Conference on “Visual Anthropology and Contemporary Chinese Culture”

Conference on “Visual Anthropology and Contemporary Chinese Culture”

The Minzu University of China hosted China's first conference on “Visual Anthropology and Contemporary Chinese Culture” on June 21-22 in Beijing. Anthropologists, filmmakers, and NGO representatives from America, Germany, Mainland China, and Taiwan offered diverse perspectives that sought the theoretical and practical development of visual anthropology as an important lens to … [Read more...]

Semi-Native Anthropologist?: Fieldwork Encounters and Positionality in An Ethnic Village in Southwest China

My village hostess wearing the Buyi traditional costume and displaying batik-drawing during an annual Buyi festival. Photo courtesy of Yu Luo.

By Yu Luo (Yale University) During the initial stage of my fieldwork, I spent most of my time learning how to draw Buyi ethnic batik with my village hostess, while watching Korean idol dramas dubbed in Mandarin. Perhaps commonly seen elsewhere, this scene nonetheless does not merely represent the globalizing circulation of Korean dramas, or mass media alike, to a remote corner … [Read more...]

The Anthropology of Confucius Institutes

CI Opera Masks

By Jennifer Hubbert ( Lewis & Clark College)In a 2010 episode entitled “Socialism Studies,” Jon Stewart of The Daily Show humorously skewered the American controversy over China’s Confucius Institutes (CIs). This episode highlighted a California resident--speaking against these Chinese government funded language and culture programs--who declares: “If it comes from … [Read more...]

Evolving Funerals in Japan

Funeral hall in an Osaka suburb 
/Courtesy of Yohko Tsuji

By Yohko Tsuji (Cornell University)   In 2013, I attended a funeral of the Yamada family in an Osaka suburb. The deceased, age 89, was the widow of the family head whose funeral in 1992 provided the data for my article on Japanese mortuary rituals (Tsuji, “Mortuary Rituals in Japan: The Hegemony of Tradition and the Motivations of Individuals” Ethos 34(3), 2006). … [Read more...]

Interview with the 2013 Hsu Book Award Recipient Judith Farquhar

Ten Thousand Things (Book Cover)

 Ten Thousand Things: Nurturing Life in Contemporary Beijing written by Professor Judith Farquhar (U of Chicago) and Professor Zhang Qicheng (Beijing University of Chinese Medicine) won the 2013 Hsu book prize. Yi Zhou (U of California, Davis) interviewed Prof. Farquhar about her cross-cultural collaboration with Prof. Zhang on Beijing residents' daily practice of … [Read more...]

Interview with Junko Kitanaka, 2013 Hsu Book Prize Recipient

Junko Kitanaka (Keio University). Photo courtesy of Junko Kitanaka

Junko Kitanaka was awarded the 2013 Frances L.K. Hsu Book Prize for her book Depression in Japan: Psychiatric Cures for a Society in Distress. Heidi Lam: What drew you to the issue of how depression has been defined in Japan? Junko Kitanaka: Since my undergraduate days, I have always been interested in how people placed in extreme situations can still find meaning in … [Read more...]

2013 David Plath Media Award: 农家乐 Peasant Family Happiness

Video still from 农家乐 Peasant Family Happiness (2013). Courtesy of Jenny Chio.

By Jenny Chio (Emory University)  Whenever I have been lucky enough to discuss my film, 农家乐 Peasant Family Happiness, after it has been screened, I’m usually asked a series of questions about my motivation for making a film, the relationship of the film to my larger research project, whether or not life in the two villages depicted has changed, and how village residents … [Read more...]

Letter from the SEAA President

The New SEAA President Li Zhang

Greetings from warm California! It is a privilege and an honor to serve as the SEAA president. First, I want to thank all the past presidents and board members for their hard work. I am really looking forward to working with all the members of this dynamic section that I care about deeply. I would like to take this opportunity to briefly introduce myself and the new columnists … [Read more...]

AAA 2013 Invited Session Spotlight

seaa-column-logo

Reflections on "Precarious Time: Discussions on the Un/Doing of East Asia" By Timothy Gitzen (University of Minnesota)  The aim of this panel was to follow the renewed attention to the precarious in anthropology by focusing on the dependencies that create relationships while simultaneously threaten to destroy them.  Our site was East Asia—from Jenny Chio’s discussion … [Read more...]

CfP Asian Highlands Perspectives by 2014-02-20

Asian Highlands Perspectives (AHP) is seeking articles and book reviews for its sixth annual collection of essays. AHP is a peer reviewed, open access, trans-disciplinary journal focusing on the Tibetan Plateau and surrounding regions, including the Southeast Asian Massif, Himalayan Massif, the Extended Eastern Himalayas, the Mongolian Plateau, and other contiguous areas. … [Read more...]