Spring 2012 Brown Bag Series

Cosponsored by the Asian Studies and Yuchengco Philippine Studies Programs and the Center for the Pacific Rim

/uploadedImages/Destinations/College_of_Arts_and_Sciences/Undergraduate_Programs/Asian_Studies/images/brown-bag-big.jpgFebruary 16 (11:45-12:45), Venue: MC 251:  "Intolerable Cruelty: Marriage, Law and Society in Early Twentieth- Century China" by Dr. Margaret Kuo


At the outset of the Nanjing decade (1928 - 1937), a small group of Chinese legal elites worked to codify the terms that would bring the institutions of marriage and family into the modern world.  Their deliberations produced the Republican Civil Code of 1929 - 1930, the first Chinese law code endowed with the principle of individual rights and duties.  IN the following decades, hundreds of thousands of women and men took up the new marriage laws, bringing a myriad domestic grievances before the courts.  The book manuscript upon which my talk will be based, Intolerable Cruelty: Marriage, Law, and Society in Early Twentieth-Century China, investigates both the codification process and the subsequent implementation of the Republican Civil Code to contribute to our understanding of Chinese state-society relations through an examination of marriage, law, social transformation, and gender relations in the context of the Republican Chinese experiment with liberal modernity.

About the presenter: Margaret Kuo was born in Taiwan and raised in southern California. She studied History, East Asian Studies, and Asian American Studies as an undergraduate at UCLA. She went on to law school at Georgetown University and briefly practiced tax law. She then returned to UCLA to pursue graduate studies in history, her true passion. She has taught modern Chinese history at McGill University in Montreal and California State University, Long Beach. She writes on gender and law in modern Chinese history. Margaret is currently a EDS-Steward Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow for the Center for the Pacific Rim.


February 21 (11:45-12:45), Venue: MC 251 : “Translating Chinese Materials: Material Culture and the Art of Things” by Dr. Ellen Huang


This talk explores the problems and history of cultural interpretation by focusing on a case study of translation.  Through a study of some of the key material artifacts from Qing China that fascinated collectors and scientists in western Europe and America during the latter half of the nineteenth century and onward (porcelain, silk), this study traces how writing about art  developed within the context of nineteenth and early twentieth century transitions from empire to nation.

About the presenter: Ellen Huang is a Fellow at the USF Center for the Pacific Rim. Combining her experiences in technology, intellectual history, and art history, she focuses on analytical problems of visual and material interpretation of artifacts from East Asia.  Her broader interests include ornament and decorative arts, and methodological issues of language and cross-cultural aesthetic exchange. Prior to USF, she was a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley, taught art history at East China Normal University in Shanghai, and helped to curate the Asian art collection at the Cantor Arts Center (Stanford).


March 20 (11:40-12:40), Venue: MC 251: "Skype Mothers and Facebook Daughters: How Technology is Transforming Care Work in Transnational Families" by Prof. Valerie Francisco


This presentation explores the production and redefinition of care in the transnational Filipino family.  Scholars have posited that "transnational motherhood" has reorganized the way that migrant mothers participate in family life from afar.  Professor Francisco extends that concept by providing evidence that care work changes for all members of transnational Filipino families going and coming from multiple directions: from migrant mothers to families left behind and from families left behinf to their migrant counterparts.  This talk will focus on a concept Francisco calls "multidirectionality of care," which highlights the reorganization of care work through the use of technology to redefine new roles, definitions and forms of care in the lives of migrants and their families.  The inventive experiences and approaches of Filipino families stretched over time and space allows us to see how the global has been sutured to change the very intimate parts of social life.  In an increasingly globalized world, understanding the changes in the family can also help us to understand the social processes tat insist on conditions of separation and individuation.

About the presenter: Valerie Francisco is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at City University of New York. Francisco’s academic interests include transnationalism and diaspora with a special interest on the Philippine migration, family, gender and labor, and globalization. Her dissertation research is with Filipino migrant women working as domestic workers in New York City and their families in the Philippines. In the 2011-2012 academic year, Francisco is teaching and completing her dissertation as the Dissertation Writing Fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of San Francisco.

Co-sponsored with the Sociology Department, Asian American Studies Program, and the BAIS Program


 March 27 (11:45-12:45), Venue: MC 251: “Official Corruption in Eighteenth-Century China" by Dr. Nancy Park


During the 267-year Qing period – China’s last imperial dynasty, which ended in 1911 -- officials convicted influence peddling, bribery, extortion and other corrupt acts could receive sentences ranging from salary suspension or removal from office to strangulation, decapitation, or forced suicide.  In spite of the risk to their careers and even their lives, countless officials continued to flout the anti-corruption laws.  The speaker will discuss the economic and political pressures that encouraged officials engage in corruption, as well as the long-term negative impact of corruption on the stability, prosperity, and longevity of the Qing dynasty.

About the presenter: Nancy Park is an Adjunct Professor in history and Asian Studies at the University of San Francisco, where she has been teaching since 2009.  She received her BA in Asian Studies from Georgetown University and her Ph.D. in History and Asian Languages from Harvard University.  She is an Honorary Professor at Chinese People's University and the author of numerous articles related to law and society in imperial China.  She is currently working on a book about corruption and its recompense during the 18th-century reign of the Qianlong emperor.


April 12 (11:45-12:45), Venue: UC 222 :  "Re-examining Indigenous Sound Traditions for Contemporary Inspiration" by Prof. Robin Estrada


The speaker will explore the impact of North and South Philippine indigenous sound traditions on various contemporary music genres such as popular, choral, orchestral, and new music compositions. He will delve into the different aspects of music and performance practice of ethno-linguistic cultures, as well as how they are appropriated in new creative works.

About the presenter:  Professor Robin Estrada ranks among the next generation of composers from the Philippines, in the field of contemporary art music.  Estrada earned his bachelor’s degree in music from the University of the Philippines and completed his Masters in Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.  Estrada is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley and is currently working on his dissertation composition BAILAYA, an opera for voices, bamboo and gongs.


April 26 (11:45-12:45), Venue: MC 250: “The Cycle of Insurgency Revisited: At the Crossroads of Nonviolent Protest and Armed Insurrection” by Prof. Doowan Lee


The Middle East and North Africa have witnessed sweeping political changes and contests in 2011. The Arab Spring brought both the euphoria of democratization and the brutality of regime repression. Almost three decades ago, a similar historical phase was sweeping East Asia. South Korea, Burma, the Philippines, and Taiwan experienced an intense period of political turmoil in the 80s. While these countries did not share many socio-economic characteristics, the pace of political dissent and subsequent confrontation with the respective regime was strikingly comparable.

About the presenter: Professor Doowan Lee teaches at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) and USF’s Center for the Pacific Rim. His current research focuses on the evolution of contentious politics in East Asia. As an active participant in the activism that lead to the democratization of South Korea during the1980s and 90s, he is particularly interested in the link between the pace of democratic transitions and the institutionalization of social movements and insurgencies. He holds M.A. degrees in Political Science from Simon Frasier University and the University of Chicago, where he is also completing his Ph.D.

Co-sponsored with the Politics Department