When the Future Disappears: The Modernist Imagination in Late Colonial Korea, by Janet Poole (Columbia University Press, 2014)
When the Future Disappears suggests that rather than ushering in the most new, modernism might figure instead the paradoxical disappearance of that which has yet to appear. Through an exploration of the writings of Korea’s poets, essayists, fiction writers and philosophers from the final decade of colonial rule, which ended with Japan’s defeat in the Pacific War, the author shows how late colonial modernist works bore the imprint in their very form of a new temporal sense: of time interrupted and promising no future. Colonial subjects of an empire heading towards total war, writers revealed the distinct features of a global fascist moment as it was redacted in the Japanese empire. What resulted are some of the most intriguing works of 20th century global modernism. Korea’s writers faced the threat of the imminent disappearance of the letters in which they wrote as the colonial government moved to suppress publications in the Korean language in an attempt to mobilize the population for expanding war in Asia. Their works strove to represent an everyday experience which persisted even as the language through which to grasp it seemed to fall apart. They thus revealed the foreclosure that lay at the heart of modernity for colonized populations, but also how colonial writers responded to a seemingly impossible representational dilemma with creativity, nuance and beauty. A work that crosses the boundaries of cultural, intellectual and literary history, When the Future Disappears is shaped by the decision to focus on how writers conceived their own futures, including those that bought into the fascist project, and moves between the vernacular and imperial languages in a way that helps consider the spaces of possibility opened up in each. Offering a nuanced exploration of different strategies for thinking historical experience under a modernizing imperial state, including abstraction, irony, paradox and, even silence, the author writes the creative works of Korea into the history of global modernism and colonialism into the history of fascism.
The Cultural Revolution at the Margins: Chinese Socialism in Crisis, by Yiching Wu
(Harvard University Press)
Mao Zedong envisioned a great struggle to “wreak havoc under the heaven” when he launched the Cultural Revolution in 1966. But as radicalized Chinese youth rose up against Party officials, events quickly slipped from the government’s grasp, and rebellion took on a life of its own. Turmoil became a reality in a way the Great Leader had not foreseen. The Cultural Revolution at the Margins recaptures these formative moments from the perspective of the disenfranchised and disobedient rebels Mao unleashed and later betrayed.
The Cultural Revolution began as a “revolution from above,” and Mao had only a tenuous relationship with the Red Guard students and workers who responded to his call. Yet it was these young rebels at the grassroots who advanced the Cultural Revolution’s more radical possibilities, Yiching Wu argues, and who not only acted for themselves but also transgressed Maoism by critically reflecting on broader issues concerning Chinese socialism. As China’s state machinery broke down and the institutional foundations of the PRC were threatened, Mao resolved to suppress the crisis. Leaving out in the cold the very activists who had taken its transformative promise seriously, the Cultural Revolution devoured its children and exhausted its political energy.
The mass demobilizations of 1968–69, Wu shows, were the starting point of a series of crisis-coping maneuvers to contain and neutralize dissent, producing immense changes in Chinese society a decade later.
Publications by EAS Faculty Members
(Please note that this is not an exhaustive list.)
Cazdyn, Eric. The Already Dead: The New Time of Politics, Culture, and Illness. (Duke University Press, 2012)
— et al. Nothing: Three Inquiries in Buddhism. (University of Chicago Press, 2015)
The Flash of Capital: Film and Geopolitics in Japan. (Duke University Press, 2002)
Feng, Linda. City of Marvel and Transformation: Chang’an and Narratives of Experience in Tang Dynasty China. (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2015)The Proletarian Gamble: Korean Workers in Interwar Japan. (Duke University Press, 2009)
Keirstead, Thomas. The Geography of Power in Medieval Japan. (N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1992)
Ko, K., Youngmi Cho, and Ross King trans. Doing Foreign Language, (N.J: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008)
Meng, Yue. Shanghai and the Edges of Empires. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006)
— History and Narrative . Shanxi: (Shangxi Renmin Press, 1992)
Liu, Johanna. Frontières de l’art, frontières de l’esthétique, co-edited with Yolaine Escande, Paris (2008)
— Musique et herméneutique. Etude sur le sens du langage musical, Taipei (2001)
— Difference and Praxis – A Study of Contemporary Philosophy of Art, Taipei, (2001)
Poole, Janet. Translated Yi T’aejun. Eastern Sentiments (Weatherhead Books on Asia). (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009)
— When the Future Disappears: The Modernist Imagination in Late Colonial Korea. (Columbia University Press, 2009)
Rupprecht, Hsiao-wei Wang. Language through Literature: An Advanced Reader of Contemporary Chinese short Stories. (Beijing: Higher Education Press, 2010)
— Departure and Return: Chang Hen-shui and the Chinese Narrative Tradition. (Hong Kong: Joint Publishing Company, 1988)
Sakaki, Atsuko. Obsessions with the Sino-Japanese Polarity in Japanese Literature. (Hawaii: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2005.)
— Recontextualizing Texts: Narrative Performance in Modern Japanese Fiction (Harvard East Asian Monographs). (Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 1999)
— and Yumiko Kurahahsi. The Woman with the Flying Head and Other Stories by Kurahashi Yumiko. (New York: M. E. Sharpe, 1998.)
Sanders, Graham. Words Well Put: Visions of Poetic Competence in the Chinese Tradition. (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Asia Center, 2006)
— Translated Shen Fu. Six Records of a Floating Life. (Cambridge, Mass.: Hackett Publishing Company, Sep 2011)
Schmid, Andre. Korea Between Empires, 1895-1919. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2002)
— and Timothy Brook. Nation Work: Asian Elites and National Identities. (MI: University of Michigan Press, 2000)
Wu, Yiching. The Cultural Revolution at the Margins: Chinese Socialism in Crisis. (Harvard University Press, 2014)
Yoneyama, Lisa. Hiroshima Traces: Time, Space and the Dialectics of Memory.(University of California Press, 1999)