In the Shadow of Jang Song-taek: Lecture in Washington, D.C.

On Thursday, June 19, in Washington, D.C., I gave a lecture and participated in an extensive Q & A on the subject of post-purge North Korean Special Economic Zones in China. The Q & A for the event, hosted by the Korea Economic Institute as part of its Academic Paper Series, starts at about minute 45 of the above video; the pdf of the working … Continue reading In the Shadow of Jang Song-taek: Lecture in Washington, D.C.

Pan-Asianism and the Japanese Wartime Empire

This past spring, upon the invitation of Peter Anderson, I gave a lecture to all of the first-year History students at Leeds University on the following topic, as part of a module on world history. Some of the reading materials listed at the conclusion are paywalled (or, like Marc Driscoll’s stunning Absolute Erotic, Absolute Grotesque, should just be bought), but most are free, and all … Continue reading Pan-Asianism and the Japanese Wartime Empire

Cambridge on the Tumen: A Transnational Workshop

A small group of scholars gathered in Cambridge on Friday, May 23 for a conference centered on the Tumen River and a critical sub- region of Northeast Asia which has seen less critical attention than the issues surrounding it might indicate it deserves. Funded by the Beyond the Korean War Project  and including participants from the North Asian Borders Network, the workshop brought together a number … Continue reading Cambridge on the Tumen: A Transnational Workshop

Assessing the Jang Song-taek Effect: The View from Yanbian

I spent the month of April in northeast China, and had the opportunity to speak to several knowledgeable interlocutors about Sino-North Korean relations. In particular, the aftereffects of the purge of Jang Song-taek were of interest — at least as much interest as the rare materials I was able to pick up and research in Yanbian. In reviewing my notes for an upcoming talk at … Continue reading Assessing the Jang Song-taek Effect: The View from Yanbian

Two Essays on Chinese-North Korean Relations, and a Note on the Kim Jong-un Succession

On March 10 and 12, I published short essays on Chinese-North Korean relations with Sino-NK and the China Policy Institute Blog of the University of Nottingham, and preceded these with a note on the ongoing North Korean succession process. 1. “Red Lines and Correct Roads: Recent Chinese Policy Discourse on North Korea,” CPI Blog, University of Nottingham, 10 March 2014. This essay consists of a close reading … Continue reading Two Essays on Chinese-North Korean Relations, and a Note on the Kim Jong-un Succession

Studying Sino-North Korean Borderland Violence in Divided Ireland

Ireland and Korea are not only connected, they are mutually illluminating. When an Irish Ambassador ventures off to Seoul — or to rural areas of North Korea — he or she comes into contact with legacies of partition, cultural survival, and colonialism. In examining models for Korea’s eventual reconciliation and/or unification, Ireland, and the six counties of Ulster known to the world as Northern Ireland, … Continue reading Studying Sino-North Korean Borderland Violence in Divided Ireland

Bertolucci’s “The Last Emperor”

In the process of teaching about East Asia during World War II (and the road to that conflict, whose origins in Asia are still controversial), I have frequently made use of Bertolucci’s Oscar-winning film, “The Last Emperor.”  Much of the film was shot on location in the Forbidden City in Beijing and in various palaces and government buildings which are still existent in Changchun dating … Continue reading Bertolucci’s “The Last Emperor”