The Dalai Lama in Europe

The following cohesive work ended up on the cutting-room floor just prior to the publication of my essay “Dalai Lama struggles to retain influence over troubled Tibet,” The Irish Times (Dublin), April 22, 2012, p. 14. The Dalai Lama arrives in Northern Ireland at a particularly important time for his own independence movement, which is based in Dharmsala in the north of India, where he has … Continue reading The Dalai Lama in Europe

Borderlands in Asia and Beyond: Readings

Moving toward a text dealing with the Chinese-Korean border region, I have been catching up on my borderlands studies literature readings, some of which I aim to share in this post and update from time to time. — Adam Cathcart C. Patterson Giersch, “Why Kham? Why Borderlands? Coordinating New Research Programs for Asia,” Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review, E-Journal No. 19 (June 2016), 202-213.  … Continue reading Borderlands in Asia and Beyond: Readings

Regional Government and Political Integration in Southwest China, 1949-1954: A Review

Dorothy J. Solinger: Regional Government and Political Integration in Southwest China, 1949-1954: A Case Study. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977. Review by Li Wankun, University of Leeds In traditional Chinese histories, the Southwest has often been considered as the most independent area in China, labeled as “the land of barbarians”(manhuang zhidi / 蛮荒之地). Accordingly, the concept and boundaries of “the Southwest” (xinan/ 西南) has … Continue reading Regional Government and Political Integration in Southwest China, 1949-1954: A Review

On Reincarnation

As everyone knows, the Chinese Communist Party is fully committed to reincarnating itself as the Qing dynasty, but with more aircraft carriers and a Communist Dalai Lama who tells choking city dwellers to be less materialistic. In today’s lead editorial, Huanqiu Shibao puts it this way: “众所周知,中国藏传佛教的活佛转世有一整套历史定制和宗教仪轨,持续三百多年,从清朝开始,新达赖的确定必须得到中央政府的批准。达赖这几年不断抛出人们闻所未闻的异端邪说,称他可以转世为外国人、女人等等。最近又干脆说他可以不转世了.” In other news, women who believe in stopping sexual harassment on public transport in China have been targeted and … Continue reading On Reincarnation

Dalai Lama in Northern Ireland: Notes on the Situation in Tibet [Updated]

This essay was originally published as “Dalai Lama struggles to retain influence over troubled Tibet,” The Irish Times (Dublin), April 22, 2012, p. 14. Northern Ireland is a long way from Tibet.  But watching the Dalai Lama cross Derry’s “Peace Bridge” this past Thursday, one could be forgiven for imagining that the two worlds were, in fact, intimately related. The Dalai Lama clearly has much inspiration … Continue reading Dalai Lama in Northern Ireland: Notes on the Situation in Tibet [Updated]

Documenting Claims of China’s “Charm Diplomacy”

A recent essay on Chinese “soft power” written not by a US-trained academic, but from within China, provides a chance to find fissures between how and why China is using Western concepts of cultural power on the global stage.  (See Yang Danzhi, “Charm Diplomacy Bears Fruit,” China Daily, April 9, 2012). The tendency is to read the China Daily as merely a state-controlled paper whose … Continue reading Documenting Claims of China’s “Charm Diplomacy”

Notions of Incompleteness and Hope: Fragments for Future Appropriation

In his compact yet epic collection of short stories entitled Men Without Women, American writer Ernest Hemingway describes an Italian major who, bereft of a limb and then his wife, puts his broken faith in the new machines.  Hope, after all, has to be garnered in some fashion, even when the missing limbs continue to tingle, when one only wishes to stare out the window, … Continue reading Notions of Incompleteness and Hope: Fragments for Future Appropriation