ASIANetwork is pleased to announce the winner of the 2019 Marianna McJimsey Award for the best undergraduate student paper dealing with Asia. The winning paper is entitled: “Plurality within Singularity: Choson Korea’s Neo-Confucian Framework,” written by Ariella Napoli (’20), East Asian Studies and Religion major at Barnard College. Her faculty advisor for the essay is Professor Jungwon Kim. The essay will be published in a forthcoming issue of ASIANetwork Exchange and presented at the 2019 ASIANetwork Annual Conference at the University of San Diego, April 12-14, 2019.
The runner-up paper is “Democracy Suppressed Allied Censorship in Occupied Japan, 1945-52,” written by Julian Tash (’18), Asian Studies and History major at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. His faculty advisors for the essay are Constantine Vaporis and Meredith Oyen.
Ariella Napoli. “Plurality within Singularity: Choson Korea’s Neo-Confucian Framework.” This paper argues that while there was no singular, cohesive, “national identity” in the modern sense in Chosŏn Korea, the elitist Neo-Confucian framework served as a basis for establishing an overarching identity on the Korean Peninsula as every other identity defined itself through its relationship to the prominent Neo-Confucian framework. In order to accomplish this, this paper analyses the way in which two marginalized groups – Buddhist institutions and the Catholic Church – defined themselves and developed identities based around the Neo-Confucian framework. By demonstrating that these two marginalized groups had no choice but to define themselves in terms of the Neo-Confucian framework, it is clear that this framework created an elitist identity that was built around its intellectual culture.
Julian Tash. “Democracy Suppressed Allied Censorship in Occupied Japan, 1945-52.” This research traces the development of Allied censorship during the occupation of Japan (1945-52) to investigate how and why the Allied powers, nominally working in tandem but in practice largely led by the United States, instituted extensive censorship despite the occupation goal of fostering Japanese democracy. By combining censored books, newspapers, and magazines with documentation from the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, this paper argues that ambiguous operational policy and American security concerns resulted in an expansive bureaucracy that operated far beyond the initial weeks of the Occupation. Censorship has thus contributed to an uneasy legacy for an occupation that promoted some genuinely liberal policies such as freeing the Japanese press from formal control by the government, while also reinforcing the idea that self-censorship, uniformity, and acquiescence to the ruling powers were necessary even within a democracy.