Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

(3) Writing, Technology, and Information Politics in East Asia

3/22/2018
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Location: Maryland Suite C, Lobby Level

Starting in the late-nineteenth century, the Chinese writing system across East Asia encountered a world that it had never seen before. The rise of a capitalist world order, the constitution of new bureaucratic and legal regimes, and the inauguration of new communication technologies put unprecedented pressure on the use of Chinese characters. What kind of changes did the Chinese writing system go through to accommodate these transformations? How was it repurposed to inscribe new orders of social relations? What kind of alternative political possibilities did its “reform” open up?

This panel interrogates the interface between writing, language, and technology in East Asia from the late-nineteenth century onwards. Analyzing the originals of a large corpus of laws signed by the Japanese Emperor from 1886 to today, Raja Adal investigates the authority channeled by typewriting and handwriting in the making of Japanese legal modernity. Shifting gears from legal materiality to language politics, Daniel Pieper brings us textbooks from early pre-colonial and colonial Korea, and explains how Koreans and Japanese maneuvered through the contentious politics of Chinese characters and Korean vernaculars. Zhong Yurou traces how Chao Yuen Ren, father of modern Chinese linguistics, pursued the idea of sound writing, and raises fundamental questions about sound technologies and alphabetic universalism. Lastly, Ulug Kuzuoglu finds the historical origins of pinyin, the Chinese Latin Alphabet, in the reforms of the Arabic script in Western and Central Asia, and explores the value of political imaginations that came out of this forgotten Eurasian exchange.

Presentations:

Ulug Kuzuoglu

Columbia University, New York

Presentation(s):

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Jing Tsu

Yale University, Connecticut

Presentation(s):

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    Ulug Kuzuoglu

    Columbia University, New York

    Presentation(s):

    Send Email for Ulug Kuzuoglu

    Raja Adal

    University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

    Presentation(s):

    Send Email for Raja Adal


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