• Japan's Ocean Borderlands

    Indo-Pacific Maritime Hour (via Zoom) --

    10 October, 2023 – 2000 (Tokyo), 1900 (Singapore), 1200 (London), 0700 (New York)

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    *New date and time are now updated! Please Join us on October 10th!*


    Desert islands are the focus of intense geopolitical tensions in East Asia today, but they are also sites of nature conservation. In this global environmental history, Paul Kreitman shows how the politics of conservation have entangled with the politics of sovereignty since the emergence of the modern Japanese state in the mid-nineteenth century. Using case studies ranging from Hawai'i to the Bonin Islands to the Senkaku (Ch: Diaoyu) Isles to the South China Sea, he explores how bird islands on the distant margins of the Japanese archipelago and beyond transformed from sites of resource extraction to outposts of empire and from wartime battlegrounds to nature reserves. This study examines how interactions between birds, bird products, bureaucrats, speculators, sailors, soldiers, scientists and conservationists shaped ongoing claims to sovereignty over oceanic spaces. It considers what the history of desert islands shows us about imperial and post-imperial power, the web of political, economic and ecological connections between islands and oceans, and about the relationship between sovereignty, territory and environment in the modern world.


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    Paul Kreitman is associate professor of 20th century Japanese history in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University in the City of New York. Apart from Japan's Ocean Borderlands: Nature and Sovereignty (Cambridge University Press, 2023), his writing has also appeared in the journal Environmental History and media outlets such as The Financial Times, The Japan Times, Asahi Shimbun, Tōyō Keizai Online, The Diplomat and The New Statesman.

    Format: This event will be off-the-record.
    Moderator: John Bradford, YCAPS Executive Director

    Co-Sponsor: None

    Webinar Cost: Free of charge

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