Fall quarter has seen a flurry of activities, and we're only a third of the way through the academic year! As we reach the end of 2019, CEAS fondly reflects upon those we have had the pleasure of hosting on campus and looks forward to welcoming more guests in 2020!
The Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS) is proud to support academic activities, research, K-16 outreach, and public events throughout the year. We end the quarter having hosted a variety of activities, welcoming guest speakers and practitioners that help further promote greater understanding of China, Japan, and Korea. Read below for highlights of this quarter's activities! ** Denotes activities supported with CEAS Title VI National Resource Center Grant funding from the U.S. Department of Education.
Taking place over the course of two days from October 13th through October 14th, and in collaboration with UChicago Presents and the International House Global Voices Program, CEAS co-sponsored a two-day mini-residency featuring renowned pipa virtuoso, Wu Man , who performed with musicians, Yazhi Guo ( suona and Chinese percussion), Kaoru Watanabe ( taiko and Japanese flute), and Tim Munro (flute) at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts. Exploring music from the Golden Age of China, featuring both gorgeous songs recovered from manuscripts of the period and a newly commissioned work inspired by that music, the performance was preceded by a pre-concert discussion with the Music Department's Anthony Cheung . A special lunch discussion followed the next day at International House with Wu Man discussing her journey as a musician with ethnomusicology Ph.D. student, David Wilson . The program continued that evening featuring the film screening of Discovering a Musical Heartla nd: Wu Man's Return to China with musician and Ph.D. student in Music Composition, Yuting Tan serving as moderator. The film documents Wu Man’s expeditions through China’s remote regions as she unearths ancient musical traditions that are in danger of being lost among the more popular musical trends in the country today. Wu Man also presented a matinee at the Logan Center for local, CPS high school students as another opportunity for community outreach.**
Featuring scholars and practitioners from both the U.S. and Japan, CEAS hosted the first Science, Technology, Studies in Japan Symposium: Animating Ecological Futures on October 17th. This program, organized by Michael Fisch (University of Chicago) and Jun Mizukawa (Lake Forest College), sought to examine with environmental projects that are emerging in the wake of climate change, disasters, and disturbances, with a particular focus on the aftermath of 3.11 in Japan. It aimed to foreground current and historical practices in fields ranging from design, to art, infrastructure, architecture, and community organization that bring attention to contemporary concerns around the environment while simultaneously animating a vision (or visions) for an ecological future. The program entailed simultaneous translation from Japanese to English, featuring graduate students Jun Hee Lee (Department of History) and Hiroko Kumaki (Department of Anthropology). Day 1 laid the ground work for further discussion on Day 2, where a closed-session took place with graduate students, followed by a dedicated workshop on Day 3 where graduate students discussed their own work as it related to the themes of the Symposium with three of the Symposium participants including Satoshi Abe (Environmental Designer), Hajime Chiba (Tohoku University), and Atsuro Morita (Osaka University) in attendance.**
Harvard University's Sun Joo Kim delivered the year's first CEAS Lecture Series, "My Own Flesh and Blood: Stratified Parental Compassion and Law in Korean Slavery," discussing the relationship between emotions and slavery in Chosŏn Korea (1392–1910) by examining legislative processes, as well as private practices concerning the status of the offspring of a yangban man and his slave-status concubine. By investigating the larger legal framework related to slave-status children of yangban elites alongside specific cases, Professor Kim's study sought to provide a deeper understanding of the historical impact and practices of emotional politics in relation to slavery. Professor Kim's lecture was followed by a discussion with Professor of History, EALC and the College, and CEAS Director, Susan Burns .
On November 2nd, a workshop focusing on digital approaches that have changed the landscape of China research was held at the Joseph Regenstein Library. O rganized by Haun Saussy (University of Chicago) and Jeffrey Tharsen (University of Chicago), the workshop aimed to focus on the process of discovery that has inspired the making of various new tools and frameworks for China scholarship. Scholars presented on topics including, "Developing MARKUS and the Art of Research," "The Late Imperial Primer Literacy Sieve," and the "China Biographical Database: Data Modeling and Relational Databases" (touching briefly on Social Network Analysis and Geographic Information Systems). This day-long workshop ended with a presentation by the Center for the Art of East Asia on their team's project in 3D imaging and live renderings of art work with Ph.D. student studying East Asian Art and architecture, Zhenru Zhou , presenting on integrating pictorial and architectural space in digital space.**
National Public Radio's International Correspondent based in Seoul, Anthony Kuhn delivered a special lecture at International House on the evening of November 4th where he spoke about his recent reporting, talking to locals on the ground, regarding the recent protests in Hong Kong, U.S. nuclear negotiations with North Korea and military concerns in the South China Sea, and the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar. As part of CEAS continued community outreach efforts, Mr. Kuhn visited Olive-Harvey College, City Colleges of Chicago, where he presented on, "Asia News and Its Impact on You," discussing major stories and trends in Asia, their impact on the United States, and how he covers them as a journalist.**
In collaboration with other Department of Education-designated National Resource Center area studies centers across the UChicago campus, CEAS hosted the 12th Annual University of Chicago International Education Conference, "The Hot Topic: Strategies for Teaching Global Climate Change." The conference explored methods and topics for teaching climate change to both STEM and non-STEM classes that featured distinguished speakers who approached the subject from the perspective of cutting-edge science, classroom demonstrations, political science and economics, and social justice.**
In August 2019, the Aichi Triennale in Nagoya, Japan attracted international attention when, in response to political pressure including threats of violence, its organizers decided to close one of the exhibits after just three days. This exhibit, presciently titled “After ‘Freedom of Expression’?” (表現の不自由展:その後), included a depiction referencing the long unacknowledged hardships endured by wartime ‘comfort women’ and featured a number of works that had previously been subjected to censorship in Japan. A conference featuring a presentation by Yoshiko Shimada , a leading feminist performance and video artist and one of the participants in the “After ‘Freedom of Expression’?” exhibit took place at the Joseph Regenstein Library on November 11th. Organized by Michael Bourdaghs (University of Chicago) and Chelsea Foxwell (University of Chicago), the program featured additional presentations and a round table discussion involving scholars as they situated the Aichi Triennale incident in a number of relevant contexts involving censorship, contemporary art, historical memory, and debates over freedom of expression in Japan, East Asia, and the United States.
CEAS welcomed Japanese Poet, Takako Arai , and translator and Professor of Japanese at Western Michigan University, Jeffrey Angles to campus on November 18th at the Franke Institute for the Humanities for a reading of Takako Arai's, "Factory Girls." The book depicts the secretive yet bold world of the women workers as well as the fate of these kinds of regional, feminine, collaborative spaces in a current-day Japan defined by corporate and climate catastrophes.
Looking ahead to 2020, CEAS has a number of exciting events including the academic year's second CEAS Lecture Series talk presented by Brett de Bary (Professor, Cornell University), the next East Asia by the Book! CEAS Author Talks at the Seminary Co-op featuring Soka Gakkai's Human Revolution: The Rise of a Mimetic Nation by Associate Professor at the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at North Carolina State University, Levi McLaughlin , and the annual Tetsuo Najita Distinguished Lecture in Japanese Studies delivered by Mary C. Brinton (Reischauer Institute Professor of Sociology, Harvard University).

For more information on these events and more, click here !

Be sure to check out the following
CEAS Resources:


CEAS launched its NEW AND IMPROVED WEBSITE this summer! Through the website, CEAS provides important information and resources for those interested in East Asian studies including news articles, information on upcoming events, and information on grants and fellowships. Also, check out the NEW Faculty Spotlight section where we highlight a CEAS faculty member and their recent/current research projects. This quarter, we featured former CEAS Director and Centennial Professor of Chinese Studies in EALC and the College, Donald Harper .


Missed an event? Be sure to follow and like us on our various social media platforms including TWITTER and FACEBOOK where we have important updates and reminders on events and news, as well as pictures and live posts! Interested in seeing the kinds of activities that have taken place in years past? Visit our official YOUTUBE channel where we have a number of videos of lectures and performances featuring distinguished speakers and musical talents that we have hosted on campus!


CEAS maintains an extensive East Asian film library available to students, faculty, and staff at the University FOR FREE. The collection includes more than 7,000 films, including historical films, documentaries, television series, and contemporary cinema. Visit us to learn more about the library and how to borrow films, or to browse the online film catalog by clicking HERE
The staff at the Center for East Asian Studies wishes everyone a warm and wonderful holiday season and
a very happy new year!
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