Historians Say: Seminar Series for Newly-appointed Academic/ Teaching Staff and Visiting Scholars (2 November 2017)


The “Historians Say: Seminar Series’’ was established in 2010 to welcome newly-appointed academic staff, teaching staff and visiting scholars by inviting them to deliver their research findings to the History Department. The 7th round of the seminar series was held at SWT 702 on 2 November 2017. Speakers who were invited to share their findings included Prof. Robin D.S. Yates, Visiting University Fellow, Dr. Noriaki Hoshino, Assistant Professor, Dr. Jatinder Mann, Assistant Professor and Dr. Daniel-Joseph Macarthur-Seal, Research Assistant Professor. 

Prof. Chu Yik Yi, Cindy chaired the first session. After welcoming the audience, she introduced Prof. Yates and Dr. Hoshino as well as their presentation topics. 

Prof. Yates delivered a talk titled “Researching Recently Recovered Early Chinese Imperial Legal and Administrative Documents: Challenges and Insights”. Prof. Yates started his presentation by introducing the history of discoveries and locations of discoveries of the documents, dates of these documents and the types of materials. He also mentioned the challenges when working on the documents. Prof. Yates concluded that these legal and administrative documents in Early China Imperial provided a clarification of evolution of the Chinese script and the “unification of writing” under the First Emperor, which also rediscovered the long-lost philosophical and technical traditions. The texts provided new information on the development of administration and the economy under the Qin and Han, and shed new light on social conditions and the lives of the common people.

Dr. Hoshino presented his topic “On Transpacific Racial Contacts Between Two Empires” which mainly focused on the work of the Japanese sociologist Koyama Eizō and explored the development of Japanese race studies from the late 1920s to the 1940s. During this period, Japanese intellectual discourses on race developed in the context of the need to manage heterogeneous populations within the Japanese empire and contained the growing mobility of populations in and outside of the territory. Dr. Hoshino examined Koyama’s preoccupation with racial/ethnic contacts in relation to imperial security and how the development of the idea of minzoku in Koyama’s discourse coincided with contemporaneous attempts to mobilise diverse populations in the empire.

Prof. Mak King Sang chaired the next session and introduced the other two new members of the Department - Dr. Mann and Dr. Daniel-Joseph Macarthur-Seal.

Dr. Jatinder Mann delivered a presentation entitled “Citizenship in Transnational Perspective: Australia, Canada, and New Zealand” which was about his recently published edited book. The book brought together leading international scholars from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand to explore citizenship in a transnational perspective, covering the two overarching themes of ethnicity and Indigeneity. Dr. Mann explained on the evolution and trajectory of citizenship regimes in settler societies, settler-indigenous citizenships as well as deep diversity and securitisation. By approaching the subject from a range of disciplinary perspectives: historical, legal, political, and sociological, his book made an important and unique contribution to the existing literature through its transnational and multidisciplinary perspectives.

Dr. Daniel-Joseph Macarthur-Seal presented the topic “East Meets East: The Trans-Asian Pathways of Turkish Opium, 1900-1945”. His research focused on a more complex global network of narcotics supply in which pan-Asian connections frustrated the attempt at narcotics control by the world’s major western powers under League of Nations auspices. Turkish, Chinese, and Japanese governments and private individuals found themselves on the margins of a developing international system of cooperation and enforcement, building mutual bonds in order to navigate the prevailing wind of prohibition.