Announcing Two Series: The World of East Asia and Critical Interventions

For most of its past, East Asia was a world unto itself. The land we now call China sat roughly at its center and was surrounded by a number of places we now call Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Mongolia, and Tibet, as well as a host of lands absorbed into one of these. The peoples and cultures of these lands interacted among themselves with virtually no reference to the outside world before the dawn of early modern times. Although all was not always peaceful or harmonious, there were rules (explicit and implicit) governing interactions long in existence when Westerners arrived on the scene. The World of East Asia aims to support the production of research on the interactions, both historical and contemporary, between and among these lands and their cultures and peoples. It purposefully does not define itself by discipline or time period; the only criterion is that the interaction be either within East Asia or between East Asia and its Central, South, and Southeast Asian neighbors. Crossing Empire’s Edge: Foreign Ministry Police and Japanese Expansionism in Northeast Asia, by Erik Esselstrom, will be the inaugural volume. For further information contact the series’ general editor, Joshua A. Fogel (

Critical Interventions aims to make available innovative, cutting-edge works with a focus on Asia or the presence of Asia in other continents and regions. Series titles will explore a wide range of issues and topics in the modern and contemporary periods, especially those dealing with literature, cinema, art, theater, media, cultural theory, and intellectual history as well as subjects that cross disciplinary boundaries. It encourages scholarship that combines solid research with an imaginative approach, theoretical sophistication, and stylistic lucidity. Direct proposals and inquiries to the series’ general editor, Sheldon H. Lu (

Late Buddhist Sculpture from Indonesia

The mention of Buddhism in Indonesia calls to mind for many people the Central Javanese monument of Borobudur, one of the largest Buddhist monuments in the world and the subject of extensive scholarly scrutiny. The neglect of scholarship on Buddhist art from later periods might lead one to assume that after the tenth century Buddhism had been completely eclipsed by the predominantly Hindu Eastern Javanese dynasties. Yet, as the works discussed here illustrate, extraordinary Buddhist images were still being produced as late as the fourteenth century. Violence and Serenity: Late Buddhist Sculpture from Indonesia, by Natasha Reichle, offers a close examination of some of the impressive works from East Java and Sumatra and explores their political and religious roles.

July 2007 / ISBN 978-0-8248-2924-7 / $55.00 (CLOTH)

How Development Fails in Indonesia

Supporters of neoliberalism claim that free markets lead to economic growth, the creation of a middle class, and the establishment of democratically accountable governments. Critics point to a widening gap between rich and poor as countries compete to win foreign investment, and to the effects on the poor of neoliberal programs that restrict funding for health, education, and welfare. Indonesia Betrayed: How Development Fails, by Elizabeth Fuller Collins, offers a ground-level view from Sumatra of the realities behind these debates during the final years of Suharto’s New Order and the beginning of a transition to more democratic government.

July 2007 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3183-7 / $24.00 (PAPER)

“Since the overthrow of the Suharto regime, we have had a small blizzard of studies on Muslim politics, ethnoreligious violence, and national-level politics in Indonesia. By contrast, we have had fewer of the fine-grained regional studies of economic change and political contestation for which Indonesian studies was renowned in the 1980s. In this fine book, Elizabeth Fuller Collins brings the earlier tradition of rich regional analysis to bear on the processes and pitfalls of the post-Suharto era in South Sumatra. The case study is important, and the analysis is rich. The result is a work that will be of interest to students of Indonesian studies, neoliberal development, and political transitions, and to the general reader curious about this most important, if still obscure, Asian giant.” —Robert W. Hefner, Boston University

Translation of an Important Commentary in the Korean Buddhist Tradition

Wŏnhyo’s (617–686) Exposition of the Vajrasamâdhi-Sûtra (Kŭmgang sammaegyŏng non) is one of the finest examples of a scriptural commentary ever written in the East Asian Buddhist tradition. The Exposition is the longest of Wŏnhyo’s extant works and is widely regarded as his masterpiece. In Cultivating Original Enlightenment, the first volume in The International Association of Wŏnhyo Studies’ Collected Works of Wŏnhyo series, Robert E. Buswell, Jr.’s, translation of the Exposition, the eminent Silla exegete brings to bear all the tools acquired throughout a lifetime of scholarship and meditation to the explication of a scripture that has a startling connection to the Korean Buddhist tradition.

July 2007 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3076-2 / $37.00 (CLOTH)

Robert E. Buswell, Jr., is co-editor of Christianity in Korea (with Timothy S. Lee),  and editor of Currents and Countercurrents: Korean Influences on the East Asian Buddhist Traditions, both published by University of Hawai‘i Press.

A Musical Ethnography of Taku Atoll, Papua New Guinea

Songs from the Second Float: A Musical Ethnography of Takü Atoll, Papua New Guinea, by Richard Moyle, based on fieldwork spanning a decade, gives a comprehensive analysis of the musical life of a unique Polynesian community whose geographical isolation, together with a local ban on missionaries and churches, combine to allow its 600 members to maintain a level of traditional cultural practices unique to the region.

July 2007 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3175-2 / $54.00 (CLOTH)
Pacific Islands Monograph Series, No. 21, published in association with the Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

“Why . . . so much singing on Takü?’ is the compelling, orienting question threaded through [this] volume. . . . One comes away from reading the book with an understanding of music embedded within the fibers of Takü lifeways, constitutive of both indi vidual character and social solidarity.” —Janet Dixon Keller, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Stopover, the Story of Indian-Fijian Migration

Since 1976 New Zealand artist Bruce Connew has travelled widely, undertaking documentary photography projects around the world. Stopover is a haunting book of photographs from the tiny Indian-Fijian sugar cane settlement of Vatiyaka, taken by Connew during seven visits between June 2000 and November 2003. Connew’s narrative captions and a story by Brij V. Lal take the reader to the heart of an extended family inside the story of migration. The Stopover photographs will be exhibited at PATAKA, Porirua, Wellington, New Zealand, from August 18, 2007.

July 2007 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3198-1 / $39.00 (CLOTH)

“Connew’s work combines haunting images with a text that is poetic, elegant, and moving in its clarity. There is a power and persuasion to his work that even the most scholarly and responsible analyses cannot match.” —David Hanlon, University of Hawai‘i

Brij V. Lal is the author of Broken Waves: A History of the Fiji Islands in the Twentieth Century; editor of Pacific Places, Pacific Histories and The Encyclopedia of the Indian Diaspora; and co-editor of The Pacific Islands: An Encyclopedia (with Kate Fortune) and Plantation Workers: Resistance and Accommodation (with Doug Munro and Edward D. Beechert), all published by Univerisity of Hawai‘i Press.