Posted by UH Press Marketing on 22 May 2013
The Pacific is the last major world region to be discovered by humans. Although small in total land area, its numerous islands and archipelagoes with their startlingly diverse habitats and biotas, extend across a third of the globe. This revised edition of the popular text The Pacific Islands: Environment and Society, edited by Moshe Rapaport, explores the diverse landforms, climates, and ecosystems of the Pacific island region. Multiple chapters, written by leading specialists, cover the environment, history, culture, population, and economy. The work includes new or completely revised chapters on gender, music, logging, development, education, urbanization, health, ocean resources, and tourism. Throughout two key issues are addressed: the exceptional environmental challenges and the demographic/economic/political challenges facing the region. Although modern technology and media and waves of continental tourists are fast eroding island cultures, the continuing resilience of Pacific island populations is apparent.
May 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3586-6 / $48.00 (PAPER)
Posted in anthropology, ecology, geography, history, Melanesia, Micronesia, Pacific, Polynesia, textbook | Leave a Comment »
Posted by UH Press Marketing on 2 May 2013
Numerous reports of “cancer villages” have appeared in the past decade in both Chinese and Western media, highlighting the downside of China’s economic development. Less generally known is how people experience and understand cancer in areas where there is no agreement on its cause. Who or what do they blame? How do they cope with its onset? Fighting for Breath: Living Morally and Dying of Cancer in a Chinese Village, by Anna Lora-Wainwright, is the first ethnography to offer a bottom-up account of how rural families strive to make sense of cancer and care for sufferers. It addresses crucial areas of concern such as health, development, morality, and social change in an effort to understand what is at stake in the contemporary Chinese countryside.
“Fighting for Breath is a well-written, ethnographically grounded, and anthropologically compelling book. It is theoretically sophisticated and clearly the work of a serious China scholar and first-rate medical anthropologist. Cancer has received much less attention in these fields than it deserves, so this volume fills an important niche.” —Arthur Kleinman, Harvard University
May 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3682-5 / $52.00 (CLOTH)
Posted in anthropology, Asia, China | Leave a Comment »
Posted by UH Press Marketing on 17 April 2013
Two UH Press titles have been long listed for the 2013 ICAS (International Convention of Asia Scholars) Book Prize in the humanities and the social sciences. Twelve books in each area were chosen from a total of 250 Asian studies titles submitted by 60 publishers worldwide.
ICAS will announce the short list in early May. Winners will be announced during the ICAS Book Prize Awards Ceremony on June 25, 2013, in Macao.
Chinese Architecture and the Beaux-Arts, edited by Jeffrey W. Cody, Nancy S. Steinhardt, and Tony Akin
“[The] fascinating and under-appreciated cross-pollination of Eastern and Western architecture is thoroughly examined in [this] absorbing new book. . . . Although filled with handsome photos contemporary and historic, Chinese Architecture and the Beaux-Arts is no coffee-table book — this volume is a thoughtful and far-ranging account of international trends in architecture, which have been too little known in the U.S. It fills an important need and is certain to find its place in every serious library of architectural history.” —Traditional Building (2011)
Burning Money: The Material Spirit of the Chinese Lifeworld, by C. Fred Blake
“Blake fully illustrates the common practice of burning paper money in the daily lives of many people throughout China, exploring the forces that have continued and transformed this old tradition from old times up to the present. His book is innovative and comprehensive in its interpretation of this common custom in China and will be welcomed by anyone interested in the living traditions and cultures of China.” —Asian Ethnology (71:2, 2012)
Posted in anthropology, architecture, art & visual culture, Asia, awards, China | Tagged: ICAS Book Prize | Leave a Comment »
Posted by UH Press Marketing on 3 April 2013
Why are islanders so lavishly generous with food and material possessions but so guarded with information? Why do these people, unfailingly polite for the most part, laugh openly when others embarrass themselves? What does a smile mean to an islander? What might a sudden lapse into silence signify? These questions are common in encounters with an unfamiliar Pacific Island culture. Making Sense of Micronesia: The Logic of Pacific Island Culture, by Francis X. Hezel, S.J., is intended for westerners who find themselves in contact with Micronesians—as teachers, social workers, health-care providers, or simply as friends—and are puzzled by their island ways. It is for anyone struggling to make sense of cultural exchanges they don’t quite understand.
The author focuses on the guts of island culture: the importance of the social map, the tension between the individual and social identity, the ways in which wealth and knowledge are used, the huge importance of respect, emotional expression and its restraints, island ways of handling both conflict and intimacy, the real but indirect power of women. Far from a theoretical exposition, the book begins and ends with the real-life behavior of islanders. Each section of every chapter is introduced by a vignette that illustrates the theme discussed. The book attempts to explain island behavior, as curious as it may seem to outsiders at times, against the over-riding pattern of values and attitudes that have always guided island life.
April 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3661-0 / $27.00 (CLOTH)
Posted in anthropology, Micronesia, Pacific | Leave a Comment »
Posted by UH Press Marketing on 1 April 2013
Potent Landscapes: Place and Mobility in Eastern Indonesia, by Catherine Allerton, is an ethnographic investigation of the power of the landscape and the implications of that power for human needs, behavior, and emotions. Based on two years of fieldwork in rural Flores, the book situates place-making and mobility of the Manggarai within the larger contexts of diverse human-environment interactions as well as adat revival in postcolonial Indonesia. Although it focuses on social life in one region of eastern Indonesia, the work engages with broader theoretical discussions of landscape, travel, materiality, cultural politics, kinship, and animism.
“Potent Landscapes is a brilliant new work that breaks fresh ground in the anthropological study of place and culture in Southeast Asia. Bringing a phenomenological interest in ‘dwelling’ to her ethnographic portrayal of everyday life in the southern Manggarai settlements of West Flores, Indonesia, Catherine Allerton takes readers on a revealing and richly rewarding journey into the ‘shape of the land’ there. Her book offers a wealth of ideas and comparative material for scholars working in other parts of Asia and the Pacific, and an accessible account sure to fascinate and inspire students of anthropology.” —Kenneth M. George, University of Wisconsin-Madison
April 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3800-3 / $25.00 (PAPER)
In a village community in the highlands of Cambodia’s Southwest, people struggle to rebuild their lives after nearly thirty years of war and genocide. Recovery is a tenuous process as villagers attempt to shape a future while contending with the terrible rupture of the Pol Pot era. Forest of Struggle: Moralities of Remembrance in Upland Cambodia, by Eve Monique Zucker, tracks the fragile progress of restoring the bonds of community in O’Thmaa and its environs, the site of a Khmer Rouge base and battlefield for nearly three decades between 1970 and 1998.
“With an ethnographer’s acumen, Zucker shows us how the members of a community in post-conflict Cambodia have sought to rebuild their lives, a process involving complicated issues of trust, social memory, and moral order. Forest of Struggle is a must-read for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of social suffering and the remaking of social worlds after prolonged conflict and genocide.” —Alexander Hinton, Rutgers University
April 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3805-8 / $28.00 (PAPER)
View a full list of titles in the series Southeast Asia: Politics, Meaning and Memory.
Posted in anthropology, Southeast Asia | Tagged: Cambodia, Indonesia, Manggari, Southeast Asia: Politics Meaning and Memory | Leave a Comment »
Posted by UH Press Marketing on 7 March 2013
In Indonesia, light skin color has been desirable throughout recorded history. Seeing Beauty, Sensing Race in Transnational Indonesia, by L. Ayu Saraswati, explores Indonesia’s changing beauty ideals and traces them to a number of influences: first to ninth-century India and some of the oldest surviving Indonesian literary works; then, a thousand years later, to the impact of Dutch colonialism and the wartime occupation of Japan; and finally, in the post-colonial period, to the popularity of American culture.
“In this book L. Ayu Saraswati offers a lucid and compelling accounting of how ideas of beauty and race circulate and become affective in transnational Indonesia. Offering a distinctive approach to global culture as an affective domain, as well a sharp and nuanced critique of histories of whiteness, this book will be of tremendous value to all scholars and students interested in unlearning the affective and aesthetic scripts of race.” —Sara Ahmed, Professor of Race and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, and author of On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life (2012)
Southeast Asia: Politics, Meaning and Memory
March 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3736-5 / $25.00 (PAPER)
Posted in anthropology, gender studies, Southeast Asia | Tagged: Southeast Asia: Politics Meaning and Memory | Leave a Comment »
Posted by UH Press Marketing on 28 February 2013
The UH Press Asian Studies 2013 catalog is now available! The catalog has been redesigned to showcase our new and forthcoming Asian studies titles. (All books published prior to late 2012 and currently in print can be found at our website.) To view the PDF, click on the catalog cover image to the left.
* An illustrated anthology of well-known masterpieces and unusual writing from 18th-century Edo’s counterculture — An Edo Anthology: Literature from Japan’s Mega-City, 1750–1850
*Four new titles in the Spatial Habitus series — The Hermit’s Hut: Asceticism and Architecutre in India, China’s Contested Capital: Architecture, Ritual, and Response in Nanjing, Architecture and Urbanism in Modern Korea, and Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China
* Short fiction from Japan’s foremost Marxist writer, Kobayashi Takiji, including a new translation of an anticapitalist classic that became a runaway bestseller in Japan in 2008, nearly eight decades after its publication — The Crab Cannery Ship and Other Novels of Struggle
* A timely collection of essays exploring Japan’s role in global environmental transformation and how Japanese ideas have shaped bodies and landscapes over the centuries — Japan at Nature’s Edge: The Environmental Context of a Global Power
* An expansive new study on the varied roles Southeast Asia’s monumental remains (Angkor, Pagan, Borobudur, and Ayutthaya, among others) have played in the histories of its modern nations — A Heritage of Ruins: The Ancient Sites of Southeast Asia and Their Conservation
* Close description and analysis of the history, geographical whereabouts, and doctrinal positions of early schools of Buddhism by André Bareau, one of the foremost scholars of Buddhism of his generation — The Buddhist Schools of the Small Vehicle
* Two volumes in the new series Korean Classics Library — Salvation through Dissent: Tonghak Heterodoxy and Early Modern Korea and Imperatives of Culture: Selected Essays on Korean History, Literature, and Society
Posted in anthropology, archaeology, architecture, art & visual culture, Asia, Buddhism, catalogs, China, Japan, Korea, literature, Okinawa, press news, religion, South Asia, Southeast Asia | Leave a Comment »
Posted by UH Press Marketing on 28 January 2013
Figures of Southeast Asian Modernity, edited by Joshua Baker, Erik Harms, and Johan Lindquist, brings together the fieldwork of over eighty scholars and covers the nine major countries of the region: Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. An introduction outlines important social transformations in Southeast Asia and key theoretical and methodological innovations that result from ethnographic attention to the study of key figures. Each section begins with an introduction by a country editor followed by short essays offering vivid and intimate portraits set against the background of contemporary Southeast Asia. The result is a volume that combines scholarly rigor with a meaningful, up-to-date portrayal of a region of the world undergoing rapid change. A reference bibliography offers suggestions for further reading.
“The idea of capturing recent transformations of Southeast Asia through vignettes about familiar yet idiosyncratic individuals is brilliant. The everyday experiences and aspirations of people trying to make sense of their lives and dreams convey a complex and often surprising view of contemporary cross-currents, upheavals, anxieties, and struggles in a volatile region. This volume offers a great way for students to understand and empathize with ordinary people and nations in rapid motion.” —Aihwa Ong, co-editor of Worlding Cities: Asian Experiments in the Art of Being Global
January 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3741-9 / $25.00 (PAPER)
Posted in anthropology, autobiography & biography, Southeast Asia | Tagged: Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam | Leave a Comment »
Posted by UH Press Marketing on 3 January 2013
In her innovative new book, Fertile Disorder: Spirit Possession and Its Provocation of the Modern, Kalpana Ram reflects on the way spirit possession unsettles some of the foundational assumptions of modernity. What is a human subject under the varied conditions commonly associated with possession? What kind of subjectivity must already be in place to allow such a transformation to occur? How does it alter our understanding of memory and emotion if these assail us in the form of ghosts rather than as attributes of subjective experience? What does it mean to worship deities who are afflictive and capricious, yet bear an intimate relationship to justice? What is a “human” body if it can be taken over by a whole array of entities? What is agency if people can be “claimed” in this manner? What is gender if, while possessed, a woman is a woman no longer?
Drawing on spirit possession among women and the rich traditions of subaltern religion in Tamil Nadu, South India, Ram concludes that the basis for constructing an alternative understanding of human agency need not rest on the usual requirements of a fully present consciousness or on the exercise of choice and planning. Instead of relegating possession, ghosts, and demons to the domain of the exotic, Ram uses spirit possession to illuminate ordinary experiences and relationships.
“Ram’s extraordinary capacity to combine meticulous ethnography of spirit possession and other expressions of ‘female disorder’ in Tamil Nadu with deep and provocative reflections on the history of modernity in the subcontinent is what gives this book its freshness and originality. Scholars in diverse fields, from South Asian feminist and subaltern studies to those constituted by anthropological and postcolonial critiques of contemporary forms of modernization, should find this book to be of absorbing interest.” —Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago
January 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3630-6 / $57.00 (CLOTH)
Posted in anthropology, gender studies, South Asia | Tagged: South India, Tamil Nadu | Leave a Comment »
Posted by UH Press Marketing on 19 November 2012
Moving Images: John Layard, Fieldwork, and Photography on Malakula since 1914, by Haidy Geismar and Anita Herle, is the most recent recipient of the John Collier Jr., Award for Still Photography from the Society for Visual Anthropology. The award is made periodically for work that exemplifies the use of still photography, both historical and contemporary, for research and communication of anthropological knowledge, and for excellence in visual anthropology.
The Collier Committee members were impressed with the authors’ contribution:
“and in particular with the presentation of unpublished archival materials, John Layard’s story, and historical photos supplemented with his contextual field notes integrated in such an engaging format with contemporary visual research and literature, essays, text, and the reintroduction of historical and contemporary photos into the culture today.”
The official presentation of the award was made last week during the 2012 American Anthropology Association annual meeting in San Francisco.
Posted in anthropology, art & visual culture, awards, Melanesia, Pacific | Tagged: John Collier Jr. Award for Still Photography, Society for Visual Anthropology | Leave a Comment »