Thursday, 10/10 Professor Chun-bin Chen @ APEA & EthNoise

Please join us for the first APEA workshop of the academic year for a special workshop jointly hosted with EthNoise.

Chun-Bin Chen (Associate Professor, Taipei National University of the Arts)

Highway Nine Musical Stories:

Musicking of Taiwanese Aborigines at Home and in the National Concert Hall


Please note the special time and location of this workshop, Thursday, October 10th 5:00-6:20pm in Rosenwald 301.


Taking “On the Road,” a musical theater production of Taiwan’s National Theater and Concert Hall as an example, this paper deals with musical modernity of Taiwanese Aborigines. Premiered in 2010, “On the Road” was a collaboration between Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra and Puyuma Aboriginal musicians from Nanwang Village. Located on the southeast coast of Taiwan, this village is connected with the National Concert Hall by Highway Nine, at a distance of about 230 miles. Beneath the simple plot of the musical about how a Han-Taiwanese musician brought the Aboriginal musicians to perform at the Hall, there seems to be another story being narrated through the performance of the songs. This hidden story is an Aboriginal musical story spanning the time from the period of Japanese colonial rule (1895-1945) to recent years when Aboriginal musicians have achieved recognition in Taiwan’s music industry. By examining how the songs were composed and how they were performed at the both ends of Highway Nine, I aim to trace trajectories of contemporary Puyuma Aboriginal music. The trajectories indicate impacts of the Japanese school song education, assimilation policies of Japanese and Chinese governments, and the Modern Folksong Movement. The Aborigines’ musicking, however, demonstrates a form of aboriginality celebrating family values and indigenous identity as a response to the musical modernity related to the settler impacts. This study thus may help us understand how socio-cultural interactions between the Aborigines and settlers shape contemporary Aboriginal music and how the Aborigines create, convey and perceive its meanings through musicking.


There is no pre-circulated material for this workshop.

Refreshments and catering by Shinju Sushi will be served at the workshop. We look forward to seeing you there!


Jiayi Chen and Sabine Schulz

Coordinators, Art and Politics of East Asia Workshop


Art and Politics of East Asia is a long-standing workshop that provides a unique space for graduate students working on the cultural production in China, Korea, and Japan. Our workshop brings together students from a wide range of disciplines, including East Asian studies, comparative literature, cinema and media studies, history, art history, and anthropology. We provide a collaborative space for attending to specific methodological and theoretical problems posed by the study of East Asian texts, media, and performances. At the same time, we continue to examine the pressing issue of what it means to study East Asian artistic forms and media beyond the boundaries of national cultural histories. To these ends, we hold meetings in which graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and outside faculty are able to present and discuss their academic work. We also hold round-table discussions on issues of particular interest to graduate students studying East Asia.

For questions related to accessibility or accommodations for those who may need assistance in order to participate, please contact and

2019 Fall Quarter Schedule

The Arts and Politics of East Asia Workshop (APEA) is pleased to announce the Fall 2019 schedule. Unless otherwise noted, the workshop meets alternate Fridays from 3:00-5:00pm in Room 319 at the Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS) in the Harris School building (1155 E 60th St).


10/10/19 (Thursday) – Chen Chun-bin, Assistant Professor, Taipei National University of the Arts

Co-hosted with EthNoise!

“Highway Nine Musical Stories: Musicking of Taiwanese Aborigines at Home and in the National Concert Hall”

*Please note the special date and location*

Location and time:  Rosenwald 301 – 5:00-6:20pm


10/24/19 (Thursday) – Yuqian Yan, Postdoctoral Fellow, Washington University in St. Louis

Mock Job Talk: “A Two-Way Mirror: Set Design and Social Reflection in Shanghai Cinema, 1937-1941

*Please note the special date and location*

Location and time:  Wieboldt 301N (EALC Seminar Room) – 12:30-2:00pm


10/25/19 (Friday) – Peter Chen, Masters Program in the Humanities

Co-hosted with Visual and Material Perspectives on East Asia (VMPEA)

“Feng Zikai artwork in the PRC and Taiwan”

Discussant: Minori Egashira, PhD Student, Art History

*Please note the special date and location*

Location and time:  Cochrane-Woods Arts Center (CWAC) 156 – 4:30-6:30pm


11/1/19 (Friday) – Jue Hou, PhD Student, Committee on Social Thought

“The Cybernetic Writing Pad: Computer Science and Chinese Script Reforms”

Discussant: Yueling Ji, PhD Student, EALC

Location and time:  Center for East Asian Studies 319 (Harris) – 3:00-5:00pm


11/8/19 (Friday) – Yueling Ji, PhD Student, EALC

The Piano in a Factory and Socialist Theories of Form”

Discussant: Anthony Stott, PhD Student, Comparative Literature

Special time for lunch and screening:

With a screening of The Piano in a Factory (钢的琴) and catered lunch at Center for East Asian Studies 319 (Harris), starting at 1 PM and a discussion after the screening


11/22/19 (Friday) – Jae-Yon Lee, Assistant Professor, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology

“A Series of Repetitions: The 1920s Magazines and the Formation of Collective Authorship in Korea”

Location and time:  Center for East Asian Studies 319 (Harris) – 3:00-5:00pm


For further information, please consult the APEA website. Please contact both Jiayi Chen ( and Sabine Schulz ( via email should you have any questions or need any assistance.


We are excited for our events this quarter and we hope you can attend!

Jiayi Chen and Sabine Schulz

APEA Graduate Student Coordinators, 2019-2020

Translating Premodern Chinese Buddhist Texts

Public Lecture on Translating Premodern Chinese Buddhist Texts:
Five Ways of Reading Chinese Buddhist History  
Professor John Kieschnick, Stanford University
Please note special time and location
Saturday, 5/25, 9AM-12PM, Cobb Hall 110, followed by a catered lunch

Led by Professor John Kieschnick, this workshop will take as its starting point the chapter on recitation from the tenth-century collection Song Biographies of Eminent Monks (宋高僧傳‧讀誦篇).Professor Kieschnick will introduce genres of Buddhist historical writing in China, the composite nature of Chinese historiography, the Buddhist canon in China and other topics useful for understanding the material. The goal is, by focusing on one specific example of Buddhist historiography, to provide an overview of the genre and inspire participants to explore new ways of understanding it.
There is no pre-circulated text for this event. The event will be followed by a catered lunch fromLotus Cafe and Bahn Mi Sandwiches. We look forward to seeing you there!

Jun Hee Lee (PhD Candidate, History)
In Chorus with Cold War Allies: the Rise and Fall of the Utagoe Movement’s National Music Paradigm

Date and Time: Friday, May 24th, 3-5 p.m.
Location: CEAS 319, (1155 60th Street)
Discussant: Sabine Schulz (EALC, PhD Student)

Please join us for the final Arts and Politics of East Asia Workshop next Friday, May 24th at 3-5 PM. We are proud to be hosting Jun Hee Lee (History, PhD Candidate) as he presents a draft of his dissertation chapter, “In Chorus with Cold War Allies: the Rise and Fall of the Utagoe Movement’s National Music Paradigm.” Jun Hee offers us the following abstract:

From its humble origins as a choral group within the Japan Communist Party’s youth association, Nihon no Utagoe gained prominence and notoriety through the 1950s as a singing movement of national scale, giving birth to multitudes of choruses across workplaces and localities in Japan. Since the early 1950s, Utagoe began calling for the creation of “national music” (kokumin ongaku) – a body of music befitting a democratic Japan that was to stand in opposition to “decadent” culture instigated by the mass media and American imperialism. While the term had prewar and even wartime precedents, Utagoe’s national music had both “Japanese” and foreign reference points, including Soviet/Russian songs and later American folk music. In the 1950s and 1960s, Russian and Soviet music served as an example of national music which Utagoe’s leadership figures sought to emulate. American folk music, on the other hand, turned out to be a mixed blessing towards the end of the 1960s, as it caused a serious division within Utagoe over how to treat the “commercialized” version of the genre produced in both the United States and Japan. By examining manners in which individuals and groups from Utagoe translated and incorporated songs from the two Cold War super powers, this dissertation chapter illustrates how the “national music” paradigm informed Utagoe’s musical and political worldview in both domestic and international contexts for the first two decades of the movement (1953-1973), during which Utagoe cultivated its self-image as a part of (socialist) international solidarity against American imperialism and its aggression toward national cultures.

Yiren Zheng

Yiren Zheng (PhD Candidate, EALC)
Listening to Sonic Excess in 17th Century China
Discussant: William Carroll (PhD, CMS & EALC)
Friday, May 10, 3-5PM
Special location: ​EALC Seminar Room, Wieboldt Hall 301N
Followed by a catered dinner from La Petite Folie

On May 10 from 3PM to 5PM, the Art and Politics of East Asia Workshop will host Yiren Zheng (PhD candidate, EALC). Yiren will present a chapter of her dissertation, “Listening to Sonic Excess in 17th Century China.” Yiren offers the following abstract:

This chapter traces an unexplored discourse centered on forms of sonic excess embedded in 17th-century classical Chinese writings. The sonic excess includes both excessive sounding and excessive listening, which urge us to rethink the norms of sound-making and listening. By observing how several writers in the late Ming and the early Qing, including Pan Zhiheng (1556-1622), Chen Ding (1650-?) and Pu Songling (1640-1715) imagined forms of sonic excess, this chapter examines how speech became a problem through accidental and unexpected confrontations with alternative forms of communication. 

Chenxin Jiang

Chenxin Jiang (PhD Candidate, Social Thought)
Philhellenism and Philosophy in 1920s China
Discussant: Yanxiao He (PhD Student, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations)
Friday, April 12, 3-5PM
Location: CEAS 319 (1155 E 60th St)

On April 12th from 3:00pm to 5:00pm the Art and Politics of East Asia workshop will host Chenxin Jiang (PhD Candidate, Social Thought). She will present “Philhellenism and Philosophy in 1920s China,” a chapter of her dissertation. Chenxin offers the following abstract:

This paper is about the 1920s journal Xueheng (Critical Review) and its translations of Plato and Aristotle into Chinese. Specifically, I read Xueheng’s translation practice as an intervention into the question of how the Chinese cultural tradition should be understood in light of global history, focusing on two critical questions: the place of Chinese thought in a global history of philosophy, and the Renaissance as a keenly contested historical parallel for contemporary China.