Evaluating Evidence: A Positivist Approach to Reading Sources on Modern Japan by George Akita, is based on the grueling lessons learned by a senior scholar during three decades of tutoring by, and collaboration with, Japanese historians. George Akita persisted in the difficult task of reading documentary sources in Japanese, most written in calligraphic style (sosho), out of the conviction of their centrality to the historian’s craft and his commitment to a positivist methodology to research and scholarship. He argues forcefully in this volume for an inductive process in which the scholar seeks out facts on a subject and, through observation and examination of an extensive body of data, is able to discern patterns until it is possible to formulate certain propositions. ,
“In Evaluating Evidence, George Akita reasserts unabashedly the centrality of the written document in the work of the historian. At a time when postmodernism and deconstructionism have come to occupy the summit of methodological fashion in many disciplines, this distinguished chronicler of modern Japanese history insists that the positivistic tradition of research and scholarship remains crucial to any meaningful rendition of the past.” —Gordon Berger, University of Southern California
May 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-2560-7 / $58.00 (CLOTH)
Imagine What It’s Like: A Literature and Medicine Anthology, edited by Ruth Nadelhaft, with Victoria Bonebakker, grew out of Literature and Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of Health Care, a national award-winning reading and discussion program for health care professionals that, according to one participant, “renews the heart and soul of health care.” Started by the Maine Humanities Council in 1997, by the beginning of its second decade, Literature and Medicine has reached across the country, from Florida to Montana, Maine to Hawai‘i. Bringing together diverse groups of health care professionals in a variety of health care settings, Literature and Medicine discussions help participants deepen their communication and interpresonal skills while increasing their cultural awareness, empathy for patients, and job satisfaction.
May 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3317-6 / $19.95 (PAPER)
In Melanesia, rates of HIV infection are among the highest in the Pacific and increasing rapidly, with grave humanitarian, development, and political implications. There is a great need for social research on HIV/AIDS in the region to provide better insights into the sensitive issues surrounding HIV transmission. Making Sense of AIDS: Culture, Sexuality, and Power in Melanesia, edited by Leslie Butt and Richard Eves, is the first book on HIV and AIDS in the Pacific region. It gathers together stunning and original accounts of the often surprising ways that people make sense of the AIDS epidemic in various parts of Melanesia. The volume addresses substantive issues concerning AIDS and contemporary sexualities, relations of power, and moralities—themes that provide a powerful backdrop for twenty-first century understandings of the tensions between sexuality, religion, and politics in many parts of the world.
“This is a powerful and courageous anthology. One of its great strengths is the powerful ethnography of sexuality contained in many of these essays, making it extremely timely. It shows that anthropology is alive, that the work of culture in confronting the myriad terrors of an incurable disease is daunting and fearful but part of the human condition that needs reporting in these societies. The essays are original and in some cases truly unique. Making Sense of AIDS contains extremely valuable, interesting, and important contributions.” —Gilbert Herdt, Center for Human Sexuality Studies, San Francisco State University
May 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3249-0 / $27.00 (PAPER)
Herself an Author: Gender, Agency, and Writing in Late Imperial China, by Grace S. Fong, addresses the critical question of how to approach the study of women’s writing. It explores various methods of engaging in a meaningful way with a rich corpus of poetry and prose written by women of the late Ming and Qing periods, much of it rediscovered by the author in rare book collections in China and the United States. The volume treats different genres of writing and includes translations of texts that are made available for the first time in English. Among the works considered are the life-long poetic record of Gan Lirou, the lyrical travel journal kept by Wang Fengxian, and the erotic poetry of the concubine Shen Cai.
“Grace Fong has written a wonderful history of female writers’ participation in the elite conventions of Chinese poetics. Fong’s recovery of many of these poets, her able exegesis and elegant, analytical grasp of what the poets were doing is a great read, and her bilingual presentation of their poetry gives the book additional power. This is a persuasive and elegant study.” —Tani Barlow, author of The Question of Women in Chinese Feminism
May 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3186-8 / $32.00 (PAPER)
A thousand years after Hawaiians first paddled long wooden boards into the ocean, modern surfers have continued this practice, which has recently been transformed into a global industry. Pacific Passages: An Anthology of Surf Writing, edited by Patrick Moser, brings together four centuries of writing about surfing, the most comprehensive collection of Polynesian and Western perspectives on the history and culture of a sport currently enjoyed by millions of people around the world. The stories begin with Hawaiian legends and chants and are followed by the journals of explorers; the travel narratives of missionaries and luminaries such as Herman Melville, Mark Twain, and Jack London; and the contemporary observations of Tom Wolfe, William Finnegan, Susan Orlean, and Bob Shacochis.
May 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3155-4 / $32.00 (PAPER)