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 16th : Jonathan Henshaw “Remembering and Forgetting: Commemorations of the Second World War in Nanjing”

Jonathan Henshaw

PhD Candidate, Department of History, University of British Columbia

“Remembering and Forgetting: Commemorations of the Second World War in Nanjing”

Thursday, November 16th 4:00-6:00 PM

John Hope Franklin Room [SSR 224]

Discussant: Kyle Pan, University of Chicago History Department

Please join the East Asia: Transregional Histories workshop in welcoming Jonathan Henshaw [University of British Columbia] as he presents his work-in-progress, titled “Remembering and Forgetting: Commemorations of the Second World War in Nanjing.” Mr. Henshaw provides the following abstract:

The manipulation of wartime commemoration in China by the CCP exists as a commonplace in English-language scholarship. Under the People’s Republic, the retreat of Maoism, contact with Taiwan and renewed (anti-Japanese) nationalism have indeed provided context for recent manipulation of wartime commemorations, but such accounts cut short much of the history of wartime commemoration in China by beginning only in the 1980s. Nanjing, as a former capital, has a large collection of monuments and relics that suggest a longer, more complex narrative. This paper marks an intervention in the literature by extending the history of Chinese wartime commemoration back to 1938, while the war still raged, and by setting the received national narrative of the war against the local record contained in commemorative sites in Nanjing and local accounts of the war. In doing so, it opens a productive space for considering the dynamic between local and national narratives, and also points to how efforts to commemorate the war have evolved in step with developments in China’s international relations. As Gail Hershatter has suggested of the practice of “speaking bitterness,” the post-war national narrative of resistance has China functioned more as a matrix that local or individual accounts must be recuperated within (or be forgotten), as opposed to an outright script. Drawing on newspaper reports, steles and Chinese secondary sources dealing with Nanjing, this paper traces the history of wartime commemoration to its earliest iteration in the wartime era, when collaborationist Nanjing politicians were faced with the task of mourning the dead in a city that was both under Japanese occupation, and still reeling from the 1937 Nanjing massacre. Following the war, Chiang Kai-shek’s victorious Nationalists returned to Nanjing and appropriated the site of a former Japanese Shinto shrine for use as a museum that advanced their own triumphalist narrative of resistance. The establishment of the PRC in 1949 greatly reduced such public commemorations, which fit uneasily within the reigning anti-imperialist framework, but did not entirely eliminate them. Instead, wartime commemoration was refashioned into the reigning paradigm of anti-imperialism. In 1960, when historians in Nanjing took up a formal research project on the Nanjing massacre, it was within this framework that they portrayed the war. Their work, published only in 1979, castigated Japanese brutality and Western complicity, but their anti-imperialist framework soon gave way to the more familiar rhetoric of Chinese victimhood that has taken hold in the post-Mao era. These successive revisions not only highlight the ways in which local experiences of the war have been re-worked within a national framework but also point to the malleable nature of a history that is often presented as above question in China.

Jonathan’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 Spencer Stewart at sdstewart@uchicago.edu or Robert Burgos at rburgos@uchicago.edu

 

Thursday, Oct. 5th : Karl Gerth “The Mao Badge Fad: How a State-Sponsored Consumer Fad undermined a Revolution”

Karl Gerth

Hwei-Chih and Julia Hsiu Chair in Chinese Studies and Professor of History, UC San Diego

“The Mao Badge Fad: How a State-Sponsored Consumer Fad undermined a Revolution”

Thursday, October 5th, 4:00-6:00 PM

John Hope Franklin Room [SSR 224]

Discussant: Jake Werner, Collegiate Assistant Professor, University of Chicago

Please join the East Asia: Transregional Histories Workshop in welcoming Karl Gerth [University of California, San Diego] as he presents a part of his new manuscript focused on Consumption in Maoist-era China. Titled “The Mao Badge Fad: How a State-Sponsored Consumer Fad undermined a Revolution,” Professor Gerth provides the following abstract for his paper:

This paper reinterprets one of the most famous phenomena of the Cultural Revolution, the Mao badge fad, when tens of millions of Chinese collected billions of badges of Chairman Mao. The Cultural Revolution was intended to be the single greatest anti-bourgeois campaign of the Mao era. But in its most famous activities such as badge collecting, the Cultural Revolution also nourished a thriving bourgeois consumer culture that encouraged consumer desire, production outside of state planning, and inequality though unequal distribution and conspicuous consumption. Badge collecting was, to use Mao’s expression, the negation rather than the fulfillment of the Socialist Revolution.

Professor Gerth’s paper can be found at this post.

As always, first-time attendees are welcome. Light refreshments and snacks will be served. This event is sponsored by the Committee for Chinese Studies at the Center for East Asian Studies.

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, March 30th 4:30-6:30 PM : Covell Meyskens – The Demilitarization of Chinese Socialism

Covell Meyskens

Assistant Professor, Naval Postgraduate School

“The Demilitarization of Chinese Socialism”

Thursday, March 30th, 4:30-6:30 PM

Social Sciences Tea Room (SSR, 2nd Floor)

Discussant: Weichu Wang (University of Chicago)

Please join the East Asia: Transregional Histories Workshop as we welcome University of Chicago alumni Covell Meyskens (Naval Postgraduate School), who will present the first chapter of his new book project for workshop discussion. The chapter, titled “The Demilitarization of Chinese Socialism,” examines the CCP leadership’s approach to the security of socialist China between the late 1940s when they founded the PRC and the late 1970s when a new leadership under Deng Xiaoping rose to power after Mao’s death in 1976.

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 Jessa Dahl at jdahl@uchicago.edu or Erin Newton at emnewton@uchicago.edu.

TOMORROW, Friday Nov 4th at 4:00 PM: Jamie Monson

Jamie Monson

Professor, Michigan State University

“Learning by Heart: Practice as knowledge building along the TAZARA Railway in late Twentieth Century Mang’ula”

Friday, November 4, 4:00 – 6:00 PM

CEAS Room 319 (1155 E 60th St)

Professor Monson’s presentation will include photographs and video clips demonstrating her ethno-historical methodology. Her paper can be found on the East Asia: Transregional Histories Website. 

This paper explores the transmission of knowledge from Chinese experts to African workers during the construction of the TAZARA railway in Mang’ula, Tanzania. Using a practice called shou ba shou (literally “hand holding hand”), the Chinese experts taught local workers how to use drills and lathes to build railroads. Monson’s ethno-historical research reveals that such processes “spanned and charted major upheavals of the mid-twentieth century in the global history of work, technology and politics.” This railway project bridged the divide between China’s socialist internationalism and Cultural Revolution, on the one hand, and Tanzania’s socialist experiment on the other. As Monson states, “the meeting of Chinese experts and African workers in the secluded mountain stronghold of Mang’ula formed a connection between two frontline landscapes of railway building during the Cold War – from the frontiers of Sichuan and Yunnan to the rugged escarpment of the Udzungwa mountains.“

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 Jessa Dahl at jdahl@uchicago.edu or Erin Newton at emnewton@uchicago.edu.

Friday, November 4 at 4PM: Jamie Monson

Jamie Monson

Professor, Michigan State University

“Learning by Heart: Practice as knowledge building along the TAZARA Railway in late Twentieth Century Mang’ula”

Friday, November 4, 4:00 – 6:00 PM

CEAS Room 319 (1155 E 60th St)

Professor Monson’s presentation will include photographs and video clips demonstrating her ethno-historical methodology. Her paper can be found on the East Asia: Transregional Histories Website. 

This paper explores the transmission of knowledge from Chinese experts to African workers during the construction of the TAZARA railway in Mang’ula, Tanzania. Using a practice called shou ba shou (literally “hand holding hand”), the Chinese experts taught local workers how to use drills and lathes to build railroads. Monson’s ethno-historical research reveals that such processes “spanned and charted major upheavals of the mid-twentieth century in the global history of work, technology and politics.” This railway project bridged the divide between China’s socialist internationalism and Cultural Revolution, on the one hand, and Tanzania’s socialist experiment on the other. As Monson states, “the meeting of Chinese experts and African workers in the secluded mountain stronghold of Mang’ula formed a connection between two frontline landscapes of railway building during the Cold War – from the frontiers of Sichuan and Yunnan to the rugged escarpment of the Udzungwa mountains.“

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 Jessa Dahl at jdahl@uchicago.edu or Erin Newton at emnewton@uchicago.edu.