A Conversation with Christine Yano

Heidi Lam (HL): You’ve been making the rounds of the internet lately as the anthropologist who was told that Hello Kitty is not a cat.  How does that feel? Christine Yano (CY): I framed the book Pink Globalization in terms of headlines, because I’m talking about celebrity and iconicity through material and commercial culture.  And […]

Conference on “Visual Anthropology and Contemporary Chinese Culture”

U 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 understand contemporary Chinese culture and social […]

The Korean Wave (Hallyu)

In June 2011, Korea’s production company held its first European concert in Paris, singing for fans from France, the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy, and so on. The company initially scheduled only one show at Le Zénith de Paris concert hall which seats about 6,000, but the tickets sold out in 15 minutes, prompting hundreds of […]

Fieldwork Encounters in Southwest China

Semi-Native Anthropologist? 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, […]

The Anthropology of Confucius Institutes

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 communist China, it is tainted with communism…We should not be teaching our […]

Interview with the 2013 Hsu Book Award Recipient Judith Farquhar

Ten Thousand Things: Nurturing Life in Contemporary Beijing by Judith Farquhar (U Chicago) and Zhang Qicheng (Beijing U Chinese Medicine) won the 2013 Hsu book prize. Yi Zhou (UC Davis) interviewed Farquhar about her cross-cultural collaboration with Zhang on Beijing residents’ daily practice of yangsheng (nurturing life), the concept of seeking pleasure and cultivating life […]

Evolving Funerals in Japan

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], […]