Asian Studies

Past events

Past seminars and events held by Asian Studies.

This conference seeks to unveil, decode, and critically interrogate deeply rooted meanings that the senses have ingrained in the culture and society of modern China. Fourteen internationally recognised scholars from Asia, Europe and America, will critically examine the series of political, social, and technological revolutions that shaped the contours of modern China in the realm of the senses.
Lanterns in George Square
Feb 20 2018 -

The Shogun's Harem

"The Shogun’s ‘Harem’: Life in the Women’s Palace in Nineteenth Century Japan" by Lesley Downer. No westerner ever visited the Women’s Palace or even knew it existed. The women were sworn to secrecy and even after the palace closed down in 1868 very few ever revealed anything of their lives there. At its pinnacle it was home to three thousand women, but only one man, the shogun, could enter. It was an unimaginably different world, with its beauty, riches, Byzantine social codes and internecine struggles. Registration required.
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Feb 15 2018 -

The Chinese Common Reader

In Search of the Chinese Common Reader: Usable Knowledge & Wondrous Ignorance in the Age of Global Science. Professor Joan Judge of York University, Canada, talks about how late Qing and Republican Chinese common readers understand science, illness, and the natural world. To what extent did new concepts introduced into China from the mid-to late-19th century become integrated into the everyday lives of poorer urbanites and lower-level local elites? Registration required.
Lanterns in George Square
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Japanese film festival

The Japanese film festival will be held at the University of Edinburgh on the 26th January, and the 2nd, 9th and 23rd of February. For the films this year we have selected a mixture of animé, comedy and drama films that will get you thinking about how we, as humans, should live our lives. Please book tickets in advance.
Lanterns in George Square
Nov 27 2017 -

Japan’s Support of Britain in WW1: Lecture by Professor Ian Gow

1917 marks the 100th anniversary of the dispatch of Imperial Japanese Navy ships to protect British troop and supply ships under attack from German submarines in the Mediterranean. Despite the widespread coverage in the media remembering WW1 little has been said about Japan’s role. Professor Ian Gow OBE is a former Chairman of the Japan Society of Scotland. He has published extensively, in English and Japanese, on military and defence matters.
Lanterns in George Square
Nov 24 2017 -

PhD Research in Japanese Studies, Work in Progress Seminar

EAPG Work in Progress. Two PhD students in Japanese, Frank Fan and Chantal Bertalanffy, will discuss their current research. Frank Fan: "To understand the development of Kaidan (怪談) in Tokugawa Japan as a vehicle for the transmission of Buddhist, Confucian and Kokugaku (National learning 國學) ideologies". Chantal Bertalanffy: ‘“3.11”, trauma and gender’.
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Nov 09 2017 -

Changes in China - The Fudan Lectures

Professor Fan Lizhu: "How Urbanization Changes China’s Religious Landscape". Under Chinese government plans, nearly 70% of the population will live in urban areas by 2035. This urbanization has triggered massive demographic mobility in the past 30 years. This talk will discuss how urbanization changes the religious landscape in China. Professor Li Zhiqing: "The Green Development of China’s Economy". China is experiencing environmental problems after almost 40 years of rapid economic growth, which means China has to transfer to green development in the near future. This lecture will look at the factors behind the environmental problems during these decades of economic growth, the current connection between environment and economy in China, possible solutions, and how to achieve a new balance between environmental and non-environmental sectors.
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Oct 20 2017 -

The Future of East Asia, Pacific & Beyond

Four short lectures by notable speakers showing how Chinese and Japanese views of the future have had and will further have tremendous impact on the world. Speakers: Sir John Key, Professor Natascha Gentz, Professor Aaron Moore, Richard McGregor. Chair: Sir Tim Lankester.
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Oct 06 2017 -

The Chinese Swindle Story

Why do collections of swindle stories appear at certain times and places? In China, for example, the swindle story has experienced bursts of popularity during the late Ming, the early Republican era, the early Mao era, and during the last 20 years. And comparable works exist around the world. Swindle stories serve a double purpose: they teach techniques for navigating perilous social environments and they entertain. But their authors tend to frame these narratives within a questionable claim: that ours is an age of unprecedented peril. This talk will highlight one thread running through Chinese literary history: connoisseur-ship of the swindler’s ingenuity.
Lanterns in George Square
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Sustainable Silk Roads

A two-day conference with over 30 leading business and academic speakers who will look at the geo-politics, the opportunities and the challenges associated with China's 'Belt and Road' initiative, the largest economic development programme in the world. It's an opportunity to hear from global experts in policy, trade and infrastructure, including the former Prime minister of the UK, Gordon Brown, who will deliver an opening keynote address.
Image of the Confucius Institute building in Edinburgh
Oct 03 2017 -

Financing China's Belt and Road Initiative

Henry Tillman is founder, Director and CEO of Grisons Peak, a London based Asia-focused merchant bank which has deep knowledge of China outbound investments. While some question China’s ability to fund the massive BRI programme, Henry will evidence that China is well placed to continue to invest and grow.