Tessa Morris-Suzuki

Tessa Morris-Suzuki is Emeritus Professor at The Australian National University, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities, and recipient of the 2013 Fukuoka Prize (Academic) for contributions to Asian studies. From 2013 to 2018, she held an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellowship. Her books include Re-inventing Japan: Time, Space, Nation (1997); The Past Within Us: Media, Memory, History (2005); Exodus to North Korea: Shadows from Japan’s Cold War (2007); and Japan’s Living Politics: Grassroots Action and the Crises of Democracy (2020).

orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6145-5952

On the Frontiers of History »

Rethinking East Asian Borders

Authored by: Tessa Morris-Suzuki
Publication date: 2020
Why is it that we so readily accept the boundary lines drawn around nations or around regions like ‘Asia’ as though they were natural and self-evident, when in fact they are so mutable and often so very arbitrary? What happens to people not only when the borders they seek to cross become heavily guarded, but also when new borders are drawn straight through the middle of their lives? The essays in this book address these questions by starting from small places on the borderlands of East Asia and looking outwards from the small towards the large, asking what these ‘minor pasts’ tell us about the grand narratives of history. In the process, it takes the reader on a journey from Renaissance European visions of ‘Tartary’, through nineteenth-century racial theorising, imperial cartography and indigenous experiences of modernity, to contemporary debates about Big History in an age of environmental crisis.

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New Worlds from Below »

Informal life politics and grassroots action in twenty-first-century Northeast Asia

Publication date: March 2017
In Asia today, the grand ideologies of the past have lost their power over the popular imagination. Even in many of the region’s democracies, popular engagement in the political process faces profound challenges. Yet amidst this landscape of political disenchantment, groups of ordinary people across Asia are finding new ways to take control of their own lives, respond to threats to their physical and cultural survival, and build better futures. This collection of essays by prominent scholars and activists traces the rise of a quiet politics of survival from the villages of China to Japan’s Minamata and Fukushima, and from the street art of Seoul and Hong Kong to the illegal markets of North Korea. Introducing an innovative conceptual framework, New Worlds from Below shows how informal grassroots politics in Northeast Asia is generating new ideas and practices that have region-wide and global relevance.

The Social Sciences in the Asian Century »

Publication date: September 2015
In this collection of essays, we reflect on what it means to practise the social sciences in the twenty-first century. The book brings together leading social scientists from the Asia-Pacific region. We argue for the benefit of dialogue between the diverse theories and methods of social sciences in the region, the role of the social sciences in addressing real-world problems, the need to transcend national boundaries in addressing regional problems, and the challenges for an increasingly globalised higher education sector in the twenty-first century. The chapters are a combination of theoretical reflections and locally focused case studies of processes that are embedded in global dynamics and the changing geopolitics of knowledge. In an increasingly connected world, these reflections will be of global relevance.