Special Feature: Korean Genre Fiction; O Chang-hwan; and Gender Trouble In Korean Literature
From the Editor Young Jung-Lee:
One of the most important recent shifts in Korean literature is found in gender conflict. This “Special Feature: Gender Trouble in Korean Literature and Society,” guest-edited by Hye-Ryoung Lee, shows a fundamentally new perspective through six scholars reading Korean Literature and Society. Over the past decade, the #MeToo Movement has shaken the world, and Korean society has been no exception, as can be seen in Choi Young-mi’s poem “En,” introduced here with six critical essays. Even before its publication, “En” was the focus of media attention, and it remained a hot topic in Korean society for years due to Choi’s high-profile court battles.
Special Feature: A Forum on Behrouz Boochani’s No Friend but the Mountains
From Coeditor Anna Poletti:
With this forum, we, the editors of Biography, inaugurate a new feature of the journal that aims to respond to and amplify specific examples of the power of life writing as a cultural, political, and social practice, and which document key moments in the evolution of that practice. In this forum, No Friend but the Mountains is discussed as both a profoundly localized text responding to, making knowledge about, and exposing a highly specific and complex set of conditions, and as a uniquely transnational text that speaks to and about a global phenomenon. Its highly innovative use of life writing as a narrative technique and epistemological practice warranted, in our minds, a concentrated response from the journal. Commissioning and editing this response has renewed my appreciation for the primary concerns of lifewriting scholarship: tracking the mercurial power of personal storytelling to crystalize the contemporary moment in such a way that new knowledge emerges from the entanglements it depicts, and the entanglements it drags its readers into.
Special Section: Unsettling Korean Migration: Multiple Trajectories and Experiences
From the Editor Cheehyun Harrison Kim:
This analytic potency of migration is superbly demonstrated in this volume’s Special Section Unsettling Korean Migration: Multiple Trajectories and Experiences, guest edited by Sunhee Koo (The University of Auckland) and Jihye Kim (The University of Central Lancashire). Sunhee Koo and Jihye Kim have brought together papers on labor (Yonson Ahn and Jihye Kim), ritual life (Marcus Bell), cultural identity (Sunhee Koo), and artistic production (Hee-seung Irene Lee and Soojin Kim). The six engrossing articles deal with how the Korean diaspora—in Argentina, Germany, Japan, China, and the United States—have shaped and represented their particular situations through negotiation, resilience, and creativity. The authors are highly critical of any national framework, and they see diasporic life as contexts of not only sorrow and sacrifice but also innovation and regeneration. Sunhee Koo and Jihye Kim offer a detailed explanation in their Introduction.
This issue starts with Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei’s appreciation of Leonard Pronko (1927–2019), noted kabuki scholar and teacher who passed away late 2019. Building on her profile of Pronko for Asian Theatre Journal’s “founders of the fields” series (28: 2, 2011), Sorgenfrei offers a touching personal profile of her former professor as an extraordinary human being. As evidence to the flourishing field of Japanese theatre studies pioneered by Pronko and his peers, this issue continues with a special section on contemporary Japanese theatre with a combination of articles, reports, a translation, and a performance review essay.
We Are Maunakea: Aloha ʻĀina Narratives of Protest, Protection, and Place Bryan Kamaoli Kuwada and Noʻu Revilla
From the guest editors’ introduction:
In the summer of 2019, kiaʻi (protectors) gathered at Puʻuhonua o Puʻuhuluhulu to defend Maunakea, a sacred mountain, against desecration by the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). Thousands gathered at Ala Hulu Kupuna, or Mauna Kea Access Road. Daily protocols were led by cultural practitioners and long-time protectors of Maunakea, intergenerational Native Hawaiian leadership was developed and empowered on Hawaiian terms, a community kitchen was organized, Puʻuhuluhulu University was established as an actual Hawaiian place of learning, and a collective commitment to ʻāina and kapu aloha rooted all who arrived and all who continue to stay in this movement. The 2019 stand was also an unprecedented opportunity to witness the battle of narratives, as mainstream media and highly paid public relations firms were outmaneuvered by Kanaka- and ally-authored life writing. This special issue features first-hand accounts, academic reflections, creative works, photography, and interviews with kiaʻi from the 2019 front lines and members of the media team.
Introduction from Guest Editor Antoinette Burton reads:
The technological evangelism of much of anglophone digital humanities discourse should sit uneasily with empire historians, who know what languages of discovery and “new frontiers” have meant in the context of world history, especially where data collection is concerned. To be sure, digitization has made myriad colonial archives, official and unofficial, available via open access platforms. This means that vast stores of knowledge are now at our fingertips—a proximity and immediacy that has reshaped the lived experience of archival research for many scholars, in this case bringing the imperial world not just closer to home but into the hands of anyone who has access to a cellphone. And the revolution in digital tools in the last twenty-five years has given rise to equally vast possibilities for gathering and visualizing evidence as well as for scaling and interpreting data: for worlding, mostly by aggregation and consolidation, what we aim to know about the kinds of colonial pasts that are available and capturable via text and image. Yet, this information empire is not exactly new. Digitization most often reassembles archival collections proper, sometimes remixing them with print and visual culture and typically organizing them through mechanisms and selection processes that are more or less visible depending on the commitment to transparency of the conglomerator. In some cases, those conglomerators are private individuals or government entities; in others, corporate sponsors; in still others, community-based activists. Inevitably perhaps, today’s digital imperial “data” are actually, more accurately, digitally transformed imperial sources. And for colonial subjects, as for the enslaved, data has more often than not meant terror at the scene of the crime.
The Field of Ramila, guest edited by Pamela Lothspeich
Volume 37, Issue 1 (2020)
This special issue is intended to briefly introduce the field of Ramlila, as a performance practice and as an idea. It is designed to give a taste of its geographic range and a sample of its multiple and diverse manifestations in India and the Indian diaspora. The Introduction briefly discusses the literary sources of Ramlila, its history, chief styles, and emerging trends. It also includes a synopsis of the story of Ram in Ramlila. Following this, a translation of three scenes from the Lav-Kush Ramlila in Old Delhi, with a critical introduction, sheds light on the mounting politicization of Ramlila by the Hindu Right. Two articles, one on Nautanki and one on Ramayan Gaan, illustrate that Ramlila is a form of theatre very much in dialogue with other forms of popular performance in the Hindi belt and along its linguistic borders, narratively, aesthetically, and ideologically. A review-essay of two documentaries and an interview with an expert on Kumaoni Ramlila further demonstrate the diversity of Ramayan-themed performance, despite the continued homogenization and commercialization of Ramlila. An article on a distinctive Ramlila in Trinidad and another in the United States (North Carolina) speak to the global reach of Ramlila, and its important role in “homemaking.” Finally, a report on a festival to commemorate a Ramayan-themed dance drama (wayang wong) at Prambanan recalls the Ramayan’s early journey from South to Southeast Asia.
Global Island: Taiwan and the World, guest edited by James Lin, Graeme Read, and Peter Thilly
Volume 9, Issue 1 (2020)
In October 2018, the University of Washington Taiwan Studies Program hosted a workshop featuring a wide range of diverse humanities and social science research centered on the theme of “Global Island: Taiwan and the World.” The impetus for the workshop was to reimagine Taiwan outside the traditional confines of comparative and cross-Strait studies that have predominated in academic research on Taiwan. The articles that emerged from the workshop and have been assembled in this issue instead understand Taiwan as an actor embedded within global networks and spaces or, alternatively, as a unique site or producer of globally circulating knowledge. At a time when Taiwan studies is gaining increased visibility, exploring Taiwan’s linkages to the greater world showcases underexplored facets of Taiwan and the potential contributions of this field to interdisciplinary studies of society and culture.
Yogācāra Studies of Silla, guest edited by A. Charles Muller
Volume 11, Issue 1 (2020)
One area in particular wherein interest in Korea has been relatively strong since earlier days is that of Silla-period Buddhist scholarship. Within Silla scholasticism, one of the most influential areas has been that of Yogācāra and related studies—which in Korea, tends to include much of what is usually categorized as the Buddhological strain of Tathāgatagarbha. Silla-period scholars were in close contact with their Chinese colleagues on the mainland, reading and writing the same Sinitic script. They had ready access to newly composed texts and translations soon after their production in Chang’an and elsewhere, and they were intimately aware of all of the most pertinent doctrinal discussions and debates occurring in the Tang capital and its surroundings, and were deeply engaged in all of these. One of Silla’s own sons, Wŏnch’ŭk 圓測 (613–696), was situated in the Tang capital and was working directly with Xuanzang and his team, although sometimes not seeing eye-to-eye with other of Xuanzang’s followers, such as Kuiji 窺基 (632–682). Other Silla scholars, such as Chajang 慈藏 (sixth-seventh centuries) and Ŭisang 義湘 (625–702) (just to name a few of the better-known figures) went to Tang for serious and sustained study, making their own mark, and bringing their new knowledge home to the peninsula.
The fall issue of Asian Theatre Journal opens with a special section on the 2016 quatercentenary celebration of Tang Xianzu and William Shakespeare, guest edited by Alexa Alice Joubin. The regular issue follows with scholarly articles and reviews, including three emerging scholar articles that offer perspectives from India, Taiwan, and Singapore.
We are proud to publish an extensive list of Pacific, Asian, and Southeast Asian studies journals. This Asian / Pacific American Heritage Month, explore and enjoy the following free journal content online:
In addition to performance and book reviews, the spring issue of Asian Theatre Journal includes articles on ritual and religious theatre, contemporary theatre and the state, and the performance of identity.
This is the thirty-fifth year of ATJ’s publication. As Confucius said, “at thirty I stood firm; at forty I had no more doubts.” That seems to describe ATJ aptly: we’re now firmly established as the journal on Asian theatre but we are still growing, not yet at the stage having no more doubts or questions. In a way, this issue serves as a reminder of our wide scope, both in terms of the contributors’ geographic locations, with half of them based in Asia, and their topics, from traditional theatre to spoken drama, from translation of a wartime Japanese student play to discussion of the world’s largest collection of Indonesian puppets, from dance as gendered nationalism in Tajikistan to the institutionalization of Chinese ethnic dance in Singapore.Continue reading “Asian Theatre Journal, vol. 35, no. 2 (2018)”
To make this journal worth reading is the work of many hands and heads around the globe. It requires all the expertise that we as a community of Asian Theatre practitioners and scholars can muster—the years that you, as readers-doers-authors, have spent studying Asian dance, music, movement, text, puppets, language, costumes, staging—they are here. So is expertise you have developed in understanding a culture (your own or someone else’s), the many months you have spent in the archives, the long hours you have watched performances in halls, houses, fields, and temples. This journal is a living community of scholars and artists responding via reporting on arts practice to a changing world.
This is Part 4 in a series of University of Hawai`i Press blog posts celebrating University Press Week and highlighting scholarship published by UH Press journals in the past year. Read our introductory blog post here.Our hope is that this series will shed new light on how UH Press “sells the facts,” so to speak, and the value our 24 journals bring to our very existence. Links to each journal and article are provided below.*
Context: Like many of our scholarly journals, U.S.-Japan Women’s Journal is a community of minority voices in and of itself. This volume celebrates 50 issues of bringing women’s studies and scholars together across international boundaries.
Context: Azalea presents five pieces by Korean author Kim Sagwa, who was able to complete her first novel under the United States an Alien of Extraordinary Ability in the Arts visa in 2016. One must wonder, given the tide change in immigrant policies and arts funding under the current administration, if such visas will be available for international artists in the future.
Context:Biography launched a new annual section that provides reports on life writing from across the world. This new venue gives us a lens by which to see global shifts in personal identity, from authors writing out of the U.K.’s Brexit to memoirists lyrically documenting the U.S.’s transgender community to historical biographers nostalgic for pre-1949 Republican China.
Context: Literature can bridge the great divide between knowing and understanding, and this article looks at how the African American father has been developed against negative stereotypes through the writings of “Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison to contemporary — and relatively young — authors such as Leonard Pitts Jr. and Bernice L. McFadden.”
Context:Asian Theatre Journal‘s Spring 2017 issue highlights three founders in the field–all women: Rachel Cooper, Kathy Foley, and Carol Fisher Sorgenfrei. Editor Kathy Foley also makes this charge to reviewers: “To become a truly international journal, cross-border research that does not always detour to Western thinking is much needed. It is limiting when authors feel they have to routinely apply Western tropes of gender, class, or aesthetics.”
Context: This journal stands out for not only making new research in the field of Southeast Asian linguistics available for free via open-access publishing, but for its commitment to the peer review process, which ensures the publication of accurate information. From its submission guidelines: “Each original article undergoes double-blind review by at least two scholars, usually a member of the [JSEALS] Advisory Board and one or more independent referees.”
Context: New scholarship benefits from criticism, and in this issue of China Review International (published in 2017), reviewer Nyíri Pál offers a fresh analysis of Chinese folk traditions in light of economic developments and recent ethnographic studies of “culture workers.”
*Institutional access to online aggregators such as Project MUSE may be required for full-text reading. For access questions, please see the Project MUSE FAQ available here or contact your local library.
Established in 1947, the University of Hawai`i Press supports the mission of the university through the publication of books and journals of exceptional merit. The Press strives to advance knowledge through the dissemination of scholarship—new information, interpretations, methods of analysis—with a primary focus on Asian, Pacific, Hawaiian, Asian American, and global studies. It also serves the public interest by providing high-quality books, journals and resource materials of educational value on topics related to Hawai`i’s people, culture, and natural environment. Through its publications the Press seeks to stimulate public debate and educate both within and outside the classroom.
Later this year, Asian Theatre Journal editor Kathy Foley will step down from her post, which she’s held since 2004, and pass the baton onto current area editor, Siyuan Liu. Foley is a distinguished scholar, performer and director based out of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and has been engaged with the journal since “before it was born.” This summer, Foley shared with us the history of ATJ and highlights from her tenure with the journal.
Asian Theatre Journal launched in 1984 with an article written by you and, 20 years later, you took over the editorship from Samuel L. Leiter. Can you tell us about your history with the journal and what lead you to become editor of ATJ?
When I was a graduate student at UH and the East-West Center, I and my peers started a mimeographed Asian Theatre Reports, which brought together recent field research of graduate students studying Asian theatre. When East-West Center offered to upgrade this publication, James Brandon suggested instead a full peer-reviewed journal and went to UH Press with his proposal. Thus, in some ways, I feel I have been with journal since before it was born. To have followed in the footsteps of editors James Brandon with Elizabeth Wichmann-Walczak and Samuel Leiter—giants of our field—is an honor.
How has Asian Theatre Journal evolved over the years? And what issues are particularly relevant now?
As editor my quest has been to publish fundamental research. Arts and humanities in the American and European University often remain focused on the West—what happens in New York, London, Berlin, Paris is touted as “theatre.” Japan, China, and Singapore, as they developed economic clout, have gotten attention, but I want us to see that Dili and Naha are equally important; that more than the doings of the elite need attention. We need larger vistas. Aesthetic biodiversity, past and present, is important for humans. Art makers mount stages to expand our possibilities as a species. This journal is about widening visions—my own and I hope of readers, too.
In your first editor’s note, you wrote, “Knowledge is crossing oceans and leaping across generations. We are a joint community of teachers and learners.” Today, in addition to articles and translations, the journal features sections on “Emerging Scholars” as well as “Founders of the Field.” How would you describe your approach to editing ATJ?
Jim Brandon started ATJ with a focus on “traditional” forms. As Samuel Leiter came, contemporary play translations and papers by “Emerging Scholars” got space. During my time there has been increasing focus on urban contemporary forms and China has mushroomed. This is not because I dictate it—it comes with the “trends” of trans-national scholarship; gender issues, sexualities, postcolonial thrusts come from what is transpiring in both grad seminars and in the world. We definitely have become more global—graduate student cohorts and assistant professors hail from across the globe.
Siyuan Liu and David Jortner edited “Founders of the Field”; it was initially just a way to do more than just mark death of a single important Asian theatre scholar (Andy Tsubaki from University of Kansas). I suggested we talk to our forerunners while they were still around about how/why our field was formed. This “Founders” series ballooned, while seemingly “about” individuals, it really asks more—what is the evolving place of Asian theatre studies in the academy? How did World War II and the Occupation jumpstart our field by creating Japanist besotted with kabuki? How did the 1960s era give Southeast Asian or South Asian theatre focus? How has China after Mao allowed new studies? Looking at lineages is germane to our discipline—the guru, the sensei, the sifu—is “built in” to our training. The 10-week quarter or even the five-year PhD does not work in the same way. That Founder project asked, where do we come from and where are we heading? The next editor may not continue the series on actions and interactions, but will still keep a finger to the pulse.
This year, you pass the editorship onto Siyuan Liu. Looking back on a dozen years at the helm, is there an issue that you’re particularly proud of?
I think that some of the themed issues—Shakespeare in Asia, Kyogen, Malaysian Theatre, Women in Asian Theatre—have been useful, not only because they had good articles, but many of those editors have gone on to bigger editing jobs better prepared. Siyuan Liu, himself, became seasoned as an editor with the “Founders” and is now ready to do the whole.
Colleague Margaret J. Coldiron characterizes your scholarly work as “detailed, accessible, and passionate.” After ATJ, what’s next for you?
After ATJ I’m ready to focus on my own writing. I have so much research I have never really processed while performing, raising kids, administrating, and editing. James Brandon told me when I was a graduate student that single-point focus (then, the dissertation) was something I would seldom experience again. He was right. But Jim actually did his most important writing on kabuki after he passed off ATJ, I hope to follow his example and watch my “to do” list shrink.
About the Journal
Asian Theatre Journal is dedicated to the performing arts of Asia, focusing upon both traditional and modern theatrical forms. It aims to facilitate the exchange of knowledge throughout the international theatrical community for the mutual benefit of all interested scholars and artists. It is the official journal of the Association of Asian Performance.
Single issue sales and annual subscriptions for both individuals and institutions available here.
Asian Theatre Journal welcomes articles on Asian theatre and on the relations and mutual influences between Asian and Western theatre. Find submission guidelines here.
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