In recent years, images of rage against monuments have filled the media. Unmistakably expressing a high degree of tension in societies, these forms of hostility against heritage have been diversely interpreted, prompting passionate expressions of support as well as fierce criticism. Contesting public memorials, however, is not a new form of socio-political dissent. During Late Antiquity, for example, a new sensibility towards ancient monuments emerged in the vast territories that were once part of the Roman Empire. In this article, the late-antique fate of the so-called ‘temple of Hadrian’ at Ephesus is analysed as a case-study. The aim is to gain a better understanding of the approaches adopted to accommodate traditional monumental landscapes in the changed late-antique socio-political context. This analysis offers a new perspective on ancient and contemporary phenomena of contestations of monuments.
This paper aims at presenting some thoughts on the hypothesis of an Anatolian-Greek language area in the second millennium bc comparing different approaches both in the theoretical frames and in the analysis of the linguistic facts. For this purpose, it is necessary to introduce some terminological premises, followed by a selection of methodological issues, which will help explore the putative features that characterize the Anatolian-Greek area (morphological traits such as actionality markers, particles, verbal prefixes as well as special morphological forms; morphosyntactic traits, such as modal particles, sentence particles, absolute participial constructions; lexical units and phonetic features).
Abui is a Papuan language spoken in Alor Island, South-East Indonesia. Although there are rich studies on the Abui language and its structure, research on Abui toponymy, which aids the understanding of language, culture, and society, deserves greater attention. This paper analyzes features of Abui society through Abui toponyms collected using Field Linguistics and Language Documentation methods. It finds that, because place names communicate valuable information on peoples and territories, Abui toponyms reflect the agrarian lifestyle of Abui speakers and, more broadly, the close relationship that the people have with their landscape. Furthermore, Abui toponyms express positive traits in the Abui culture like kinship ties and bravery. Notwithstanding, like other pre-literate and indigenous societies, oral stories are commonly used to explain how places are named. This paper augments the existing Abui toponymic studies on the connection between names and the places they name and provides a deeper understanding of the Abui language, culture, and society.
China and Britain both found themselves in extremely precarious situations by the early summer of 1940, when Japan demanded that Britain close the Burma Road, a vital overland supply route for Chinese forces fighting against Japanese aggression. The British had just seen all of their continental European allies fall like dominoes to Hitler’s forces over the span of a few weeks, while China was fighting a losing defensive war against Japan with minimal outside support. China desperately needed to maintain its overland supply line to the British Empire, the Burma Road, but Britain feared that the very existence of this conduit of war materiel would provoke a Japanese attack on vulnerable British colonies in the Far East. American policy on Japanese aggression was ambiguous at this point and neither Britain nor China could realistically expect help from Washington in the short term. As a result, Britain signed a one-sided confidential memorandum to close the Burma Road to buy time and shore up its East Asian position to the extent that it was able. This deal, a lesser-studied counterpart to Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement policy in Europe, compromised the Chinese war effort against Japan, paved the way for the Japanese conquest of Southeast Asia, and ultimately failed to prevent Britain’s defeat in East Asia. Recognizing that this temporary concession would not moderate Japanese behavior, Britain reopened the Burma Road three months later. This paper examines the vital role of the Burma Road in the Chinese war effort in 1940 and why Japan demanded that London close it, then explores the factors that led to Britain’s unavoidable capitulation on the issue and subsequent reversal three months later, along with the consequences for the Allied war effort in the Far East.
Many Chinese historians and politicians consider the Zheng He expeditions as voyages meant to establish peaceful relations with foreign countries. Although, in contrast with European overseas expansion, it was not in the interest of the Chinese emperor and his government to colonialize foreign countries, this does not mean that relations were peaceful. Subordination of neighbouring countries to the Ming court and their acceptance of Ming China’s claim to cultural, ideological and political superiority in the macro region—the implementation of a “pax Ming” in other words—was fully intended. The present article discusses Zheng He’s and the Ming court’s dealing with Chen Zuyi 陳祖義, an “inconvenient” local (“pirate”) leader of Chinese origins dominating parts of the Malacca/Melaka Straits, the use of violence in the implementation of official Ming goals and the ideological transfiguration and (re)interpretation of the Ming court’s own interests in Chinese historical sources.
This article examines the ways in which Kalimpong, living up to its moniker as a “nest of spies,” was a site where local and international intrigues played out, especially at the local Chinese Chung Hwa School. It examines the period between the 1940s and early 1960s, when Kalimpong, on account of its strategic location, was home to “foreign Kautilyas” of different intelligence services. The Chung Hwa School came to play a part in this game as it provided cover/camouflage for Chinese secret agents. The secret services run by the British colonial state—and later the Indian state—suspected it to be a platform for intelligence gathering. A close reading of the archives uncovers the circuit of suspicion and misgiving surrounding the school. This article analyses these narratives and the ways in which, through the enmeshment of espionage, the Indian Intelligence Bureau, the local Chinese, and “China” were constituted in Kalimpong’s (under)world. The school also emerges as tangled in transnational and international machinations epitomizing People’s Republic of China–Republic of India relations and Guomindang–Chinese Communist Party rivalry.
“Asia” is not the end result but a means of intellectual exploration. “Asia” is multivalent; it is not self-sufficient and exclusionary vis-à-vis other cultures. It does not exist as an epistemological abstraction. This unique attribute of “Asia” is, however, where its opportunity lies. Taking “Asia” as a means for intellectual inquiry, this article explores the “fūdo” 風土of humankind and cultural formations in dialogue with historical circumstances. It argues that global integration is not the homogenization of disparate societies but mutual respect for their specificities. Furthermore, this article proposes a new kind of universality and reassesses how the specific relates to the universal. Taking Asia’s historical experiences seriously, this article stresses that universality cannot act as an independent and superior imposition vis-à-vis specificities. Rather, specific experiences have to be put into an open dialogue between one another to unleash new possibilities. As a means to reconstruct a new universal imagination, “Asia” poses a potent challenge to hegemonic epistemologies.