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Session 1: Architectural Preservation in Asia: Local Citizens as Activists and Stakeholders

Organizer: Peter Siegenthaler, University of Texas at Austin

Chair: Jeffrey W. Cody, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Discussants: Dan Abramson, University of British Columbia; Jie Zhang, Tsinghua University

This panel will focus on the involvement of local citizens in activities that seek to protect Asia’s architectural heritage. The preservation of historic architecture involves more than protecting the materials that comprise the structures. It also affords citizens the opportunity to play a larger role in affairs at the center of their country’s cultural politics. In the past quarter-century, as Asian regions have experienced economic growth, political upheavals, and social transformation, residents have seen their heritage coming under increasingly formidable threats. Ironically, however, in the same period UNESCO has placed more Asian places on the World Heritage List, and several Asian countries have advanced their national historic preservation policies to bring them more into line with international norms. One of the significant gaps in this progress has been between local residents who live amid their own heritage and often detached officials who hand down decisions about that heritage. This panel seeks to examine that gap.

The panel will address this issue by presenting papers that target dispersed sites. Each presentation exemplifies ways in which local citizens have been part of the political process of cultural heritage protection. The panelists include: (1) Jeff Cody and Wallace Chang, who will discuss a recent workshop in Hong Kong where local activists voiced their concerns in novel ways; (2) Peter Siegenthaler, who will discuss the legacy of the preservation of Tsumago post-town as a model for citizen involvement in Japanese preservation efforts; and (3) Andre Alexander and Carmen Tsui, who will discuss ways in which the Tibet Heritage Fund has been successful in integrating local residents in the improvement of their historic neighborhoods. The panel discussants, Dan Abramson and Zhang Jie, will respond to the presentations by drawing on their experiences in preservation efforts in Beijing and Quanzhou, China.

Hong Kong’s Tai O: A Significant Drop in the Ocean of Mass Tourism

Jeffrey W. Cody and Wallace Chang, Chinese University of Hong Kong

This paper will highlight a May 2000 workshop that involved local stakeholders in a significant way in the protection of a site in Hong Kong. Tai O, a fishing village on western Lantau Island, has many similarities with Hong Kong’s precolonial settlements. Recently Tai O has been suffering from a marked shift in the local economy and is now facing strong development pressure. Since the opening of Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok airport in 1998, Lantau can be easily accessed by the mass transit system, posing even more formidable "mass entertainment" pressures for the village.

In response to these pressures, and after consultation with local elders, several organizations began mobilizing support for a "Save Tai O Workshop." The Heritage and Conservation Committee of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects spearheaded efforts, along with the assistance of the Department of Architecture of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Tai O Rural Committee, and the Friends of the Earth. Two arms of the government also applauded the workshop as a way to involve residents more directly in the planning process and to explore ways to conserve Tai O’s unique cultural and natural resources while also promoting its sustainable community development.

The voices of local residents were actively solicited in the workshop. Students conducted surveys to canvass the opinions of residents, hear their concerns, and learn from their insights. Results of those surveys were presented at the workshop, where representatives of the Tai O Rural Committee assisted professionals in proposing alternative strategies. The workshop demonstrated the necessity of including local stakeholders in the political and social processes associated with cultural heritage protection. If by these means vernacular heritage can be more effectively sustained in the Hong Kong context of highly charged property development, then one key implication is that other communities elsewhere in Asia might well benefit from the lessons of the Tai O workshop. The paper will thus tie this local example to a broader geographical, cultural, and political context where, by saving a small fishing village, a bigger lesson can be learned not only by Hong Kong residents but also by Asians farther afield.

Creation Myths for the Preservation of Tsumago Post-town

Peter Siegenthaler, University of Texas at Austin

Tsumago, a settlement in Japan’s mountainous Nagano prefecture, was founded in the early seventeenth century to serve as a post-town on the Nakasendô, one of the five main highways of the Tokugawa era (1603–1868). Today Tsumago is one of the country’s premier sites for the experience of Tokugawa-era town architecture. The town’s preservation district is comprised of more than one-hundred buildings older than a century and substantial surrounding open spaces. The largest "townscape preservation district" in Japan, it is also one of the most famous.

Tsumago’s fame rests not only on its size, the quality and quantity of its buildings, and the well-established infrastructure that makes a visit to the site a memorable experience. It is also known for the enthusiastic, informed, and sustained involvement of the local residents in the preservation process. Although the major rehabilitation efforts were initiated more than three decades ago, this aspect of Tsumago’s preservation is still remarked upon and debated today. Retellings of the history of the preservation process itself are standard components in discussions of the site.

This paper will trace the ways in which Tsumago’s preservation process serves as a model for citizen involvement in preservation activities in other cities and towns in Japan. Scholarly and popular writing about the preservation district’s residents and their role in the rehabilitation and protection of the town will be examined to see how the history of Tsumago’s preservation experience is presented in these materials. Special attention will be given to the ways in which differing histories figure in larger discussions of the inter-relations of citizens, town leaders, and heritage architecture in Japan.

Protecting Lhasa’s Vernacular Neighborhoods: The Tibet Heritage Fund’s Work with Local Residents

Andre Alexander, Tibet Heritage Fund, and Carmen Tsui, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Paralleling the economic reform of the People’s Republic of China, the PRC’s Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) has witnessed unprecedented economic development during the past decade, far outpacing the national average. The regional capital of the TAR, Lhasa has become the favored site for both local and foreign investment. To maximize development profits, random demolitions of traditional Tibetan houses have regularly occurred in Lhasa. Most of these demolished houses have either been replaced by modern concrete structures or so-called "neo-Tibetan style" buildings that simply imitate the facades of older houses.

Tibetans now face a major dilemma: higher incomes will provide them with a stronger mandate to improve their living standards, but a strong attachment to their culture compels them to strive for the preservation of the city’s traditional character. Local residents won their first battle in 1995, when they successfully prevented demolition of a historic house in the Barkor area. However, continuous success was not guaranteed, as many older houses continued being demolished.

When drafting a conservation plan for the inner city of Lhasa, the Tibet Heritage Fund (THF) has adapted a grassroots approach involving the participation of local residents and modeled on strategies deployed in the 1980s in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin. Following this German precedent, THF chose the Oedepug neighborhood of Lhasa as their first conservation model area, so that several different styles and grades of traditional Tibetan architecture could be preserved in their original context. In this area, restoration and infrastructure improvement projects were planned and implemented together with the active involvement of local residents and the tentative approval of local authorities.

The residents warmly welcomed this approach, and they have continued to provide great support to the THF’s conservation work. The dilemma between economic growth and architectural preservation has not been resolved, but the key lesson of the THF’s work is that when all parties collaborate, from grassroots activists to municipal bureaucrats, the battle for heritage protection is waged more successfully.


Session 22: Afro-Asian Diasporic Encounters

Organizer and Chair: E. Taylor Atkins, Northern Illinois University

Discussant: Sundiata Djata, Northern Illinois University

In his 1998 Positions essay "Consuming Passions," anthropologist John G. Russell notes an "insatiable appetite for things black and the spectacle and vicarious pleasures their display offers." Blackness constitutes a virtual "‘brand’ . . . for purchase in the Japanese perennial quest for identity," serving as a "site of resistance against Japanese social and behavioral norms and white cultural hegemony." Russell concludes that Japanese transgress racial boundaries for the purpose of self-liberation and self-discovery, that blackness offers an alternative both to Western cultural hegemony and to indigenous social, sexual, and aesthetic norms. This panel explores the questions: what are the social and cultural consequences of the consumption of blackness throughout East Asia? Is it possible now to remap the African diaspora, to extend beyond Africa and the Americas, to East Asia as well? In what ways is the inverse process—the consumption of Asianness in Afro-America—similar or different?

To answer these and other questions raised by transgressing the borders of the seemingly distinct Asian and African diasporas, I have recruited an exceptionally diverse group of panelists: documentary filmmaker Regge Life, director of Struggle and Success: The African American Experience in Japan; doctoral candidate Jina Kim, whose research has addressed East Asian hip-hop culture and blackness in Korean literature; Frances Gateward, author of a forthcoming book on African American women filmmakers; and discussant Sundiata Djata, a scholar of the cultural history of Africa and the diaspora.

The Underestimated Power of Culture

Regge Life, Independent Filmmaker

I will discuss and show clips from my three documentaries, including Struggle and Success: The African American Experience in Japan (recipient of a CM Golden Eagle and numerous other awards) as explorations of the life of the outsider and how the cultures of Japan and the U.S. either create a climate for acceptance, or in some cases marginalization or alienation. This is my finding when looking at all three works and a good way for both Americans and Japanese to examine the host culture and their own cultures.

Translatability of Race: Blackness in Korean-American kijichon (Military Camp-Town) Literature

Jina Kim, University of Michigan

This paper will explore racial relations between Koreans and Black GIs in Korea through Korean kijichon literature, particularly the representations by Korean writers of relationships between black GIs stationed in South Korea and the South Korean female prostitutes. I am interested in finding out how this private sexual relationship can be translated, extended, and mapped within the Korean discourse on race. How is this racial politics played out by/through the means of women’s bodies? Who are the actors and regulators in this relationship, and what is the role of US racial politics? How is the camp-town prostitutes’ complex relationship complicit with or resistant of both US and Korean discourse on blackness? Of particular interest to me is how Korean fiction writers have addressed and represented blackness in Korean fiction/literature and how this representation has been received and disseminated to the public discourse on blackness/ African Americanness.

I will attempt to rethink and expand on both Cynthia Enloe and Katharine Moon’s analyses of military camp-towns, US GIs, and Korean camp-town prostitutes by supplementing it with literary fiction to reveal and understand the construction, production, consumption, and reception of African Americans and African American culture. Using Kang Sok-kyong’s Pamkwa Yoram (Night and Cradle) and Heinz Insu Fenkl’s Memories of My Ghost Brother, I hope to find a fuller analysis of the Korean discourse on race and blackness.

Wong Fei Hung in Da House: Hong Kong Martial Arts Films and Hip Hop Culture

Frances K. Gateward, University of Michigan

Misconceptions about people of color in the United States suggest that minority communities are increasingly segregated from each other, and that cross-cultural exchange between communities rarely occurs. Utilizing theories of cultural hybridity and postmodern identity, this essay examines the affinity and appropriation of Chinese film culture within the African American youth Hip Hop culture.

I argue that the relationship between Chinese/ Chinese-Americans and African-Americans, which began hundreds of years ago, remains today, and is evident in contemporary African American popular culture—in fashion, movies, and music. In the area of rap music, for example, artists such Wu Tang Clan, Jeru the Damaja, and Afu Ra make references to Chinese culture. Hollywood is capitalizing on the popularity of Hong Kong martial arts films in the African American community.

In the essay, I will demonstrate the influence of Hong Kong media on contemporary African American identity, placing the appropriation of Chinese culture in Hip Hop within current political and sociological contexts, while also examining the convergence of Chinese Nationalism and Black American Nationalism in the 1960s that resulted in the cross-over of Blaxploitation films and "chopsocky" films.


Session 43: Tracking Bollywood Cinema and Its Networks

Organizer and Chair: Ajay J. Sinha, Mount Holyoke College

It is only in the last ten years that popular Indian cinema has become an area of serious investigation involving scholars in various disciplines. This panel responds to a need for interaction among those scholars and the disciplines they represent. Bollywood, a term for the film industry in Bombay, is considered in the panel a major site of cultural production whose visual and economic field necessarily includes regional and global networks. Moving beyond India’s cinema history, which is an established practice, the panel will explore Bollywood as an expression of South Asian popular culture and its global diaspora. The following topics will be considered as sites for intellectual border-crossing: the hybridity of Bollywood; the relationship of its iconographies and aesthetic modes to the visual print culture of the nineteenth–twentieth centuries, the era of silent films, as well as Hollywood; the global circulation of Bollywood fantasies and the desires of its various, international audiences; and the relationship of cinematic production to identity formation—local, national and/or transnational. Panelists may also ask whether Bollywood’s protean, capitalist framework contains within it a set of terms for its own critique. The importance of the panel lies in its interdisciplinary approach to Bollywood’s visual culture and international networks, bringing together scholars belonging to disciplines such as art history, film and media studies, anthropology, theater history, who are working in the USA, India, West Africa, England, Germany, and Australia.

Bollywood and Visual Print Capitalism in Maharashtra

Kajri Jain, MacQuarie University

The pioneering Indian filmmaker D.G. Phalke had been trained as a painter at Bombay’s J.J. School of Art, studied architecture, ceramics, photolithography, and blockmaking, and worked as a photographer, stage makeup artist, magician’s assistant and printer before going to London to learn about film technology and buy equipment. His contemporary Baburao ‘Painter’ came from a craft background but taught himself Western-style painting and sculpture, working as a professional portrait and landscape painter and running a photographic studio before successfully assembling his own camera. Their studios were called, respectively, ‘Hindustan Cinema Films’ and ‘Maharashtra Film.’

The continuum embodied by these filmmakers between cinema, painting, printing, photography, and the theatre is echoed in the careers of many other figures active in Maharashtra’s burgeoning culture industry up until at least the 1960s. This paper examines some of these figures and their embodiment of the intersections between the Bombay cinema, mythological prints, commercial art, Hollywood publicity, comic books, popular theatre, and local Marathi-language illustrated magazines. It explores how these exchanges ranged across various forms of patronage and local/regional as well as nationalist politics, demonstrating how this broad field of visual print capitalism made available a heterogeneous range of cultural modalities for negotiating modernity.

Reflected Readings in Available Light: Cameramen in the Shadows of Cinema in India

Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Sarai, New Delhi

The cinematographer has for long been a figure in the shadows of the history of cinema in India. As craftsmen of light, cameramen have had to find their place outside the luminous frames that they themselves created. To begin to consider their contribution to cinema in India, is to make ‘reflected readings in available light,’ to discern images in the darkness of an incomplete history.

Critical attention, popular acclaim, and cinema scholarship have so far rendered the production process, technological constraints, and the technicians themselves, marginal to the grand narrative of stars, studios, directors, and composers. Under-developed artisanal consciousness on the part of the community of technicians and cinematographers has only perpetuated further their place in Indian film history as prisoners of invisibility.

This paper emerges from a four-year research project on the "History and Practice of Cinematography in India." The paper, basing itself on interviews conducted during the research, will raise a series of questions about the interface between aesthetic codes, available technologies and the political economy of filmmaking in India, with a special emphasis on the mainstream ‘Bollywood’ Hindi film.

It seeks to construct a new theoretical framework for understanding the language(s) of visibility in Indian Cinema. It will trace a history of indigenous technological innovations, examine relationships with international cinematographic codes and also outline a series of explorations on the work practices and modes of transmission of craft-knowledge in an environment that operates through the interweaving of modern industrial conditions with traditional craft and caste conventions.

The Dislocation of the "Centre": Bollywood Across the Borders

Christiane Brosius, Johannes Gutenberg University, Frankfurt

This paper examines practices of identity-formation in the South Asia diaspora through a global flow of images and ideas relating to Bollywood narratives as they are created, translated and selected by representatives of South Asian communities in Germany. In particular, it will explore the way in which various media technologies—cinema as well as television and internet—work both as sites and tools for identification processes. The study is based on field material collected from the diverse South Asian communities in Frankfurt, all of which are directly linked to the dissemination of Bollywood images and narratives: they are the customers of two video-shops owned by Pakistani migrants from the U.K., and the audiences of Bollywood-related public events (cinema and film star mega-events) staged in Frankfurt and surroundings. Perceived as "cultural switchboards," these social milieus allow an analysis of reception of Bollywood releases as well as that of Bollywood as a social outing, public event, and carrier of "Indianness." The paper will present broad questions relating to the discourse of civil society, the nation-state, locality and transnationalism: What does Bollywood deliver that other media do not? Does Bollywood’s construction of Indianness displace India itself as referent, hence becoming a "shining emblem" more than a geographical reality? And yet, if Bollywood does constitute a homogenizing influence, are there media forms and counter strategies of reading that disrupt this process and cater for the formation of more specific identities?

Cruising on the Vilayeti Bandwagon: Diasporic Representations and Reception of Bollywood Movies

Raminder Kaur, University of Manchester

Ever since its emergence at the turn of the twentieth century, Indian cinema has been a transnational and hybrid media that has been often channeled into nationalist narratives. Since the 1990s the global travels of Bollywood movies have taken on yet another inflection. Representations of the Indian diaspora as well as the increasing use of non-Indian filming locations have accompanied economic drives to target potentially lucrative markets particularly amongst diasporic communities abroad. Film-maker Subhash Ghai describes Indian films as ‘the biggest cultural export after Hollywood,’ and the industry is valued at about $10 billion globally. In the process there has been a re-mapping of the ‘Indian’ subject, considered to be located not just within the confines of India but also outside the nation-state where countries of residence appear to matter little next to the diasporic characters ‘essential’ identity premised upon origins.

This paper will analyze such diasporic representations in the films concentrating on a number of 1990s hits directed by Aditya Chopra, Subhash Ghai and Karan Johar shot in places such as England, Scotland and the United States. It will chart out a dual carriage of imaginaries: on the one hand, investigating the kinds of characters and narratives that configure Indian conceptions of its diaspora as portrayed in Bollywood movies; and on the other hand, focusing on how such films have been received and reviewed by a sample audience of the South Asian diaspora in Britain.

Imagining Other Lands: Bollywood, African Cinema, and Transnational Desires

Awam Amkpa, Tisch School of the Arts, New York

Drawing examples from Senegal, Burkina Faso and Nigeria, this paper examines the role of Bollywood film aesthetics in the urban cultures of postcolonial nations. It critically evaluates the conflicting desires between nation states and their middle- and working-class tendencies for imagining transnational imageries of being and belonging.

The circulation of Bollywood films as the dominant cinematographic representation across West African cities, played significant roles in determining the film vocabularies African filmmakers had to pay attention to. Cinemas, when they emerged as cultural institutions, had to rely on foreign films due to the absence of locally made ones. Initially seen as part of the various signifiers of cosmopolitanism, foreign films gave urban cultures broader senses of imagining other lands. Following independence from France and England, filmmakers from the countries in question once had coinciding nationalist attitudes with those of their new governments and thus made films appropriately excoriating colonial imageries and enunciating new nationalist theses. Ten years later, neocolonial nationalism created a critical gap between the filmmakers and their governments. Such gaps and conflicting nationalisms between nation states and nationalist filmmakers expanded into creating a further gap between such filmmakers and their audiences. More than any other set of foreign films, Bollywood movies provided a forum and resource for imagining other independent postcolonial lands integrating ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ folktales in their narratives. Audiences in neocolonial societies no longer trusted the nationalist themes of African filmmakers and largely depended on Bollywood films for their fantasies and imagining of identity. Taking the contradictory readings of Bollywood films into consideration, using video clips of an ethnographic documentary I made on film audiences in West Africa, this paper uses postcolonial theories to draw conclusions on the role of films in nationalism and transnational desires.


Session 86: Critical Interventions in Globalization: Transnational Methodologies, Scholarship, and Social Movements

Organizer and Chair: Priti Ramamurthy, University of Washington

Discussant: Larry L. Burmeister, University of Kentucky

Recently, globalization, signaling a fundamental process of transformation in the contemporary world political economy, has received considerable attention. A central premise has been that the increasing degree of economic integration—a new modality of capitalism—has lead to a qualitative shift in the relationship between nation-states and national economies and an effervescence of cultural identities that are simultaneously embedded in and beyond singular conceptions of modernity, nationalism, and locality. In their studies of how people’s lives are being transformed, scholars are increasingly crossing disciplinary, spatial, temporal, national, and cultural borders. Economic analyses of globalization have stayed seemingly oblivious of these theoretical developments and continue to focus on aggregate macroeconomic trends. Yet, in the new social movements microeconomic understandings of the specificities of globalization are animating political action, sometimes on a global scale. An interest in the ways in which global information, product, labor, and capital play out in specific regions and locales is also, however, the preoccupation of transnational corporations and nonprofit organizations and transnationalizing educational institutions. Pressures for scholars to respond derive as much from these imperatives as the extreme unevenness of globalization and the limited ambit of progressive alliances. The presenters in this panel are engaged in studying the micrologies of globalization in Asian and American locations using innovative research methodologies: multinational company tracking, migration flows, commodity chain analysis, and spatialities of capital in internet sites. Through this work we hope to open up a critical intellectual space to engage self-reflexively and accountably with the processes of economic globalization of which we are a part.

Following Transnational Corporations by Transnational Research

William H. Friedland, University of California, Santa Cruz

This paper discusses the conditions, process, and possibilities of establishing a global network of scholars undertaking research on the global Fresh Food and Vegetable (FFV) sector. Beginning in the early 1980s a previously "mature" economic sector, FFV, became "immature" and grew rapidly, accompanied by profound globalization of sourcing and distribution when a handful of transnational corporations (TNCs) became dominant economic forces. An attempt was made to apply the concept of "structural parallelism" to FFV developments. This led to the initiation of a network of FFV researchers to parallel the FFV commodity chains. A successful workshop involving researchers from many countries was held in December 1991 producing 30 working papers. Attempts were subsequently made, unsuccessfully, to find funding to create a permanent global network of FFV researchers who would contribute to and receive material relating to FFV and become the basis for collaborative transnational research. Despite the failure to find funding support, researchers concerned with the activities of two major FFV TNCs, Fresh Del Monte and Albert Fisher, did come together via the internet. For Fresh Del Monte, researchers were recruited who had conducted research in the US, UK, Mexico, and Chile. For Albert Fisher, the two researchers involved came from the US and Argentina. In both cases, researchers were recruited who had a knowledge base in a nation-state in which the corporations were involved. The resulting products were two papers dealing with the peregrinations of Fresh Del Monte’s ownership and Albert Fisher’s flexibility of capital investment seeking to maximize profits.

Mapping Global/Local Labor Migration in China

Ping Huang, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

This paper will discuss the opening up of China to the global economy through policies of economic development adopted over the last two decades and how these have unmoored a vast army of surplus labor from rural areas. The empirical case study presented employs research methodologies which track the movement of migrants from eight villages in the rural hinterland to industrial centers and back, thus enabling an evaluation of the complex costs and benefits to workers in sweated labor against a background of agricultural crisis, rural poverty, and environmental degradation. In the process, the more general question of "what is development?" is raised.

Capitalizing Asian Studies: Scholarship and the Production of Knowledge in a Globalizing World

Tim Oakes, University of Colorado, Boulder

This paper will look at new geographies of capital in East Asia, and how they’re tied to both civilizational discourses of culture and identity as well as critical theory discourses of hybridity. It argues that much of the recent work in cultural studies walks a fine line between critical interrogation and unwitting legitimation of capital’s conditioning of new spatial identities. Instead, the paper will question the ways ideologies of multiculturalism get translated into the spatialities underlying scholarship on culture, identity, and globalization. To put the argument in context, the paper will focus on the spaces of transnational capital as constructed on the internet, examining the new sources of information and knowledge about China that are driving new spatial discourses about identity. The larger argument forwarded is that scholars aren’t always reflexive enough about their own linkages to the construction of knowledge in the service of capital.

Poonams, Protests, and Consumption Politics: Towards a New Internationalism?

Priti Ramamurthy, University of Washington

Global markets, ideologies that promote consumer culture, and campaigns against specific U.S. or European-based transnational corporations through consumer boycotts now co-exist. Given that conundrum, this paper will focus on the possibilities and problematics of the new internationalism of consumption as a site for critical theoretical intervention. A feminist commodity chain analysis of women’s clothing in India and the U.S. is developed as a research methodology. Cotton is gaining in popularity in the U.S., while in rural India there has been a profound shift towards polyester as saris made of polyester and polyester blends, "poonams," are desired and worn by women of all classes, especially poor women. This has been accompanied by the increased concentration of polyester production in India funded with global capital and a heightened financial intensity of hybrid cotton production, so extreme that it has lead hundreds of marginal farmers to commit suicide in the state of Andhra Pradesh in recent years. In the U.S., there has been a shift to genetically modified cotton production and increased imports. However, vocal campaigns against current patterns of global consumption are being organized by students, feminist, environmental, and labor groups often through the politicization of abject conditions of female labor in far-off places. The repercussions of this new internationalist consumer consciousness remain an open question but are explored by relating practices and understandings of consumption, not just of U.S. consumers or anti-sweatshop groups, but poor rural women in India, to global systems of provisioning of cotton and polyester.


Session 107: Nationhood in Borderlands: The Legacy of the Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere

Organizer: Taro Iwata, University of Oregon

Chair: Mark C. Elliot, University of California, Santa Barbara

This panel, entitled "Nationhood in Borderlands: The Legacy of the Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere," seeks to address the issues of nationhood in the "borderland" areas of the Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere. This panel is part of three closely-related but independent Border-Crossing panels (see panel 45 and panel 65) that seek to examine how various forms of nationalisms and transnationalisms functioning within the Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere articulated with Japanese rhetoric and institutions related to national and ethnic boundaries.

This particular panel will focus on how the Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere articulated with movements and discourses of nationhood in "border regions" of the coprosperity sphere. Ranging in geographical scope from Inner Mongolia to Malaya, Myanmar, Laos, Japan, Korea, and the United States, and in temporal scope across the twentieth century, the papers in this panel will explore the "(de)colonizing" effects of the Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere, as its policies in different locations gave rise, during World War II and after, to emergent nationalistic sentiments and movements that continue to the present. By highlighting the concept of the borderland, the panel will cross-examine assumptions about the scope of the "national" and its relation to nationalism in (de)colonization processes. Specifically, the papers will examine the relationship between Japanese geopolitics and Mongolian nationalism in the peripheral Mongolian region of Manzhouguo; the emergence of conflicting concepts of nationalism in Southeast Asia under the Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere; the long-term effects of Japan’s five-month occupation of Laos in 1945; and nationalistic discourse in the transcolonial career of Japanese film director Imai Tadashi in colonial Korea and postwar Okinawa.

Mongolian Nationalism and Japanese Geo-Politics

Li Narangoa, Nordic Institute of Asian Studies

Japan defeated Russia in the war of 1904–1905 and thereafter successfully negotiated with Tsarist Russia three times from 1907 to 1912 in order to define their respective spheres of influence in Northeast Asia, including the Korean peninsula, Manchuria, and Mongolia. Diplomatic and strategic considerations in the Soviet Union, Japan, and China during the first half of the 20th century shaped Mongolia’s international status.

In 1932, the Japanese created Manchukuo, a new multinational or multiethnic state (peopled mainly by Chinese, but also by Japanese, Koreans, Manchurians and Mongols) on the Asian continent. Dealing with China was of utmost importance to Japan, as was its influence in relation to the Soviet Union. For these purposes, the geographical position of Mongol lands became important to Japanese strategic interests. The Kwantung Army was cautious in its policy toward the Mongols. The Army established a special administrative body—the Hsingan bureau—for the Mongols in Manchukuo in order to foster the Mongolian cultural "autonomy." The Mongols in Manchukuo, whose territory made more up than one third of Manchukuo, were supposed to attract Mongols from other parts of the world and create a buffer zone for Japan against the Soviet Union and a base for Japanese expansion in China. Mongolia was the northern boundary of Japan’s East Asian Coprosperity Sphere.

This paper shall investigate the importance of Mongolia, especially Inner Mongolia, in Japanese geo-politics in the broader context of international relations during the first half of the 20th century. It covers such details as how Japanese geo-political interests coincided with Mongolian self-determination movements and how the Kwantung Army tried to utilize Mongolian nationalism.

The Rise of Conflicting Concepts of Nationalism in Southeast Asia Under Japan

Paul H. Kratoska, National University of Singapore

Before the 1940s, the colonial powers in Southeast Asia operated within territorial spheres of influence that offered little basis for any sort of nationalism. The Japanese Occupation brought a redrawing of certain territorial boundaries, but these changes were reversed immediately after the surrender in conformance with the idea that the peace should bring a return to the status quo ante. During the Occupation, a number of conflicting concepts of nationalism gained support, ranging from a broad sense of Asian national identity (cultivated by the Japanese through slogans such as "Asia for the Asians") to an acute awareness of local identities based on classic ethnic markers such as language, religion and culture (as reflected both in local initiatives and in discriminatory Japanese policies). The local political leaders who dominated the region both during and after the war promoted state-based nationalisms that broke with and were hostile to existing identities, but served their objective of taking control of the bureaucratic systems of the prewar colonial states and using them to fulfill modernizing agendas.

The Unintended Effect of Japanese Occupation on Laotian Nationalism

Yoko Kikuchi, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies

In this paper, the period of the Japanese rule of Laos is explored, and opposing views of the long-term effects of Japan’s brief occupation are examined. Although Japan entered French Indo-China as early as 1940, in northern Vietnam, it did not gain a foothold in Laos until 1944, when Japanese troops were stationed in southern Laos. More complete control came following the Japanese military’s coup-de-force of March 9, 1945. Troops then occupied towns along the Mekong River and drove French troops from the area. Upon the entry of Japanese troops to Luang Prabang in early April, the Kingdom of Luang Prabang claimed its independence on April 8, 1945. That independence was nominal at best, however, for a Japanese Supreme Counselor was quickly appointed.

The extent to which Japan’s control was exercised is in dispute; it has been suggested that, following the policy of "maintaining the state of things," Japan, pressed with other concerns, did not intervene in the domestic affairs of Laos. With the surrender of Japan, the occupation was ended after a mere five months. In that brief period, Japan did little more than work on road construction from Samneua to Paksane. Research is scant on Japan’s occupation of Laos and what that occupation meant for the country and people. Official statements have come from Laos claiming that it was a period of Japanese fascist rule and that the people suffered greatly, especially during road construction. Conversely, some Laos scholars have suggested that the period was useful in preparing Laos for the nationalist movement. Rather than discrediting conventional views of the crimes of Japanese colonialism, this paper suggests that although the brief Japanese rule did not stimulate the nationalist movement in Laos, it did have the effect, intended or not, of accelerating that movement.

Imai Tadashi’s Transcolonial Film Career in Transnational Perspective, 1943–1991: Korea, Japan, Japanese Americans

Takashi Fujitani, University of California, San Diego

This paper primarily examines the continuities and discontinuities between Imai Tadashi’s lesser known late-colonial films about loyal Koreans in the Japanese empire ("Boro no kesshitai" [Suicide Squad at the Watchtower] and "Ai to chikai" [Love and Pledge]) and his three well-known postwar films on Okinawa ("Himeyuri no to [Red Lily Tower], 1953 and 1982 versions) and Korea ("Seishun to senso" [Youth and War]).

The paper will be attentive to the ways in which Imai’s wartime filmic representations of ethnicity, gender, family, adoption, and death served to figure colonial Korea and Koreans within the Japanese nation and how, despite his later renunciation of himself as a wartime collaborator, he continued to draw upon colonial discourse and visual strategies to nationalize Okinawa and Okinawans in his postwar films. In lieu of a conclusion, I will juxtapose Imai’s last film, "Seishun to senso," to a Hollywood film about Japanese Americans during the war, "From Hell to Eternity."

I hope to demonstrate that, despite their good intentions, the liberal directors of these films probably did more to assuage the dominant majority’s war guilt than to reveal the wounds and heal the trauma of their colonial and ethnic victims. Here I will argue that these directors, in astonishingly similar ways, worked through representations of families and adoption to forget wartime brutality and coerced assimilation by remembering interethnic love.


Session 128: Roundtable: An Integrated Curriculum for the Foreign Language Classroom—Association of Teachers of Japanese Designated Panel

Organizer and Chair: Laurel Rasplica Rodd, University of Colorado

Discussants: Heidi Byrnes, Georgetown University; Scott McGinnis, National Foreign Language Center; Phyllis Hyland Larson, St. Olaf College; Janet Swaffer, University of Texas, Austin

The newly endorsed National Standards for Foreign Language Learning target five goals for language education: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities. How can foreign language teachers incorporate those "five C’s" into their programs of instruction? Many language fields, such as German, have moved a long way in the direction of making the study of authentic culture an integral part of the study of language. What approaches can be shared across languages, and what do Asian languages have to contribute to the idea of the integrated language classroom?

The Association of Teachers of Japanese—which contributed to the drafting of not only the generic national language standards but also a set of specific standards for the Japanese classroom—is convening a panel of teachers from several language fields to discuss these questions. The keynote presentation will be by Professor Heidi Byrnes of Georgetown University, a leader in the German language education field and in developing integrated curricula, who will describe the steps taken toward integration by the German language professional community, and in particular the incorporation of the study of literature into the language classroom. Representatives from several language and area studies fields will comment on Prof. Byrnes’s presentation and add information from their own experience: Phyllis Larson (Japanese) of St. Olaf College; Janet Swaffar (German) of the University of Texas at Austin, and Scott McGinniss (Chinese) of Johns Hopkins University and the National Foreign Language Center.


Session 149: Law, Violence, and the Limits of Justice: Rethinking Corporeal Discipline

Organizer: Anupama Rao, New York University

Chair: Steven Pierce, Tulane University

This panel explores the intimate relationship between colonial and post-colonial governance and corporeal technologies from a literary, historical, and anthropological perspective. The panelists explore the construction and use of different forms of "evidence," and engage explicitly with questions of narrative and methodology. Corporeal discipline has been a critical site for reproducing racial, sexual, ethnic, and religious difference, but for precisely this reason it has also been peculiarly problematic at particular points in colonial and post-colonial history. All of the papers will consider the relationship between crime, criminality, and regimes of discipline. They argue that the boundaries between disciplining those classified as criminals and the criminalization of peoples viewed as different or deviant are blurred and slippery; regimes of penal incarceration or extra judicial violence are central in producing categories of racial and cultural difference. The panel focuses on the extent to which forms of violence—either sanctioned in the form of judicial punishment, or illegitimate as in the excessive use of force in acts of torture or flogging—accompany the rule of law. In the process, these papers consider what is at stake in the emergence of the body as a political entity.

The panel takes the semiotics of violence and the structures of law as the starting point for thinking about the experiences of everyday life and their relationship to the exercise of corporal violence by the state. If the institutions and the discourses of law influence and regulate everyday practices through the creation of notions of legality and illegality, then it becomes imperative to investigate the intimate relationship between the role of law as a forum for justice and its regulatory force. The panel aims to develop a critical understanding of the relationship between law, violence, and restitution, where law appears both as a meaning of redress and as itself an institution based on and capable of producing violence.

When the Whip Comes Down: Public Punishment in Contemporary Iran

Setrag Manoukian, University of Florence

This paper provides an ethnographic discussion of forms of corporal punishment such as whipping in contemporary Iran. Manoukian analyzes the force of the whipping’s effects in terms of the display of violence, the scopic curiosity of the crowd, and the forms of witnessing and participation imposed on the ethnographer. He goes on to problematize such effects in Iran by reflecting on the connected though different logics of violence as a form of state repression and the expressive and visceral aspects of violence, as a way of posing the analysis of violence as a methodological problem for anthropology. In thinking about the relationship between law and violence in Iran, often taken as the iconic space of the anti-modern, Manoukian problematizes prevalent representations of the Middle East.

Making Suffering Count: Literary Witnessing to Bureaucratic Violence

Laura Bear, University of London

This paper discusses the strategy of using poetic forms of writing to rupture conventional accounts of colonial bureaucratic justice. Starting with petitions from Indian railway workers sent to the Agent of the East Indian Railway from 1930–40, Bear reveals how and why these petitions quantify and display workers’ suffering in an attempt to claim redress against the violence of the railway’s disciplinary regime. Ignoring the procedures of the bureaucracy, these petitions use poems, eloquent stanzas, and all the richness of novelistic characterization to convey their writers’ pain and to argue that they deserve equal justice under the law. Bear argues that these petitions testify to the contradictions of being the subject of a colonial bureaucracy that defined difference through a disciplinary regime of violence and exclusion, while claiming to represent the rule of law and economic rationality. Using the example of her recent novel, The Jadu House (Doubleday, 2000), which drew upon these petitions and on her ethnographic fieldwork in an Indian railway town, Bear discusses the problems and potential of literary approaches to a violent past.

Governing the ‘Natives’: Flogging, Identity, and the Problem of Colonial Categories in Northern Nigeria

Steven Pierce, Tulane University

Practices of corporal punishment were singularly fraught for colonial regimes such as that of Northern Nigeria, where the alleged necessity of respecting "native tradition" threatened colonialism’s claim to achieve a "civilizing mission." Pierce examines the consequences of deploying corporal punishment as an integral and acceptable part of "traditional" punishment practices, especially their application to Africans originally from other colonies, who were sometimes subjected to corporal punishment and sometimes spared it on account of their supposedly higher level of civilization. He argues that the case of the "nonnative native" is revealing of the logic and the limits of the practices of racial categorization that corporal punishment enforced and maintained.

Torture and the Truth of the Colonial Body

Anupama Rao, New York University

This paper examines the death of a young man in police custody in 1855 in western India in light of the development of medical jurisprudence in colonial India. Rao focuses on the emergence of a scopic regime through techniques such as fingerprinting, photography, anthropometry, medical inquests, and post-mortems. She argues that the colonial state’s embarrassment at the use of torture by the police in extracting a confession coincided with debates about medicine’s important role in the production of legal knowledge. The kind of truth produced by torture and its violation of the body gave way to other forms of medical discovery that involved the body. Rao argues that the shift from a precolonial penal regime to a colonial one—the emergence of a homogenous field of Anglo-Indian criminal law—can be partially traced by examining new notions of proof and evidence that centrally involved the field of medicine and its reconfiguration of the category of physical pain.


Session 170: The Intimate Gazes of Strangers: Gender, Colonialism, and Missionary Discourses in Western Women’s Writings on Asia

Organizer: Hyaeweol Choi, Arizona State University

Chair and Discussant: James L. Hevia, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Recent scholarship has shed light on the active role that Western women played in the promotion of and resistance to Western imperialism. However, little has yet been done to study critically the facets and the impact of women’s work in Asia. This panel aims to fill this gap by comparing Western women’s writings about different areas of colonial and semi-colonial Asia at the turn of the last century. The panel will examine: first, in what ways Western women represented Asia through their writings and thereby contributed to Western imperialism; second, to what extent the writings of these women gave them the power to transform the region of Asia into a space to fashion new public selves; and third, to what degree the writings of Western women echo and reconstruct voices of indigenous women.

In the spirit of the "border-crossing" approach, the panel focuses on China, India, Indonesia, and Korea from the point of view of literature, history, anthropology, gender studies, and sociology. Hyaeweol Choi analyzes the discourse of women missionaries stationed in Korea, focusing on gender-bound strategies in the promotion of evangelism and Western civilization in relation to the broader historical context of Korea. Leslie Flemming studies how, although constrained themselves by the patriarchal structures of the mission movement, missionary women, especially single women, also held themselves up as models of free womanhood to which Indian women might aspire. Cautioning against essentializing missionaries, Rita Kipp investigates the specific historical and personal contexts which caused markedly contrasting portrayals of the Minahasa (North Sulawesi, Indonesia) by Dutch women. Paola Zamperini examines how Western women’s writings about Chinese women promoted cultural imperialism and new configurations of womanhood both in China and in the West.

From "Utter Degradation" to Modernity: Gendered Missionary Discourse from Korea

Hyaeweol Choi, Arizona State University

The discourse of Western missionary women demonstrates how they uniquely invented their own domains and strategies in "woman’s work" to enhance their goals of spreading the gospel. In this paper I explore how gender-bound missionary discourse provided a varying representation of Korea and the missionaries themselves to the American audience at the turn of the 20th century. I also question if a binary "east/west" or "primitive/civilized" dichotomy is necessarily viable in our understanding of missionary representations of the Other. In demarcating the gendered nature of missionary discourse, I focus on two questions: how male and female missionary writings portrayed Koreans and their culture as the Other differently, and in what ways they treated the volatile political situation in Korea between 1905 and 1910, when Japanese imperialism assailed Korea, and simultaneously Korean nationalist struggles to save the nation prevailed. I argue that they shared common goals of the foreign mission; however, the discursive strategies employed by men and women missionaries were significantly different. These differences stemmed from the marginal position of women in the patriarchal social order of the Victorian era.

Ideals for Indian Women: American Women Missionaries’ Representations of Indian Women and Themselves, 1870–1930

Leslie A. Flemming, Ohio University

Over the 60 year period, 1870–1930, American women missionaries in north India used a variety of media to delineate the lives of Indian women and to contrast those lives with their own. In this paper I will focus primarily on the writings and publications of American Presbyterian missions in the United Provinces area of north India. I will examine mission reports, both personal and general, correspondence, pamphlets, and articles in periodicals and other publications. I will argue that women missionaries characterized Indian women in such a way as to justify the evangelical enterprise. I will further argue that, although constrained themselves by the patriarchal structures of the mission movement, missionary women, especially single women, also held themselves up as models of free womanhood to which Indian women might aspire. In so doing, missionary women created an authoritative voice for themselves in these reports and publications that increasingly rivaled that of their male counterparts, and that contributed to a broadening of their influence within the mission movement.

Two Views of the Minahasa, or, Whatever Happened to the Poor, Heathen Bushnatives?

Rita Smith Kipp, Kenyon College

The published letters of a woman whose husband was a missionary to the Minahasa (North Sulawesi, Indonesia) in the 1850s and 1860s contrast markedly with a novelette written about the Minahasa set in the same time period but published in 1909. Both authors were Dutch women who devoted their lives to missions, but the half a century separating them, the audiences for which they wrote, and their own life circumstances explain why their depictions of indigenous people and their styles of writing were so different. This comparison cautions against essentializing missionaries, whose writings, attitudes, and ways of working always have to be placed in specific historical and personal contexts.

Ties That Cut: Alter/Native Portrayals of Chinese Women in Western Women’s Writings

Paola Zamperini, Arizona State University

Between the fall of the Qing dynasty and the Republican era, Western women wrote about Chinese women not only to promote the goals of Western imperialism but also to produce an empowered self-image. At the same time these writers were creating new subject-positions for Chinese women, although this was at times unwitting.

These sources range in genre from memoirs to missionary reports and reveal the important role that Western women played by circulating the stereotype of the Chinese woman as a victim and a very convenient trope of China’s inferiority. At the same time, writing about the life of Chinese women allowed Western women to re-invent themselves as economically and socially independent agents in a way that the Western gender-hierarchies would not have allowed. Their texts show the tension between the identity of good mother, obedient wife and good citizen, promoted by Anglo-Saxon patriarchal discourses, and a more empowered womanhood that could give both Western and Chinese women new identities not connected to their traditional sexual roles. In this sense, Western women contributed to the notions of "new" womanhood and femininity that simultaneously upheld and challenged the status quo.


Session 191: Interrogating the Japanese Diaspora: Ethnicity, Gender, and Identities in Los Angeles, Hawai’i, and São Paulo

Organizer: Mieko Nishida, Hartwick College

Chair: Michael C. Thornton, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Discussant: Marlene J. Mayo, University of Maryland

This interdisciplinary session, composed of an Asianist, three Americanists, and a Latin Americanist, uniquely examines the Japanese diaspora in a global/comparative context, with special emphasis on ethnicity, gender, and identity. It has a strong appeal to a wide range of scholarships in Asian diasporas in the Americas, as well in identity and identity formation, and will bring a good amount of intellectual excitement to the AAS meeting.

Valerie Matsumoto (UCLA), author of a well-acclaimed monograph in Japanese American history, Farming the Home Place (1993), will present a paper entitled "Shebas, New Women, and Nisei Daughters: Japanese American Women’s Cultural Synthesis in Los Angeles from the Jazz Age to World War II." Matsumoto’s paper focuses on young Nisei (second-generation Japanese American) women in an urban setting and discusses their ethnic synthesis of identity as "American" women by making an extensive use of their essays, fiction, poetry, letters to the editor, advice columns, pen-pal clubs, which were published in the English-language sections of the Japanese American press.

Wesley Ueunten (UC Berkeley), a scholar of ethnic studies and long-time Okinawan activist in Hawai’i and in the Americas, will treat the issues of ethnic minority within the Japanese diaspora by discussing Okinawan identity formation in the case of Hawai’i, with a paper entitled "Problematizing Okinawan Identity in Hawai’i." Ueunten’s paper discusses how Okinawans in Hawai’i have been trapped in certain limited vocabularies and languages in relation to nation and ethnicity, and illustrates how the clear articulation of Okinawan identity in Hawai’i has helped Okinawans restore their ethnic pride.

Mieko Nishida (Hartwick College), a historian of Brazil, will present a paper, "Japanese Brazilian Women and Their Narratives: Gender, Ethnicity, and Identity in São Paulo." Based on her oral history interviews in Portuguese and Japanese with three generations of non-elite Japanese Brazilian women in the city of São Paulo, Nishida will discuss processes by which Japanese Brazilians have come to (re)define the care-taking of elderly and other "undesired" family members as "Japanese" women’s roles and how differently Japanese Brazilian women have created and maintained their ethnic identity from the case of their male counterparts.

This session will be chaired by Michael C. Thornton (University of Wisconsin-Madison), whose scholarship as a sociologist has extended from race and ethnicity in the U.S. to Japanese diasporas and Asian American Studies. Marlene J. Mayo (University of Maryland at College Park), a senior historian of modern Japan, has agreed to discuss on the papers.

Shebas, New Women, and Nisei Daughters: Japanese American Women’s Cultural Synthesis in Los Angeles from the Jazz Age to World War II

Valerie Matsumoto, University of California, Los Angeles

Scholars of Asian American history have recently begun to explore the ways in which being "American" held potent and somewhat different meanings for second-generation Asian American women and men. Urban Nisei girls and young women in Los Angeles faced considerable pressure to do the work of maintaining, representing, and transmitting ethnicity, even while they were enticed by the imagery of mainstream middle-class femininity in popular culture. As they sought to develop their own notions of Japanese American womanhood, they engaged in intense discussions about romance, marriage, education, work, race, etiquette, fashion, cosmetics, art, and literature. The qualities they identified as "American," as well as the attributes they associated with "Japan," emerge in high contrast from their negotiation of sometimes-competing ideals of femininity.

The extensive English-language sections of the Japanese American press reveal how debates in the larger society over "flaming youth" and the "New Woman" filtered into the ethnic community, reshaped by the dynamics of race relations, generational tensions, and socioeconomic constraints. The Nisei daughters played multiple roles: as workers in family businesses, as organizers of a network of youth clubs, as social service providers, as consumers of popular culture, as the conduits of mainstream ideas, and as representatives of their community to the larger society.

Problematizing Okinawan Identity in Hawai’i

Wesley Ueunten, University of California, Berkeley

This paper problematizes the way in which Okinawan identity is formed. Okinawan identity formation tends to be trapped into certain limited vocabularies or languages. For example, Okinawan identity is created along the idea of an "Okinawan nation." The consequences of such a construction include an essentialized notion of who is a member of this "Okinawan nation" and a replication of the hierarchies based on class and gender among Okinawans that are inherent in nationalism. Also, Asian American historiography often overemphasizes the masculine image of the East Asian male sojourner who contributes to the "building of America." Okinawan identity in Hawai’i is also fixated on the image of male sugarcane laborers of the pre-WWII era. Such an identity leaves out both the role of Okinawan women and the substantial numbers of Okinawan women who came to the U.S. as wives of military personal who were stationed in Okinawa. Furthermore, Okinawan identity in Hawai’i is also prone to being subsumed by a master narrative of assimilation. In other words, Okinawans are seen and see themselves as having "succeeded" in becoming American because of superior cultural values such as hard work, quietness, and perseverance. By articulating their Okinawan identity, Okinawans in Hawai’i have effectively restored ethnic pride that had been suppressed due to both Japanese and American discrimination and oppression.

Japanese Brazilian Women and Their Narratives: Gender, Ethnicity, and Identity in São Paulo

Mieko Nishida, Hartwick College

São Paulo, Brazil, has the second largest concentration of persons of Japanese descent outside Japan, next only to Hawai’i, due to Japanese immigration to Brazil starting in 1908. Since then, most of the Japanese Brazilian population has been urbanized and it was widely believed that they had come to occupy the urban middle class until Japanese Brazilians’ labor migration to Japan (commonly called dekassegui) began to take place in the mid-1980s. Studies on Japanese immigration and Japanese Brazilians have been largely published in Japanese for the Japanese-speaking audience, and only in recent years have dekassegui caught international scholarly attention. Unfortunately, except for the Brazilian movie Gaijin (Tizuka Yamazaki, 1980), there have been very few representations of non-elite Japanese Brazilian women’s historical voices.

This paper, based on substantial oral history interviews in Portuguese and Japanese with non-elite Japanese Brazilian women, uncovers and reconstructs these women’s unique individual experiences in their own voices, and synthesizes historical processes on how certain roles in the family—most notably as caretakers of aging parents and other "undesired" members—have come to be assigned to women as their Japanese ethnicity. This paper also reveals these women’s creation of intriguing narratives as their life histories in order to make serious attempts to (re)define their ambiguous ethnic and gender identities in urban Brazil.