New Catalog Available: Hawaii & the Pacific 2011

Hawai‘i & the Pacific 2011
The UH Press Hawai‘i & the Pacific 2011 catalog is now available! To view the 3.4M PDF, click on the catalog cover image to the left. To view and print a 10.2M version, go to our catalogs page:

Highlights include:
* A history of surfing compiled by John R. K. Clark and narrated primarily by native Hawaiians who wrote for the Hawaiian-language newspapers of the 1800s (Hawaiian Surfing: Traditions from the Past)
* A illustrated review of environmental concerns in Hawai‘i with an eye toward resolution by focusing on “place-based” management (Living on the Shores of Hawai‘i: Natural Hazards, the Environment, and Our Communities)
* The inaugural volume of the Race and Ethnicity in Hawai`i series (Haoles in Hawai`i)
* An eye-opening look at the relationship between surfing and colonialism in Hawai‘i (Waves of Resistance: Surfing and History in Twentieth-Century Hawai‘i)
* A new anthology of contemporary Polynesian poetry in English, co-edited by Albert Wendt (Mauri Ola: Contemporary Polynesian Poems in English)
* A collection of short stories by Wakako Yamauchi,“ one of the foremothers of Asian American writing” (Rosebud and Other Stories)
* A text that raises key questions about the capacity of pattern across the Pacific to bind and sustain ideas about place, body, and genealogy (Lines That Connect: Rethinking Pattern and Mind in the Pacific)

Commodification, Tourism, and Performance

Consuming KoreanContributors to Consuming Korean Tradition in Early and Late Modernity: Commodification, Tourism, and Performance, edited by Laurel Kendall, explore the irony of modern things made in the image of a traditional “us.” They describe the multifaceted ways “tradition” is produced and consumed within the frame of contemporary Korean life and how these processes are enabled by different apparatuses of modernity that Koreans first encountered in the early twentieth century. Commoditized goods and services first appeared in the colonial period in such spectacular and spectacularly foreign forms as department stores, restaurants, exhibitions, and staged performances. Today, these same forms have become the media through which many Koreans consume “tradition” in multiple forms.

September 2010 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3393-0 / $46.00 (CLOTH)

Thai Soldiers in the Vietnam War

In Buddha's CompanyIn Buddha’s Company: Thai Soldiers in the Vietnam War, by Richard A. Ruth, explores a previously neglected aspect of the Vietnam War: the experiences of the Thai troops who served there and the attitudes and beliefs that motivated them to volunteer. Thailand sent nearly 40,000 volunteer soldiers to South Vietnam to serve alongside the Free World Forces in the conflict, but unlike the other foreign participants, the Thais came armed with historical and cultural knowledge of the region. Blending the methodologies of cultural and military history, Ruth examines the individual experiences of Thai volunteers in their wartime encounters with American allies, South Vietnamese civilians, and Viet Cong enemies. Ruth shows how the Thais were transformed by living amongst the modern goods and war machinery of the Americans and by traversing the jungles and plantations haunted by indigenous spirits. At the same time, Ruth argues, Thailand’s ruling institutions used the image of volunteers to advance their respective agendas, especially those related to anticommunist authoritarianism.

“From 1965 to 1972 Thailand sent nearly 38,000 military personnel to fight in the Vietnam War. Based on interviews with rank and file volunteers, who saw themselves as Buddhist warriors, this book is the first serious study of Thailand’s involvement in the war. Richard Ruth challenges the stereotypes and lazy generalizations about this forgotten episode of the war, and he offers fresh and compelling arguments to explain how this episode has contributed to the militarism in Thailand’s modern history.” —Craig J. Reynolds, Australian National University

Southeast Asia: Politics, Meaning, and Memory
September 2010 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3489-0 / $24.00 (PAPER)

The Asian Development Bank, China, and Thailand

Bounding the MekongTransnational economic integration has been described by globalization boosters as a rising tide that will lift all boats, an opportunity for all participants to achieve greater prosperity through a combination of political cooperation and capitalist economic competition. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has championed such rhetoric in promoting the integration of China, Southeast Asia’s formerly socialist states, and Thailand into a regional project called the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). But while the GMS project is in fact hastening regional economic integration, Bounding the Mekong: The Asian Development Bank, China, and Thailand, by Jim Glassman, shows that the approach belies the ADB’s idealized description of “win-win” outcomes. The process of “actually existing globalization” in the GMS does provide varied opportunities for different actors, but it is less a rising tide that lifts all boats than an uneven flood of transnational capitalist development whose outcomes are determined by intense class struggles, market competition, and regulatory battles.

“This book provides a powerful expose of the hollowness of much of the mainstream institutional discourse on free markets and region-making, as well as the ideological underpinnings of the agendas of the Asian Development Bank and the naturalizing discourse that sees states and regulation as somehow an aberration. Glassman’s analysis is highly original and brings a fresh approach to a region about which a lot has been written in recent years. The theoretical underpinning of the scholarship is more than just sound—it is a tour de force. The book fills an important niche in bringing well theorized analysis to a specifically contextualized region.” —Philip Hirsch, University of Sydney

September 2010 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3444-9 / $55.00 (CLOTH)

The Decorative Object in Early Modern China

Sensuous SurfacesSensuous Surfaces: The Decorative Object in Early Modern China, by Jonathan Hay, is a richly illustrated and in-depth introduction to the decorative arts in Ming- and Qing-dynasty China. Hay explores materials and techniques, as well as issues of patronage and taste, which together formed a loose system of informal rules that affected every level of decoration in early modern China, from an individual object to the arrangement of an entire residential interior. By engaging the actual and metaphoric potential of surface, Hay contends, this system guided the production and use of the decorative arts during a period of explosive growth, which started in the late sixteenth century and continued until the mid-nineteenth century. This understanding of decorative arts in China made a fundamental contribution to the sensory education of its early modern urban population, both as individuals and in their established social roles. Sensuous Surfaces is also an elegant meditation on the role of pleasure in decoration. Often intellectually dismissed as merely pleasurable, Hay argues that decoration is better understood as a necessary form of art that can fulfill its function only by engaging the human capacity for erotic response.

September 2010 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3361-9 / $63.00 (CLOTH)

Desire and Difference in Indonesia

Falling into the Lesbi WorldFalling into the Lesbi World: Desire and Difference in Indonesia, by Evelyn Blackwood, offers a compelling view of sexual and gender difference through the everyday lives of tombois and their girlfriends (“femmes”) in the city of Padang, West Sumatra. While likening themselves to heterosexual couples, tombois and femmes contest and blur dominant constructions of gender and heterosexuality. Tombois are masculine females who identify as men and desire women; their girlfriends view themselves as normal women who desire men. Through rich, in-depth, and provocative stories, author Evelyn Blackwood shows how these same-sex Indonesian couples negotiate transgressive identities and desires and how their experiences speak to the struggles and desires of sexual and gender minorities everywhere.

Falling into the Lesbi World sheds valuable light on the ways in which locally distinctive sensibilities articulate with regional, national, and transnational discourses bearing on the making of gender and sexual identities among Indonesia’s Minangkabau. This is a very sophisticated, nuanced, and theoretically provocative piece of work that is simultaneously lucid and compelling; it will be of great interest to Southeast Asianists and others committed to understanding gender diversity and sexual subjectivities in postcolonial contexts and beyond.” —Michael G. Peletz, Emory University

September 2010 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3487-6 / $24.00 (PAPER)