This week, March 21–26, the 2021 Association for Asian Studies (AAS) annual conference is taking place virtually. While most sessions require registration, there is also an open-access element to the conference, with plenary presentations accessible simply by signing up for a basic account. Be inspired by experiencing the opening ceremony and speech by AAS president Christine Yano (a University of Hawai‘i professor and UH Press author/series editor). The exhibit hall is also open to all—check out our virtual booth and explore its variety of offerings, including a conference discount and a jazzy video of our latest titles and books in series.
If you’re registered for the conference, there is much more to discover and absorb. For those who have a book proposal, please contact our acquisitions editors by email, after viewing this page that specifies their focus areas. As always, follow our Facebook and Twitter pages for our #AAS2021 posts. We look forward to the 2022 conference to be held (in-person, we hope) here in Honolulu!
University of Hawai‘i Press is exhibiting at the Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, March 27-30, held this year at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown hotel.
We have a larger than usual contingent attending: UHP director Michael Duckworth; editors Patricia Crosby, Pamela Kelley, and Stephanie Chun; marketing director Colins Kawai; and sales manager Royden Muranaka. Please visit us at booths 110-116 to see our latest titles and take advantage of the conference offer of a 20% discount and free shipping in the U.S. (Free shipping applies only to orders received or placed at the conference.) Our new Asian Studies print catalog will also be distributed.
Exhibiting across the aisle from us are publishing partners: Cornell University East Asia Program (booth 111), MerwinAsia and Seoul Selection (booth 113), NIAS Press-Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (booth 117), and NUS Press-Singapore (booth 115).
See you in Philly!
In Exhibiting the Past: Historical Memory and the Politics of Museums in Postsocialist China, Kirk Denton analyzes types of museums and exhibitionary spaces: from revolutionary history museums, military museums, and memorials to martyrs to museums dedicated to literature, ethnic minorities, and local history. He discusses red tourism—a state sponsored program developed in 2003 as a new form of patriotic education designed to make revolutionary history come alive—and urban planning exhibition halls, which project utopian visions of China’s future that are rooted in new conceptions of the past. Denton’s method is narratological in the sense that he analyzes the stories museums tell about the past and the political and ideological implications of those stories.
Focusing on “official” exhibitionary culture rather than alternative or counter memory, Denton reinserts the state back into the discussion of postsocialist culture because of its centrality to that culture and to show that state discourse in China is neither monolithic nor unchanging. The book considers the variety of ways state museums are responding to the dramatic social, technological, and cultural changes China has experienced over the past three decades.
Warm congratulations to philosophy professor Roger T. Ames on being awarded a 2013 Confucius Culture Prize at the Sixth Annual World Confucian Conference in Shandong, China. The Confucius Culture Prize was established in 2009 to honor both institutions and individuals for their exceptional contributions to Confucian studies. Dr. Ames is the first non-Chinese to receive the award. His most recent book is Confucian Role Ethics: A Vocabulary; among several previous titles that he has coauthored or edited are: The Chinese Classic of Family Reverence: A Philosophical Translation of the Xiaojing and Focusing the Familiar: A Translation and Philosophical Interpretation of the Zhongyong.
For more information, read the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa news release and visit the UHM College of Arts & Humanities and the UHM Center for Chinese Studies websites (the latter also has links to a video documentary about Dr. Ames, or click here).
Using a synthetic narrative approach, this ambitious work uses the lens of multipolarity to analyze Tang China’s (618–907) relations with Turkestan; the Korean states of Koguryŏ, Silla, and Paekche; the state of Parhae in Manchuria; and the Nanzhao and Tibetan kingdoms. Without any one entity able to dominate Asia’s geopolitical landscape, the author argues that relations among these countries were quite fluid and dynamic—an interpretation that departs markedly from the prevalent view of China fixed at the center of a widespread “tribute system.”
To cope with external affairs in a tumultuous world, Tang China employed a dual management system that allowed both central and local officials to conduct foreign affairs. The court authorized Tang local administrators to receive foreign visitors, forward their diplomatic letters to the capital, and manage contact with outsiders whose territories bordered on China. Not limited to handling routine matters, local officials used their knowledge of border situations to influence the court’s foreign policy. Some even took the liberty of acting without the court’s authorization when an emergency occurred, thus adding another layer to multipolarity in the region’s geopolitics.
The book also sheds new light on the ideological foundation of Tang China’s foreign policy. Appropriateness, efficacy, expedience, and mutual self-interest guided the court’s actions abroad. Although officials often used “virtue” and “righteousness” in policy discussions and announcements, these terms were not abstract universal principles but justifications for the pursuit of self-interest by those involved. Detailed philological studies reveal that in the realm of international politics, “virtue” and “righteousness” were in fact viewed as pragmatic and utilitarian in nature. Comprehensive and authoritative, Tang China in Multi-Polar Asia is a major work on Tang foreign relations that will reconceptualize our understanding of the complexities of diplomacy and war in imperial China.
2013, 480 pages, 7 illustrations
$65.00 ISBN: 978-0-8248-3644-3, Cloth
The World of East Asia
UH Press author, Victor Mair, Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania has been featured in SAS Frontiers. Read the full interview https://www.sas.upenn.edu/series/frontiers/even-pace here.
Eccentric artists are “the vagaries of humanity” that inhabit the deviant underside of Japanese society: This was the conclusion drawn by pre–World War II commentators on most early modern Japanese artists. Postwar scholarship, as it searched for evidence of Japan’s modern roots, concluded the opposite: The eccentric, mad, and strange are moral exemplars, paragons of virtue, and shining hallmarks of modern consciousness. In recent years, the pendulum has swung again, this time in favor of viewing these oddballs as failures and dropouts without lasting cultural significance.
This work corrects the disciplinary (and exclusionary) nature of such interpretations by reconsidering the sudden and dramatic emergence of aesthetic eccentricity during the Edo period (1600–1868). A study of impressive historical and disciplinary breadth, The Aesthetics of Strangeness also makes extensive use of primary sources, many previously overlooked in existing English scholarship. Its coverage of the entire Edo period and engagement with both Chinese and native Japanese traditions reinterprets Edo-period tastes and perceptions of normalcy. By wedding art history to intellectual history, literature, aesthetics, and cultural practice, W. Puck Brecher strives for a broadly interdisciplinary perspective on this topic. The Aesthetics of Strangeness demystifies this emergent paradigm by illuminating the conditions and tensions under which certain rubrics of strangeness— ki and kyō particularly—were appointed as aesthetic criteria. Its revision of early modern Japanese culture constitutes an important contribution to the field.
2013, 272 pages, 26 illustrations; ISBN: 978-0-8248-3666-5, Cloth $42.00