor is contained within the cloth itself, if only we take it seriously as a historical artifact. This paper utilizes archival Dutch and English East India Company records and various ethnographic sources to understand the economic and social implications of women’s labor in early modern South Asia.
The economics of labor and gender lead to a study of several related cultural-legal gender issues. First, the ‘culture of commerce’ had broad repercussions for women, including their property and inheritance rights, and their participation in markets. Second, the caste customs of laboring groups related to gender and reproduction reflected fascinating values about labor and production. Additionally, these caste groups had intriguing ritual, religious practices regarding goddess worship and temple dancers. Finally, the rise of English Company State power in the late 18th century had numerous gendered effects on textile producers. These issues are at once cultural, legal and religious, all of which are captured within the concept of dharma.
Bilateralism Reconsidered: The Endowment of Local Succession in Early Modern Dai Viet
Nhung Tuyet Tran, University of Toronto
The literature on Southeast Asia generally highlights the practice of cognatic kinship as a defining feature of regional identity. Although Viet Nam has long been considered as a peripheral state in this region, the presumed practice of bilateral succession categorically ties it to the Southeast Asian region. This paper challenges assertions that the principles of bilateral succession characterized Vietnamese code and custom through analysis of legal codes, case records, and stele inscriptions from early modern Dai Viet. It explores how state code, village custom (through local regulations), and judicial magistrates excluded women from the material and spiritual benefits of succession. Some local women, however, negotiated these structures to gain prominent roles in local economic and religious life. Through a gendered analysis of legal code and local practice, this paper seeks to introduce an alternative model of succession in early modern Vietnamese society.
Once a Slave: Southeast Asian Social Systems and Colonial Slave Law
Eric Alan Jones, Northern Illinois University
Slavery constituted a cornerstone of the social fabric of pre-nineteenth-century Southeast Asia and its continuance and regulation was essential to the survival and success of colonial regimes in the region, especially the Dutch East India Company or VOC. However, VOC-Batavian statutory law fundamentally redefined the institution of slavery, collapsing what was a complicated network of Southeast Asian vertical bonding into the simple dichotomy of slave versus free. It concretized what had been fluid, temporary social arrangements and closed off avenues for social mobility. My paper examines, on the one hand, early modern colonial statutes dealing with women and slavery and, on the other, the lived experiences of Southeast Asian women with the law through actual criminal proceedings. As a social yardstick and a reflection of daily reality, the Dutch colonial, civil law code was a particularly blunt and unresponsive instrument. Juxtaposing edicts from the Batavian Statutes and examples from criminal cases, I hope to highlight the disjuncture between legal theory and criminal practice.
Practices of the Body, Discourses of the Mind: The New Woman in Colonial Korea
Organizer and Chair: Kelly Y. Jeong, City University of New York, John Jay College
Discussant: Kenneth Maurice Wells, Australian National University
One of the most heated debates in colonial Korea was the New Woman question, which closely intersected with nationalist agendas, Japanese colonial rule, and growing modern sensibilities. This panel examines the complex domain of that intersection with particular attention to the body, subjectivity and imaginaries of New Woman, offering detailed analyses drawn from a medical history, life history and literary and religious discourse. Hyaeweol Choi examines both shin sosôl ("new fiction") and missionary fiction, tracing early imaginaries of modern womanhood that intersected with nationalist discourse, the shifting power dynamics in East Asia and the reified images of the West. Emphasizing the heterogeneous nature of the early imaginaries, she delves into shifting and contradictory impulses of new gender relations represented in literary and religious discourse. Sonja Kim explores the discourse on birth control in 1920s and 1930s Korea, suggesting its significance for family, politics, gender roles, sexual activity, eugenics and racial discourse. She frames it in a longer history of targeting the body that began in the late 19th century by Korean reformers as an integral part of munmyong kaehwa projects, demonstrating how a woman’s body and sexuality were contested for colonial, national, and feminist reasons. Finally, Kelly Jeong’s essay (abstract not available online) studies the phenomenon of New Woman with focus on the historical figure of Na Hyesok. She examines Na’s unprecedented identity formation and the public’s construction of her as a spectacle of new femininity, and explores colonialism as a totalizing violence leading to the New Woman’s psychic disavowal and the splitting of the self.
Re-imagining Old Womanhood: Literary Representations of New Womanhood in Early Twentieth-Century Korea
Hyaeweol Choi, Arizona State University
This paper examines both shin sosôl ("new fiction") and missionary fiction which prefigure "modern" womanhood in early twentieth-century Korea. Written exclusively by male writers, shin sosôl is an intriguing genre that reveals both the desire for and resistance to new womanhood in the face of imminent colonization by Japan and the influx of new ideas from the West. Protestant missionaries, who are often associated with modernity in Korea, also produced interesting fictions that imagined new ideals for Korean women in the transition from "heathen" to Christian. Analyzing some of the classic examples of shin sosôl and missionary fiction, I trace the early imaginaries of modern womanhood by Koreans and American missionaries. In this exploration I pay particular attention to the ways in which these imaginaries intersected with nationalist discourse led by enlightenment-oriented Korean intellectuals, China’s declining power, the rise of Japan as an imperial power, the reified image of the West, and Korea’s desire to construct a modern nation-state. I argue that the imaginaries of modern womanhood within this matrix of competing forces are not homogeneous. To the contrary, they reflect the uneasy, shifting and contradictory impulses of new gender relations. I further argue that the newly created space for women in the modern era signals noble opportunities, and yet the same space is defined and appropriated by male-dominant Korean nationalist or Christian patriarchal norms.
"Limiting Birth" in Colonial Korea: New Woman, Sex, and Birth Control
Sonja Kim, UCLA
This paper explores the materiality of and active discourse on "sana chehan" (literally, "limiting birth" or birth control) that emerged in 1920s and 30s colonial Korea, suggesting its significance for family politics, gender roles, sexual activity, eugenics and racial discourse. I will frame this discussion in a longer history of targeting the body in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Korean reformers as an integral part of munmyông kaehwa ("civilizing") projects to strengthen and/or protect Korea’s sovereignty in a time of rapid change and increasing incorporation into global politics and economy. In Korea, as in other parts of the world, reformist visions and state projects were envisioned to establish public sanitation projects, transform medical practices and institutions, and instill/enforce new habits of everyday life in the realms of cooking, diet, exercise, sex, clothing, child-rearing, etc. Translating practices of modern concepts of hygiene, biomedicine, and science altered not only medical systems, but also the social sphere of domesticity and meaning of new womanhood. While the Japanese colonial authorities did not sanction birth control in its colony, they did allow notions of "eugenics," thus framing, along with Korean patriarchal and nationalist ideals, the debate on "limiting birth." One active proponent in this debate was the New Woman, and women’s journals in Korea at this time displayed an increasing interest in woman’s health, her body, and reproduction both in advertisements and articles. I will thus attempt to demonstrate how a woman’s body and her sexuality were contested for colonial, national, and feminist reasons.
Consuming and Producing Women: Gender, Work, and Consumption in Republican China’s Urban Space
Organizer: Rachel Hui-chi Hsu, Tunghai University
Chair: William T. Rowe, Johns Hopkins University
Discussant: Rebecca E. Karl, New York University
The papers of this panel address the various roles played by women—as laborer, employee, entertainer, and consumer—in the urban space of the Republican period in China. In capturing the pursuits, desires, and livelihoods of women who took diverse yet related roles in the Republican era, this interdisciplinary panel attempts to envision an urban miniature in which women’s work and consumption were deeply entangled with gender manipulation. Weikun Cheng argues that basic economic and consumption needs drove lower-class women in Beijing to the streets where they took low-paying or even "men’s" jobs, which in turn complicated the conventional separate gendered spheres. Eileen Cheng examines the active and vicarious behaviors of consumption by Shanghai middle-class women represented in Liangyou huabao (1933–1936) to reveal the subtle gender mechanism in the construction of the "new woman." Elizabeth Remick uses the case of the police-managed brothel, jiyuan, in Republican Kunming to discuss why and how the police produced the licensed and seemingly healthy prostitutes so as to let them be consumed by male customers and contained by the government. Rachel Hui-chi Hsu delineates the new styles of consumption and gender interrelations exemplified by the work and eroticized image of the nüzhaodaì (waitresses) in Republican Beiping. These four papers endeavor to explore the connections among women’s work, mass consumption, male-profitable production, and gendered maneuvers in Republican China’s urban space
Beyond the Job Market: Women’s Livelihoods in Early-Twentieth-Century Beijing
Weikun Cheng, California State University, Chico
Scholars in Beijing Studies or Chinese women’s history haven’t devoted enough attention to the subject of lower-class women’s livelihoods in early-twentieth-century Beijing. This paper is an investigation of female breadwinners who used urban public spaces as living resources and created jobs for themselves. The purposes of the research are to redefine the issues of "women’s work" and "women’s dependency," to discover the gendered hierarchies in urban economy, and to alter women’s victim images.
Early-twentieth-century Beijing was a center of handicraft, commerce and consumption. While the age-old guilds were men’s territory, the new industry was small and mostly exclusive to women. Yet the harsh living conditions demanded second incomes in working-class families. Lower-class women, including new migrants, found jobs at home or on the streets. Some worked as domestic servants; others made a living through sewing, peddling, rickshaw-pulling, prostituting, and begging; still others kept their hereditary occupations as "Three Aunts and Six Grannies." Worse yet, still other women sought illegal ways to survive, at the expense of men or women of weaker positions. In spite of the employment hierarchy which placed women in unskilled, low-paying, or sex-specific jobs, women’s work presented a more diversified, complicated reality than the conceptualized dichotomy of separate gendered spheres. For lower-class women, the border between the private home and the street was obscured due to their economic needs. Their earning skills and efforts challenged the presumption which associated women with domesticity and dependency, and helped create women’s space and autonomy in the city.
Protecting or Prohibiting Prostitution? Police-Run Brothels in Republican Kunming
Elizabeth J. Remick, Tufts University
How to control female prostitution, a gendered form of labor that modernists saw as a symbol of China’s backwardness, was a hotly contested topic in the provincial capitals of Republican China. Most cities settled on a strategy of minimal control through light taxation and regulation. A noteworthy exception, however, was Kunming, where in 1912 the police instead moved all licensed prostitutes into police-managed, walled compounds called jiyuan in an effort to discipline and ultimately eliminate prostitution. Within the jiyuan, prostitutes were categorized, selected by customers from photo arrays, subjected to medical examinations, prohibited from leaving freely, and confronted by madames and pimps now working for the police. The model of the jiyuan remained in effect almost continuously until 1947 in spite of serious opposition. Many prostitutes sought to evade the coercion of the jiyuan, creating a huge pool of unlicensed and therefore even more uncontrollable prostitutes, and the jiyuan provoked public outrage because they appeared to promote prostitution. Yet the police, the city, and the provincial government defended this model as the best path to an orderly society, because it made as stark as possible the differences between virtuous and immoral women (though, notably, not virtuous and immoral men), and between legitimate and illegitimate businesses. This paper examines why the police selected and defended this particular approach over other existing models, how bureaucrats, feminists, Confucians, and merchants fought over the best way to deal with prostitution, and why the jiyuan were ultimately closed, having failed in their aims.
All Consuming Passions: Women and Consumption in Liangyou huabao (Young Companion)
Eileen J. Cheng, Pomona College
The burgeoning consumer culture of Shanghai in the 1920s and 1930s was reflected in the arena of print, as commercial magazines and periodicals catering to the tastes of its urban readers proliferated. Women emerged as central figures in Shanghai consumer culture; their images were not only widely circulated in entertainment forms such as movies, advertisements, and pictorials; women themselves emerged as their most active consumers. This is apparent in the proliferation of magazines and pictorials targeted specifically at women. While these media catered to the desires of their presumed women readers, they also helped construct an image of the ideal "new woman."
This paper will look at the construction of the new woman in the popular pictorial Liangyou huabao (Young Companion) in the years between 1933 and 1936. In advertisements and pictures, women were constantly associated with material goods. Consumption was portrayed as facilitating women’s duties as wife, mother, and manager of the household and part of a modern lifestyle. While the cartoons in Liangyou also associated women with commodities, they tended to poke fun at women’s excessive materialism and often depicted it as disempowering to men. Underlying Liangyou’s ambiguous construction of the new woman and consumption is a sense of anxiety towards the advent of an age of commodity capitalism and the definition of new gender relations that accompanied it.
A Notorious Cityscape: Nüzhaodaì Serving and Eroticizing Nationalist Beiping (1928–1937)
Rachel Hui-chi Hsu, Tunghai University
The nüzhaodaì, waitresses serving in restaurants, cafes, tea houses, movie theaters, and playgrounds, were lower-class celebrities in Nationalist Beiping (Beijing), from 1928 to 1937. They made their debut in 1924, a brand new face in the marketplaces of Beijing, yet quickly disappeared from the scene. It was not until 1928, when the Beiping business community made efforts to boost the economy that suffered a slump following its demotion from national capital to ordinary city, that the nüzhaodaì gained a solid foothold to not only make a living but also to bring Beiping society boundless news reports, gossip, disputes, and lawsuits.
This paper has the goal of portraying an urban image colored by nüzhaodaì’s alluring ways of serving and dealing with customers, tainted by nüzhaodaì s frequent scandals and court cases due to their running away with married men, running secret gambling and opium dens, and being sexually harassed by or emotionally entangled with male customers. By emphasizing the nuance between nüzhaodaì and prostitutes, and featuring the feminine and pleasant serving manners of nüzhaodaì, this paper attempts to echo Miriam Silverberg’s analysis of the cafe waitress in Japan in the 1920s and 1930s, and to demonstrate that, in a way, the nüzhaodaì both at work and outside work fashioned a modern eroticized gender interrelationship in Nationalist Beiping, and thus presented themselves as a notorious feature of the cityscape.
Korean Cinema: Texts and Contexts, from Post-Liberation to the Post-IMF Eras
Organizer and Chair: Hye Seung Chung, University of Michigan
Discussant: Sangjoon Lee, University of California, Los Angeles
This panel explores various aspects of Korean cinema from the post-liberation period to the contemporary era, looking particularly at industrial policies, political determinants and cross-cultural influences, not to mention its often strained yet assimilative relationship with Hollywood. As a springboard for the entire panel, Brian Yecies’ paper demonstrates that the development of the Screen Quota System—a controversial protectionist policy for domestic films—reflected not only shifting international and political relations but also the Korean film industry’s precarious relationship with Hollywood. The rivalry of the two industries and the hegemonic conditioning of Korean audiences’ tastes ironically led to the assimilation and imitation of Western aesthetics and themes in many Golden Age productions. David Scott Diffrient’s case study of Over That Hill—Shin Films’ 1968 remake of a 1931 Twentieth Century-Fox melodrama—provides a compelling example of this. He examines the complex postcolonial dimensions of cross-cultural adaptation involving not only the Depression-era American film and the South Korean remake but also postwar Japanese melodramas equally influenced by Hollywood. Ae-Gyung Shim’s study makes a unique contribution by bridging two distinct cinematic decades (the Golden Age of the 1960s and the so-called "Dark Age" of the 1970s) through a common denominator—Park Chung Hee’s 18-year rule. Finally, Hye Seung Chung’s presentation on Untold Scandal, a contemporary film based on a classic Western novel, links together and elaborates many of the cross-cultural concerns raised in this panel.
Fatal Attraction: Hollywood’s Reactions to the Korean Screen Quota System
Brian Yecies, University of Wollongong
This study traces the development of film policies in Korea and offers a deeper understanding of the industrial and cultural pressures Hollywood has historically placed on the Korean film industry. Since the 1920s, Universal, Paramount, United Artists, MGM and RKO—all controlling members of the Motion Picture Distributors Association of America—had agents in Seoul. Korea was an important territory for Hollywood during the Japanese colonial period as studios used film to "Americanize" Korean audiences. In the late 1930s, the colonial administration’s stricter film policies enforced a higher exhibition quota of "domestic" Korean and Japanese films. Screen quotas ceased under the U. S. military government in the post-liberation era. Under the guidance of the Motion Picture Association of America, trade agreements as well as censorship and copyright regulations attempted to ease the exhibition of American films. However, since the 1960s South Korea has fortified its domestic film market with protectionist screen quota policies. Yet, Hollywood interests have continued to apply intense pressure to reduce South Korea’s current screen quota system. I hope to offer a richer understanding of Hollywood’s reactions to the screen quota system and the long-term impact Hollywood has had on the exhibition and distribution market in Korea.
Transnational Adaptations and Cross-Cultural Remakes in South Korea’s Golden Age Cinema
David S. Diffrient, University of California, Los Angeles
This presentation explores the ways in which filmmakers of South Korea’s cinematic Golden Age tapped into a vast repository of images and themes borrowed from other national contexts, from Depression-era America to postwar Japan. To illustrate Korean filmmakers’ unusual penchant for narrative assimilation and cross-cultural adaptation, I highlight a representative melodrama of that era. Produced by Sin Sang-ok and directed by Kang Ch’an-u, Over That Hill (Cho ondok nomoso; 1968) is a remake of the Twentieth Century-Fox film Over the Hill (1931). Besides looking West for its narrative and thematic material, Over That Hill looks East, in particular to the cinema of postwar Japan. In fact, there are numerous similarities between Over That Hill and Ozu’s Tokyo Story (1953), above all their shared focus on the love/hate relationship between rural parents and city children—a generational as well as geographic schism that casts in relief an issue central to the study of remakes and adaptations: fidelity to an ancestral or antecedent text. Given this diegetic as well as extradiegetic focus on loyalty (to one’s literal or figurative "parents"), it seems appropriate to ask if the structural isomorphism between Korean films and their American and Japanese predecessors simply revives the specter of cultural imperialism. Or, as the culmination of several cross-cultural "makeovers" and adaptations, do films like Over That Hill mark a break from the past by using Euro-American and Japanese signifiers as mere pretexts for distinctively Korean texts envisioning the nation’s socio-economic future?
From Golden Age to Dark Age: The Transition of Korean Cinema under Park Chung Hee, 1961–1979
Ae-Gyung Shim, University of New South Wales
Since the late 1990s, South Korean cinema has experienced unprecedented international acclaim and a lion’s share of its domestic exhibition market. A new wave of Korean filmmakers, emerging in the 1980s, as well as a host of more recent, talented directors, have contributed to this rising industry. However, there is a significant gap in the scholarship about the richness of Korean cinema before the 1980s and a tendency to overlook the film industry’s activities in the 1960s and 1970s as part of the continuum of its contemporary achievements. This study traces the growth of the film industry in the 1960s and analyzes its downturn in the 1970s and its complex relationship with the Park Chung Hee dictatorial regime. In this way we can gain a better understanding of the legacy and contribution Park’s administration left behind and the changes it inspired in an industry that was trying to survive. The propagation of a series of motion picture laws was a key catalyst in these changes. The film community reacted to Park’s film policies in both agreeable and repulsive ways, making Korea’s cinema history more dynamic and paradoxical than previously believed. This study intends to provide new connections and insights between Korean cinema during the Park Chung Hee era and its current success.
Taming a Dangerous Woman: Gender Politics and the Cross-Cultural Transformations of Untold Scandal
Hye Seung Chung, University of Michigan
As one of the top grossing films of 2003, E-J. Yong’s Untold Scandal is an anomaly in contemporary South Korean cinema, a cross-cultural adaptation based on a famous Western classic—Choderlos de Laclos’ 1782 French novel Les Liaisons dangereuses—which had already been adapted for the big screen several times by talented European filmmakers (including Roger Vadim, Stephen Frears, and Milos Forman). Despite its commercial disadvantage as a period piece, the film garnered critical kudos and attained widespread popularity. This success is particularly curious considering that a handful of earlier, Golden Age productions adapted from Western novels (such as Hugo’s Les Miserables and Maupassant’s Une Vie) quickly slipped into obscurity following moderate to poor performances at the box office. I argue that this film’s appeal lies in the fact that it addresses contemporaneous attitudes toward sexual mores and (anti)melodramatic sensibilities despite its Choson-era setting. Untold Scandal is a revisionist melodrama brimming with irony and cynicism, one which mocks sinp’a-style sentimentalism and Confucian values. For all its surface cynicism, though, the film evinces a collective sense of nostalgia in the final scene, a radical revision of the original story in which callous Lady Cho (played by Yi Mi-suk) cherishes the wild bellflowers given to her by the now-dead male protagonist. This softening of the unremorseful French heroine, as well as the evocation of the actress’ less sophisticated screen image of the 1980s, are indicative of the cross-cultural maneuvers necessary to recast gender politics specific to post-IMF South Korea.
Individual Papers: Premodern Japanese Literature
Organizer and Chair: Mariko Tamanoi, University of California, Los Angeles
The Dai Is Cast: Poetic Topic Formation and the Visual Field in Heian Japan
Joseph T. Sorensen, University of Colorado, Boulder
In the composition of traditional Japanese verse (waka) from the tenth century on, the most important consideration for an aspiring poet was the "poetic topic," or dai. Modern scholars such as Kubota Jun and Ozawa Masao have argued that dai served to distance poetic composition from immediate experience and helped raise literary awareness (bungakuteki ishiki), placing waka in the realm of conceptual literature (kannenteki bungaku). Expanding on their arguments, I show how the visual arts played a pivotal role in the early formation of assigned topics in Heian Japan (794–1185) and helped poets mediate direct experience and poetic expression.
Though dai began as merely descriptive titles that facilitated the categorization of poems into pre-existing Chinese typologies of, for instance, natural phenomena, dai eventually came to denote an elaborate matrix of conventional associations surrounding a certain object, idea, or event. I argue that the way poetic topics developed in the period leading up to Kokinshû, the first imperial anthology of Japanese verse (ca. 905), is inextricable from the rise of screen painting and other visual arts during the same period. Poetic compositions by Ki no Tsurayuki (ca. 868–945) that were based on or for painted screens illustrate how poems and paintings worked in tandem to establish the conventions that would define all subsequent poetry in the tradition.
Surviving Criticism: The Role of Scholarly Ambivalence in the Sustenance of "Boring" Texts, as Seen in the Case of Tamakiwaru, a Premodern Japanese Court Memoir
C. Miki Wheeler, University of Colorado, Boulder
In 1224, the poet-scholar Fujiwara Teika (1162–1241) discovered that his sister, Kengozen (1157–1224), had compiled a memoir referred to today as Tamakiwaru. Upon examining it, Teika declared that because of its "unusual content" and "poor writing style," he could neither condone nor condemn the preservation of its manuscript. Over seven hundred years later, Misumi Yôichi published an article titled "Is Tamakiwaru Really That Boring?" Sporadic declarations of disdain toward the text have played a crucial role in its marginalization within the canon of classical Japanese literature, and absence altogether from research in the West.
But in the last ten years, scholars such as Edith Sarra, Shirley Yumiko Hulvey, and Imazeki Toshiko collectively broadened the scope of the critical parameters of research on court diaries written by women. While acknowledging the importance of the philological approaches of traditional scholarship, they incorporated autobiographical, narratological, and feminist literary theory in their discussions, which resulted in an expansion of the common vocabulary among scholars of the genre.
It is in this spirit that I emphasize the importance of investigating the contents of Tamakiwaru in the context of the author’s personal experiences, which were closely tied to the Genpei wars (1180–1185). Cross-referencing internal evidence with other source material, such as contemporaneous court diaries kept by men, historical narratives, and military tales, brings this memoir to life in a way that belies the ambivalence that has characterized much of its scholarship. This finding provides a true glimpse at the stunning breadth of premodern court diaries by women.
One Piece in the Puzzle of Embodiment: The Role of Erotics in Medieval Buddhist Setsuwa
Charlotte Eubanks, University of Colorado, Boulder
As a mode of medieval religious writing, setsuwa ("explanatory tales") are involved in engaging their audiences more at the level of sensation than at the level of logic. This is a dangerous claim to make, for it flirts with the misconception that setsuwa in particular, and medieval Buddhism in general, represent a popularized watering down of classical Buddhism to fit the needs and lowered capacities of the rural masses. Rather than discount the consistent sensational appeals of setsuwa as a necessary evil, required if one wishes to communicate to the masses but far from ideal, this paper will instead take these appeals seriously, evaluating them as that portion of the sermon which often bears the weight of the theological argument being made.
While the relationship between sensual desire and religious faith has been closely, and openly, attended to in the case of medieval European Christianity, this interaction remains largely unaccounted for in Buddhist studies. Thus, this paper will chart new territory by examining the body of the preacher, the believer, and the sinner as sites of tension between the divine and the earthly. Through a close consideration of erotic motifs in medieval, Buddhist setsuwa, this presentation will develop an understanding of the role that the common themes of sexual titillation, predatory threats, and sensual arousal played in the awakening and development of faith.
Yamauba: Japanese Mountain Witch in Literature, Folklore, and Art
Noriko T. Reider, Miami University
To many contemporary Japanese, the term yamauba (lit., mountain old woman) conjures up the image of a mountain-dwelling hag ready to devour humans who happen to cross her path. The witch in "Hansel and Gretel" (Grimm’s no. 15) and Baba Yaga of Russian folktales can be considered Western counterparts of the yamauba figure. However, the yamabua’s image is complex. Indeed, commenting on the medieval Noh play entitled "Yamamba," Karen Brazell calls the yamamba (the same as yamauba) character "an impossible bundle of contradictions." By the end of the seventeenth century, yamauba came to be considered the mother of Kintaro, a legendary child with great strength raised on Mt. Ashigara and to be portrayed by ukiyo-e artists in the eighteenth century as an alluring, beautiful woman humoring her son. Contributing to this changing image are the narratives of Kinpira joruri, Chikamatsu Monzaemon’s play entitled Komochi yamauba (Mountain Witch with a Child, 1712), and folk beliefs about yamauba. The presentation will study the transformation of the image of the yamauba in the early modern period and its significance by examining the nature of the yamauba from classical literature and folktales. I will also explore how this change is related to the status of Japanese women of that period, its multidimensional reflection of and impact on the Japanese society and psyche.
Humor with Heart: Haikai renga and the Ushin Tradition
Jeremy Robinson, University of Virginia
Haikai renga, the unconventional linked verse that became popular in sixteenth-century Japan, has frequently been relegated to the margins of the larger renga tradition, dismissed as less important due largely to the form’s reliance on colloquial rather than traditional poetic language and the frequent appearance of humorous or vulgar themes. While linked verse had grown from a simple parlor game into a refined art form, praised as ushin or "with heart," humorous renga remained firmly in the mushin tradition, "without heart." However, the fundamental elements of haikai renga—the importance of collaboration, the immediacy of the themes, and the emphasis on creative linking—reveal a strong affinity with the earliest ideals of renga composition. Rather than a product of the degradation of the genre, humorous renga may be seen as an attempt to rediscover the original freshness and appeal of renga at a time in which much linked verse had become formulaic and overly reliant on elaborate rules. This paper examines the conventions of haikai renga in relation to the ideals of linked verse composition espoused by the masters of the renga form, explores the importance of the genre to expanding literary production beyond the upper classes, and attempts to reclaim a place for humorous linked verse alongside more conventional poetic forms in Japan’s literary history.
Encompassing Comparisons and Parallel Discourses: New Approaches to Comparative Intellectual History
Organizer and Chair: Ari Daniel Levine, University of Georgia
Discussant: Pamela Crossley, Dartmouth College
This panel seeks to develop new theories and methodologies for comparative intellectual history by exploring parallel discourses in Chinese and European thought. Each presenter will compare two bodies of texts—one Chinese, one European—that explicate similar ways of thinking, knowing, speaking, or feeling. By working at the level of discourses and vocabularies, each paper examines how language placed limits upon what was conceivable, and how these intellectual systems were predicated upon unspoken assumptions. By using native terminologies as the basis of their comparisons, the panelists seek to avoid culture-bound explanations and "East"/"West" dichotomies.
This panel offers four methodological approaches to comparative intellectual history. In a close reading of classical texts, Mark Edward Lewis compares and contrasts early Chinese and ancient Greek attitudes towards emotional experiences by analyzing vocabularies that describe the nature, substance, sources, and locations of emotional phenomena. Comparing literary taxonomies of rhetoric and their relation to political authority, David Schaberg’s paper analyzes changing conceptions of persuasion and eloquence in two imperial settings: the courts of Qin-Han China and the Roman principate. Ari Levine’s paper examines notions of faction (pengdang) and "party" in eleventh-century China and eighteenth-century Britain, focusing on vocabularies of authority and legitimacy that underlay political theory and rhetoric in periods of factional conflict. Examining scientific texts written by Jesuit missionaries and Chinese scholars in the seventeenth century, Benjamin Elman compares Chinese notions of gewu zhizhi ("investigating things and extending knowledge") with European conceptions of scientia and uncovers the unspoken assumptions behind these intellectual structures.
Describing Emotions in Early China and Ancient Greece
Mark Edward Lewis, Stanford University
In recent decades emotions have become a leading theme for comparative cultural analysis through linguistic semantics. Most studies compare terms for emotions in different cultures. They generally seek (1) to contrast cultures through demonstrating the presence or absence of near equivalents ("people X have no word for ‘shame’"), and distinguishing their connotations and uses; or (2) to discover "universal emotion concepts" underlying the surface diversity of natural languages. One of the few studies to apply such methods to China is Paolo Santangelo’s Sentimental Education in Chinese History.
This paper will, in contrast, focus not on early Chinese and Greek names of emotions, but the associated verbs and relational terms that characterized emotions in general, and the related practices which provided vocabulary pertaining to emotions. Through the study of verbs I will deduce the nature and substance of emotions, e.g., actively mobilized or passively endured; fluid, wind, or energy; striking a blow or permeating, etc. Through relational terms I will suggest something of the perceived location and sources of emotions, e.g., internal or external, if the latter, then how they enter the body, where in the body, etc. Related practices that provided vocabulary in both cultures include demonology, medicine, and dream analysis. This study will attempt to establish the place of emotions as a general phenomenon in both cultures, to show how their ideas were alike, and indicate how they differed.
Speech Genres and the Rise of Literary Taxonomy
David Schaberg, UCLA
Comparative investigations in literature often take the form of juxtapositions of taxonomies: "Did the Chinese have epic?" asks about a particular genre and, implicitly, about a whole system of genres. Such taxonomies take shape where political stability permits the specialized labor of archivists, bibliographers, and anthologists. According to Bakhtin and others, however, literary genres themselves originate outside of writing, in oral utterances having specific use values in given social and historical settings. These settings and ways of speaking do not disappear with the rise of writing and taxonomy, nor do they lose their importance in the daily conduct of social business. One must imagine, then, literary genres embedded in and imperfectly distinguished from a more diffuse and changeable tissue of speech genres, the living talk of every sort that makes a work and its author usable.
A case in point is speech in imperial courts. In eras of growing controls on critical and deliberative speech, as during the rise of the Qin and Han imperia and the coming of the Roman principate, new technical theorizations of persuasion went hand in hand with authoritarian condemnations of eloquence. Works of the free-speaking past were preserved and imitated, but in contexts that stressed their literariness, their identification with genre and their insulation from any real business of imperial policy. Investigation of generic taxonomies and extra-taxonomic factors in two distinct imperial settings thus illuminates both the fate of persuasive speech and the origins of the category of the "literary" itself.
Public Good and Partisan Gain: Political Languages of Faction in Northern Song China and Hanoverian Britain
Ari Daniel Levine, University of Georgia
In eleventh-century China and eighteenth-century Britain, political and ideological conflicts divided the socio-political elite of both empires into rival factions: reformists (xindang) and anti-reformists (jiudang), Tories and Whigs. At the courts of the Song and Hanoverian dynasties, a series of partisan ministerial regimes contended for power and patronage. While unfolding within different cultural and institutional contexts, these factional conflicts offer fruitful comparisons for historians of political theory, ideology, and discourse.
By interrogating the terms of these parallel vocabularies of faction and party, this paper will compare Chinese and British conceptions of political authority and legitimacy, exploring the intellectual assumptions and linguistic limits that constrained the political imagination. Political theorists and rhetoricians worked within classical and historical frames of reference that constrained the limits of interpretation. In late Northern Song China (1068–1126), the authors of "Essays on Faction" (Pengdang lun) generally described "factions" (pengdang) as the exclusive province of "petty men" (xiaoren), illegitimate ministers who pursued "selfish" (si) interests while forsaking the "public good" (gong). From Bolingbroke to Hume, eighteenth-century British authors of "Dissertations on Parties" similarly imagined loyalty to "party" as undermining the "public good" and "national interest."
Both Chinese and English political vocabularies proved insufficiently elastic to conceive of factions as anything but malign and illegitimate associations that subverted state authority and monarchical prerogatives. Since factions were imagined to be antithetical to the public good, political figures refrained from publicly admitting that they had formed factions, using the terms "faction" and "party" to accuse their adversaries of political illegitimacy.
Tradutore, traditore: Christianity, Science, and Translation in Seventeenth-Century China
Benjamin A. Elman, Princeton University
When Europeans reached China during the age of exploration, the highest learning (scientia) of their men of culture did not connote natural science. For Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), natural philosophy, not natural science, was a field of higher learning. Science was a medieval French term, which was synonymous with accurate and systematized knowledge. When Latinized the word became scientia and represented among scholastics and early modern elites the specialized branches of Aristotelian moral and natural philosophy. Included in the Scholastic regime for learning were the seven sciences of medieval learning: grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy. Comparable to the classical ideal of the six arts in ancient China (rites, music, archery, charioteering, calligraphy, and mathematics), these seven liberal arts served in Roman education as preparation for more specialized training in philosophy, medicine, or law.
Like contemporary Europeans and Islamic scholars, late imperial Chinese also prioritized mathematical studies for their pre-modern exact sciences, which informed Chinese astronomy, geography, cartography, and alchemy in different ways. Literati also applied the naturalistic concepts of yin and yang and the five evolutive phases (wuxing) to elucidate the spontaneous (ziran) changes in the stuff of the world (qi). Rational and abstract explanations of natural things and phenomena characterized the pre-modern sciences worldwide, particularly Chinese elite traditions of natural studies. I spotlight the early modern scientific texts translated jointly by Christian missionaries and Chinese literati. These science translations were not simply innocent byproducts of the missionary enterprise, however. The science texts the missionaries successfully translated into classical Chinese were encoded with Christian messages and religiously-induced silences. Hence, I do not focus on translation as a futile exercise in philosophical incommensurability. Instead, I demonstrate the willful infiltration of Christian beliefs in the scientific textbooks translated into Chinese.
My analysis of scientific translations by missionaries and their converts will reveal the unspoken predispositions that Catholics and Chinese all encoded. This lack of transparency has been underestimated in previously accounts of translation in China and Japan as high-minded efforts at achieving verisimilitude. Jesuit translators did not just fail to achieve a seamless word-by-word correspondence from Latin or English to Chinese. Nor were they idealistic failures who tried unsuccessfully to capture the spirit of the source through more adventuresome literary tactics.
The Jesuits in China rejected the European original when the native source betrayed their religious sensibilities. The result was not a failure to communicate. Competent in vernacular Chinese, the Jesuits communicated well enough to their Chinese partners who produced the classical translations. Rather, the enterprise of translation became a mindful, Christian effort not to translate Copernican heliocentricity in the original to the target audience. We see in this act of dissembling a sense of religious commitment that we should not underestimate. Jesuit dissembling tells us that we must further problematize the act of translation ideologically and recognize that the Chinese were not privy to the untranslated passages. What they did not know mattered.
Economic Warlordism, Internal Trade Discrimination, and Localism: Local Protectionism in China’s Economic and Administrative Reform
Organizer: Andrew H. Wedeman, University of Nebraska
Chair and Discussant: Thomas G. Rawski, University of Nebraska
The term "local protectionism" (defang baohu zhuyi) entered the discourse on the political economy of reform in contemporary China in the late 1980s when reports of interprovincial "resource wars" and the proliferation of internal trade barriers seemed to signal the coming fragmentation of China’s economy into rival "economic dukedoms." Fifteen years later, the Chinese economy has yet to fracture. Local protectionism remains an issue nevertheless. In fact, whereas in the late 1980s it referred primarily to internal trade barriers, today it is used to refer to a range of problems relating to market integration, policy implementation, judicial integrity and enforcement, and corporate development. In the process local protectionism has become a catchall term and as such its meaning has become blurred. Given this proliferation and blurring of meanings, this panel brings together economists and political scientists working on different aspects of local protectionism, with the goal of understanding the complexity of local protectionism and assessing its salience, both as a macroeconomic and a policy implementation problem. Papers address local protectionism from different perspectives, focusing on: (a) local protectionism as a response to macroeconomic distortions created by incremental reforms; (b) its impact on domestic trade flows; (c) capital market integration; and (d) its effect of the creation of effective central regulation. The panel thus seeks to elucidate not only the origins and effects of local protectionism, but provide a clearer understanding of what scholars in diverse areas consider local protectionism.
Resource Wars, Economic Dukedoms, and Price Wars: The Rise and Fall of Local Protectionism
Andrew Wedeman, University of Nebraska
In 1989–90, newspaper commentators claimed that China was on the verge of economic anarchy as a series of major interregional resource wars erupted in rural China and local governments began throwing up customs posts and sealing off local markets. Within a year, the resource wars had sputtered to an end and visible trade barriers had been replaced by more subtle discriminatory trade policies. Concern over "economic warlordism" faded and was replaced by a vague sense that "local protectionism" remained a hindrance to market integration. In this paper I argue that the lack of compelling evidence of systematic local protectionism, at least on a macroeconomic level, reflects the underlying fact that the "economic warlordism" of the late 1980s derived from distortions created by the decision to adopt an incremental reform strategy and specifically from the twin decisions in 1984 to decentralize economic authority while at the same time retaining a price system that juxtaposed fixed and market prices. These conditions gave rise to rent seeking manifest in the form of export barriers designed to impede outflows of undervalued raw materials and import barriers to block inflows of overvalued finished products. Competitive rent seeking in an anarchic environment, however, drove prices toward market levels. By the early 1990s the macroeconomic conditions that gave rise to local protectionism had been eliminated, ironically, by local protectionism. This became evident during 1997-99 when the ultimate response to deflation was not the erection of trade barriers but rather discounting that led to major "price wars."
Domestic Price Integration and Economic Performance in China
Sandra Poncet, Rotterdam University
This paper analyzes the relationship between domestic market integration and economic performance at the sub-national level within China. It follows a two step procedure. First, it estimates a province-level indicator of market fragmentation based on a price-based approach. We compute provincial indicators of domestic market fragmentation based on the distribution of price deviations from the Law of One Price. We rely on a three-dimensional data set of monthly prices on 7 agricultural goods, between 1987 and 1997 across 170 cities of 28 provinces. We deem market fragmentation to be high when intermarket price dispersion is greater for markets that lie on different sides of a provincial border than for markets that locate within the same province, after distance and market specificities are controlled for. Second, it then embeds this measure of market fragmentation into a cross-province growth framework, estimated with the GMM method. We find the economic importance of the Chinese provincial borders to be substantial as they are significant explanatory variables in accounting for observed deviations of the Law of One Price. Moreover their impact on the width of the no-arbitrage zone did not decrease over time between 1987 and 1997, putting into question the capacity of the reforms to enhance market integration within China. The evidence suggests that higher border-related additional costs of price arbitrage are systematically associated with lower economic growth. Our results stress the counter-productive impact of discontinuities in the Chinese domestic market in terms of both per capita agricultural GDP and global economic growth. They confirm the beneficial role of the fight against provincial protectionism.
Capital Flows and Domestic Market Integration in China
Li Qi, Columbia University
Capital market operation plays an important role in the debates over East Asian growth generated by Krugman (1994) and Young (1995). However, fundamental capital market issues such as capital mobility, integration, efficiency, and their link to China’s economic growth are neglected in the abundant studies on development. Further, the torrent of reports about the inadequacies of the Chinese financial system, accompanied by studies claiming low capital mobility and product and capital market segmentation (Boyreau-Debray and Wei 2002, Young 2001, and Poncet 2002) overlooks real achievements. My unique data set on provincial savings and investment allows me to examine components as well as aggregates in appraising the dynamic pattern of capital mobility, capital market integration and capital efficiency of various sectors in China. While my aggregate results parallel those of Boyreau-Debray and Wei and others, my data can address the key question of whether reform has created a commercial sector with market characteristics. I am able to assess the impact of financial innovation on capital flows outside the government allocation mechanism. Stripping out foreign funds, government appropriations, and officially influenced bank loans, I discover that interprovincial commercial capital flows started to behave like interstate flows in the U.S. and other advanced nations. I also show the evidence of interstate capital flows as well as the channels for such transfer to take place. The result of this study undercuts the widespread view of China’s economy as lacking in domestic integration.
Between Rhetoric and Reality: The Political Uses of Local Protectionism to Effect Institutional Change in China, 1998–2004
Andrew C. Mertha, Washington University
In this paper, I treat "local protectionism" as a largely symbolic and political, but no less potent, justification by Beijing to centralize a small but growing critical core of Chinese bureaucracies. Simply put, China’s leaders have pointed to "local protectionism" as a principal reason necessitating a recasting of traditional leadership relations between administrative units within these bureaucracies (which handle commercial regulation, environmental protection and land management, and commodity management and distribution) from a decentralized medium to a more centralized one. Because such a shift in power relations creates very real winners and losers, and reestablishes traditional formal and informal networks and political alliances at the local level, it requires a compelling reason for going forward (what new institutionalists refer to as an "ideology" to lower transaction and enforcement costs in order to implement policy). In this paper, I seek to analyze the potency of the idea of "local protectionism" as providing the clarion call for such change, especially because, as many others have pointed out, the extent of "local protectionism" is often overstated, its meaning is generalized to the point of losing its analytical traction, or it seems to exist simply as a set of non-systematic anecdotal and impressionistic observations. I will also differentiate between various types of "local protectionism" that is used to justify such institutional change. This paper is part of a larger project that explores the changing nexus of center-local relations under the rubric I have labeled elsewhere as "soft centralization" and which challenges existing analyses on "market-preserving federalism in China."
The Spirit of Bandung: New Perspectives after Fifty Years
Organizer and Discussant: Antonia Finnane, University of Melbourne
Chair: Robert Eison, University of Queensland
As the fiftieth anniversary of the historic Conference of Asian and African Nations approaches, a sudden flurry of activity related to the anniversary is evident in a new round of international meetings involving Asian and African countries. The stated goal of these meetings is to strengthen the relationship between African and Asian countries in "the spirit of the Bandung Asian-African Conference of 1955." Indonesia is the prime mover behind the meetings, but has met with an enthusiastic response, particularly from South Africa. Moreover, in China, too, the "spirit of Bandung" is being invoked in a number of contexts as the golden jubilee draws near. Clearly, an event hardly recalled in the west continues to resonate in the postcolonial world. In the theater of world politics in the 1950s, the Bandung Conference was one of the great performances. Featuring high ritual and dramatic confrontations, attended by some of the most notable political leaders of the era, it marked a moment, ten years after the collapse of the Japanese empire, when a new sort of non-Western assertiveness became apparent. In the USA, it was reported at the time in dismissive and occasionally sneering tones. Half a century later, new research on the 1950s—on topics as diverse as human rights, socialism and neutralism, intellectual reorientations in post-war Japan, and China’s international relations—is affirming the conference’s great historical significance.
The "Bandung Spirit" in Postwar Japan
Kristine Dennehy, California State University, Fullerton
Following Japan’s participation in the Afro-Asian Conference of 1955, held in Bandung Indonesia, it is quite common to find references to the Bandung Conference, or the so-called "Bandung Spirit" in the writings of Japanese leftist intellectuals. In this paper, I argue that this term, the "Bandung Spirit," functions as a kind of code word for Japan’s postwar shift to more peaceful relations with its Asian neighbors, following the 20th century experience of Japanese imperialist domination. This paper will focus on the symbolism attached to the so-called "Bandung Spirit" in postwar Japan. In postwar Japanese historiography, the Bandung Spirit, with its nuances of peaceful cooperation and respect for national sovereignty, exemplifies the contrast between Japan’s militaristic past and prospects for more peaceful ties in the post-World War II world. In this way, the ideals and goals of the Bandung Conference are inextricably linked to the emerging discourse in the 1950s among postwar Japanese intellectuals over how to forge new kinds of ties with the former colonial subjects of the Japanese empire. Although members of more Leftist circles did not actually attend Bandung, because of their position in postwar society, their importance lies in the social commentary they produced in the aftermath of Bandung. Sources for such commentary include monthly journals such as Sekai, Chuo Koron, etc. This paper relies on such sources in an examination of the debates that arose in Japan at the time of, and in the wake of, the Bandung Conference.
Attitudes towards Neutralism in the Postcolonial World: Some Commonalities between the 1953 Asian Socialist Conference and the 1955 Asian-African Conference
Kyaw Zaw Win, University of Wollongong
The Bandung Conference of 1955 is often regarded as the starting point for the non-aligned or neutralist movement. In fact, the Asian socialist movements that flourished in the years before 1955 had a formative influence on the Bandung Conference in 1955, and can be seen to foreshadow the neutralist position favored by some prominent participants in the Bandung Conference. This is well demonstrated by a study of the Asian Socialist Conference, a Party-level Conference, convened in Burma in 1953. Contacts between members of the international socialist movement in Asia were based on the triangular relationship between India, Burma and Indonesia, a relationship in which Japan had a supplementary role. The cordial relations among the three countries developed out of their struggles for independence. Based on these contacts, the Social Democrats from the four countries agreed at the beginning of 1950s to refrain from joining either of the two power-blocs of the Cold War. The 1953 Conference had a number of other features in common with the Bandung Conference. Among the most important was the determination on "World Peace" made at both conferences. The determination in each case involved approaching the United Nations on disarmament, prohibition of the production, experimentation, maintenance and use of Atomic weapons, and the statement that Atomic energy should only be utilized for peaceful purposes. This shared position on nuclear weapons was consistent with shared sympathies for neutralism.
The Bandung Conference and the Emergence of China’s Middle Eastern Policy
Yufeng Mao, George Washington University
The Bandung conference saw the emergence of China’s Middle Eastern policy. The Chinese goal to gain Arab friendship was achieved by exploiting the following issues: (1) China and the Arab world’s common opposition to colonialism and imperialism; (2) Egypt’s aspiration to a leadership role in the Arab and Muslim world; (3) surging Arab nationalism which was reflected on the issues of Palestine and French North Africa; and (4) the existence of a huge Chinese Muslim population. In order to break into the Middle East and expand the "united front of peace" to include the Arabs, the Chinese at the Bandung Conference emphasized Afro-Asian solidarity, promoted good relations with Egypt, supported the Palestinians, and encouraged religious exchanges. By deemphasizing their Communist ideology and identifying with the Asian-African world, the Chinese established common ground with the Arabs. Mutual interests brought China and Egypt closer to each other and paved the way for China to expand her influence in the Arab world. The Chinese decision at Bandung to side with the Arabs on the issue of Arab-Israeli conflict enabled China to exploit Arab nationalism in the future to increase her influence; and Islam became a channel of diplomacy for the Chinese and the Arabs in the absence of formal diplomatic channels. These tactics were effective in improving relations between the Arabs and the Chinese. They generated a wave of good feeling toward "Red China" in the Arab world, and enabled China not only to obtain diplomatic recognition, but also to gain influence among Arab intellectuals, and within Arab societies more broadly. These short-term tactics would become long-term characteristics of China’s Middle Eastern policy.
Bandung’s Unlikely Allies: Human Rights and Afro-Asian Nationalism at the 1955 Asian-African Conference
Roland Burke, University of Melbourne
This paper will explore the forgotten place of human rights at the 1955 Asian-African Conference in Bandung. Contrary to existing accounts of the conference, which emphasize the anti-colonial and latent anti-Western feeling of the participants, this paper will demonstrate that there was a significant positive engagement with human rights by a diverse range of states at Bandung. The conference hosted two of the world’s foremost proponents of the human rights idea, Carlos Romulo (Philippines) and Charles Malik (Lebanon.) These men would play a central role in the debates on human rights that took place at Bandung, debates which occupied almost the entire first day allotted to the drafting the Final Communiqué. Their arguments received a sympathetic reception from anti-colonial nationalists from across Asia and Africa. For many of the delegates, the struggle against colonialism had important affinities with the struggle for human rights. Individual freedom and national independence were parallel and mutually supportive projects. The early phase of Afro-Asian nationalism saw the emergence of a reflexive interest in democracy and human rights, and many nationalist leaders had personally experienced the repressive administration adopted by most variants of European colonialism. Notwithstanding the assertions of some noted human rights scholars, the Asian-African Conference did not presage the recent cultural relativist challenge to human rights. When the concept of universal human rights was challenged by the most powerful nation at the conference, it found enthusiastic champions among the smaller states.
The Poetics of Culture in Everyday Asia
Organizer and Chair: Frank J. Smith, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Discussant: Eleanor T. Lipat, University of California, Los Angeles
Contemporary Asian street-level culture provides myriad daily examples of expressive discourses between members of various marginalized groups and the dominant social order. These expressive discourses naturally give evidence of resistance and other reactions to domination, but also of seduction, anxiety, internal conflict and contradiction in terms of class, race, and gender, framed by the larger socioeconomic situation in which these discourses occur.
These everyday expressive discourses, furthermore, often underline a "political unconsciousness" among the various marginalized groups in question. Such an unawareness of the politics of their actions, however, does not render the often highly poignant and artistic expressions of these groups any less significant in a description and analysis of their respective contemporary social/cultural/political landscapes.
The papers in this panel examine several discrete moments of expressive discourse among marginalized groups, derived directly from the experience of the subjects. This constitutes a focus on contemporary folklore practices in general and in particular, urban expressive culture. Such a culture is expressed in diverse media ranging from music to theatrical performance, speech styles, the visual arts and fashion.
The sum of these practices can be read as a shared collective model where a community or group of people takes multiple readings of the same text and in doing so produces and enhances their collectivity, however unconsciously, while still allowing for differing individual perspectives.
A Localized Sound on the Road in South Korea, T’ûrot’û Medley
Min-Jung Son, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
A cassette of music in medley form, mostly known as a t’ûrot’û medley, has been one of the most popular cultural commodities among the South Korean working class since the late 1980s, such as taxi drivers, bus drivers, and tourists in highway buses. T’ûrot’û medley is a seamless rendition of a number of sentimental love song hits given in the style of t’ûrot’û (Korean pronunciation of trot) to the same rhythmic accompaniment. Generally speaking, the musical characteristics of t’ûrot’û medley include lots of echo effects, double-tracked vocal, danceable rhythm, and synthesizer-oriented small instrumentation. The question here is how and why this new sound was invented and kept as a local musical identity of the South Korean working class, particularly connected to the space of the highway.
In this paper, I first intend to explore the historical process in which t’ûrot’û medley has been formulated and standardized as the music of the South Korean working class. For instance, a specific South Korean cultural phenomenon, kwankwangbus-ch’um (dancing on the highway tourbus), played a key role in bolstering the fervor of this danceable medley music in the 1980s–90s. I then examine cultural and economic forces by which this new sound has been linked to the aesthetics of the South Korean working class, such as the formation of local marketplaces of cassette music—i.e., traditional marketplaces, parks, street markets, and highway rest areas. This study is based upon my fieldwork in Seoul and Kyônggi province (the surrounding area of Seoul) in 2002–2003.
When the Iron Rice Bowl Meets the Market: Falun Gong and the Cult(ivation) of Modernity in Post-Maoist China
Robert J. Shepherd, George Washington University
Understanding the Falun Gong movement and its suppression by the Chinese government from July 1999 until the present has been the subject of an increasing amount of research. Much of this work focuses on the structure of this movement, its aims and objectives, and its classification. Less attention has been paid to the cultural and aesthetic aspects of the movement, particularly in its early years, as a localized response to the Chinese state’s embrace of "opening up" to the world via radical economic and social reforms.
The appeal of Falun Gong is best understood through a careful reading of its founder Li Hongzhi’s Zhuan Falun (Turning the Dharma Wheel) within the context of the ideological template and language he was shaped within—a Maoist idealization of social morality combined with a philosophical tradition of cultivation and a Modernist deification of Science. The mainly late-middle-aged urban residents who made up the bulk of Li Hongzhi’s followers at the height of his popularity are Chinese who have not, in the main, benefited from the Chinese Communist Party’s turn to market reforms. As work units have gone bankrupt, the state health system has collapsed, and the last shred of broad belief in the value of state socialism has disappeared under the lure of money and the power of corruption, the claims of a Li Hongzhi, could, from their perspective, look not just reasonable but also attractive, as a means, however illusory, of gaining some control over one’s own life at a time of social chaos.
Politics, Performance, and the Experience of Meaning in Contemporary Performed Urdu Poetry
Christopher Lee, Canisius College
Poetry, it is said, is the form of expression that Muslims in North India value most. Appreciation of poetry is not defined by wealth, class or education; one is as likely to hear poetry being recited by a mechanic or weaver as a college professor. Poetry is shared and recited at the tea stand with friends, and performed at gatherings which attract audiences in the tens of thousands.
The ghazal—the most popular of the Urdu poetic forms—is traditionally understood to be syrupy love poetry, and casts the poet as the unrequited lover of an unfeeling beloved. However, contemporary poets are rehabilitating the tropes of this love poetry to better represent contemporary Muslim experience in India: ghazals often carry veiled political and social messages which run counter to dominant local and national discourses. By couching such messages within the ghazal, Urdu poets are able to make counterhegemonic statements without endangering ontological commitments, safe within the aestheticized beauty of poetry.
In this paper, based on several years of ethnographic research and an apprenticeship to a practicing poetry master, I explore various ways that everyday Muslim poets of Urdu in North India utilize the performed ghazal as a way to construct, negotiate and critique meaningful shared understandings of the social and political circumstances in which they find themselves.
Telling the Customer What to Do: A Thai Sex Worker Improvisational Folk Chant
Frank J. Smith, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Much research has been done on the economics of sex work in Thailand, the means by which women (and men) are recruited into the industry, and their relations/interactions with their customers. Precious little has been written, however, on the culture of sex workers themselves, on the informal social networks and aesthetic practices they create together which serve in part as a base and support for their working lives.
This paper will document, based on material gathered during participant observation of these in-group social and cultural interactions, one tangible product of Bangkok freelance sex workers’ interactions with each other: a partially improvised folk chant topically related to their work.
This particular chant is notable not only for the way that it makes light of the nature of the womens’ work, but also for the irreverence with which it treats their customers. Various implications of these two aspects of the chant are discussed in the paper. In addition to this discussion, an audio recording of the chant (with transcript and English translation provided) will be played, and slides of sex workers interacting with each other before work will be shown.
Christianity and the (Re)Construction of Self and Other in Korea
Organizer, Chair, and Discussant: Timothy S. Lee, Texas Christian University
Keywords: Christianity, Korea, history of religions, modern.
Christianity entered Korea over two centuries ago; since then, it has interacted with Korean culture at its deepest core and has grown to encompass a third of the current South Korean population. In the course of such interaction and growth, Christianity has figured importantly in the way identities are constructed and reconstructed in Korea. Sometimes Christianity has served as an Other against which traditional Korean identities were revalorized. Other times, it has provided a basis for the (re)construction of new Selves, collective and individual, often by "othering" things traditional. The four papers in this panel explore the dynamics of such identity (re)construction in Korea. Donald Baker does so by focusing on a late-eighteenth-century debate between Roman Catholics and traditional religionists over the nature of God, a debate in which each party seeks to construct a vision of God that "others" the other’s vision. Sung Deuk Oak focuses on a genealogy of Korean Shamanism, arguing that the perception of Shamanism as a demonic "other" is largely a construction of Protestant missionaries. Donald Clark addresses the theme by focusing on missionaries who came to Korea reconstruct its society in the image of American Protestantism, only to undergo profound transformation in their own understanding of Korea and selves. James Grayson then discusses adherency statistics of Korean Christian communities, seeking to distinguish reliable data from grist to the mill of communities bent on constructing exaggerated pictures of themselves. Timothy Lee commentates on all these papers, putting them in proper theoretical and historiographical contexts.
How to Construct God: Anthropomorphism or Anthropocentricism or What?
Donald L. Baker, University of British Columbia
When Christianity first penetrated the Korean peninsula near the end of the 18th century, it encountered a dualist religious culture. The general population was polytheistic, worshipping a number of gods conceived anthropomorphically. Neo-Confucians, on the other hand, were non-theistic. They believed there was one governing force in the cosmos, but that force was immanent and impersonal and therefore anthropomorphic language should be avoided in describing it. Christianity challenged both sides of traditional Korean religious culture by rejecting polytheism while insisting that an anthropomorphic deity, who existed above, beyond, and outside our universe, nevertheless ruled that universe. Neo-Confucians rebuffed Christian arguments for a transcendent, anthropomorphic God on both textual and ethical grounds, saying it was based on a misreading of the Classics and also encouraged human beings to engage in the selfish pursuit of personal salvation. Among the general population, there was growing agreement with the Christian rejection of polytheism coupled with a rejection of an anthropomorphic theology of transcendence. This shift in popular religious culture became evident in the mid-19th century with the birth of the new religion—Tonghak. Motivated by fidelity to Confucian ethics, which gave primacy to interactions among human beings over interactions between humans and gods, Tonghak insisted that God lived within human beings. This allowed Tonghak to preach the existence of one and only one God without abandoning the anthropocentric ethics of Confucianism or adopting the anthropomorphic theology of Christianity.
A Genealogy of an "Other": Protestant Missionaries’ Discourse on Korean "Shamanism," 1895–1914
Sung Deuk Oak, University of California, Los Angeles
At the turn of the twentieth century, Protestant missionaries pioneered the study of Korean religions. Though they claimed objectivity for their study, theirs was a discourse motivated by a theological agenda: they approached Korean religions with the attitude akin to that of an entomologist who would approach pesty insects with the aim of controlling and ultimately eliminating them. This attitude was especially apparent in the missionaries’ study of Shamanism, a folk religion that—much more than the official religion of Confucianism—was intimately involved in everyday lives of the Korean populace, with its myriad gods and spirits, with its influential shamans and rituals, and with its knack for intermingling with magisterial religions such as Buddhism and Daoism. It therefore is not surprising that in the missionaries’ discourse, Shamanism emerged as an "Other" par excellence—described in terms such as superstition, fetishism, devil/demon worship, and sorcery. This paper is a genealogy of this discourse that largely shaped the category we now know as Korean Shamanism. The paper focuses on the first twenty years of the discourse. More specifically, the paper examines the Korean terms the missionaries used for "Shamanism," "shaman," and "shaman rituals"; a pantheon of Korean Shamanism the missionaries elaborated; the impact of Shamanism on Protestantism; comparing views of Shamanism among Anglican, Presbyterian, and Methodist missionaries in Korea; and the well-known phenomenon of the shaman-converts-become-Bible women.
American Missionaries’ Transformation in Korea
Donald N. Clark, Trinity University
The first Protestant missionaries in Korea came from an America that combined ideologies of imperialism and pre-millenarianism, keen to spread the gospel on "foreign fields." They arrived in Korea with their heads full of orientalized conceptions of Korea as a benighted and sterile "Other," needing Westerners’—mainly the missionaries’—stimulus to be dislodged from heathenism and be prepared for the imminent Second Coming. While engaged in their work, however, some of the missionaries found Korea to be a great deal more resilient and fecund than they had thought. Consequently, even as other missionaries continued to harbor orientalist prejudice toward Korea, these more sympathetic missionaries took the trouble of making themselves well versed in Korean language, history, and culture. In the course of such dialogical efforts, this paper argues, the missionaries underwent profound transformation not only in their understanding of Korea but also in their sense of themselves—in effect becoming Peace-Corps types before Peace Corps. This paper seeks to elaborate this argument by examining representative missionary figures such as James Gale and Homer Hulbert and their works from publications like Korea Repository and Korea Mission Fields, works that bear fruits of their conversation with Korea.
Religious Adherency and the 1985 and 1995 Censuses: What They Tell Us and Don’t Tell Us about Korean Christianity
James H. Grayson, University of Sheffield
In the early 1980s, the question of the relative size of the differing religious communities in the Republic of Korea became a major concern for students of the contemporary Korean religious scene. Doubt was raised about the claims made by various groups (principally Protestant Christians) about the actual size of the communities, since these claims seemed to inflate the numbers to support the communities’ exaggerated conceptions of themselves. In 1985, the ROK Government for the first time asked questions about religious adherency in the quinquennial census of that year, and subsequently in 1995. This paper proposes to examine the trends which the statistics from these two censuses reveal, and to contrast them with self-reported statistics from the various religious organizations. Comparisons will be drawn between Korean and Japanese statistics for religious adherency. Methodological questions will be raised about what information can actually be derived from these statistics and what information cannot be derived from them. Suggestions will be made for further lines of research.
The Meanings of Nonsense: Imaginations of Linguistic and Social Disorder in Chinese Literary and Visual Culture
Organizer: Paize Keulemans, Columbia University
Chair and Discussant: Hajime Nakatani, McGill University
This panel traces the power of the notion of wen (writing, graph, culture) in Chinese late-imperial history, art history, and literary culture by exploring one of its alternatives, "nonsense." In imperial Confucian orthodoxy, wen linked the political and social realms to aesthetic and linguistic processes by emphasizing how the world of nature and man functioned as a meaningful text of signs to be read, interpreted, and ordered. If so, what cultural politics informed the creation of "nonsense" by authors as diverse as courtesans and emperors, scholars and thieves? What forms of authority and anti-authority did these authors derive from the production or interpretation of nonsense? If a single, binding relationship between name and reality was thought to be crucial for social and cosmological stability, how could the obfuscation of this relationship turn into a playful and pleasurable game of riddles, rhymes and puns in genres and media as diverse as novels, paintings, and gravesites?
To address such questions, this panel brings together nonsensical visual, linguistic, and acoustic texts ranging from the middle to the late empire. Linda Feng investigates the use of nonsense ditties in one of the earliest courtesan texts, the Tang dynasty Beilizhi. Bruce Rusk focuses on the interpretation of nonsensical scripts in late Ming forgeries and contemporary visual art. Nixi Cura explores a set of seemingly meaningless syllables in the tomb of the Qianlong emperor of the Qing. Paize Keulemans examines how late-Qing martial-arts novels employ a secret language supposedly only meaningful to thieves and beggars.
Getting It Wrong: Ditties of the Alleyway and the Divergence of Scholar-Courtesan Life in Sun Qi’s Beilizhi
Linda Rui Feng, Columbia University
If nonsense offers some glimpse into another world order (or lack thereof), then, analogously, how someone in one social order tries to make sense of another order will entail making sense of the nonsensical. This is the situation facing the young literati author as he attempts to record the lives of the courtesans. On one hand, the female demimonde adopted outward structures designed to mirror the social order of the literati, thereby intriguing male authors because of their shared cultural values; on the other hand, gender relations and differences in social mobility created tensions despite attempted mirroring, and the interests of literati and courtesans inevitably diverged.
Male writings about Tang courtesans such as Sun Qi’s Beilizhi (Anecdotes of the Northern Wards), arguably the first courtesan narrative, reveal that writers like Sun did not always assume the courtesans’ social order was the same as their own, and that, for the uninitiated, the lives of the Other could well appear befuddling. I will argue that this coming to terms with the "us" versus "them" social structure is best conveyed by one plot device—that of children’s song-ditties in the alleyways of Chang’an. While male clients fail to make sense of the ditties, courtesans blessed with urban cunning employ the coded nature of the "nonsense" to render certain information inaccessible. As a result, many of the aforementioned tensions—between men and women, between social classes, and between meaning and non-meaning—are made visible.
The Illegible Truth: Reading Ancient Scripts in the Late Ming
Bruce Rusk, Stanford University
The reading of difficult old scripts was part of Chinese scholarly practice since early imperial times. Artifacts with ancient writing—or what appeared to be so—were discovered from time to time and almost inevitably someone would soon claim to decipher them. This paper examines such practices in the late Ming, when ancient writing was of particular interest. Examples of it were cherished, copied, transcribed and incorporated into dictionaries.
I will use a variety of sources to examine the assumptions behind and fruits of attempts at interpretation. How did a viewer decide that an item was "legible?" Could something be "writing" but not readable? Once it was read, what to do with it? Could it be left uninterpreted, having an unattainable meaning? I argue that writing was one end of a continuum of visual forms which included abstract signs and charts, diagrams and painting. Scholars confronted the polysemic amorphia of unreadable script—scribbles and blobs that looked like words. Meanwhile, popular art began, in the late sixteenth century, to incorporate the opposite, the polymorphous monosemy of the hundred-character print, which featured one character repeated a hundred times in fanciful, "antique" styles. This ubiquity points to an ambiguity and a debate: was ancient writing to be read (like "normal" text) for the meaning of the words or appreciated (like calligraphy) for the way it was written?
Lost in Translation: Tibetan Inscriptions in the Tomb of the Qianlong Emperor
Nixi Cura, Union College
Its stone walls carved with Buddhist texts and images, the tomb of the Qianlong emperor (r. 1736–95) displays a distinct aesthetic orientation in Qing imperial burial practice that diverges from traditional indigenous forms. In life, the emperor—a Manchu governing a Chinese empire—eschewed overt Manchu and Chinese signs and instead chose Tibetan writing, Tibetan transliterations of Sanskrit, and Lantsa script to decorate his underground palace. In the 75 years since the opening of the tomb, scholars have identified the pictorial iconography, but the thousands of incised characters have resisted translation. Questioning the assumption of equivalence to a yet unrealized text known only to select initiates in the eighteenth century, I argue that what makes no literal sense now made no literary sense then. Although the Qing monarchs commissioned multiple translation projects towards governing a comprehensive empire, could the disorder and opacity of the Tibetan inscriptions form an integral part of an alternate sacred order of the afterlife? In reconstructing the presence and authority of nonsense in Qing conceptions of utopia, I examine illegible components of extant Chinese imperial mausolea, the role of Tibetan Buddhism at court, and Manchu shamanistic rituals. Unreadable as text, the Tibetan syllables appear as auditory and visual patterns, combining with the images to form a seamless palimpsest of a necessarily incomprehensible otherworld.
Secret Codes and Nefarious Plots: The Use of Thieves Cant (Jianghu Heihua) in Nineteenth-Century Martial Arts Fiction
Paize Keulemans, Columbia University
One of the most striking features of nineteenth-century vernacular literature is a growing interest in different forms of regional and social dialect. In this paper, I add to our understanding of this phenomenon by focusing on one particularly interesting form of dialect, thieves cant (jianghu heihua). I argue that various popular martial-arts novels produced during this period employ jianghu heihua to explore the limits of the central authoritive power of official language (guanhua). Jianghu heihua does so by creating a dystopian mirror image of the officially spoken language: just as guanhua allows officials throughout the empire to communicate and conduct official business, so does the seemingly nonsensical code of jianghu heihua allow beggars, martial-artists, and secret-society members to engage in nefarious plots against central authority. In short, in novels such as The Tale of Romance and Heroism (Ernü yingxiong zhuan, 1878), The Latter Five Gallants (Xiao wu yi, 1890), and The Cases of Judge Peng (Peng gong’an, 1893) the use of jianghu heihua gives literary and linguistic expression to broader social anxieties regarding the loss of central power by the Qing authorities.
Negotiating Legal Boundaries: The Politics of Trials in Qing and Modern China
Organizer: Sei Jeong Chin, Harvard University
Chair: William C. Kirby, Harvard University
Discussant: Eugenia Y. Lean, Columbia University
Keywords: trials, practice of law, politics, legal actors, negotiation, legal history of China.
This cross-temporal panel will examine various trials in which interpretation and implementation of law were contested and negotiated within the specific political and social contexts of Qing and Republican China. Close analysis of trial procedures problematizes the general assumption that the judicial institution in China was simply an instrument of state power. Trials were, rather, a field in which various legal actors contested the interpretation of legal texts through various formal and informal channels. Despite a recent shift by historians from the analysis of legal codes to the examination of judicial procedure, the practice of trials has yet to receive the attention it deserves. Examining the practice of trials in their political and social contexts will shed new light on how different forms of politics at different levels of society had a decisive effect on trial procedure and outcomes. Dan Shao explores trials in which nationality law was contested for political purposes to understand historical changes in the practice of nationality law beginning in the late Qing. Tom Buoye conducts research on trial records from Shandong to analyze how the rhetorical techniques of county magistrates influenced the final decisions in autumn assizes during the Qing. Sei Jeong Chin will examine how trial publicity shaped the practice of law in Republican China by exploring the New Life case of 1935. Janet Theiss examines the complex bureaucratic and ideological context for a 1740 slander case in which a woman from an elite family accuses her family head of maligning her chastity. Taken as a whole, this panel will allow for a comparative discussion of the historical changes in legal practice during the Qing and the Republican periods.
Chinese by Definition: The Making and Practice of Nationality Law, 1909–1980
Dan Shao, Ohio University
Before 1909, no one in the Qing Empire could answer one of the most frequently asked questions about one’s identity nowadays: what is your nationality (guoji)? The Qing court issued the first Chinese law of nationality in 1909, as a response to the rising number of disputes between Western powers, which allowed naturalization, and the Qing government, which forbade overseas Chinese to acquire foreign nationality. However, three years later in November 1912, the newly established Republican government promulgated its nationality law and regulations. The Beijing government in 1914 and 1915 modified the 1912 version. In 1929 the Nationalist government issued another version. Nevertheless, the four Republican versions differed little from each other, and all were based on the principle of Jus sanguinis, which was translated "xuetong zhuyi" (the right of blood). The 1929 Nationality Law remained in effect until the ROC government revised it in 1990 and 1991. The PRC government issued its new Nationality Law in 1980, also based on Jus sanguinis. Chinese Nationality Law has evolved and scholarly debate has also shifted its focus. Despite all the changes in the law, the principle of Jus sanguinis has remained unchanged. How did the Chinese interpret "the right of blood"? What can we learn from the practice of Jus sanguinis about the Qing-ROC transition, and about the subjectivity and objectivity of the imagined national blood lineage? In this paper I will use three cases to examine how being Chinese in blood was defined legally when different boundaries needed to be drawn for political reasons. The three cases include one from 1920s Xinjiang where British and Russian colonial authorities competed with the ROC for sovereignty, a trial for treason in the late 1940s in which the ROC had to define the internal boundaries of nation to include people who had rejected the constructed nation-state of the ROC, and a trial of overseas Chinese in the Philippines for promoting communism by the ROC government in Taiwan in the early 1970s. The ways in which Nationality Law was practiced in these cases reveal that the national blood lineage, though imagined, has been applied as objectively and defines Chinese identity legally with concrete consequences that still have impact on historical borderlanders in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau at the turn of this century.
Punishment, Pathos, and Imperial Prerogative: Rhetoric and Representation in Capital Case Records
Thomas Buoye, University of Tulsa
In Qing law the trial and review of sentencing reached the height of centralization under the control of the emperor. While county magistrates were responsible for the initial investigation, trial, and sentencing of all capital crimes, their statutory duty was to report the crime and cite the relevant laws and punishments. The desire for empire-wide uniformity in the administration of criminal justice was the underlying rationale for restricting the discretionary power of local judicial officials. The autumn assizes provided the institutional framework that guaranteed the emperor primacy over the review of capital crime. While the judicial system was designed to limit the discretionary powers of local officials, as the primary authors and "editors" of the case records, local officials had opportunities to shape the final disposition of the cases through their presentation of the facts, construction of the narratives, and selective quotation of depositions. Paradoxically, the institutional structure that was designed to limit the direct influence of lower level officials provided opportunities for district magistrates to influence the final deposition of a case in subtle and indirect ways. The highest level judicial officials, as well as the emperor who presided over the autumn assizes, were almost entirely dependent on the written reports of their subordinates. Given that the reporting system only allowed the county magistrate space to report the facts and recommend a preliminary judgment based on a specific law, experienced county magistrates and their legal secretaries resorted to evocative portrayals of criminals to influence higher level officials who were adept at detecting inconsistencies in case records and well-versed in the law and legal procedures. This paper will examine trial records of downwardly mobile men from Shandong province during the Qianlong reign in order to demonstrate the rhetorical techniques that county magistrates used to present a poignant portrait of rural society in distress and to evoke sympathy for capital criminals at the highest levels of judicial administration.
Politics and Principle in the Conduct of a Mid-Qing Slander Case
Janet Theiss, University of Utah
This paper examines the interplay of factional politics and the Qing state’s moral agenda in the handling of a 1740 slander case involving an elite Zhejiang family. The case was initiated by a junior daughter-in-law of the Fei family, who took her elder brother-in-law, the family head, to court for falsely accusing her of adultery, illegally divorcing her, and confiscating her property. The Fei family boasted several generations of high-level officials, including the accused’s father, a governor and protégé of the controversial Tian Wenjing. After the magistrate refused to hear the case, the plaintiff took her suit to the provincial governor who expressed outrage at this slandering of a chaste woman and forwarded the case up to the Board of Punishments and Board of Rites, which had to approve the removal of the degree titles of the accused before they could be tried. With the assent of the Qianlong Emperor, the case finally went to trial, ending in a verdict that vindicated the plaintiff, but mitigated the guilt of her male relatives by blaming the slander on the machinations of an old family retainer. The early Qianlong years were marked by both the politics of the regnal transition and the height of the dynasty’s commitment to making the bureaucracy an effective tool for its civilizing mission, especially for the promotion of chastity. My paper explores the implications of the family’s bureaucratic connections and the ideological climate for the decision to try this politically-charged case and its carefully balanced final verdict.
Media on Trial: The New Life Case in Shanghai, 1935
Sei Jeong Chin, Harvard University
In July 1935 Du Zhongyuan, publisher of the periodical New Life Weekly, faced prosecution in Shanghai for publishing an allegedly disrespectful article on the Japanese emperor. This trial was a political one, in which the Shanghai municipal government as well as the Nationalist government came under pressure from the Japanese embassy to punish the publisher as a warning to other anti-Japanese activists. The New Life case gained national and international publicity through the Shanghai news media and became an important political event. The trial generated a media spectacle that had little to do with law enforcement. The news media covered the trial and mediated all public discussion concerning the case, which meant that the media had a significant effect on the strategies of the legal actors involved. Consequently, the news media gained considerable political power to decide who could speak on what subject throughout the legal procedure. My research shows that the accused, local party leaders, local elites, the judge, and the Shanghai municipal government each attempted to create publicity in the news media through formal and informal channels. This case lends insight into the complex ways in which media publicity shaped the practice of law in Republican China.
Sources of Power: The Politics of Writing in Premodern East Asia
Organizer: Christian de Pee, McDaniel College
Chair: Herman Ooms, University of California, Los Angeles
Discussant: Angela Zito, New York University
At the courts of Nara, Heian, Koryo, and Song, brush and ink did not merely serve to chronicle the events of past and present, but writing was itself an instrument of power. The recognition of the written page as a site of political assertion and resistance enhances an understanding of the workings of power in premodern East Asia both by allowing more accurate and more intricate readings of the sources, and by introducing new texts into the traditional canon of political history. The former is demonstrated by David Lurie, who identifies legends about Prince Shotoku as charged ideological claims of authorship and royal legitimacy in early Japan, and by Edward Shultz, who explores the political subtexts of the composition and subsequent uses of the Samguk sagi, the earliest history of Korea. The latter is illustrated by T. J. Hinrichs’s analysis of medical texts, compiled at the Song imperial court in hopes of transforming the social fabric of southern regions, and by Christian de Pee’s reading of Song notebooks as negative circumscriptions of a stabilizing imperial center.
Together, the papers of this panel ponder the complex similarities and differences in the uses to which kingdoms and empires of premodern East Asia put a shared repertoire of scriptural technologies. In order to underline that the engagement in Japan and Korea of the possibilities of this shared repertoire was independent and coherent rather than derivative of Chinese practices, the panel sets out from the imperial center of Nara and Heian, then moves to the royal court of Koryo, and ends in the Song empire with confrontations between the written center and the unwritten periphery.
The Author Formerly Known as Prince Shotoku: Royal Authority and Narratives of Literacy in Early Japan
David Lurie, Columbia University
Among the most controversial topics of premodern Japanese history is the legendary Asuka period paragon, Prince Shotoku (trad. 574–622). A long tradition of skepticism about his exploits has recently been capped by dramatic claims that no such person ever existed. The important issue, however, is not this unresolvable question of facticity, but rather what narratives of his "achievements" meant in the contexts in which they originally circulated. Of particular interest is Shotoku’s role, in Nara- and Heian-period texts, as the first author in Japan. Early accounts variously credit him with the composition of the first history of Japan, commentaries on the Lotus, Vimalakirti, and Lion’s Roar sutras, and the famous Seventeen-Article Code of Conduct. Through these attributions, as well as anecdotes about his wisdom and learning, he is situated as inaugurator of the sundry regimes of textuality that became the foundations of Japanese statecraft from the mid-seventh century onward. Analysis of the treatment of reading and writing in hagiographic accounts of Shotoku, from the Nihon shoki (720) through the Shotoku taishi denryaku (early tenth century), sheds considerable light on how literacy and its political ramifications were conceptualized in early Japan. Despite its undeniable practical importance, writing was approached from an idealized and highly ideological perspective, its advent in Japan seen not as a gradual development mediated by clerks and scribes (many of them from the Korean peninsula or from kinship groups claiming descent from Chinese or Korean figures), but rather as a spontaneous expression of the virtue and legitimacy of the royal line, as exemplified by the figure of Shotoku.
The Politics of Writing History: Twelfth-Century Korea
Edward J. Shultz, University of Hawaii, Manoa
In 1145, the Koryo statesman Kim Pusik submitted to King Injong a copy of the just completed Samguk sagi (History of the Three Kingdoms). The Samguk sagi is the oldest extant history of Korea written by Koreans. It was compiled by a group of Koryo historians under the leadership of Kim Pusik and on completion comprised fifty kwon (juan). The Samguk sagi is an official history in that the court-appointed scholars composed it according to Chinese historiographical models. It adheres to the composite historical style of annals, chronology, treatises, and biographies.
Although the Samguk sagi recounts the histories of the Koguryo, Paekche, and Silla kingdoms, it is also very much an instrument of political power. In its preface, Kim Pusik lamented that Koreans often knew more of Chinese history than of their own traditions. He wanted to create a guide for Korea’s future leaders. Kim Pusik’s political agenda has attracted considerable attention, and this will be the focus of this paper. Kim is accused of providing a pro-Silla bias through his selections. Other critics charge him with overemphasizing Chinese norms and paying only scant attention to native values. The historical commentaries that are scattered within the text yield further evidence of Kim’s political agenda.
The Samguk sagi remains relevant to political discourse today. When Chinese historians in 2003 sought to list with UNESCO ancient Koguryo monuments as part of China’s past, a storm of protest erupted in Korea. Koreans claim that Koguryo is a Korean kingdom and point to the Samguk sagi and particularly its Koguryo annals as evidence of this heritage.
Governance by Medical Texts in Northern Song China
T. J. Hinrichs, Boston College
In the Northern Song (960–1126), officials and emperors commissioned, compiled, and distributed medical texts with the explicit purpose of "edifying and transforming" local mores and customs (jiaohua fengsu), particularly those of southern China. These customs included abandonment of the sick during epidemics and patronage of "shamans" or "spirit-mediums" (wu) rather than physicians. In some cases officials engraved and posted medical texts so that common people had direct access to them; in some cases they distributed such texts directly to shamans. While neither of these targeted groups tells us what viewing or receiving these texts meant to them, other unstated audiences—officials, literati, and physicians—leave us some hints. Through an examination of prefaces and other writings about these medical texts, as well as of their medical content, this paper explores the political and moral meanings of the production and distribution, as well as the receipt and consumption of these medical texts. It places the official distribution of medical works in the contexts of increasingly activist approaches to governance, and of parallel policies to unify family ritual. In doing so, it considers and refines the questions: Is medicine family? Are texts ritual?
Circumscriptions of the Center: The Writing of the Empire in Song Notebooks
Christian de Pee, McDaniel College
Prefaces to Song-dynasty notebooks (biji) commonly portray the author as an aged scholar, jotting down scattered, fading memories of his official career in the rural isolation of his retirement. Such prefaces befit the contents of notebooks, which comprise everything that does not have a legitimate place in other genres of classical writing. The notebook can therefore be understood as a negative, marginal genre. Written by marginal men, notebooks are concerned with things marginal, "off center" in both the geographical and the metaphorical sense: local products, local customs, local speech, local history, but also immoral officials, humor and puns, unusual talent or unusual virtue, ghosts and manifestations of fate, lost texts, oral literature, and violence. And yet this very concern with margins and extremes suggests a center, the stable center of imperial power that grounds civilization, morality, and meaning. Notebooks, in other words, confirm imperial ideology by producing a literary landscape in which a virtuous, civilized center recedes into an intemperate, violent periphery.
For this reason, notebooks provide the historian with a space to reflect on the relationship between writing and imperial power. The imagination of the empire as a text or, more precisely, as wen (a cosmic pattern manifested in the talented compositions of virtuous men as well as in ephemeral texts, natural textures, and cosmic patterns) invests imperial power in signs that were ever open to contestation, and that are still today accessible to the historian.
Session 203: Reconstructing Medieval Korean Buddhism
Organizer: Richard D. McBride, II, Washington University, St. Louis
Chair and Discussant: Robert E. Buswell, UCLA
The Buddhist church on the Korean peninsula passed through a crucial period of transitions stretching from the late Silla through the Koryo periods (ca. 800–1392). Close contact between Korean and Chinese monks continued during the late Silla period (ca. 668–935). Despite the Tang’s decline and demise in 907 and threats from the Qidan in the north, fruitful interaction continued with the Wu-Yue state in southern China. The Koryo period proper enjoyed a new flowering of Buddhism, increased cultural developments, and close religious contacts with Song and later Yuan China. Hitherto, Korean and Japanese scholars of this period have typically emphasized the continuity of the Buddhist beliefs, practices, and rituals of the later Silla period in Koryo times: the completion of the "Nine Mountains of Son," the reinstitution of Buddhist rituals among the royalty, and the revitalization of exegetical Buddhist traditions. Although Western scholars have executed much seminal research, many issues remained to be explored regarding this period of Korean Buddhism. The presentations on this panel will shed new light on this seminal time in the development of Korean Buddhism by emphasizing such things as: (1) connections between Korean Son monks and Chan monks in the contemporary Chinese states as reflected in the Chodang chip, (2) hidden monastic agendas in efforts to "revitalize" Korean Son by using the rhetoric of Linji Chan, and (3) the deployment of Maitreya cult symbolism by Korean hegemonic rulers to bolster royal authority.
The Chodang Chip and Korean Buddhism
Sem Vermeersch, Keimyung University
The Chodang chip (Patriarch’s Hall Collection) is the first extant collection of texts that seeks to portray Chan as a distinct tradition of Buddhism. Created in the kingdom of Wu-Yue about 950 C.E., it is mainly biographic in nature, though it also contains "encounter dialogues" and other typical Chan texts in a nascent form. Despite the considerable recent interest in Chinese Chan literature, this collection has not been widely studied, so there are still a lot of questions surrounding its authorship and its importance for the developing Chan school. I will focus on the Korean connection of the Chodang chip: it is well known that the text was rediscovered in Korea at the beginning of the twentieth century, but it is also noteworthy for containing comparatively more biographies of Korean monks than any other Chinese Buddhist work. Although I do not go as far as some Korean scholars in suggesting that the whole work was actually compiled in Korea, I will try to demonstrate that the Korean connection is no mere accident either. There was a very intensive exchange of students and monks between the Koryo and Wu-Yue kingdoms, leading to a cross-fertilization on equal terms (compared with the often one-way traffic of Chinese Buddhist texts to Korea in previous times). Against this background, I will argue that the incorporation of Korean Son Buddhism was thought to be an important task in defining a Chan tradition that was in many ways still in a formative process.
The Transmission of Lin-chi Chan in Late Koryo: A Reappraisal
Patrick R. Uhlmann, UCLA
The Late Koryo is considered a crucial period in which the preeminence of the meditative Son school and its lineages were molded, subsequently influencing doctrine and practice of Korean Buddhism down to the present. This development has been identified with monks, foremost among them T’aego Pou (1301–1382) and Naong Hyegun (1320–1376), who introduced the newest form of Lin-chi Chan from Yuan China to Korea in order to "revitalize" a Buddhism perceived to be in a state of doctrinal stagnation and institutional decline. In this paper, I analyze the trajectory of these monks within the broader socio-political context and argue that, rather than doctrinal, socio-political factors motivated them to seek the transmission of Lin-chi Chan. For example, Pou and Hyegun followed a similar trajectory: both used the prestige of their confirmation from Linchi monks to build a network of connections providing them access to the Yuan and Koryo rulers as well as their appointment as royal and national preceptors. Notwithstanding, or rather because of, these similarities, Pou and Hyegun, as well as their disciples, perceived each other as rivals and differentiated themselves on a doctrinal level by advocating divergent versions of Lin-chi Chan. However, I argue that the primary criterion differentiating Pou from Hyegun are monk-examinations. In contrast to Pou and his disciples, Hyegun and most monks of his entourage did not take or pass any monk-examinations.
Why Did Kungye Claim to be the Buddha Maitreya? The Maitreya Cult and Royal Power in the Silla-Koryo Transition
Richard D. McBride, II, Washington University, St. Louis
Kungye (d. 918), rebel and founder of the state of Later Koguryo (901–18), renamed his kingdom T’aebong in 911 and declared himself to be Maitreya, the future Buddha, and his generals to be bodhisattvas. Although noting that the assumption of the title "Maitreya" by rebel leaders was common in medieval China (ca. 317–907), scholars have typically sought to locate the meaning of Maitreya worship in the late Silla (ca. 668–935) and early Koryo (918–1392) periods as based upon the divination and cultic practices of Silla exegetical monks such as Chinp’yo (fl. mid-eighth century). Much more is going on, however. Aspects of mainstream cultic worship, old Paekche and Koguryo symbols of political legitimacy and royal power, and widely held conceptualizations of the decline of the Buddhadharma converge to explain why being Maitreya was seminal to Kungye’s plan for the conquest and re-unification of the Later Three Kingdoms. The important connection between the Maitreya cult and royal power, particularly in the old Paekche territory helps to explain why Wang Kon (r. 918–943), who had Kungye executed and who founded Koryo, and his Koryo successors also deployed Maitreya cult symbolism as part of their comprehensive program to pacify their enemies and to bolster royal authority by building up older Maitreya cult sites and founding monasteries associated with the future Buddha.
Reexamining the Social Experiments of the Mao Zedong Era
Organizer: Joel Andreas, Johns Hopkins University
Chair and Discussant: Arif Dirlik, University of Oregon
The results of the ambitious and traumatic social experiments of the Mao Zedong era in China have yet to be fully evaluated. Contemporary scholars were hindered by limited access, and were often too inclined to accept at face value glowing accounts in the Chinese press. After Mao’s death in 1976, the new leadership renounced the radical egalitarian policies that had caused so much turmoil over the preceding decades. This official renunciation spurred healthy skepticism about previous claims, but also encouraged scholars to turn their attention to reforms aimed at undoing policies of the Mao era. This panel’s participants are part of a new generation of scholars taking a fresh look at the tumultuous Mao Zedong era, taking advantage of a brief historical window in which there is both more open access than ever before and the participants are still alive. They first identify the aims of communist policy in a particular arena, and then evaluate the practical results in terms of these aims. Cliver looks at endeavors to develop "democratic management" in industry, Stiffler examines efforts to reconcile conflicting goals in higher education, Han evaluates attempts to empower peasants to curb official abuse of power, and Andreas analyzes the replacement of college entrance examinations with "mass recommendation." Each paper examines the results of communist experiments at the ground level, exploring their contradictions, accomplishments, and shortcomings. The panel, made up of scholars from a variety of disciplines, reflects the confluence of historians and social scientists now studying the Mao Zedong era.
Minzhu guanli: The "Democratization" of Factory Management in the Chinese Revolution
Robert K. Cliver, Harvard University
From 1948 to 1951, the Chinese Communist Party attempted to implement a policy of "democratic management" in urban industry in areas under its control. Minzhu guanli entailed various, sometimes contradictory elements including worker participation in management, improved welfare, and the systematization of factory production. It was hoped that such reforms would not only help to build up working-class support for the revolutionary party, but would also improve production by liberating the initiative and creativity of the workers themselves.
Although short-lived and largely unsuccessful, the experiments with democratic management in state-owned industrial enterprises during the CCP-led revolution represent one of the most ambitious efforts to address issues, such as exploitation and alienation, which are central to the Marxist critique of capitalist production. Although the CCP never went so far as to advocate direct and autonomous control of production by producers, minzhu guanli was aimed, in part, at overcoming alienation and the separation of management and production at the factory level.
This paper draws upon diverse published sources from the period, which report on experiments with democratic management throughout China. The goal is to examine what conditions facilitated the successful implementation of democratic management, and what factors hindered such reforms. The discussion includes a wide variety of industries and workers, in various localities, in order to tease out the most salient factors conditioning the success or failure of democratic management in China’s state-run industrial enterprises in the early years of the Communist-led revolution.
Social Capital in a Socialist Context: Creating a New Elite at Chinese People’s University
Douglas A. Stiffler, Juniata College
This paper explores an experiment in higher education for CCP cadres in the first two years of the PRC. Chinese People’s University was created through the initiative of Liu Shaoqi as part of the overall Chinese effort to "xuexi Sulian"—learn from the Soviet Union. Republican-era institutions inherited by the PRC in 1949 were tainted by an air of class privilege and irrelevance to the "construction needs" of the New China. Reform of these higher education institutions could not happen overnight. In the meantime, the regime founded a new institution, Chinese People’s University ("Renda" for short), with the help of a large contingent of Soviet advisers and teachers. The new institution would enroll qualified CCP cadres for training in the Stalinist administrative and political "sciences." "Qualified" cadres were defined by Liu Shaoqi as those with at least middle-school-level educations. Problems arose, however, as semi-literate CCP cadres quickly took advantage of the new educational opportunity and enrolled at Renda in large numbers. The school became socially divided between poorly-educated "old cadres" and relatively well-educated (but politically less reliable) "young intellectuals." How did each group adapt to the challenges of life in the capital of the revolutionary regime? How did each group relate to the new Soviet knowledge? In this paper, I seek to show how this social cleavage at the new university compromised Renda’s educational mission.
The Cultural Revolution and Democratic Participation in Rural China
Dongping Han, Warren Wilson College
Many scholars have argued that the collective structure of rural China during the Mao Zedong era gave village cadres great power over their subordinates, facilitating official abuse of power. In this paper, I argue that this collective structure also provided an effective forum for villagers to criticize abuse of power and corruption. Based on case studies of two villages, South River in Shandong Province and Fuchang in Henan Province, I examine a series of campaigns targeting official corruption, culminating in the Cultural Revolution. A fundamental goal of the Cultural Revolution, as it was understood in the villages, was to empower ordinary peasants in their relations with local leaders. Based on extensive interviews with villagers, I evaluate the extent to which this goal was accomplished in South River and Fucheng. The movement, I argue, challenged the traditional political culture of officialdom, changed the conceptions that both cadres and ordinary villagers had of their respective rights and responsibilities, and promoted a more democratic management style that required mass participation in village decision making. As villagers used big character posters and regular mass meetings to criticize their leaders and discuss important issues, local leaders were forced to pay more attention to the needs and views of ordinary villagers. Finally, I argue that while decollectivization freed farmers from cadres’ power in the productive sphere, it also eliminated the public forum that had been provided by the village production brigade and freed cadres from the collective oversight of villagers, opening up an era of unbridled corruption.
"Mass Recommendation" of "Worker-Peasant-Soldier" Students during the Chinese Cultural Revolution
Joel Andreas, Johns Hopkins University
The most important—and controversial—of the education reforms of the Cultural Revolution decade (1966–1976) was the replacement of college entrance examinations, which were criticized for reproducing an educated elite, with a system of "mass recommendation." The aim was to remove responsibility for social selection from the education system. Middle school graduates were required to work two years in manual occupations, after which they were eligible for recommendation by their villages, factories, or military units to attend college. The recommendation system created tremendous turmoil, was plagued by intractable problems, and became a key point of contention between radical and conservative factions in the Communist Party. Because the process was dominated by factory and village cadres, it reinforced their power over subordinates. At the same time, radicals tried to use the system, in which the power to recommend was supposed to be in the hands of rank-and-file workers and peasants, as an instrument to challenge the power of factory and village cadres, and they launched a short-lived campaign against cadre abuse of the system. Since the radicals’ demise, the system has been condemned as an unmitigated disaster. There has, however, been little research into how the system actually worked. Based largely on interviews with dozens of people who participated in the recommendation process, as well as press accounts and university documents, this paper examines how recommendation worked in practice, analyzes conflicts over selection criteria and methods, and considers the characteristics of the "worker-peasant-soldier students" selected to attend Tsinghua University in Beijing.
Published: Thursday, March 24, 2005