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Update on Chinese Censorship of Academic Publications

As reported in mid-August, representatives of the Chinese government asked Cambridge University Press (CUP) to remove from its Chinese website 315 China Quarterly articles on so-called “sensitive” topics (Taiwan, the Cultural Revolution, Tiananmen, etc.). At that time, CUP also conveyed to the Association for Asian Studies a Chinese request that 100 Journal of Asian Studies articles be blocked in China. Under pressure, CUP reversed its decision and lifted the block of the China Quarterly articles before any JAS articles were affected. AAS has issued a statement in strong defense of academic freedom. Since then, AAS officers and staff have continued monitoring the situation. There are no new updates concerning our Journal of Asian Studies, which remains fully accessible to AAS members in China. However, other publications have been affected by censorship in China, and this episode has prompted many members of the academic community to discuss academic integrity, scholarly labor, and possible respo ...

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#AsiaNow Speaks with Jisoo M. Kim

Jisoo M. Kim is Director of the George Washington University’s Institute for Korean Studies and Korea Foundation Associate Professor of History, International Affairs, and East Asian Languages and Literatures. She is author of The Emotions of Justice: Gender, Status, and Legal Performance in Chosŏn Korea, published by University of Washington Press and winner of the 2017 AAS James B. Palais Book Prize. To begin with, please tell us what your book is about. By asking the question of justice in premodern Korea and how it was shaped by emotions, my book contends that the state’s recognition of the sentiment of being wronged permitted every subject regardless of gender or status to seek justice by voicing grievances to the state. This study illuminates the intersection of law, emotions, and gender in premodern Korea. In its approach, the work contests the typical image of the Chosŏn state (1392–1910) as being socially rigid because of its hereditary status system, slavery, and Confucian ...

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Hong Kong Noir

I’ve just landed in Hong Kong to do several different things, most of which fit into one of the three standard academic categories of activities. I’ll participate in an experimental class session connecting Hong Kong and American students via Skype (teaching); visit a local site associated with the topic of protest that I write about a lot (research); and speak about censorship at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club, drawing on my experiences as Editor of the Journal of Asian Studies during what some are calling the “China Quarterly Affair” (service). As I prepared for the trip, I pondered questions relating to these teaching, research, and service events, as well as the session of the Hong Kong International Literary Festival I’ll moderate, at which Ian Johnson will present material from his new book on the religious revival in China after Mao. Even more, though, I thought about two queries linked to a Literary Festival event that I’ll attend not as a teacher, ...

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November 2017 AAS Member News & Notes

Congratulations to the AAS Members whose books have been awarded prizes by other organizations: Sheena Chestnut Greitens (University of Missouri), co-winner of the 2017 Best Book Award from the American Political Science Association Section on Comparative Democratization and co-winner of the 2017 Best Book Award from the International Studies Association for Dictators and Their Secret Police: Coercive Institutions and State Violence (Cambridge University Press) Christopher Goscha (Univ. du Québec à Montréal), awarded the John K. Fairbank Prize from the American Historical Association for Vietnam: A New History (Basic Books, 2016) Audrey Truschke (Rutgers University), awarded the John F. Richards Prize from the American Historical Association for Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court (Columbia University Press, 2016) *** The Board of Directors of the Association for Asian Studies welcomes this opportunity to recognize KENNETH C. FROEWISS following his recent retirement a ...

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Best of the EAA Archives: October 27, 2017 Edition

This post includes articles on Chinese and Japanese history, traditional Korean culture, Indian food, and everyday Shinto. Titles, short annotations, and links are below. The fall 2017 EAA featuring the special section “Water and Asia” is now published and online. Read Lucien Ellington’s “Editor’s Message” from the issue in this #AsiaNow post. Next week’s post will highlight several tasty nuggets from the issue but if you can’t wait, visit our EAA archives now. • We’ve published a number of nifty simulations in EAA but here is one of our better offerings: “Contesting Twentieth-Century China: A Simulation” by Joseph W. Esherick and Jeremy Murray (fall 2010). • Many education articles that include the term “critical thinking” feature fluff instead of substance. This is not the case with Ethan Segal’s fine essay "Can Samurai Teach Critical Thinking? Primary Sources in the Classroom." (winter 2010). • Many p ...

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#AsiaNow Speaks with John Stratton Hawley

John Stratton Hawley (a.k.a., Jack) is Claire Tow Professor of Religion at Barnard College, Columbia University and author of A Storm of Songs: India and the Idea of the Bhakti Movement, published by Harvard University Press and winner of the 2017 AAS Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy Book Prize. To begin with, please tell us what your book is about. India celebrates itself as a nation of unity in diversity, but where does that sense of unity come from? One important source is a widely accepted narrative called the “bhakti movement.” Bhakti is the religion of the heart, of song, of common participation, of inner peace, of anguished protest. The idea known as the bhakti movement asserts that between 600 and 1600 CE, poet-saints sang bhakti from India’s southernmost tip to its northern Himalayan heights, laying the religious bedrock upon which the modern state of India would be built. In A Storm of Songs, I clarify the historical and political contingencies that gave birth to the concept of the b ...

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Introducing the Fall 2017 Issue of Education About Asia, “Water and Asia”

Below is the Editor’s Message from the newest issue of Education About Asia, the open-access teaching journal of the Association for Asian Studies. For complete online access to this issue, as well as over 1,500 articles from 22 years of Education About Asia, please visit the EAA website. By Lucien Ellington, Education About Asia Editor We hope readers had an enjoyable summer. This issue of EAA includes the special section “Water and Asia.” Scholars who have published extensively on China environmental issues provide in the first two articles, comprehensive overviews of China’s water problems that complement each other and should be quite useful for the classroom. In “China’s Water Challenges: National and Global Implications,” David Pietz offers compelling examples of the potential worldwide effects of China’s water crisis. Judith Shapiro’s amply illustrated “China: Harnessing the Waters” provides historical context for China’s current ...

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#AsiaNow Speaks with Noriko Manabe

Noriko Manabe is associate professor at Temple University’s Boyer College of Music & Dance and author of The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Protest Music After Fukushima, published by Oxford University Press and winner of the 2017 AAS John Whitney Hall Book Prize. What inspired you to research this topic? In 2011, I returned to Japan to finish my book on Japanese club musics (i.e., hip-hop, reggae, EDM), and I found that many of my contacts, like Rankin Taxi and ECD, had become involved in the post-3.11 antinuclear movement. (Both had recorded antinuclear songs previous to 3.11). I sensed their alarm, not only about the fallout from the nuclear accident itself, but from its implications for media coverage, collusion, freedom of information, and the future of Japanese democracy. Living in Japan on sabbatical in 2012, the urgency of this topic became evident to me. Therefore, I decided to complete a book on this topic first. What obstacles did you face in this project? What turned out better/eas ...

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Best of the EAA Archives: A New #AsiaNow Feature

This is the first of a series of posts that will highlight outstanding articles, essays, interviews, and reviews that are among the over 1,500 archived open access materials available on the Education About Asia website. Titles, short annotations, and links are below. • Nimish Adhia’s “The History of Economic Development in India since Independence” (winter 2015) is a superb, clearly written introductory overview for students on Indian economic history since 1947.  • Marvin Marcus, also the author of the Key Issues in Asia Studies volume Japanese Literature: From Murasaki to Murakami, in "Natsume Sōseki and Modern Japanese Literature” (fall 2015) published an engaging biographical sketch of the iconic Japanese novelist.  • Readers of Wang Ping's autobiographical “I am a Chinese English Teacher” (fall 2015) will learn not only about the life of a Chinese high school teacher, but also get a sense of the changes that occurred in China ov ...

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Figuring Korean Futures: Children’s Literature in Modern Korea

By Dafna Zur Dafna Zur is Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages & Cultures at Stanford University and author of Figuring Korean Futures: Children’s Literature in Modern Korea, just published by Stanford University Press. In the fall of 2011 I was a recent graduate of the University of British Columbia and had taken a position at Keimyung University in the Department of Korean Literature. Besides my teaching job, which gave me an opportunity to experience life in Korean academia, I found myself in the rather unenviable position of hakpumo, the parent of a school-age child. My older son was then seven and enrolled in the second semester of first grade. He was thrown into the proverbial “deep end” of elementary school, in which no accommodations were made for speakers of Korean as a second language. I watched him struggle to keep up with sentence dictations and word problems in math, when one of his homework materials caught my eye. It consisted of a short poem, followed by multiple ...

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