Artist in Residence at DKU

_ao_ao_ing(老妖精)is a performance ensemble that is continuously morphing and finding its shape. Founded in 2018 and based in Shanghai, it has six core members from different disciplines and backgrounds. It is a non-hierarchical group that believes in art through collaboration. _ao_ao_ing makes performances that flirt with the line between theatre and everyday life; and create real-life happenings that cannot be replicated. They have been making works in and out of theatre –  on public bus, in open streets, rural villages, sex shops, cafes, art museums, online and so on.

“妖精符aoaoing incantation” – Woodblock prints by the artists

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Statelessness in Asia, Australia and the Pacific during the Global Second World War

The Humanities Research Center is pleased to announce the launch of research project: “Statelessness in Asia, Australia and the Pacific during the Global Second World War,” led by Kolleen Guy and Jay Winter.

In this research project, we interrogate the category of statelessness, in the hope of adding a new dimension to the history of refugees in the Second World War.  Statelessness is a form of social and political exclusion inflicted on German Jews after 1935 and on Austrian Jews after Anschluss in 1938.  It entailed loss of citizenship, or loss of standing with respect to the state and its power to protect its inhabitants.  In 1941, German and formerly Austrian Jews lost their right to nationality.  That is, on racial grounds, they were cast out from the German nation.  Having neither citizenship nor nationality, German Jews were stateless.  By the time approximately 20,000 German and Austrian Jews sought a safe haven in Shanghai in the early 1940s, they were no longer refugees; they were stateless people.

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Translating Blackness―A Brief History of African American Literature in Post-WWII Japan

The recording is now available here:

Presented by HRC Freedom Lab

February 22, 2022 @ 10am Beijing Time
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Speaker: Michio Arimitsu (Keio University)


For the publishers, translators, and general readers of kokujin bungaku [black literature] in post-WWII Japan, African American struggle for freedom and autonomy and their resilient cultural production have served as a provocative mirror, a self-reflexive textual space through which they have explored the interrelated questions of race and national identity. This talk will examine the historical and cultural significance of the formation of the Association of Negro Studies [the A. N. S., now renamed as Japan Black Studies Association] in the Western port city of Kobe in 1954 and the compilation and publication of the 13-volume Kokujin bungaku zenshu [The Complete Anthology of Black Literature] in Tokyo from 1961 to 63.

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Congratulations to Selina Lai-Henderson!

Selina Lai-Henderson, Assistant Professor of US Literature and History at DKU, has been named Chair of the International Committee at the flagship American Studies Association (ASA) starting 2022.She will be setting meeting  agendas in the committee on a range of affairs, from planning and moderating workshops for the annual ASA conference, to reviewing submissions for the Shelley Fisher Fishkin Award. Her primary goal during the two years in her position is to facilitate new conversations on transnational American Studies and to foster research collaborations among affiliates and global scholars in the field.

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2021 Fall Conference Student Report: Post-Conference Film & Discussion

Post-Conference Film and Discussion: That’s Not How I Remembered It

by Zishuo Wu

The Japanese film, Rashomon (1951), was introduced to the audience by Prof. Richard Davies in his film discussion titled, “That’s Not How I Remembered it.” With it being the first Japanese movie that made a splash overseas, Prof. Davies raised both cultural concerns and film-making thoughts for the audience. Then the movie was shown as the highlight of the event. Continue reading “2021 Fall Conference Student Report: Post-Conference Film & Discussion”

Student Report: Third Space Lab’s Guest Speaker Series 

Dr. Chad Hoggan: The Varieties of Transformative Experience

By Hantian Zhang
Class of 2025

On December 3rd, 2021, Dr. Chad Hoggan was invited as the speaker to Third Space Lab’s “Guest Speakers Series” to speak about “The Varieties of Transformative Experience.” As an Associate Professor of Adult & Lifelong Education at North Carolina State University and the Co-editor of the Journal of Transformative Education, Dr. Hoggan does research on significant learning experiences in adulthood.

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2021 Fall Conference Student Report – Cao Fei Keynote Address

By Hantian Zhang

As the last keynote lecture in 2021 Humanities Research Center’s Fall Conference, Behind the Scenes: Cao Fei in conversation with Zairong Xiang adopted a unique form. In this lecture, Professor Zairong Xiang, who researches in art and literature, asked questions to renowned multimedia artist Cao Fei, which generated a conversation for audience to obtain inspiration. (Due to the requirements of epidemic prevention and control, Cao Fei spoke online.)

To open up the theme of the conference: The Future of Work and Labor, Professor Xiang first introduced the guest speaker — Cao Fei, whose works reflect on mental changes in the rapid development of modern China and consistently focus on the question of labor in them through film, video, photography, and other media.

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2021 Fall Conference Student Report – Cao Fei Student Seminar

By Hantian Zhang

Cao Fei, winner of the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize (2021) , is an internationally-renowned Chinese contemporary artist. She was the guest of the one of the three student seminars in 2021 Humanities Research Center’s Fall Conference. The prerequisite of this seminar was to watch two of Cao Fei’s films about the future of work and labor – 11.11 (2018) and Asia One (2018).

11.11 is a documentary that records the work overload of the entire logistics system before and after the “double eleven” shopping day in China and reflecting on the reality. Asia One focuses on art performance. It shows an emotional entanglement between the “unmanned” (intelligentized production), “human” and “non-human” (robot). In this seminar, Cao Fei answered a series of edgy and meaningful questions from students, which provided lots of inspiration in art realm.

“Art is so romantic but what is its realistic function?” Continue reading “2021 Fall Conference Student Report – Cao Fei Student Seminar”