2008 IEAS News

A Great Wind: Posters from the Cultural Revolution come to IEAS

In posters, the propagandistic function of art under Mao is most clearly revealed. Widely distributed and cheaply available, the posters produced during the Cultural Revolution era address (or elide) problems and goals, instruct viewers on everything from army conduct to birth control, and celebrate the revolutionary spirit in the lives of the people and in the person of Chairman Mao. The posters on view offer a sampling of this revolutionary vision from 1969 to 1978, with one final poster from 1985 illustrating the change in the post-Cultural Revolution era. They range from starkly propagandistic to later, more conciliatory images in the post-Mao era. Styles range from socialist realist vigor to an almost folk art simplicity to the increasing lyricism of later works, as evocation of the natural world, so strongly associated with Chinese art prior to the Revolution, begins to creep back into the artists' idiom. The poster in China did not begin with the Revolution, nor were posters the only form of artistic expression. Additional panels discuss art in China under the communist regime. The Institute of East Asian Studies would like to express appreciation to Hok Pui and Sally Yu Leung for the generous loan of posters displayed in this exhibition.

Art & film specialists gather for Artscape/Cityscape Conference

China is the epicenter of rapid urbanization, provoking responses from artists, photographers, and filmmakers whose focus ranges from optimistic expansiveness to radical dislocation. In this two-day international symposium, leading curators, critics and scholars will look at artists working in different mediums as they react to the new Chinese megacity.

The keynote speaker will be the international authority on classical and contemporary Chinese art Wu Hung. Other participants include Julia Andrews, Hou Hanru, Wendy Larson, William Schaefer, Kuiyi Shen, Jerome Silbergeld, Pauline J. Yao, Deng Kunyan, Bérénice Reynaud, and Zheng Shengtian.

Organized by Department of History of Art, Institute of East Asian Studies, Center for Chinese Studies, and the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. For information, please contact the Institute of East Asian Studies at 510-643-6492 or email ieas@berkeley.edu.

Famed Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami lectures at Berkeley

As part of the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Center for Japanese Studies, Harumi Murakami will present a reading and lecture in Japanese and English, to be followed by a conversation with Roland Kelts. The presentation will take place on Saturday, October 11, 2008, at Zellerbach Hall on the Berkeley campus.

Claiming a global readership and internationally recognized as Japan's leading novelist, writer, and translator, Haruki Murakami is winner of the Yomiuri Prize for his critically acclaimed The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. The author's numerous works, which have been translated into 36 languages, lead the reader along the interstices between the mundane and the sublime. His work has been described as easily accessible, yet profoundly complex. Murakami's reading and lecture in Japanese and English will be followed by a conversation with Roland Kelts (Tokyo University lecturer and author of Japanamerica) and a question and answer period with the audience. Presented in association with Cal Performances.

Cross-Straits Relationships research project announced

IEAS is pleased to announce a three-year Cross-Straits research project will culminate in a major scholarly publication intended to fill a critical gap in existing English-language scholarly understanding of the relationships across the Taiwan Strait. Cross-Straits relationships between the Mainland and Taiwan are among the most critical issues in today's East Asia. Despite much journalistic coverage and editorial commentary, in-depth scholarly examinations of the many facets of related issues are yet to be undertaken in North American academia. The project will describe and evaluate substantive Cross-Straits relationships — economic, cultural, societal — as they have been developing since the early 1990s despite the absence of mutually acceptable resolution of issues of statehood and sovereignty between the Mainland and Taiwan and the emerging East Asian regional order.

A team of faculty from UC Berkeley and selected partner institutions will develop book chapters over the next three years, assisted by graduate and undergraduate students. Additional opportunities for students may develop; please contact Project Coordinator Caverlee Cary (ccary@berkeley.edu)for further information.

A series of public programs, workshops, and conferences will be held in conjunction with this project; please consult our Events listings for those open to the public.

The C.V. Starr East Asian Library opens to the public

The C.V. Starr East Asian Library - the first freestanding structure at a United States university erected solely for East Asian collections — opened its doors to the public on Monday, March 17. Housing nearly one million volumes, the facility occupies a prominent, central-campus location next to Memorial Glade and Doe Library, reflecting Berkeley's role as a worldwide Pacific Rim hub for scholars of East Asian studies. The building brings together under one roof the vast collections that have been stored at several locations on and off campus. Now, students and other researchers will have easier and faster access to one of the top East Asian library collections in the United States.

Read more about the library and collection:

Rupert Gethin to give 2008 Numata Lecture in Buddhist Studies

Thai painting (19th century) depicting the Buddha flanked by his two chief disciples, Sāriputta and Moggallāna

The 2008 Numata Lecture in Buddhist Studies will be given at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 20th by Dr. Rupert Gethin. Gethin is the Numata Visiting Professor in Buddhist Studies at U.C. Berkeley for Spring 2008. He is a Reader in Buddhist Studies in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, and co-director of the Centre for Buddhist Studies, at the University of Bristol, and (since 2003) President of the Pali Text Society.

This free, public lecture, titled "The Word of the Buddha or the Disputations of his Disciples? The Buddhist Path as Presented in the Pali Nikāyas," will be held in the IEAS Conference Room, 2223 Fulton Street, 6th Floor. A reception will follow.

The Pali Nikāyas contain a number of different schemes of the Buddhist path. These schemes are characteristically set out in the Nikāyas by way of variations on stock formulas presented in a variety of narrative frames. It has been argued by scholars that these different schemes represent competing voices within early Buddhist texts, and some scholars even argue that it is possible to identify the authentic voice of the Buddha among these voices. Such an approach assumes that the Nikāyas are best considered as the end result of a somewhat haphazard and unsystematic process of compilation and redaction that reveals instances of incoherence and inconsistency which can then be used as a basis for distinguishing between early and late in the different path schemes. Rupert Gethin argues that such an approach has overlooked the extent to which the Nikāyas are a systematically redacted whole: the product of a particular process of compilation and editing which the compilers and editors deliberately employed in order to present a particular vision of the Buddhist path. Analysing the schemes and formulas both numerically and contextually, Gethin attempts to articulate what the vision was by establishing what the compilers of the Nikāyas wished to highlight and emphasize in their presentation of the Buddhist path.

CCS establishes Chinese language teaching center

Mission Statement

The National Center for K-16 Chinese Language Pedagogy is a center within the Center for Chinese Studies at the Institute of East Asian Studies. The Center cooperates with K-12 school-district partners, non-profit institutions and Berkeley faculty to develop coordinated programs that can be replicated across the state and nation. It focuses on developing curriculum guidelines at all levels, analyzing and recommending teachings materials, and developing best practices in the teaching of Chinese language and culture, with a particular emphasis on programs to strengthen the pipeline of qualified students who can enroll in advanced courses at the college level. Drawing on the expertise, resources, and human capital available at Berkeley, the Center facilitates a definitive response to the urgent need for increased expertise in Chinese-language instruction; and produce concise pedagogical tools and instructional lessons that may be learned and adapted by the K-12 and collegiate communities nationwide. The Center collects resource materials related to all aspects of K-16 Chinese language pedagogy and has them available both at the Center and online where appropriate.

Call for grad students to participate in Korean studies projects

The Institute of East Asia Studies is pleased to announce a call for graduate student participation in three interdisciplinary projects aimed at strengthening Korean studies on the Berkeley campus, funded by an institutional grant from the Academy of Korean Studies.

Administered through the IEAS, the purpose of the grant is to increase activities on campus related to Korean studies, including comparative studies that involve the intersection of China and Japan on Korea's role in East Asian during modern times. We seek graduate students who will construct projects that will contribute to overall goal of understanding Korea and its role within a comparative East Asian context. Graduate student participants will join faculty leaders for projects that will last 1-3 years. Participants will be selected on a competitive basis, and will receive a stipend or other funding that may be used for workshop/seminar participation, travel and research expenses, publication, etc. Students will be required to participate in quarterly seminars with other participants (students, faculty and visiting scholars), and to present their initial findings at a workshop, tentatively scheduled to take place in mid-November, 2008. Resulting manuscripts will be considered for publication in an edited volume to be published within 5 years.