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Area and Ethnic Studies > Asian and Pacific Studies

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Articulating Rapa Nui

Polynesian Cultural Politics in a Latin American Nation-State

Riet Delsing

In this groundbreaking study, Riet Delsing narrates the colonization of the Pacific island of Rapa Nui and its indigenous inhabitants. The annexation of the island by Chile, in the heydays of world imperialism, places the small Latin American country in a unique position in the history of global colonialism. The analysis of this ongoing colonization process constitutes a “missing link” in Pacific Islands studies and facilitates future comparisons with other colonial adventures in the Pacific by the United States (Hawai‘i, American Samoa), France (Tahiti), and New Zealand (Maori and Cook Islands).

The first part of the book surveys the history of the Chile–Rapa Nui relationship from its beginning in the 1880s until the present. Delsing delineates the Rapanui people’s agency along with their cultural logic, showing their resilience and will to remain Rapanui— indigenous Pacific islanders rather than an ethnic minority forcefully integrated into the Chilean nation-state. In the second part, the author describes the Rapanui’s contemporary emphasis on the revitalization of their language, traditional concepts about land tenure, a unique corpus of material and performative culture, renewed contact with other Pacific island cultures, and creative acts of resistance against Chilean colonialism. Emergent in her analysis is the effect of Rapa Nui’s vibrant tourist industry—commodification of Rapanui difference is creating the possibility to loosen economic and political ties with Chile.

Drawing on statements of several Rapanui, she concludes that over the past few decades they have acquired a different kind of interpretive power, based on which they are making choices that serve them as a people on the road to cultural and political self-determination. Contemporary Rapa Nui is thus a modern, articulated place, marked by spirited identity politics that show the resilience and adaptability of the indigenous people who inhabit this island.

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Ascendant Peace in the Four Seas

Drama and the Qing Imperial Court

By Ye Xiaoqing

"On an autumn morning in 1793, Lord Macartney waited to be ushered into the imperial summer retreat to take part in the celebration of the Qianlong Emperor's 82nd birthday. It was a long day; the celebration drama, Ascendant Peace in the Four Seas, lasted five hours. There were many scenes of fish, turtles and other sea creatures, and Macartney guessed it must have had something to do with the marriage between the ocean and land. He could not have been more wrong…" For the Qing court, entertaining foreign visitors was only one of the numerous ritual and political purposes dramas served. Delving into a rich collection of first-hand materials, the author meticulously excavates and combs historical data including court records, eunuchs' memoirs, pictorial archives of opera costumes, and period news. She investigates the development of imperial drama and its influence on the Peking Opera, as well as the function and system of imperial organizations responsible for drama. Also discussed are the complex roles of the actors on and off stage, and the broader issues of cultural and political influence intertwined with the performances themselves. The book thus presents us not only an art history of Peking Opera, but also a vivid scroll-painting of the social-cultural life both in and beyond the Forbidden City.

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Asia Policy

Number 1 (2006) through current issue

Asia Policy is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to bridging the gap between academic research and policymaking on issues related to the Asia-Pacific. The journal publishes peer-reviewed research articles and policy essays, roundtables on policy-relevant topics and recent publications, and book review essays, as well as other occasional formats.

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Asia's Flying Geese

How Regionalization Shapes Japan

by Walter F. Hatch

In Asia's Flying Geese, Walter F. Hatch tackles the puzzle of Japan's paradoxically slow change during the economic crisis it faced in the 1990s. Why didn't the purportedly unstoppable pressures of globalization force a rapid and radical shift in Japan's business model? In a book with lessons for the larger debate about globalization and its impact on national economies, Hatch shows how Japanese political and economic elites delayed-but could not in the end forestall-the transformation of their distinctive brand of capitalism by trying to extend it to the rest of Asia.

For most of the 1990s, the region grew rapidly as an increasingly integrated but hierarchical group of economies. Japanese diplomats and economists came to call them "flying geese." The "lead goose" or most developed economy, Japan, supplied the capital, technology, and even developmental norms to second-tier "geese" such as Singapore and South Korea, which themselves traded with Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines, and so on down the V-shaped line to Indonesia and coastal China. Japan's model of capitalism, which Hatch calls "relationalism," was thus fortified, even as it became increasingly outdated. Japanese elites enjoyed enormous benefits from their leadership in the region as long as the flock found ready markets for their products in the West.

The decade following the collapse of Japan's real estate and stock markets would, however, see two developments that ultimately eroded the country's economic dominance. The Asian economic crisis in the late 1990s destabilized many of the surrounding economies upon which Japan had in some measure depended, and the People's Republic of China gained new prominence on the global scene as an economic dynamo. These changes, Hatch concludes, have forced real transformation in Japan's corporate governance, its domestic politics, and in its ongoing relations with its neighbors.

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Asian Bioethics Review

Inaugural edition (2008); Vol. 1 (2009) through Vol. 8 (2016)

The Asian Bioethics Review covers a broad range of topics relating to bioethics. An online academic journal, ABR provides a forum to express and exchange original ideas on all aspects of bioethics, especially those relevant to the region. The journal promotes multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary studies and will appeal to all working in the field of ethics in medicine and healthcare, genetics, law, policy, science studies and research.

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Asian Canadian Writing Beyond Autoethnography

Asian Canadian Writing Beyond Autoethnography explores some of the latest developments in the literary and cultural practices of Canadians of Asian heritage. While earlier work by ethnic, multicultural, or minority writers in Canada was often concerned with immigration, the moment of arrival, issues of assimilation, and conflicts between generations, literary and cultural production in the new millennium no longer focuses solely on the conflict between the Old World and the New or the clashes between culture of origin and adopted culture. No longer are minority authors identifying simply with their ethnic or racial cultural background in opposition to dominant culture.

The essays in this collection explore ways in which Asian Canadian authors (such as Larissa Lai, Shani Mootoo, Fred Wah, Hiromi Goto, Suniti Namjoshi, and Ying Chen) and artists (such as Ken Lum, Paul Wong, and Laiwan) have gone beyond what Françoise Lionnet calls autoethnography, or ethnographic autobiography. They demonstrate the ways representations of race and ethnicity, particularly in works by Asian Canadians in the last decade, have changedhave become more playful, untraditional, aesthetically and ideologically transgressive, and exciting.

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Asian Crossings

Travel Writing on China, Japan and Southeast Asia

Edited by Steve Clark, Paul Smethurst

This book examine various topics and contexts of travel writings on China, Japan and Southeast Asia. From the first Colombian on a trade mission to China, to French women travellers in Asia, and the opening of "Japan Fairs" in the US during the latter half of the nineteenth century, this book offers a kaleidoscopic glimpse of the various cultures in the eyes of their beholders coupled with insightful understanding of the various politics and relationships that are involved.

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Asian Designs

Governance in the Contemporary World Order

by Saadia Pekkanen

Asian nations are no longer "rising" powers in the world order; they have risen. How will they conduct themselves in world politics? How will they deploy their considerable and growing power individually and collectively? These questions are critical for global governance. Conventional wisdom claims that, lacking in institutions that accumulate and coordinate the massive economic and growing military strength of Asian nations, the Asian region will continue to punch below its weight in world politics; thin and patchy institutionalization results in political weakness. In Asian Designs, Saadia M. Pekkanen and her collaborators question and provide evidence on these core assumptions of Western scholarship. The book advances a new framework for debate and sophisticated examinations of institutional arrangements for several major issue areas in the world order—security, trade, environment, and public health.

Contributors
Vinod K. Aggarwal, University of California at Berkeley
C. Randall Henning, American University
Keisuke Iida, University of Tokyo
Purnendra Jain, University of Adelaide
David Kang, University of Southern California
Saori N. Katada, University of Southern California
Min Gyo Koo, Seoul National University
Kerstin Lukner, University of Duisburg-Essen
Takamichi Tam Mito, Kwansei Gakuin University
James Clay Moltz, Naval Postgraduate School
Saadia M. Pekkanen, University of Washington
Kim DoHyang Reimann, Georgia State University
Kellee S. Tsai, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Ming Wan, George Mason University

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Asian Diaspora and East-West Modernity

by Sheng-mei Ma

Drawing from Anglo-American, Asian American, and Asian literature as well as J-horror and manga, Chinese cinema and Internet, and the Korean Wave, Sheng-mei Ma’s Asian Diaspora and East-West Modernity probes into the conjoinedness of West and East, of modernity’s illusion and nothing’s infinitude. Suspended on the stylistic tightrope between research and poetry, critical analysis and intuition, Asian Diaspora restores affect and heart to the experience of diaspora in between East and West, at-homeness and exilic attrition. Diaspora, by definition, stems as much from socioeconomic and collective displacement as it points to emotional reaction. This book thus challenges the fossilized conceptualizations in area studies, ontology, and modernism. The book's first two chapters trace the Asian pursuit of modernity into nothing, as embodied in horror film and the gaming motif in transpacific literature and film. Chapters three through eight focus on the borderlands of East and West, the edges of humanity and meaning. Ma examines how loss occasions a revisualization of Asia in children's books, how Asian diasporic passing signifies, paradoxically, both "born again" and demise of the "old" self, how East turns "yEast" or the agent of self-fashioning for Anglo-America, Asia, and Asian America, how the construct of “bugman” distinguishes modern West's and East's self-image, how the extreme human condition of "non-person" permeates the Korean Wave, and how manga artists are drawn to wartime Japan. The final two chapters interrogate the West's death-bound yet enlightening Orientalism in Anglo-American literature and China's own schizophrenic split, evidenced in the 2008 Olympic Games.

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An Asian Frontier

American Anthropology and Korea, 1882–1945

Robert Oppenheim

In the nineteenth century the predominant focus of American anthropology centered on the native peoples of North America, and most anthropologists would argue that Korea during this period was hardly a cultural area of great anthropological interest. However, this perspective underestimates Korea as a significant object of concern for American anthropology during the period from 1882 to 1945—otherwise a turbulent, transitional period in Korea’s history. An Asian Frontier focuses on the dialogue between the American anthropological tradition and Korea, from Korea’s first treaty with the United States to the end of World War II, with the goal of rereading anthropology’s history and theoretical development through its Pacific frontier.
 
               Drawing on notebooks and personal correspondence as well as the publications of anthropologists of the day, Robert Oppenheim shows how and why Korea became an important object of study—with, for instance, more published about Korea in the pages of American Anthropologist before 1900 than would be seen for decades after. Oppenheim chronicles the actions of American collectors, Korean mediators, and metropolitan curators who first created Korean anthropological exhibitions for the public. He moves on to examine anthropologists—such as Aleš Hrdlicka, Walter Hough, Stewart Culin, Frederick Starr, and Frank Hamilton Cushing—who fit Korea into frameworks of evolution, culture, and race even as they engaged questions of imperialism that were raised by Japan’s colonization of the country. In tracing the development of American anthropology’s understanding of Korea, Oppenheim discloses the legacy present in our ongoing understanding of Korea and of anthropology’s past.
 

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