History seminars at the IHR

Comparative Histories of Asia

Convenors: Professor Naoko Shimazu (Birkbeck), Dr Taylor Sherman (LSE), Dr Andrea Janku (SOAS), Dr Owen Miller (SOAS), Dr Matthew Phillips (Aberystwyth), Dr Lily Chang (UCL)

Venues:  Room SH243, 2nd floor, South block, Senate House unless otherwise stated

Time: Thursdays, 5.30pm

Please note Please check each week for the room allocation.  We strongly recommend that you check the IHR website for updates. 

Some podcasts from this seminar are available online

Spring Term 2016
DateSeminar details
21 January Doctoral Competition

Samurai and Southern Belles: American Representations of the 1860 Japanese Embassy

Natalia Doan (Oxford)

"The baby that lived": infanticides and historical silence in postwar Japan.
Emily Chapman (SOAS)

Will of Fidelity: The Confucian Catholicism of Yi Byok
Patrick Kilkey (SOAS)

Everyone is welcome to drinks afterwards.

4 February Movement Control and Military Adaptation in Late Colonial South Asia

Dr Michael Charney (School of Oriental and African Studies)

18 February Endorsed by western privilege: modelling imperial power in Western Indian Ocean commerce

Dr Rebecca Darley (Birkbeck University of London)

The first historians and archaeologists to approach the subject of the Western Indian Ocean's ancient and medieval trade routes were frequently personally embedded in the imperial structures of south Asia. Many were imperial functionaries by day and worked long into the night writing scholarly articles, sometimes shaping colonial policy concerning archaeology and antiquities. Interpreting historic Indian Ocean trade in terms of their own realities, these scholars created a Euro-centric narrative of western Indian Ocean trade but also a picture of trade in which empires constituted default categories of organisation. This paper will approach the 'imperial default', first by examining how local loyalties and trans-regional intellectual networks shaped the relationship of Victorian scholars of ancient India with the imperial centre. It will then offer an alternative analysis of the western Indian Ocean c. A.D. 100-700 in which empires play a minor and often uninterested role.

3 March War, the state, and the formation of the North Korean industrial working class, 1931-1960

Dr Owen Miller (SOAS)

This paper examines how Koreans became industrial workers in the first and second phases of industrialisation on the peninsula: under Japanese colonial rule, 1931-1945, and under the DPRK's post-Korean War heavy industrialisation, 1953-1960. While the political regimes of the Japanese colony and postcolonial DPRK were different, industrialisation occurred under similar conditions, characterised principally by war, state-led development and imperialism. Processes of proletarianisation also reveal similarities in the two periods, including the widespread use of forced mobilisation and immobilisation of workers and a bureaucratic apparatus supporting close control of labour. In addition to illuminating the lesser-known origins of industrial modernity on the Korean peninsula, this paper contributes to the critique of conventional views about the role of 'free wage labour' under developing capitalism.

17 March TBA

Dr Jake Norris (University of Sussex)

Venue: Room SH246, 2nd floor, South block, Senate House