Shin Takahashi (Victoria University of Wellington)
Funding available for NZ-based scholars working on Southeast Asia to attend
This award is proudly supported by The
Nicholas Tarling Charitable Trust
Deadline for proposals: 10 February 2022
Announcement: 28 February 2022
Event: Asian Studies Association of Australia Conference
Dates: 5th - 8th July 2022
Venue: Monash University, Melbourne, conference hubs at Monash international campuses, and virtually
The ASAA Conference 'Social Justice in Pandemic Times' will bring together academics, activists, artists, students, practitioners and community members from across disciplines with shared interest in Asia, including Asian communities in Australia and globally. The theme of Social Justice is particularly apt as the region grapples with complex issues in a time of COVID-19. The conference is open to all who wish to share their scholarship and hear about Asia. It seeks to create conversation between people working across Asia. We welcome inter-country and interdisciplinary research and, befitting the theme, we aspire to ensure speakers represent all walks of life and engage a diverse range of topics.
Three awards will be funded by The Nicholas Tarling Charitable Trust (it is estimated that each award will cover the registration fee, return flights NZ-Australia, insurance of tickets, airport transfers, and four night’s accommodation):
1. Nicholas Tarling ASAA conference presentation (student). The total value of this award is NZ$2700.
2. Nicholas Tarling ASAA conference presentation (scholar). The total value of this award is NZ$2950.
3. Nicholas Tarling ASAA Keynote conference address. This award will support a person to present a keynote address at the ASAA, named the Professor Nicholas Tarling Keynote Address. The total value of this award is NZ$3683.
In each case the awarded sum will be paid directly to the successful applicant by The Nicholas Tarling Charitable Trust to a nominated New Zealand bank account. The awardee will then be responsible for making their own arrangements to attend the Conference.
How to apply
You must submit by the due date the following to this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
You must be based in New Zealand
You must work on Southeast Asia
You must be eligible to travel to Australia
Important note: Awarding of these grants is contingent on travel being permitted. If travel is not permitted due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions the grant may cover virtual registration fees. All travel costs are to be insured by a travel agent, must be fully refundable and if the travel is not permitted due to Covid-19 restrictions, must be returned to The Nicholas Tarling Charitable Trust.
Shin Takahashi (Victoria University of Wellington)
Call for Papers
This workshop focuses on international mobilities and migration as a way to understand the impacts of WWII across the Asia-Pacific region. Crises, including war, famine, natural disasters, political upheavals (such as revolution), epidemics and pandemics, create human mobilities and migration on a large scale. WWII was no exception. Charles Tilly describes World War II as “one of the greatest demographic whirlwinds to sweep the earth” (Tilly 2006). This demographic whirlwind also swept through the battlefields of the Asia Pacific region. While there is substantial research on war mobilities in the European context (deportees, expellees, refugees, etc.), much less is documented about similar experiences in Asia and the Pacific, despite ample cases of such mobilities (forced labourers, POWs, evacuees, etc.).
This disparity likely results from two factors. First, war histories tend to be researched within a paradigm of national history at the expense of inter-regional war mobilities. Second, international migration studies (IMS) have paid scarce attention to war migration/mobilities in Asia. This workshop will challenge dominant paradigms in both war histories and IMS and enrich various social histories of war.
Types of war mobility and migration that this workshop is concerned with include, but are not limited to, the following:
・Military personnel as (coerced) mobile/migrant military labour
・Civilian internees and labourers as forced migrants of war
・Evacuees and deportees as forced migrants of war
・POWs as forced migrants and forced labourers of war
・Embedded journalists and war artists
・Military medical staff
The key factor that must be addressed is the crossing of borders, whether internal or external, across land or water. The period of war mobilities and migration for this workshop is set from 1931 to 1953. In East Asia there were several battles prior to 1941, including the Manchurian incident. And just five years after the end of WWII the Korean war began, so again the Asia Pacific region was fighting a war, with the line between hot and cold never clear. This workshop thus situates WWII within a chain of small and larger conflicts. Although the focal period is from 1931 to 1953, the impacts of war mobilities and migration created ongoing effects and the causes may have had roots prior to 1931. Therefore, the period from 1931 to 1953 may be flexibly interpreted as regards the causes and impacts of war mobilities.
By identifying various types of war mobilities and migration, the transnational connections or disconnections resulting from them, and the manifested outcomes of these mobilities, this workshop aims to present complex histories of World War II and to shift familiar ways of understanding this war, and the empires and (changing) borders that have often defined it. Some key questions include:
・How did war mobilities and migration create new transnational connections or flows of ideas, while disconnecting other ones?
・How did war mobilities and migration challenge a regional framework by connecting Asia and the Pacific?
・How did war mobilities and migration impact on colonial structures and create different social realities and connectivities?
・How did war mobilities and migration reproduce and enforce colonial power structures?
・How did war mobilities and migration impact on gender roles and relations in colonial societies?
・How do war mobilities and migration in Asia and the Pacific enable us to contextualise this region in a world history of the Second World War?
SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS
While scholars from any stage of their career are welcome to apply to attend this workshop, early career researchers (ECRs) are particularly encouraged as one of the key aims is to support ECRs. Successful PhD and ECR applicants will have the opportunity to attend a presentation training and feedback session with the convenors prior to the workshop. (ERC eligibility: PhD awarded no earlier than 2016; career interruptions are also considered).
Selected papers from the workshop will be submitted to a Q1 journal (yet to be confirmed) as part of a special issue on war mobilities in the Asia Pacific War/WWII. Those selected for inclusion will be expected to work with the workshop convenors/special issue editors to revise their draft paper and to adhere to set deadlines. We anticipate publication in 2023/24.
◆Paper proposals should include:
1) a title;
2) an abstract (up to 500 words maximum);
3) a brief personal biography of 150 words); and
4) contact details.
Please use the template for your paper proposal
and submit your proposal to email@example.com.
1) Deadline for submission: 17 January 2022
2) Notification of outcomes of your submission: by 14 February 2022
3) Workshop presentation mentoring for ECRs: TBA June 2022
4) Online workshop: 18 & 19 July 2022.
・Dr Christine de Matos (Faculty of Arts & Sciences and Business & Law. The University of Notre Dame Australia)
・Dr Rowena Ward (School of Humanities and Social Inquiry, University of Wollongong, Australia)
・Associate Professor Yasuko Hassall Kobayashi (College of Global Liberal Arts, Ritsumeikan University, Japan)
To contact the convenors
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This workshop is funded by an Event Grant for the 2021 round from the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) & by the Institute of Humanities, Human and Social Science, Ritsumeikan University.
Courtney Powell (Victoria University of Wellington)
The Ainu people have a long history of fighting for recognition of the rights and indigeneity. The northernmost island of Japan, Hokkaidō, was colonised by the Japanese and Ainu rights to their land, culture and language have been continuously denied by a policy of expected assimilation. This would lead to attempts by Japanese to commodify and assert control over Ainu cultural practices. It took until June 2008 for the Japanese Government to pass a resolution that recognised the Ainu as the indigenous people of Hokkaidō. Prior to this, Japan promoted itself as an ethnically homogenous nation and Ainu were commonly accepted to have been assimilated completely into Japanese society. But they had not.
Scholars have examined the various resistance efforts Ainu have employed to these expectations. Richard Siddle's seminal work Race, Resistance and the Ainu of Japan remains influential and relevant to this day. ann-elise lewallen's work on Ainu women and their traditions have been of particular importance in considering intersectional feminist and indigenous histories. Their work in exploring Ainu histories, along with the increasing number of Ainu scholars, have shaped how Ainu history is understood, theorised and remembered. This has most recently included works that consider cultural engagement as a form of resistance; when the demand for assimilation was so overwhelming, simply participating in cultural practices, speaking the language, and eating traditional food is s form of protest. The development of publications and institutions centred on Ainu culture in the late-twentieth century has been particularly influential in the political and cultural gains that Ainu have made in the twenty-first century.
The Ainu cultural revitalisation movement from the 1970s initiated the emergence of groups and establishments made by Ainu, for Ainu. These efforts have enabled Ainu to embrace their traditions and gain a sense of cultural pride. Literary works and publications were especially important in laying the foundations for future endeavours that would encapsulate Ainu language programs and broadcasts. Language revitalisation programs in the 1980s were integral to intergenerational knowledge transmission and maintaining the vitality of the language. From the 1990s, these efforts would move beyond Hokkaidō and other practices such as cooking traditional meals would be introduced to a larger audience. These were integral steps which would see more Ainu spaces open, increasing recognition not just for Ainu as a people, but allow the impacts of assimilation to slowly be undone.
The independent Ainu newspaper, Anutari Ainu (We Humans) was a significant cultural development in the 1970s. It was reportedly made in response to turmoil during this period which saw Japanese activists protesting on behalf of Ainu through violent means. Ainu used alternative, peaceful methods in order to assert their cultural rights and discuss issues relevant to them. Anutari Ainu was published throughout from 1973 until 1976, spearheaded by primarily young, Ainu women. It was led by Dobashi Yoshimi née Hiramura and was contributed by several prominent Ainu figures such as Sasaki Masao. The publication was written in Japanese, arguably utilising the tools that had been an integral part of their subordination, to resist further marginalisation by encouraging Ainu cultural revitalisation. The paper published a wide variety of content from journalistic articles to poetry and prose. Young Ainu authors could promote their voices and it established a platform where they could explore their heritage.
In its first issue, Anutari Ainu discussed the matter of Ainu language revival. It is evident that the plight of the Ainu language, increasingly only spoken and understood by those of the older generations and failing to be passed on, was a pressing cultural issue. The article brought this matter to attention, but it would be until the 1980s that this would begin to be resolved. It was believed by this time that only 40 elderly Ainu could speak the language. But in 1983, the first Ainu-medium school was built. Ainu activist Kayano Shigeru established the Nibutani Ainu Language School, and this was quickly followed by others in Asahikawa (1987), Urakawa and Kushiro (1989). More were built across Hokkiadō in the 1990s. This was not the only integral language-related development of the period. In 1989 a radio-based Ainu language course was established in Hokkaidō on Sapporo Radio. It was expected to be a complementary program and continues to be broadcast today. However, it was only accessible to Ainu who lived in Hokkaidō, unfortunately out of reach for Ainu in the diaspora. However, the attempts to revitalise and thus maintain the Ainu language brought new advancements that bolstered the cultural revitalisation movement.
Despite the reach of the radio and language school remaining limited to those in Hokkaidō, Ainu in the diaspora would make their own communities and find other ways to engage with their traditions. Ainu increasingly began to move out of Hokkaidō and find work in cities like Tōkyō, in the largest island Honshū. An important place for these "urban Ainu" living in Tōkyō, was Rera Cise (House of Wind). Established in 1994, the restaurant was built by the local Ainu Association in Rera and was the first Ainu-cuisine restaurant to be established in Tōkyō. It showcased not only traditional food, but also food Ainu created after the Meiji period. This demonstrates not only the longevity of certain elements of Ainu traditions, but also the fluidity of culture and how that can change over time. The oldest cultural forms does not necessarily make it the most authentic, and cultural longevity is achieved by adapting and giving meaning to new practices. Rera Cise enabled Ainu of all generations to find comfort and community, engaging with their people and sharing food with all of Tōkyō.
These achievements were not only significant steps during their time, but their effects have rippled outwards into other endeavours. Language revitalisation continued with the non-profit association Urespa bringing together Ainu and Japanese students to learn the Ainu language and cultural practices together from 2010. Most significantly, the National Ainu Museum, Upopoy, opened in 2020. It was the culmination of 11 years of work to bring about a "symbolic space for ethnic harmony." It continues the mission that much of the publications and institutions of the 1970s–1990s strove to achieve, preventing the decline of Ainu language and practices, and promoting cross-cultural learning.
The fight for the wider recognition of Ainu is still not over, but the cultural revival movement over the past 50 years has changed the social and political landscape for Ainu. Their contemporary inclusion in the larger Japanese narrative is evident with their inclusion in the Tōkyō 2020 Olympics, despite initially being omitted from the opening ceremony. Ainu activists and scholars continue their work into today, unceasing in their endeavour to continue to maintain awareness and cultural pride for the next generations.
"アイヌ語ラジオ講座." STVラジオ. https://www.stv.jp/radio/ainugo/index.html.
"About Upopoy." Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park. https://ainu-upopoy.jp/en/about/.
Lewallen, Ann-Elise. “Hands That Never Rest: Ainu Women, Cultural Revival, and Indigenous Politics in Japan.” PhD, University of Michigan, 2006.
Sala, Gary C. “Protest and the Ainu of Hokkaido.” Japan Interpreter 10, no. 1 (1975): 44–65.
Siddle, Richard. Race, Resistance, and the Ainu of Japan. London; New York: Routledge, 1996.
Smith, James. “Aborigines ‘Rising Up, Though a Little Late’ : Japan’s Ainu Discover New Pride in Their Heritage.” Los Angeles Times. November 1, 1987. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1987-11-01-mn-17706-story.html.
Uzawa, Kanako. “Everyday Acts of Resurgence and Diasporic Indigeneity among the Ainu of Tokyo.” In Indigenous Efflorescence, edited by Gerald Roche, Hiroshi Maruyama, and Åsa Virdi Kroik, 179–204. Beyond Revitalisation in Sapmi and Ainu Mosir. ANU Press, 2018.
 Richard Siddle, Race, Resistance, and the Ainu of Japan, Sheffield Centre for Japanese Studies/Routledge Series (London; New York: Routledge, 1996).
 Ann-Elise Lewallen, “Hands That Never Rest: Ainu Women, Cultural Revival, and Indigenous Politics in Japan.” (PhD, University of Michigan, 2006).
 Gary C. Sala, “Protest and the Ainu of Hokkaido,” Japan Interpreter 10, no. 1 (1975): 62.
 James Smith, “Aborigines ‘Rising Up, Though a Little Late’ : Japan’s Ainu Discover New Pride in Their Heritage,” Los Angeles Times, November 1, 1987, https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1987-11-01-mn-17706-story.html.
 "アイヌ語ラジオ講座," STVラジオ, https://www.stv.jp/radio/ainugo/index.html.
 Kanako Uzawa, “Everyday Acts of Resurgence and Diasporic Indigeneity among the Ainu of Tokyo,” in Indigenous Efflorescence, ed. Gerald Roche, Hiroshi Maruyama, and Åsa Virdi Kroik, Beyond Revitalisation in Sapmi and Ainu Mosir (ANU Press, 2018), 194.
 "About Upopoy," Upopoy National Ainu Museum and Park, https://ainu-upopoy.jp/en/about/.
By Associate Professor Sharyn Davies (Monash University)
The ASAA Conference 'Social Justice in Pandemic Times' will bring together academics, activists, artists, students, practitioners and community members from across disciplines with shared interest in Asia, including Asian communities in Australia and globally.
The theme of Social Justice is particularly apt as the region grapples with complex issues in a time of COVID-19.
The conference is open to all who wish to share their scholarship and hear about Asia. It seeks to create conversation between people working across Asia. We welcome inter-country and interdisciplinary research and, befitting the theme, we aspire to ensure speakers represent all walks of life and engage a diverse range of topics.
The biennial Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) conference is the largest gathering of experts working on Asia in the southern hemisphere and has been a regular feature of Australian scholarly life since 1976.
The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. We promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts.
We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia.
The ASAA warmly thanks Monash University and the Herb Feith Engagement Centre for taking on the role as hosts of the 24th biennial ASAA conference in 2022.
Call For Papers
For more information, please click the link:
By Dr. Chia-rong Wu (University of Canterbury)
Call for Chapter Proposals
Taiwan Literature in the 21st Century: 16 New Chapters
Editors: Chia-rong Wu and Ming-ju Fan
Publisher: Springer (Sinophone and Taiwan Studies Series)
Proposal Submission Deadline: November 1, 2021
Co-edited by Dr. Chia-rong Wu (University of Canterbury) and Professor Ming-ju Fan (National Chengchi University), Taiwan Literature in the 21st Century: 16 New Chapters is an anthology of research under contract with Springer, one of the leading publishers in the world. It not only engages with the evolving trends of literary Taiwan, but also promotes the translocal consciousness and cultural diversity of the island-state. The list of topics includes but is not limited to human rights, political and social transitions, post-nativism, indigenous consciousness, science fiction, ecocriticism, gender and queer studies, and localization and globalization. The edited volume will contain sixteen chapters of approximately 6,000 words each, including footnotes and bibliographies. The editors will consider to extend the volume to twenty chapter upon the approval of Springer. Each chapter closely examines an individual author through vigorous research and engagement with current scholarship. The goal is to rethink existing prominent topics and further explore innovative takes on Taiwan literature. The book is scheduled to be published in 2023.
To be considered for contribution to the edited volume, please submit a CV and a chapter proposal no longer than 250 words to Chia-rong Wu (email@example.com) by November 1, 2021. We are looking forward to receiving proposals on the following Taiwanese writers: Chang Kuei-hsing, Chen Xue, Chung Wen-yin, Akira Higashiyama, Li Yung-ping, Liglav A-wu, Luo Yijun, Shawna Yang Ryan, Tong Wei-ger, Zhang Yi-xuan, and Egoyan Zheng.
Please do not submit proposals on Kevin Chen, Gan Yao-ming, Hsia Yu, Huang Chong-Kai, Lai Hsiang-yin, Li Ang, Shaman Ranpoan, Wang Wen-hsing, and Wu Ming-yi because these writers have been selected. A proposal on any Taiwanese writer not on the above list will be considered, as long as it addresses essential topics related to the collection and/or speaks to the evolving trend of Taiwan literature in the 21st century.
The edited volume follows American English spelling conventions and Springer Humanities Style, which is based on the Chicago Manual of Style.
November 1, 2021 Chapter proposal due
November 15, 2021 Notification of acceptance for contribution
May 15, 2022 Submission of chapter manuscript to editors
Contact Information of the Editors
Chia-rong Wu, Senior Lecturer, University of Canterbury (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ming-ju Fan, Distinguished Professor, National Chengchi University (email@example.com)
By Malcolm McKinnon (Victoria University of Wellington)
On March 23 the Centre for Strategic Studies at VUW hosted the first of a projected series of webinars with a Southeast Asia focus. The webinar, titled "Mainland Southeast Asia power, protest and participation' focused on recent developments in mainland Southeast Asia: an unprecedentedly iconoclastic wave of mass protests in Thailand; a critical National Party Congress in Vietnam; and the overthrow of the elected government in Myanmar by the country’s military. Beyond the drama of the headlines, developments in all three countries demonstrated ongoing tensions between authoritarian regimes or forces and the rights of people to participate in, to protest and to exercise political power. The three speakers were Professor Thitinan Pongsudhirak, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand; Wai Wai Nu, Peace, Human Rights and Women Rights Advocate, Founder of Women's Peace Network, Myanmar; and Nguyen Khac Giang, Victoria University of Wellington. The discussant was Professor Natasha Hamilton-Hart from the University of Auckland and the webinar was chaired by Emeritus Professor Rob Rabel. A recording of the webinar can be accessed through CSS.
We would like to invite to the upcoming book launch event to celebrate some of our colleagues who have recently published books.
The books include:
These books will be of particular interests to scholars in and of Asia as well as our wider community of anthropologist, ethnographers, and scholars thinking about social, environmental, and political change more broadly.
We would love it if you could join us to mark this event (If you are in Wellington). At the launch, we’ll introduce the books, some key arguments, and you’ll also hear from local authors whose works are included in the book(s). This small discussion around the books will be followed by light refreshments and drinks.
The evening celebration has generously been supported by School of Social and Cultural Studies (SACS) and Centre for Science in Society (CSiS) at Te Herenga Waka | Victoria University of Wellington. It is also supported by New Zealand Association of Asian Studies (NZASIA)and the Association of Social Anthropologists of Aotearoa/New Zealand (ASAA/NZ).
Thursday, May 27th, 2021
4:00 – 6:00 pm
Hunter Council Room
By Dr Alexander Brown
Disasters are complex natural and socio-political phenomena and their meanings shift in historical and geographical perspective. The Great East Japan
Earthquake Disaster of 11 March 2011, which came to be known by the shorthand ‘3.11’, originated with a major earthquake that triggered a massive tsunami that hit the northeast coast of Japan. These events combined to cause a major nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.
Critical scholars and activists have highlighted the ways in which the 3.11 disaster has been mobilised by nationalistic frames. These included exhortations to buy food products from the disaster-affected regions – despite valid concerns over radioactive contamination of some foodstuffs – and the deployment of notions of kizuna (the ties that bind) by state and corporate actors to encourage a sense of being ‘in this together’ rather than apportioning blame for the disaster to nuclear power plant operators and regulators. Nevertheless, it was clear from the beginning that the 3.11 disaster was global in scale and there have been multiple attempts to understand the disaster beyond the national frame.
As a scholar and activist who has lived in both Australia and Japan during the ten years since 3.11, I have mapped the transpacific geographies of the disaster imagined and enacted by activists in both countries. My personal experiences reflect the structural relationship between these two modern nation states. The American ‘atoms for peace’ initiative of the 1950s sought to preserve American leadership in nuclear policy by supporting American allies to develop civilian nuclear power programmes. The result has been a nuclear relationship between Australia and Japan that takes the form of a civilian energy partnership. Australia supplies Japan with uranium for electric power generation but the trading relationship is situated within military alliances underpinned by the destructive power of the American nuclear umbrella.
Australia’s nuclear relationship with Japan began with the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, when Australia prisoners of war were irradiated in Nagasaki. Australian troops later took command of Hiroshima as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces. There they witnessed the terrible aftereffects of the bomb. Many Australians supported the use of nuclear weapons against Japan because they believed that it had been decisive in helping end the war. Support for the use of these weapons was eroded, however, by the emergence of a transnational anti-nuclear movement in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1958 Australian peace and anti-nuclear activists organised a tour of a series of large-scale mural artworks by the Japanese artists Maruki Toshi and Maruki Iri. The public flocked to see the works, known as The Hiroshima Panels. These haunting images created lasting memories of the horror of nuclear war. The panels visited New Zealand, too, where they influenced a number of people who would go on to become leading artists and activists.
Significant uranium deposits were discovered in Australia in the 1970 just as the global nuclear power industry was gathering steam. Opposition to its mining and export was driven by concerns about radiation risks and mining development and by fears that once exported, Australian yellowcake might make its way into nuclear weapons. Furthermore, the uranium was located on Aboriginal land. Opposition in Australia to uranium exports thereby provided a major impetus for the development of intersectional struggles that brought Indigenous people together with unions, the peace movement and a nascent environment movement. The legacy of this movement dating back to the 1970s created transnational memories of anti-nuclear struggle. After 3.11, these memories informed anti-nuclear protest in Australia.
Mirarr Senior Traditional Owner Yvonne Margarula, an Aboriginal elder whose Country in northern Australia encompasses Ranger, one of the world’s largest uranium mines, was one of the first to articulate the geographical link between Fukushima and Australia. The mine, she correctly supposed, had supplied yellowcake for the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. Mirarr country is located far from northeast Japan but for Margarula the Fukushima disaster was a deeply personal tragedy. She saw it as the direct result of mining sacred sites on her Country, mining which her father had warned would have fatal consequences. The slogan ‘Australian Uranium Fuelled Fukushima’ underpinned a campaign of anti-nuclear protest in Australia that has highlighted the transpacific dimension of 3.11.
In 2014, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō visited Australia where he posed with then Prime Minister Tony Abbott in front of a giant Komatsu 930E dump truck at the West Angelas iron ore mine. ‘Manspreading’ in front of this symbol of Japanese manufacturing and Australian resource might, the two reaffirmed their commitment to a bilateral relationship based on extractive industry. Abe’s visit stands in stark contrast to another bilateral encounter that occurred the same year in Jabiru, the mining town built to house workers at the Ranger mine. There, former Japanese prime minister Kan Naoto, who held the office at the time of the March 2011 disaster, met with Mirarr Traditional Owners to listen to their stories of a decades-long struggle against radioactive racism. This second visit showed that another Australia-Japan relationship is possible, one that is based on decolonisation, respect for the environment and peace.
In the ten years since Fukushima, the Japanese nuclear industry has languished in the face of electricity market deregulation, regulatory uncertainty, legal ambiguity and persistent public opposition to nuclear power. On the other hand, the struggle against nuclear power, uranium mining and nuclear weapons has strengthened transpacific civil society. An example of this is Japanese NGO Peace Boat’s partnership with the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a coalition of non-governmental organisations founded in Melbourne. As a member of ICAN’s International Steering Group, Peace Boat has organised and supported tours of Japanese nuclear bomb survivors and survivors of the 3.11 nuclear disaster to Australia and invited Australian Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to speak about their struggles in Japan. ICAN’s principal campaigning has focused on the development of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, a new international legal instrument which bans the possession of nuclear weapons. The treaty, which entered into force in January this year, has been driven from below by civil society activism and by the diplomacy of mostly smaller nations, including many in the Pacific.
Neither Australia nor Japan have signed the treaty as yet. Both nations remain militarily and politically enmeshed in the US nuclear umbrella and the global nuclear fuel cycle. Ten years after 3.11, it remains the responsibility of civil society to make the long-held dream of a nuclear free Pacific a reality.
 Alexander Brown, Anti-nuclear protest in post-Fukushima Tokyo: power struggles, Routledge, London, 2018; Alexander Brown and Catherine Tsukasa Bender, ‘The global hiroba: transnational spaces in Tokyo’s anti-nuclear movement’, in Richard J. White, Simon Springer and Marcelo Lopes de Souza (eds), The practice of freedom: anarchism, geography and the spirit of revolt, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, 2016, pp. 133–52.
 Alexander Brown, The Hiroshima Panels and Australia, in Shinnosuke Takahashi and Yasuko Hassall Kobayashi (eds) Transpacific visions: connected histories of the Pacific across north and south, Lexington Books, forthcoming.
 Hannah Joy Sawada, ‘The Hiroshima Panels: their reverberations in the arts of nuclear-free New Zealand’, Nihon Nyūjiirando gakkaishi, vol. 25, 2018, pp. 14–23.
 Alexander Brown, ‘Transnational memory and the Fukushima disaster: memories of Japan in Australian anti-nuclear activism’, PORTAL: Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies, vol. 17, nos 1–2, 2020, https://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/index.php/portal/article/view/7094/7603
By James Beattie, Victoria University of Wellington
Can you let me know about two current projects you are working on, and why you think they are important?
Kirsten: This week I've been working on the Ventnor memorial project for the New Zealand Chinese Association (NZCA). On 9 December 2020, our Ventnor memorial was officially blessed alongside the newly opened Manea Footprints of Kupe Cultural Centre in Opononi. The memorial is for the 499 former Chinese miners whose remains were lost when the SS Ventnor sunk off the Hokianga coast in 1902. The NZCA memorial features the names of all 499 people whose remains were lost, plus the 13 passengers and crew who lost their lives in the sinking.
The Ventnor story is really one of our community's most significant historical moments because it is literally a living piece of history. After the boat sank, remains began washing ashore and were picked up and cared for by those who lived along the coastlines, including people from Te Roroa and Te Rarawa who live to the south and north of the Hokianga Heads. They have been caring for the history and the remains since 1902. The Chinese community of descendants was only made aware of this in 2007. Since then we have formed close relationships with Te Roroa and Te Rarawa, Te Mahurehure and now Te Hua o te Kawariki Trust which is behind the Manea centre.
This memorial was always about honouring our ancestors, but it was also to pay homage to the kind people of the Hokianga who have been caring for our ancestors' remains for all this time. We feel it's a history that should be remembered and celebrated, especially because of the values that make this story so special: the importance of ancestral heritage, the links to the land, the relationships within and between families and communities, and the importance of kindness. The memorial, we hope, will be just the beginning of an ongoing story.
And to do a complete turnaround, the other thing I've been working on in the past few days has been NZCA's response to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority after writings by a white supremacist, Lionel Terry, were included in an NCEA Level 2 history exam. Terry murdered an elderly man, Joe Kum Yung, on Wellington's Haining St in 1905 to bring attention to his anti-Chinese views. The wonderful writer Chris Tse wrote an excellent Spinoff article about this: Rhymes of the ancient murderer: How a racist killer became an NCEA question There's also an incredibly powerful poem written by the young woman, Cadence Chung, who along with her friend Julia Randerson, first brought the issue to public attention. The poem is published on Poetry Shelf and is titled Shadows/Shades. Both are incredibly rewarding pieces of writing.
Nigel: The major project at the moment is an update of the Poll Tax Report commissioned by the NZCA in 1992 as part of its campaign to obtain an official apology from the government for the poll tax (which was achieved in 2000) The update is very much expanded and includes a lot more background on the people who paid the tax, where they came from, how they got here, what sort of people they were, and what their life was like here. I’ve also discovered some facts that rather upturn the current narrative on the poll tax story from the New Zealand government side. I’m also involved in a project co-ordinated by Sydney Shep and Ya-Wen Ho 賀雅雯 from the Wai-te-ata Press at Victoria University to translate and publish – with contextual narrative – a series of poems written by the editor of the Dominion Federation of Chinese Commercial Growers Monthly Journal, and published in that journal in the late 1960s. They’re a fascinating insight into Chinese New Zealand life at the time, and I’m sure it will be a major contribution to Chinese New Zealand studies. I’m also contributing a chapter for an upcoming book on the extreme Right in New Zealand. The chapter will look at the ongoing influences of the 20th-century White New Zealand policies on Far Right attitudes and thinking in New Zealand in the 2020s.
What do you think would be a good way to help connect community-led, independent researchers and university academics?
Kirsten: We should all be seeking common ground I think. I love it when university academics actively include communities. It's an old saying but it still holds true - never about us without us. I'm a big fan of the work of Dr Sydney Shep and Ya-Wen Ho of Victoria University's Wai-te-Ata Press. They've been fantastic in building and nurturing community relationships, as well as bringing members of the faculty together with community members. We need more spaces like that.
Nigel: There are a couple of factors that make doing this quite difficult. The main one is that academic and community historians are coming from different places and are generally heading in different directions. The difference lies in the purposes of the two forms of history, their aims, their approaches, and their desired outcomes. Both forms fulfil quite separate needs. One fulfils deeply personal needs and addresses both personal and community identities. The other is objective, dispassionate, forensic, and universal. Histories of Chinese people in New Zealand written by community historians tend to consist of lists of people and heroic tales of pioneers in a "let us now praise great men" form. In these histories the pioneers are all brave, good, compassionate, and resourceful. They overcome great obstacles to found the successful, happy families of today. As far as Chinese New Zealand history is concerned at the moment the focus is on lists of names and family stories, and this is what the community is wanting.
The academic approach is quite the opposite. It analyses Chinese New Zealand history through the lens of whatever theory is predominant at the time. It focuses on whys and wherefores, numbers, statistics, patterns of cause and effect, and wider regional, national and global forces that individual Chinese New Zealanders at the time would likely have known very little about. This approach, however, tends to take away the individual actor’s agency and “will to power.” Family historians like to think their ancestors were not prey to outside forces, that they created themselves, Prometheus-like, out of nothing. Academic historians, on the other hand, are aware how little say people have in how they live their lives, and why they act the way they do, both in the present and in the past. Family historians ask, how did their ancestors do what they did. Academic historians ask why, and what forces caused them to do what they did. It’s the difference between the personal and the universal.
Indeed, it has been said that all minority writing is considered to be always and already autobiographical. As Vietnamese film-maker, writer and academic Trinh T. Minh-ha reminds us, "the minority's voice is always personal; that of the majority, always impersonal." Chinese New Zealand writing, like much minority writing, is perceived as autobiographical in the sense that writing by Chinese New Zealanders is "about" their experience as Chinese New Zealanders in a way that Anglo-New Zealand writing, with its assumption of universality, is never "about" being white. The history of the dominant, unlike that of the minority, is perceived to be universal or unmarked. An ethnic history, following this logic, is a private, personalized history than cannot transcend to the level of the general and the public.
Another factor that hinders relationships between the academy and the community is that Chinese studies beyond language are in a very parlous state in New Zealand universities. It is not really possible to study Chinese history – let alone Chinese New Zealand history – in New Zealand universities beyond the very broadest of overviews in introductory courses. The motivation for research can also be radically different for academics compared to community historians. These motivations can privilege career concerns over the “usefulness” of academic histories to the Chinese community. In terms of the academy the “usefulness” of such histories is often completely irrelevant to the reasons for writing them. Lastly, the number of academics who are studying Chinese New Zealand history is tiny. This results in what one academic described as a lot of surface but very little depth, of people with good general knowledge but few with in-depth specialised expertise.
The question was, how can one connect community researchers and university academics to advance the study of Chinese New Zealand history. It appears that the community historians need a broader view, and the university academics a narrower one. The community needs a little less of the personal and the academics need a little more. At the moment the two groups have very little in common. They have different aims, approaches, motivations, expectations, and audiences. The academic is largely an individual pursuing individual aims while the community historian is always representative of and answerable to their communities. The way I see it, the only way to begin to overcome the vast distances between the two groups is to start dialogues and build relationships, however small and tentative these might be. Despite my misgivings it seems that events such as the Dragon Tails conference held at Victoria University last year have become a useful space for the community and the academy to meet and talk in a neutral and relatively equal environment. Beyond that, for me, the way towards achieving the aim stated above seems unclear at best.