Cambria Press Publication Review: Transatlantic Memories of Slavery

Congratulations to Professors  Elisa Bordin and Anna Scacchi on the glowing review of their book, Transatlantic Memories of Slavery: Reimagining the Past, Changing the Future, by the European Journal of American Studies.

Scacchi Bordin Book Cover

The following are excerpts from the book review.

“With great courage, sharp intuition and professional dedication they have tackled some of the most controversial issues of historical revision and imaginative projection linked to the slave trade all over the world. While stressing the central role of slavery in the affirmation of Euro-American modern capitalistic society, they give space to the dignity and validity of long time ignored acts of memory produced in different fields by people of African descent. The importance attributed by them to these narratives in both written or visual form, are now shown as a dialogic and no less important counterpart to the over-publicized acts of memory written by representatives of the Euro-American hegemonic platform. Through the analysis of a large sample of writings, fiction and non-fiction, films, photographs, popular culture, the authors, a group of renown scholars and artists, question the legitimacy of the kept records, showing that the problem, as William Styron maintained, is not just how to portray the history of slavery, but how ‘to wrestle with the incomplete project of freedom.’

“What appears particularly relevant in this collection is the methodological approach, a complex, comparative, transnational gaze that rightly pulls down the ideal boundaries of nation and continent, North and South America, Brazil and West Africa, and above all French, Spanish and English Caribbean – where, it should be remembered, the slave trade registers its highest peak – allowing them to shed light on the multiple ways in which difference builds up a privileged path to artistic productions. The mechanics of how slavery affected the intercultural, inter-human, inter-linguistic exchanges between different peoples finds in this broad discussion one of the best possible readings, where the textual and the meta-textual crisscross and contaminate each other; a modern approach that ignores stale categories, narrow paradigms, prefigured evaluations.”

“The fluidity achieved between disciplines, territories, languages, anthropological characterizations is happily harmonized with a captivating style, that accrues the meaning of the research and the pleasure of reading.”

Read the entire review here.

This book is in the Cambria Studies in Slavery book series (general editor: Ana Lucia Araujo).

See this book at the #LASA2016 congress. For a 30% discount, order Transatlantic Memories of Slavery now and use the coupon code LASA2016 at www.cambriapress.com.

You can also buy this book on Amazon and get free shipping.

Stay posted for more groundbreaking books!
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

LASA 2016 Highlights – New & Noteworthy in Latin American Studies

We are proud to launch Dr. Gabriela Fried Amilivia’s new book, State Terrorism and the Politics of Memory in Latin America, at the LASA congress.

Fried Book Cover

This interdisciplinary study, written in a highly accessible style, will have both specialists and nonspecialists appreciating it for how it vividly brings to life the terror inflicted by the state on its people and how it continues to affect them. Tying sociology with history, psychology, and politics, this book will not only add depth to the fields of culture and memory studies but also broaden the scope of understanding for literary works which weave in trauma of Latin American history.

“A groundbreaking study for anyone interested in crimes against humanity and their haunting transgenerational legacy.” —GABRIELE M. SCHWAB, Chancellor’s Professor, University of California, Irvine

Gabriela Fried

Dr. Fried will speak about her book
at the special LASA author session
on
Sunday morning
(May 29) at 9:45 a.m.

in the book exhibit hall at the Hilton.

Mularski Book Cover

“An interesting, enjoyable and instructive example to other nations and cultures about how the powerful get to tell everyone else what their culture is even if the evidence doesn’t support it.” Sounds and Colours

Burns Book Cover.jpg

“Innovative in its transatlantic scope, and is a valuable contribution to attempts to reconsider the role and status of the poet in globalized-—and especially neoliberal-—socioeconomic context.”  A contra corriente

Currie Thompson Book Cover
“Una recomendable monografía para aquellos que quieran profundizar en el cine y la Argentina de los dos primeros mandatos de Perón (1946–55)Thompson cita numerosas y relevantes fuentes a lo largo de todo el volumen, que servirán para apoyar sus argumentos, así como para ilustrar sus ejemplos.”Hispania

Kane Book Cover

“It is entirely revitalizing to see a work devoted to the Central American avant-garde that both grounds its focus critically and keeps its focus on both the aesthetics and politics that grounded the literary production of the vanguardia in the early 20th century. A very welcomed addition to the corpus of writings on the avant-garde, valuable to students and scholars of Central American literature,and those studying the avant-garde from any region.” A contra corriente

Beck Book Cover.jpg

Carefully researched and generously illustrated, Lauren Beck’s book offers a thorough study of primary sources, both textual and visual, on the cultural construction of the enemy in Spanish culture. … The case of Spanish culture is particularly interesting because the Spaniards have been active in the creation of stereotypes of their enemies  and at the same time they have been the object of similar processes of cultural construction by other European nations.”  Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Herrera Book Cover
Offers insightful and nuanced interpretations of selected canonical Chicana writers … focused on the interlocking structure of discriminatory discourses of classism, racism, sexism, and homophobia. Indeed, her discussion of queer Chicana motherhood and patriarchal heterosexism … offers a very productive model for critically embedding queer representations of sexual and gender formation in the context of allied ‘straight’ texts.” Contemporary Women’s Writing
Falola Sanchex Redefining Book Cover.jpg
This book will push understandings of membership and identities in Africa and the African diaspora forward though unique and insightful discussions on Pan-Africanism and African freedom, British colonialism and African spaces, the politics of Brazilian baianas, linguistic and cultural Africanisms in the Caribbean, identities in postcolonial francophone literature, and much more.
Araujo Heritage Book Cover.jpg

“The memory of slavery and the slave trade has strongly influenced how history is understood. What is remembered and why are clearly identified as major historical themes of analysis in this valuable collection.” Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Scacchi Bordin Book Cover.jpg

“With great courage, sharp intuition and professional dedication the editors have tackled some of the most controversial issues of historical revision and imaginative projection linked to the slave trade all over the world … Praise be to them for gathering such a relevant instrument of research, and for opening new perspectives in the field.” European Journal of American Studies

Integrating research from the various fields of humanities and social sciences is more important than ever, which is why Cambria series are interdisciplinary. Click on each series link to see the books in the series.

Cambria Studies in Latin American Literatures and Cultures
(General Editor: Román de la Campa, University of Pennsylvania)

Cambria Studies in Slavery: Past and Present
(General Editor: Ana Lucia Araujo, Howard University) 

Cambria Studies in Contemporary Global Performing Arts
(General Editor: John Clum, Duke University)

Cambria Press Publication Review: Behind Paul Scott’s Raj Quartet

Congratulations to Professor Janis Haswell on the review of her two-volume book by Harvard Review, which commends the publication because it “brings new and welcome insight into the man and the artist. Haswell, a professor of English at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, has excellent introductions to each section of letters, which provide indispensable context and background. … Haswell has done much to perpetuate scholarly interest in Scott by publishing these two volumes.”

Raj Quartet Paul Scott

For more reviews and information, see the Cambria Press website.

The book can also be bought on Amazon.
Behind Paul Scott’s Raj Quartet: A Life in Letters: Volume I: The Early Years: 1940-1965
Behind Paul Scott’s Raj Quartet: A Life in Letters: Volume II: The Quartet and Beyond: 1966-1978

 

Cambria Press Publication Review: Contemporary Hispanic Poets

Congratulations to Professor John Burns on the outstanding review by the journal, A contra corriente, of his book Contemporary Hispanic Poets: Cultural Production in the Global, Digital Age!

This book is in the Cambria Latin American Literatures and Cultures series, headed by Professor Román de la Campa, the Edwin B. and Lenore R. Williams Professor of Romance Languages at the University of Pennsylvania.

The book review notes that “John Burns’ study of Hispanic poetry from Chile, Mexico, and Spain employs a cultural studies approach in its analysis of recent poetic production in Spanish. It is innovative  in  its  transatlantic  scope, and is a  valuable  contribution to attempts  to reconsider  the  role  and  status  of  the  poet  in  globalized—and especially neoliberal—socioeconomic context.”

#LASA2016

Other details noted in the review about the book include:

“[the book] presents a surprising, yet effective pairing of poets: Spaniard Leopoldo María Panero and Chilean Raúl Zurita”

“the  sharpness  of  Burns’  readings  of well-known  poetry by  Panero—more  so  than  elucidations  of Panero’s cameos  in novels  by  authors  like  Roberto  Bolaño,  Enrique  Vila-Matos,  etc.—is  the  strongest element  of  this  section”

“Burns shows  himself  to  be  a  deft  close  reader  of poetry in his exploration of blurring techniques in  Juan Felipe Herrera’s “187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t  Cross  the  Border,” and  the  juxtaposition  of  Guillermo Gómez-Peña  and Herrera—with respect to the issue of “the poet as a navigator of a globalizing mediascape.”

See this book at the upcoming #LASA2016 book exhibit in New York City in two weeks!

There is a 30% LASA discount* on the print version of the book, or buy it on Amazon.

*LASA discount: Use coupon code LASA2016 upon checking out at http://www.cambriapress.com.

 

 

AAS 2016 Cambria Press Sinophone World Series Event

The AAS 2016 conference was one of our best conferences yet. It was great being right in the front of the exhibit hall and across from the AAS booth. We appreciated the compliments on our 8 ft long banners from both attendees and other exhibitors. Thanks to all who stopped by!

Asian Studies 1
Cambria Press AAS 2016 Book Exhibit Hall Banner 1

The Cambria booth had two banners–one for our Cambria Sinophone World Series Event and series, and the other for our latest books.

Asian Studies 2
Cambria Press AAS 2016 Book Exhibit Hall Banner 2

Thanks also to all who attended the Cambria Sinophone World Series Event! Speakers were:

Christopher Lupke Toni Tan Victor Mair Sinophone Asian Studies
Christopher Lupke (Washington State University; author of The Sinophone World Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien) with Toni Tan (Cambria Press director) and Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania; general editor of the Cambria Sinophone World Series)
Christopher Lupke Victor Mair Sinophone Asian Studies Toni Tan Cambria
Christopher Lupke (Washington State University; author of The Sinophone World Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien) with Toni Tan (Cambria Press director), Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania; general editor of the Cambria Sinophone World Series), and Minghui Hu (University of California Santa Cruz; coeditor, with Johan Elverskog of SMU, of Cosmopolitanism in China, 1600-1950)

 

Victor Mair Sinophone Christopher Lupke Hou Hsiao-hsien Toni Tan Cambria Press
AAS 2016 Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania; general editor of the Cambria Sinophone World Series), Christopher Lupke (Washington State University; author of The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien) and Toni Tan (Cambria Press director)

 

Buddhist Baodingshan Karil Kucera
Karil Kucera (St. Olaf College; author of Ritual and Representation in Chinese Buddhism)

Download the Asian Studies catalog and browse our titles. Enjoy 30% off all hardcover titles. Use coupon code ASIA30. Libraries can use this code too.

Asian Studies
Essential Books in Asian Studies

Supernatural Sinophone Taiwan and Beyond

Cambria Press is pleased to announce a new publication Supernatural Sinophone Taiwan and Beyond by Chia-rong Wu (Rhodes College). This book is in the Cambria Sinophone World Series headed by Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania).

This book will be launched at the upcoming 2016 Association of Asian Studies (AAS) conference in Seattle.

The following are excerpts from the book.

Supernatural Sinophone Taiwan

On zhiguai

Zhong Kui

 

“When it comes to zhiguai studies, numerous scholars have linked the ghostly presence with the critical concepts of the lost, the returning, and the strange in response to the traditional Chinese history, culture, and entertainment.As Judith T. Zeitlin argued, ‘A specter is always an image, culturally and historically constructed, and it therefore forces us to consider what it means to represent something in a given period and context.’ Zeitlin’s interpretation of ghostly figuration deftly points to clear senses of specific temporality and locality, both of which are crucial elements in defining and understanding a Sinophone phenomenon or product. The spectral representation in fiction and film goes beyond the common perception of the mundane world, thereby arousing feelings of horror towards the unknown and the uncanny. The hollowness represented by ghosts and spirits to a great extent consorts with the fear of death as well as the dark side of human nature.” (p. 9)

On ghost island literature 鬼島文學

ghost island Taiwan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“What is ghost island literature 鬼島文學? … ghost-island literature is not simply a subset of the traditional Chinese zhiguai genre with the presence of specters. With a unique historical timeline, it extends the scope of the strange in general along with the ghostly, the ghost-like, and the shadowy in postmodern scenarios. In the chapter entitled “Second Haunting” from The Monster That Is History (2004), David Der-wei Wang traced the literary images of monsters and ghosts in his visionary analysis of the historical and literary narratives from China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. As Wang claimed, ‘The continued reappearance of ghosts” can be regarded as “a reminder of the incessant calamities of Chinese history.’ The ghost haunting is thus associated with the return of the repressed memories of the past.” (pp.24-25)

On Pai Hsien-yung

Pai Hsien-yung

“[T]he geographical and cultural dislocation problematizes one’s recognition of the present—this is seen by how Pai Hsien-yung’s ghostly Taipei characters are unable to let go of their reminiscence of the past. Put in another way, Pai’s Taipei characters serve as the historical silhouettes of the past. Their nostalgic memories overtake their present existence, not to mention their future prospects. Through literary writing, Pai re-creates an imagined homeland and provides himself with an emotional outlet for nostalgia. His characters’ reminiscence of China emerges as a sense of eternal loss and lack, thus making the transcendence of nostalgia impossible. In this sense, the reimagined China turns out to be an intangible cultural matrix, loaded with rosy pictures and haunting effects. Therefore, Pai’s mainland figures in Taipei serve as historical shadows who are attached to sensual emotions and memories as well as a simulacrum of the haunting history.” (p. 34)

On  Chu T’ien-hsin

Zhu-Tianxin-1

“Chu T’ien-hsin is one of those writers who brings into focus retrospection and introspection of Chinese diaspora and local identity in Taiwan. Chu questions the KMT rule and examines her cultural quandary; her Taipei characters are not insubstantial Chinese shadows … Chu’s “In Remembrance of My Buddies from the Military Compound” [Xiang wo juancun de xiongdi men 想我眷村的兄弟們; 1992) and The Old Capital are connected with a complex mechanism of cross-cultural memories in response to Chinese diaspora and Japanese colonialization. In addition, Chu’s lively and discursive narrative also portrays a spectral reflection of the social fabric and individual psyche.” (p. 36)

On Li Ang

Li Ang

“Like The Labyrinthine Garden, Li Ang’s “Bloody Sacrifice of the Makeup Face” is related  to the aftermath of the February 28 Incident. … Li Ang skillfully combines the historical shadows in the past and the tragic fire in the present so as to stress the victimization of the dead in and after the February 28 Incident. … Li Ang’s ghost-island narrative is brought to a higher level with her novel Visible Ghosts (Kandejian de gui 看得見的鬼; 2004), a recent notable endeavor in the category of ghost-island literature. This fictional work depicts Taiwan as an island of spectral history and recounts the correlation between historical trauma and ghost haunting through five female ghosts’ stories. As a creative writer, Li Ang skillfully connects the ghost-island narrative with the historical trauma of Taiwan.” (pp. 47, 48, 49)

On Giddens Ko

Giddens Ko

“Giddens Ko’s rise can also be attributed to the Taiwanese (young) readers’ liking for fantasy and adventure novels. In The Legend of Fate Hunters (Lie ming shi chuanqi 獵命師傳奇) series (2005–2013; twenty volumes in total), Ko introduces a supernatural practice of fate hunting that changes one’s character, energy, and power. … It is intriguing to note that Ko creates a fantastic world where Chinese fate hunters clash with vampires, and the battlegrounds include China, Taiwan, Japan, Russia, and the United States. One may argue that the production and popularity of The Legend of Fate Hunters series coincides with the ‘place-based’ practices highlighted by scholars of Sinophone studies.” (pp.191-192)

On strange narratives and Chineseness

zhiguai

“Strange narratives can be both disturbing and intriguing. By making strange figures and spaces visible to readers, writers revisit historical trauma, engage with sociopolitics, and/or probe into the unknown and the uncanny state of human psyche. On a deeper level, strange narratives delve into profound twists on imaginary Chineseness and formulate revolutionary takes on varied cultural identities. An increasingly popular trend in the cultural and social imagining of Sinophone Taiwan and beyond, the strange narrative will continue to haunt for many years to come.” (p. 195)

Learn more about the book and recommend it.

Buy it on Amazon.

www.cambriapress.com

Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter

 

 

The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien

Cambria Press is pleased to announce a new publication The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien: Culture, Style, Voice, and Motion by Christopher Lupke (Washington State University). This book is in the Cambria Sinophone World Series headed by Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania) and the Cambria Contemporary Global Performing Arts Series headed by John Clum (Duke University).

This book will be launched at the upcoming 2016 Association of Asian Studies (AAS) conference in Seattle.

Hou Hsiao-hsien

The following are excerpts from the book.

Chapter 1: The Odyssey of Hou Hsiao-hsien
Hou Hsiao-hsien Cannes“The odyssey of Hou Hsiao-hsien, a director now in his late sixties, is an unfinished one. Audiences look forward to his constant interrogation of the boundaries of film representation, his wonderful creativity and courage, and his obsessive honing of signature techniques. … he made full use of his training and talent, as well as his collaborative relationships with such important intellectuals as Zhu Tianwen and Wu Nianzhen and technical geniuses such as Du Duzhi, Liao Qingsong, Li Pingbin, and Huang Wenying. When many filmmakers concede to the demands of global capitalistic aesthetics, Hou unwaveringly pursues his craft, disregarding the received viewing conventions of the film public and redefining them at the same time. His is a visionary art whereby he is as restless and uncomfortable as are many film aficionados.” (pp. 37-38)

Chapter 2: Zhu Tianwen and the Sotto Voce of Gendered Expression

Chu-Tien-wen-3
“The influence of Zhu in the film production cannot be underestimated but is difficult to completely distill without resorting to detailed autobiographical and interview evidence about each and every film. For instance, one can tell from interviews of Hou and Zhu,  often conducted jointly, as well as various essays that Zhu Tianwen has written, that there has been a symbiotic, even synergistic, energy at work in their artistic and professional relationship.” (pp. 47-48)

Chapter 3: Comparing Hou Hsiao-hsien and Ozu Yasujirô

Ozu Yasujirô
“Notably, in spite of whatever uncanny resemblances may exist between the cinematic style of Ozu and Hou, especially in Hou’s works up until his 1989 classic A City of Sadness, Hou insists that he had never seen an Ozu film all the way through to that point and therefore could not have been influenced by him except perhaps in some general fashion that perhaps all intellectuals in Taiwan are influenced to one extent or another by, for lack of a better word, what one might call ‘the Japanese aesthetic.'” (pp. 78-79)

Chapter 4: The Muted Interstices of Testimony

A-City-Of-Sadness
“The dissection of these particular sequences [in A City of Sadness] leads to the conclusion that a large measure of the film’s import rests on the fact that just as political repression is a form of silencing, the silent witness Wenqing (Fourth Brother) enacts the very problem of communication which the February 28 Incident creates and the critics of A City of Sadness deplore. Therefore, it is not so much that Hou Hsiao-hsien has failed to put forth a film that adequately represents this historical truth, nor that he has acted on behalf of the Guomindang, wittingly or unwittingly, to present a politically suspect whitewash of the affair, but that his representation of the event contains within itself the seeds of its own skepticism. Hou’s film implies that a pristine recapitulation of the February 28 Incident is no longer accessible and in fact itself would serve to undermine the most important element of political repression: the silencing of contending voices.” (pp. 114-115)

Chapter 5: Time and Teleology in Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Films of Quest and Disillusionment

Goodbye SouthDust in the Wind
“That his characters do not accomplish what they set out to, that they do not get to where they always seem to be going, that the spectator is left to puzzle over the apparently unfinished quality of his carefully wrought paeans to the quotidian is a responsibility that  Hou places on the spectator. Hou’s audiences are left to ponder the awful ennui of his characters and the curiously tentative conclusions of his films. … The circular logic of Hou’s film narratives illusively structured as teleological journeys echoes the feelings of vulnerability its inhabitants hold for Taiwan, an island entity with no official status as a nation, whose denizens have nowhere to which they can flee and no option of expanding its economy within its borders.” (p. 192)

Chapter 6: What is Said and Left Unsaid in Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Period Adaptations

flowers of shanghaiMillennium Mambo
“Even for Hou Hsiao-hsien, Flowers of Shanghai (1998) is a film that presses the bounds of feature filmmaking. … Despite the fact that Hou Hsiao-hsien has said in an interview that Millennium Mambo is a contemporary version of Flowers of Shanghai, the latter does not even contain the narrative voiceover to guide the spectator as the former does.1 The audience is forced to puzzle over the meaning and implications of the film, an alienating experience even for Chinese and Taiwanese audiences due to its period setting. (p. 209)

The Assassin

“Watching Hou Hsiao-hsien’s most recent film The Assassin carefully and repeatedly, one comes to the initial conclusion that it is a plot stripped of all excess, an adumbration of the full story of what happened to the heroine Nie Yinniang and of the historical  circumstances surrounding the militarized province of Weibo where the film is set. While this is true, it is deceiving too because The Assassin is also a colossal reinterpretation of the original Tang-dynasty classical tale “Nie Yinniang,” and the film version and particularly the screenplay endow it with a cornucopia of newly created material that the authors drew both from historical research and from their imaginations.” (p.215)

See also Author Interview with Christopher Lupke.

Learn more about the book and recommend it.

www.cambriapress.com

Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter