Kenneth Pomeranz

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1. On December 14-15, the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at the University of Southern California will be holding a “Colloquium on China Media Studies” (RSVP required). For those not able to attend, the event will be live-streamed at the above link, beginning at noon PST on December 14.

2. Ken Pomeranz will be giving two talks in Japan next week:

December 16, 2009: Kyoto University. Participant in the “Changing Nature of ‘Nature’: New Perspectives in Transdisciplinary Field Science” conference sponsored by the Global Center of Excellence on a Sustainable Humanssphere.

December 18, 2009: Tokyo University. “Land rights and long-run Development patterns: the Lower Yangzi in comparative perspective.”

3. Looking ahead to the American Historical Association’s annual meeting, to be held in San Diego January 7-10, 2010, we’ve gone through the meeting program and identified sessions that would be of particular interest to China-focused conference-goers:

Thursday, January 7:
“The Mandate of Heaven at the Local Level in Imperial China.”
“China’s Influence in Southeast Asia during the Cold War and Its Reflections in Today’s History Education”

Friday, January 8:
“Inventing China’s ‘Inseparable Parts’: Borderland Incorporation from Tibet to Taiwan in the Twentieth Century”
“Hidden Treasure: Literature as Historical Source”
“Globalizing the Middle Ages”
“Drugs in Chains: The Illicit Commodity in World History”
“Rethinking World History: A Roundtable”
“Domestic and Foreign Policy during the Cultural Revolution”

Saturday, January 9:
“Gender, Sex, and Slavery in East Asia”
“Carnal Encounters at the Edge of Sinophone Culture”
“‘Crossing the Beach’ in Southeast and East Asia: Redefining Sovereignty, Social Mobility, Vassalage, and Resistance, 1513-1777”
“Berlin, Taiwan, and Guantánamo: Cold War Islands of the ‘New’ New Cold War History”
“New Histories of Rice”
“The Political Economy of Chinese Development and Western Relations, 1940-80”
“Reconstruction beyond Black and White”
“Dissemination of Western Knowledge and Ideology in Late Imperial and Modern China”
“Construction and Reconstruction of Chinese Concepts of Self-Identity and Others at Four Historical Moments”

Sunday, January 10:
“Teaching U.S. History Abroad: Australia, China, Germany, Tunisia, Russia”
“Control, Discipline, and Order in Modern China”
“Mexico’s Chinese: Disputed Identities and Claims of Belonging”
“Bringing Peace and Life out of Chaos and Death: Christians in Republican China”
“Whither China: Intellectual Discourses on the Problems of the Urban and the Rural in 1910-40s China”

4. We’re hoping to see lots of China Beatniks at the 2010 annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, to be held March 25-28 in Philadelphia.

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By Ken Pomeranz

“Self-promotion Saturday?” My mother would be appalled, but times (and media cultures) change, and I do have a few things that might be of interest to China Beat readers. In addition to co-editing China in 2008 (which regular visitors to this site might possibly have heard of), I have another co-edited volume that came out this spring, and another book I edited has just come this summer.

The spring volume is The Environment and World History, 1500-2000 (UC Press), co-edited with Edmund Burke III; it includes both regional essays (I did the one on China), and topical ones (on energy and land use), plus an overview by yours truly (in which China figures prominently), that tries to make sense of the big picture.

The brand-new volume is The Pacific in the Age of Early Industrialization ca. 1800-1914 (Ashgate Publishing). This is the final volume in Ashgate’s 11 volume “Pacific World” series, and we take that term seriously – my volume looks at developments in Chile and California as well as China, Japan, Korea, and various parts of Southeast Asia. Several of the essays are classics – by Takeshi Hamashita, Kaoru Suighara and others – that were originally published in places where English-language readers may have a hard time finding them. I have added a long essay of my own on how development in different parts of the Pacific littoral have affected each other, on what is and isn’t distinctive about the way industrialization has occurred in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and coastal China, and about what some of this may mean for the contemporary world.

Last but not least, I have an essay coming out in two different places this week (actually already out in one of these venues) on China’s water problems, plans for additional mega-projects, and what the most ambitious of those plans – which focus on the waters of the Tibetan plateau – may mean for various groups of Chinese and for the even larger numbers of people who rely on Himalayan waters that start on China’s side of the border but wind up in South and Southeast Asia. (Those governments, of course, have their own plans, which are also covered.) This actually started out as a few paragraphs in the conclusion for China in 2008 and grew, and grew and

Anyway, there’s a more concise print version in the July/August issue of New Left Review, and a more detailed (and heavily footnoted) one online in Japan Focus: Asia-Pacific Journal. Not the most fun way to spend one’s summer – I became pretty depressed as I researched some of this – but it is an attempt to think through water problems and policies directly affecting roughly half the world’s population, whose future drinking water, irrigation water, hydropower, and so on may intersect amidst the retreating glaciers of Tibet.

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As part of our continuing follow-up on “China Beatniks in Beijing,” we wanted to share with you a couple links to articles on the talk Kenneth Pomeranz (彭慕兰) gave at Qinghua University, here and here (both in Chinese). Pomeranz’s talk for the Beijing Forum was at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, the site of Nixon and Mao’s meeting as well as the former home of Jiang Qing. Here are few pictures:

The outside of Diaoyutai


Ken Pomeranz speaking at the Beijing Forum

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