Cornell East Asia Program Lecture and Media Series

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    Chasing Dreams from Africa to China: Guangzhou Dream Factory Discussion
    East Asia Program; Badgley, Christiane; Ivory, Tristan; Goffe, Tao Leigh; Huang, Kun (2021-02-24)
    "Guangzhou Dream Factory" (2016) weaves stories of Africans chasing alluring, yet elusive, “Made in China” dreams into a provocative critique of 21st-century global capitalism. Featuring a dynamic cast of men and women from Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda, Guangzhou Dream Factory provides a rare glimpse of African aspirations in an age of endless outsourcing. Filmmaker Christiane Badgley along with faculty Tristan Ivory and Tao Leigh Goffe moderated by grad student Kun Huang discussed the film with audience members.
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    Why Is My Milk Blue?: China's Food Safety Crisis and Scale Politics
    Yasuda, John (East Asia Program, Cornell University, 2015-03-16)
    China's food safety
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    Japanese Videogames as Cultural Artifacts
    Hutchinson, Rachael (East Asia Program, Cornell University, 2022-04-18)
    What are we learning when we play video games from Japan? Rachael Hutchinson (University of Delaware) examines the cultural content of Japanese videogames through character design, background setting and environment, aesthetic style, thematic content, and game dynamics. We will consider how mid-1990s games converged around ideas of nuclear power and bioethics, making works like Final Fantasy VII and Metal Gear Solid valuable windows into social anxieties expressed in the Japanese arts. This video was recorded on April 18, 2022.
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    Robo-Sexism: Gendering AI and Robots
    Robertson, Jennifer (East Asia Program, Cornell University, 2022-04-22)
    Jennifer Robertson, Professor Emerita, Anthropology and History of Art, University of Michigan In humans, gender constitutes an array of learned behaviors that are cosmetically enabled and enhanced. Gender(ed) behaviors are both socially and historically shaped and are also contingent upon many situational influences, including individual choices. How is gender assigned in actual (as opposed to fictional) robots? Robertson will explore the sex/gender stereotypes and operational functions informing the design and embodiment of artificial intelligence (AI) and robots, especially humanoids and androids. Robots have been imagined, designed, and deployed in rhetorical and tangible forms alike to reinforce conservative models of sex/gender roles, ethnic nationalism, and "traditional" family structures. Robertson considers the ramifications of "retro-tech" and also nascent efforts to redress robo-sexism. This is a University Lecture sponsored by the Cornell Department of History and the University Lectures Committee, co-sponsored by the East Asia Program at Cornell.
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    Qiufan Chen | 2041: How Chinese Science Fiction Imagines Our Future
    Chen, Qiufan (East Asia Program, Cornell University, 2022-04-28)
    The greatest value of science fiction is not in providing answers, but rather in raising questions. Can AI help humans prevent the next global pandemic by eliminating it at the very root? How can we deal with future job challenges? How can we maintain cultural diversity in a world dominated by machines? How can we teach our children to live in a society where humans and machines coexist? Welcome to 2041! Qiufan Chen (Stanley Chan) is an award-winning Chinese speculative fiction author, translator, and curator. His major works include Waste Tide (Locus Best New Novel Finalist), as well as short story collections Future Diseases and Algorithms for Life, which have won him three Chinese Galaxy Awards and fifteen Chinese Nebula Awards. His recent works include AI 2041 (with Dr. Kai-Fu Lee), in which he imagines our world in 2041 and how it will be shaped by AI. This event was recorded on April 28, 2022 and included participation from Professor Anindita Banerjee, Comparative Literature, Cornell University.
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    Cold War Reckonings: In the Shadow of Solzhenitsyn
    Kim Watson, Jini (East Asia Program, Cornell University, 2022-04-01)
    Cold War Reckonings: In the Shadow of Solzhenitsyn with Jini Kim Watson, NYU. How did the Cold War shape political modernity in the decolonizing world, and what do literature and literary networks reveal about such political contestations and their afterlives? In the first half of the presentation, Kim gives an overview of her new book, "Cold War Reckonings: Authoritarianism and the Genres of Decolonization" (Fordham UP, 2021), which examines cultural production that emerges from, and reflects upon, the entanglement of the Cold War and decolonization in East and Southeast Asia. In the second half, she considers several high-profile dissident writers from the region: Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Kim Chi-ha, and Ninotchka Rosca. Kim argues that these figures challenge Cold War liberal, human-rights notions of the dissident Third World writer via their emphases on incomplete decolonization and bipolar economic restructuring. Such an analysis, suggests Kim, helps us parse the way Cold War exigencies reshaped notions of literary and political freedom in postcolonial Asia.  This event is facilitated by Bonnie Chung, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Literatures in English at Cornell University. Co-sponsored by the Asian American Studies Program and Literatures in English Department.