Modern East Asian Law and Global Perspective Workshop @ Columbia U. (April 15)

Idriss Fofana's picture
Dear All,
Next Saturday, April 15, we will be holding a workshop on "Modern East Asian Law in Global Perspective" in Kent 403, on Columbia University's Morningside campus, from 10am to 6pm.
To facilitate planning, please RSVP to
All the best,
Tristan Brown, Idriss Fofana and Colin Jones

Modern East Asian Law In Global Perspective

Kent 403, Morningside Campus, Columbia University

Recent scholarship has reinvigorated the study of legal history, expanding the set of concerns beyond their traditional conceptual, geographic, and methodological boundaries. For students of East Asia, the prospects this presents are exciting. What to do with the modifier “modern” in modern law has always been a thorny issue in our field. But as we have come to see familiar Western legal concepts as vitally conditioned by the globalization of European power, as opposed to distillates of a universally valid modernity, there are new opportunities to appraise the nature and significance of the transformation of East Asian legal systems in the 19th and 20th centuries. This workshop explores the theoretical, historiographical, and methodological issues at stake.

Saturday April 15, 2017

9:45 – 10:00       Opening Remarks

10:00 – 12:00      Panel I: Law and Territory

Commentator: Professor Arnulf Becker Lorca, Amherst College

“Cosmology After Empire: Negotiating Situated Knowledge of Landed Property in Early Twentieth Century China”

Tristan Brown, Columbia University

“Crime, Legal Practices and Colonial Rivalries along the Sino-Burmese Borderlands, 1902-1940s”

Professor Eric Vanden Bussche, Sam Houston State University

“Negotiating the Japan-Hawai’i Border: The Hawaiian Board of Immigration, 1886-1894”

Professor Paul Kreitman, Columbia University

“Translating Sovereignty: The Tibet Conventions between Britain and China, 1904-1906”

Ling-Wei Kung, Columbia University


12:00 – 1:00        Lunch

1:00 – 3:00         Panel II: Sources of Law

Commentator: Professor Taisu Zhang, Yale University

“Some Notes on the Local Case:
An Institutional Approach to Doing Justice in Qing History”

Professor Maura Dykstra, California Institute of Technology

“Whose Interest is ‘Public Interest’?
Public Order and Good morals in Chinese Contract Law”

Thomas Lafontaine Odom, Columbia University

“Knowing Communists: Mass Arrests and the Chinese Information Order in the Philippines and Taiwan, 1952-1961”

Chien Wen Kung, Columbia University


3:15-5:15            Panel III: Law and the Modernizing Enterprise

Commentator: Professor Andrew Sartori, New York University

“Father’s Blood and Mother’s Love: Parental Rights and Obligations in Modern Japan, 1868–1945”

Jooyeon Hahm, University of Pennsylvania

“Revolutionizing Parentally-Arranged Marriage in Early Republican China, 1912-1927”

Yue Du, New York University

“The Pirates’ Law:
Chinese Booksellers’ ‘Copyright’ Regime and its Western Copycat”

Professor Fei-Hsien Wang, Indiana University

“For Whom the Tree Falls: Forest Regulations in Chosŏn Korea's Last Century, 1800-1910”

John Lee, Harvard University


5:30 – 6:00            Roundtable: What Do We Want from Global History?

Professor Madeleine Zelin, Columbia University; Professor Arnulf Becker Lorca, Amherst University; Professor Taisu Zhang, Yale University; Professor Andrew Sartori, New York University