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

Monday, January 8th: Alex Jania “For Us, The Earth Still Shakes: Thoughts on Disaster Memorialization in Japan and Methodologies of Emotional History”

Alex Jania

PhD Student, Department of History, University of Chicago

” For Us, The Earth Still Shakes: Thoughts on Disaster Memorialization in Japan and Methodologies of Emotional History”

Monday, January 8th 12:00-1:15 PM

The Library at the Martin Marty Center [Swift Hall]

Discussant: Paride Stortini, PhD Student, University of Chicago Divinity School

Please join the East Asia: Transregional Histories workshop in welcoming Alex Jania as he presents his work-in-progress, titled “For Us, The Earth Still Shakes: Thoughts on Disaster Memorialization in Japan and Methodologies of Emotional History” Mr. Jania provides the following abstract:

This paper, based on pre-dissertation archival and field research, presents a methodology that attends to the emotional aspects of natural disaster memorialization in modern Japan. In particular, the paper proposes a methodology that utilizes the combination of material culture, oral history, and textual sources in order to compose an emotional history. Using relevant examples from the archives and the field, this study will exhibit this new approach to emotional history and discuss its general relevance for the discipline of history as a whole.

Alex’s paper can be found in the post below.

As always, first-time attendees are welcome. Please make note of the distinct time and place for this event. In addition, a lunch will also be served at this event.

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, November 2nd: Robert Burgos “Local Discourses of Identity and ‘Ruralness’ in the Yuri Region of Akita, Japan”

Robert Burgos

PhD Student, University of Chicago

“Local Discourses of Identity and ‘Ruralness’ in the Yuri Region of Akita, Japan”

Thursday, November 2nd, 4:00-6:00 PM

John Hope Franklin Room [SSR 224]

Discussant: Dan Knorr, PhD Candidate, University of Chicago

Please join the East Asia: Transregional Histories Workshop as we welcome Robert Burgos, who will be presenting a work in progress titled “Local Discourses of Identity and ‘Ruralness’ in the Yuri Region of Akita, Japan.” This piece considers the development in the 1930s of a local historical discourse by amateur Yuri historians and its implications on the understanding of ‘rural’ community and identity formation in Japan through the 20th century.

Robert’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.

Friday, October 27th: Scott Relyea “‘A Fence on Which We Can Rely’: Asserting Sovereignty in Early Twentieth Century Southwest China”

Scott Relyea

Assistant Professor, Appalachian State University

‘A Fence on Which We Can Rely’: Asserting Sovereignty in Early Twentieth Century Southwest China

Friday, October 27th, 4:00-6:00 PM

John Hope Franklin Room [SSR 224]

Discussant: Tian Yuan, PhD Student, University of Chicago History Department

Please Join the East Asia: Transregional Histories Workshop in welcoming Scott Relyea [Appalachian State University] as he presents one of his current works-in-progress. Titled “Indigenzing International Law in Early Twentieth Century China: Sovereignty in the Sino-Tibetan Borderland,” Professor Relyea provides the following abstract:

This paper analyses the introduction of international law into China during the Qing Dynasty’s last decades and the first few years of the Republic of China. It explores the influence of two international law texts, the translation Wanguo gongfa (The Public Law of All States), published in Beijing in 1864, and perhaps the first indigenously written international law text in China, Gongfa daoyuan (The Origins of International Law), published in Chengdu around 1899. Building on scholarship exploring the global circulation of knowledge, which focuses largely on political and intellectual centres, this research offers an alternative perspective from the borderlands of Asia, from the interstices of global power where states and empires met and were transformed by the norms and principles of international law, especially territoriality and sovereignty. I argue that local Qing officials overseeing the Kham borderland of eastern Tibet during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries adopted the conceptual basis of international law, whereas central Qing government officials were slow to do so. It was in such contentious borderlands that theoretical claims to sovereignty under international law intersected with the actual exercise of authority, where Sichuan Province officials, influenced by these two texts, adapted the norm of territorial sovereignty to both exert and assert absolute Qing authority in Kham as a stepping stone toward the whole of Tibet. During these tumultuous years in China’s transition from imperial to state form, the actions and successes of these borderland officials in Kham fostered a more thorough adoption and application of international law principles by central government officials, especially during the first years of the Republic of China. This manifest in Republican Chinese negotiators referring to these actions in Kham as substantiation for appeal to the international law principle of ‘effective occupation’ at the Simla Conference (1913-14).

Professor Relyea’s paper can be found at the post below

As always, first-time attendees are welcome. Light refreshments and snacks will be served. This event is Co-Sponsored with the East Asia Workshop.

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