EALC Speaker Series

Upcoming events:

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Mark Frank, "Hunger in the Making of a Modern Sino-Tibetan Borderland" Frank talk flyer

Multiple Chinese regimes attempted to develop a province in eastern Tibet during the early twentieth century, always with underwhelming results. Leading accounts have emphasized political explanations for these projects and their outcomes, including inter-ethnic conflict and Chinese internal strife. This talk argues that frequent hunger among Chinese soldiers and settlers on the Tibetan plateau both stimulated and constrained state-building efforts there. The desire for familiar grain among Han communities was a driving force in regional politics, reshaping the map and redistributing the settler population. The embodied experience of hunger defies neat political or material explanations; this talk instead articulates it as the convergence of certain political, environmental, and cultural forces in Chinese bodies on the Tibetan plateau.

Time and Location: Thursday, November 29, 2018 12:00-1:30 PM, LUCY ELLIS LOUNGE, 1080 Foreign Languages Building, 707 S. Mathews Ave, Urbana, IL

Mark Frank is a PhD candidate in modern Chinese history at the University of Illinois.

Free pizza provided with registration

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Past events:

Friday, October 12, 2018

Christopher Callahan (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign)Callahan talk flyer

"Performing Pictures: Etoki and the Illustrated Biography of Shinran"

Etoki, the practice of the elucidation of and by images, was utilized by Buddhist preachers and popular storytellers to entertain audiences and propagate Buddhism.   Many scholars, such as Hayashi Masahiko and Kaminishi Ikumi have analyzed the multifaceted culture of etoki and taken note of the role that etoki storytelling played in the popularization of Buddhism in Japan.   Although much of this scholarship has assumed that etoki story-tellers used a wide variety of formats, such as wall paintings, hanging scrolls and illustrated hand-scrolls, there are a number of unanswered questions regarding the use of hand-scrolls (emaki) in etoki performances.  Looking closely at one illustrated hand-scroll of the Life of Shinran by Kakunyo (1270-1351), I will attempt to reconstruct the historical context of the scroll’s production, the ritual context for its use and viewing and the performative dimensions of the scroll itself in order to answer some of these questions.

Time and location: 4:00-5:30 PM, Lucy Ellis Lounge - 1080 Foreign Languages Building (707 S Mathews Ave, Urbana), IL

Christopher Callahan lectures on Japanese and East Asian Religions in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures.

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Spring 2018 Events

Tuesday, April 20, 2018

Hiromi Mizuno (University of Minnesota), "The Age of Nitrogen: Agricultural Modernization and Japan"

How Japan industrialized itself and joined the ranks of the world’s colonial powers by the beginning of the 20th century is a well told story, but how it fed the fast growing population and its industrial sector is little told or studied. Nitrogen, the important soil nutrient, supported the world's expansion of economy and population, sometimes driving the powerful West's colonialism. From dried fish in Hokkaido to soybean cakes in Manchuria to chemical fertilizer in colonial Korea, Japan's search for nitrogen too played a crucial role in Japan's modernization and colonial expansion. This talk is an environmental history of soil and agriculture and provides a fresh new perspective to Japan's modernization in the 20th century. 

Time and location: 12-1:30 pm, Lucy Ellis Lounge - 1080 Foreign Languages Building (707 S Mathews Ave, Urbana)

Hiromi Mizuno is Associate Professor of History at University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. 


Saturday, May 5, 2018

The 5th Annual SEAS Graduate Student Symposium: Narratives of (Il)legibility in East Asia

(Keynote Speaker: Johanna Ransmeier, University of Chicago)

Time and Location: ALL DAY, 1080 Foreign Languages Building - Lucy Ellis Lounge (707 S Mathews Ave., Urbana)

Fall 2017 events:

October 16, 2017 Yongming Xu (Zhejiang University), "Digital Resources, Digital Humanites Maps and Humanities Research"

November 10, 2017 Tomohiko Sumiyoshi (Keio University), "Sino-Japanese Book Cultures of Medieval Japan: Scholarship, Libraries, Publishing"

December 8, 2017 Jing Chen (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign), "Reinventing the Pre-Tang Tradition: Compiling and Publishing Pre-Tang Poetry Anthologies in Sixteenth-Century China" 

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Monday, October 16, 2017 

Yongming Xu (Zhejiang University), "Digital Resources, Digital Humanites Maps and Humanities Research"

This lecture will introduce the audience to a rich repertoire of digital resources, digital tools, digital humanities maps for scholars working in East Asian humanities. The speaker will demonstrate how to conduct indepth research using these sources and inform the audience of various completed and on-going projects utilizing these digital humanities resources. 

Time and location: 4:00 p.m. Room 1022 Lincoln Hall, 702 S. Wright Street     See event flyer

Yongming Xu is Professor of Chinese Literature at Zhejiang University and Assistant Director of Zhejiang Classical Texts Research Center. He obtained his obtained his Ph. D. from Zhejiang University in 2002. He has been a visiting scholar at Harvard-Yenching Institute and the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University. He has authored five monographs, edited six books, and compile and annotated several ancient texts. His publications include A Study of Wuzhou Literati from the Yuan to Early Ming; A Biography of Song Lian (1310-1381), Studies on Tao Zongyi; An Anthology of Critical Studies on Tang Xianzu in Western Scholarship (co-editor), Fang Guozhen historical materials; Tao Zongyi’s Collected Works; Zheng Yuanyou’s Collected Works; Wu Sidao’s Collected Works; and Hu Kui’s Collected Works.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Sumiyoshi talk flyerTomohiko Sumiyoshi (Keio University), "Sino-Japanese Book Cultures of Medieval Japan: Scholarship, Libraries, Publishing"

The talk will explore strategies to disseminate, study, and preserve Chinese-language books in Japan between 1400 and 1600.

Time and location: 12:00 p.m. Room 1065 Lincoln Hall, 702 S. Wright Street      See event flyer 

Tomohiko Sumiyoshi is a Professor at the Institute of Oriental Classics (Shido Bunko), Keio University, Japan. He has published widely on the reception of books in Chinese in medieval Japan. 


Friday, December 8, 2017

Jing Chen (University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign), "Reinventing the Pre-Tang Tradition: Compiling and Publishing Pre-Tang Poetry Anthologies in Sixteenth-Century China" 

The talk examines how the making of pre-Tang poetry anthologies in sixteenth-century Ming China led to a reinvention of the early Chinese poetic tradition. Through the study of book titles, tables of contents, prefaces, and postscripts in twenty-two pre-Tang poetry anthologies compiled in the 1500s, I identify three types of anthologizing practices. By employing quantitative and network analysis, I historicize these practices, investigate the motivations for the anthologies, and explore their citation networks. These anthologizing practices gradually transformed the classification principles of previous anthologies, expanded the scope of canonized anthologies, and established a distinct pre-Tang tradition by the end of the sixteenth century.

Time and Location: 12:00 p.m. Lucy Ellis Lounge, Foreign Language Building, 707 S. Mathews Ave. See event flyer.

Jing Chen is currently a PhD Candidate and an Instructor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include pre-1900 Chinese literature, classical Chinese poetry and poetics, as well as literary criticism in late imperial China. She is currently working on a project that studies the publication and reception of poetry anthologies in China from the 16th century to the 18th century. 

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