York gets Canada Research Chair in modern Chinese history

Joshua Fogel, one of the world’s leading scholars of modern Asian studies, has been awarded a Canada Research Chair and will begin his work at York in July. The announcement was made Friday in Winnipeg by David Emerson, minister of industry and minister responsible for the Canada Research Chairs Program.

Joshua FogelRight: Joshua Fogel on the Great Wall of China

A specialist in Chinese-Japanese cross-cultural connections who received his PhD in history from Columbia University in 1980, Fogel comes to York’s Department of History, Faculty of Arts, from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he has taught since 1989. Fogel was also visiting professor at the Institute for Research in the Humanities, Kyoto University, from 1996 to 1997 and visiting Mellon Professor in East Asian Studies at the School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton University, New Jersey, from 2001 to 2003.

The history of modern China cannot be fully or properly understood, Fogel maintains, without examining the dynamic cultural, political, and economic interactions between China and Japan over the last two centuries. Fogel’s research focuses on this interaction and the importance of Japan in China’s modern development. He has translated a number of important texts into English from Chinese and Japanese, which reveal changing Chinese attitudes towards Japan (and vice versa) from the fourteenth through to the 19th century.

As Canadian Research Chair in the History of Modern China at York, Fogel will continue to advance the study of modern China through a pan-Asian lens.The activity and profile of this Canada Research Chair will be enhanced by connection with the York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR), which provides an interdisciplinary focus for the study of Asia. Fogel enjoys an outstanding international reputation, including in East Asia, which will permit him to lead the development of innovative research at York on an international scale.

York has developed many links with business, community organizations, and surrounding municipalities which have significant Asian communities. Its current relationships with China is built upon a long history of close academic ties at both the institutional and individual levels, and the Chair will advance the University’s objective to fortify and expand these international partnerships. Fogel’s links with institutions in China and Asia can be expected to lead to opportunities for further development of partnerships and collaborations for York and Canada.

Fogel is currently writing two books, both concerned with Sino-Japanese relations and centred in Shanghai in the 19th century. One book focuses on the first modern Japanese mission to China of 1862 using Japanese travel narratives from the voyage and newly discovered Chinese documents written by the bureaucrats whom the Japanese visitors met in Shanghai. The other book is a study of Shanghai’s first modern Japanese community, from its inception in the 1860s until the first Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895. In it, Fogel seeks to answer questions about Japanese society away from Japan and what communal institutions those expatriates created in Shanghai. 

Fogel’s next major project will be a study of official language interpreters or translators working between China and Japan over the past few centuries and the emergence in both countries of a modern interpreters corps. 

An experienced translator with 10 works to his credit, Fogel is working on two new translations from the Japanese. One is a revised study by the late Æba Osamu of trading relations between China and Japan from the seventeenth through the early- to mid-nineteenth centuries, focusing the all-important book trade. The second is a work by Yamamuro Shin’ichi,of Kyoto University on the state of Manchukuo, sponsored by the Japanese government and military in what is now northeast China, from 1932 through the end of the Second World War. .

Books by Joshua Fogel

fogel book cover 1Fogel’s published works include: The Literature of Travel in the Japanese Rediscovery of China (Stanford, 1995), The Cultural Dimension of Sino-Japanese Relations (M.E. Sharpe. Publ., 1994), Nakae Ushikichi in China: The Mourning of Spirit (Harvard, 1989), Ai Ssu-ch’i’s Contribution to the Development of Chinese Marxism (Harvard, 1987), Politics and Sinology: The Case of Naito Konan (1866-1934) (Harvard, 1984) and 10 volumes of translation (from Japanese and Yiddish).

fogelbook2He has also published (or has in press) nine edited volumes: Sagacious Monks and Bloodthirsty Warriors: Chinese Views of Japan in the Ming-Qing Period (East Bridge, 2002); The Nanjing Massacre in History and Historiography (University of California Press, 2000); Imagining the People: Chinese Intellectuals and the Concept of Citizenship, 1890-1920 (M. E. Sharpe, 1997); Japanese Travelogues of China in the 1920s: The Accounts of Akutagawa Ryûnosuke and Tanizaki Jun’ichirô (M. E. Sharpe, 1997); Meeting of Minds: Intellectual and Religious Interaction in East Asian Traditions of Thought (Columbia University Press, 1996); Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth Ed. (Houghton Mifflin, 2001); Chinese Women in a Century of Revolution, 1850-1950, by Ono Kazuko (Stanford University Press, 1989); Perspectives on a Changing China: Essays in Honor of Professor C. Martin Wilbur on the Occasion of His Retirement (Westview, 1979); and JAPAN 1979: A New York Times Survey (Arno Press, 1979).