History Faculty Participate in Association for Asian Studies Conference Virtually and in Boston

Several Department of History faculty participated at the 2023 Association for Asian Studies Conference, held virtually February 17-18 and in Boston March 16-19.

Several faculty from the Department of History participated in the 2023 Association for Asian Studies Conference. The conference was held virtually February 17-18, and in Boston March 16-19.

Professor Pamela Crossley was the discassant for the panel "Understanding Horses in Early Modern China and Inner Asia." From the panel description: "As much as domesticated animals rely on humans for fodder and shelter, humans in turn need animals in our economic, political, and cultural lives. This panel explores the human-horse relationship in the Qing capital city of Beijing, the Ming's western border of Shaanxi, and Tibet's Amdo between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries."

Professor Steven Ericson organized the panel "New Perspectives on the Economic and Business History of 20th-Century Japan." The papers "present fresh interpretations of key events and developments in Japan's economic and business history from the Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923 to the postwar U.S. Occupation and its aftermath." Professor Ericson's paper, titled "Business Deconcentration in Occupied Japan: Reexamining Its Scale and Impact," "counters the tendency of scholars to downplay the extent of big business-busting during the Occupation by examining the massive restructuring of companies under the Japanese-initiated Enterprise Reorganization Law of 1946, a process that often involved the undoing of mergers forced by the wartime government."

Professor Jennifer Miller presented at the virtual conference in February. Her paper, "The 'Right' Kind of Tradition: American Conservative Usage of Nihonjinron in the 1970s and 1980s", was part of a panel titled "Conservatism and Postwar Japan." About her paper, she writes, "My paper explored how a culturally and racially essentialist literature known as Nihonjinron influenced American neoconservative thinking about development and economic growth in the 1970s and 1980s. Nihonjinron rooted Japan's economic success in its traditions, culture, and racial homogeneity. Through the writing of leading neoconservatives such as Nathan Glazer and Peter Berger, I trace how Japanese thinking about its own success"shaped American neoconservatives' understandings of economic growth, capitalist possibility, and globalization at the dawn of the 1980s. In particular, I argue American neoconservatives used Nihonjinron to make racialized claims about the importance of 'culture' and 'tradition' in the United States and beyond."

Professor Soyoung Suh was the organizer and chair for the panel "Public Health in the Making of the Modern East Asian States: A Comparative History," which was selected to receive the F. Hilary Conroy Award for the 2023 AAS Conference. The prize honors Professor F. Hilary Conroy, "outstanding scholar of Japan, Northeast Asia and Asian American history at the University of Pennsylvania from 1951 to 1990," and is awarded for "an outstanding session on a transnational topic that highlights developments across national boundaries and offers coverage of at least one East Asian nation." Professor Suh was also the chair for the panel "Disease, Public Health, and Biogovernance on the Korean Peninsula."