Diaspora experience as a function of modernity, imperialism, and nationalism.

From my online course on Asia-US migration, an upcoming discussion: The second half of [Vinay] Lal’s book [The Other Indians: A Political And Cultural History of South Asians In America] is our first detailed look at the post-1965 Immigration Act situation, and particularly interesting look through the lens of Diaspora. South Asian immigrants to the […]

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Oh, internment again.

This is something I wrote for my Asia-US migration class this week. We’re reading Erika Lee’s The Making of Asian America. You can figure out which bits, I think… You’d think, reading Lee, that most of the critical questions surrounding the internment of Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans during WWII were pretty clearly settled. You’d […]

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Heartland Mandala

I was surprised to learn, about ten days ago, that PSU was going to be hosting a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks creating a sand mandala. This is a touring company, but somehow they ended up in Pittsburg, Kansas in the run-up to the fiftieth anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s uprising. There was no political […]

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U.S.-China Cooperation

I have no idea where the U.S. China relationship is going, but I have usually thought that whatever rhetoric was coming from either side of the Pacific there were lots of common interests (making money, borrowing money, thinking North Korea is nuts, etc.) to avoid the more lurid scenarios of Sino-American conflict I had assumed […]

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China's Robinson Crusoe

I’ve been reading Wolf Totem and having a lot of fun doing so. The book, based on Jiang Rong’s time as a sent-down youth in Inner Mongolia. was a huge best-seller in China. Why is this book a Thing Chinese People Like? Nicole Barnes says that the book is nostalgic drivel aimed at Chinese who […]

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Tibet by rail

It has been in the news of late that China has built a rail line to Tibet. It cost $3.2 billion, and the train cars have to be pressurized, but you can now get to Tibet cheaper than you could before. The official reason for this is to encourage economic development in the backward area […]

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Taiwanese Heroin

It has been rainy rather than snowy around here of late, which is very unusual for this time of year. While walking in a cold wet rain I began to try and think of something that would make me feel better. Something that was cheap, would make me feel warm, and ideally make me spit […]

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Boundaries within Asia

Interesting article on the problem understanding Central Asia: the first problem is that nobody agrees on what or where it is. Apparently, East Asianists — China scholars, mostly — are a big part of the problem. Funny, though, since that’s where most of the actual research seems to come from. Yes, it’s a distorted historiography, […]

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Mickey Mouse in China

There are some interesting articles in the current Modern China, and the one I would like to comment on at present is “Wang Luobin: Folk Song King of the Northwest or Song Thief?” by Rachel Harris of SOAS. The paper is mostly about the posthumous reputation of Wang Luobin, a (Han) collector and disseminator of […]

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