Cambria Press congratulates Wumi Raji on the excellent review of his book, Contemporary Literature of Africa, by Re-Markings, whichpraises the book for being “remarkably thorough, sophisticated, and precise.” It also states that “this collection will be useful to readers starting with those who have a general interest in the subject to serious scholars … this book will serve as a defining text for many years to come given its pivotal position in the history of Gambian writing and to the quality of these essays that bring into bold relief the excellence of Tijan M. Sallah‘s writing.”
Dr. Eduardo Caro (Arizona State University), the RMMLA president, kicked off the luncheon event, which was attended by hundreds of RMMLA attendees, by having Dr. Christopher Lupke (Washington State University) introduce Dr. Mair.
During Christopher Lupke’s eloquent introduction, he announced that he would make a revelation about Victor Mair, of which even the keynote speaker himself would be unaware. Thirty-one years ago, an editorial assistant at the journal CLEAR (Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews) had to type up an article “The Narrative Revolution in Chinese Literature: Ontological Presuppositions”–this was the lead article in the paradigm-shifting symposium on the origins of Chinese fiction. For the editorial assistant, the article was memorable not only for its content and its author but also because it contained an astounding number of footnotes for a 27-page piece–there were 101 of them, and they were all substantive. The article also contained Egyptian and Chinese characters which the editorial assistant had to typeset manually. That editorial assistant was none other than Christopher Lupke and the author of the article Victor Mair! This remarkable coincidence was indeed unknown to Victor Mair, who expressed his gratitude for Christopher Lupke’s careful, painstaking work.
Aptly described by Christopher Lupke as “a naturally restless intellectual whose impact is felt well beyond Chinese studies” and “truly one of the monuments of our profession,” Victor Mair’s authority spans across a wide spectrum from Asian languages to Central Asian mummies (“Texts were not enough for Victor Mair” as Christopher Lupke put it). Given how Victor Mair is always in the vanguard of scholarship (e.g., his incredibly popular Language Log blog, his taking the readers of the Sino-Platonic papers from hundreds of hard-copy readers to an online audience of hundreds of thousands), he is the perfect scholar to speak on the impact of technology on the study of language and literature. Victor Mair’s speech resonated with scholars from all areas–not just Asian studies–as he related fascinating accounts of how he has successfully harnessed technology to accomplish in days what would have normally taken weeks, even months (e.g., his reading of the 40-ft ancient Chinese scrolls). After the speech, audience members commented on how pleased they were to be able to hear such an inspiring and interesting talk by this eminent scholar. This was also mentioned repeatedly later at the special publishing seminar by Toni Tan (director of Cambria Press) and at various sessions and events, such as the RMMLA VIP reception.
Victor Mair and Toni Tan thank the RMMLA, especially executive director Joy Landeira and her team as well as Christopher Lupke, for having them at this important conference.
If you were not at the RMMLA convention, you can still watch Victor Mair’s keynote address, along with the preliminary speeches by Dr. Eduardo Caro and Dr. Christopher Lupke.
You and your library can also enjoy the 30% discount–order by Nov 15 and use the code RMMLA 2014. This is applicable to all titles, not only the ones on the RMMLA flier.
Cambria Press will be at the MLA convention in Vancouver, B.C. and the AAS conference in Chicago. Drop by our booths, which will be right in front of the exhibit hall entrance at both conferences, to browse our books.
In addition to the Cambria Sinophone World Series by Victor Mair, Cambria Press also has other important series for scholars in language and literature:
Cambria Press congratulates Jamie Wilson on the outstanding review of his book, Building a Healthy Black Harlem, by Afro-Americans in New York: Life and History. The journal praises the book for being “a valuable contribution to our knowledge of a place and time better known for its famous writers and artists than for the quotidian struggles of its workers facing racism and the structural economic trap of high rents and low wages.” It also commends the book for being “an impressive achievement that updates social history with fresh material and perspectives and makes important interventions in the literature on African American urbanization.”
Victor H. Mair, the famous Sinologist at the University of Pennsylvania and general editor of the Cambria Sinophone World Series, is the 2014 RMMLA keynote speaker. Unquestionably one of the greatest scholars in Asian studies, Victor H. Mair could earn this widely recognized status based on his scholarly accomplishments in the last decade alone. His vast number of scholarly works, which cover such dazzling breadths and depths (from Sinology to the Tarim mummies), are influential and renowned. His RMMLA keynote which will address the impact of information technology on the study of language and literature is not to be missed.
See Styling Texts: Dress and Fashion in Literatureby Cynthia Kuhn and Cindy Carlson in the RMMLA book exhibit area. This is the first academic volume to address such an extensive range of texts, inviting consideration of how fashionable desires and concerns not only articulate the aesthetics, subjectivities, and controversies of a given culture, but also communicate across temporal and spatial divisions. Styling Texts is an essential resource for anyone interested in the artistic representations and significations of dress.
From the introduction:
“Do not look upon all this that I am telling you about the clothes as uncalled for or spun out, for they have a great deal to do with the story.” —Cervantes, Don Quixote (I: 51)
Whether describing an elegant gown in luxurious detail or registering a simple tunic, storytellers attend to clothes. Color schemes, patterns, or emblems may seem easy to identify and interpret, but literary dress can be deceptively multifaceted. Far from merely enhancing characterization or creating a visual snapshot, the vestimentary frame enacts a site of aesthetic, social, and political inscription—rich material for analysis.
Central American Avant-Garde Narrativeby Adrian Kane has been just been published and will be on display in the 2014 RMMLA book exhibit this week. Dr. Kane (professor of Spanish at Boise State University) will be chairing two RMMLA sessions this Friday.