Prof. Eleana Kim, “Pursuing Peace and Life in the Korean Demilitarized Zone” @ HSSB 4080
Apr 6 @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Prof. Eleana Kim, "Pursuing Peace and Life in the Korean Demilitarized Zone" @ HSSB 4080 | Santa Barbara | California | United States
With the discovery of rare and endangered species in areas around the Korean Demilitarized Zone, and inspired by the paradoxical flourishing of nonhuman nature in the context of unending war, a wide network of scientists, bureaucrats, journalists, natural scientists, citizen ecologists, and others have become captured by a utopian vision in which nature, peace, and life constitute a tightly-wound bundle of naturalized associations.  Especially since the late 1990s, in the context of increasingly dire planetary futures presented by global climate change and mass extinction, as well as with the deteriorating prospects of national reunification or reconciliation between the two Koreas, the DMZ’s nature has offered the conceptual ground for mainstream and marginal imaginaries of peace in South Korea and beyond. While it would be easy to dismiss these hopeful discourses as naive and romanticizing, this paper seeks to take them seriously as empirically-grounded logics in which the existence of biodiversity of the DMZ offers potentially alternatives to the present political impasse. How is the DMZ’s nature temporally operationalized as transhistorical and universal, connecting a pre-division, yet national, space to a “context yet to come” of a post-division Korea? What imaginative possibilities does it offer beyond state-centric and nationalist frameworks for unification?
Eleana Kim is a sociocultural anthropologist and Associate Professor of Anthropology at University of California, Irvine. Her research and teaching focuses on kinship, nationalism, political ecology, and posthumanism. Her current research on the Korean DMZ has been supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the ACLS. Her first book, Adopted Territory: Transnational Korean Adoptees and the Politics of Belonging, received the 2012 James B. Palais Prize from the Association of Asian Studies and the 2012 Association of Asian American Studies Social Science book award.
This is an East Asia Center event, cosponsored by the departments of Anthropology, Asian American Studies, History, and East Asian Languages & Cultural Studies as well as the Reinventing Japan Research Focus Group and the Center for Cold War Studies.
Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL) @ HSSB 2234
Apr 15 all-day

The Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL) will be held at UCSB on Saturday, April 15, 2017.

Registration date: By March 12, 2017 

Registration fee: The regular fee is US$40. Fee for traditional character or group test takers is US$30.

Registration form is available at HSSB 2234

Mock Test website:

For the information of registration, please contact Bella Chen

For more information about the TOCFL, please reference the website at

Prof. Ning Zhang, “Confucianism and Politics in Contemporary China” @ HSSB 2212
Apr 25 @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

“Confucianism and Politics in Contemporary China”

Prof. Ning Zhang, Political Science, California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo

Sponsored by Confucius Institute.

Professor Seth Jacobowitz, “A Bitter Brew: Coffee and Labor in Japanese-Brazilian Colonial Literature” @ SSMS 2135
May 3 @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Professor Seth Jacobowitz, "A Bitter Brew:  Coffee and Labor in Japanese-Brazilian Colonial Literature" @ SSMS 2135 | Isla Vista | California | United States

Transoceanic passage brought nearly 200,000 immigrants from Japan to Brazil between 1908 and 1941. They were often geographically isolated as workers on coffee plantations, and thus able to maintain their Japanese linguistic and cultural identity, despite being “like drops of water into a bucket” who disappeared into the continental vastness of the country, as Ishikawa Tatsuzō wrote in his novel Sōbō (The emigrants, 1935). A new imagined community likewise took root in the Japanese-language immigrant newspapers that published locally produced serial fiction.

Jacobowitz’s presentation analyzes two stories by Sugi Takeo, a frequent contributor to the Burajiru Jihō newspaper, that represent settlers forced to wrestle with the meaning of being Japanese in Brazil. In “Café-en o uru” (Selling the coffee plantation, 1933) a Japanese family is forced to sell their land due to the predations of soldiers from the Constitutionalist Revolution of 1932. Sugi’s “Tera Roshiya” (Terra rossa, 1937), meanwhile, derives its title from the red clay soil that made São Paulo State the heart of the global coffee trade. In both works it is ironically the moonshine sellers who see steady profits from every race and type of immigrant laborer, while the Japanese newcomers who naively dream of riches by bringing coffee to the market reap only a bitter brew of poverty for their efforts.

Seth Jacobowitz is Assistant Professor of Modern Japanese Literature in the Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures and affiliate faculty in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese at Yale University. He is the author of Writing Technology in Meiji Japan: A Media History of Modern Japanese Literature and Visual Culture (Harvard Asia Center, 2015) and the Edogawa Rampo Reader (Kurodahan Press, 2008). He is currently writing his next book, Brazil in the Japanese Imperial Imagination: Immigrant Literature and Transnational Modernity, 1908-1941. He will be Simon Visiting Professor to University of Manchester in May-June 2017 as he is also co-authoring a book on prewar Japanese science fiction and scientific discourse with Dr. Aaron W. Moore in the History Department there.

This is an East Asia Center event, cosponsored by the departments of Spanish and Portuguese and East Asian Languages & Cultural Studies, as well as the Reinventing Japan Research Focus Group, the Graduate Center for Literary Research, and the Latin American & Iberian Studies Program. The image is by Handa Tomoo.

Prof. Zhen Wang, “Modern History of Chinese Feminism” @ TBA
May 18 @ 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

“Modern history of Chinese Feminism”

Prof. Zhen Wang, Women’s Studies and History, University of Michigan

Sponsored by Confucius Institute. Co-sponsored by UCSB Feminist Studies Department