The End of Concern: An Interview

If you work in Asian studies as a scholarly field, you should read Fabio Lanza’s new book. The End of Concern: Maoist China, Activism, and Asian Studies (Duke University Press, 2017) takes as its central case study the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars (CCAS) and The Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars that the CCAS published. Tracing the history of the organization from its founding in the midst of the global … Continue reading The End of Concern: An Interview

Curating Revolution: An Interview

“In Mao’s China, to curate revolution was to make it material.” Denise Y. Ho’s new book explores this premise in a masterful account of exhibitionary culture in the Mao period (1949-1976) and beyond. Curating Revolution: Politics on Display in Mao’s China (Cambridge University Press, 2017) argues that “curating revolution taught people how to take part in revolution,” and it develops that argument in a series of case studies … Continue reading Curating Revolution: An Interview

The Ecology of Attention: An Interview

We are arguably living in the midst of a form of economy where attention has become a key resource and value, labor, class, and currency are being reconfigured as a result. But how is this happening, what are the consequences, and is “economy” necessarily the most productive frame in which to understand these transformations in attention and distraction? Yves Citton’s new book explores these questions in … Continue reading The Ecology of Attention: An Interview

The Pidgin Warrior: An Interview

“Big boys, the story in this little book is told for you.” Thus begins the preface to Zhang Tianyi’s The Pidgin Warrior (Balestier Press, 2017), as translated by the wonderful David Hull. Not just for boys (big or small), The Pidgin Warrior is a moving, hilarious novel set in 1930s Shanghai during wartime. Hull’s translation is a sensitive and humane rendering of characters that are by turns laughable and … Continue reading The Pidgin Warrior: An Interview

Textures of Mourning: An Interview

Reginald Jackson’s inspiring new book takes a transdisciplinary approach to rethinking how we read, how we pay attention, and why that matters deeply in shaping how we understand the past, live in the present, and imagine possible futures. Textures of Mourning: Calligraphy, Mortality, and The Tale of Genji Scrolls (University of Michigan Press, 2018) explores the relationship between reading, dying, and mourning across three central texts: the Heian … Continue reading Textures of Mourning: An Interview

The Invisible College!

Folkses! For a while now, Professor Carrie Jenkins and I have been writing and working together, first as colleagues at UBC who found each other via Twitter during a kinda tumultuous time at the university, then as friends and co-teachers in the UBC Arts One program, then-then as co-makers of a book that we’ve been writing together. We’re both artist-scholars who are working to make space … Continue reading The Invisible College!

Imagining History/Writing Late Imperial China

There’s a very cool section in the latest issue of Late Imperial China devoted to engaging the arts as late imperial (or early modern) historians. I have a little piece in the issue on fictioning with late imperial Chinese history and it’s a sneak peek of the monograph I’m finishing. The essay is sisters with the recent PMLA piece on fictioning with history, and the two contain … Continue reading Imagining History/Writing Late Imperial China

Metagestures news, and assorted updates!

Happy summer, y’all! It’s been year of transitions, and I haven’t been here much while I took a hiatus from podcasting, finished up some other things, and did some re-orienting. It’s good to be back. I’m about to move to a brand new position as Andrew W. Mellon Chair in History at the University of Pittsburgh, and I’m really thrilled to be joining such a … Continue reading Metagestures news, and assorted updates!