East Asian Topologies of Power: An Interdisciplinary Cross-Currents Symposium

Conference/Symposium | February 24 | 1:30-5:30 p.m. | Stephens Hall, Room 220 - Geballe Room

 Institute of East Asian Studies (IEAS)

This symposium will bring into conversation the guest editors of three recent issues of the UC Berkeley-based e-journal Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review and three additional East Asia scholars to explore the special issues’ thematic convergence on China and its neighbors, on space, and on cartography. Rather than regarding the emergence of the state as a top-down imposition, the three issues suggest that a vast range of state, ethnic, mercantile, and affective practices cohere to reify and give solidity to the fiction of the state. Further, the articles point to: 1) forms of territorial affiliation and sovereignty that are nodular and rhizomic, rather than spatially homogeneous; and 2) to tensions between the fiction of territorial fixity and the realities of a geopolitical footprint in flux. This roundtable discussion will, therefore, focus on two primary theoretical points: the state at the margins and territorial topologies. Audience participation in the discussion is encouraged.

The special issues are accessible on the open-access Cross-Currents website:

Frontier Tibet: Trade and Boundaries of Authority in Kham. Vol. 19 (June 2016) addresses questions of economic history and political legitimation in the Sino-Tibetan borderlands (https://cross-currents.berkeley.edu/e-journal/issue-19).

Mapping Vietnameseness. Vol. 20 (September 2016) explores the emergence of Vietnam’s geographical consciousness and the imagery of national belonging (https://cross-currents.berkeley.edu/e-journal/issue-20).

Cartographic Anxieties. Vol. 21 (December 2016) explores modern nations’ desire for cartographic appropriation and the anxieties that this desire generates (https://cross-currents.berkeley.edu/e-journal/issue-21).

Participants include:
Wen-hsin Yeh (UC Berkeley)
Pat Giersch (Wellesley)

Peter Perdue (Yale)
Kären Wigen (Stanford)
Hue-Tam Ho Tai (Harvard)
Franck Billé (UC Berkeley)
Stéphane Gros (CNRS)

 ieas@berkeley.edu, 510-642-2809