Earlier this month, Choice, the official publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries, announced their annual list of Outstanding Academic Titles reviewed in the magazine during the previous year. The list represents less than ten percent of 7,300+ books and other media titles reviewed by Choice during 2014. We are pleased to have the following UH Press books recognized for their excellence:
“Drawing on contemporary psychoanalytic scholarship, Sears has produced an important study on trauma, memory, and the mediated power of language. She shows how close readings of colonial and postcolonial literature can be, indeed must be, part of the historical archive.” —Choice (February 2014)
“This is an ambitious historiographical intervention into architectural/art historical accounts of ‘Asia.’ In contrast to studies that take the continent’s boundaries as cartographically or ontologically given, this volume emphasizes how Asia has been constructed and produced since the early modern period. . . . A valuable resource for specialists in art history, architectural history, anthropology, history, geography, religion, cultural studies, and Asian studies.” —Choice (September 2014)
“A farang observer with a wry sense of humor, an eye for detail, and a feel for history, Drew Johnson has given us a fascinating study of “progress” in contemporary Chiang Mai. Johnson shows why spirit mediums are as necessary as modern architects for preserving the unique identity and ensuring the future prosperity of this ancient city in Thailand’s north.” —Tony Day
This collection explores built environments and visual narratives in Asia via cartography, icons and symbols in different historical settings. Architecturalized Asia grows out of a three-year project focusing on cultural exchange in the making of Asia’s boundaries as well as its architectural styles and achievements. The editors — architectural scholars at University of Delaware, Seattle University, University of Washington and Harvard University, respectively – attracted contributions from Asia, Europe, and North America.
The manuscript consists of three sections – in Mapping Asia: Architectural Symbols from Medieval to Early Modern Periods, authors examine icons and symbols in maps and textual descriptions and other early evidence about Asian architecture. Incorporating archival materials from Asia and Europe, the essays present views of Asian architecture seen from those who lived on the continent, those who saw themselves residing along the margins, and those who identified themselves as outsiders. The second section, Conjugating Asia: The Long-Nineteenth Century and its Impetus, explores the construction of the field of Asian architecture and the political imagination of Asian built environments in the nineteenth century. It discusses the parallel narratives of colonialism and Orientalism in the construction of Asia and its architectural environment, mapping how empire-expanding influences from Europe and North America have defined “Asia” and its regions through new vocabularies and concepts, which include, among others, “Eurasia,” “Jap-Alaska,” “Asie coloniale,” “the Orient,” and “Further India.” The third section, Manifesting Asia: Building the Continent with Architecture, addresses the physical realization of “Asian” geographic ideas within a set of specific local and regional contexts in the twentieth century. It examines tangible constructions as legible documents of these notional constructions of Asia, and discusses their construction processes, materials and critical receptions as evidence of the physical’sreciprocal relationship to the conceptual. Regions and conditions covered include French Indochina, Iran, post-Soviet Central Asia, Japanese landscape, and the construction of theAfro-Asian built environment.
Although architecture continually responds to ascetic compulsions, as in its frequent encounter with the question of excess and less, it is typically considered separate from asceticism. In contrast, The Hermit’s Hutoffers original insight and explores the rich and mutual ways in which asceticism and architecture are played out in each other’s practices. Relying primarily on Buddhist materials, author Kazi K. Ashraf provides a complex narrative that stems from the simple structure of the hermit’s hut, showing how the significance of the hut resonates widely and how the question of dwelling is central to ascetic imagination. In exploring the conjunctions of architecture and asceticism, he breaks new ground by presenting ascetic practice as fundamentally an architectural project, namely the fabrication of a “last” hut.
This innovative book weaves together the fields of architecture, anthropology, religion, and philosophy to offer multidisciplinary and historical insights. It will appeal to readers with diverse interests and in a variety of disciplines—whether one is interested in the history of ascetic architecture in India, the concept of “home” in ancient India, or the theme of the body as building.