Dread and Enchantment in an Indonesian Literary Archive

Situated TestimoniesThe Indonesian writer Pramoedya Ananta Toer made a distinction between a “downstream” literary reality and an “upstream” historical reality. Pramoedya suggested that literature has an effect on the upstream flow of history and that it can in fact change history. In Situated Testimonies: Dread and Enchantment in an Indonesian Literary Archive, Laurie J. Sears illuminates this process by considering a selection of Dutch Indies and Indonesian literary works that span the twentieth century and beyond and by showing how authors like Louis Couperus and Maria Dermoût help retell and remodel history.

“This is a remarkable book in the way it attempts to tease out and crash through the barriers of self-restricting and self-restraining area studies. Situated Testimonies poses a challenge to Indonesianists as well as to many beyond the field. It is an adventure embarked upon with the help of Freud, Lacan, and other friends and foes. Sears demonstrates both the benefits and tribulations of such an endeavor. At its best, her book attains an impressive simplicity as it uncovers a sense of the world in both its subjects—the colonial and postcolonial literary figures—and its author as she thinks and writes about them.” —Rudolf Mrazek, University of Michigan

June 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3683-2 / $57.00 (CLOTH)

New in the Southeast Asia: Politics, Meaning, and Memory Series

Potent LandscapesPotent Landscapes: Place and Mobility in Eastern Indonesia, by Catherine Allerton, is an ethnographic investigation of the power of the landscape and the implications of that power for human needs, behavior, and emotions. Based on two years of fieldwork in rural Flores, the book situates place-making and mobility of the Manggarai within the larger contexts of diverse human-environment interactions as well as adat revival in postcolonial Indonesia. Although it focuses on social life in one region of eastern Indonesia, the work engages with broader theoretical discussions of landscape, travel, materiality, cultural politics, kinship, and animism.

Potent Landscapes is a brilliant new work that breaks fresh ground in the anthropological study of place and culture in Southeast Asia. Bringing a phenomenological interest in ‘dwelling’ to her ethnographic portrayal of everyday life in the southern Manggarai settlements of West Flores, Indonesia, Catherine Allerton takes readers on a revealing and richly rewarding journey into the ‘shape of the land’ there. Her book offers a wealth of ideas and comparative material for scholars working in other parts of Asia and the Pacific, and an accessible account sure to fascinate and inspire students of anthropology.” —Kenneth M. George, University of Wisconsin-Madison

April 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3800-3 / $25.00 (PAPER)

Forest of StruggleIn a village community in the highlands of Cambodia’s Southwest, people struggle to rebuild their lives after nearly thirty years of war and genocide. Recovery is a tenuous process as villagers attempt to shape a future while contending with the terrible rupture of the Pol Pot era. Forest of Struggle: Moralities of Remembrance in Upland Cambodia, by Eve Monique Zucker, tracks the fragile progress of restoring the bonds of community in O’Thmaa and its environs, the site of a Khmer Rouge base and battlefield for nearly three decades between 1970 and 1998.

“With an ethnographer’s acumen, Zucker shows us how the members of a community in post-conflict Cambodia have sought to rebuild their lives, a process involving complicated issues of trust, social memory, and moral order. Forest of Struggle is a must-read for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of social suffering and the remaking of social worlds after prolonged conflict and genocide.” —Alexander Hinton, Rutgers University

April 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3805-8 / $28.00 (PAPER)

View a full list of titles in the series Southeast Asia: Politics, Meaning and Memory.

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!

Seeing Beauty, Sensing Race in Transnational Indonesia

Seeing BeautyIn Indonesia, light skin color has been desirable throughout recorded history. Seeing Beauty, Sensing Race in Transnational Indonesia, by L. Ayu Saraswati, explores Indonesia’s changing beauty ideals and traces them to a number of influences: first to ninth-century India and some of the oldest surviving Indonesian literary works; then, a thousand years later, to the impact of Dutch colonialism and the wartime occupation of Japan; and finally, in the post-colonial period, to the popularity of American culture.

“In this book L. Ayu Saraswati offers a lucid and compelling accounting of how ideas of beauty and race circulate and become affective in transnational Indonesia. Offering a distinctive approach to global culture as an affective domain, as well a sharp and nuanced critique of histories of whiteness, this book will be of tremendous value to all scholars and students interested in unlearning the affective and aesthetic scripts of race.” —Sara Ahmed, Professor of Race and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, and author of On Being Included: Racism and Diversity in Institutional Life (2012)

Southeast Asia: Politics, Meaning and Memory
March 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3736-5 / $25.00 (PAPER)

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

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.”

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)

Choice Magazine’s Outstanding Academic Titles for 2012 Announced

Each year Choice Magazine, the official publication of the Association of College and Research Libraries, compiles a distinguished list of Outstanding Academic Titles. The following UH Press books were recognized for 2012. A complete list of titles will be available in Choice’s January 2013 issue.

Japanese Philosophy: A Sourcebook edited by James W. Heisig, Thomas P. Kasulis, and John C. Maraldo

“This massive tome will stand for the forseeable future as the gold standard for comprehensive treatment of all matters of Japanese philosophy. The three editors, all significant names within this small but growing subfield, have assembled an impressive group of established and up-and-coming scholars to translate and provide introductions to each entry, resulting in a readable sourcebook remarkable in both scope and acuity of analysis. . . . Essential.” —Choice (April 2012)

Historical Dictionary of the Indochina War (1945-1954): An International and Interdisciplinary Approach by Christopher E. Goscha

“[This] very useful, high-quality publication is a valuable acquisition for all libraries with reference collections in modern Asian history. . . . Highly recommended.” —Choice (August 2012)

Cambodian Monks under Pol Pot

Buddhism in a Dark AgeBuddhism in a Dark Age: Cambodian Monks under Pol Pot, by Ian Harris, a pioneering study of the fate of Buddhism during the communist period in Cambodia, puts a human face on a dark period in Cambodia’s history. It is the first sustained analysis of the widely held assumption that the Khmer Rouge under Pol Pot had a centralized plan to liquidate the entire monastic order. Based on a thorough analysis of interview transcripts and a large body of contemporary manuscript material, it offers a nuanced view that attempts to move beyond the horrific monastic death toll and fully evaluate the damage to the Buddhist sangha under Democratic Kampuchea.

December 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3561-3 / $22.00 (PAPER)

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.

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

Anti-trafficking and the Sex Trade along the Mekong

The Perfect Business
For those at the high end of the trafficking chain, the sex trade is an alluring and lucrative business: the supply of girls is constant, the costs of operations are low, and interference from law enforcement is weak to non-existent. Anti-trafficking organizations and governments commonly appropriate such market metaphors of supply and demand as they struggle with the moral-political dimensions of a business involving trade, labor, prostitution, migration, and national borders. But how apt are they? Is the sex trade really the perfect business? The Perfect Business? Anti-Trafficking and the Sex Trade along the Mekong, by Sverre Molland, is a provocative new book that examines the social worlds and interrelationships of traffickers, victims, and trafficking activists along the Thai-Lao border. It explores local efforts to reconcile international legal concepts, the bureaucratic prescriptions of aid organizations, and global development ideologies with on-the-ground realities of sexual commerce.

Southeast Asia: Politics, Meaning, and Memory
September 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3653-5 / $26.00 (PAPER)