Dear CEAS Community,
This has been a difficult year for all of us. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives, including our teaching and research, and the political tensions of the last election and the ongoing struggle for racial justice have prompted both anxiety and reflection. I know that like me you have been horrified by the outbreak of violence against Asians and Asian Americans. We at CEAS hope that you, your families and friends have weathered this challenging year with your health and good spirits intact.
With your support, the work of CEAS has gone forward this year. Although some events had to be postponed, many others were successfully adapted to a new webinar format with the help of our talented CEAS staff.  And although we missed the conviviality that comes with in-person interaction, the move online allowed us to expand the audience for many of our events, attracting people from around the U.S. and beyond.
As things gradually return to our new normal in the next academic year, I look forward to seeing you at our CEAS lunches, workshops, talks and other events. Until then, have a pleasant summer here in Chicago or whereever your travels may take you.
Best wishes,
Susan Burns
Director, Center for East Asian Studies
University of Chicago
The Center for East Asian Studies staff
congratulates the graduates of 2021!
This year's CEAS Lecture Series featured three distinguished speakers.

In, “Writing a New History of China: How Chinese Intellectuals Are Trying to Fill in Blank Spaces in Contemporary Chinese History,” Pulitzer Prize-winning author, journalist, and scholar Ian Johnson, discussed the objective and linear historical narrative imposed by Xi Jinping and his allies. This narrative, promulgates China's history as a tale of triumph over tragedy since 1949 during the Communist Party's rule. This talk gave attention to the efforts of a number of intellectuals, writers, and filmmakers that strive to preserve history as a means to shed light into China's past - particularly as it pertains to sensitive subjects.

Later during the fall quarter, Professor of History at Harvard University, Ian J. Miller, argued against the dominant nomenclature in the social sciences and policy circles, against the suitability of “energy transition,” in favor of the common Japanese term, enerugii kakumei, or “energy revolution" in his lecture, “Against Transition: Meiji Tokyo and the Revolution of the Anthropocene.”

The final lecture of the year, "The Great Asian Deerskin Boom: Trade, War, and the Early Modern Japanese Consumer" was delivered by The University of Texas at Austin's, Adam Clulow, a historian of early modern Asia. Professor Clulow examined the deerskin trade and its high demand where demand for soft and pliable leather, and hundreds of thousands of skins were shipped to Japan’s booming ports and cities, which attributed towards the creation of a powerful, transregional engine that connected and transformed early modern Asia.

Visit the CEAS Lecture Series page for more information!
Continuing its partnership with the Seminary Co-op Bookstores, this year's East Asia by the Book! CEAS Author Talks series hosted a record number of book talks.
From current faculty to alumni, the Center welcomed fourteen authors, along with a number of guest discussants, who spoke on a multitude of subjects including the iconoclastic scholar Li Zhi, who was a central, cultural figure during the Ming dynasty; traditional Chinese medicine that looks beyond the conventional boundaries of Western biomedical science; and an examination of egalitarian social ideals and institutions that arose in pre-industrial China and England while uncovering China’s forgotten role in the history of social justice debate and legislation during the eighteenth century.

Visit the East Asia by the Book! CEAS Author Talks page
for more information!
Organized by Or Porath, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher and Instructor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, this series investigated the role of the body in the East Asian imaginaire, and how it has been configured in religious, historical, and cultural contexts from the medieval period to the modern era.

The series of lectures showcased how scholars have sought to address the following questions based on thorough examination of textual sources: Are there Chinese or Japanese paradigms of the body? What value did religions ascribe to bodies? What sexual and cultural knowledge can be extracted when objecting the body to critical inquiry? How did state institutions, commercial enterprises, and ordinary citizens mobilize the body for social and political gains? How have literary authors, ritualists, statesmen, and military officials prescribed and rewritten masculinity and femininity?

To read more about the series,
and the lineup of speakers who presented, click HERE.
The CEAS YouTube channel has been an invaluable resource, particularly during this academic year as the Center moved to a virtual platform to host all of its programming.

Missed an event this year, or interested in re-watching one of our past CEAS events?

Visit us on YouTube and SUBSCRIBE to the channel to stay updated on new videos that are uploaded!
The Film Library has remained open during the academic year while operating under COVID protocols, in concordance with University of Chicago safety guidelines.

The Film Library has recently acquired a number of NEW films!

While the on-site collection at the CEAS office is still not available for public browsing, users are welcome to continue perusing through the online catalog to search for films available for borrowing.

Films may be borrowed and returned through an appointment-based, curbside pick-up system.

To learn more, click HERE.
The study of East Asia at the University of Chicago is an interdisciplinary endeavor resulting from the efforts of over 70 faculty members with specific areas of expertise from departments and programs across the university in the humanities, social sciences, and professional schools.

Initiated in 2019, the Faculty Spotlight initiative provides readers with in-depth information on our faculty including a glimpse of their journey into academia, their professional and personal interests, as well as insight into their groundbreaking research.

Read our faculty profiles that have been featured to date by clicking HERE!
Tetsuo Najita (1936-2021)
Professor Tetsuo Najita, the Robert S. Ingersoll Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in History, East Asian Languages and Civilizations and the College; former Chair of the History Department; and former Director of the Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS), passed away in his home in Kamuela, Hawaii on Monday, January 11, 2021.
We honor the memory and contributions of Professor Najita in the field of Japanese studies with a tribute site dedicated to his legacy.

Visit the site HERE.
It has been a busy year for our faculty, students, and colleagues! Stay abreast of news including recently-awarded prizes and distinctions, as well as important announcements including collaborations and upcoming projects!


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