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Tuesday, May 22nd  PRE-CONFERENCE EVENTSMt. Scopus campus 


08:45-16:30 International Workshop: Science, Morality, and Gender in Korean Culture (Abba Eban Hall, The Truman Institute)

10:00-17:00 Compendia for Governing the World: Mirrors for Princes between East and West (Room 530, Mandel Building)

12:00-13:00 Exhibition Opening: Photographs of the Hakka people of Southern Taiwan (3rd floor, Bloomfield Library)

17:00-18:00 Opening of the “Window On Korea” library corner (4th floor, Bloomfield Library)



Wednesday, May 23rd @ Beit Maiersdorf, Mt. Scopus campus

9:00-9:30 Registration

9:30-11:00 Session 1

Panel 1: Ritual Ideals, Ritual Realities: Perceptions of Ritual in Early and Medieval China [room 403]

Supported by the Confucius Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Show Abstract

 This panel focuses on different representations of the concept of ritual within the social, political, economic, and cultural spheres in early and medieval China.

The Chinese concept of ritual (li 禮) is a complex one, denoting a general form of appropriate behavior on the one hand, and different types of highly structured traditional (or at times religious) rites, on the other. When implemented in everyday realities, the ideal of ritual took many shapes.

The present panel aims to demonstrate and examine ways in which ideas of ritual were used rhetorically to emphasize – or to be emphasized by – additional ideas and ideals in the periods under discussion. In particular, discussions will focus on how the concept of ritual was embedded into the discourse of labor in different texts and throughout different periods; how ritual was emphasized or omitted in discussions on music, thus supporting the authors’ political and social ideologies; and how some forms of ritual related to the conception of “home” and were used to differentiate between various degrees of intimacy among elite men in the Six Dynasties.

By revisiting the manifestations of ritual in everyday life from multiple perspectives, we hope to shed new light on the relations between ritual and power.

Chair:  Galia Patt-Shamir (Tel-Aviv University)

Yang Fu (Soochow University): Ritual and Labor in Early Chinese Thought: From the Shijing to Xunzi Show Abstract

 This paper examines the ways in which the relationship between ritual and labor has been conceived in some early Chinese texts. It is divided into two parts. The first part addresses how the notion and language of ritual (li) figure in the discourse on labor in Shijing, Zuozhuan, Guoyu and Lunyu, and suggests that the idea of labor, together with that of status, was necessary to the conception of the ritual order in the pre-Warring States Era.

The second part investigates some Warring States texts, notably Mozi, Mengzi, Shangjunshu and Xunzi, for the changing understanding of the interplay between ritual and labor from the fifth century BCE onward. It argues that, in the wake of the contemporary socio-political transformations, many Warring States thinkers began to perceive the role of labor from different perspectives; it was by the hand of Xunzi that the connection between ritual and labor was rebuilt with new insights.

Debby Chih-Yen Huang (University of Pennsylvania): The Sworn Brotherhood: An Investigation into the Practice of “shengtang baimu” during the Six Dynasties (the 2nd-7th centuries) Show Abstract

 This paper investigates a newly-emerged social practice of shengtang baimu during the Six Dynasties (2nd-7th centuries). From the second century onwards, elite men customarily invited friends home to pay respects to their mothers in the northern hall, where the matriarch entertained her own guests. This social convention was called shengtang baimu (ascending the [inner] hall and paying respects to the matriarch). This practice is worth studying because of two significant changes: firstly, elite men’s sociability became a critical element of their career-building; secondly, elite men’s emotional attachments to their mothers made a positive contribution to their fame. I will examine how elite men manipulated the ritual ideal of the division of the inner and the outer—keeping men and women physically separate—in their social intercourse in the home to differentiate various degrees of intimacy with their guests. I propose to take the home as a heterogeneous place composed of various spatial units. Elite men made use of the varying openness of these units of the home to construct extra-familial relationships by receiving different guests with a banquet. This research will augment our understanding of the home and shed new light on neglected aspects of the inner–outer boundary that took on new meaning in constructing interpersonal bonds.

Avital H. Rom (University of Cambridge): To li or not to li: Reading Ritual through Music in Pre-imperial and Early Imperial China Show Abstract

 In this paper I wish to suggest a reading into the role of ritual, its changing nature, and its authoritative power, through the lens of early Chinese textual discussions of music. I would suggest that a possible ideological conflict can be uncovered through a critical comparative examination of early Chinese musical accounts.

In his “Yue lun” chapter (樂論 “Discussion on Music”), Xunzi (荀子ca. 340-ca.245 BC) emphasizes the pairing of Music (yue 樂) and Ritual (li 禮). This pair would thereafter remain omnipresent in Chinese musical discourses. However, some of the texts discussing music (contemporary or nearly-contemporary to the Xunzi), while unable to ignore the music-ritual pairing completely, choose to place very little emphasis on it. One such example is the Lüshi chunqiu (呂氏春秋ca. 240 BC), whose six “musical” chapters hardly even mention the concept of li, which is so strongly emphasized by Xunzi.

The paper will suggest possible reasons for such neglect of li. Looking into the meaning of li for Xunzi and his contemporaries, and juxtaposing it with the meaning (or meanings) of the concept after the empire’s unification, I will suggest that there may have existed an ideological contradiction between cosmological ideals and ritual ones, and that this contradiction may have been resolved after the unification of China, with the ‘cosmologization’ of ritual.


Panel 2: Round Table – Korean Summits: A Peaceful Change or Back to Square One?  [room 501]

Chair: Alon Levkowitz (Beit Berl College & Bar-Ilan University)

Participants: Guy Podoler (University of Haifa); Soyoung Kwon (George Mason University Korea); Yoram Evron (University of Haifa); Roland B. Wilson (George Mason University Korea); Jooyeon Rhee (HUJI)


Panel 3: Japan’s Asia-Pacific War: Alternate Interpretations [room 405] Show Abstract

 This panel challenges two longstanding perceptions about Japan’s prosecution of the Asia-Pacific War. The first perception—the “race war” thesis—contends that wartime Japan was unified by unilateral racial hatred for its Western enemies. Arai and Brecher overthrow this reductive thesis by positing that wartime race relations were highly fluid and variable. Arai does so by exploring the wartime experiences of mixed race Japanese celebrities, uncovering the strategies they used to mitigate the threat of racial otherness and retain their popularity. Brecher further interrogates race relations in wartime Japan by arguing that racial policy and hostility were highly relative to administrative jurisdiction. The experiences of resident Jews, POWs, and Red Cross delegates, he posits, varied enormously under disparate administrative authorities. The second perception—the inevitability thesis—holds that the Allies’ superior resources and military might eliminated any possibility of a Japanese victory, and that Japan had no coherent strategy for winning the war in any case. Myers presents a preponderance of evidence to demonstrate that Japan’s defeat resulted from a number of contingencies and that the war’s outcome was neither preordained nor inevitable. The new research presented in this panel’s three papers advances alternate interpretations and lends complexity to our knowledge of Japan’s Asia-Pacific War.

Chair: W. Puck Brecher (Washington State University)

Discussant: Rotem Kowner (University of Haifa)

Sayuri Arai (HUJI): Multiracial Celebrities in Wartime Japan Show Abstract

 The popularity of multiracial Japanese stars is considered a fairly recent phenomenon. However, mixed race Japanese celebrities, although almost exclusively white-Japanese, already appeared in prewar Japanese media and were often represented as symbols of cosmopolitanism and of beauty. As this suggests, it has been argued that mixed race Japanese were generally well accepted in prewar Japan, because the parents of these multiracial people were well-regarded and well-off members of society, such as missionaries, doctors, and professors. During the Pacific War, i.e., a “race war,” social acceptance of interracial relationships and racially mixed people changed, and multiracial and multicultural characteristics came to be linked with Japan’s western enemies. Nevertheless, a few multiracial Japanese celebrities were still active and continued to be stars in this wartime context. Drawing on (auto)biographical texts, this study examines the experiences of multiracial Japanese celebrities, including Yoshiko Sato, Ureo Egawa, and Yoshie Fujiwara, and illuminates the ways in which these celebrities were allowed to maintain their stardom in wartime Japan. This study provides a more nuanced understanding of multiracial Japanese experience by critically engaging with the trope of a “race war.”

W. Puck Brecher (Washington State University): Wartime Japan’s Conflicted Engagement with the West: Problems of Administrative Jurisdiction Show Abstract

 To speak of wartime Japan’s treatment of Westerners is to evoke lists of atrocities. Public discourse in the West has generally failed to acknowledge the experiential contexts surrounding those atrocities and consequently has disregarded alternate narratives. This paper uses three case studies to demonstrate how Japanese civil and military authorities engaged with non-Axis Westerners in dramatically different ways. The first considers the range of treatments afforded to Jews within Japan proper. The well-known community of Jewish refugees that populated Kobe in 1940-1941 enjoyed extraordinarily charitable treatment under local and state authorities. This humanitarian outpouring was denied to other resident Jews, however, many of whom attracted the attention of the military police (kenpeitai) and were variously fired from their jobs, arrested, incarcerated, and tortured. The second case study examines Western internment experiences in Japan, namely the disparate treatment of POWs under military jurisdiction and non-Axis civilian internees under state jurisdiction. This topic invokes related questions surrounding Japanese perceptions of human rights and the strange case of two “secret” internment camps. The final case study considers Japan’s conflicted relationship with delegates from the International Committee of the Red Cross. All three illustrate how engagement strategies with the non-Axis West were formulated along jurisdictional lines. In comparing military and state administration, this paper reveals the complexities and contradictions lost in most war narratives and oral histories, and demonstrates how experience was fundamentally shaped by the jurisdictional contexts under which it occurred.

Michael Myers (Washington State University): The View that Japan Had No Chance to Win the Asia-Pacific War: Tracing the Roots Show Abstract

 Was Japan’s defeat in World War II inevitable? Many have assumed so. The view originated during the war and endures to the present day. Yet one might consider a reductio argument: If it is true that Japan had no chance of winning the war, then it follows that on December 7, 1941, the future was not up to the people who at that time would take part in the war. Can the Pacific War be explained as Fate pulling the strings of puppets in a play that was already scripted? That does not carry the ring of truth for a generation of Pacific War veterans (on both sides) and the civilians who supported them. On December 7, the future course of the war had many possible paths. If people at various levels of responsibility on both sides had made different choices, and if natural luck had played out differently, then the war might have taken any number of alternative courses.

This paper looks into the origin of the inevitability view. The inevitability view breaks down because it neither corresponds adequately to new facts about the war as we come to know them nor to the proper arrangement of facts we already know. Moreover, it inhibits us in our efforts to make sense of the war. The alternative—that Japan had a chance to win the war—helps us to inquire in more fruitful ways into the strategies of the combatant nations, the way they prosecuted the war, and the meaning of the war for us today.

Panel 4: Language and Ideology: Colonial Novel of Irony and North-Korean Novel of Juche [room 502]

Supported by the Academy of Korean Studies Show Abstract

 This panel discusses both Korean novels written in the colonial period (the mid-1920s~1940) and North Korean novels published in the period of Juche Ideology (1967~ ) as the marker of a distinctive and recognizable literary tradition. Kagemoto Tsuyoshi explores Marxist concepts of liberation and progress represented in Yeom Sang-Sup’s early novels in the context of East Asian Anarchism. Korean writers in the colonial period were unable to avoid certain terms in Korean literature. Lee Kyounghoon also discusses the ways in which Korean novels of that time often represents a sense of self-irony. This presenter investigates colonial narratives and letters in texts under the colonial history of dual languages, paying attention to the use and function of language in the political and linguistic context of the late colonial period. The other two presenters likewise examine North Korean novels which carried a strong ideological connotation. Since 1967, the mainstream of North Korean literature has changed to historical epics of anticolonial resistance, featuring founding leader Kim Ilsung’s heroic life as an anti-Japanese guerilla leader. Inpyo Lee examines the narrative structure of North Korean novels in which, he argues, the teleology of the inevitable ending and the sequence of events are embodied, serving as a “grammar” leading to the coherence of causation. Finally, Shin Hyungki also examines literary narratives in the North Korean novel, focusing on the ways in which anti-imperialism has been considered the most righteous movement to restore sovereignty in its historical interpretation.

Chair: Hyungki Shin (Yonsei University)

Kagemoto Tsuyoshi (Yonsei University): Liberation without Progress – Anarchism of Yeom Sang-Sup’s early novels Show Abstract

 In the mid-1920s, Yeom Sang-sup came into conflict with the Korea Artista Proleta Federacio (KAPF). Yeom was against organizational literary creation. Yeom and KAPF were different in method, but had a common understanding of liberation. In this paper, I will consider Yeom’s early novels, which have a different view of time from the Marxist keyword of progress. In Yeom’s early novels there is no development through progress, in terms of Marxist historical perspectives. Paying attentions to his view of time and history and his concept of “eternity,” which means “no-progress”, I will consider the meaning of liberation, and its difference from that of KAFP, in Yoem’s early novels. The term “eternity” is not examined in its philosophical meaning, but rather in the East Asian context of Anarchism.

Kyounghoon Lee (Yonsei University): Colonial Narratives and Letters: Centering on Three Texts Published in 1940 Show Abstract

 This paper discusses three Korean novesl published in 1940: Yi Kwangsu’s Chinjŏng maŭm i manna sŏya mallo (Only by a True Meeting of the Hearts), Ch’ae Mansik’s Naeng dong ŏ (Frozen Fish), and Pak T’aewŏn’s Ae gyŏng (The Way of Love). The concept of naesŏn ilch’e (Japan and Korea as one body) is vital in Only by a True Meeting of the Hearts, written in Japanese. Frozen Fish, written in the Korean language, reflects on the individual and historical situation with thinking about the Hangeul spelling’s unified draft and the meaning of some Chinese letters. The Way of Love degrades the national language (at the time, Japanese) to a kind of vulgar language by transcribing the Japanese dialogues of Korean people’s everyday life into Korean letters. In short, this paper examines the various layers of meaning of “letters” represented in the above texts in the political and linguistic context of the late colonial period.

Inpyo Lee (Yonsei University): Analysis of the special relation between “Revolutionary Strategy”, “Suryong” and “Juche-Ideological Human” in North Korean Literature of Juche Period : Based on the contents of the series Immortal History(1972-) Show Abstract

Can you think of the dichotomy between the absolute good and the absolute evil? The North Korean Literature of the Juche period(1967-) presupposes the dichotomy between the absolute good and the absolute evil. The series Immortal History which might embody the history of “Revolutionary Struggle” led by Suryong expresses the imperialist strategy as the absolute evil and the “revolutionary strategy” as the absolute good. And this also expresses the “Juche-Ideological Human”, the anti-Japanese guerrilla who substantially realizes the absolute good of “revolutionary strategy” following “Suryong”. Of course, if the “revolutionary strategy” against imperialism were the absolute good, everything for the revolutionary struggle would be unconditionally good. Immortal History expresses the morality and ability of “Suryong”, which guarantee historical necessity of realizing the absolute good of “revolutionary strategy”. The morality of “Suryong”, which guarantees the historical necessity of realizing absolute good is based on the fact that “Suryong” embodies the pain of the national ruin of Japanese colonial era.
“Suryong” is more like the agony of the national ruin itself, experiencing the agony of the national ruin than any other people. So “Suryong” does not have only the moral legitimacy to overthrow the imperialism that caused the agony of national ruin, but also guarantees the inevitable development of moral history. And the ability that guarantees the historical necessity to lead the people to the absolute good is generally expressed as “action movie”. However, it is not without its substantial basis for the ability to guarantee the historical necessity that corresponds to the morality of “Suryong”. “Juche-Ideological human beings”, anti-Japanese guerillas who are willing to lay down their lives in order to achieve the absolute good of “Immortal History of Revolutionary Struggle” led by “Suryong”, substantially back up the “action movie” by manpower, and this back-up makes the “action movie” have a probability.
In Chapter 2, we will examine the absolute good of “revolutionary strategy” and in Chapter 3 we will examine “Suryong” who embodies the agony of national ruin and guarantees the historical necessity of realizing “revolutionary strategy”. In chapter 4, we will see the “Juche-Ideological Human” who substantially supports the historical necessity of realizing “revolutionary strategy”. We will analyze the special relationship between “Revolutionary Strategy”, “Suryong” and “Juche-Ideological Human” in North Korean Literature of Juche Period. And we will eventually consider that “Suryong” ultimately created “Juche-Ideological Human” to substantially support the historical necessity of realizing his fascist “Revolutionary Strategy”.

Hyungki Shin (Yonsei University): North Korean Literature and the Pitfall of National Sovereignty Show Abstract

 The North Korean regime is threatening the United States and South Korea. North Korea claims that it can turn Seoul into a “sea of fire” and launch a “preemptive nuclear strike” on the US whenever necessary. In this presentation I would like to talk about how North Korea got here, and in this process, what North Korean literature did. NK has always relied on its officially established interpretation of history to argue that the regime’s current decisions are right and necessary. Thus, shedding light on how NK has interpreted its history and how this historical interpretation came to prevail within the country could be a way to elucidate the point of view that the NK regime mobilized to secure its legitimacy and durability. NK has characterized the Japanese colonial occupation as a period of ‘anti-Japanese armed struggle.’ This means that the ‘anti-Japanese armed struggle’ was the only way to restore sovereignty, and therefore was the most righteous movement, and the only history that should be written. After the Korean War, the fight against the ‘brutal invasion of US imperialism’ became the most important topic. In NK, literary narratives have performed a key role in making the sole and absolute reality seen through this point of view, i.e. that the incessant writing and rewriting of the same narrative has strengthened the same historical interpretations and so have created their own world. The predominance of a single historical narrative was the effective result of Kim Il-sung’s accession to power, since he was believed to have fought for national sovereignty. Kim eventually became the sole representative of national sovereignty. Another Kim’s succession was possible because they were believed to be the paragon of sovereignty. NK’s paranoid isolation has functioned to maintain the NK regime. It still appears impossible to separate national sovereignty from the NK regime and the great leader. I would like to call this situation the ‘pitfall of national sovereignty’.


Panel 5: Chasing Beauty: Body Ideals, Consumer Culture and Neoliberal Subjectification in Urban China 

[Panel 5 was canceled: Valeria Lotti’s lacture was moved to Session 3, Panel 5]


Panel 6: The Many Facets of Modern India: From the Local to the Global [room 404] 

Chair: Rotem Geva (HUJI)

Virien Chopra (Delhi University): Cartoons in the Raj; A Study of the Illustrated Periodicals of Colonial India Show Abstract

 Towards the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, the social and political climate of colonial India was charged by the calls for freedom. The front-runners in building social consensus and generating awareness were newspapers and periodicals printed in English, Hindi, Urdu, and many other vernacular languages. While many publications utilized illustrations to provide a visual representation for their readers, some used the power of satirical and political cartoons in order to drive their messages home. This paper will present a study of two such publications: The Oudh Punch – an Urdu publication launched in 1877; and The Hindu Punch – a Hindi publication from the 1920s. Both these publications took their inspiration from Punch Magazine, first established in 1841 in London. While The Oudh Punch was meant for the edification of the Muslim community, the Hindu Punch contained articles focussing on the Hindu community and the different obstacles, such as the caste system, hampering its progress. Through these graphic periodicals, this paper will look at and analyze the development of religious and national identities in Colonial India though printed cartoons and attempt to trace how the habitus of a modern India draws from these identities even today.

Sarvani Gooptu (Netaji Institute for Asian Studies): A New Pilgrimage: Nationalist and Cosmopolitan Ideas in Writings on Asian Pilgrimage in 20th Century Journals in India Show Abstract

 Along with the physical act of pilgrimage and the piety it entails, thoughts and ideas about the pious act have engaged both scholars and pilgrims over the ages. Even when travel was considered taboo (like across seas or for women), rules were always bent in the case of pilgrimages. With the establishment of British colonial rule from the mid-18th century, easier communication networks made travel easier. The new educated elite in Calcutta found in the vernacular press a means of molding public opinion and their new consciousness about Asia emerged as a new interest in the literary journals of the day. Discovery of archaeological sites in different countries of Asia by European scholars and intrepid adventurers and explorers brought a connective history of religion and culture to the minds of the scholars and writers. The ‘new’ pilgrims from eastern India began ‘intellectual’ and ‘scholarly’ pilgrimages to the various sites of Asia, and wrote about their experiences in local languages. Beyond piety, their new interest was manifold—understanding the present conditions in different Asian countries, linking them to India’s past and documenting the new pilgrimage experience for their countrymen.

Shimon Lev (Hadassah Academic College): Clear Are the Paths of India’: The Cultural and Political Encounter between Indians and Jews in the Context of the Growth of their Respective National Movements Show Abstract

 My paper is an attempt to map and analyze central aspects and trends pertaining to the Jewish and Zionist world’s affinity and observation of India and its culture, from the end of the era of Enlightenment until both Israel and India gained independence. The thesis points to multi-strata trends, with abundant textual and reflective layers, as well as to personal connections and political activity; all of these played a significant role in the Jews’ ‘self-insights’ regarding their European surroundings and formed part of the process of constructing the Jewish national identity as ‘Asian’ and as ‘returning to Asia’ and were part of the ‘revival of the east’. This study reveals that the representation of India and its culture among scholars, writers and political activists reflects their stand on more general issues, the way in which they dealt with the status of Jews in Europe and Asia, the characteristics of Zionist nationality, and the question of orientation and integration in Asia: East and West in Palestine/Israel.

Debasree Chatterjee (Sreegopal Banerjee College): At the Crossroads: Wildlife Conservation and Community Forest Rights in the Simlipal Tiger Reserve, India Show Abstract

 The forest dwellers in India have resided in the forest areas for generations and depend on the forests for their subsistence needs, but the history of governance of forests is marked by the injustices caused to them by usurping their ancestral lands in the name of forest conservation. The Scheduled Tribe and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 recognizes the livelihood rights of the tribes and other forest dwellers living in the vicinity of the forests for ages. In this context, the present study aims at assessing the status of the implementation of the Act in the Simlipal Tiger Reserve, Odisha. It also attempts to explore the socio-economic status of the tribal people and other forest dwellers after implementation of the Act in this Reserve. The study is based on in-depth interviews using a semi-structured interview schedule and focus group discussions as well as published secondary data. Results explored the perilous condition of the people living in the core areas of this Reserve due to recurrent pressure for relocation from the Reserve administration without holistic compensation packages. Raising awareness about the legislation was suggested for effective entitlement of land and livelihood for the forest-dependent populace.


11:00-11:30 Coffee break



11:30-13:30 Session 2

Panel 1: The Ruler of Law is One Who Models Himself on the Patterns of Heaven, Law and Statecraft at the Beginning of Western Han [room 403] Show Abstract

 The panel’s title quotes the Jiu jun 九君 (Nine Rulers), one of the texts excavated at Mawangdui 馬王堆 in 1973, possibly a part of the elusive Huang-Lao 黄老 tradition, which is believed to be the theoretical foundation of the policy of the first rulers of Western Han 西漢 (202 BCE – 9 CE). Playing with the polysemy of the term 法 fa “model”/”law”, this sentence defines the ideal ruler and indicates for him the proper way of government, which in one sense can be called “natural” (i.e., following the natural and universal order of things), but with no less reason can also be termed “religious” (where Heaven is regarded as an entity with will and sense of justice), or/and “based on the law (or Law)” (established, after all, by the emperor). The objective of the present panel is to discuss the early decades of Han government, in order to elaborate a more comprehensive understanding of how these three aspects were combined and how they completed each other in theory and practice.

Chair: Andrei Gomouline (HUJI)

Andrei Gomouline (HUJI): “In the First Year, Follow Their Customs”: Ruler-People Relationships in the Huang-Lao Silk Manuscripts Show Abstract

 The corpus of texts, found in Mawangdui (馬王堆) in 1973 and labeled the Huang-Lao Silk Manuscripts (Huang-Lao boshu 黃老帛書), presents first and foremost detailed instructions for governing the state. Discussion of the relationships between the ruler and his people occupies a central place, ensuing from the metaphysical foundations and the conceptualization of the ruler’s power, and is closely connected to many other topics, such as, e.g., naturalness, the balance between wen 文and wu 武, and the role of laws and punishment. On the one hand, the people are always presented as the object of the ruler’s policy, but on the other hand, the actual power of the ruler turns out to be quite limited vis-à-vis the people: the basis of prosperous government is declared to be the compliance of the ruler with his people, and not vice versa. The present paper examines the theoretical framework of the ruler-people relationships and places it in the larger context of the philosophy of the Mawangdui manuscripts.

Maxim Korolkov (Heidelberg University): Social Engineering or Consumer Education: Sumptuary Laws at the Dawn of Imperial Era Show Abstract

 Reverberating complaints about unbridled consumerism became a hallmark of Han (202 BCE–220 CE) imperial literature, just the same time as nonconformist authors celebrated the material affluence and sumptuous lifestyles made possible by the imperial unification. By taking for granted the government’s failure to constrain its subjects’ lust for luxuries, these discourses overlook a long and, as it increasingly appears, extraordinarily successful history of sumptuary regulation in continental East Asia, traceable back to as early as the Western Zhou era (1046–771 BCE) when such regulation was instrumental in the reorganization of elite society. As private markets and centralized command economies were taking shape and expanding in the mid-first millennium BCE, consumption management became an essential means of social engineering, economic stimulus, and acculturation. This paper examines the excavated bodies of early Western Han law, such as the “Statute on bestowals” (ci lü 賜律) from Zhangjiashan tomb no. 247 and “Statute on funerals” (zang lü 葬律) from Shuihudi tomb no. 77, against the background of competing economic policies and ideologies, as well as the material culture at the dawn of the imperial era, to explore the composition, content, and impact of ancient Chinese sumptuary legislation.

Anatoly Polnarov (HUJI): The wen-wu 文武 Dichotomy in Early Chinese Political Thought Show Abstract

 I investigate the usage and the interrelation of the terms wen 文 (“culture,” “civility”) and wu 武 (“martiality,” “belligerence”) in pre-imperial and early imperial Chinese texts up until the end of the Former Han period (206/202 BCE – 9 CE). To this end, I examine instances of the juxtaposition of the terms wen and wu one against another, with particular interest in texts and speeches that discuss tensions between these concepts. I show that, with rare exceptions, the pre-imperial sources making use of the wen-wu rhetoric treat the terms as mutually complementary elements of virtuous rule or attributes of virtuous and worthy persons. In a visible and abrupt departure from the pre-imperial discourse, the Former Han sources repeatedly focus on contradictory and antagonistic aspects of wen and wu. Almost exclusively, the imperial authors and spokesmen depicted wen as preferable to wu. As part of this trend, the concept of wu developed sharply negative connotations and became associated with cruelty and violence. As an antagonistic counterpart of wen, it was also perceived as hostile to learning and culture. While this new paradigm never completely supplanted the earlier one, in which the two terms appear as equally important and mutually complementary, it gained considerable influence, especially during the reigns of Emperors Xuan (74-49 BCE) and Yuan (48-33 BCE) of Han. I argue that the changing patterns of use of the wen-wu parallelism are indicative of the processes that shaped the political and intellectual history of the Former Han.


Panel 2: Eurasian Transmissions of Knowledge [room 501]

Supported by the Sidney M. Edelstein Center Show Abstract

 This inter-disciplinary panel will bring together historians and art historians who work on various aspects of Eurasian transmissions of knowledge in science, medicine and arts from medieval times to the modern period in various parts of Asia, ranging from Fatimid Egypt through medieval Tibet, the early modern Ottomans, and Islamicate China, to contemporary Japan east and west. By situating these different disciplines together, the panel will seek to enquire: how can inter-disciplinarity help study cross-cultural transmissions of theoretical and artisanal knowledge?

Chair: Miri Shefer-Mossensohn (Tel Aviv University)

Ronit Yoeli-Tlalim (Goldsmiths, University of London): The Silk-Roads as a Model for Exploring Eurasian Transmissions of Medical Knowledge: Views from the Tibetan Medical Manuscripts of Dunhuang Show Abstract

While the “Silk Road” as a concept was initially focused on its main termini points—China and Europe— thanks to the great archaeological discoveries of the twentieth century along the Silk Roads, we now know that its greater historical significance lies in fact in the great expanse in between. This paper focuses on some of the medical manuscripts discovered in the so-called “Library Cave” of Dunhuang, where several tons of manuscripts were discovered in the early twentieth century in a location which is quite literally a middle point between Europe and China.

Although nowadays it is difficult for us to imagine, in the second half of the first millennium, the cities of the Taklamakan oases were cosmopolitan seats of sophisticated cultures. The material ‘fossilized’ in the manuscripts found on the Silk Road provide a fresh view into some of the interactions, exchanges and influences which were in one way or another later written out of printed sources.

Miri Shefer-Mossensohn (Tel Aviv University): Re-Visiting the Translation Narrative: The Asian Context of the Arabic Translation Project Show Abstract

One of the major intellectual projects of the medieval Middle East was the mass translation of texts from a variety of languages into Arabic since the 9th century. This cultural project has attracted the attention of many modern scholars. They worked through scientific texts, chronicles, and biographical dictionaries, to explain the motivations, the expertise, the institutions, the logistics, and the finance that sustained such a massive project. The great names of first, Franz Rosenthal, and later on, Dimitri Gutas, contributed to the evolution of a common-place narrative that highlighted the contribution of Hellenic culture and science to the sciences in the medieval Muslim east.

Although a project of that kind of magnitude was obviously well noted in its time and modern scholars have a lot of historical evidence to rely on, we now realize that the cultural reality of the translation project was much more complex than previously assumed. A growing number of scholars in recent years wish to give greater weight to the scientific traditions that entered Arabic and Islamic civilization from the east, from Asia. Interestingly, some of them were important voices in the scholarship on Hellenic science in Islam. The accumulation of these new studies seems to bring us to closer to a significant turning point.

This lecture analyzes the current discourse and asks two questions. The first is why now? What has happened that encourages scholars specifically in the 2010s to question explanations accepted since the mid-20th century? The second question is what is new? This question relates to the contents of the new explanation that seems to emerge and analyzes how Asian traditions within Islam are emphasized more sharply than before.

Leigh Chipman (HUJI): Porcelain and Cloth of Gold: Luxury Goods from the East in Medieval Egypt Show Abstract

 This talk will survey the appearance of various luxury goods from the East (mainly, not only, China) in medieval Egypt, with an emphasis in two main periods of affluence: The Fatimid period (969-1171) and the Mamluk period (1260-1517). Periods of affluence are characterized, inter alia, by lively international commerce, even in states of war exist during these periods. The main commodities examined are porcelain, which appears again and again in the lists of the treasures of caliphs, sultans and viziers; silk and other precious cloth—which gradually transformed from luxuries to commodities accessible to lower strata of society as well; and materia medica, whose identification as “Chinese” was not always accurate. The main sources of information for porcelain and cloth are the Fatimid and Mamluk chronicles, and in addition, the unique text known as the “Book of Gifts and Rarities,” which describes treasures of Muslim rulers from the dawn of Islam up to the middle of the Fatimid period. Medical texts in a variety of genres allow us to follow the increase or decline in the use of various drugs from throughout Asia, while studies on the Cairo Genizah provide a glimpse of how luxury goods trickled down from the ruling elite to the “middle class” of Cairo and Fustat.

Dror Weil (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin): Between the Four Humors to the Five Phases: Chinese-Islamic Physiological Negotiations in 17th and 18th centuries China Show Abstract

Between the mid-17th and early-18th centuries, a network of savants in China’s cultural hubs strove to reconcile and merge two intellectual discourses, geographically and linguistically distant—one the intellectual discourse that prevailed in centers of scholarship around the Islamicate world and the other that dominated late imperial Chinese literati culture. To that end, members of that network undertook extensive searches for Arabic and Persian manuscripts on theology, law, history and natural philosophy, forgotten in libraries, or newly brought to China with foreign visitors there. By translating selections of these Arabic and Persian texts into Chinese, devising methods of textual scholarship, as well as negotiating the fundamental theories of natural philosophy, these Chinese savants created a new intellectual space in China, bridging between Occidental Islamic theories of nature and their counterparts in China.

Focusing on the case of physiology, this talk will explore the hitherto little-discussed channel of West-East transmission of medical knowledge via Arabic and Persian texts, and its domestic circulation in late imperial China through translation and print. It will introduce the ways translation and textual manipulations that members of this Sino-Islamic network employed in order to synthesize and reconcile western and local theories of physiology. In addition, it will discuss the scope and quality of the intellectual space shared by China and the Islamicate world as seen in the works of this network of Chinese savants.

Ayelet Zohar (Tel Aviv University): Dromedaries on the Tōkaidō: Camel Images in Japanese Culture (1824-2009) Show Abstract

 Dromedaries were a novelty in Japan of the 19th century Although Bactrian camels were well known through importation of Chinese images and literary sources, dromedaries (the camels of the Middle East, with a single hump, versus the double-hump of the Bactrian camels) first came to Japan in 1821. While many exotic animals made their way to Japan during the Edo period, mostly as gifts sent by the Dutch to the Shōgun in Edo, dromedaries were a missing species on Japanese soil till the beginning of the 19th century. The first certain event of delivering camels to Japan took place in 1821, this time by Jan Cock Blomhoff, the Opperhoofd of Deshima, as a gift to his Japanese wife after his return to the Netherlands, to ensure an income. These camels travelled to Edo over the Tōkaidō road, causing quite a stir and the publication of several booklets that tried to collect and describe every single piece of information known about the animals.

In my presentation, I shall examine several camel images produced in Japan between 1824-1862, some found in research booklets published at the time, while others are impressions of curiosities, including a Nagasaki publication entitled Study of Camels (rakuda gaku) (1824); Kato Eibian’s National Clothing (waga koromo) (1824); Utagawa Kuniyasu’s Pictures of Camels (rakuda no zu) (1824), and his illustrations in Konantei Karatachi, The World of the Camel (rakuda no sekai) (1824); Hokusai’s image of a camel in his Manga notebooks (1850); and finally, a quotation of a Western Orientalist painting of camels in Hashimoto Sadahide’s Picture of a Mercantile Establishment in Yokohama (1861), that can be compared to French and British oil paintings in this genre. Regarding the Modern era, I shall discuss one of Japan’s most powerful artists, Hirayama Ikuo’s Silk Road Nihonga images, and Noguchi Rika’s photographic series In the Desert (2009), documenting camels in the Arab Emirates.


Panel 3: Literature and Popular Culture in Japan [room 405]

Supported by the Center for Literary Studies, HUJI

Chair: Irit Averbuch (Tel Aviv University)

Wai-ming Ng (Chinese University of Hong Kong): A Textual Study of Ishiganto in Early Modern Japan Show Abstract

 Ishiganto is a kind of talismanic stone worshipped in different parts of China. It was also introduced to China’s neighboring nations, including the Ryukyu Kingdom, Japan, and Vietnam. In particular, in early modern Japan, its popularity was as high as in Ming-Qing China. Although ishiganto originated in China, it had its unique characteristics in Japan. It was naturalized and incorporated into Japanese folklore. The differences between China and Japan in ishiganto deserve close investigation. Using Tokugawa sources as the main reference, this paper examines the popularization and localization of ishiganto in the Ryukyu Kingdom and Japan in the early modern period. It will deepen our understanding of the nature of early modern Sino-Japanese cultural interchange.

Introduced to the Ryukyu Kingdom and Japan in the late medieval period, ishiganto reached the peak of its popularity in the Tokugawa period. It was fused with native customs and religions, interacting with Shinto, Buddhism, Confucianism, yin-yang and Shugendō. Ishiganto in the Ryukyu Kingdom and Japan was different from that in China in terms of format, name, size, design and function. It demonstrates that the popularization of Chinese culture in Japan often came with localization and was never a one-way cultural flow. Japan turned ishiganto into a part of its own culture. Ishiganto in early modern Japan was used to strengthen Japan’s indigenous customs and religions more than to promote imported Chinese culture.

Irit Weinberg (Tel Aviv University): Space of Their Own? Reading Kurahashi Yumiko’s A Round Trip to the Land of Amanon Show Abstract

 In Kurahashi Yumiko’s novel Amanonkoku ōkanki (A Round Trip to Amanon, 1986) a missionary named P hailing from a distant planet arrives in an all-female peaceful society. He travels across the land, learns about the laws and mores of this society and attempts to instigate a male revolution. P’s intrusion ultimately leads to a demise of the women’s world in the midst of an absurd sequence of events.

While similarly structured narratives in Kurahashi’s oeuvre have received much critical attention, Amanon has been largely neglected. As Marry Knighton pointed out, the reason might lie in critics’ reluctance to deal with a narrative that blatantly and irreverently satirizes feminism. While agreeing with Knighton that it is unwise to discard Kurahashi’s work as failure in feminist terms, I would like to place this work in a larger context of transgressive utopian/dystopian narratives.

By reading Amanon in light of Kurahashi’s own “anti-world” (han-sekai) theory, I will claim that Kurahashi’s novel questions the very categories of utopia and dystopia as well as those of inner space and outer space, and points to a space of embodied emptiness or nothingness in which to look for ways to articulate new and subversive ways of thinking.

Nimrod Chiat (University of Haifa): Three Soundtracks in Search of a Scholar: A Musical Journey Through the Three Nos Associated with the Perception of Japanese Popular Culture Show Abstract

 Countless words have been written about Japanese popular culture by both scholars and non-scholars (whom I shall not refer to as ‘laypeople,’ a label which is disrespectful to both giver and receiver despite being the common term employed for such people); however, only a scant few—if any—are the words that have been written about Japanese soundtracks by the former group. Paradoxically, plenty of words can be written (and spoken) about the reasons and motives for this—and from a variety of disciplinary perspectives—but, as I perceive it, and for the purposes of the present discussion, these may be summarized by paraphrasing the Khartoum Declaration as the ‘three nos’: Japanese soundtracks are not worth of study because they are not serious, not complex, and not diverse. In the course of the present lecture, I seek to engage in a minor act of provocation and to analyze three examples of anime soundtracks, one for each ‘no’, that call this decisive statement into question. More specifically, I wish to discuss the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex soundtrack with respect to a lack of seriousness, the RahXephon soundtrack with respect to a lack of complexity, and the Akira soundtrack with respect to a lack of diversity. Moreover, I intend to focus my discussion of each soundtrack on both musical and personal aspects, given that I deliberately chose to discuss soundtracks that were composed by artists whose very lives and body of work also call the same ‘nos’ into question and who are worthy of academic study in and of themselves.

Raz Greenberg (HUJI & Tel Aviv University): From Bunraku to Robot Battles: “The Missing Link” in Science Fiction Anime Show Abstract

 In his article “From Wooden Cyborgs to Celluloid Souls” (2012), scholar Christopher Bolton examines the influence of Bunraku, the Japanese puppet-theatre, on the science fiction genre in Japanese animation (anime), in particular on the genre’s approach to robots and mechanical body parts. Bolton compares the way in which the Bunraku takes apart and brings together the moving process of puppets on stage to the manner in which anime treats robot body parts.

The proposed paper aims at expanding Bolton’s argument, and point to the “missing link” between Bunraku and Japanese robot animation—British producer Gerry Anderson (1929-2012). Anderson’s productions, especially those of filmed puppet-theater such as “Thunderbirds” (1964) have been cited by leading figures in the anime industry as a source of inspiration, especially for works about robotics, from popular productions like “Majinga-Z” (1972) to sophisticated works such as “Neon Genesis Evangelion” (1995). Beyond the aesthetic influence, Anderson’s productions were also influenced by the political climate of the 1960s and 1970s, and alongside action and adventure plots, also carried implied criticism of the cold war and called for international cooperation—a message that Japanese animators also identified with.

The proposed paper examines Anderson’s influence, in light of Bolton’s observations and their political subtext, and introduces their important role in shaping modern Japanese animation.


Panel 4: North Korea and the International Community: Dynamics of Interaction [room 502] Show Abstract

 Media reports, articles, and books still commonly describe North Korea in terms such as “mysterious,” “secretive,” and “enigmatic.” With every instance of tensions rising on the Korean Peninsula, the “unpredictable” and “non-rational” features of the regime are often employed as well, usually to emphasize how North Korea manipulates the international community and how the tools the latter possesses in this regard are limited. In what ways has North Korea been reaching out to the international community? What has been done so far, and what can be done further down the road, to alleviate tensions on the Peninsula? This panel, which is situated at the intersection of history and International Relations and which brings together scholars from different disciplines, will critically explore these questions in order to shed some light on the relations between North Korea and the international community.

Chair: Guy Podoler (University of Haifa)

Discussant: Soyoung Kwon (George Mason University Korea)

Evgenia Lachina (University of Haifa): Taekwondo Politics: What They Can and Cannot Do for Reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula Show Abstract

 On June 24, 2017, a demonstration team from the North Korea-led International Taekwondo Federation (ITF) staged a historic performance at the opening ceremony of a World Taekwondo championship in the city of Muju in South Korea. It was the ITF’s first performance in a World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) event held south of the border, and the ITF’s first visit to South Korea since 2007. After the ceremony, South Korean President Moon Jae-in came down to shake hands with all South and North Korean performers and joined them for group photos. With such an unabashed gesture of goodwill made, it was hoped that a demonstration team from the WTF would perform at the ITF World Championships held in Pyongyang in September this year, thus opening an era of sportive and political reconciliation between the two countries. However, due to the aggravation of the situation on the Korean Peninsula this did not happen. Therefore, by examining the history of North-South Taekwondo contacts, the present paper aims to investigate the rationale behind North Korean efforts to develop them and to identify the part they can potentially play in inter-Korean dialogue.

Guy Podoler (University of Haifa): The Pyongyang Marathon and North Korea’s Tourism Industry Show Abstract

 In April 2014, for the first time since the event was established, over 200 foreign recreational runners participated in the Pyongyang Marathon, which is part of the Day of the Sun commemorating the birthday of Kim Il-sung. The decision of the North Korean regime to open the event to foreign amateurs was unusual, thus the paper examines this new approach to the marathon, and to tourism in general, by contextualizing them within an historical perspective. It is argued that tourism policy under Kim Jong-un, the third leader of the “Kim dynasty,” was unprecedented in terms of its systematic approach to the development of a meaningful tourism industry while also particularly emphasizing Western tourism and sport tourism. With the inclusion of the marathon into its tourism industry, North Korea may have strengthened its place in the worldwide trend of sport event tourism. Most importantly, this event has offered the visitors a look into a “different normality,” which was indicative of the rationale of the regime that benefited from the attention it drew through its image as “unexpected” and “mysterious.”

Hyunjoo Cho (Korea Institute of Sport Science): Somewhere Over the Rainbow: Comparative Research of the North and South Korea Relations on Politics and Sport in Relations to the Change of South Korean Regime in 2017 Show Abstract

 This paper aims to provide an account of the changes in the dialogue and circumstance of North and South Korea relations, particularly focusing on the role or function of sporting events in 2017 in terms of which sport, what event, by whom or how. How is such “domestic” policy bound up with the dominant structures of international political relations and circumstances? Therefore, this paper addresses the role that global sports organizations (IOC, FIFA, WT etc.) played in the debate between North and South Korea, conflict resolution and peace.

My research draws on a constructivist theoretical framework, seeking to identify how the two Koreas and sports organizations recognize and identify their positions in relation to aspects of “Peace through Sport” within the context of international political relations using sport as a vehicle (Wendt, 1999).

This constructivist approach is one which draws in terms of methodology upon Fairclough’s approach to critical discourse analysis (CDA). CDA was applied to press reports in major newspapers fromNorth and South Korea from January 1 2017 to the end of the year. Those contents, which related to North and South Korea relations and sport events, were the subject of the analysis and these include specific South Korean government documents.

Roland B. Wilson (George Mason University Korea): North Korea: The Dynamics of Conflict and Alternative Paths to Peace Show Abstract

 To many, North Korea remains a stigma and a dangerous rogue state (Crilly and Connor; Kang). Much of this perception, including increased tension and brinksmanship, is due to what is referred to as autistic hostility, a form of breaking contact which perpetuates an ever-increasing negative perception of others (Thibaut and Kelley). Without positive contact and communication, autistic hostility will continue and lead to more dangerous forms of conflict. Therefore, traditional foreign policy alone, which primarily uses power, is not productive and thus, new ways to reduce this autistic hostility must be injected into this stagnant and frozen relationship.

This paper will explore the dynamics of the North Korean conflict and ways to support the reduction in autistic hostility using conflict analysis and resolution-centric tools. This will include such diverse efforts as sports diplomacy, people-to-people exchanges, third-party involvement, and sustained contact and dialogue.


Panel 5: Education, Character Building, and the Formation of Chinese Youth Subjectivities [room 503] Show Abstract

 In this panel, we explore the intersection between educational experiences, pedagogical practices and the construction of Chinese youth subjectivities in the 21st century. Drawing on the notion that ‘education’ indicates not just the acquisition of knowledge and skills, but also a process of ‘being and becoming somebody,’ we ask: What sort of subjectivities do caregivers, teachers and educational experts currently attempt to foster among Chinese teenagers and young adults? What type of educational techniques are employed in order to ‘build up’ young people’s characters? And how do Chinese students – both at home and abroad – struggle to create and recreate their personal identities while negotiating conflicting social and familial notions of the ‘educated person’?

Chair: Lior Rosenberg (HUJI)

Orna Naftali (HUJI): ‘Don’t Get Soft!’: Military-Style Methods in Children’s Care and Education in China Show Abstract

 Recent decades have witnessed the growing use of military-style training methods for children in PRC schools as well as in various therapeutic programs offered by state and private institutions. Intended to serve as a remedy for a plethora of moral, social, and psychological afflictions thought to characterize the present generation of Chinese youth, the use of military techniques have nonetheless been the cause of considerable public debate in China. In this paper, I examine the rationale, contents, and techniques of military-style programs employed in China, with a particular focus on compulsory military training (junshun军训) sessions for schoolchildren offered as part of the Chinese government’s “Patriotic Education” campaign; and on boot camps for Chinese youth thought to suffer from mental issues such as Internet addiction (wangyin网瘾). I discuss the various academic, government, and public discourses concerning the use of military-style methods in children’s care and education, and consider what the emergence of such techniques—and the controversies surrounding them—tell us about changing public understandings of youth education, the military, and mental health in contemporary China.

Nimrod Baranovitch (Haifa University): The “Bilingual Education” Policy in Xinjiang and Uyghur Resistance to It Show Abstract

 In the early 2000s, the “Bilingual Education” (Ch. shuangyu jiaoyu) policy in Xinjiang saw a dramatic change as Mandarin Chinese was made the primary or sole language of instruction throughout the local education system, and the use of Uyghur was reduced to the level of a second language. The new shift in policy was presented to the Uyghur population as part of an official effort to improve the socio-economic conditions of young Uyghurs by raising their level of proficiency in Chinese in order to enable them to compete more successfully in the Chinese-dominated job market. However, many Uyghurs perceive the new policy in a negative way, considering it as another means used by the Chinese government to assimilate Uyghurs and annihilate Uyghur culture and identity. Previous studies have examined the history and development of the new policy, the gap between its overt and covert aims, its implementation, and its impact on Uyghur youth. More recent studies have also explored Uyghur attitudes toward the policy and the new language practices and ideologies that Uyghurs have developed following its implementation. Although most of these studies have pointed out that many Uyghurs resent the policy and feel that it threatens the survival of their language and identity, to date, no in-depth study of Uyghur resistance to the policy is available. The purpose of my paper is to explore the different forms of Uyghur resistance to the policy, as it is manifested in academic and non-academic publications, literature and art, daily discourse, and non-verbal practices and actions.

Min Zhang (HUJI): ‘Acting Your Age’: Maturation and Schooling in Suburban China Show Abstract

 The impact of the adult world in children’s maturity transition has been a predominant topic in the study of childhood development. Yet the issue has not been sufficiently studied in the school setting, a key site for education and cultural production. The paper explores this issue by considering the construction of “appropriate maturity” in suburban Chinese schools, particularly how caregivers and educators struggle to make teenagers mature enough to “fit into the society” while keeping teenagers from being “too mature” for their age. Drawing on ethnographic research in a suburban town in northwest China, I show that, while frequently highlighting the harsh realities of the adult world, school educators also view the adult world as a potential source of pollution and endeavor to protect students from being overexposed to outside influences. I contend that a notion of “appropriate maturity” has emerged in the process of encouraging and constraining teenagers’ contact with the adult world. Consequently, teenagers must learn to become mature enough to take responsibility for their own future and yet curtail the issues related to social maturity in favor of concentrating on academic advancement.

Avital Binah-Pollak (Technion Israel Institute of Technology and Tel-Aviv University): “Marriage? Perhaps in the Future:” Transnational Education and Gender Models of Chinese students in Israel and Germany Show Abstract

 For some years now, there has been an increase in the number of Chinese students travelling abroad to pursue higher education. Although there has been a growing scholarly interest in the transnational academic migration of Chinese students, gender is often neglected as an important construct in the analysis. My paper focuses on the lived experiences of Chinese students in Germany and Israel. The two destinations offer a different geographical, religious, cultural, and social context to Chinese students, and as immigration states, they have different and unique migration regulations. Based on ethnographic work, I examine transnational educational migration not only as a channel to increase educational opportunities; my central goal is to unravel the complexities which emerge in the meeting point between the nation, education, mobility and gender. A gendered perspective creates an analysis which is much more aware of the dissolving of traditional gender roles in the wake of migration experiences, and can reflect upon the obstacles and personal struggles going along with migration, particularly for women.


Panel 6: Being Generous to a Fault: On the Virtues of Flaws in Indian Thought Will be held in Hebrew [room 404]

Chair: Yigal Bronner (HUJI)

Sivan Goren Arzony (HUJI): Sanskrit Lotuses and Bhāṣā Lilies: Poetic Flaws in the Līlātilakam Show Abstract

 The Līlātilakam, a fourteenth-century work on poetics that is written in the Sanskrit language, is the first to describe Kerala’s poetry and its language, today called Malayalam. Primarily, it explores Maṇipravāḷam (“rubies and corals”), a belletristic combination of Sanskrit and the as-yet unnamed local language. While the work’s first three chapters mainly deal with the definition of Maṇipravāḷam, the last five follow the standard topics of Sanskrit poetics, including flaws, which I believe is key to its project of theorizing a new literary language.

Sanskrit theory offers a long list of flaws (doṣa) a poet must avoid, and twenty such faults are discussed in the Līlātilakam. But unlike his Sanskrit predecessors who theorized a “perfected language” (saṃskṛta), the author of the Līlātilakam examines a hybrid language, which he views as intrinsically corrupt (apabhraṣṭa). Can faultless poetry be composed in a flawed medium? Are the poetic faults of the local language the same as those of Sanskrit, or does the hybrid medium entail a new sphere of shortcomings? How does the discussion of flaws help establish the scope and status of Kerala’s poetry? I will consider these questions while discussing some perfect examples of faulty poetry.

Ofer Peres (HUJI): A Benevolent Flawless Saturn: The Curious Case of Poṅku-Caṉīsvarar Show Abstract

 The worship of planets has been an inseparable component of Hindu temple life for over a millennium. The planets are considered proper deities and are allotted their own shrines within the temple compound. The most prominent planet is Śani (Saturn), whose hazardous gaze (i.e., astrological influence) is feared by men and gods alike. The notion of Śani’s gaze has penetrated deep into South Indian consciousness and there are many rituals meant to avoid it and its effects.

This paper introduces a unique manifestation of Śani that attracts many pilgrims annually. This “Benevolent Saturn” (Poṅku-caṉīsvarar) resides in the Tirukollikātu temple of Tiruvarūr district. Here he is visited by the crowds precisely because he managed to rid himself of his own flaw. I will discuss the local mythology which explains how this incredible event happened. In addition, I will explore the unusual local iconography of Śani and the possibility that it was inspired by the ancient Roman worship of Saturn.

Hagar Shalev (HUJI): Perfection via Defects: Exploring the Obstacles of Haṭhayoga Show Abstract

 The ascetic’s path to liberation (mokṣa, samādhi) is clearly sketched. According to texts dealing with hathayoga (forceful yoga) dating back to the first half of the second millennium, the yogi should extend his breath and hold it for long periods of time; move energy (śakti) from the perineum upward to the head, using mental and physical actions; draw semen (bindu) from the pelvis upwards; preserve the liquid of immortality (amṛta) in the head and prevent it from dripping into one’s internal fire. This is how the yogi is liberated.

Yet this method is full of obstacles. Laziness, chatting with impostors, inaccurate postures, general despair, excessively sweet or spicy food, the use of mantras and alchemy, sexual intercourse, too much sleep during daytime, and even the attainment of supernatural powers (siddhi)—all these may deflect the yogi from the right path. But what is the purpose of presenting these faults of yoga practice? Do they weaken one’s motivation and blur the clarity of practice? Or do they illuminate the hidden powers of nurturing the body and refining the thought? As I will show, flaws only serve to intensify the hidden strength of the practice. Every obstacle throws light on a virtue (guṇa)—the oppose action that should be practiced—and thus on the way to liberation.

Yigal Bronner (HUJI): One Man’s Virtue Is Another Man’s Flaw: Bhāmaha’s Wrongs Made Right by Daṇḍin Show Abstract

 In his Ornaments of Literature (Kāvyālaṃkāra), a foundational South Asian treatise on poetics, Bhāmaha dedicates vast space to warning poets from potential wrong turns. He lists a large number of flaws—mistakes or bad aesthetic choices—that authors must avoid at any cost. By contrast, Daṇḍin’s Mirror of Literature (Kāvyādarśa) consciously breathes an air of openness. For Daṇḍin, every flaw (doṣa) can and should become a virtue (guṇa, alaṃkāra), if it is carefully and playfully used.

Perhaps in order to demonstrate this explicit notion (and his own playfulness), Daṇḍin quietly lifted a whole set of his predecessor’s “don’ts” and planted them in various illustrations of successful poetic passages. Strangely, this silent practice seems never to have been noticed by traditional and modern readers alike. In this talk we will take a close look at the mechanism through which Bhāmaha’s liabilities resurface as assets in Daṇḍin’s Mirror.


13:30-14:30 Lunch break



14:30-16:30 Session 3

Panel 1: Space and Time in Chinese Literature and Historiography: From the Tang to the Contemporary [room 403]

Supported by the Center for Literary Studies, HUJI

Chair: Andrew Plaks (HUJI)

Chen Hainebach (Tel Aviv University): Cosmic Grottoes and Time in Tang Poetry Show Abstract

 In the paper, I examine the recurring site called Cosmic Grottoes (洞天) in Tang poetry and its relation to time. Since the grottoes are considered to be a transcendent location, I use the grottoes as a case study to examine how time is described in the transcendent realm.

I analyze five poems in which this site appears and examine its aesthetics and religious background. In my analysis I use two approaches to examine the way time is described in the poems. The first approach relies on James J.Y. Liu’s theoretical framework of Chinese poetry, described in his essay “Time, Space, and Self in Chinese Poetry.” The second is a conceptual framework relying on the term chronotope, which is an organizing concept of symbolic references that all connect to a particular place and constitute an independent time unit.

By illustrating the origin and meaning of the grottoes in the Daoist tradition, particularly the religious texts of the Upper Clarity Daoist lineage, I demonstrate how time is described and show that the poems describe a process from movement to a halt or suspension. After entering the cosmic grotto, time is described in terms of static balance or as an end of a process, described either by verbs or by various Daoist symbols.

In light of this, I argue that the grottoes constitute an independent time unit where time is separated from the mundane world and should be understood in ritualistic terms. Furthermore, I argue that the mention of various metaphors in close succession in a short verbal space leads the reader to a perception of unity. Moreover, the analysis suggests that the grotto should be considered a metaphor for the suspension of time. It may be used in analyzing other tropes and can offer a comparative lens that might reveal other ways of conveying time, elaborating the way we understand the transcendent world.

Maddalena Barenghi (Universität Salzburg): Some Remarks on the “Shatuo liezhuan” 沙陀列傳 and the Shatuo Early Genealogical History Show Abstract

 This essay examines different narratives of the early history of the Shatuo沙陀, a relative unit of the empire-founding Western Türks who came to dominate the northern area of Hedong, Daibei 代北, by the second half of the ninth century and who governed the Central Plain for most of the first half of the tenth century. It explores the narratives of the Shatuo’s alleged south-eastwards movement from the northwestern territories north of Tianshan 天山, from the north-western territories north of Beiting北庭 to Hedong 河東, through the second half of the eighth century to the early ninth century. Moreover, this article compares the official sources with epigraphic evidence, in particular with the genealogical account of Li Keyong’s 李克用 (856-908) funerary biography. It aims to shed some light on the differences in scope and mode between tenth- and eleventh-century historiographical practices concerning the movements of peoples living along the Tang Western frontier, as well as their migration from the periphery to the central regions.

Jannis Jizhou Chen (Harvard University): The Language of Love and Violence: Towards Sinophone Ecocriticism Show Abstract

 Literature and nature have long maintained an ambiguous relationship, a state engendered by sporadic vacillation between eco-phobia and -philia punctuated by moments of historical and sociopolitical evocations. In response to such precariousness that literature has witnessed, I would like to propose a new area of critical engagement where Sinophone Studies and ecocriticism coalesce.

This theoretical confluence is animated by two major concerns. First, it attends to the limitations of second-wave ecocriticism, which focuses on global catastrophes and postcolonial critique at the expense of nuanced representations of environmental injustice within national boundaries, such as “internal colonialism” and “slow violence” that are then transferred to nonhuman (a)biotic others. These concerns are related to ethnicity, class and, most importantly, species. Second, I seek to explore the relationship between environment and body (ti) with all its transcendental and religio-spiritual implications in the Chinese vein. By adopting an anthropocosmic worldview, my paper challenges the ego-eco dichotomy that currently occupies the heart of the field.

In this paper, I use Taiwanese writer Zhu Tianwen’s short story “Master Chai” (柴师傅) and Chinese-Tibetan writer Alai’s “Yeti” (野人) as two case studies to explore how the eco speaks back to the ego in an emotive language of violence and love, hostility and hospitality, and trust and betrayal.

Roman Shapiro (Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow): The Chinese Princess in the West: from Persian Fairy-tales to Puccini’s Opera Show Abstract

In the 18th century Europe China was often used as an exotic background for comedy. Lesage (libretto) and d’Ornevale (music) based their comic opera The Chinese Princess (1725) on a story from the Persian fairy-tale collection Thousand and One Days by Petis Delacroix. The specific plot was taken from Nizami’s epic The Seven Beauties. Riddles offered by a bride to a bridegroom and the execution of those who fail the test are typical motives of the world folklore. The opera used only the central part of Petis’ story. Carlo Gozzi took the plot of his fiaba Princess Turandot (1761) either from Lesage’s opera or from Petis’ collection. Gozzi’s plot and characters are more complicated, and the stress is put on moral instruction rather than on entertainment. Schiller’s German translation (1801) deletes some comic scenes and makes the whole play into a poetic psychological tragedy. Puccini’s opera (1926) adds some authenticity to the story, as he uses eight genuine Chinese melodies for his themes. Curiously, the opera was practically banned in the PRC before the late 1990s because it ‘portrayed China unfavourably’. However an opulent performance was staged by Zubin Mehta and Zhang Yimou at the Forbidden City in 1998.


Panel 2: Animals in Mongol Eurasia [room 501] Show Abstract

 The panel, a follow-up to the workshop Animals in Mongol Eurasia that took place in February 2017, explores various aspects of animal use and human-animal relations across Mongol Eurasia from Egypt and Syria via Iran and the Volga region as far as China. Michal Biran frames the panel by analyzing the changes in human-animal relations when the nomadic Mongol became rulers of the largest-ever continental empire, highlighting the transformations in animal uses and representations in the fields of diet, hunting and material culture at the Mongol courts in Iran, China and Central Asia. Marie Favereau underlines the continuous importance of pastoral nomadism in the economy of the Jochid realm, the north-western Mongol state centered in the Volga valley, focusing on the management of the imperial herds and pastures. Matanya Gill explores the commercial value, production and consumption of pearls, a luxurious animal product, in the Ilkhanate, the Mongol state centered in Iran, and along its far-reaching trade routes, underscoring how pearls were instrumental in shaping trade routes and political careers. Leon Volkovsky analyzes animal gifting in Ilkhanid diplomacy with polities in Asia, Europe and Africa. Reuven Amitai concludes the panel by discussing Mamluk horses in comparison to their Mongol counterparts, stressing the issue of logistics, thereby adding the prism of animals as a key weapon in Mongol Eurasia. All in all, the panel demonstrates the multi-faceted and dominant role of animals in the economy, politics, military and culture of the Mongol Empire, suggesting various directions for further research.

Chair: Michal Biran (HUJI)

Marie Favereau (Oxford): The Horde Grazing under the Jochids Show Abstract

 Economic efficiency and political efficiency do not necessary match. The Mongols tried to find a balance between both. In the western steppe, they developed tactics to face the challenges of the complex type of grazing they had created. They turned seasonality into an instrument for politics, and they multiplied satellite camps and markets. The necessity to fatten horses and camels along with the periods of calving and milking were crucial to their economy; during these months, usually from May to September, the herds needed to rest. The contemporary sources suggest that when the mares were suckling, a part of the herds did not march with the khan’s horde. The Mongols used this five-month season not only to relax themselves—these were essentially warless periods—but to organize extensive political meetings and take governing decisions. It was not accidently that they planned enthronements and great quriltai during the drinking festival they held in summer. In this paper, first, I will analyze the concept of “Horde grazing” and, second, I will show how herd management, and especially horse, oxen, camel, and sheep breeding, remained key to the Jochid economy until the 15th century.

Matanya Gill (HUJI): Cultural biography of pearls in the Ilkhanate (1260-1335) Show Abstract

 Pearls, a luxurious animal product, were very popular among the Mongols. The gemstones are created by secretions of certain bivalve mollusks in response to the penetration of a foreign body inside their shell. These bivalves live at the bottom of the sea in areas such as the Persian Gulf, Yemen, East Africa, South India, Southeast Asia and China, as well as in lakes and rivers in central Asia and northern China.

Pearls, like other luxuries, were in high demand among the Mongols due to their importance for asserting their authority and fulfilling their social needs. Therefore, trade in pearls flourished under the Mongols and during the time of the Ilkhanate, the Mongol state in the Middle East. This lecture, based mainly on prosopographical analysis of the biographical data obtained from 260 merchants who operated in the Ilkhanate, will examine the following topics: the local pearl industry of the Ilkhanate, including centers of pearl fishing and the export destinations; expertise in piercing and inlay of pearls; and the different uses of pearls within the political, economic, and cultural contexts of the Ilkhanate. This cultural biography of Ilkhanid pearls will analyze the cycles of their production, trade and consumption, highlighting the impact of pearls on the development of trade routes, and on personal careers. I will also compare pearls to other animal products that were common among the Mongols and try to see if the fact that pearls were animal products made them more popular than other gemstones.

Leon Volfovsky (HUJI): Animal Gifts and Diplomatic Relations of the Ilkhanid Dynasty Show Abstract

 The paper explores the topic of animal exchanges by the Ilkhanid dynasty, centered in the Iranian region, with other contemporary polities in Asia, Africa and Europe. Based on my M.A. thesis, the paper focuses mainly on diplomatic missions, initiated by either the Ilkhans or their counterparts. It examines the scope of the exchange in animals between the Ilkhanate and other polities, including the routes of exchange, the specific animals that were chosen, and their various functions in the diplomatic realm and beyond.

The paper highlights the exchange of livestock animals (horse and sheep), hunting animals (raptors and felines), as well as exotic animals (elephants, rhinoceros etc.) and animal products, as part of diplomatic gifting from the reign of Chinggis Khan (1206-1227) up to that of the last Ilkhan Abu Sa‘id (1316-1335). It focuses on ca. 30 diplomatic missions, as recorded in Ilkhanid Persian sources as well as Mamluk Arabic sources and European sources about the Mongol Empire and the Yuan dynasty. It examines Ilkhanid interaction with animals and their various uses of the animals at their disposal, notably as a resource for achieving certain diplomatic goals. Such an examination will shed new light on aspects of human-animal relations in Mongol Eurasia, as well as on Ilkhanid diplomacy.

Reuven Amitai (HUJI): The Eurasian Steppe on the Nile? The Mamluks and Their Horses Show Abstract

 It is well known that the mainstay of the army of the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt and Syria (1260-1517) was disciplined units of mounted archers. In this they were not fundamentally different from the armies originating in the Eurasian Steppe, not the least those of their Mongol enemies. This does not come as a surprise, as most of the Mamluks started off life on the Eurasian Steppe before beginning their journey to a military career in the Sultanate. Fundamental then to the Mamluk way of warfare was a large supply of suitable horses. As important as this question of military mounts is for understanding Mamluk military might and the longevity of the Sultanate, it has yet to receive more than perfunctory attention. This paper comes to partially fill this lacuna, looking for at the type of horses used by the Mamluks and from where they were procured. Subsequently, the matter of logistics will be discussed, both “at home” during times of peace and then while on campaign. Finally, some comparison will be attempted with the horses of the Mongols, not least to see how they measured up to each other in different ways. Horses for military use were a major concern (and expense) of the Mamluk regime and its elite, and hopefully here a better appreciation will be obtained of how this was realized.


Panel 3: Discourses on Energy and Society in Post-Fukushima Japan [room 405] Show Abstract

 This panel deals with different aspects of the consumption and production of energy in post-Fukushima Japan. The temporary shutdown of nuclear reactors following the triple disaster in March 2011 forced Japanese utilities to increase their fossil fuel imports, and in turn triggered a series of energy policy changes, such as a revision of nuclear oversight, and energy market liberalizations. The energy market was finally liberalized and renewable energy sources were widely supported as an alternative to fossil fuels and/or adopting a feed-in tariff (FIT) law. However, political and social change tends to be slow and marked by discursive conflict between different social actors. The panel will bring together young scholars working on energy topics related to Japan. Using different approaches and methods from political sciences and sociology in their research, the panelists will discuss different social and political aspects of energy focusing on discursive processes of negotiation. Florentine Koppenborg will discuss the process and the outcomes of the negotiations between the central government, the Nuclear Regulation Authority and citizens. Robert Lindner will focus on the consumption side by presenting his research on the impacts of the triple disaster on energy efficiency and conservation in Japan. Felix Jawinski will discuss continuities and sudden changes on the production side of nuclear energy, while taking a close look at the living and working conditions of laborers employed in Japan’s nuclear industry. Looking at the municipal level, Daniel Kremers will show how local communities are dealing with the liberalization of the energy market and the “boom” in renewables.

Chair: Felix Jawinski (University of Leipzig)

Felix Jawinski (University of Leipzig): The Subjectivation Process of Nuclear Laborers in Japan Show Abstract

 Seeing coal mining declining from the 1950s and recognizing nuclear power as the new rising star in the energy industry, not only in Japan but internationally and thus transnationally, much has been successfully done by various actors to discursively produce an image of clean, relatively easy and well-paid work within this new field of labor, while neglecting and stigmatizing those who actually built these industrial sites and later maintained them. This presentation will first introduce the structures of the atomic industry, give an overview of the different types of laborers working in this industry, concentrating on those who do not directly benefit from the wealth they produce, and finally use the Sociological Knowledge Approach to Discourse by Reiner Keller to elaborate on the subjectivation processes and to describe what speaker positions shape the discursive field, what subjects positions they create and how the subjects comport themselves in this discursive offer.

Daniel Kremers (German Institute for Japanese Studies, Tokyo): Tapping or Draining Local Resources? Looking at Japanese Urban Rural Relations from the Viewpoint of Energy and Sustainability Show Abstract

 Renewable energies are a promising economic field for local communities in Japan, as they feature an abundance of resources and space. However, local communities that try to harvest their energetic potential face severe structural obstacles and competition. The main structural obstacle is that postwar energy policies were based on centralization and regional monopolies. Even under the current process of energy market liberalization the old monopolists will not give up their grid and utility monopoly without a fight. However, local communities also face competition from new market actors such as large-scale investors, the gas, water and telecommunication corporations that venture into the energy business.

The outcome of this competition will have a huge effect on the future of Japan. Local resources and renewable energies can be seen as the last hope for the declining local economies. Those local communities who will not be able to generate income and create jobs from renewable energies will continue to decline and disappear in the next 50 years, adding to the hollowing out of Japan’s domestic economy. In order to sustain a high standard of living and prosperity all over Japan, the government thus has a vital interest in promoting the self-sufficiency of local communities and the growth of local businesses. Though there are a couple of successful showcases, the central government is doing very little in this respect.

Robert Lindner (Kyushu University, Fukuoka): Energy Conservation and Efficiency in Post-Fukushima Japan Show Abstract

 The triple disaster of March 11, 2011 caused a serious power supply crisis in North-East Japan and the Tokyo Metropolitan Region, which gradually expanded to other regions due to the successive shutdown of the nation’s nuclear power plants. While the world focused on the tragic events unfolding at the Fukushima power plant, another important development tends to be overlooked in the media and academic literature: the enormous reductions in Tokyo’s electricity consumption after 2011, made possible by a multitude of countermeasures taken by the authorities, the business sector and civil society. The presentation uses sociological discourse analysis to examine how the nuclear accident and the subsequent energy crisis affected the every-day life of Tokyo citizens and how prevailing narratives about energy conservation and efficiency were transformed in the ensuing sociopolitical discourses. It argues that the crisis helped to reinforce a popular notion of being an energy-efficient society and discusses its implications for future Japanese energy and environmental policy.


Panel 4: Asia and the Middle East [room 502]

Chair: Galia Press Barnathan (HUJI)

Oshrit Birvadker (Bar-Ilan University): The Emergence of New Dynamic between Delhi and Riyadh Show Abstract

 During the recent decade, there has been a significant shift in the relations between Saudi Arabia and India, mainly in the defense and political fields. The rise to power of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Narendra Modi brought these relations to the forefront. In order to provide an in-depth understanding of the current relationship, this lecture will review a few key points. Firstly, this lecture will analyze the complexity of the relations between India and Saudi Arabia before their independence and through the cold war era, in parallel to examining the religious factor. The second focus will discuss the major geopolitical events, which have contributed to the reexamination of each country’s attitude towards ‘Look East’ and ‘Look West’ policies. Critical elements for this discussion will include the following subjects: the scrutiny of the rentier state model, the weakening alliance between Washington and Riyadh, as well as Saudi Vision 2030. The general trends alongside economic data and formal agreements may indicate whether the two countries are heading towards a close alliance or correct adjustments in conventional diplomatic relations.

Doron Ella (HUJI): Institutional Statecraft with ‘Chinese Characteristics’: The AIIB and the ADB in a Comparative Perspective Show Abstract

 This paper aims to explore what characterizes China’s institutional statecraft and how is it distinguished from the manner in which other states, particularly the U.S., approaching institution building, in terms of process, design and desired outcome. Putting a special emphasis on the institutional design of multilateral development banks (MDBs), and particularly on institutional categorization, as a prominent design feature which illustrates how China perceives and implements its normative agenda towards the international institutional order, this paper aims to unveil the political implications of China’s recent and advancing approach towards institutional building. I argue that China’s foreign policy apparatus encompasses several unique components which structure its approach towards international institutions, especially in the international financial realm, and thus affect how it chooses to design new institutions under its own leadership and with its own unique characteristics. By comparing the newly established AIIB with the ADB, this paper sheds light on how China currently perceives the role of international institutions generally,and financial institutions in particular, and how it diverges from prevailing perceptions on institutional design promoted by the U.S. in the current financial world order.

Yoram Evron (University of Haifa): OBOR and China’s Political Involvement in the Middle East: Continuity and Change Show Abstract

 Skeptics query China’s economic and political ability to realize its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Less attention has been paid to BRI’s implications for one of the defining features of China’s foreign policy: low engagement in areas beyond its traditional sphere of influence. The Middle East is such a case. Addressing this issue, the paper explores the mutual impact of China’s low political involvement in the Middle East and BRI’s realization. It finds that realizing connectivity projects—the essence of BRI—will require China to increase its regional engagement, a shift that it has so far avoided.

Alon Levkowitz (Beit Berl College & Bar-Ilan University): South Korea–Persian Gulf Relations: Korean Style of Balancing between Local and Global Interests Show Abstract

 South Korea–Persian Gulf relations are an excellent case study of how the Republic of Korea has tried over the years to adapt its foreign policy from a developed state to a middle power state. These relations have received minor attention by the academic world due to the focus on the field of security, mainly North Korean relations with this region. This article explores the economic, diplomatic, and the delicate issue of security relations between South Korea and the Gulf region from the 1950s until today. It focuses on Seoul’s dilemma on how to balance between its own interests and the interests of the regional (Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran) and global powers in the region (The United States, Russia and China).


Panel 5: The Search for Modernity in Early 20th and 21st Centuries China [room 503]

Supported by the Confucius Institute at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Chair: Aron Shai (Tel Aviv University)

Nataly Shahaf (Columbia University): ‘Jotting Down’ History through Art and Its Institutions: Di Baoxian, a Man of Art and Narratives in Early 20th C. China Show Abstract

 This presentation will examine how late Qing and early Republican participants in the art world—including artists, collectors, publishers, traders, educators, and officials—engaged with art and understood its role in contemporary social, political and cultural transformation. I look at art societies (commonly called huashe), which became seminal cultural institutions in China at the turn of the twentieth century, encompassing art schools, publishing houses, research institutions, venues for trading art, and political activity. One of the central figures in this early Republican art movement was Di Baoxian (1873-1941), an understudied but prominent figure in these art societies, whose impact was felt at the nexus of art, politics, publishing, and commerce. By reading Di’s historical and artistic productions, such as his collected biji and collotype reproductions of famous Chinese paintings from the Tang (618-907) to the Qing (1644-1911), I explore how the proliferation of art societies formed a new mode of mass politics—‘visual politics’—and reached a mass public by both reproducing and preserving art through print, exhibitions, and schools. The seemingly contradictory yet interwoven practices of ‘reproduction’ and ‘preservation’ of art reveal new dimensions of classifying and engaging the material world of the late Qing and early Republican eras. I argue that art not only grew visible and accessible to publics wider than imperial elites—collectors and connoisseurs —but also came to be seen as indispensable to cultural and social mobility and the remaking of a new Republican Chinese identity. While the focus on the politics of art in the modern period has been dedicated to explicitly revolutionary art, I use privately produced archives to examine art for Republican state power and its agenda, asking how we explain this new culture of art for the masses from the perspective of newly produced art and its social and cultural institutions.

Lihi Yariv-Laor (HUJI): The First Century: Chao Yuen Ren and the Birth of the Chinese Common Language Show Abstract

 “Finally, a Chinese Leader Who Speaks Intelligible Mandarin” announced one of the headlines following Xi Jinping’s rise to power in 2012. In fact, China’s presidents who preceded Xi Jinping have all failed to fully master putonghua (“common speech”). Xi’s mastery of putonghua and the rich use he makes of it symbolizes a century-long process that China’s spoken language has undergone since the second decade of the 20th century to the present.

The path of the common language and the change of its status over the years both within China and outside it coincide with China’s rise from a humiliated state among the nations to a self-confident superpower. The Chinese language nowadays constitutes a cultural lodestone in China’s global “soft power.”

The first steps of the common Chinese language were designed and accompanied by Chao Yuen Ren (1892-1982). My talk will focus on his contribution to the shaping of China’s contemporary language.

Valeria Lotti (Free University Berlin):  The New Ideals of Female Beauty: A Look at Micro Cosmetic Surgery in Urban China Show Abstract

 This presentation deals with the most performed cosmetic surgeries in contemporary China, the so-called micro surgeries. Their popularity is due to several factors: one is the high competition existing in Chinese society, where investing in beauty care has become a means to increase one’s cultural capital; another can be found in the influences from South Korea and Japan, where cosmetic surgery became popular years before: through TV shows, music pop-stars and commercial advertisements, those beauty practices entered the everyday life of Chinese people. Globalization, too, played a role because it has contributed to the diffusion of Western beauty standards in Asia, which merged with traditional Chinese beauty ideals creating new global-local standards. Interviews conducted with patients and personnel of the medical beauty sector in Hangzhou and Shanghai show that cosmetic surgery trends perfectly embody the new female beauty standards: they “correct” eyelids, nose, jaw, chin and cheeks in order to get as close as possible to the ideal oval face with pointed chin, slim cheeks, high bridged nose, big eyes and very fair skin. Also, we notice a particular understanding of cosmetic surgeries and treatments that helps us analyze better the impact of beauty trends on women’s lives in Chinese society.


Panel 6: Esoteric Buddhism in Asia [room 404]

Chair and Discussant: Meir Shahar (Tel Aviv University)

Pei-Chun Kuo (National Taiwan University): The Idea of Esoteric Rituals in Heian Tendai Buddhism: Comparing Genshin in Heian Japan with Zunshi in Song China. Show Abstract

 Following the Asuka and Nara periods, Buddhism in Heian Japan flourished and developed greatly. Not only national Buddhist rituals can be found in the historical accounts, rituals held in society were also often recorded. Rituals that strictly follow canons should have assured that Japanese Buddhist rituals kept the same form as their Chinese originals; however, Genshin (942-1017), a famous Tendai monk, showed us a different picture. With the development of Heian Buddhism, Buddhist rituals gradually diverged from Chinese Buddhist rituals, and finally generated its originality. One of the important reasons was the difference of political and social backgrounds. During Tang and Song China, Tiantai Buddhism in China underwent many different development stages, and Tendai Buddhism in Japan was also organized in the same period. With the interaction of Buddhist culture in East Asia, both Tiantai and Tendai Buddhism became comparable in many ways. This article will focus on Genshi in Heian Japan and his contemporary Zunshi (964-1032) in Song China, through examining and comparing their creative works, to illustrate how they perceived esoteric Buddhist ideas in rituals.

Chih-Hung Li (National Taiwan University): Between Mountain Wutai and Capital Chang’an: Buddhist Sacred space and Imperial Imagination in Tang China in the 8th Century. Show Abstract

 This article will focus on the construction of Buddhist kingship and sacred space in Tang China in the 8th century by esoteric monk Amoghavajra不空 to discuss how esoteric Buddhism inspired and rejuvenated the Imperial imagination of the Tang Empire. In addition, I will buttress the idea of Buddhist kingship and the ideal Buddhist empire supported by Amoghavajra with the perspective of ‘Buddhist sacred space’ to examine how Amoghavajra constructed a Buddhist sacred space from Mount Wutai五臺山and the capital Chang’an長安. In addition, I will investigate different rituals practiced in separate sacred spaces between Mount Wutai and the capital Chang’an to observe how the imperial imagination and state-protection Buddhism was performed in Tang China in the 8th century. Furthermore, I will argue that the esoteric Buddhism that Amoghavajra advocated strongly influenced the perception of the ideal Buddhist empire, especially the idea of Buddhist territory佛國土 and Buddhist sacred capital ruled by Chakravartin. Finally, I hope this article will provide a new perspective to rethink the essence of Chinese medieval empire and kingship.

Guy Grizman (Universität Hamburg): Unearthing the Herukas: The Narratives of the “Eight Pronouncements” Tantric Teachings in India and Tibet Show Abstract

 As a part of my ongoing research on the Rig ‘dzin ‘dus pa’i rtsa rgyud, a Tantric scripture of the Ancient (rNying-ma) school of Tibetan Buddhism, which belongs to the bKa’-brgyad-bde-gshegs-’dus-pa cycle revealed by Nyang-ral Nyi-ma-’od-zer (1136–1204), I intend to investigate the Tibetan narratives on the origination and transmission of the bKa’-brgyad (“Eight Pronouncements”) cycle of Tantric teachings in India and Tibet. The bKa’-brgyad cluster consists of eight Tantric practice-systems, each associated with a specific Tantric deity.

I seek to do two things in this paper. First, I intend to take a closer look at the various passages in the writings of rNying-ma and gSar-ma scholars that contain the narratives of the origination of the bKa’-brgyad teachings in India. I will show and discuss how the narratives evolved in the course of time and in the different traditions. The second matter that I intend to explore is the narrative of how the bKa’-brgyad teachings were transmitted in Tibet by Padmasambhava to a group of selected Tibetan disciples. Here, too, I will show the various versions and details of the narrative and how the narrative has been initially conceived and how it has evolved in course of time.


16:30-17:00 Coffee break



17:00-18:30 Session 4

Panel 1: Social Roles and Role-Playing in Imperial China [room 403] Show Abstract

 This panel considers aspects of role-playing in philosophical, political, social, and economic contexts. Whether as non-voluntary conformity to social expectations and political circumstances, or the acting out of roles in specified scenarios, role-performance is so ubiquitous and wide-ranging as to escape, and to an extent hinder, thematic analysis. We approach this subject by focusing on the gaps created and/or bridged by the act of role-playing in imperial China: gaps between title and power, role and action, authority and resistance, history and memory, and so forth. If orchestrated, what set of needs did role-playing address? If compelled, how was it managed and negotiated? And if itself turned a symbol for other dimensions of social existence, what role did it play?

Sonya Özbey explores the intriguing convergence of performance and opposition with regard to social roles around the establishment of Chinese imperial rule. Focusing on the Zhuangzi, she examines the relation between the performance of social roles and the manifestation of ideological stances, and thereby asks us to reconsider the place of the said compilation in the modern political-philosophical discourse. Sharon Sanderovitch concentrates on role-performance in a ritual setting—specifically, the figure of the “personator of the dead” (shi). By exploring the personator’s figurative role in political rhetoric, she probes into concepts of representation in early imperial theories of rulership. Moving forward to the late imperial period, Noa Grass demonstrates the tension between the symbolic role of Ming imperial princes and their actual socioeconomic status, as well as the maneuvering space facilitated by this gap between status and reality. Finally, Oded Abt presents a cross-historical and cross-geographical analysis of traditions concerning the assumption of Chinese identity among descendants of Song-Yuan era Muslim sojourners. Together, these papers provide a wide range of insights regarding roles, actors, and the dissonances they handled, which cross historical periods and disciplinary methods.

Chair: Oded Abt (Tel Hai College)

Sonya Özbey (University of Michigan): Rethinking Apathy and Radicalism through Role-Playing in the Zhuangzi Show Abstract

 Many attempts have been made to bring the Zhuangzi into conversation with contemporary debates on radical politics. Due to its defiant and anti-authoritarian streak, the work indeed easily lends itself to interpretations that present it as condemning and dislocating dominant forms of power. However, the work’s occasional conformist stance, combined with the lack of an outright support for resistance and intervention, undermines the urge to appropriate the Zhuangzi for such purposes. This paper will focus its attention on stories of figures who undermine ossified social roles by performing them without being over-attached to them. Hence, instead of assessing the political radicalness of the text, this paper aims to examine the ways in which the authors articulate the indecisiveness between the place of power and the place of resistance.

Sharon Sanderovitch (Tel Aviv University): Rulers, Personators, and the Concept of Representation in Han Political Discourse Show Abstract

 Rituals and ceremonials were an intrinsic part of familial, social, and political life in early China. But precisely because of their tangible presence in most forms of social interaction, the realm of ritual also functioned as a conceptual apparatus—a resource of lessons, images, and figures for the articulation of concepts that transcend their figurative source domain. This paper focuses on one such instance: the metaphor of the ‘personator of the dead’ (shi) as seen used in several Han (206 BCE – 220 CE) texts that target questions pertaining to rulership.

Usually the descendant of the royal ancestors, the ‘personator’ gave body and presence to their spirits during the ancestral ceremony and, via the invocator, facilitated communication with them. What has it meant, then, to use the figure of the personator as itself an analogy for the role of the supreme ruler, the emperor? What made this form of ritual representation attractive, as well as potentially devious, as a literary means for the representation of the royal position? How does this analogy draw on the pre-imperial discourse of rulership, and how might the modern discourse of political representation illuminate its significance for our understanding of early imperial theories of monarchy?

Noa Grass (Tel Aviv University): The Sinking Palace of Prince Qing of Yong: Social Status and Economic Realities of Imperial Princes in the Ming Dynasty Show Abstract

This paper discusses the tension between social status, symbolic power, and economic conditions of imperial princes in the Ming dynasty. The first Ming emperor intended his sons to act as military defenders of the realm and placed them in strategic areas. They lived on royal estates, commanded military units, and derived income from agricultural land worked by government tenants that was obtained in the form of monthly stipends. Using his estate as a power base in the area of modern-day Beijing, the Prince of Yan, and the son of the first emperor, usurped the throne from his nephew in the early fifteenth century. As emperor, he limited his brothers’ power and independence so they would not threaten him in the same manner. He relocated princely estates to the interior, restricted their travel without imperial consent, and excluded them from most government and military posts, as well as from pursuing profit through trade. As a result, they lived forcedly idle lives and became economically dependent on the court and on regular government stipends. This talk examines the regulations regarding these stipends, their impact on the livelihood of princely households, and the ways in which princes manipulated the system for their benefit.

Oded Abt (Tel Hai College): Muslim Ancestor, Chinese Hero or Tutelary God: Changing Memories of Muslim Descent across the South China Sea Show Abstract

 The paper examines the dynamic boundaries of Chinese identities and the role of family narratives in their formation. It examines the interplay between history and memory, focusing on traditions regarding ancestors of the Fujian Guo lineage of Muslim descent in China, Taiwan and the Philippines, over six centuries. Members of these lineages are not practicing Muslims but rather descendants of Song-Yuan era Muslim sojourners. Since the early Ming, many Muslims assimilated into the local population. Today, their descendants resemble their Han neighbors almost completely, though many preserve family traditions aimed at commemorating their forefathers’ foreign origin. Existing scholarship approaches these traditions in ethnic terms, corresponding to the ethnic discourse prevalent in the PRC., focusing solely on mainland groups, but overlooking other variations found overseas. Hence, scholars portray the changing narratives as reflecting a linear process: from past sinicisation, to today’s more “historically authentic” Hui identity. The present analysis, based on fieldwork and historical sources, offers a broader socio-cultural overview. It demonstrates how the pan-Asian Guo lineage re-imagines familial history across time and space by highlighting a narrative of forced assimilation, in which their early Ming ancestors falsely adopted Guo Ziyi (697-781), a Han-Chinese national hero, as their ancestor. The paper follows the narrative’s continuous transformations, analyzing different interpretations of assuming Chinese identity among Muslims’ descendants within different social, political and historical contexts of Asia.


Panel 2: Beyond Ruler and Ruled: New Approaches and Perspectives in the Study of the Yuan History [room 501] Show Abstract

 In the study of non-Han Chinese dynasties, we seem to have overcome the Sinification discourse. More and more emphasis has been placed on the positive role of non-Han rulers in Chinese society and culture. However, many studies still tend to make a clear distinction between the ruler and the ruled. In the case of Yuan China, Mongols and Chinese are usually presented as well-defined groups with distinctive cultures and interests, while Central Asians and Western Asians are frequently grouped with the Mongols. On the other hand, the holistic approach to the study of the Mongol Empire in its Eurasian context, represented first and foremost by Allsen’s works, is gaining more importance. But in many cases the primary focus of these studies is the common features and institutions of the Mongol states, trans-regional trade and networks, and cross-cultural contacts and exchanges through these networks. This panel aims to focus a holistic approach on various state institutions of Yuan China (astronomical institutions and ceremonies, imperial sacrifice rituals, the imperial in-laws, and the Yuan army). It tries to problematize the idea of well-defined groups with distinctive ethnic and cultural identities in Yuan China. As such, it suggests an approach that emphasizes the fluidity of identity, the common interests and imperial ideology shared by different groups, as well as mutual influences between the steppe and the sown that started well before, and lasted far beyond, they became ruler and ruled.

Chair: Qiao Yang (HUJI & Max Planck Institute for the History of Science)

Qiao Yang (HUJI & Max Planck Institute for the History of Science): In the Service of the Khan: Astronomical Institutions and Ceremonies in the Yuan Court. Show Abstract

 The importance of the knowledge of heaven in the political culture of imperial China can hardly be overemphasized. So was the observation and interpretation of heaven to the Mongols who conquered the known world by Heaven’s will. The encounter of the two, or rather the Mongols’ encounter with Chinese astronomical institutions and ceremonies in the thirteenth century, is presented in Chinese sources as a Mongol adoption of the Chinese tradition. This approach is often followed by modern scholarship. This paper attempts to challenge this presentation and tells a more complex story of the encounter, one in which different groups negotiated the place of astronomical knowledge in the Yuan court. I will show that (1) Various astronomical traditions such as Buddhist, Daoist, Chinese and Islamicate were involved in astronomical institutions and ceremonies; (2) Multi-faceted astronomical institutions and ceremonies were used to create the image of a Mongol world empire and to build up Mongol legitimacy; and (3) this idea of a world empire created through knowledge was shared by various groups under Mongol rule in China.

Xiaolin Ma (Nankai University): On the Evolution of the Mongols’ Imperial Sacrifice Rituals in the 13 th -14th Century. Show Abstract

 Imperial rituals, as is well-attested, served as the essential representatives of the ideology and legitimacy of an empire. While the Mongols ruled a vast empire that combined various parts of Eurasian world, the ideology of the Mongol Empire has been outlined by scholars, but little attention has been paid to the imperial rituals of the Great Qa’an. The sacrifice chapters in the Yuanshi, which were copied and edited from the ritual chapters of the Jingshi Dadian, described an overall image of the imperial sacrifice rituals in the eyes of Chinese literati who seem to have a view of a dichotomy between Mongolian and Chinese traditions. Considering that various rituals and cultures had encountered in the court since the dawn of the empire, the exact elements in the rituals should be carefully examined. This paper will investigate three types of rituals: a) the original Mongolian rituals such as Jugeli, Kumis rituals, Tüleši烧饭 and the strawdog ritual射草狗; b) the original Chinese rituals such as Jiaosi郊祀, the Imperial Ancestral Temple太庙, the portrait halls影堂, and the Confucius temple宣圣庙; c) the new inventions of the Yuan such as the Phagspa temple帝师殿. All the examples demonstrate evolution under multi-cultural influences.

Ishayahu Landa (HUJI): Filial to the Dynasty and to Buddha: Buddhist, Confucian, and Tribal Elements in the Identity Formation of the Yuan Qonggirad In-laws in the Sino-Steppe Border Zone. Show Abstract

 The “imperial in-laws” (güregens, known in Chinese as fuma 駙馬 / fuma duwei 駙馬都尉) were one of the Yuan dynasty’s major “pillars of the state.” Keeping significant military power under their control, many of them were positioned on the northern borders of the North China region, the ecological border between China proper and the steppe areas of the Mongolian plateau. This paper will analyze the identity formation of the biggest of those groups, the Qonggirad lineage of Nachin Güregen, a close relative of the Yuan ruling clan, also known as the Princes of Lu (魯王). Their main strongholds and dwelling areas were located in the Sino-steppe border zone, with some of the crucial postal stations on the roads between the two Yuan capitals, Dadu and Shangdu, under their control. Closely analyzing preserved archaeological remains and reading the memorial and tomb stone inscriptions of the clan, the paper will approach the issue from two perspectives. On the one hand, it will show how different Buddhist, Confucian, and tribal nomadic elements were fused in this group’s identity, locating it in-between the “local” and the “original,” “Chinese” and “tribal” cultural milieus. On the other, it will show how the institution of the “imperial in-laws” was located between both the Chinese bureaucratic hierarchies and the nomadic political and cultural structures, and thus discuss the resulting multi-faceted nature of the Yuan dynasty’s political architecture.

Haiming Mao (HUJI): Ethnicity and Identity in Early Yuan China’s Bureaucracy: A Case Study of Tibetan Prime Minister Sangha Show Abstract

 Tibetan Sangha was the Prime Minister of the Secretariat from Zhiyuan 24th to 28th (1287-1291 CE). He led the financial administration for fouryears. Because of failure in the political struggle, he was dismissed and executed by Emperor Qubilai. By looking into the officials from different ethnic groups who served in the government and were in contact with Sangha in that period, this essay analyzes ethnicity and identity in early Yuan China’s bureaucracy. This detailed research attempts to explore a macroscopic scene of ethnic and political relations in early Yuan history.


Panel 3: Politics and Media in Korea [room 505]

Chair: Liora Sarfati (Tel Aviv University)

Hyun-ho Joo (Yonsei University): Colonial Korea, Japanese Censorship, and China: Korean Media’s Coverage of China in the 1920s Show Abstract

 When Korea was colonized by Japan in 1910, the Japanese colonial government in Korea was keenly aware of the potential danger of Korean print media as powerful conduits for producing and disseminating anti-Japanese sentiments. Therefore, the colonial government developed modes of systematic and institutionalized censorship to control public opinion among Korean people. Under the harsh government censorship, sensitive speech about anti-Japanese Korean nationalism or the independence of Korea was not allowed. My presentation examines the ways in which Dong-A Daily, a leading Korean newspaper, delivered anti-Japanese news to its readers while trying not to infuriate the Japanese authorities and, accordingly, was able to gain a reputation as a firm advocate of Korean nationalism and the independence movements. I argue that Dong-A Daily actively diffused Sun Yat-sen’s image as a symbol of Chinese revolution and anti-colonial nationalism as an indirect, but effective, way of promoting Korean nationalism without greatly enraging the Japanese authorities, who had a positive view of Sun Yat-sen as a pro-Japanese politician who advocated China-Japan cooperation to fend off Western imperialism in the East Asian region.

Maria Soldatova (Moscow State Linguistic University): Women’s Secrets of Making Worldwide Bestsellers: Prose of South Korean Female Writers Show Abstract

 In recent years, some books by Korean female writers have become worldwide bestsellers, and in 2016, The Vegetarian by Han Kang was announced as the winner of the Man Booker International Prize. I would like to talk about what is special about Korean women’s prose and why it is gaining more and more interest throughout the world.

In the West and in Russia, the notion of women’s literature itself influences interpretation of books written by women. Besides, so-called women’s fiction focusing on women’s life experiences and marketed to female readers is very popular. It is noteworthy that in the Republic of Korea, women writers becme really active when postmodernism became the prevailing paradigm in world culture. Postmodernism denies explanations which claim to be valid for all groups of people and instead focuses on the relative truths of each person. In this paradigm, the concrete experience of a specific man or woman is more important than abstract principles.

I am going to highlight the questions: Which of the themes chosen by South Korean female writers can be called gender-marked? Can we identify some distinctive features of South Korean women’s literature in contrast with “universal” (read: men’s) literature?

Natalia Gladkikh (Moscow State University of Psychology and Education) & Vladimir Vainer (Gladway Foundation): Social Landscape of Korea Republic in a Prism of Public Service Advertising Campaigns Show Abstract

 “As Korea is a country of morning calm, advertising in Korea is a flower of capitalism,” researchers of advertising say. The positive connotation of the metaphor is influenced by many factors, one of which is thespecial role of public service advertising (PSA) in Korea. The Korean model for the development of PSA has several unique characteristics, such as separation of public service and donation advertising, step-by-step evaluation of every PSA campaign, use of ambient media by NGOs instead of traditional media, and others. One of the most interesting characteristics of the model is a precise adherence of PSA campaigns to social agendas. The selection of themes for PSA campaigns is based on analysis of data, field research, expert interviews, so that the only most important and actual problems are highlighted in mass media. Because of that, through the prism of PSA in Korea we can reconstruct the country’s social landscape for the more than 20-year history of PSA in Korea. As a result, we can reach a new dimension for the understanding of Korean culture.


Panel 4: The Ideal of the Warrior in Japan: Acceptance, Representation and Change [room 502] Show Abstract

 Warrior elites ruled Japan from the twelfth century until modern times, and in the turbulent first half of the twentieth century their image continued to inspire soldiers, politicians and civilians. This panel explores changes in warrior ideals and the image of the ideal warrior in different times, highlighting the continuity within the change.

Chair: Reut Harari (Tel Aviv University)

Elesabeth Woolley (SOAS, University of London): Takatsuna, the Horse Thief Show Abstract

 Although the Genpei War (1180-1185) spanned only five years of Japan’s history, it has played a significant part in Japanese culture and identity. This is thanks to the stories contained in the popular War Tale, Heike Monogatari (Tale of the Heike), which has been retold through the centuries.

One warrior made famous by the tale is Sasaki Takatsuna (1160-1214), best known for his daring race across the Uji River in 1183. Although victorious, Takatsuna’s victory is marred by his deceptions, including the pretence that he stole his master’s horse. Although most Heike texts present Takatsuna simply as a tactical liar, the Genpei Jōsuiki variant exposes a different, darker side of his rise to prominence.

This presentation will demonstrate not only how criminal actions are legitimated in the Genpei Jōsuiki by adherence to the Minamoto cause, but also the role played by the horse in transforming a liminal thief into a warrior of repute.

Naama Eisenstein (SOAS, University of London): Loyalty and Devotion in Pre-modern Japan: Warrior Ideals in Change Show Abstract

 Loyalty and devotion in lord-retainer relationship were the stuff of legend in pre-modern Japan, and stories of the topic continue to fascinate even today. The twelfth-century warrior Sato Tsugunobu (1158-1185), who died protecting his lord Minamoto no Yoshitsune (1159-1189), was an emblem of these values. Tsugunobu’s story, as told in Heike monogatari variants, highlights not only Tsugunobu’s loyalty, but also his lord’s devotion to him. The story is a clear depiction of the ideal retainer and master, amplified by the hectic background of the Genpei War (1180-1185).

As centuries passed, the ideals remained but their context and manifestation changed. This is especially true in Tokugawa times (1603-1868). No longer were warriors sacrificing themselves on the battlefield, and dying for one’s lord could be frowned upon. Yet Tsugunobu’s tale, with its clear message of self-sacrifice, continued to captivate and can be found in numerous artefacts of the period. These artefacts were made for various audiences, crossing society’s strata, reflecting the changing perception of the warrior image in the Tokugawa period.

Danny Orbach (HUJI): “A Mysterious Ideal”: Bushidō and the Leniency to Right-wing Terrorists in Prewar Japan Show Abstract

 In October 1931, a group of Japanese officers were arrested in Tokyo and charged with plotting the assassination of the entire civilian cabinet. During their arrest, the commandant of the military police duly noted that they will be treated “according to the principles of Bushidō”. The implications of this lofty statement were rather amusing: they were “arrested” for two weeks in a comfortable inn, with alcohol and Geisha on demand. The leniency shown to the military terrorists of the “Cherry Blossom Society” promoted a series of further right-wing coups and assassinations, until the dramatic uprising of February 26, 1936. The uprisings of the 1930s, as many scholars have noted, had a significant role in the militarization of Japan and its imperial overreach during the second half of that decade.

Why was the legal system in Japan so friendly to right-wing offenders, even when they tried to assassinate leading statesmen and generals? The answer is intertwined with ideological concepts developed since the 1860s, fed by Japan’s peculiar way of modernization and combined with the emerging ideology of Bushidō.


Panel 5: The Legal and Economic Roadmap of China, after the 19th Congress [room 503] Show Abstract

 The proposed panel discusses the Chinese legal and economic systems from different angles and perspectives, including the interface with international institutions and western models. The participants will also assess the possible influence of the 19th Party Congress on the topics under discussions. Specifically, the panel will discuss what the upcoming reforms entail for China and what significance they have for the rest of the world.

Chair: Shizhou Wang (HUJI & Peking University)

Shizhou Wang (HUJI & Peking University): Unit Crime: Applying the Chinese Criminal Law to Non-Human Entities Show Abstract

 The lecture explores the concept of “unit crime,” a Chinese criminal legal concept similar, though not synonymous, to common law notions of “corporate crime.” It reviews why Chinese criminal law adopted this concept and how it developed into its current form.

Conditions of the unit crime are identified and limitations on criminal liability are explored. Insights for detailed liabilities are offered, including criminal and administrative liability of “the unit,” and the criminal, civil, administrative and disciplinary liabilities of the individual.

This lecture concludes by assessing the value of the concept of unit crime, and weighs the concept’s positive attributes against its deficiencies.

Gal Furer (HUJI): The Chinese Model of “Mixed Ownership” Company: The Case Study of Lenovo Show Abstract

 According to recent news, the Chinese government is planning to increase its legal, financial and equity control over private companies in general and Tech-Giants in particular. My lecture will discuss this control aspect and focus on the first globalized Chinese company, Lenovo, which is often cited as the model of a successful spin-off from a state-owned institution into a commercially oriented and independently managed private company. Such a description is often used by the Chinese media, but it is also shared by many Western scholars. However, others define Lenovo’s structure as “mixed ownership” or “hybrid”.

Defining a company as private / commercial vs. state-owned has significant implications, for example, in the standards applied in anti-dumping investigations under WTO rules. Thus, I shall analyze the appropriate position of Lenovo, and its dominant parent company Legend Holdings (联想控股股份有限公), on the spectrum between state-owned enterprises and privately-owned enterprise.

This analysis reliesprimarily on the methodology of Milhaupt and Zheng, as elaborated in their seminal work Beyond Ownership: State Capitalism and the Chinese Firm, but I focus on the situation of a multi–layered and diversified conglomerate which is not directly addressed in their work.

Marcia D. Harpaz (HUJI): China and the WTO: Emerging Signs of Leadership Show Abstract

 Has China demonstrated leadership since its historic WTO accession in 2001? China has become increasingly active in the WTO, making independent proposals, joining undertakings of other members, submitting numerous notifications, and filing complaints. Unlike some key players, China has vigorously backed the Doha Round. But do its rhetoric, participation, and initiatives signal leadership? Some argue that China’s participation is not commensurate with its economic size, or with its benefits from the global trading system. Others suggest that China is indirectly responsible for the failure of the Doha negotiations, given members’ fear of Chinese competition if they accept new obligations. China has been accused of violating WTO obligations. Charges have also been made that China is not a responsible power.

Using a process-tracing methodology, China’s WTO leadership is analyzed by considering its aspirations and ability to influence other members in negotiations and in establishing rules and norms. The paper aims at offering insight into China’s behavior and impact as a potential leader in the WTO. It can also help anticipate the future leadership role China may play in the changing international trade environment, in which China paradoxically seems to be taking over as the champion of an open global trading system.

Hadas Peled (Tsinghua University & Bar-Ilan University): China’s Legal Globalization in the “New Era” Show Abstract

 From the Washington Consensus to the Beijing Consensus and beyond, how does China’s legal globalization shape private international law? With increasing leadership and involvement in international institutions, China is creating new institutions such as the AIIB, and under the all-inclusive framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China enters a new stage of legal globalization.

The paper evaluates China’s legal globalization using a three-pronged approach focusing on questions of private international law. First, from an international perspective, the paper discusses how China’s legal globalization, and in particular, its recent signing of the Choice of Court Convention, will affect the private international world order. Second, from the perspective of the Chinese court system, the paper discusses how China’s court system is reshaping and preparing to be globally oriented. Since Western and Chinese basic jurisprudential approaches diverge, the paper examines how such divergences could be settled. Third, the paper examines how alternative commercial dispute resolution institutions may be influenced by China’s legal globalization.


Panel 6: Buddhist Encounters Will be held in EnglishWill be held in Hebrew [room 404]

Chair: Eviatar Shulman (HUJI)

Uri Kaplan (HUJI): Will be held in English Using Confucianism to Counter the Confucians: Buddhist Apologetic Strategies in Pre-modern China and Korea Show Abstract

 While the Neo-Confucian reproach of Buddhism has been well-recognized and studied, Buddhist responses to these criticisms have been relatively neglected by researchers. The fact is that Buddhists certainly did not leave these attacks unanswered. Prominent Buddhist monastics and layman such as Falin (572-640), Qisong (1007-1072), Zhang Shangying (1043-1121), Li Chunfu (1185-1231), Kihwa (1376-1433), Ch’ŏnŭng (1617-1680) and others, both in China and in Korea, have written intriguing essays attempting to counter the critiques. In this presentation I will discuss what is perhaps the most central Buddhist apologetic strategy found in these treatises—citing the Classics in order to justify Buddhism. Drawing on interesting passages from these texts, I will illustrate how the Classics are used in three different ways. First, they are most frequently used apologetically in order to prove that Buddhist practices and doctrines do not contradict those of the ancient Chinese sages. Second, at times they are used to argue that Buddhists actually follow these sagely ideals more closely than the Confucians of the day do. Finally, some passages go on a more aggressive counter-attack and find fault, superficiality and contradiction in the Confucian Classics.

Yael Shiri (SOAS, University of London): Will be held in English Between the Śākyas and the Gautamas: Buddhist Discourses of Self-establishment in the Buddha’s ‘Biography’ Show Abstract

 The different hagiographical accounts of the life of the Buddha have justifiably drawn much scholarly interest since the very inception of Buddhist Studies as an academic field of study. Informing numerous rituals, artefacts, and teachings, the life of the Buddha is a defining element in almost any Buddhist tradition. As such, it is also a precious source for the study of Buddhist discourses of self-representation, past and present.

As part of this lavish tradition, much attention has been dedicated to the description of the Buddha’s clan—the Śākyas. Nevertheless, research on many of these stories has not yet been conducted thoroughly. Treatments of the topic, such as in the admirable works of André Bareau, typically approached it from a “historicist” perspective, trying to uncover the historical truth beneath the narratives. However, perhaps a more fruitful approach would be to recognize such narratives as “historical traditions,” rather than excavating them for their presupposed historical facts.

In this paper, I will focus on one aspect of the Śākyas’ portrayal—their association with the Gautama (Pāli: Gotama) Brahmanical gotra. This designation, which became integral to the Buddha’s own identity, is depicted and elucidated differently in various Buddhist texts. By analyzing such accounts from the Middle Period of Indian Buddhism, using narratological and philological tools, I wish to shed new light on the way that they might have reflected the historical circumstances of their compilers/authors.

Aviran Ben-David (HUJI): Will be held in Hebrew Did the Buddha Teach the Path to Liberation? An Examination of the Concept of Liberation in Early Buddhism Show Abstract

Liberation (vimutti), like Nirvāṇa/Nibbāna, is one of the main concepts that represents the goal toward which the Buddha’s teaching are directed   in the four main Nikāyas. Among scholars, the concept of liberation is commonly interpreted as an expression of a singular achievement that parallels the destruction of the samsaric re-birth cycle. However, a careful reading of Pāli sources reveals a more complicated picture: Rather than relating to a singular event or ideal goal, liberation designates a multiplicity and a variety of meditative achievements. The multiplicity of liberations raises the question whether it is correct to view this variety as an expression of a single achievement. Or, perhaps, it  implies a variety of  distinct achievements that are distinguished from each other  both by practices that lead to them and by the mental states they generates.


18:30-20:00 Dinner Reception @ Maiersdorf Faculty Club’s Banquet Hall
Supported by the Korea Foundation

Greetings: Prof. Oron Shagrir, Vice-President, HUJI
Jessie’s Diary, A mini musical about Korean diaspora performed by Company BoreNabi