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)

Gender, Power, and Buddhist Practice in Vietnam

The Buddha Side
The most common description of the supernatural landscape in Vietnam makes a distinction between Buddhist and non-Buddhist “sides.” The “Buddha side” (ben phat) is the focus of this investigation into the intersection of gender, power, and religious praxis. Employing an anthropological approach to Buddhist practice that takes into account modes of action that are not only socially constructed and contextual, but also negotiated by the actors, The Buddha Side: Gender, Power, and Buddhist Practice in Vietnam, by Alexander Soucy, uniquely explores how gender and age affect understandings of what it means to be a Buddhist.

The Buddha Side is an outstanding study. Embracing complexity and variation, Alexander Soucy deftly describes and analyzes the wide range of attitudes toward, engagements with, and meanings of Buddhism and Buddhist practice in contemporary northern Vietnam. It is a model anthropological study of religion, especially in its approach to gender, and will be of value to all scholars who seek a deeper understanding of religion as a lived human experience.” —Shaun Kingsley Malarney, International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan

Topics in Contemporary Buddhism
July 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3598-9 / $49.00 (CLOTH)

Contemporary Southeast Asian Theatres

Communities of ImaginationAsian theatre is usually studied from the perspective of the major traditions of China, Japan, India, and Indonesia. Now, in Communities of Imagination: Contemporary Southeast Asian Theatres, a wide-ranging look at the contemporary theatre scene in Southeast Asia, Catherine Diamond shows that performance in some of the lesser known theatre traditions offers a vivid and fascinating picture of the rapidly changing societies in the region. Diamond examines how traditional, modern, and contemporary dramatic works, with their interconnected styles, stories, and ideas, are being presented for local audiences. She not only places performances in their historical and cultural contexts but also connects them to the social, political, linguistic, and religious movements of the last two decades.

“Covering the multifaceted, multicultural, multination swathe of Southeast Asia, Communities of Imagination brings to light changes and theatre innovations over the last twenty-five years by focusing on issues of gender, censorship, and national identity. The book gains its strength by diving into actual productions the author has seen in major urban hubs. Diamond places the work in an informed frame, interviewing major theatre makers. Those interested in Southeast Asia will encounter the themes, innovations, and heated debates that theatre is uniquely suited to amplify, making this book an important contribution.” —Kathy Foley, editor, Asian Theatre Journal

June 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3584-2 / $56.00 (CLOTH)

Fully Illustrated Look at the Plaited Arts in Everyday Life

Plaited ArtsPlaited Arts from the Borneo Rainforest, edited by Bernard Sellato, is the first comprehensive work of its kind and size. It promotes a “contextual” approach, combining not just botanical and technical, but also economic, social, and ritual elements. The twenty-one contributors are the world’s leading experts on the subject, scholars and artisans who live in Borneo or have spent many years there and have become deeply involved, on a personal and emotional level, with the people of the island and their cultures. They hail from ten different nations, including Malaysia and Indonesia, and from Borneo itself: Sarawak, Sabah, and Kalimantan. This beautifully illustrated, oversize volume includes more than 1,000 photographs, 930 in color.

May 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3619-1 / $70.00 (CLOTH)

UH Press at Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting This Month

Holiday Web Sale 2011

The Association for Asian Studies annual meeting is UH Press’ biggest scholarly exhibit/conference: 300 new and recent Asia books and journals will be on display and editorial and marketing staff will be attending. The Press’ publishing partners Ateneo de Manila University Press, Cornell University East Asia Program, KITLV Press, NIAS Press, NUS Press (Singapore), and University of the Philippines Press will be exhibiting in neighboring booths, in addition to newcomer MerwinAsia. See you in Toronto!

New Catalog: Asian Studies 2012

Asian Studies 2012 catalog
The UH Press Asian Studies 2012 catalog is now available online. To view the 3.8M PDF, click on the cover image to the left.

Highlights include:

* A pioneering study of the fate of Buddhism during the communist period in Cambodia (Buddhism in a Dark Age: Cambodian Monks under Pol Pot)

* The first major work of Edogawa Ranpo (1894-1965), “Japan’s Edgar Allan Poe” (Strange Tale of Panorama Island)

* The first definitive chronicle of a remarkable phenomenon in Chinese architecture (Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China)

* A new volume in the Dimensions of Asian Spirituality series (Theravada Buddhism: The View of the Elders)

* A study of Buddhist miracle texts by one of the preeminent scholars of Chinese religion (Signs from the Unseen Realm: Buddhist Miracle Tales from Early Medieval China)

* Two new volumes in a series designed to help students learn the most frequently used Chinese characters (Remembering Traditional Hanzi 2Remembering Simplified Hanzi 2)

* Innovative studies on Japanese popular and visual culture (Passionate Friendship: The Aesthetics of Girl Culture in Japan; Drawing on Tradition: Manga, Anime, and Religion in Contemporary Japan; The Art of Censorship in Postwar Japan; Japanese Cinema in the Digital Age)

* A colorful, comprehensive guide to Hawai‘i’s Japanese Buddhist temples (Japanese Buddhist Temples of Hawai‘i: An Illustrated Guide)

* The latest books in a popular Korean language textbook series (Integrated Korean: Intermediate 1, Second Edition, Textbook, Workbook)

* A richly illustrated look at the artisans of Himachal Pradesh and their work (Making Faces: Self and Image Creation in a Himalayan Valley)

* An insider’s view of the sex trade on the Lao-Thai border (The Perfect Business? Anti-Trafficking and the Sex Trade along the Mekong)

Women’s Movements and the Filipina

Women's Movements and the FilipinaWomen’s Movements and the Filipina: 1986–2008, by Mina Roces, is about a fundamental aspect of the feminist project in the Philippines: rethinking the Filipino woman. It focuses on how contemporary women’s organizations have represented and refashioned the Filipina in their campaigns to improve women’s status by locating her in history, society and politics; imagining her past, present and future; representing her in advocacy; and identifying strategies to transform her. The drive to alter the situation of women included a political aspect (lobbying and changing legislation) and a cultural one (modifying social attitudes and women’s own assessments of themselves). In this work the author examines the cultural side of the feminist agenda: how activists have critiqued Filipino womanhood and engaged in fashioning an alternative woman.

February 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3499-9 / $55.00 (CLOTH)

Historical Dictionary of the Indochina War

Historical Dictionary of the Indochina WarHistorical Dictionary of the Indochina War (1945-1954): An International and Interdisciplinary Approach, by Christopher E. Goscha, is the first in English to provide a comprehensive account to date of one of the most important conflicts of the twentieth century. Over 1,600 entries offer in-depth, expert coverage of the war in all its dimensions.

“This is the first dictionary about Vietnam in any language to mine French and Vietnamese sources in equal measure. It ranges beyond Vietnamese and French participants to provide equally incisive entries on British, Chinese, Lao, Cambodian, American, and Soviet actors in a war that took on important international dimensions. The prodigious amount of research that Goscha has put into this dictionary makes it a milestone in the field, a reference work that will be consulted for decades.” —David G. Marr, Australian National University

February 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3604-7 / $175.00 (CLOTH)

Reflections on Vanishing Life in the Forests of Southeast Asia

The Nature and Culture of RattanRattan is the common name for a diverse group of climbing palms found throughout Old World tropical forests. For centuries people have used them for binding, basketry, house construction, food, and numerous other non-market purposes; more recently the canes of some species have been gathered for the multi-billion-dollar furniture, handicraft, and mat-making industries. Thus rattan continues to be vital to the culture and economic well being of millions of cane collectors, laborers, and artisans throughout tropical Asia and Africa. The Nature and Culture of Rattan: Reflections on Vanishing Life in the Forests of Southeast Asia, by Stephen F. Siebert, explores this valuable forest product, the tropical forests on which it depends, and the societies that flourish by using and managing these remarkable plants.

A website (http://www.cfc.umt.edu/rattan/) includes additional photographs, suggested reading, and discussion topics.

January 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3536-1 / $44.00 (CLOTH)