Yuqian Yan: Sorrow for the Fall of the Ming

Yuqian Yan

Sorrow for the Fall of the Ming:
Wartime Representation of the Late Ming on Stage and Screen”

Friday, November 30, 3-5PM
Location: CEAS 319 (1155 E 60th St)
Discussant: Pao-chen Tang, PhD Candidate (EALC & CMS)

 
On November 30th from 3:00pm to 5:00pm the Art and Politics of East Asia workshop will host Yuqian Yan (PhD Candidate, EALC & CMS). She will present “Sorrow for the Fall of the Ming: Wartime Representation of the Late Ming on Stage and Screen,” an article in preparation for publication. Yuqian provides the following abstract:

This article examines the effect and affect of historical representations in wartime Chinese theater and cinema, and the interplay between the two media. Focusing on one of the most popular historical play during the war Sorrow for the Fall of the Ming and its screen adaptation, the paper teases out the layered concerns behind the representation of the fall of the Ming and the adaptation strategy of the filmmaker. By analyzing how the fall of the Ming became a common trope, a “chosen trauma” that connects the nation’s past with its historical presence, this paper demonstrates that history mattered not just as a reflective mirror of contemporary situation, but provided an affective space that enchanted and reassured people in the midst of national crisis.

Nicholas Lambrecht

Nicholas Lambrecht
“Life After Return in Postwar Japan: From Fujiwara Tei to Miyao Tomiko”
Friday, November 16, 3-5PM
Location: CEAS 319 (1155 E 60th St)
 
 
Discussant: Nicholas Wong, PhD (Comparative Literature)
 
On November 16th from 3:00pm to 5:00pm the Art and Politics of East Asia workshop will host Nicholas Lambrecht (PhD Candidate, EALC). He will present “Life After Return in Postwar Japan: From Fujiwara Tei to Miyao Tomiko,” a chapter of his dissertation. The abstract is as follows:
This week marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I, an event that brought global attention to the issue of postwar repatriation, and November 6 was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Japanese writer Fujiwara Tei (1918–2016). Fujiwara Tei and Miyao Tomiko (1926–2014) were among the more than one million Japanese civilians who repatriated from Manchuria to Japan at the end of the Second World War, a journey that cost tens of thousands their lives. The repatriation literature (hikiage bungaku) of returnees like Fujiwara and Miyao has struggled to maintain the memory of the hardships of postwar repatriation and pass it down to new generations. This paper examines popular narratives about the large-scale repatriation to Japan that took place in the aftermath of the Second World War. The paper traces the development of tropes about repatriation, shows how depictions of repatriation have reflected the postwar lives and evolving perspectives of their authors, and points to factors that influenced the dissemination and style of Japanese-language repatriation literature.

Lilian Kong

 Lilian Kong

Wolf Warrior II: Chinese Nationalism in the Popular Culture and Media Age

Friday, October 26th: 1 p.m*

Location: CEAS 319 (1155 E. 60th St.)

Poster of Wolf Warrior II (2017)

Discussant: William Carroll, PhD Candidate

Cinema and Media Studies + East Asian Languages and Civilizations

*Screening of Wolf Warrior II [战狼2] (2017, 126 minutes) begins at 1 p.m.

with a discussion of Lilian Kong’s paper to follow.

Lunch will be served during the film screening.

On November 2nd, the Art and Politics of East Asia workshop will host Lilian Kong (Master of Arts Program in the Humanities). She will present a draft of an essay intended for publication entitled, Wolf Warrior II: Chinese Nationalism in the Popular Culture and Media Age.” Lilian offers the following abstract:

Amidst economic reforms in the 1980s, the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SPPRFT or SARFT) initiated and financially supported main melody (zhu xuanlü) films to reunify public opinions at a time of national transition toward a capitalist China. Since the beginning of the 21stcentury, these films have solidified their nationalist agenda, attracting China’s young consumer generation with hyper-commercialization, but rarely deviating from state-administered political ideologies and Han Chinese glorifications of socialist history. Wu Jing’s military-action drama Wolf Warrior II (2017), China’s largest grossing domestic film to date, represents a new development in the Chinese main melody genre. Scholars have paid particular attention to the film’s setting in Africa instead of China, arguing that the film embodies a bold expansion of nationalist power to the international arena (Liu, Amar, Osnos). On the premise of this current scholarship, my paper explores Wolf Warrior II’s character formations and its construction of inter-racial relationships to reveal how the film has altered the foundational components of China’s contemporary nation-state. I argue that ambiguities of nation and state manifested in Wolf Warrior II signal a transformation in main melody films’ nationalist agenda due its surfacing of the contradictory, entangled relations between international commercial media networks, particularly in the film’s collaboration with the American superhero franchise Marvel Studios, and the continuous surveillance of domestic state-administered networks that structures its production process.

Megan Beckerich

Megan Beckerich

“Supernatural Bodies and Censorship in 19th Century Japanese Prints”

Friday, October 26th, 4-6 p.m.*

Location: CEAS 319 (1155 E. 60th St.)

Discussant: Minori Egashira (PhD Student, Art History)

*Please note the start time is one hour later than usual!

On October 26th from 4:00pm to 6:00pm the Art and Politics of East Asia workshop will host Megan Beckerich, Master of Arts Program in the Humanities. She will present “Supernatural Bodies and Censorship in 19th Century Japanese Prints,” a working draft of her MA thesis. Megan offers the following abstract:

This thesis will explore censorship and morality in images depicting the female body from 19th century Japan. Specifically, by utilizing The Lonely House at Adachi Moor (1885) by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892), as a case study, this thesis will show that the changing application of censorial laws in Meiji Japan was not solely for a true change in public morals, but rather was an intertwining of Japanese official’s attempt to modernize to western moral standards while utilizing art to promote ideas of what was acceptable and what was “backwards” in a industrializing nation. This censorship was targeted strongly against depictions of female bodies in sexual or violent scenes, but this form of censorship, heavily drawing from existing European moral notions in art, put images identified as “supernatural” into the realm of fantasy. As such, prints depicting supernatural women were able to pass the censors because the bodies depicted are not human, but only fantasy. This is turn allowed the Meiji government to continue promoting modernization vis-à-vis relegating regional folkloric belief in the supernatural to “fantasy” and unreal. An analysis of what constitutes supernatural and human bodies will be conducted to better understand what forms a body in art, and where the boundary between human and inhuman lies within that genre. By comparing the visuals, purpose, and reception of The Lonely House to selected imagery and Yositoshi’s own catalogue, this thesis aims to more clearly illustrate the web of cultural meanings, connotations, while better understanding why certain visually grotesque prints were more acceptable than others in early modern Japanese society.

Chao Wang

Chao Wang

Blind Singing Girls and the Respectability of Livelihood in Early Republican Guangzhou, 1911-1927

Friday, October 19th, 3-5 p.m.
Location: CEAS 319 (1155 E. 60th St.)

Discussant: Weichu Wang (PhD Student, History)

On October 19th from 3:00pm to 5:00pm the Art and Politics of East Asia workshop will host Chao Wang (PhD Candidate, History). He will present Blind Singing Girls and the Respectability of Livelihood in Early Republican Guangzhou, 1911-1927, a chapter of his dissertationChao Wang offers the following abstract:

This chapter shows the transformation of self-help among blind singing girls (guji 瞽姬) in early-Republican Guangzhou (1911-1927). These disabled women were sold at an early age by their families to be raised and trained under the tutelage of a foster mother, the elderly former guji who operated private training institutes (tangkou 堂口) in neighborhoods adjacent to business centers. Once they have reached a level of proficiency in singing, young guji will start their career as professional entertainers who were invited to perform in public festivals and family banquets. Republican-era expansion of commercial theatres promoted the social respectability of blind singers by introducing them into bourgeoisie-style teahouses (chalou 茶楼) and securing them with cultured patrons. However, the shifted consuming preference to sighted singers (nüling 女伶) in the 1920s had pushed many blind women out of employment in the teahouse and left them singing on the street. The lower-class guji were forced to engage in sex work for a living. The decline of guji’s respectability, I argue, originated from the negotiation between commercial interest and state regulation, which significantly challenged the moral economy of self-help and pressured a skilled profession to finally degenerate into prostitutes due to survival. Moreover, I demonstrate from the evolution of ableism in the urban entertainment that specific ideas and practices of femininity were constituted by the reconfiguration of a disability.