The Arrest of Journalist Maria Ressa

Asian Studies professor Patricio N Abinales has published an analysis of last week’s arrest of journalist Maria Ressa of the Philippines.

Ms. Ressa is CEO and Executive Editor of The Rappler, the Philippines’ most successful online news outlet and one that has not shied away from publishing stories that are critical of President Rodrigo Duterte and his associates. Dr. Abinales points out similarities between Duterte’s attacks on the free press and similar attacks made by dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s.

The article appears in the Australian Outlook, published by the Australian Institute of International Affairs. Full text of the article is available at http://www.internationalaffairs.org.au/australianoutlook/maria-ressa-arrest-philippines/.

What’s so scary about Huawei?

Smartphones, sanctions and death sentences: what’s going on with Huawei?

Faculty member Eric Harwit of University of Hawaii at Manoa‘s Asian Studies department weighs in on Huawei Technologies with BBC News!

The tech giant has had a meteoric rise over the last ten years. It has overtaken Apple in the global smartphone market, and its equipment is in telecommunications systems in 170 countries worldwide. But Huawei now finds itself at the centre of a global scandal.

Its chief financial officer – the daughter of the company’s founder – is under house arrest in Canada, accused of selling telecom equipment to Iran in contravention of US sanctions.

A week later, a US court charged the whole company with bank fraud, obstruction of justice and theft of technology from rival T-Mobile.

The company has been banned in New Zealand and Australia, and there are moves in the US to stop government employees from buying their products.

Critics say if it wins the contracts for the new 5G network being created globally, it could give the Chinese government control over everything from smart phones, to cars, to pacemakers in other countries.

So why has the success story soured? This week, we ask: what’s so scary about Huawei?

His segment is in the last 6 minutes of the 23-minute program. Check it out!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3cswqvl

Dr. Anna Stirr Wins national recognition

Dr. Anna Stirr receives the Bernard S. Cohn Book Prize
Asian Studies faculty member Dr. Anna Stirr has been selected to receive the 2019 Bernard S. Cohn Book Prize from the Association for Asian Studies. The Cohn prize honors outstanding and innovative scholarship across discipline and country of specialization for a first single-authored monograph on South Asia. The award is in recognition of Dr. Stirr’s book Singing Across Divides: Music and Intimate Politics in Nepal, published by Oxford University Press in 2017.

Dr. Stirr, who holds a PhD in Ethnomusicology from Columbia University, is Associate Professor in Asian Studies at UH-Manoa. Her book Singing Across Divides examines how forms of love and intimacy are linked to changing conceptions of political solidarity and forms of belonging, through the lens of Nepali dohori song. The book describes dohori: improvised, dialogic singing, in which a witty repartee of exchanges is based on poetic couplets with a fixed rhyme scheme, often backed by instrumental music and accompanying dance, performed between men and women, with a primary focus on romantic love. Dr. Stirr examines how dohori gets at the heart of tensions around regional, ethnic, caste, and gender differences within Nepal, as it promotes potentially destabilizing musical and poetic interactions, love, sex, and marriage across these social divides.

The Cohn Prize is named to honor the distinguished South Asia scholar, Bernard S. Cohn. Books nominated may address either contemporary or historical topics in any field of the humanities or the social sciences related to any of the countries of South Asia: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal in the spirit of Dr. Cohn’s broad and critical scholarship on culture and history in South Asia. The prize will be presented at the AAS annual conference in Denver in March 2019.

New Classes for Spring 2019!

‘Tis the season to register for Spring 2019 classes!

Please see the flyers below for special offerings in the Asian Studies Program for the upcoming semester.

Click on the flyers for each class to see more detailed information.

Asian Studies 201: Intro to Asian Studies: East Asia
MWF, 12:30 – 1:20
ASAN 201 Spring 2019 Flyer
This course covers a broad range of disciplines in examining the parts of Asia currently known as Japan, China, Korea (North and South) and Taiwan.

Asian Studies 312: Contemporary Asian Civilizations
TR 12:00 – 1:15
ASAN 312 Spring 2019 Flyer
Put current events into the context of major economic, political and security trends in Asia. Also covers transnational topics like trade, territorial disputes, migration, crime, environment and more.

Asian Studies 320C: Asian Nation Studies: China
MW 1:30 – 2:45
ASAN 320C Spring 2019 Flyer
Trace the evolution of political and economic institutions in contemporary China, with special emphasis on developments from the 1980s to today.

Asian Studies 320O: Asian Nation Studies: Okinawa
MWF 9:30 – 10:20
ASAN 320O Spring 2019 Flyer
An in-depth interdisciplinary introduction to various aspects of Okinawa including geography, history, society, traditional culture, contemporary arts, the base issue and emigration.

Asian Studies 320Z: Pop Divas in Asia
TR 10:30 – 11:45
ASAN 320Z Spring 2019 Flyer
Larger-than-life characters with talent, styling and attitude!

Asian Studies 600Z: Approaches to Asia: Inter-Asia Connections
R 2:30 – 5:00
ASAN 600Z Spring 2019 Flyer
New in Spring 2019!

Asian Studies 651: East Asia Now
F 2:30 – 5:30
ASAN 651 Spring 2019 Flyer
An interdisciplinary approach to the study of social, economic and political development, as well as foreign relations among the major countries in East Asia.

Asian Studies 750 C/J/K: Writing & Research Seminar: China, Japan and Korea
M 4:00 – 6:30
ASAN 750 Spring 2019 Flyer
An interdisciplinary seminar to support students in completing a research paper on a topic of their choice, while providing a structured overview of the writing and research process.

Exhibit: Taiwans Journey to Democracy

A flyer for the Taiwan Exhibition at East-West Center, detailing the time, place and dates. The same information is included below.

Opening Ceremony

The Taiwanese Student Association at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa and the East-West Center cordially invite you to an Aloha Ceremony and Reception to celebrate the opening of the exhibition “Beautiful Island: Taiwan’s Journey to Democracy”.

We recommend you to visit the exhibition before you come to the reception in Sinclair Library (2425 Campus Rd, Honolulu, HI 96822).

We are glad to have the Dr. Richard R. Vuylsteke, President of East-West Center, Chang Tieh-Chih, the curator of the exhibition and a Taiwanese political & cultural commentator, and Shawna Yang Ryan, the author of the novel Green Island, make some remarks about Taiwan’s democracy.

Thursday, October 18, 2018
East-West Center
Lunchroom— 1st floor
6:00 p.m. ~ 7:00 p.m.
1601 East-West Rd,
Honolulu, HI 96848

The opening of the exhibition will take place tonight, Thursday, October 18 at East-West Center in the Lunchroom on the first floor, from 6pm to 7pm. The exhibit will remain open through November 19, 2018.

About the Exhibit:

Taiwan has had an eventful history: as a Dutch entrepot, a Chinese frontier, a Japanese colony, and as a Cold War redoubt for the Chinese Nationalist Party. Today, Taiwan in a prosperous democracy with a thriving civil society. How did it come about?

This exhibit tells this epic story to the world, hoping that people will not only have a better understanding about this wonderful island, but will also perceive Taiwan as in the frontline int he pursuit of democracy in the current world.

The exhibition initiated by the Taiwan Studies Program at University of Washington. University of Hawaiʻi is the second stop of its U.S. tour. Taiwan’s population consists of Hoklo Han Taiwanese, Hakka Han Taiwanese, Mainland Taiwanese and Indigenous Peoples. As two sites int he Pacific that share similar yet distinct experiences of U.S. Cold War politics, viewers of this exhibition may further reflect on what it means to think about movements in Taiwan here in Hawaiʻi.

Asian Studies course featured in Ka Leo

ASAN 464, a summer session course on K-Pop and J-Pop, was recently featured in Ka Leo, the student newspaper. This unique course combines business, cultural studies and pop culture studies and was a whole lot of fun for fans or wannabe-fans.

Read the full article here:  “America’s First K-POP and J-POP Class” by Kailanianna Ablog, Ka Leo, July 24, 2018.

 

Enroll now for Summer Session II Courses

This may be your last chance to enroll for three cool Asian Studies courses on offer during Summer Session II.

After Friday, June 22, courses with low enrollments risk being cancelled. So if you’re interested, enroll now!!

woman with cigarette and drink from 1920s Japanese advertisementASAN 491G Advertising, Media and Desire in East Asia 

This online course examines concepts of Beauty and Desire in East Asian cultures within a historical and contemporary media context and extrapolates from them at least some methods which the advertising industries in Japan, China, and South Korea use to create
effective advertising for print, Internet, and television. The course uses business case studies, anthropological and historical studies of beauty, desire, and social norms, and critical theory to examine the way in which images, language, and branding work in contemporary Asian societies.

ASAN 471  Beyond Hollywood: Introduction to Contemporary Asian Cinema

This course will examine recent films from China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam, asking how they reflect and comment on the profound social, historical and political changes of recent decades. How has globalization affected Asian film industries, and how has Asia’s relationship with Hollywood changed?

July 2-Aug 10  MWF 1 pm -3:30 pm

pagoda in a lake with city in backgroundASAN 312 Contemporary Asian Civilizations

What are key problems and issues affecting the people and institutions of contemporary Asia? We will examine ethnic and religious conflict, democratization, gender and sexuality, trafficking in drugs and humans, arms and arms control, nuclear proliferation, political stability, and other pressing issues necessary to make sense of the world we live in.

July 2-Aug 10, MTWRF 9 am – 10:15 am

 

Upcoming Film Screening: 3.11 and Contemporary Art

Artists Respond to 3.11: The Great East Japan Earthquake & Contemporary ArtArtists Respond to 3.11

by Eimi Tagore-Erwin (Department of Arts and Cultural Science, Lund University, Sweden)

Co-sponsored by the UHM’s Asian Studies Program and Center for Japanese Studies

May 15, 2018, 12:00 – 1:30 pm  Moore Hall 423


Eimi Tagore-Erwin, a graduate student in Visual Culture at Lund University, Sweden, will present a portion of her thesis that she completed as a Visiting Researcher in the Asian Studies Program at UHM in spring 2018.

The topic of her thesis is ‘Reborn-Art Festival’, a socially-engaged art festival that took place in Ishinomaki, one of the communities that was hardest-hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Through consideration of artists’ responses to the Great East Japan Earthquake as a way of engaging in the socio-cultural work of ‘making sense’ of the catastrophe, her study of Reborn-Art Festival’s inaugural cycle investigates art’s potential to contribute to community recovery and empathic understanding of trauma.

She will introduce and screen two short art films exhibited by two artists’ units as part of Reborn-Art Festival, before opening up the floor for discussion, questions, and responses to the films.

The featured films are:

Utsusemi Crush! by Kyun-Chome, a nomadic socially-engaged Japanese artist unit formed in 2011 following the triple disaster, made up of Eri Honma (b. 1987 Kanagawa Prefecture) and Nabuchi (b. 1984 Ibaraki Prefecture).

Seachange by Zakkubalan, a New York-based American artist unit made up of filmmakers Neo Sora (b. 1991, New York) and Albert Thoren (b. 1992, Washington D.C.).

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Institution
This event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Anna Stirr Receives Fulbright and CAORC NEH Senior Fellowships

Rally at RR Campus, Kathmandu, in December 2014, with songs calling for new constitution to be written
Leftist and centrist parties rally as performers sing progressive songs at RR Campus, Kathmandu, Nepal, in December 2014, calling for new constitution to be written. Photo by Anna Stirr.

Dr. Anna Stirr is the recipient of a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship and a Council of American Overseas Research Centers NEH Senior Fellowship for research in Nepal during her sabbatical year of 2018-2019. Dr. Anna Stirr

Her research project, “Performing Aspirations: Love and Revolution in Nepali Progressive Song,” is a cultural history and ethnography of Nepal’s progressive and revolutionary song movement, with particular attention to love. Though leftist artists often disdain mainstream love songs as bourgeois, love itself remains a theme in revolutionary songs and sung dramas, transformed according to  performers’ ideals and party artistic ideologies of music, lyrics, and dance. Through ethnographic fieldwork on progressive cultural groups’ performances and rehearsal process, and archival attention to artistic production and criticism since 1960, the project traces how how leftist artists have tried to create utopian ways of living and loving, through embodying and expressing revolutionary sensibilities.

More information about this project, including archival photos, translated sung dramas, and blog posts, can be found at Dr. Stirr’s personal website.