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Does 'Sinosphere' Work as a Unifying Concept for East Asian Studies?

  • Joshua Fogel (York University)
Thursday 8 June 2017
Leiden Lecture Series in Japanese Studies
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden


For many centuries East Asia existed with China at the center and the countries wishing contacts (diplomatic and/or trade) around its periphery, especially to the east and south.  Those peoples wishing contacts would perforce learn the literary Chinese language, the necessary Chinese philosophical and literary texts, and the requisite behavior for dealing with China.  Recognition from the central Chinese state enhanced the status of those seeking it.  Over time this system began to wane, especially after the West showed up on the scene but even before, as those places we now call Japan, Korea, and Viet Nam began to chafe under Chinese hegemony.  And, peoples to China's north and west rarely, if ever, played by those rules.  After several decades of more and more highly specialized scholarly work on the region, we are now witnessing several international projects aiming at a holistic view of the East Asian region and the centrality of "China" to it.

About the speaker

Joshua Fogel is the Canada Research Chair and Professor in the Department of History at York University. Most of his work has been on the cultural relations between China and Japan over the past few centuries. His publications include: Maiden Voyage: The Senzaimaru and the Creation of Modern Sino-Japanese Relations (University of California Press, 2014); Between China and Japan: The Writings of Joshua A. Fogel (Brill, 2015); Japanese Historiography and the Gold Seal of 57 C.E.: Relic, Text, Object, Fake (Brill, 2013); Articulating the Sinosphere: Sino-Japanese Relations in Space and Time (Harvard University Press, 2009); The Literature of Travel in the Japanese Rediscovery of China, 1862–1945 (Stanford University Press, 1996); The Cultural Dimension of Sino-Japanese Relations: Essays on the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (M. E. Sharpe, 1994); Nakae Ushikichi in China: The Mourning of Spirit (Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1989); Japanese and Chinese translations; Politics and Sinology: The Case of Naitō Konan (1866–1934) (Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1984).

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