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Past News and Events

Layers of the State: Migrant Organizations

and the Chinese State Jennifer Hsu 

The Harpur College Dean’s Speaker Series, 2010-2011
Co-sponsored by the Department of the Asian and Asian American Studies 
New and Critical Studies of Asian Migrations

Thursday, Oct.14, 4:30 p.m.
Science 2, Room 143

This talk explores the development and interactions of migrant non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with the central and local state. Case studies in Beijing and Shanghai suggest that while the central state is active in the management of NGOs through various regulations, the local state is increasingly becoming important in the effectiveness of migrant NGOs operations. In this vein, the presentation will highlight an emerging set of informal rules in local state-NGO interactions, and discusses the implications of this finding.

JENNIFER HSU is Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology. She completed her postgraduate studies at the University of Cambridge, UK. Her research explores the role of the local Chinese state in the development of the NGO sector and civil society in urban China. She is currently completing two writing projects: "HIV/AIDS in China" and "Layers and Spaces of the Chinese Study: A Case Study of Migrant NGOs in Beijing and Shanghai.”

Co-sponsors: DAAAS, Institute for Asia and Asian Diasporas, and Sociology Dept.
For a copy of the Deans Speakers Series flier, please click here (.pdf, 90kb).

Intimate Internationalism: The Hungarian

People's Army

Performing Arts Ensemble Visits the People's Republic of China in the Fall of 1956

József Böröcz

The Harpur College Dean’s Speaker Series, 2010-2011
Co-sponsored by the Department of the Asian and Asian American Studies 
New and Critical Studies of Asian Migrations

Thursday, Nov. 11, 4:30 p.m.
(Room To Be Announced)

This project explores the intersections between memory, oral history, cinematic and photographic forms of mnemo-technique, and the social, political and cultural histories of state socialism. Focusing on a single extended event—the tour of the Hungarian People's Army Performing Arts Ensemble in the People's Republic of China, involving 217 people and approximately 100 days during the autumn of 1956—the project explores the trans-national person-to-person, small group to small group socio-cultural linkages that were made possible within the state-socialist context. Böröcz approaches this complex history with an aim to trace ways in which such movements of peoples, cultures and ideas under the banner of ‘socialist internationalism’ were both enabling and limited, and the negotiations that individual actors were obliged to make in the process of navigating that moment. The project thus explores the complex linkages between micro and macro-historical processes in the period labeled as late Stalinism in the Soviet bloc and “let a hundred flowers bloom” in histories of China. His talk uses an extensive and unique set of cinematic, visual and documentary sources about the trip. It combines those materials with oral histories with some members of the group who are still alive, as well as more conventional historical evidence gathered from the recently-opened archives, including those of the secret police and the foreign ministry of the erstwhile People’s Republic of Hungary.

JÓZSEF BÖRÖCZ is Associate Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University. His interests include the historical sociology of global flows and linkages, moral geopolitics and (post-)state-socialism. His most recent book, The European Union and Global Social Change: A Critical Geopolitical-Economic Analysis (Routledge, UK, 2009) was published in paperback in 2010. He is the author of "Goodness Is Elsewhere: The Rule of European Difference," (Comparative Studies in Society and History, 48,1), "The Fox and the Raven: The European Union and Hungary Renegotiate the Margin of 'Europe'" (Comparative Studies in Society and History, 42,4) and, co-authored with Mahua Sarkar, "What Is the EU?" (International Sociology 20,2).

Co-sponsors: DAAAS, Institute for Asia and Asian Diasporas, and Sociology Dept.
For a copy of the Deans Speakers Series flier, please click here (.pdf, 90kb).

New and Critical Studies of Asian Migrations

The Harpur College Dean’s Speaker Series, 2010-2011
Co-sponsored by the Department of the Asian and Asian American Studies

February 3

MAHUA SARKAR, Associate Professor of Sociology, Women’s Studies, and Asian and Asian American Studies at Binghamton University
(Co-sponsors: DAAAS, Institute for Asia and Asian Diasporas, and Sociology Dept.)

March 4

NAOKO SHIBUSAWA, Associate Professor of History at Brown University
(Co-sponsors: DAAAS, Institute for Asia and Asian Diaspora, and History Dept.)

March 17

PHILIP KUHN, Francis Lee Higginson Professor of History and of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Emeritus at Harvard University
(Co-sponsors: DAAAS, Institute for Asia and Asian Diaspora, Sociology Dept., and History Dept.)

March 31

ANNE ANLIN CHENG, Professor of English and African American Studies, and Chair of English at Princeton University
(Co-sponsors: DAAAS, Institute for Asia and Asian Diasporas, English Dept., Comparative Literature Dept., and Africana Studies Dept.)

April 8

ELEANA KIM, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Rochester
(Co-sponsors: DAAAS, Institute for Asia and Asian Diasporas, and the Center for Korean Studies)

For a copy of the Deans Speakers Series flier, please click here (.pdf, 90kb).

“The Tragicomedy of Pak Hûngbo’s Economic Hardship” from The Song of Hûngbo: Performance and Commentary of P’ansori, Korean Storysinging

The Harpur College Dean’s Speaker Series, 2009-2010
The Performance Arts in Asia & the Asian Diasporas

A Public Lecture by CHAN E. PARK
Friday April 30, 2010, 1:30-3 p.m.
Location: Fine Arts (FA) 258

P’ansori is a storysinging tradition orally transmitted through generations of singers since the ancient times. Discovered in mid-eighteenth century, this folk performance came to enjoy great popularity and patronage among royal and aristocratic fans, much to the dismays of the disproving mainstream Confucian ideologues. A plausible means to acquire higher social existence, this narrative tradition during the nineteenth century reinvents as The Five Narratives, thematically adhering to the five Confucian cardinal virtues of royal devotion, filial piety, wifely chastity, sibling order, and honorable friendship. P’ansori in the twentieth century was driven by the advancing modernity and Western influences to an endangered marginal existence. As measures to preserve its specimens while still available, the Korean government designated it as an Intangible Cultural Asset of Korea No. 5. The questions of existence of p’ansori between preservation and modernization, past and present, and local and global, continue. An unusual hybrid of performance and scholarship, Chan E. Park’s unique contribution to the field is a one-of-a-kind transnational and bilingual p’ansori performance. Park presents one such performance adapted from the Song of Hûngbo, one of the classical Five Narratives upholding the virtuous mandate of order between older and younger siblings.

Chan E. Park received her PhD from University of Hawaii (1995) and is currently associate professor of Korean language, literature, and performance at The Ohio State University. Trained and debuted as stage director in Korea and Hawaii since the 1970s, she has also trained as a vocal and instrumental performer with several masters of p’ansori, sôlchanggo, and kômun’go. Her academic specializations include research, translation, and performance of p’ansori, Korean story-singing theatre, and its theoretical implications for the study of oral and related literary textualities. She has published extensively on the theory and practice of Korean musical and narrative tradition and its interdisciplinary connection with the broader scope of arts and humanities including her monograph, Voices from the Straw Mat: Toward an Ethnography of Korean Story Singing (University of Hawaii Press, 2003).

“Performing A Geography of Asian America:
The Chop Suey Circuit”

Lecture Presented by:
SanSan Kwan, Visiting Assistant Professor in the Dance Department
UC Riverside and Assistant Professor, Department of Theatre Arts and Dance
California State University, Los Angeles

Friday April 23, 2010, 1:30-3:30 p.m., SL 306

The Chop Suey Circuit describes a group of Asian American cabaret performers and the acts they toured through the US during the WW II era. Taking stage names such as the "Chinese Frank Sinatra" or the "Chinese Fred and Ginger," these talented "Orientals" were a novelty act, singing the popular songs and dancing the well-known styles of the day. They provided American clubgoers with entertainment that was novel and yet familiar, exotic and yet accessible. This lecture explores the ways that, at a time of war, Japanese American internment, and Jim Crow segregation, the touring Chop Suey circuit entertainers simultaneously solidified and challenged US racial cartographies that would fix and emplace racial difference.

“Songs of Chu on all Sides: The Chinese Dynastic Histories in Medieval Japanese War Tales and nō Plays”

The Harpur College Dean’s Speaker Series, 2009-2010
The Performance Arts in Asia & the Asian Diasporas

Lecture Presented by:
Michael Watson, Meiji Gakuin University

Friday Dec. 4, 2009, 2-4 p.m., AA-G023

Michael Watson is professor of Japanese studies at Meiji Gakuin University in Yokohama. Originally trained in medieval European literature at Cambridge and Manchester, he has worked for the last twenty-five years in the field of medieval Japanese literature, specializing in the war tale Heike monogatari (The Tale of the Heike), the subject of his doctoral dissertation from Oxford University. He has also published in English and Japanese on nō theatre, and has translated several works. He has a particular interest in “non-canonical” nō plays, those that no longer form part of the modern performance repertoire.

Sponsored by the Dept. of Asian & Asian American Studies, Harpur College Dean’s Office, CEMERS

Eurasian Influences On Yuan China: Cross-Cultural Transmissions in the 13th and 14th Centuries

Friday-Saturday, Nov. 20-21, 2009

This event is sponsored by: Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation and the Institute for Asia and Asian Diasporas and is co-sponsored by the Departments of Asia and Asian American Studies and History, the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies (Singapore).

For more information visit our website at:

Screening Sinophone Visuality:
Shakespeare in an Age of Localization

The Harpur College Dean’s Speaker Series, 2009-2010
The Performance Arts in Asia & the Asian Diasporas

Lecture Presented by:
Alexander Huang, Assistant Professor
Penn State University

Friday, Nov. 13, 2009, 2-4 p.m., AA-G023

Shakespeare is a frequent traveler to East Asia; for nearly two centuries, Chinese writers, filmmakers, and theater directors have engaged Shakespeare in a wide range of contexts in locally-inspired but transnationally-produced artworks. As these works emerge in the global cultural marketplace, in addition to the thorny questions of cultural authenticity and autonomy, one of the new artistic concerns is the pursuit of what can be called a global visual vernacular. The infatuation with Asian visuality haunts filmmakers and theatre directors as they search for new vehicles to carry their ideas across different cultural locations. This richly illustrated presentation explores the uses of masks, parodic impulses, visual strategies, and the international reception of a number of films and theatre works, including: The Banquet (Hong Kong & China); pan-Asian multilingual Lear (Singapore); Shamlet (Taiwan); Richard III (China); Lear Is Here (Taiwan); and a bilingual production of King Lear (China / UK).

“The Benshi as a Modernist: Tokugawa Musei
and Psychological Films of the Early 20th Century”

Lecture Presented by:
Kyoko Omori, Associate Professor
Hamilton College

Friday, Oct. 30, 2009, 2-4 p.m., AA-G023

This talk focuses on the golden age of benshi performance in 1920s Japan. Benshi performers stood beside the silent screen and provided an accompanying vocal performance that incorporated narration, dialogue and occasional commentary about history or culture behind the story, or about the movie stars or directors. The benshi performers emerged simultaneously with the rise of modernist movements in Japanese art and literature; consequently, they engaged in the development of an expressly trans- or inter-mediatic cultural production that combined elements of traditional Japanese oral performance with the explicitly “modern” medium of silent film. Among the thousands of benshi performing at different movie theaters in the 1920s there was enormous variation among the styles and approaches. This talk will focus on the modernist experiments of the most acclaimed benshi of the period, Tokugawa Musei (1894-1971), who aimed to apply the orality of live narration to the visuality of silent films in order to achieve increasingly complex psychological effects.

The Problem of Asia in Turkey and Russia Conference

April 17 & 18, 2009 | Binghamton University

The Conference explores how Turkey and Russia, and their Ottoman and Czarist predecessors grappled with the Asian component of their identities and relationships. Organizers: John Chaffee, Heather DeHaan, Donald Quataert, Binghamton University


Cemil Aydin, University of North Carolina
Victoria Clement, Western Carolina University
Arif Dirlik, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Megan Dixon, Independent Scholar
Selcuk Esenbel, Bosphorus University
Nathaniel Knight, Seton-Hall University, Jeff Sahadeo, Carleton University


Harpur College Dean's Office
Institute for Asia and Asian Diasporas
Department of Asian and Asian American Studies
Department of German and Russian Studies
Department of History
Department of Sociology

Last Updated: 8/30/16