The Asian Studies Program invites all to a talk by Dr. Kristi Govella, candidate for the position of Assistant Professor of Asian Studies. The talk is entitled “Permeable Policymaking: Foreign Firms in the Japanese Economy,” and will be held on Thursday March 2, 3:00-4:00 pm, in the Center for Korean Studies Auditorium.
Abstract: How does internationalization affect the politics of trade? Can foreign firms meaningfully influence policy? Japan is an interesting place to examine these questions because it was remarkably closed to foreign investment until a sudden influx in the 1990s. While foreign firms were initially dependent on their home governments to influence Japanese policy, opportunities for these firms to act independently increased with the opening of the Japanese economy. Interestingly, the manner in which a sector opened had lasting and sometimes unexpected consequences, creating cleavages among Japanese and foreign firms in ways that shaped their interests and the trajectory of policy change. This research sheds light on the ways that internationalization can enable foreign firms to impact policy debates directly from within a host country, potentially altering the dynamics of both domestic politics and international relations.
About the Speaker: Kristi Govella is an Associate Professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, specializing in Japanese politics and Asian regionalism. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
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The Asian Studies Program invites you to a talk by Dr. Andrea Murray, “Interpreting Okinawa: Place-Making and the Nature of the Past,” on Monday, February 27, from 2:30-3:30 pm, in Bilger Hall 335.
Abstract: “Nature” in Okinawa is a thing of the past. This talk considers how a sense of unique ecological heritage is cultivated and expressed through facilitated interactions between human and non-human animal species, both for the education of tourists and for the benefit of residents. In a move to direct the island’s economy away from U.S. military base dependency, local entrepreneurs are reclaiming their past through engagement with the natural environment. “Nature” is also a matter of interpretation.
About the Speaker: Andrea E. Murray is an Associate in Research at the Reischauer Institute for Japanese Studies, Harvard University. Her book, Footprints in Paradise: Ecotourism, Local Knowledge, and Nature Therapies in Okinawa (Berghahn Books 2017), is an ethnography of island political ecology and sustainable tourism development.
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The Asian Studies Program invites the UH Manoa community to a talk by Dr. Arunima Datta, candidate for the Assistant Professor position in Asian Studies, from 1:30-2:30 pm on Friday February 24, at the Center for Korean Studies Auditorium.
(Re)Figuring South Asian Coolie Identities: Gender, Labor Migration and the Empire
ABSTRACT: Recently literature has been flourishing on the “colonial” manipulations of intimate relations, morality and domestic arrangements in the making of the Empire. This body of scholarship remains limited by its preoccupation with relations between European men and native women, rendering some bodies and relations more relevant than others. Colonial construction of migrant Indian coolie households often depicts coolie women either as immoral beings or as passive victims of skewed native patriarchy, while coolie men have been figured as irresponsible and violent partners. Such sweeping depictions homogenized all coolie women into a single category of ‘victims’ and likewise all coolie men as perpetrators of violence against their wives or mistresses, thereby disregarding the plethora of relations and identities coolie men and women experienced. This talk explores such neglected intimacies of Indian coolie households in British Malaya. In doing so, it introduces the concept of “situational agency” and in the process contributes to ongoing discussions in fields of gender, migration and labour studies by problematizing the dichotomous understanding of “agent” and “victim” as mutually exclusive categories.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr Arunima Datta is a postdoctoral fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore(NUS) and simultaneously lectures for the South Asian Program, NUS. Datta received her PhD in Southeast Asian Studies from NUS and was awarded the Presidential Scholarship for her research. She maintains an active interest in the related fields of South Asian and Southeast Asian history/studies, women’s and gender history, race, gender and sexuality studies, colonial and postcolonial studies. She has authored articles on colonial law, Indian coolie women in Malaya during British Rule and during Japanese Occupation. She is currently working on two book projects, viz., Indian Coolie Women in Malaya, Travelling Indian Ayahs in Britain. Datta recently organised the Gender Perspectives on Colonial Inter-Asian Labour Migration; the first conference in the field of Inter-Asian studies to focus on gender and labour migration history. She also serves as Assistant Editor of the Journal of Malaysian Branch of Royal Asiatic Society and is also a member of the editorial board of Asian Journal of Social Science Studies.
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