AAAS Book Awards: Relative Histories Earns Honorable Mention in Literary Studies

At last week’s annual meeting of the Association for Asian American Studies in Seattle, the AAAS Book Awards (for titles published in 2011) were celebrated with a Friday reception in the exhibit hall, as well as at the general awards banquet. Relative Histories: Mediating History in Asian American Family Memoirs by Rocío G. Davis received an honorable mention in the category of Literary Studies. Professor Davis traveled from Hong Kong to attend the conference, so was on hand to accept the award.

(Relative Histories is 50% off during our 2013 Spring Sale that ends April 25!)

Portraits of Southeast Asian Modernity

Figures of Southeast Asia ModernityFigures of Southeast Asian Modernity, edited by Joshua Baker, Erik Harms, and Johan Lindquist, brings together the fieldwork of over eighty scholars and covers the nine major countries of the region: Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. An introduction outlines important social transformations in Southeast Asia and key theoretical and methodological innovations that result from ethnographic attention to the study of key figures. Each section begins with an introduction by a country editor followed by short essays offering vivid and intimate portraits set against the background of contemporary Southeast Asia. The result is a volume that combines scholarly rigor with a meaningful, up-to-date portrayal of a region of the world undergoing rapid change. A reference bibliography offers suggestions for further reading.

“The idea of capturing recent transformations of Southeast Asia through vignettes about familiar yet idiosyncratic individuals is brilliant. The everyday experiences and aspirations of people trying to make sense of their lives and dreams convey a complex and often surprising view of contemporary cross-currents, upheavals, anxieties, and struggles in a volatile region. This volume offers a great way for students to understand and empathize with ordinary people and nations in rapid motion.” —Aihwa Ong, co-editor of Worlding Cities: Asian Experiments in the Art of Being Global

January 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3741-9 / $25.00 (PAPER)

JANM’S “Discover Nikkei” Interviews Amy Sueyoshi

SueyoshiQueerCompulsionsOn Saturday, January 19, 2:00 p.m., SFSU associate dean Amy Sueyoshi will appear at the Japanese American National Museum for a reading, discussion, and signing of her book, Queer Compulsions: Race, Nation, and Sexuality in the Affairs of Yone Noguchi. In advance of her talk, JANM’s Discover Nikkei online network has published an in-depth interview by Andrew Way Leong (Northwestern University), posted in two parts.

Click here to read part 1, then link to part 2 from there (or simply click here).

Dr. Sueyoshi will also give a talk at the San Francisco Public Library on Tuesday, February 26. For more details, see the SFPL calendar.

A review of Queer Compulsions published in this month’s The Gay & Lesbian Review, which calls the book “…an important study. It is also worthwhile as a fascinating portrait of biracial and same-sex relationships at a pivotal time in American history.” An equally positive review appeared earlier in Nichi Bei Weekly.

Veterans Day Weekend Sale Ends Tomorrow at Noon – 40% Off Select Titles

UHP Veterans Days Sale 2012

From Thursday, November 8, noon, to Tuesday, November 13, noon (HST), save 40% on these titles at our website:*

*Discounted prices will be visible at website during the sale.

November 2012 Author Events

Thursday, November 8, 12 noon to 1:15 p.m.
Wendy S. Arbeit shares her experiences in researching Hawaiian cultural and utilitarian objects, her techniques used in revealing their patterns, and how she documented them with detailed line drawings in her award-winning book, Links to the Past: The Work of Early Hawaiian Artisans.

Some of the questions that will be addressed:
What went into tracking down those artifacts now scattered across the globe?
What do the 1,400 illustrations tell you about pre- and early contact Hawaiian culture and the ways it changed in response to Westerners?
What sort of questions are raised by the grouping of so many objects?

The talk is part of the Brown Bag Biography series at the Center for Biographical Research, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Henke Hall 325, 1800 East-West Road. For more information, see the UH event calendar or call 808-956-3774 or email: biograph@hawaii.edu.

Isaiah Walker

Thursday, November 8, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
BYU-Hawaii professor and former competitive surfer Isaiah Walker will  give a lecture at Arizona State University on his thought-provoking book, Waves of Resistance: Surfing and History in Twentieth-Century Hawai‘i. Walker explains how Hawaiian surfers have successfully resisted colonial encroachment in the po‘ina nalu (surf zone). In making his case, he also explores empowerment and masculinity, media representation of islanders, identity struggles, and other topics. The talk is open to the public and will be held in West Hall, Room 135, at ASU in Tempe. For more information, see the ASU calendar posting.

Tuesday, November 13, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
See below listing under November 18 for George and Willa Tanabe’s Japanese Buddhist Temples in Hawai‘i.

Saturday, November 17, 3:00 p.m.
San Diego resident Leilani Holmes will visit Basically Books in Hilo, Hawai‘i to discuss and sign copies of her recent work, Ancestry of Experience: A Journey Into Hawaiian Ways of Knowing. Born in Honolulu in 1952 to a Hawaiian mother, Holmes was adopted as an infant by a haole (Caucasian) couple who moved to Ohio when she was four years old. The book recounts, explores, and analyzes the author’s quest to reclaim her origins and come to terms with the duality inherent in being an indigenous adoptee. The two-column format of the book mirrors this dichotomy, with a personal, conversational style of narrative on one side, and academic explanatory text on the other.

Saturday, November 17, 4:00 p.m.
Seattle author/poet/artist Alan Chong Lau will be at the Wing Luke Museum’s Tateuchi Story Theatre to join his sister, food writer Linda Lau Anusasananan, as she reads from The Hakka Cookbook, published by University of California Press. (Read a related post on the UC Press blog here.) Alan Lau provided the artwork for the book, done in a similarly whimsical, sumi-e style that illustrates his UH Press-published book of poetry, Blues and Greens: A Produce Worker’s Journal.

Sunday, November 18, 2:00 p.m.
George J. Tanabe and Willa Jane Tanabe will appear at Barnes & Noble, Ala Moana Center, for a signing of their just-released guidebook, Japanese Buddhist Temples in Hawai‘i: An Illustrated Guide. The Tanabes personally visited each of the ninety temples still in existence, and took photographs not only the buildings’ exteriors but of the ornate altars and interior details. Over 360 of these color photos are contained in the book. Descriptions of each temple and explanations of the symbolism of objects and design elements will help temple visitors decipher the meaning behind these physical expressions. Also at this event, information will be distributed on the related exhibit due to open December 1 at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i.

Last-minute update: On Tuesday, November 13, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., George and Willa Tanabe will give a PowerPoint lecture at the Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin Annex Temple (makai of the main temple), 1727 Pali Highway. Open to the public, with a $10 fee. For more information, click here for a link to the Dharma Light Project brochure and map, or call 808-536-7044.

Veterans Day Weekend Sale – 40% Off Select Titles

UHP Veterans Days Sale 2012

From Thursday, November 8, noon, to Tuesday, November 13, noon (HST), save 40% on these titles at our website:*

*Discounted prices will be visible at website during the sale.

Flash Sale – 4 Days Only

To celebrate the canonization of Mother Marianne Cope on October 21, we are offering these titles at 40% off at our website from Friday, October 19 (noon HST) to Monday, October 22 (noon HST):

Kalaupapa: A Collective Memory, by Anwei Skinsnes Law: Combining more than 200 hours of interviews with archival documents, including over 300 letters and petitions written by the earliest residents translated from Hawaiian, this monumental work presents at long last the story of Kalaupapa as told by its people. 40% off: $29.40 (cloth); $17.39 (paper)

Almost Heaven: On the Human and Divine, edited by Frank Stewart: This issue of Manoa journal includes the complete play Damien, by Aldyth Morris, and images made at Kalaupapa, Moloka‘i, in the early twentieth century from the collection of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts United States Province. 40% off: $12.00 (paper)

Holy Man: Father Damien of Molokai, by Gavan Daws: “May be the best biography of Damien yet written.” —Library Journal 40% off: $11.39 (paper)

Molokai, by O. A. Bushnell: “Searches the hearts of the doomed and damned with an intense compassion. The author has painted the background of his novel with a knowing brush. . . . A vivid experience for the reader.” —New York Times Book Review 40% off: $14.99 (paper)

Leper Priest of Molokai: The Father Damien Story, by Richard Stewart: “Rather than portraying his subject as a plaster saint, Stewart provides a full-bodied portrait of an inspirational, yet admittedly flawed, human being.” —Booklist 40% off: $17.99 (paper)

Anwei Skinsnes Law, author of “Kalaupapa: A Collective Memory,” attended Saint Marianne’s canonization at the Vatican on October 21, 2012.

October 2012 Author Events

Thursday, October 11, 12 noon to 1:15 p.m.
Author and filmmaker Tom Coffman will speak on his latest book, I Respectfully Dissent: A Biography of Edward H. Nakamura, as part of the Brown Bag Biography series at the Center for Biographical Research, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Henke Hall 325, 1800 East-West Road. For more information call: 808-956-3774 or email: biograph@hawaii.edu.

Thursday, October 11, 5:00 p.m.
UH Hilo associate professor Mark Panek will be on O‘ahu to kickoff Windward Communitiy College’s Common Book program, which has selected his award-winning Big Happiness: The Life and Death of a Modern Hawaiian Warrior for the 2012-2013 academic year. His talk will be held at the newly opened Library Learning Commons, the first green library in the UH system. The goal of the Common Book Program is that everyone at the college—students, faculty, and staff, as well as people in the community—read and discuss the same book over an entire semester.

Friday, October 12, 2:30 p.m.
The Department of American Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa presents “THE LEAVES KEEP FALLING,” a film screening and panel discussion at the Center for Korean Studies Auditorium. Liam Kelley, associate professor and undergraduate coordinator for UHM Department of History, will be one of the discussants. His book, Beyond the Bronze Pillars: Envoy Poetry and the Sino-Vietnamese Relationship, examined the politico-cultural relationship between Vietnam and China in the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries. The event is co-sponsored with the Center for Southeast Asian Studies and the Center for Pacific Islands Studies.

Sunday, October 21, 5:00-7:00 p.m.
Barbara Amos will launch her new book, Bones of Contention: Animals and Religion in Contemporary Japan, on Sunday, October 21, 5-7 pm, at Linda Stein’s Gallery, New York City. For more information, see the previous post.

Saturday, October 27, 9:30-11:00 a.m.
As part of the “Saturday University—Myanmar and Its Many Peoples” lecture series, Arizona State University professor Juliane Schober will speak on “Buddhist Activism in Myanmar,” at the Seattle Asian Art Museum’s Stimson Auditorium. Tickets are $5 for SAM members, $10 for nonmembers. Professor Schober’s book, Modern Buddhist Conjunctures in Myanmar: Cultural Narratives, Colonial Legacies, and Civil Society, will be available for purchase from Elliott Bay Book Company.

An American Girl in the Hawaiian Islands – Author Talk at Native Books

An American Girl
When twenty-three-year-old Carrie Prudence Winter caught her first glimpse of Honolulu from aboard the Zealandia in October 1890, she had “never seen anything so beautiful.” She had been traveling for two months since leaving her family home in Connecticut and was at last only a few miles from her final destination, Kawaiaha’o Female Seminary, a flourishing boarding school for Hawaiian girls. As the daughter of staunch New England Congregationalists, Winter had dreamed of being a missionary teacher as a child and reasoned that “teaching for a few years among the Sandwich Islands seemed particularly attractive” while her fiancé pursued a science degree. During her three years at Kawaiaha’o, Winter wrote often and at length to her “beloved Charlie”; her lively and affectionate letters, excerpted in An American Girl in the Hawaiian Islands, selected and edited by Sandra Bonura and Deborah Day, provide readers with not only an intimate look at nineteenth-century courtship, but also many invaluable details about life in Hawai’i during the last years of the monarchy and a young woman’s struggle to enter a career while adjusting to surroundings that were unlike anything she had ever experienced.

September 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3627-6 / $39.00 (CLOTH)

Sandra Bonura will give a talk on the surprising discovery of Carrie Prudence Winter’s correspondence and photos and share additional insight into the lives of the students and teachers at Kawaiaha‘o Female Seminary during the turbulent years of the overthrow: Sunday, September 23, 3-5 pm, Native Books/Na Mea Hawai‘i, Ward Warehouse. Light refreshments will be served. A limited number of books airflown for this event will be available.

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

A Journey into Hawaiian Ways of Knowing

Ancestry of Experience
As Hawaiians continue to recover their language and culture, the voices of kupuna (elders) are heard once again in urban and rural settings, both in Hawai‘i and elsewhere. How do kupuna create knowledge and “tell” history? What do they tell us about being Hawaiian? Adopted by a Midwestern couple in the 1950s as an infant, Leilani Holmes spent much of her early life in settings that offered no clues about her Hawaiian past—images of which continued to haunt her even as she completed a master’s thesis on Hawaiian music and identity in southern California. Ancestry of Experience: A Journey into Hawaiian Ways of Knowing documents Holmes’ quest to reclaim and understand her own origin story.

“Part memoir of a Kanaka academic in the diaspora searching for her ‘ohana, part historical and ethnographic celebration of Hawaiian culture, and part documentation of the reality of Kanaka ʻŌiwi constant communication with our kūpuna o ka pō (those who have passed into the ), Ancestry of Experience is that rarity of rarities: an academic page-turner. Leilani Holmes’ book will bring readers to tears in its evocation of the enduring love and spiritual connection in an ʻohana that spans many generations, and make them gasp at the incredible series of ‘coincidences’ that leads to Leilani’s re-connection with her ʻohana.” —Noenoe Silva, professor of political science, University of Hawai‘i, and author of Aloha Betrayed: Native Hawaiian Resistance to American Colonialism

September 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3129-5 / $39.00 (CLOTH)

Conversations with UH Press Authors

Besides the NPR “Crime in the City” interview with Victoria Kneubuhl that aired August 13, other “talk stories” with UH Press authors took place in the past month:

Hawai‘i Public Radio‘s The Conversation interviewed jazz saxophonist Gabe Baltazar about his memoir, If It Swings, It’s Music. Listen to the  “Book ’em, Gabe-o…with a new autobiography” in the HPR archives for August 7.

Gabe was also featured in the “Old Friends” column that appeared in the August 29 edition of MidWeek, mailed to over 270,000 homes in Hawai‘i. Read the online version here.

On August 27, HPR’s The Conversation caught up with Jim Tranquada at Occidental College to talk about The ‘Ukulele: A History. Listen to the “Madeiran melody maker morphs into a jumping flea…” in the archived show.

The editor of MauiTime interviewed author Tom Coffman about his inspiring new book, I Respectfully Dissent: A Biography of Edward H. Nakamura. Read Coffman’s take on Justice Nakamura’s legacy as a labor attorney and Supreme Court justice in the August 23 cover story, “Standing Alone.”