Walhain Castle to be Preserved

Since 1998 Bailey K. Young has been excavating the site of Walhain Castle, in the province of Brabant Wallon, southeast of Brussels (Belgium), in partnership with the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve (UCL) and the Center for National Archaeological Research (CRAN) which is based there.  The month-long excavation has been the centerpiece of EIU’s unique Summer Archaeology in Belgium Program, which allows American students the opportunity to earn credits in History or Earth Science while taking part in a full-scale medieval excavation.  The program was originally designed for Honors students, at the instigation of Honors Dean Herbert Lasky (also Professor of History), and subsequently opened to non-Honors undergraduates and to graduate students as well.  The state of the standing vestiges of the castle, which date between the twelfth and the sixteenth centuries, has given cause for concern, since they have been privately owned and their conservation demanded expertise and financial resources beyond the means of the owners.  Although the site was classified and protected as an historical monument the Heritage Institute of Wallonia (IPW) lacked the funds needed to purchase it.  At the request of the IPW, Professors Young and Lasky organized an American committee, Friends of the Walloon Heritage, to help raise the funds.  In July 2008 the committee toured the castle site and other heritage sites in Belgium, and took part in conversations with the IPW, the Walhain township, the owners and others interested in finding a solution to preserve the site.  On October 22 Professor Young received a letter from M. Freddy Joris, Director of the IPW, announcing that an agreement had been reached with the owners to sell the property to the IPW, which plans with the help of its American friends to begin measures of conservation soon.  M. Joris expressed his thanks for the help given so far, and stressed that the IPW favors the continuation of the research and excavation program in the future, in co-ordination with the restoration of the site.

Vermeer’s World: the Dutch, the Chinese, and the birth of modernity

The history department is pleased to announce a public lecture: “Vermeer’s World: the Dutch, the Chinese, and the birth of modernity,” by Timothy Brook, Tuesday, November 11, 2008, 7 p.m., at the Tarble Arts Center.

Timothy Brook, the Shaw Professor of Chinese at the University of Oxford, and the Principal of St. John’s College and Professor of History at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, is the author of many books, including Collaboration: Japanese Agents and Chinese Elites in Wartime China (2005) and the prize-winning The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China (1998).  His most recent book is Vermeer’s Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World (2008).

sponsored by the Art Department, Asian Studies, the English Department, the History Department, the College of Arts and Humanities, and the Tarble Arts Center

(A useful review of the book.)

Professor Timothy Brook to Speak at Tarble Art Center

Dr. Timothy Brook, professor of history at the University of British Columbia and author of Vermeer’s Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World (2008), has been awarded the Joseph Levenson Prize, Association for Asian Studies, and the Garneau Medal, Canadian Historian Association.

He is the author or coauthor of Collaboration: Japanese Agents and Chinese Elites in Wartime China (2004); Opium Regimes: China, Britain, and Japan, 1839-1952 (2000); The Confusions of Pleasure: Commerce and Culture in Ming China (1998); and Quelling the People: The Military Suppression of the Beijing Democracy Movement (1992).

Most recently, with Jérôme Bourgon and Gregory Blue he published Death by a Thousand Cuts (2008), On 11 November 2008 he will come to Eastern to discuss the differences and similarities between Chinese and Western attitudes toward trade and exploration and the implications for innovation and knowledge, the subject of Vemeer’s Hat. The public is invited to this highly anticipated event.

Justifying the Use of the Atomic Bomb

The History Department is proud to announce the Third Annual James Jones Lecture on World War II Studies. It is our pleasure to welcome Professor Tsuyoshi Hasegawa of the Department of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of numerous monographs, including his most recent Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman and the Surrender of Japan, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005.

His latest book has been hailed by the New York Times as “a brilliant and definitive study of American, Soviet, and Japanese records of the last weeks of the war.” Justifying the Use of the Atomic Bomb: A Challenge expertly centers the Soviet involvement in the ending of the war. Typically “reated as a sideshow by traditional history,” Hasegawa argues that “the Soviet presence was crucial.” On Friday, October 31, at 7:00pm at the Doudna Fine Arts Center Lecture Hall, Hasegawa will illuminate more of his provacotive reassesment of World War II history on one of the most controvesial topics of military history.

Upcoming History Department Speakers – Fall 2008

  • October 9, 2008: Donald Ritchie, Senate Historian and author of Electing FDR
  • October 31, 2008: Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, Professor of History, UC-Santa Barbara and author of Racing the Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan
  • November 11, 2008: Timothy James Brook, Principal, St. John’s College, University of British Columbia and author of Vermeer’s Hat and the Dawn of Global Trade

Professor Jinhee Lee Published

Professor Jinhee Lee’s article “The Enemy Within: Earthquake, Rumors, and Massacre in the Japanese Empire” was published in Violence: ‘Mercurial Gestalt’ (At the Interface/Probing the Boundaries) (Series edited by Tobe Levin, Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2008, 187-211).

Her translated book Kwandong daejijin Chosonin haksal e daehan Ilbon kukga wa minjung ui chaegim [The Great Kantō Earthquake and the Massacre of Koreans: Japan’s State Responsibility and People’s Responsibility] (Seoul: Nonhyŏng, 2008) was also published in Korea this summer.

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