AAS Annual Meeting

Interarea/Border-Crossing Session 261

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Session 261: New Paradigms

Qi-Transformation and the Steam Engine: Visualizing the Body in Chinese Medicine in the Nineteenth Century
Sean H-L Lei, Academia Sinica, USA

Tang Zhonghai (1851-1908), the widely-acclaimed first proponent of medical eclecticism in the late Qing period, invented the famous formula: "Western medicine is good at anatomy; Chinese medicine is good at qihua (Qi Transformation)." While it is well-known that Tang coined the concept of qihua and thereby created a long-lasting dichotomy between Chinese and Western medicine, it is little known that Tang’s conception of qihua was built upon and therefore heavily influenced by a newly imported technology from the West, namely the steam engine. Based on this important discovery, this paper traces three interconnected processes, the introduction of steam and the steam engine into China, the invention of qihua, which served as the crucial tool for both boundary-drawing and communicating between two medicines, and the related transformation of the body in Chinese medicine.

Theory, Area Studies, and Subjects in Family History: A Javanese Case in 1800-1940s
Akiko Sugiyama, University of Macau, Macau

This paper examines critically the usefulness of theory in area studies. In doing so, it also explores the relevance of in-depth case studies, a quintessential approach in area studies, to the development and (modification) of a theory. To bring empirical depth, I examine the usefulness of an aspect of family theory that posits the universal nuclear family in the study of family change and continuity in Java in 1800-1940s. After outlining major highlights and debates in the historiography of family theory, I examine the relevance of the notion and practice of the nuclear family in selected source bases from Java during the period under study. A systematic review of dictionaries and encyclopedias shows the association of the family with kinship and the household with propinquity became firmly established, while the contemporaneous descriptions of living arrangements show certain confusion and ambiguity about the composition (size) of a household. The analogy between the family and a society or a nation evident in colonial and nationalist discourses also blurred the type of family upon which their visions were constructed. Meanwhile a section of educated women (and men) subscribed to and promoted the private family and home in housekeeping manuals and women’s magazines. The aforementioned discussions offer fresh insights into the possibility of cross-fertilization between family studies and area studies (specifically Southeast Asian studies) as well as methodological innovations in interdisciplinary research.

The History of Futures Studies in South Korea
Hyeonju Son, Chonbuk National University, South Korea

Futures studies emerged relatively early in South Korea, at the end of the 1960s, alongside growing interest in national security and long-term planning for economic development. For instance, the Korean Society for Future Studies was established in 1968. This was soon after the inauguration of the World Futures Society in 1966 in the United States and the World Futures Studies Federation in 1967 in Europe. Despite that early emergence, South Korea has a weak foundation in futures studies. Little work has been done in the history and methodology of future studies in South Korea. Thus, this paper has two objectives. The main one is to examine how futures studies have been developed in Korea and what kind of challenges there are in the futures community. The second is to identify reasons that the development of futures studies in South Korea was slowed. This paper identifies three developmental phases of futures studies in South Korea: 1) economic development and forecasting (1961-1979), 2) technological development and technological forecasting (1980-1997), 3) globalization and comprehensive foresight (1998-present). The developmental phases of futures studies are closely associated with the timing of the phases of industrial policy for economic development. This paper finds three reasons for futures studies in South Korea to be underdeveloped and immature: 1) orientation toward the present, 2) alternative futures as utopian ideas, 3) futures studies as a means to study economic development.

Beyond Pluralism: Exploring New Possibilities of Intercultural Communication Through the Analysis of Endo Shusaku’s Silence
Masamichi Inoue, University of Kentucky, USA

Scholars of intercultural communication often posit that as an individual acquires intercultural competence, his/her orientation toward culture changes from the one centering on the assumptions of universalism, absoluteness, and centrality of a particular culture (ethnocentrism) to the one based on the idea that all cultures are different but equal in principle (pluralism). This paper challenges and complicates this “interculturalist” thesis from the perspective of literary criticism, with Endo Shusaku’s Silence – a novel thematizing issues of intercultural communication in the context of Japan’s encounter with Christian West in the 17th century – as a key material for analysis. First, I suggest that though employing a progressive, anti-racist position, the interculturalist thesis still maintains a strong principle of social segregation (“cultural difference”). Silence, in contrast, brings to light possibilities of crossing borders and breaking down separations from below, illustrating a form of universality that I call a public sphere, an open and inclusive realm of dialogue characterized by unrestrictedness with respect to who can participate, speak, and be heard. Second, I will examine the public sphere as constituted in the border between ethnocentrism and pluralism. Against the interculturalist assumption that universalism/absoluteness is always a deficiency to be corrected by pluralism, Silence shows how the universal/absolute can be accentuated in the act of accepting cultural difference. Placing the interculturalist thesis in critical conversation with Silence, this essay suggests that pluralism does not necessarily warrant the absence of ethnocentrism. In doing so, it explores new theoretical possibilities of intercultural communication beyond pluralism.

Rethinking Legitimation Theory
Thomas M. Hunter, University of British Columbia, Canada

Rethinking Legitimation Theory by Thomas M. Hunter Abstract: This paper represents a challenge to “legitimation theory” in the study of the early states of Southeast Asia, the idea that privileged social elites consciously “borrow” cultural forms in support of their political agendas. Moving on from seminal work’s like Sheldon Pollock’s studies of the “Sanskrit cosmopolis” (1996, 1998) I argue that further development of the tools of “Contact Linguistics” and other sociolinguistic models can help us elucidate the emergence of “high statues dialects” that can be linked to the parallel accumulation of cultural capital through privileged access to luxury items in the in the international trading networks of pre-modern Southeast Asia. In this paper I focus on studies of code-switching and “Communications Accommodation Theory” that have proven useful in the analysis of language use in contemporary society and apply the lessons of these methodological tools to the question of the role of language contact in the formative period of what Victor Liberman (2003) has referred to as the Southeast Asian “charter states”. My overall aim in this paper is to introduce sociolinguistic methods and theories into the debate on legitimation theory. I propose that by developing a more nuanced understanding of the dynamics of language contact—and on the chains of human users of language that constitute the locus of language contact—we can move beyond the crude instrumentality that is implicit in the older modeling of legitimation theory.