Call for Papers: Medieval Unfreedoms: Slavery, Servitude, and Trafficking in Humans before the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

Medieval Unfreedoms: Slavery, Servitude, and Trafficking in Humans before the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

October 19 – 20, 2018

Across the medieval world (c. 500 — c. 1500), multiple forms and degrees of unfreedom—slavery, serfdom, forced concubinage, coerced labor, captivity, and bondage—co-existed. Slaves and other unfree people made crucial, but often obscured, marks on societies that accorded them varying degrees of power even as they constrained and exploited them. Trade in humans tied together distinct cultural zones, religions, and geographic regions. Shifting definitions of freedom and unfreedom shaped evolving social systems, and helped to shape developing concepts of race, ethnicity, social status, and cultural difference and belonging from Iberia to Ethiopia and from Iceland to Persia and beyond. Scholars have long pondered the decline of an ancient Roman slave society and the legacy of both Roman and late-medieval forms of unfreedom for the emergence of the trans-Atlantic slave trade (and the concomitant transformation of slavery) and of colonial systems of race, power, and government. This interdisciplinary conference, hosted by the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CEMERS) at Binghamton University, seeks to bring together scholars whose research relates to unfreedom before the advent of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. We hope to foster conversations across traditional disciplinary boundaries about the definitions, cultural significance, and evolution of unfreedom in disparate parts of the medieval world. How does examining conceptions of freedom and unfreedom inform our understanding of medieval cultures? What is the legacy of medieval definitions of liberty and bondage? We particularly welcome comparative perspectives on unfreedom across religious and geographical frontiers.

We invite papers from a variety of disciplinary and methodological perspectives on any topic related to medieval unfreedom, including:

      Forms of unfreedom after the end of ancient slavery and on cultural frontiers

      Unfreedom in the Byzantine, Islamic, and Latin Christian worlds

      Trafficking in humans across political and religious frontiers

      Concepts of humanity, race, ethnicity, religion, and freedom

      Gender, sexuality, and unfreedom

      The interaction between slaving zones and centers of power

      The unfree at royal and aristocratic courts

      Textual and artistic unfreedoms

      Law, rights, and unfree status

      Manumission, social capital, and social mobility

      Varieties of coerced and unfree labor

      Raiding, piracy, and unfreedom

      Resistance and rebellion against bondage

Abstracts for individual papers and for sessions are invited. Papers should be 20 minutes in length. Send abstracts to cemers@binghamton.edu. For information, contact Elizabeth Casteen (ecasteen@binghamton.edu).

Deadline: May 1, 2018

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Book Announcement: Parody, Irony and Ideology in the Fiction of Ihara Saikaku

Parody, Irony and Ideology in the Fiction of Ihara Saikaku

David J. Gundry, University of California, Davis

The first monograph published in English on Ihara Saikaku’s fiction, David J. Gundry’s lucid, compelling study examines the tension reflected in key works by Edo-period Japan’s leading writer of ‘floating world’ literature between the official societal hierarchy dictated by the Tokugawa shogunate’s hereditary status-group system and the era’s de facto, fluid, wealth-based social hierarchy. The book’s nuanced, theoretically engaged explorations of Saikaku’s narratives’ uses of irony and parody demonstrate how these often function to undermine their own narrators’ intermittent moralizing. Gundry also analyzes these texts’ depiction of the fleeting pleasures of love, sex, wealth and consumerism as Buddhistic object lessons in the illusory nature of phenomenal reality, the mastery of which leads to a sort of enlightenment.

http://www.brill.com/products/book/parody-irony-and-ideology-fiction-ihara-saikaku

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Job Opening: Assistant Professor of East Asian History, Kenyon College

Institution: Kenyon College
Location: Ohio, United States
Position: Assistant Professor, Tenure Track Faculty

Kenyon College, a highly selective, liberal arts college in central Ohio, invites applications for a tenure track position in East Asian history, beginning 1 July 2018

The History Department at Kenyon College invites applications for a tenure-track position in East Asian History beginning July 1, 2018.  Period and region of specialization within East Asia and East Asian languages of research are open.  Candidates should be prepared to teach introductory surveys on modern and premodern East Asia, and upper-level seminars in their area of expertise or interest.  Other courses are open to the specific interests of the applicant.   Specialists on China, Japan, or Korea who understand East Asia in a transnational context are especially welcome.

The successful candidate will hold the James P. Storer Chair in Asian History, which includes funding for research and library acquisitions and the expectation of teaching four courses per year. In addition to maintaining an active research agenda and contributing to the curriculum of the History Department, the holder of the chair is also expected to promote awareness of East Asia across campus through engagement with students and faculty in the Asian and Middle East Studies Program, the International Studies Program, and other campus endeavors.

The History Department is comprised of a dozen historians with diverse thematic and geographic specializations (including two other Asianists), and values both excellence in undergraduate education and high quality research.

Candidates should have a record of excellent teaching and a Ph.D. in hand or be near completion by the beginning of the appointment (July 2018).

Applications should include (1) a letter of application, (2) a C.V., (3) graduate school transcript, (4) teaching statement, (5) three letters of recommendation, and (6) a writing sample.

To apply, candidates should visit the online application site found at http://careers.kenyon.edu.  Review of applications will begin on December 1 and will continue until the position is filled.

Kenyon College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. It is the College’s policy to evaluate qualified applicants without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, physical and/or mental disability, age, religion, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by institutional policy or state, local, or federal law.

Compensation and Benefits

Salaries at Kenyon are competitive and are commensurate with experience. There are a number of faculty development opportunities (e.g. travel, research funds, etc.) for which appointees are eligible.

In addition to an attractive salary, Kenyon offers benefits for employees and their family members. Children of employees are eligible for 100% tuition waivers at Kenyon, and through the Great Lakes Colleges Association, children of employees are eligible for 85% tuition waivers at fifteen other of the nation’s finest liberal arts colleges.

We also offer health and dental insurance, TIAA/CREF retirement, and many other benefits, including provisions for a spouse, families, and domestic partners. Details about benefits as well as conditions of employment are described more fully in our Faculty Handbook.

All questions should be directed to Prof. Stephen Volz, Chair, East Asia History Search (volzs@kenyon.edu).

Contact:All questions should be directed to Prof. Stephen Volz, Chair, East Asia History Search (volzs@kenyon.edu).Website: http://careers.kenyon.edu/

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Fun Link Friday: Robotic Fish

Although I’m quite late to the game on this one, on Twitter I stumbled across video of robotic fish developed in Japan and promptly ended up down a rabbit hole searching for video after video of these adorable and bizarre little buggers.

News Hub reported back in 2016 on the development of these fish by a Japanese company, Airo, and several other outlets have also been delighted by this, and I even stumbled across a website devoted to robotic fish. Who knew? There’s also videos of these fish being used to see underwater, which makes me wonder about the possibilities for deep dives into the ocean depths. Even South Korea is in on this robotic fish game, though I’m not so inclined to have their versions with spooky lit up eyes for a pet…

Take an hour off from your usual social media feed and get lost in the peaceful wiggles in the water. Happy Friday!

 

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Job Opening: East Asian Buddhist Studies

RECRUITMENT PERIOD

Open September 6th, 2017 through October 31st, 2017

DESCRIPTION

East Asian Buddhist Studies Position 2018-19:

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE, Irvine, CA 92697-6000. The Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures invites applications for an assistant professor tenure track position in East Asian Buddhist Studies, to begin teaching in Fall 2018. Teaching responsibilities will include lectures and seminars at the undergraduate and graduate level, as well as courses offered through the Program in Religious Studies. Candidates should also expect to advise graduate students in their area of expertise. The department values interdisciplinary approaches to research and teaching: we prefer a scholar whose research intersects with departmental research interests in gender, environmental studies, visual studies, theater and ritual performance, colonial studies, or translation; and who can teach materials from the Buddhist traditions of at least two regions in East Asia (i.e., China and Japan, Japan and Korea, or China and Korea). Qualifications: Ph.D. in Religion or East Asian Studies or related field with a specialization in Buddhism.

The department will begin reviewing applications November 1, 2017. Applications should be submitted electronically at https://recruit.ap.uci.edu/apply/JPF04259.

Candidates should submit a cover letter; a statement that describes research and teaching interests; a statement on teaching philosophy; a statement addressing how past and/or potential contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion will advance UC Irvine’s commitment to inclusive excellence; a current CV; and 3 letters of recommendation. The University of California, Irvine is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to excellence through diversity. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy.

Please direct questions about the electronic submission procedure to Michelle Hu (mahu@uci.edu) and any other questions about the search to Search Committee Chair, Susan Blakeley Klein (sbklein@uci.edu). To learn more about the Department, visit our website at http://www.humanities.uci.edu/eastasian/.

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Job Opening: Professor of the History of the Modern East Asia, Missouri State University

Institution: Missouri State University, History Department
Location:   Missouri, United States
Position:   Assistant Professor of the History of the Modern East Asia

~~The History Department at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO invites applications for a Tenure Track Assistant Professor of the History of the Modern East Asia (19th and 20th Century).  Area of specialty is open but the candidate must demonstrate an ability and willingness to teach the East Asian survey courses and upper level courses in East Asian History broadly in both geographical and chronological scope.  The successful candidate will also teach sections of World History and graduate courses in their area of specialty.  Candidates must also demonstrate a commitment to an ongoing research agenda in Modern Asian History.  Ph.D. must be completed within one year of initial appointment.  To apply, please submit a cover letter, curriculum vita, three confidential letters of recommendation and a syllabus in World History from 1600 and an upper-level course in East Asian History.

All application material, including letters of recommendation, must be submitted electronically at:  http://jobs.missouristate.edu/postings/35316.  First date of consideration is October 16 with the position remaining open until filled.  Employment will require a criminal background check at University expense.  Questions should be directed to the search committee chair, Dr. F.T. Miller (FTMiller@MissouriState.edu).  Missouri State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action/minority/female/veterans/ disability/sexual orientation/gender identity employer and institution.  We encourage applications from all interested minorities, females, veterans, individuals with disabilities and sexual orientation/gender identity.

Contact:

~~To apply, please submit a cover letter, curriculum vita, three confidential letters of recommendation and a syllabus in World History from 1600 and an upper-level course in East Asian History.  All application material, including letters of recommendation, must be submitted electronically at:  http://jobs.missouristate.edu/postings/35316. 

First date of consideration is October 16 with the position remaining open until filled.  Employment will require a criminal background check at University expense.  Questions should be directed to the search committee chair, Dr. F.T. Miller (FTMiller@MissouriState.edu).

Missouri State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action/minority/female/veterans/ disability/sexual orientation/gender identity employer and institution.  We encourage applications from all interested minorities, females, veterans, individuals with disabilities and sexual orientation/gender identity.

Website: http://jobs.missouristate.edu/postings/35316

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Call for Papers: Workshop: Layers of Interpretation – Commentarial Practices Throughout Buddhist Textual Traditions

The Doctoral Program in Buddhist Studies at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München is pleased to announce a call for papers for the workshop “Layers of Interpretation – Commentarial Practices Throughout Buddhist Textual Traditions,” to be held on June 15-16, 2018 in Munich, Germany, with keynote addresses by Prof. Rupert Gethin (University of Bristol) and Prof. Alexander Mayer (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).

We invite applications from both established and early career scholars, including PhD students.

The deadline for applications is November 15, 2017.

For the cfp, please click here:
http://www.buddhismus-studien.uni-muenchen.de/aktuelles/cfp_workshop/cfp_workshop_2018.pdf
http://www.en.buddhismus-studien.uni-muenchen.de/currentissues/cfp_workshop2018/index.html

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