Thursday, April 19th: Yuan Julian Chen “The Ecological Footprint of China’s Medieval Capital Kaifeng, 900-1200”

Yuan Julian Chen

PhD Candidate in History, Yale University

“The Ecological Footprint of China’s Medieval Capital Kaifeng, 900-1200”

Thursday April 19th, 4:00-6:00 PM

John Hope Franklin Room [SSR 224]

Discussant: Dan Knorr, PhD Candidate, Department of History, University of Chicago

Please join the East Asia: Transregional Histories workshop in welcoming Yuan Julian Chen as she presents a draft of her dissertation chapter, titled “The Ecological Footprint of China’s Medieval Capital Kaifeng, 900-1200.” She has provided the following abstract:

From the 10th to the 12th centuries, the building of the new Song Dynasty capital at Kaifeng brought about profound ecological consequences in the Chinese Empire and beyond. With demographic, technological and economic growth, in addition to the shifting geopolitical landscape in East Asia, Kaifeng’s rapidly growing consumption and heightened security needs shaped ecologies in strategic borderlands and foreign territories alike, creating a vast “ecological empire” that radiated outwards from Kaifeng. I argue that three geo-factors –– geography, geoeconomics, and geopolitics –– played foundational roles in shaping the bounds of the ecological empire of Kaifeng, both within and outside of the Song empire proper.

 

This research will study the Kaifeng-centered ecological empire through the interplay of these factors. I will use six examples to illustrate the ecological consequences of the rise and fall of medieval Kaifeng: the Song emperors’ quest for legitimacy and lavish imperial garden building in Kaifeng; Kaifeng’s timber consumption and deforestation in old-growth forests in South China; Kaifeng’s seafood consumption and the booming of fisheries in the East China Sea; Kaifeng’s lamb consumption and desertification in the territories of the Xi Xia and Liao; the building of cavalry forces in the capital and the over-cultivation of tea in Sichuan; and Kaifeng’s need for security and the creation of a massive defensive forest along the Song-Liao border. This research will show that the Song period, from the view of Kaifeng, was not only a time of profound socio-political changes but also was an ecologically transformative era.

 

Yuan’s Paper can be found in the post below.

As always, first-time attendees are welcome. Light refreshments and snacks will be served. If you have any questions or require assistance to attend, please contact Robert Burgos at rburgos@uchicago.edu or Spencer Stewart at sdstewart@uchicago.edu.

Thursday, April 5th: Jiakai Sheng, “Homeward Bound: The Postwar Repatriation of Japanese Civilians in Shanghai, 1945-1947”

Jiakai Sheng

PhD Student, Department of History

“Homeward Bound: The Postwar Repatriation of Japanese Civilians in Shanghai, 1945-1947”

Thursday, April 5th, 4-6 PM

John Hope Franklin Room

Please join the East Asia: Transregional Histories workshop in welcoming Jiakai Sheng as he presents his paper titled “Homeward Bound: The Postwar Repatriation of Japanese Civilians in Shanghai, 1945-1947.” He has provided the following abstract:

Following the end of WWII, the Allies returned 6.5 millions overseas Japanese nationals back to their homeland, which was regarded by the former as part and parcel of the effort to dismantle Japan’s fifty-year colonial enterprise. This essay focuses on the management and repatriation of over 100,000 Japanese civilians in Shanghai between 1945 and 1947 as an important case of how mass population transfer was planned, negotiated, and executed in the context of postwar East Asian. By examining an array of ideological and logistical issues surrounding postwar Shanghai’s “Japanese Nationals Concentration Zone,” this essay seeks to reconstruct the dynamic interplay between the Chinese authorities, the U.S. military, and the Japanese repatriates. Rather than reducing the politics of postwar repatriation and decolonization to a simplistic story of the “defeated” being dominated and displaced by the “victorious,” this essay interprets it as being constantly shaped by the agency of multiple parties as well as the continuation of certain aspects of the prewar configuration of Shanghai’s Japanese settlement. Moreover, through highlighting the role played by people’s identities, connections and preferences, this essay intends to show how repatriation was experienced at individual level in variegated ways.

Jiakai’s Paper can be found at the post below.

As always, first-time attendees are welcome. Light refreshments and snacks will be served.

If you have any questions or require assistance to attend, please contact Spencer Stewart at sdstewart@uchicago.edu or Robert Burgos at rburgos@uchicago.edu

Spring Quarter 2018 Schedule

The East Asia: Transregional Histories Workshop is excited to announce our schedule for Spring quarter!

Spring 2018

4/5  Jiakai Sheng, PhD Student in History, University of Chicago
Title: “Homeward Bound: The Postwar Repatriation of Japanese Civilians in Shanghai,1945-1947”
4:00-6:00 PM, John Hope Franklin Room
Co-sponsored with the Migration and Incorporation workshop

4/12 David L. Howell, Professor of Japanese History, Harvard University
Title: EAT History: A Talk with Professor David Howell
12:00-1:30 PM, John Hope Franklin Room

4/19  Yuan Julian Chen, PhD Candidate in History,Yale University
Title: ”The Ecological Footprint of China’s Medieval Capital Kaifeng, 900-1200″
4:00-6:00 PM,John Hope Franklin Room

5/3  Mark Frank, PhD Candidate in East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Title: “How to Invent a Province: Republican China’s ‘Xikang Problem’ in Agrarian Perspective”
4:00-6:00 PM, John Hope Franklin Room

5/17  Jun Hee Lee, PhD Candidate in History, University of Chicago
Title: “In Chorus with Friends: Soviet and American Factors in the Utagoe Movement’s National Music Paradigm”
4:00-6:00 PM, John Hope Franklin Room

5/31  Elisabeth Köll, William Payden Associate Professor of History, University of Notre Dame
Title: “Building Railroads in early 20th-Century China: Land Acquisition,Construction and Management in the Context of Local Society”
4:00-6:00 PM, John Hope Franklin Room

 

Thursday, March 1st: Alex Haskins, ““Reimagining Japanese Modernities” – Alertness, Dignity, and Foreign Learning in Sakuma Shozan’s Thought”

Alex Haskins

PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science

“”Reimagining Modernities”- Alertness, Dignity and Foreign Learning in Sakuma Shozan’s Thought”

Thursday, March 1st, 4-6 PM

CEAS 319

Discussant: Tejas Parasher [PhD Candidate, Department of Political Science]

Please join the East Asia: Transregional Histories workshop in welcoming Alex Haskins as he presents a draft of his fourth dissertation chapter, titled “”Reimagining Modernities”- Alertness, Dignity and Foreign Learning in Sakuma Shozan’s Thought.” He has provided the following abstract:

Sakuma Shozan (佐久間 象山, 1811-1864) is perhaps best known to Western audiences for his phrase “Eastern ethics, Western technical learning” and scholars have used this catchphrase to situate Sakuma as an unsuccessful modernizer in late Edo Japan. But in doing so, these scholars have neglected the broader, dynamic process of thought that underpinned Sakuma’s turn toward embracing reform along “Western” lines. Through an analysis of Sakuma’s defining work,Reflections on My Errors, as well as his memorials to the Tokugawa shogunate and his personal correspondence, I argue in this chapter that Sakuma’s thought is better captured by what I am terming an “alertness-dignity” paradigm. In essence, Sakuma drew on legacies of Confucian learning that emphasized both deep theoretical and practically relevant learning to justify reform toward a “dignified” future ideal that was continually open to revision through an “alertness” to one’s own—and one’s enemy’s—strengths and weaknesses. By reconstructing Sakuma’s arguments, I intend to challenge readings that dismiss him as “too traditional or anti-modern” or as an “unabashed Westernizer or modernizer” and show that although his approach was overlooked by later Edo and Meiji reformers, it, perhaps ironically, offers resources for thinking beyond the linear narratives of Western modernity that eventually took hold in Japan and continue to inform its present.

Alex’s Paper can be found at the post below.

As always, first-time attendees are welcome. Light refreshments and snacks will be served.

If you have any questions or require assistance to attend, please contact Spencer Stewart at sdstewart@uchicago.edu or Robert Burgos at rburgos@uchicago.edu

Thursday, February 15th: Dan Knorr, “A City of Springs: Local Geography and Imperial Presence in High Qing Jinan”

Dan Knorr

PhD Candidate, Department of History

    “A City of Springs: Local Geography and Imperial Presence in High Qing Jinan”

Thursday, February 15th, 4-6pm,

Social Sciences Tea Room [SSRB 201]

Discussant: Alex Jania [PhD Student, Department of History]

Please join the East Asia: Transregional Histories workshop in welcoming Dan Knorr as he presents a draft of the first dissertation chapter, titled “A City of Springs: Local Geography and Imperial Presence in High Qing Jinan.” He has provided the following abstract:

Since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) Jinan has been the capital of Shandong Province in eastern China. Despite its political preeminence in the late imperial period, the city boasted neither of the two most important cultural sites in the province: Mt. Tai, one of the five sacred peaks of China, and Qufu, the ancestral home of Confucius’ descendants. During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), visiting these sites were the primary objectives of the Kangxi (r. 1661-1722) and Qianlong (r. 1735-1796) emperors when they passed through Shandong on their eastern and southern tours. However, along the way, both emperors also visited Jinan and expressed their appreciation for the city’s scenery, including its three most famous sites: Baotu Spring, Thousand Buddha/Li Mountain, and Daming Lake. Their patronization of these sites was part of a larger imperial project of solidifying the patrimonial rule of the Manchu Qing Dynasty over the empire through “encompassing” the cultural values of Han elite. The imperial tours and their material legacies, such as steles and scroll paintings, intersected with a corpus of writings about these sites that was preserved and augmented through the successive compilation of local gazetteers (difang zhi). This included Jinan native Ren Hongyuan’s Baotuquan zhi (Records of Baotu Spring), which he compiled in the years between the Kangxi and Qianlong tours.

Focusing on writings about Baotu Spring and its connection to Jinan’s other famous sites, this chapter accomplishes three goals. First, it adds to our understanding of both writing about local sites and scenery and responses to the imperial tours in North China. As the economic and cultural heart of late imperial China, Jiangnan has understandably received considerable attention from scholars like Tobie Meyer-Fong and Michael Chang who have studied the relationship between cultural production and the consolidation of imperial authority under the Qing. This chapter demonstrates that similar processes also played out in northern China, whose beauty some writers even compared favorably to Jiangnan. However, texts about these sites demonstrate that this history was framed in terms of Jinan’s particular position in-between both the capital in Beijing and Jiangnan and the Grand Canal and Mt. Tai.

Second, this chapter demonstrates that local literature was, in fact, a translocal and political production. Compilations of writings about these sites often included and even gave prominence to the voices of writers who were not natives of Jinan. In many cases these writers were officials who worked in Jinan temporarily but left behind literary and architectural impressions on the landscape. Their writings occupied a privileged place in both officially-reviewed gazetteers and the privately-compiled Baotuquan zhi.

Finally, I examine the literary interventions of officials and emperors within the geographic context of Jinan. While the positioning of official yamens in the center of the city, which was itself surrounded by walls, suggests a spatially concentrated projection of imperial power, in fact official patronage and control spilled beyond the city’s walls to Baotu Spring and Thousand Buddha Mountain. Local writers did not, however, treat this as an unwanted imposition on indigenous space. Rather, as suggested above, it was a continuation of a long history of the local landscape – both material and discursive – being produced through the functioning of the state. What was different in the Qing Dynasty was the direct intervention of emperors themselves, which facilitated their personal knowledge of Jinan’s geography and people and the city’s claim to an even greater level of grandeur.

Dan’s Paper can be found at the post below.

As always, first-time attendees are welcome. Light refreshments and snacks will be served.

If you have any questions or require assistance to attend, please contact Spencer Stewart at sdstewart@uchicago.edu or Robert Burgos at rburgos@uchicago.edu

Thursday, February 8th: Eilin Rafael Pérez “The Half-Life of Sovereignty: The DPRK and the Thirteenth World Festival of Youth and Students”

Eilin Rafael Pérez

PhD Student, Department of History

“The Half-Life of Sovereignty: The DPRK and the Thirteenth World Festival of Youth and Students”

Thursday, February 8th, 3-5 PM

John Hope Franklin Room [SSB 224]

Discussant: Alex Murphy [PhD Student, East Asian Languages and Civilizations]

Please join the East Asia: Transregional Histories workshop in welcoming Eilin Pérez as he presents his work-in-progress, titled “The Half-Life of Sovereignty: The DPRK and the Thirteenth World Festival of Youth and Students.” He has provided the following abstract:

This paper explores the rhetorical and visual representations of youth culture deployed by the DPRK at the Thirteenth World Festival of Youth and Students in 1989, and argues that the state marshaled the language of solidarity alongside the mentions of the everyday towards asserting its own transnational pedagogy of sovereignty.

Eilin’s paper can be found at this post.

As always, first-time attendees are welcome. Light refreshments and snacks will be served.

If you have any questions or require assistance to attend, please contact Spencer Stewart at sdstewart@uchicago.edu or Robert Burgos at rburgos@uchicago.edu