In recognition of Fashion Week in New York, Milan, Paris, and London this month, we showcase the following journals, articles, and reviews. Fashion sets trends, makes a statement, and has a huge impact on industry and innovation in today’s world. We invite you to explore the following journal content:
Missionary efforts are usually enacted on a global scale and have been an important force within world history. This special collection of articles seeks to enhance our understanding of missionaries and conversion and their place in the discourse on religion in world history. Some of the articles in this special collection focus on the religious beliefs of the missionaries and converts, and how those beliefs adapted to the cultures of parties. Other contributors analyze the political ramifications of missionary undertakings, while still others explore the varied cultural exchanges and entanglements which result from these encounters, many of which extended beyond the religious.
This special issue provides accessible resources for scholars and teachers worldwide and features Guest Editor Stephen S. Francis, who discusses the issue below.
University of Hawai‘i Press: Tell us how this special issue came together.
Stephen S. Francis: My personal area of research is the history of religion and society, and also family relations and material culture, so I was drawn to these articles that not only dealt with the personal ideological conversion of peoples, but also how missionaries and religion affected other aspects of society and culture beyond the intended reasons for proselyting.
UHP: Why is this issue important now?
SSF: Since the latter half of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first, religion throughout the world has undergone radical change, but perhaps no more so than in the past. So, I think it is beneficial for us to look at the impact and effects of past encounters to place the current developments in context.
UHP: How do you hope people will use this issue?
SSF: One of the goals of Journal of World History is to show broader interconnections of ideas that go beyond nations and regions, and in editing this volume, I gained greater insight into my own localized study by seeing the similarities and how my own work fits into this larger discourse. I hope that other scholars will do the same, and that it will enhance their own research and world view.
UHP: How are things changing as the world has reopened slowly? Are there many ways the pandemic has affected your own research and teaching?
SSF: Specifically regarding the topic of this issue, I know that several churches have altered the way they have proselyted during the pandemic, and I am eager to see how some of those changes will be kept and what ones will be discarded as the world reopens, which in several years will be fascinating to research. I, like many, had to cancel research trips due to the pandemic, but it also gave me time to reflect and focus on ideas that I may have ignored if life had continued as “normal.”
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.
“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.
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.
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