UH Press at the Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, March 27-30, Philadelphia

AAS-2014-meetingUniversity 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!

The Hermit’s Hut: Architecture and Asceticism in India

Ashraf-Hermit'sHutAlthough architecture continually responds to ascetic compulsions, as in its frequent encounter with the question of excess and less, it is typically considered separate from asceticism. In contrast, The Hermit’s Hut offers original insight and explores the rich and mutual ways in which asceticism and architecture are played out in each other’s practices. Relying primarily on Buddhist materials, author Kazi K. Ashraf provides a complex narrative that stems from the simple structure of the hermit’s hut, showing how the significance of the hut resonates widely and how the question of dwelling is central to ascetic imagination. In exploring the conjunctions of architecture and asceticism, he breaks new ground by presenting ascetic practice as fundamentally an architectural project, namely the fabrication of a “last” hut.

This innovative book weaves together the fields of architecture, anthropology, religion, and philosophy to offer multidisciplinary and historical insights. It will appeal to readers with diverse interests and in a variety of disciplines—whether one is interested in the history of ascetic architecture in India, the concept of “home” in ancient India, or the theme of the body as building.

November 2013 | 240 pages | 105 illustrations
ISBN: 978-0-8248-3583-5 | $50.00 | Cloth

Spatial Habitus: Making and Meaning in Asia’s Architecture

The Buddhist Schools of the Small Vehicle

The Buddhist Schools of the Small VehicleAndré Bareau (1921–1993) was one of the foremost scholars of Buddhism of his generation. Dissatisfied with piecemeal and contradictory information on early Buddhist schools, he set out to construct a coherent and authoritative overview, which has remained the standard treatment in the field since its appearance in 1955. This book offers a close description and analysis of Bareau’s findings on the history, geographical whereabouts, and doctrinal positions of early schools of Buddhism. The Buddhist Schools of the Small Vehicle will be used by students and scholars as a primary resource and starting point for any discussion on the history and doctrines of early Buddhism and Buddhist schools. This seminal work is translated by Sara Boin-Webb, who across a career of four decades translated into English some of the most important French-language works of Buddhist scholarship.

“Bareau’s Les sectes bouddhiques was—and remains—a highly influential contribution to the study of Indian Buddhism in general, and of the doctrinal debates of the various schools or sects of Indian Buddhism in particular. More than half a century after its original publication, Les sectes remains a standard reference work. . . . This book will stimulate research for years to come. . . . A reliable English translation of this work, then, is a welcome and timely contribution. It will be of interest to upper-level undergraduate students in Asian religions, Asian history, and philosophy. It will be required reading for graduate students in Asian religions.” —Shayne Clarke, McMaster University

Published in association with The Buddhist Society Trust
July 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3566-8 / $65.00 (Cloth)

New in the Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy Series

Schopenhauer's Encounter with Indian ThoughtSchopenhauer is widely recognized as the Western philosopher who has shown the greatest openness to Indian thought and whose own ideas approach most closely to it. This book examines his encounter with important schools of Hindu and Buddhist philosophy and subjects the principal apparent affinities to a careful analysis. Initial chapters describe Schopenhauer’s encounter with Indian thought in the context of the intellectual climate of early nineteenth-century Europe.

Principal sections of the book consider the two main pillars of Schopenhauer’s system in relation to broadly comparable ideas found, in the case of Hindu thought, in Advaita Vedānta, and within Buddhism in the Mādhyamika and Yogācāra schools. Schopenhauer’s doctrine of the world as representation, or a flow of impressions appearing in the consciousness of living beings, is first considered. The second main pillar of Schopenhauer’s system, the doctrine of the world as will, is then examined and its relationship to Indian thought explored. This section of the work breaks new ground in the study of Schopenhauer, for although the similarity of his ethical and soteriological teaching to that of Indian religions (particularly Buddhism) has long been noted the underlying reasons for this have not been grasped. It is demonstrated that they are to be found in hitherto unrecognized affinities, of which Schopenhauer himself was largely unaware, between the metaphysics of the will and Indian ideas relating to karmic impressions (vāsanās), the store-consciousness, the causal body, and śakti as the “force” or “energy” that maintains the existence of the world.

Final chapters discuss the controversial and difficult question of the relation of the will to final reality in Schopenhauer’s thought in the light of Indian conceptions, and suggest that the two central pillars of his philosophy may be seen, to a greater extent than previously supposed, as a bridge by which the Eastern and Western traditions of philosophical thought may be brought into a closer and more creative relationship.

Society for Asian and Comparative Monographs, No. 24
May 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3735-8 / $50.00 (CLOTH)

UH Press at the Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, March 21-24, San Diego

AAS Annual ConferenceUniversity of Hawai‘i Press will be exhibiting at the Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, March 21-24, at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.

Editors Patricia Crosby and Pamela Kelley will be attending, together with marketing director Colins Kawai and Asia studies product manager Steve Hirashima. Please visit us at booths 307, 309, and 311, where we will be offering a 20% discount and free shipping in the U.S. (Free shipping applies only to orders received or placed at the conference.)

Our publishing partners will be exhibiting nearby: Ateneo de Manila University Press/University of the Philippines Press (booth 313), Cornell University East Asia Program (booth 308), MerwinAsia/Seoul Selection/Shanghai Press and Publishing Development (booth 314), NIAS Press-Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (booth 312), and NUS Press-Singapore (booth 310). See you in San Diego!

New Catalog Available: Asian Studies 2013

Asian Studies 2013
The UH Press Asian Studies 2013 catalog is now available! The catalog has been redesigned to showcase our new and forthcoming Asian studies titles. (All books published prior to late 2012 and currently in print can be found at our website.) To view the PDF, click on the catalog cover image to the left.

Highlights include:

* An illustrated anthology of well-known masterpieces and unusual writing from 18th-century Edo’s counterculture — An Edo Anthology: Literature from Japan’s Mega-City, 1750–1850

*Four new titles in the Spatial Habitus series — The Hermit’s Hut: Asceticism and Architecutre in India, China’s Contested Capital: Architecture, Ritual, and Response in Nanjing, Architecture and Urbanism in Modern Korea, and Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China

* Short fiction from Japan’s foremost Marxist writer, Kobayashi Takiji, including a new translation of an anticapitalist classic that became a runaway bestseller in Japan in 2008, nearly eight decades after its publication — The Crab Cannery Ship and Other Novels of Struggle

* A timely collection of essays exploring Japan’s role in global environmental transformation and how Japanese ideas have shaped bodies and landscapes over the centuries — Japan at Nature’s Edge: The Environmental Context of a Global Power

* An expansive new study on the varied roles Southeast Asia’s monumental remains (Angkor, Pagan, Borobudur, and Ayutthaya, among others) have played in the histories of its modern nations — A Heritage of Ruins: The Ancient Sites of Southeast Asia and Their Conservation

* Close description and analysis of the history, geographical whereabouts, and doctrinal positions of early schools of Buddhism by André Bareau, one of the foremost scholars of Buddhism of his generation — The Buddhist Schools of the Small Vehicle

* Two volumes in the new series Korean Classics Library — Salvation through Dissent: Tonghak Heterodoxy and Early Modern Korea and Imperatives of Culture: Selected Essays on Korean History, Literature, and Society

Urdu Nationalism and Colonial India

The Language of Secular IslamThe Language of Secular Islam: Urdu Nationalism and Colonial India, by Kavita Datla, pursues an alternative account of the political disagreements between Hindus and Muslims in South Asia, conflicts too often described as the product of primordial and unchanging attachments to religion. The author suggests that the political struggles of India in the 1930s, the very decade in which the demand for Pakistan began to be articulated, should not be understood as the product of an inadequate or incomplete secularism, but as the clashing of competing secular agendas. Her work explores negotiations over language, education, and religion at Osmania University, the first university in India to use a modern Indian language (Urdu) as its medium of instruction, and sheds light on questions of colonial displacement and national belonging.

“This is a brilliantly innovative book that offers provocative insights into South Asian history, the workings of colonialism, and the interface of linguistic and religious identities in India’s premier princely state of Hyderabad. The author marshals an impressive range of sources to make a significant intervention in the field of Islamicate learning, moving beyond the much-discussed madrasa mode of education to document the birth and growth of India’s first vernacular public university.” —Syed Akbar Hyder, University of Texas at Austin

January 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3609-2 / $49.00 (CLOTH)

“Who are the Sikhs and why are they so involved in politics?”

Mark Brosens, in his article “Sikh Canadians: A Political Success Story,” poses the above question after noting that “despite their ‘quiet’ influence, Sikhs are surprisingly well represented in Canadian politics, given their population in Canada.”

For some answers Brosens looks to Doris Jakobsh, who teaches at the University of Waterloo and is the author of Sikhism, which Brosens calls “an accessible introduction to the faith”:

“[Jakobsh] is not Sikh, but Sikhs and Sikhism have been the subject of her research. [She] described Sikhism saying, ‘The Sikh gurus stood for every individual being able to achieve enlightenment, whether high or low. That was the bottom line for them. . . . There’s a real emphasis on service [among Sikhs]. The emphasis for the most part tends to be service to the gurdwara (a Sikh house of worship) . . . but it is expanding,’ Jakobsh says, noting that many gurdwaras host blood drives and contribute to food banks. . . . Furthermore, Jakobsh notes that every gurdwara is run by a democratically-elected council. Although there are devotional readers, a kind of clergy, all the practical decisions are made by the elected council. ‘There is a sort of inbuilt democracy,’ Jakobsh says.”

Spirit Possession and Its Provocation of the Modern

Fertile DisorderIn her innovative new book, Fertile Disorder: Spirit Possession and Its Provocation of the Modern, Kalpana Ram reflects on the way spirit possession unsettles some of the foundational assumptions of modernity. What is a human subject under the varied conditions commonly associated with possession? What kind of subjectivity must already be in place to allow such a transformation to occur? How does it alter our understanding of memory and emotion if these assail us in the form of ghosts rather than as attributes of subjective experience? What does it mean to worship deities who are afflictive and capricious, yet bear an intimate relationship to justice? What is a “human” body if it can be taken over by a whole array of entities? What is agency if people can be “claimed” in this manner? What is gender if, while possessed, a woman is a woman no longer?

Drawing on spirit possession among women and the rich traditions of subaltern religion in Tamil Nadu, South India, Ram concludes that the basis for constructing an alternative understanding of human agency need not rest on the usual requirements of a fully present consciousness or on the exercise of choice and planning. Instead of relegating possession, ghosts, and demons to the domain of the exotic, Ram uses spirit possession to illuminate ordinary experiences and relationships.

“Ram’s extraordinary capacity to combine meticulous ethnography of spirit possession and other expressions of ‘female disorder’ in Tamil Nadu with deep and provocative reflections on the history of modernity in the subcontinent is what gives this book its freshness and originality. Scholars in diverse fields, from South Asian feminist and subaltern studies to those constituted by anthropological and postcolonial critiques of contemporary forms of modernization, should find this book to be of absorbing interest.” —Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago

January 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3630-6 / $57.00 (CLOTH)

Self and Image Creation in a Himalayan Valley

Making FacesTaberam Soni, Labh Singh, Amar Singh, and other artists live and work in the hill-villages of the lower Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh, India. There they fashion face-images of deities (mohras) out of thin sheets of precious metal. Commissioned by upper-caste patrons, the objects are cultural embodiments of divine and earthly kinship. As the artists make the images, they also cross caste boundaries in a part of India where such differences still determine rules of contact and correspondence, proximity and association. Once a mohra has been completed and consecrated, its maker is not permitted to touch it or enter the temple in which it is housed; yet during its creation the artist is sovereign, treated deferentially as he shares living quarters with the high-caste patrons. Making Faces: Self and Image Creation in a Himalayan Valley, by Alka Hingorani, tells the story of these god-makers, the gods they make, and the communities that participate in the creative process and its accompanying rituals.

“With its close-up and theoretically sophisticated treatment of Indian artisans at work, this stimulating book raises important issues concerning the making of art in a religious setting. The author includes wonderful vignettes, such as a description of how to make a Kullu royal umbrella, and an artist’s charming story of the Sun and the Divine Architect. With its excellent and compelling color photographs, this well documented book deserves to attract a broad audience of readers interested in South Asian studies and in art history.” —Richard Davis, Bard College

September 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3525-5 / $45.00 (CLOTH)

New in Dimensions of Asian Spirituality

Theravada Buddhism
Theravada Buddhism: The View of the Elders, by Asanga Tilakaratne, brings to life the age-old religious tradition of Theravada (literally, “view of the elders”) Buddhism as it is found in ancient texts and understood and practiced today in South and Southeast Asia. Following a brief introduction to the life of the historical Buddha and the beginning of his mission, the book examines the Triple Gem (the Buddha, his teachings, and the community of monastic followers) and the basic teachings of the Buddha in the earliest available Pali sources. Basic Buddhist concepts such as dependent co-origination, the four noble truths, the three trainings, and karma and its result are discussed in non-technical language, along with the Buddha’s message on social wellbeing. The author goes on to chronicle his own involvement as an observer-participant in “the Theravada world,” where he was born and raised.

Dimensions of Asian Spirituality
September 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3673-3 / $17.00 (PAPER)

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