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 […]

SEAA 2014 AAA Meeting Highlights

SEAA-Sponsored Panels The Society for East Asian Anthropology (SEAA) sponsored 22 panels at the 113th AAA Annual Meeting in Washington DC. Of these panels, 12 engaged with topics across East Asia, six in China, two in Korea, and two in Japan. Three of the panels were poster sessions. The panels touched on a wide range of pertinent themes, […]

Space of Mediation

Why do international labor recruiters in China charge so much, and why are they difficult to regulate? Unskilled Chinese workers pay an average of US$8,000 (including US$ 3,000 security bond that would be confiscated if they violate any rules) in 2010 to secure a job in Japan, Singapore and South Korea, their top three choices. […]

Interview with Joshua Hotaka Roth

Jennifer Bruno: What inspired you to undertake your research with Japanese Brazilian migrants in Japan? Joshua Hotaka Roth: There was a lot of excitement about globalization and transnationalism when I was in graduate school in the early 1990s. I had befriended several Japanese Brazilians when I was in university in Japan in 1989, just as […]