History Department Lecture

“Reconstructing Wifehood in Madras: Devadasis, Feminist Agency, and the Colonial Archive”

Lecture by Dr. Mytheli Sreenivas, Associate Professor of History at Ohio State

Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 11:30 AM
Mather House 100

Flyer for History Department Lecture (PDF)

China at 60: Myths and Realities

Spring 2010 Asian Studies Lecture Series
All lectures held at 4:30 p.m.
(with receptions at 4:00 p.m. on Jan. 26 and Feb. 23)

Free and open to the public

Mandel Center for Non-Profit Organizations
11402 Bellflower Road, Cleveland

Visitor Parking: metered lots at corner of Euclid and Ford, and on Bellflower Road across from Mandel Center; Campus Center Garage (below Severance Hall, entrance on East Blvd.)

Sponsored by the Asian Studies Program with funding from the Mitzie Levine Verne and Daniel Verne Endowment for Asian Studies.

About the Series

In the Chinese zodiacal calendar the passage of 60 years marks the completion of a full cycle. The People’s Republic of China has now entered its second cycle, and the prognosticators are busy contemplating how it will unfold. The Asian Studies Program has invited four experts on contemporary China to share their visions of where China has been and where it is likely to be going. The series starts with the question, “How Fragile is China?” and then considers separately the role of China’s military, the significance of electoral reform, and the unsettled and unsettling question of China’s minority nationality policies.

Paul E. Schroeder
How Fragile is China?
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Many believe that China is quickly becoming a major superpower challenging the U.S.  China faces challenges, however, that question this assumption. An export-driven development model threatens continued growth with industrial overcapacity. Severe environmental degradation poses an increasing public health hazard. Bold calls for political reform from Chinese intellectuals and increasing public protests over numerous social issues all pose serious problems for continued rule of the Chinese Communist Party. Schroeder will examine many of these issues and will pose possible scenarios for China’s future, none of which offers quick solutions.

Paul Schroeder is Visiting Professor in the Department of Political Science at Case Western Reserve University. He has been active in China for 30 years as a journalist, business executive, and scholar, and worked as trade representative for the State of Ohio, and in New York as corporate programs manager for the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.


Albert S. Willner
China: A Security Perspective
Tuesday, February 23, 2010

China’s security perceptions, requirements and priorities are changing in response to a host of internal and external drivers. The People’s Liberation Army in particular is undergoing a transition to address these changing dynamics which present new opportunities and potential challenges. How are China’s security priorities changing and why? What impact will this change have in the region and beyond? How is the PLA adapting and what is the potential impact? This presentation will address some of the important security shifts underway, highlight key drivers and discuss the implications for China’s neighbors and in particular, the United States.

Albert S. Willner is the Director of the China Security Affairs Group at CNA in Alexandria, Virginia. Before joining CNA, he was an Associate Dean at Georgia Gwinnett College. A retired U.S. Army colonel, Dr. Willner completed his service as the first active-duty U.S. Defense Attaché equivalent since 1979 assigned to Taiwan. He has served in various Defense Department positions coordinating Asia-Pacific strategy, plans, and policy, and as the Director of International Relations and National Security Studies in the Department of Social Sciences at West Point.

Qingshan Tan
Village Elections and Governance?
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Village elections have been implemented throughout China for more than a decade. In spite of improvements in the election process and villagers’ increasing awareness of democratic rights, the elections are widely viewed as producing little effect on village governance. Why have village elections remained largely irrelevant to effective self-governance? Tan addresses such questions by examining causal factors, village governance structure, township re-assertiveness over villages, and dual-leadership factors.

Qingshan Tan is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Political Science at Cleveland State University. His appointments include senior research fellow at the East Asian Institute of National University of Singapore, among others. Tan has published more than 30 academic articles in English and Chinese and is the author of the book, Village Elections in China: Democratizing the Countryside.

Melvyn C. Goldstein
Is Minority Unrest China’s Achilles Heel? The Case of Tibet
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

China’s rapid rise to economic and military superpower status belies certain internal flaws that have serious ramifications for China’s future stability. One of the most serious of these is the increasing militant unrest in China’s vast Western Regions where Uighur and Kazakh Muslims and Tibetan Buddhists are increasingly alienated, angry and bitter about Chinese policies in their homelands. This lecture will discuss China’s ethnic problem by focusing on Tibet, the most internationally prominent area of unrest. It will examine the core issues in the dispute, the role of the U.S; and the likelihood that Beijing’s current strategy for placating Tibetans will succeed.

Melvyn Goldstein is the John Reynolds Harkness Professor of Anthropology and Co-Director of the Center for Research on Tibet at Case Western Reserve University. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in Tibet (Tibet Autonomous Region of China) on a range of topics including nomadic pastoralism, modern Tibetan history, monasticism, and socio-economic change in rural Tibet. Dr. Goldstein’s current projects include: a large Tibetan Oral History WebArchive that will be permanently housed and maintained by the Library of Congress, Volume Three of his History of Modern Tibet series, and a longitudinal study of change in farming and nomadic parts of rural Tibet.



Extreme Dependence and Unequal Growth in Tibet:
The Exceptionalities of China’s Western Development Strategies in the Tibet Autonomous Region

Friday, October 12, 2007, 4:00 p.m., Mather Memorial, Room 201

Andrew Fischer is one of the leading experts on China’s development policy in Tibet. He currently is a Fellow at the London School of Economics where he is teaching while completing his Ph.D. degree in the school’s Development Studies Institute (DESTIN). His research has focused on the interconnections between social and economic polarization, social exclusion and ethnic conflict within the rapid development taking place in the Tibetan areas of Western China. His talk will examine the interplay between the economic and political impact of China’s dvelopment policy in Tibet.  He is the author of State Growth and Social Exclusion in Tibet: Challenges of Recent Growth.

Beauty, Power, and Protection:
An Early History of Buddhism in Asia

Anne M. Blackburn
Thursday, November 29, 2007, 4:30 p.m., Clark Hall, Room 309

In what context of philosophical and religous reflection did Buddhism first develop? How did social and political forces and desires shape the early growth and spread of Buddhism in Eurasia? How was Buddha-dharma localized, repeatedly, in diverse parts of South, Souhteast, and Himalayan Asia? Anne Blackburn, a scholar who has worked extensively with Buddhist texts will discuss these issues from an historical perspective. Anne Blackburn is Associate Professor of South Asian Studies and Buddhist Studies at Cornell University. She received an M.A. in Religious Studies and a Ph.D. in the History of Religions from The University of Chicago Divinity School.

Getting Beyond Good vs. Evil:
A Buddhist Reflection on the New Hold War

David R. Loy
Wednesday, March 5, 2008, 4:15 p.m., Clark Hall, Room 206 (Refreshments at 4:00 p.m.)

Do Osama bin Laden and George W. Bush share a similar worldview — the need for Godly people to destroy evil by any means necessary? Are they fighting the same holy-war-between-good-and-evil? This struggle between good people (us) and bad people (them) is quite attractive as a simple way to make sense of the world. But Hitler and Stalin also were trying to perfect the world by destroying their view of evil elements: Jews, landlords, and so forth. From a Buddhist perspective, such a black-and-white way of thinking tends to be delusive because each term is dependent on its opposite: We don’t know what is good until we know what is evil, and we can’t feel we are good unless we are fighting against that evil. Buddhist teachings imply an alternative way of understanding religious-inspired terrorism and state terrorism.

David R. Loy is Besl Family Professor of Ethics/Religion and Society at Xavier University in Cincinnati.  His specialization is Asian and comparative philosophy, especially Buddhism.  His books include Nonduality: A Study in Comparative Philosophy; Lack and Transcendence: The Problem of Death and Life in Psychotherapy, Existentialism, and Buddhism; A Buddhist History of the West: Studies in Lack; The Great Awakening: A Buddhist Social Theory; and most recently Money, Sex, War, Karma: Notes for a Buddhist Revolution. He also is qualified as a Zen teacher in the Sanbo Kyodan tradition.

Sponsored b the Asian Studies Program in the College of Arts and Sciences. This program is made possible through the generous support of the Presidential Initiative Fund for the Humanities.


Orphanages, Child Abandonment, and Infanticide
in 19th-century China and France

Henrietta Harrison, Department of History, Harvard University
Friday, April 20, 2007, 3:00 p.m., Mather House, Room 100


Asia’s Security Challenges:
North Korea, Taiwan, Tibet and South Asia

A Conference of Invited Papers
March 25, 2006

Sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the Presidential Initiative Fund for the Enhancement of the Humanities, and the Asian Studies Program.

Morning Session: 10:30 – 11:30 a.m., Clark Hall, Room 206, 11130 Bellflower Road, Cleveland
An informal discussion with invited speakers. The morning session is open to students and faculty from area college only. Limited seating–reservations required: (216) 368-8961

Afternoon Session: 2:00 – 4:00 p.m., Ford Auditorium, Allen Memorial Medical Library, 11000 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland.  Free and open to the public.

Panel Presentation:

Ambassador Charles Kartman
The North Korean Nuclear Crisis: How We Got Here and What it Means

North Korea is the only country with which the United States is still at war, interrupted by an armistice since 1953. One of the world’s worst abusers of human rights, North Korea is on the Terrorist List, and violates international laws daily. Its million-man army is a grave threat to our ally, the Republic of Korea, and our U.S. forces deployed there since the Korean War. It also now has an arsenal of nuclear weapons. The Six Party Talks hosted by the Chinese have made little progress, but have revealed fissures between the U.S. and its South Korean ally. How did we get to this point? Where is it headed? Ambassador Kartman will address these and other issues in his presentation.

Charles Karman served from 2001 until 2005 as Executive Director of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization (KEDO). He retired from the Department of State in April 2001.

Alan D. Romberg
The Taiwan Question: Managing Peace, Shaping the Future

In seeking to manage problems created by the People’s Republic of China’s claim to sovereignty over Taiwan vs. the growing claim in Taiwan to sovereign, independent status, the U.S. has warned Beijing not to assume we would stay out of any fight, and cautioned Taipei not to assume we would get into it. The principal goal has been to maintain peace and stability between Taiwan and the mainland until they can come to a peaceful, mutually acceptable political accommodation. Beijing has enhanced its military deterrent against formal “Taiwan independence,” and the U.S. has countered with arms sales to the island and continued enhancement of its own capabilities against a rapidly modernizing People’s Liberation Army. Under its “one China policy,” while maintaining peace, the political challenge for the U.S. is two-fold: to avoid frontally engaging Beijing’s claim to sovereignty over Taiwan, while blocking any move on the island toward de jur separate status.

Alan D. Romberg is a Senior Associate and Director of the East Asia Program at the Henry L. Stimson Center.

Melvyn c. Goldstein
Tibet: China’s Achilles’ Heel?

Beneath the glitter of China’s remarkable economic success, serious problems linger that could destabilize that country. One of the most dangerous of these is the ethnic anger and hatred that is festering in Tibet and adjacent Xinjiang Province. The Tibet Question–the long conflict over the political status of Tibet vis-a-vis China–has reached a turning point. The Dalai Lama, now age 70, finds himself standing on the sidelines unable to impede or reverse changes in Tibet that he deplores, and the frustration engendered by this impotence has seriously heightened the danger of violence erupting in Tibet. How the Tibet conflict has reached this juncture and where it is likely to go will be examined.

Dr. Goldstein, a social anthropologist specializing in Tibetan society, history, and contemporary politics, is the John Reynolds Harkness Professor of Anthropology and Co-Director of the Center for Research on Tibet at Case Western Reserve University. He has written 14 books and almost 100 articles an dis recognized as on eof the world’s leading experts on Tibet.

Gerald J. Larson
The Volatile Mixture of Religious Extremism and Nuclearization in India and Pakistan

In the decade of the 1900s a variety of historical changes precipitated the decision of both India and Pakistan to develop nuclear capabilities. The end of the Cold War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the seemingly endless cross-border tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, the growing influence of China in the Indo-Tibetan region, the emergence of militant Islamist ideology, and the rise of conservative Hindu ideology all came together to convince, first, India, and then, Pakistan, in May of 1998 to become open to nuclear weapons states. Dr. Larson will examine these and other reasons for nuclearization and the reasons for the rise of militant religious ideology and will offer some suggestions as to how these forces might be contained.

Dr. Gerald J. Larson is Professor Emeritus, Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, and Rabindranath Tagore Professor Emeritus of Indian Cultures and Civilization, Indiana University, Bloomington.


Living Life to the Fullest: Gosho’s Where Chimneys are Seen

Film Screening and Introduction by
Arthur Nolletti, Jr.

Saturday, September 17, 2005, 7:00 p.m., Cleveland Cinematheque at the Cleveland Art Institute

A screening of a rare Japanese film by director Gosho Heinosuke, “Where Chimneys are Seen” 1953, 108 minutes) preceded by an introduction by Professor Arthur Nolletti, Jr., Framingham State University. New 35mm print with English subtitles. Discussion, led by Professor Nolletti, following hte film. Admission $8, Cinematheque members and CWRU/CIA students and staff (with ID) $5

Dr. Nolletti is the author of “The Cinema of Gosho Heinosuke: Laughter Through Tears” (2005, Indiana University Press).

This event is made possible by The Mitzie Levine Verne and Daniel Verne endowment Fund for Asian Studies. Co-sponsored by the Asian Studies Program at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Cinematheque.

Related Event:  Screening of The Izu Dancer
Saturday, September 17, 2005, 10:00 a.m., Clapp Hall, Room 108
A rare chance to see a Gosho silent film (on video) with intertitles read (in Japanese) by Yoshiko Kishi and Spence Zaorski. (no english subtitles).

Understanding the New China:
Politics, Business and the Military in the 21st Century

A conference of invited papers.
Saturday, November 13, 2004

Morning Session: Student Discussion with Invited Speakers
10:00 a.m., refreshments served
10:30 – 11:30 Discussion
The morning session is open to students and faculty from area college only. Limited seating–reservations required: (216) 368-8961

Afternoon Session–Free and Open to the Public
1:30 – 3:30 p.m., Harkness Chapel, Bellflower Road

John Kamm
Human Rights and U.S. China Relations

John Kamm is the executive director of the Dui Hua Foundation, a publicly supported organization dedicated to promoting human rights in the United States and China. A graduate of Princeton University and Harvard University, Kamm was the Hong Kong representative of the National Council for U.S.-China trade from 1976 to 1981. He is an honorary professor at two Chinese universities and a director of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.

Joseph Fewsmith
What Type of Party Is This, Anyway?

Joseph Fewsmith is the director of the East Asia Interdisciplinary Studies Program and Professor of International Relations and Political Science at Boston University. He is the author of four books, includingChina Since Tiananmen: The Politics of Transition (2001: Harvard University Press). He travels to China frequently, presenting papers at professional conferences held by organizations including the Association for Asian Studies and the American Political Science Association. He is also a research associate at the John King Fairbank Center for East Asian Studies at Harvard University.

Stephen Schlaikjer
Marching to Kumbaya: Globalization, Interdependence and China’s Military Rise

Stephen Schlaiker is Senior Advisor to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission in Washington, D.C. A 30-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service, he previously held positions including Foreign Policy Advisor to the Chief of Naval Operations and the State Department’s Director of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs. A China area specialist, Schlaikjer is an economic officer with broad experience in trade negotiations and economic policy development. A graduate of Yale University, he speaks and reads Mandarin Chinese and has received training in French, Urdu and Hindi.

Ezra Vogel (Discussant)

Ezra Vogel is the Henry Ford II Research Professor of Social Studies at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1967. A specialist in modern Japan and China, Vogel has visited East Asia each year since 1958 and has spent a cumulative total of more than six years in Asia. He is the author of Japan As Number One, Canton Under Communism, and One Step Ahead in China: Guangdong Under Reform, and is the editor ofLiving in China.