Charismatic power, excess, and collapse in Thailand’s northern capital

johnsonGhostsNewCity
NEW RELEASE


Ghosts of the New City: Spirits, Urbanity, and the Ruins of Progress in Chiang Mai
written by Andrew Alan Johnson

2014 | 208 pages
Cloth | ISBN 978-0-8248-3939-0 | $55.00
Paper | ISBN 978-0-8248-3882-2 | $36.00
Not for sale in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia: Politics, Meaning, and Memory
Published in association with Silkworm Books

“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

 

Indonesia’s Islam and autonomy’s quandary

SimonCOVER13.indd
NEW RELEASE


Caged in on the Outside: Moral Subjectivity, Selfhood, and Islam in Minangkabau, Indonesia
written by Gregory M. Simon

2014 | 272 pages
Cloth | ISBN 978-0-8248-3830-0 | $57.00
Southeast Asia: Politics, Meaning, and Memory

“Simon’s book is a welcome addition to the literature on the Minangkabau. He offers a dynamic view of how Minangkabau people negotiate the contradictions and tensions they experience in everyday contexts and provides an excellent exposition of the concepts of social integration and individual autonomy. By bringing Islam into the larger conversation about moral subjectivity, he demonstrates how people engage with and make use of Islamic values in their daily lives.” —Evelyn Blackwood, Purdue University

New in the Southeast Asia: Politics, Meaning, and Memory Series

Potent LandscapesPotent 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)

Forest of StruggleIn 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.

Seeing Beauty, Sensing Race in Transnational Indonesia

Seeing BeautyIn 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)