Behind the Scenes

Ethnography in the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement On the wall are handwritten notes and posters, yellow ribbons are distributed and thousands of students from various Hong Kong universities listen to student speeches and calls for action. It is September 22, 2014, the first day of a weeklong student class boycott. The kick-off was held at […]

Buddhist and Christian Interpretations of the Hong Kong Protests

Socially Engaged Religion and the Umbrella Movement Even though the 2014 Hong Kong Umbrella Movement was mainly a political movement sparked by economic and political distress, religion played a significant factor in the event. The role of religious leaders and symbols has been discussed in different media channels throughout the duration of the protests, for […]

Interview with the 2014 Hsu Book Award Recipient Manduhai Buyandelger

Tragic Spirits: Shamanism, Memories, and Gender in Contemporary Mongolia written by Professor  Manduhai Buyandelger (MIT) won the 2014 Hsu book Prize. Tragic Spirits illustrates how shamanism has been revived by the Buryat people in Mongolia after the collapse of socialism and the further impoverishment of this marginalized ethnic group under the pressures of neoliberal capitalism. […]

An Interview with Gavin H Whitelaw

Alyssa Paredes (AP): What experiences led to your interest in studying convenience stores, or konbini, in Japan? Gavin H Whitelaw (GW): The first of the big convenience store chains began expanding in Tohoku when I was a teacher in rural Yamagata. I became a denizen of Sunkus, FamilyMart and Lawson. They gave me a place […]

Occupational Ethnography in the Taiwan Sunflower and Hong Kong Umbrella Movements

On March 18, 2014, several hundred Taiwanese student and civil activists broke into the Legislative Yuan, the parliament of the contested island nation, launching the Sunflower Movement, a protest against the ruling Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and aligned business elites’ alleged collusion with authoritarian China to pass a highly controversial trade deal. It took 24 […]

Occupy between Surveillance and Transparency

An iPad, fixed by a pair of slippers on the second floor of the Legislative Yuan (the congress of Taiwan), was shooting down the chamber with its lens. On the screen of the iPad, a big banner reading “Occupy 500 Hours” covered the bottom of the portrait of Sun Yat-Sen, the national father of Republic […]

Be Realistic, Demand the Impossible

The Politics of Aesthetics and Hong Kong’s “Umbrella Movement” “Be realistic, Demand the Impossible!” is a text attached to a bike during Hong Kong’s “Umbrella Movement” (September to November 2014). BBC News comments: “It’s getting hard to tell what is art and what isn’t. Is this a mode of transport with a slogan attached, or […]