Graphic Medicine: Life Writing and Comics from Biography

In Graphic Medicine, the new monograph from the Biography quarterly, comics artists and scholars of life writing, literature, and comics explore the lived experience of illness and disability through original texts, images, and the dynamic interplay between the two.

The essays and autobiographical comics in this collection respond to the medical humanities’ call for different perceptions and representations of illness and disability than those found in conventional medical discourse. The collection expands and troubles our understanding of the relationships between patients and doctors, nurses, social workers, caregivers, and family members, considering such encounters in terms of cultural context, language, gender, class, and ethnicity. By treating illness and disability as an experience of fundamentally changed living, rather than a separate narrative episode organized by treatment, recovery, and a return to “normal life,” Graphic Medicine asks what it means to give and receive care.

During the past decade, graphic medicine comics have proliferated—an outpouring accelerated recently by the greatest health crisis in a century. Here, guest editors Erin La Cour and Anna Poletti discuss the collection.


University of Hawai‘i Press: Tell us how this special issue came together.

La Cour and Poletti: The idea for the special issue came from the Amsterdam Comics Conference in 2018, where there were a number of papers that explored graphic medicine. We became interested in bringing scholars and artists together to think about how the discourse of graphic medicine had developed and what future directions it might move in. We wanted to create an opportunity for interdisciplinary and intergenerational conversations about narratives of illness and disability in comics form, as well as consider what the limits of graphic medicine might be.

The final page of John Miers’s comic “Conflict Compromise?: An Imagined Conversation with John Hicklenton and Lindsay Cooper about Living with Multiple Sclerosis” in Graphic Medicine, pp. 25–38
The final page of John Miers’s comic “Conflict Compromise?: An Imagined Conversation with John Hicklenton and Lindsay Cooper about Living with Multiple Sclerosis” in Graphic Medicine, pp. 25–38

UHP: In the introduction, you pose the questions, “What can lifewriting scholars add to the burgeoning interest in life writing in comics form, and how might this new field of interest provoke lifewriting scholars to think differently about life writing?” How do you think this collection might provide an answer?

Editors: Our hope is that the special issue answers these questions by demonstrating that practitioners who reflect on their creative work are some of the most important theorists of graphic medicine’s potential uses and limitations. We also think that the investment in graphic medicine as a way of intervening in how medicine is practiced provides life writing scholars with fresh challenges in terms of thinking about how life writing is used, and the kinds of stakes people and institutions have in personal storytelling.

“Frame of Mind #1” by Nancy K. Miller in her essay “‘Is This Recover?’: Chronicity and Closure in Graphic Illness Memoir” in Graphic Medicine, pp. 53–70


“Frame of Mind #1” by Nancy K. Miller in her essay “‘Is This Recover?’: Chronicity and Closure in Graphic Illness Memoir” in Graphic Medicine, pp. 53–70

UHP: The cover features the work of Grant Gronewold, whose work does not “seek to translate the experience of chronic illness” but offers the “opportunity to learn the language” the artist developed to describe his world. Why did you choose to feature Gronewold on the cover, and how does this image serve as an entry to the collection?

Editors: We chose to commission an original image from Grant because of his highly developed symbolism: his images reward close attention and repeated viewing. We believe his work powerfully demonstrates that comics can (and do) communicate something of the experience of illness and disability that prose or poetry cannot. The way he places the figure in a landscape alongside objects of medical treatment (the giant scalpel, the bag of “patient clothes”) registers the social and political position of someone who is ill very evocatively and, we think, signals the thought-provoking nature of the comics and articles the special issue contains.

 “Disability Daily Drawn: A Comics Collaboration” by JoAnn Purcell in collaboration with Simone Purcell Randmaa in Graphic Medicine, pp. 97–115
“Disability Daily Drawn: A Comics Collaboration” by JoAnn Purcell in collaboration with Simone Purcell Randmaa in Graphic Medicine, pp. 97–115

UHP: What was the most challenging thing about creating this collection?

Editors: Without doubt, the pandemic. We had originally planned to bring all our contributors together for a physical meeting where the pieces would be workshopped, and we had to move that online. Our contributors were generous and flexible in finding other ways to read and respond to each other’s work.

Final page of Safdar Ahmed’s “Graphic Confessions and the Vulnerability Hangover from Hell” in Graphic Medicine, pp. 133–146
Final page of Safdar Ahmed’s “Graphic Confessions and the Vulnerability Hangover from Hell” in Graphic Medicine, pp. 133–146

 

UHP:  Since its publication, how has the response been?

Editors: We are getting lots of positive feedback about how beautiful the book is. A number of colleagues have commented on how much they like the range of contributions and the critical perspective the contributors bring to graphic medicine in terms of ethics and aesthetics.

UHP:  How do you hope to see this collection exist in your field and the wider community?

Editors: Our hope is that some of the graphic medicine programs in medical schools might adopt the collection so that health communicators and doctors can continue to reflect on their role as readers and distributors of life writing about illness and disability.

Cover of Graphic Medicine the Manoa Journal Volume 32 Issue (2020)
Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, vol. 44, nos. 2 & 3, 2021

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New Journal Special Issues: The Religiosity of Tonghak, Vietnamese Linguistics + More

Oregon beautiful picture

Journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistic Society

Special Issue:

Vietnamese Linguistics: State of the Field

The new issue features the following introduction by Trang Phan, John Phan, and Mark J. Alves

The current issue is the result of a workshop held at the Harvard Yenching Institute in April of 2021, entitled Vietnamese Linguistics, Typology and Language Universals, and which featured nineteen linguists working on diverse aspects of the Vietnamese language, ranging from semantics to historical phonology. Our purpose in gathering was to take stock of the great leaps in Vietnamese linguistic research that have occurred over the past few decades, to bring together cutting-edge research from each subdiscipline, and to begin a new collaborative dialogue on Vietnamese linguistics, typology, and language universals. Most of all, it was our belief that the time had come to reconsider Vietnamese linguistics as a unified field of inquiry. As a result, a new academic organization was founded: the International Society of Vietnamese Linguistics.
In the past twenty years, research into the Vietnamese language has advanced exponentially, in tandem with developments in our understanding of syntax, semantics, phonetics, and phonology—both on the synchronic and diachronic levels. Specific work on the Vietnamese language now informs and even leads broader linguistic inquiry in a number of unprecedented ways. These new developments invite a concentration of state-the-field research into a single volume, one that will serve not only to summarize current issues in each subdiscipline of Vietnamese linguistics, but also to initiate a longer, more collaborative conversation about the Vietnamese language.
Our goals in this special issue are thus twofold: first, we seek to provide a snapshot of current research into Vietnamese syntax, semantics, phonology, and phonetics, from both the historical and synchronic points of view, that may serve as a resource for linguists interested in exploring our current understanding of the Vietnamese language. Second, we hope that this issue will also serve as an invitation to all linguists working on the Vietnamese language or related languages to contribute to a broader, more cosmopolitan discussion—one in which discoveries of one subdiscipline may serve to inform or enlighten another.


Find more articles at eVols.

New Journal Issues: “Contagious Magic” in Japanese Theatre, Logistics of the Natural History Trade, Hawai‘i’s Toxic Plants + More

New Journal Issues: Schooling Journeys in the Southwestern Pacific, #KuToo Online Feminist Movement in Japan, Geographic Analysis of COVID-19 in L.A. + More

The Contemporary Pacific

Volume 22, Issue 2 (2021)

Special Issue: Schooling Journeys in the Southwestern Pacific

From the Guest Editors Rachel Emerine Hicks, Debra McDougall, and David Oakeshott in The Promise of Education: Schooling Journeys in the Southwester Pacific:

“Schooling journeys” is more than a metaphor in the southwestern Pacific. To step into a classroom, children and youth often travel hours each day or live for months at a time away from their families. The journey of schooling is rarely direct; it often winds between formal and informal learning and in and out of school, work, and home life. And the journey is expensive; many families struggle mightily to gather the money for fees, school supplies, uniforms, and transportation. Young people embark on these precarious journeys, and their families make sacrifices to support them, because schooling promises a better life—a move away from the backbreaking labor of subsistence agriculture toward a reliable salary that will better support their family and community. Because of the structural inequalities in school and a lack of jobs for those who complete schooling, however, few experience the socioeconomic advancement schooling promises. Still, students and their families continue to hope that schooling will lead to well-paid work. Even more important, though, going to school is seen as key to being a competent and effective person in society—increasingly for both women and men.

Yearbook of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers

Volume 83 (2021)

Editor Craig S. Revels reflects over the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has affected geographers and members as he states:

Last year’s volume was published in a time of great uncertainty as the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the world, and this year’s unfortunately arrives under similar conditions, slowly improving though they may be. The tragedies, disruptions, and general state of societal affairs during the pandemic will not soon be forgotten…

Geographers have been at the forefront of research into the spread of COVID-19 since the earliest days of the pandemic, and Steve Graves and Petra Nichols contribute an analytical perspective on infection rates in Los Angeles County. In particular, they statistically identify a causal relationship between infection and a range of key socioeconomic and demographic variables, a relationship influencing the location and rate of spread for the disease. They leave us to consider how those factors must be addressed in any preparations for future public health crises.

In a significantly different context, Ray Sumner and John Menary
demonstrate that taking students into the field, always a valuable exercise, is even more rewarding when it leads to unexpected discoveries and challenges our carefully laid plans. In this case, a straightforward field methods class oriented around the Los Angeles River instead became an open-ended, student-driven exploration into the social dimensions of heritage, ethnicity,
culture, and urban development.

China Review International Vol. 24 No. 4 (2017)

Volume 24 Number 4 of China Review International begins with three feature reviews and 19 more reviews of scholarly literature in Chinese Studies.

Featured Reviews:

Changing Clothes in Chang’an (reviewing BuYun Chen, Empire of Style: Silk and Fashion in Tang China)  Reviewed by Shao-yun Yang

The Local and Global Politics of Contemporary Art (reviewing Frank Vigneron, Hong Kong Soft Power: Art Practices in the Special Administrative Region, 2005–2014)
Reviewed by John Zarobell

The Monkey King, 4-EVER (reviewing Hongmei Sun, Transforming Monkey: Adaptation and Representation of a Chinese Epic)
Reviewed by Dore J. Levy

Reviews:

Barry Allen, Vanishing into Things: Knowledge in Chinese Tradition
Reviewed by Aaron B. Creller

Nadine Amsler, Jesuits & Matriarchs: Domestic Worship in Early Modern China
Reviewed by Anthony E. Clark

Kent E. Calder, Super Continent: The Logic of Eurasian Integration
Reviewed by Mark Henderson

Xiaomei Chen, Staging Chinese Revolution: Theater, Film, and the Afterlives of Propaganda
Reviewed by Emily Wilcox

Michael Dillon, Lesser Dragons: Minority Peoples of China
Reviewed by Kaitlin Banfill

Prasenjit Duara and Elizabeth J. Perry, editors, Beyond Regimes: China and India Compared
Reviewed by Sreemati Chakrabarti

Jia-Chen Fu, The Other Milk: Reinventing Soy in Republican China
Reviewed by Veronica, Sau-Wa Mak

Robyn R. Iredale and Fei Guo, editors, Handbook of Chinese Migration: Identity and Wellbeing
Reviewed by C. Cindy Fan

Paul Kendall, The Sounds of Social Space: Branding, Built Environment, and Leisure in Urban China 
Reviewed by Han Li

Elisabeth Koll, Railroads and the Transformation of China
Reviewed by Rudi Volti

Norman A. Kutcher, Eunuch and Emperor in the Great Age of Qing Rule
Reviewed by Carl Déry

Wendy Larson, Zhang Yimou: Globalization and the Subject of Culture
Reviewed by Kun Qian

Hsiao-t’i Li, Opera, Society, and Politics in Modern China
Reviewed by Jonathan P. J. Stock

Michał Lubina, Russia and China: A Political Marriage of Convenience–Stable and Successful
Reviewed by Paul Bolt

Klaus Mühlhahn, Making China Modern: From the Great Qing to Xi Jinping
Reviewed by Thoralf Klein

Sarah Schneewind, Shrines to Living Men in the Ming Political Cosmos
Reviewed by Ying Zhang

Hsueh-man Shen, Authentic Replicas: Buddhist Art in Medieval China
Reviewed by Xiao Yang

Edward Vickers and Zeng Xiaodong, Education and Society in Post-Mao China
Reviewed by Yun You

Yan Xu, The Soldier Image and State-Building in Modern China, 1924–1945
Reviewed by Nicolas Schillinger

Works Received

China Review International
Vol. 24. No. 4
2017

Biography Vol. 42 No. 3 (2019)

Figure 3 from “Call My Name: Using Biographical Storytelling to Reconceptualize the History of African Americans at Clemson University” by Rhondda Robinson Thomas: Inventory of Slaves, Fort Hill Farm Deed, 15 May 1854, Thomas Green Clemson Papers, Special Collections and Archives, Clemson University Libraries, box 1, folder 25.

ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE:

Introduction to Biographic Mediation: On the Uses of Personal Disclosure in Bureaucracy and Politics
Ebony Coletu, guest editor

Biographic Mediation and the Formerly Incarcerated: How Dissembling and Disclosure Counter the Extended Consequences of Criminal Convictions
Michelle Jones

A Complaint Biography
Sara Ahmed

Lives on the Line: An Interview with Aly Wane
Aly Wane interviewed by Ebony Coletu

The Securitate File as a Record of Psuchegraphy
Cristina Plamadeala

“Has someone taken your passport?”: Everyday Surveillance of the Migrant Laborer as Trafficked Subject
Annie Isabel Fukushima

Guidelines for Squatting: Concerned Citizens of North Camden, 1978–1990
Mercy Romero

Frames of Witness: The Kavanaugh Hearings, Survivor Testimony, and #MeToo
Leigh Gilmore

Call My Name: Using Biographical Storytelling to Reconceptualize the History of African Americans at Clemson University
Rhondda Robinson Thomas

Mirror Memoirs: Amita Swadhin on Survivor Storytelling and the Mediation of Rape Culture
Amita Swadhin interviewed by Ebony Coletu

The Consumption of Adoption and Adoptees in American Middlebrow Culture
Kimberly McKee

(Un)Reasonable, (Un)Necessary, and (In)Appropriate: Biographic Mediation of Neurodivergence in Academic Accommodations
Aimée Morrison

About the Journal

For over forty years, Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly has explored the theoretical, generic, historical, and cultural dimensions of life writing.

Subscriptions

Single issue sales and annual subscriptions for both individuals and institutions available here.

Submissions

Unsolicited manuscripts between 2,500 to 7,500 words are welcome. Email inquiries and editorial correspondence to biograph@hawaii.edu.

 

 

Biography:
An Interdisciplinary Quarterly
Vol. 42 No. 3
2019

Biography Vol. 42 No. 2 (2019)

Figure 8 from Philip Miletic’s essay “Playing a Life in Nina Freeman’s Automedia Game, Cibele.” Valtameri. The meter with the handshake in the upper right corner progresses as Nina (left) and Ichi (right) fight together.

Editor’s Note

ARTICLES IN THIS ISSUE:

Wounded Cities: Topographies of Self and Nation in Fay Afaf Kanafani’s Nadia, Captive of Hope
Hager Ben Driss

Playing a Life in Nina Freeman’s Automedia Game, Cibele
Philip Miletic

Reading, Writing, and Resistance in Audre Lorde’s Zami: A New Spelling of My Name
Sarita Cannon

“Bad” Biography Exposed!: A Critical Analysis of American Super-Pop
Oline Eaton

BOOK REVIEWS:

The Shadow in the Garden: A Biographer’s Tale, by James Atlas
Reviewed by Carl Rollyson

Experiments in Life-Writing: Intersections of Auto/Biography and Fiction, edited by Lucia Boldrini and Julia Novak
Reviewed by Alexandra Effe

American Autobiography after 9/11, by Megan Brown
Reviewed by Elisabeth Hedrick-Moser

Letter to My Father: A Memoir, by G. Thomas Couser
Reviewed by Emily Hipchen

The Selfie Generation: How Our Self Images Are Changing Our Notions of Privacy, Sex, Consent, and Culture, by Alicia Eler
Reviewed by Teresa Bruś

Invented Lives, Imagined Communities: The Biopic and American National Identity, edited by William H. Epstein and R. Barton Palmer
Reviewed by Eric M. Thau

An Artisan Intellectual: James Carter and the Rise of Modern Britain, 1792–1853, by Christopher Ferguson
Reviewed by Anna Clark

Autobiographical Writing in Latin America: Folds of the Self, by Sergio R. Franco
Reviewed by Francisco Brignole

Getting Personal: Teaching Personal Writing in the Digital Age, edited by Laura Gray-Rosendale
Reviewed by Madeleine Sorapure

The Art of Confession: The Performance of Self from Robert Lowell to Reality TV, by Christopher Grobe
Reviewed by Lynda Goldstein

A History of Irish Autobiography, edited by Liam Harte
Reviewed by Taura Napier

Victorians Undone: Tales of the Flesh in the Age of Decorum, by Kathryn Hughes
Reviewed by Alison Booth

Doña Teresa Confronts the Spanish Inquisition: A Seventeenth-Century New Mexican Drama, by Frances Levine
Reviewed by Jorge Ca.izares-Esguerra

Clio’s Lives: Biographies and Autobiographies of Historians, edited by Doug Munro and John G. Reid
Reviewed by Jaume Aurell

The Decolonial Mandela: Peace, Justice and the Politics of Life, edited by Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni
Reviewed by Nick Mdika Tembo

Creating Identity in the Victorian Fictional Autobiography, by Heidi L. Pennington
Reviewed by Anne Reus

A History of Irish Working-Class Writing, edited by Michael Pierse
Reviewed by Muireann Leech

Canadian Graphic: Picturing Lives, edited by Candida Rifkind and Linda Warley
Reviewed by Roc.o G. Davis

Life? or Theatre? ( Leben? oder Theater?), by Charlotte Salomon
Reviewed by Julia Watson

The Phenomenology of Autobiography: Making it Real, by Arnaud Schmitt
Reviewed by Bettina Stumm

On the Arab-Jew, Palestine, and Other Displacements: Selected Writings, by Ella Shohat
Reviewed by Joyce Zonana

Bird-Bent Grass: A Memoir, in Pieces, by Kathleen Venema
Reviewed by G. Thomas Couser

Private Lives Made Public: The Invention of Biography in Early Modern England, by Andrea Walkden
Reviewed by Julie A. Eckerle


About the Journal

For over forty years, Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly has explored the theoretical, generic, historical, and cultural dimensions of life writing.

Subscriptions

Single issue sales and annual subscriptions for both individuals and institutions available here.

Submissions

Unsolicited manuscripts between 2,500 to 7,500 words are welcome. Email inquiries and editorial correspondence to biograph@hawaii.edu.

Review of Japanese Culture and Society, vol. 29 (2017)

Distributed for Jōsai International Center for the Promotion of Art and Science, Jōsai University

READING SŌSEKI NOW

Editors’ Introduction: Sōseki Great and Small
Reiko Abe Auestad, Alan Tansman, J. Keith Vincent

What Sort of a Stone Was Sōseki? How to Become Who You Are Not
Tawada Yōko, J. Keith Vincent

Kokoro and the Economic Imagination
Brian Hurley

The Affect that Disorients Kokoro
Reiko Abe Auestad

Kokoro in the High School Textbook
Ken K. Ito

Doubled Visions of Desire: Fujimura Misao, Kusamakura, and Homosocial Nostalgia
Robert Tuck

Penning the Mad Man in the Attic: Queerness, Women Writers, and Race in Sōseki’s Sanshirō
Sayumi Takahashi Harb

Beach Boys in Manchuria: An Examination of Sōseki’s Here and There in Manchuria and Korea, 1909
Angela Yiu

The Relations Between Things and Three Types of People: A lecture sponsored by the Manshū Nichinichi Shimbun, September 12, 1909, in Dalian (translated by Angela Yiu)
Natsume Sōseki

“Why Was He…Well, Killed?” Natsume Sōseki, Empire, and the Open Secrets of Anticolonial Violence
Andre Haag

Impressions of Korea and Manchuria (1909) (translated by Andre Haag)
Natsume Sōseki

Judging a Book by Its Cover: Natsume Sōseki, Book Design, and the Value of Art
Pedro Thiago Ramos Bassoe

Death and Poetry: From Shiki to Sōseki (1992) (translated by Robert Tuck) 
Karatani Kōjin

From Postcolonial (2001) (translated by Andre Haag and Robert Tierney)
Komori Yōichi

Camellias and Vampires: Reading the Spermatic Economy in Natsume Sōseki’s And Then (2008) (translated by Kristin Sivak)
Miyazaki Kasumi

ART IN FOCUS: Matsuzawa Yutaka’s The Whole Works, 1961-1971

Introduction
Reiko Tomii

The Whole Works, 1961–71 (translated by Reiko Tomii)
Matsuzawa Tutaka

DESIGN IN FOCUS

Design in Japan: Contemporary Perspectives on Design Practice
Ignacio Adriasola

Interview with Sugiura Kōhei (2013) (translated by Mycah Braxton)

Report: From “Do It Yourself” to “Do It With Others” to “Do It For Others” —Can Fashion Be Renewed? Forum (2012) (translated by Yoonkyung Kim)

The Smart Design Award: The Always Convenient × Always Prepared Series (2012) (translated by Mycah Braxton)

The Essence of Social Design (2013) (translated by Elsa Chanez)
Kakei Yūsuke

FICTION

Butterfly (1889) (translated by Nicholas Albertson)
Yamada Bimyō

On the Contributors


About the Journal

The Review of Japanese Culture and Society is an annual English-language journal dedicated to the critical analysis of Japanese culture using thematic and interdisciplinary approaches to provide a broad perspective by combining the work of Japanese scholars and critics with that of non-Japanese writers. Dedicated to the translation of works written originally in Japanese, each issue also includes an original translation of a Japanese short story.

Subscriptions

Single issue sales and annual subscriptions for both individuals and institutions available here.

Submissions

Manuscripts should be 7,000 to no more than 8,000 words including notes, and authors are responsible for obtaining rights and the cost of obtaining rights for any images included. Find submission guidelines here.

Review of Japanese Culture and Society
Volume 29 (2017)

The Hermit’s Hut: Architecture and Asceticism in India

Ashraf-Hermit'sHutAlthough 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 Hut offers 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.

November 2013 | 240 pages | 105 illustrations
ISBN: 978-0-8248-3583-5 | $50.00 | Cloth

Spatial Habitus: Making and Meaning in Asia’s Architecture

Julie Nelson Davis Foresees Rich Collection of Japanese Art Books As Researchers’ Treasure

31680_12092013_libraryjapaneseartscollectionconnie010f
photo by Connie Kang for The Daily Pennsylvanian

Associate professor of art history Julie Nelson Davis was interviewed by The Daily Pennsylvanian about the recent donation of 1,300 books and periodicals on Japanese art to University of Pennsylvania libraries. Davis, author of Utamaro and the Spectacle of Beauty, called the endowment by Shirley and Marilyn Luber (wife and daughter of the late Philadelphia art collector Gilbert Luber) “one of the broadest and deepest private collections of books about Japanese prints I have ever encountered.” She hopes her students will be able to use the collection in her curatorial seminar this spring.

Professor Davis’ forthcoming Partners in Print: Artistic Collaboration and the Market for Ukiyo-e in Late Eighteenth-Century Japan is scheduled for spring 2015. Illustrated with more than a hundred color and black-and-white photographs, Davis’ account of collaboration in ukiyo-e will offer a new approach to understanding the production and reception of the images of the “floating world” in early modern Japan.

Regionalizing Culture: The Political Economy of Japanese Popular Culture in Asia

Regionalizing CultureThis ambitious work provides a comprehensive, empirically grounded study of the production, circulation, and reception of Japanese popular culture in Asia. While many studies typically employ an interactive approach that focuses on the “meaning” of popular culture from an anthropological or cultural studies point of view, Regionalizing Culture emphasizes that the consumption side and contextual meaning of popular culture are not the only salient factors in accounting for its proliferation. The production side and organizational aspects are also important. In addition to presenting individual case studies, the book offers a big-picture view of the dramatic changes that have taken place in popular culture production and circulation in Asia over the past two decades.

“This highly informative book provides a comprehensive examination of the successful deployment of Japanese popular culture throughout East Asia. Surveying a broad spectrum of cultural products, including games, animation, and TV drama, it argues both that there is a Japanese model to popular cultural production and that that model of cultural commodification has contributed to the regionalization of East Asia. The use of extensive interviews with diverse stakeholders, including both industry personnel and audience, provides a fresh approach to the subject that will satisfy a growing interest in Japanese popular culture in university curriculum.” —Lisa Leung, Lingnan University, Hong Kong

October 2013, 256 pages, 13 illustrations
$42.00; ISBN: 978-0-8248-3694-8, Cloth

Sounding Out Heritage: Cultural Politics and the Social Practice of Quan Họ Folk Song in Northern Vietnam

Tang China in Multi-Polar Asia

Sounding Out Heritage explores the cultural politics that have shaped the recent history and practice of a unique style of folk song that originated in Bắc Ninh province, northern Vietnam. The book delves into the rich and complicated history of quan họ, showing the changes it has undergone over the last sixty years as it moved from village practice onto the professional stage. Interweaving an examination of folk music, cultural nationalism, and cultural heritage with an in-depth ethnographic account of the changing social practice of quan họ folk song, author Lauren Meeker presents a vivid and historically contextualized picture of the quan họ “soundscape.”

Village practitioners, ordinary people who love to sing quan họ, must now negotiate increased attention from those outside the village and their own designation as “living treasures.” Professional singers, with their different performance styles and representational practices, have been incorporated into the quan họ soundscape in an effort to highlight and popularize the culture of Bắc Ninh province in the national context. Sounding Out Heritage offers an in-depth account of the impact of cultural politics on the lives and practices of quan họ folk singers in Vietnam and shows compellingly how a tradition can mean many things to many people.

2013, 200 pages, 18 illustrations
$45.00 ISBN: 978-0-8248-3568-2, Cloth
Southeast Asia: Politics, Meaning, and Memory