New Books in East Asian Studies Podcasts

Listen to the latest New Books Network podcasts featuring interviews with Press authors Kevin Carr, Barbara Ambros, and Luke Roberts.

Previous podcasts featured authors Hank Glassman, Bryan Cuevas, Lori Meeks, and Daniel Veidlinger.

The New Books Network “is a consortium of podcasts dedicated to raising the level of public discourse by introducing serious authors to serious audiences.”

Year of the Snake Sale Starts Noon Tomorrow: 40% Off Select China Titles

Chinese New Year Sale 2013

Our Year of the Snake Sale is just a day away! Click on the banner to view a complete, searchable list of sale books—including the just-published new edition of Mary Sia’s Classic Chinese Cookbook and all of John DeFrancis’ popular dictionaries (ABC Chinese-English Comprehensive Dictionary, ABC Chinese-English Dictionary: Desk Reference Edition, ABC English-Chinese Chinese-English Dictionary)—and visit www.uhpress.hawaii.edu from Friday, February 8 (noon, HST) to Wednesday, February 13 (noon, HST). (Discount prices will not appear online until the sale begins.)

It’s the Year of the Snake Web Sale! 40% Off Select China Titles

Chinese New Year Sale 2013

Kung Hee Fat Choy! The Year of the Black Snake officially begins on Sunday, February 10, but you don‘t have to wait until then to save 40% on select China titles, both published and distributed by UH Press.

Click on the banner to view a complete, searchable list of sale books—including the just-published new edition of Mary Sia’s Classic Chinese Cookbook and all of John DeFrancis’ popular dictionaries (ABC Chinese-English Comprehensive Dictionary, ABC Chinese-English Dictionary: Desk Reference Edition, ABC English-Chinese Chinese-English Dictionary)—and visit www.uhpress.hawaii.edu from Friday, February 8 (noon, HST) to Wednesday, February 13 (noon, HST). (Discount prices will not appear online until the sale begins.)

Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China

Original CopiesA 108-meter high Eiffel Tower rises above Champs Elysées Square in Hangzhou. A Chengdu residential complex for 200,000 recreates Dorchester, England. An ersatz Queen’s Guard patrols Shanghai’s Thames Town, where pubs and statues of Winston Churchill abound. Gleaming replicas of the White House dot Chinese cities from Fuyang to Shenzhen. These examples are but a sampling of China’s most popular and startling architectural movement: the construction of monumental themed communities that replicate towns and cities in the West.

Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China, by Bianca Bosker, presents the first definitive chronicle of this remarkable phenomenon in which entire townships appear to have been airlifted from their historic and geographic foundations in Europe and the Americas, and spot-welded to Chinese cities. These copycat constructions are not theme parks but thriving communities where Chinese families raise children, cook dinners, and simulate the experiences of a pseudo-Orange County or Oxford. In recounting the untold and evolving story of China’s predilection for replicating the greatest architectural hits of the West, Bosker explores what this unprecedented experiment in “duplitecture” implies for the social, political, architectural, and commercial landscape of contemporary China.

“The postmodern predilection for ‘themed’ environments and simulacra has generally been interpreted, in a line that stretches from the Frankfurt School to Baudrillard and Eco, in terms of loss—loss of originality and loss of authenticity. Bianca Bosker turns this line of cultural criticism in a very different direction in a perceptive analysis of architectural mimicry in the cultural context of the ‘new China.’ Through significant and original research, including personal interviews and photographs, Bosker draws a vivid picture of a rapidly changing society in a moment in the self-definition of its wealthier elements. Original Copies will appeal both to specialists in contemporary Chinese studies and to a wider public curious about these arresting images of a consumer society in formation.” —Christian Hubert, Parsons The New School for Design

January 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3606-1 / $30.00 (PAPER)
Spatial Habitus: Making and Meaning in Asia’s Architecture
Published in association with Hong Kong University Press

For more on China’s architectural mimicry:
Copycat Architects in China Take Aim at the Stars: http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/pirated-copy-of-design-by-star-architect-hadid-being-built-in-china-a-874390.html
China’s Copycat Cities: http://uhpress.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/foreign-policy-article-on-chinas-copycat-cities/

New Edition of a Classic Cookbook

Mary Sia's Classic Chinese CookbookMary Sia’s Chinese Cookbook has been a classic of Chinese cookery since it was first published in 1956. This fourth edition features all 300 of the original recipes, ranging from simple, everyday fare to more elaborate dishes for entertaining, as well as essays by Mary Sia. An all-new food glossary provides up-to-date names for ingredients along with advice on appropriate substitutions and sources for 21st-century cooks. The work also includes an introduction by Rachel Laudan, renowned food historian and author of The Food of Paradise: Exploring Hawai‘i’s Culinary Heritage.

December 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3738-9 / $16.99 (PAPER)

Reading the World, One Book at a Time: Han Dong’s Banished

9780824833404PLate in 2011, the world was gearing up for the Olympics in London and Ann Morgan was planning to meet it more than halfway by reading “as many of the globe’s 196 independent countries . . . one book from every nation.” Her blog “A year of reading the world” tracks her progress and is filled with thoughtful commentary on not only what Morgan is reading (she’s not done yet) and her thoughts on the work, but also how she got there: the recommendations she received, the reasons behind her decision to read one book over another (e.g., for Bulgaria, Georgi Gospodinov over Elias Canetti: She discovered Gospodinov’s Natural Novel in a NYC bookstore “and it sounded so intriguing that I had to buy it and read it then and there”).

Morgan’s November 29, 2012 entry, “China: one in 1.3 billion,”details her discovery of Han Dong’s Banished!, published by UH Press in 2008. Forgoing this year’s Nobel Prize winner Mo Yan, Morgan decided on Han Dong after a meeting with translator, Nicky Harman:

“I couldn’t help being intrigued by [Harman’s] description of the book, which, by the sound of it, provided an unusual—even quirky—perspective on the events of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution. My interest was also piqued by the translator’s comment that the structure of the book, which reads like a memoir, with each chapter devoted to a different character in the village, reflected a popular tradition in Chinese fiction. I decided it would be the book for me.”

Last year Morgan blogged “A year of reading women,” an equally insightful and entertaining trip through books, this time by women writers (largely British and North American) through the centuries.

Foreign Policy Article on China’s Copycat Cities

boskerEiffelTower

Last week Foreign Policy posted an article, China’s Copycat Cities, written by Jack Carlson, on China’s recent re-creation of some of the West’s most iconic, historical attractions in its own backyard: Replicas of British towns complete with Tudor, Georgian, and Victorian buildings can now be found near Shanghai and Chengdu, in addition to at least two large-scale replicas of the Eiffel Tower and a highly accurate, full-scale White House outside Hangzhou, to name a few. Carlson mentions the reasons offered by European and American commentators for the presence of Bauhaus towns and a Sydney Opera House in China—the country’s “copycat syndrome,” “self-colonization”—but he also finds a fascinating parallel in Chinese history during the Qing with the Qianlong Emperor’s construction of the Western Palaces, which were closely based on the Trianon in Versailles. An excellent slide show accompanies the article.

UH Press’ forthcoming Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China, by Bianca Bosker, is the first definitive chronicle of this remarkable phenomenon in which entire buildings and towns appear to have been airlifted from their historic and geographic foundations in Europe and the Americas and spot-welded to Chinese cities. The latest book in the series Spatial Habitus: Making and Meaning in Asia’s Architecture, Original Copies will be available in January 2013.

UH Press at American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, November 17-20

AAA logoUniversity of Hawai‘i Press is exhibiting at this year’s annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion, which is being held at McCormick Place Convention Center, November 17-20.

Press acquisitions editor Patricia Crosby and Asian studies product manager Steven Hirashima are attending. Please visit us at Booth 219.

Imagination and Authenticity in Chinese Historical Writing

Reinventing Modern China
Reinventing Modern China: Imagination and Authenticity in Chinese Historical Writing, by Huaiyin Li, offers the first systematic analysis of writings on modern Chinese history by historians in China from the early twentieth century to the present. It traces the construction of major interpretive schemes, the evolution of dominant historical narratives, and the unfolding of debates on the most controversial issues in different periods. Placing history-writing in the context of political rivalry and ideological contestation, Li explicates how the historians’ dedication to faithfully reconstructing the past was compromised by their commitment to an imagined trajectory of history that fit their present-day agenda and served their needs of political legitimation.

October 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3608-5 / $52.00 (CLOTH)

A Religious History of Pure Land Literature in Tibet

Luminous Bliss
Pure Land Buddhism as a whole has received comparatively little attention in Western studies on Buddhism despite the importance of “buddha-fields” (pure lands) for the growth and expression of Mahāyāna Buddhism. In Luminous Bliss: A Religious History of Pure Land Literature in Tibet, the first religious history of Tibetan Pure Land literature, Georgios Halkias delves into a rich collection of literary, historical, and archaeological sources to highlight important aspects of this neglected pan-Asian Buddhist tradition. He clarifies many of the misconceptions concerning the interpretation of “other-world” soteriology in Indo-Tibetan Buddhism and provides translations of original Tibetan sources from the ninth century to the present that represent exoteric and esoteric doctrines that continue to be cherished by Tibetan Buddhists for their joyful descriptions of the Buddhist path. The book is informed by interviews with Tibetan scholars and Buddhist practitioners and by Halkias’ own participant-observation in Tibetan Pure Land rituals and teachings conducted in Europe and the Indian subcontinent.

“By providing both a sweeping historical overview of its development, and a detailed survey of its wide-ranging textual corpus, Luminous Bliss takes the study of the Tibetan Pure Land tradition to a whole new level. And in doing so Halkias reveals not only how the soteriology of Sukhavati shaped the practice of Buddhism in Tibet, but also how it informed Tibetan conceptualizations of the environment, society, and the state.” —Johan Elverskog, Southern Methodist University

Pure Land Buddhist Studies
September 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3590-3 / $49.00 (CLOTH)

Beyond East-West Binaries in (Auto)Biographical Studies

Locating Life Stories
The thirteen essays in Locating Life Stories: Beyond East-West Binaries in (Auto)Biographical Studies, edited by Maureen Perkins, come from Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Malaysia, South Africa, and Hawai‘i. With a shared focus on the specific local conditions that influence the ways in which life narratives are told, the authors engage with a variety of academic disciplines, including anthropology, history, media studies, and literature, to challenge claims that life writing is an exclusively Western phenomenon. Addressing the common desire to reflect on lived experience, the authors enlist interdisciplinary perspectives to interrogate the range of cultural forms available for representing and understanding lives.

A Biography Monograph
September 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3730-3 / $28.00 (CLOTH)
Published in association with the Biographical Research Center

Song Culture in the Yingzao Fashi Building Manual

Chinese Architecture and MetaphorChinese Architecture and Metaphor: Song Culture in the Yingzao Fashi Building Manual, by Jiren Feng, reveals significant and fascinating social and cultural phenomena in the most important primary text for the study of the Chinese building tradition. Unlike previous scholarship, which has reviewed this imperially commissioned architectural manual largely as a technical work, this volume considers the Yingzao Fashi’s unique literary value and explores the rich cultural implications in and behind its technical content.

“This fascinating and erudite study takes a fresh and original approach to the most significant document in Chinese architectural history. Taking the terminology and textual strategies of the Yingzao fashi as his starting point, and drawing both on literature and on the structures and aesthetics of surviving buildings, Jiren Feng develops a complex and sophisticated cultural analysis of the text and of Chinese historical traditions of architectural writing more broadly, demonstrating that matter and metaphor cannot be disentangled in Chinese architectural thinking and practice. As well as being an argument about architecture, this is a study of poetics and of sensibilities, and a history of the meaning of grand buildings in Chinese cosmology and politics.” —Francesca Bray, University of Edinburgh

June 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3363-3 / $53.00 (CLOTH)
Spatial Habitus: Making and Meaning in Asia’s Architecture
Published in association with Hong Kong University Press