Cambria Press Publication Review: Majimbo in Kenya’s Past

Majimbo

Congratulations to Professor Robert Maxon (West Virginia University) on the outstanding review of his book, Majimbo in Kenya’s Past: Federalism in the 1940s and 1950s, in International Journal of African Historical Studies (IJAHS), which states that:

In Robert Maxon’s welcome book, Majimbo in Kenya’s Past: Federalism in the 1940s and 1950s, losers come front and center. The author does not focus on the leading lights of the settler community, also part of the losing side in the narrative of Kenya’s decolonization. This is not a book about Lord Delamere, Michael Blundell, Wilfred Havelock, Ferdinand Cavendish-Bentinck, and Humphrey Slade, powerful, wealthy, and influential members of Kenya white settler community, though they appear from time to time. Center stage belongs to individuals who have scarcely made their appearance in the story of Britain’s departure from Kenya in 1963. Here, the leading lights are A.T. Culwick, B.F. Roberts, and L.E. Vigar, racists, profoundly against Africans and Asians alike, and robust federalists in defense of European privilege right up to the bitter end. … After discussing the Dawe’s plan, presented to the Colonial Office in 1942 and calling for a grant of self-government to Kenya’s settlers in the White Highlands, Maxon discusses the majimbo plans put forward in the 1950s. … This is a work of impressive and careful scholarship. One looks forward to Professor Maxon’s further volumes on Kenya’s constitutional history.

This book is available in print and digital versions from Cambria Press.

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Jin Yong (1924–2018): Legend in Chinese Martial Arts Fiction and Modern Chinese Literary History

Today we mourn the passing of Jin Yong (Louis Cha) who was well loved for his wuxia novels, among his many other accomplishments.

Jin Yong

What made Jin Yong such a legend? As Ann Huss and Jianmei noted in The Jin Yong Phenomenon, “Jin Yong writes in what has been referred to by readers and critics as ‘the common language of Chinese around the world.’ [… and his]  writing has emerged as an interrogation of Chinese intellectuals’ project of modernity.”

In their seminal book, Huss and Liu argued that:

Most scholars of modern Chinese literature have studied Jin Yong’s novels within the boundaries of “martial art novels,” an approach which to a large degree has not only ignored the position of Jin Yong’s writing in the modern Chinese literary tradition, but also disregarded the impact of specific historical circumstances on the production of literary works. To remedy this weakness, our selection considers Jin Yong’s anti-Europeanized Chinese writings as works which efficiently rejuvenate long-neglected elements of the native literary tradition: huaben xiaoshuo, classical essay language, and the style of the Mandarin Duck and Butterfly School (Yuanyang hudie pai), all suppressed long ago by the New Literary Tradition. In addition to reclaiming the importance of Jin Yong’s language, our collection also engages Hong Kong, and the cultural and geopolitical space within which Jin Yong’s writings were produced from the 1950s through the 1970s. In this way, we go beyond the limits of literature, ushering the research of Jin Yong’s novels into the interdisciplinary world of political, social, cultural, and film studies.

They also add that:

the popularity of Jin Yong’s works offers us an opportunity to reconceptualize the relationship between high and popular culture, the canon and the uncanon, the modern and the traditional, the East and the West. A closer look at the wuxia project of this seasoned politician, businessman, and master of the literary jianghu will lead us toward a greater understanding of the complexity of the concepts of nation, globalization, and diaspora.

We are indebted to Jin Yong for what he has done for the Chinese literary world; his works will continue to, as Huss and Liu have noted, “lead us toward a greater understanding of the complexity of the concepts of nation, globalization, and diaspora.”

Jin Yong

The Jin Yong Phenomenon: Chinese Martial Arts Fiction and Modern Chinese Literary History, edited by Ann Huss and Jianmei Liu (Cambria Press, 2009)

This book is available in print and e-book editions.

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Cambria Press Publication Review: Contents Tourism in Japan

Congratulations to Philip Seaton (Tokyo University), Takayoshi Yamamura (Hokkaido University), Akiko Sugawa-Shimada (Yokohama National University), and Kyungjae Jang (Hokkaido University) on the outstanding review of their book, Contents Tourism in Japan: Pilgrimages to “Sacred Sites” of Popular Culture, in the journal Tourist Studies.

9781604979732front

The review praises the book, which includes 100 color images, noting that:

This is rich analysis. It not only proposes an approach for analysing how people and places benefit from content tourism, it convincingly applies its framework to provide valuable insights for those interested in Japanese history and culture, and for modern and international media and tourism scholars. The authors draw on an extremely wide range of sources to develop their method, and to illustrate content tourism in Japan using their own research, including many illustrative photographs of people, derivative content and places. In all, Contents Tourism in Japan provides a new understanding of how people in Japan have used the popular culture of their day as inspiration to travel, enhancing their enjoyment of their favourite content and transferring economic benefits upon the producers of the content and the places associated with it.”

This book is a must-read for those in Japan studies, media studies, popular culture, and tourism studies.

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Celebrating Taiwan, home to some of the richest Sinophone literature in the world

Today on Taiwan’s National Day, we celebrate this important, vibrant island, which has given us—as Jonathan Stalling aptly puts it in Contemporary Taiwanese Women Writers—”some of the richest Sinophone literature in the world.” Stalling elaborates that “unfixed, vibrant, and deeply engaged with a sense of place, Taiwanese writers—from the experimental poetry pioneer Hsia Yu to younger multimedia poets like Ye Mimi to powerhouse authors like Li Ang and Chu T’ien-wen—are continually pushing the boundaries of the possible and unlocking new directions for Sinophone literature in the twenty-first century.”

Stalling

Taiwan’s literary history is just as unique, as seen in Chia-rong Wu’s fascinating study, Supernatural Sinophone Taiwan and Beyond, which explores “the discourse of the supernatural and beyond in response to the historical overview of Sinophone Taiwan.” Wu explores the zhiguai 志怪 genre and shows us how “ghost haunting may be allegorically associated with the historical, political, cultural, and even sexual dimensions of the world of the living.”

Supernatural Sinophone Taiwan

In showcasing the world of the living in Taiwan, Hou Hsiao-hsien is “considered by many cinema aficionados to be one of the most innovative, provocative, and enthralling directors,” as Christopher Lupke notes in The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien and further remarks that “linguistically and culturally speaking Hou Hsiao-hsien necessarily dwells in contested terrain, in the political penumbra between state and region, between national culture and transnational identity.”

Hou Hsiao-hsien

Supernatural Sinophone Taiwan and Beyond and The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien are part of the Cambria Sinophone World Series, headed by Professor Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania).

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Asian Security – 3 Essential Books

Asian Security

The Gathering Pacific Storm

Emerging US-China Strategic Competition in Defense Technological and Industrial Development

Tai Ming Cheung and Thomas G. Mahnken

The U.S. has enjoyed overwhelming military technological superiority in the post-Cold War era, but China has begun to chip away at this dominance. As distrust and strategic rivalry becomes more prominent in US-China relations, this is helping to turn what had previously been parallel but separate military research and development efforts by both countries into a directly connected competition. This contest for leadership in defense technology and innovation promises to be a long-term and highly expensive endeavor for the United States and China.

Examining the nature of the US-China defense technological competition requires a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the complex military, economic, innovation, and other drivers at play. Moreover, this technological race is still in the early stages of development and can be expected to grow larger, more complex, and more intense, so The Gathering Pacific Storm: Emerging US-China Strategic Competition in Defense Technological and Industrial Development, edited by by Tai Ming Cheung and Thomas G. Mahnken, provides an invaluable resource for understanding the origins and patterns of competition in different domains.

Cheung-Mahnken Front Cover

“This is a timely, thought provoking book on the state of the increasingly heated military-technological competition between the United States and its great power rivals, China and Russia. Coming on the heels of new National Security and Defense strategies that emphasize the return of great power competition, it is essential reading for those concerned about the erosion of U.S. military-technical advantage. Dr. Cheung and Dr. Mahnken’s book is sure to provide an important intellectual foundation for debate over this important issue. Highly recommended!” –Robert Work, 32nd Deputy Secretary of Defense and CEO of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS)

Trust and Distrust in Sino-American Relations

Challenge and Opportunity

Steve Chan

Trust is a concept that ought to be at the front and center of international relations research. It is pivotal to how states interpret the actions of others and decide their own policies. Mutual distrust can set off a spiral of competitive dynamics as a consequence of reciprocal misinterpretation of each other’s intentions. At the same time, misplacing one’s confidence in a state that is actually untrustworthy can seriously jeopardize a country’s security. Yet despite its analytic and policy importance, only a few books have given systematic attention to this pivotal concept.

Trust and Distrust in Sino-American Relations: Challenge and Opportunity by Steve Chan fills that gap by addressing the question of how states acquire a reputation for trustworthiness—or untrustworthiness—in the eyes of others. It focuses especially on the relationship between China and the U.S., the two most consequential countries in today’s world, offering a systematic framework for analyzing their level of trust, and examining how ongoing trends and prospective developments may foster or undermine this relationship. In this, it provides a new approach to the subject by applying theoretical insights and empirical generalizations from the international relations literature to the case of Sino-American relations.

Chan Front Cover

“Steve Chan, a leading scholar of Chinese foreign policy, has once again come up with an excellent book, this time on the topic of ‘trust.’ In this succinctly written book, he provides a very rich theoretical and empirical discussion of trust and mistrust in international relations with the use of Sino-US relations as empirical case study. A valuable addition to both IR theory and the study of China’s foreign relations.” —T.V. Paul, James McGill Professor of International Relations, McGill University

A New Strategy for Complex Warfare

Combined Effects in East Asia

Thomas A. Drohan

A New Strategy for Complex Warfare: Combined Effects in East Asia by Thomas A. Drohan develops new theory for superior strategy in complex warfare. The approach is comprehensive and practical, and it is applied to three contemporary security crises involving the United States, China, the Koreas, and Japan. Beginning with existing theories on strategy and culture, a new interpretation of “combined effects strategy” is introduced based on research and years of experience.

Unlike previous works, this study considers security culture as a way to understand warfare conceived and waged broadly: patterns of confrontation and cooperation, threat perception and assessment, and strategic effectiveness. In addition, for the first time, contemporary crises detail the interaction of strategies operating as lines of effect which when combined, create powerful synergies. A summary analysis of each case develops implications for future strategy. The concluding chapter is unique in its discussion of the influence of security culture on operational concepts, when lines of effect combine, and how security culture informs combined effects strategy, particularly for the United States.

Drohan Front Cover

“Few works have succeeded as much as this one at succinctly explaining centuries of Asian cultural history and contextualizing that history to current security issues in the region. Members of the security community will greatly benefit from this unique perspective. … Drohan excels in explaining the implications cultural histories have for US security strategy and prescribes both philosophical and pragmatic changes practitioners should make. ” —Parameters

These books are in the Rapid Communications in Conflict and Security (RCCS) Series (General Editor: Geoffrey R.H. Burn).

RCCS Series Last Page

Watch the short video by Cambria Press for books and authors in this series.

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#lutopelomuseunacional: The Museo Nacional de Brasil and how it preserved African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil

The loss of the Museo Nacional de Brasil (National Museum of Brazil) is simply devastating. As The New York Times noted “some items in the collection are irreplaceable to science, as well as the country’s national memory.”

Long before the tragic fire, Mariza de Carvalho Soares, a Brazilian historian and researcher at the CNPq/MCT (Brazilian national endowment agency), who has also been the curator of the African collection at the Museu Nacional de Brasil since 2012, underscored the importance of the museum to Brazil’s national memory because its artifacts lent “urgent voices to the need to deconstruct the memory of Africa in Brazil, a memory still trapped in the rusted chains of slavery and colonial domination.”

The following are excerpts from her chapter “Collectionism and Colonialism: The Africana Collection at Brazil’s National Museum (Rio de Janeiro)” in the book African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic World edited by Ana Lucia Araujo, which help preserve the memory of this beloved institution.

#lutopelomuseunacional

“In Brazil, few museums are known to possess substantial African holdings and give them prominence. … Among the recognized institutions, the collection held at the National Museum is indisputably the oldest and one of the most significant. Its entire ethnographic collection, containing some 40,000 objects, is presently managed by the Ethnology and Ethnography Sector of the Anthropology Department (MN/DA/SEE). Most of its holdings are related to the indigenous populations of Brazil. Yet, it also includes around 700 artifacts from sub-Saharan Africa, gathered under the name National Museum Africana.” (p.19)

“The most significant acquisitions of African artifacts were made during the administrations of Ladislau Netto and Roquette Pinto. Later on, Heloísa Torres gave more emphasis and resources to artifacts representing the legacy of the African presence in Brazil. But these three vibrant researchers shared a common interest not just in anthropology but also in the dynamism of cultural manifestations that transcended the sharply defined models of Western postslave society. They gave importance and prestige to the most diverse forms African-derived objects.

Africana contains important individual pieces, but what stands out in the collection are sets of related objects that, for their antiquity or rarity, deserve special attention. The great majority of the pieces were obtained through private donation, or exchange with other museums, whereas some other items were purchased. In the Sector of Ethnology and Ethnography (hereafter SEE) registry, African artifacts are listed in sequence numbers with their date of acquisition, along with all the other artifacts in the ethnographic archive. The oldest artifacts that have been identified and historically contextualized are the group of presents sent by King Adandozan of Dahomey to Prince Dom João in 1810, including the aforementioned throne. Other objects described by Graham would be equally important, but these were apparently lost.

A notable set of artifacts obtained by purchase is the group of weapons acquired in 1902, during the administration of João Baptista de Lacerda (museum director 1895–1915). It was likely Lacerda’s initiative to purchase the weapons from private collector Alfred Mocquery, who had been sent by the Paris Museum to South America as well as Africa, especially Madagascar.” (p.24)

“Among the various donated artifacts are the set of more than twenty presents from the king of Dahomey, as well as a drum with a zebra-skin head given by a certain Jorge Villares. Little is known about Villares, but it was recorded upon the drum’s entry in 1923 that he claimed the “King of Uganda” had offered him the item to be delivered to the National Museum.” (p.25)

“There are also many objects labeled as African but acquired in Brazil, which are difficult to identify properly. Such is the case of cloths purchased by Heloísa Torres in Bahia, registered as African. One of them, acquired in 1953, belonged to the wife of a Mr. Tibúrcio, member of the Brotherhood of Rosário, a Catholic lay organization for African descendants in the coastal city of Salvador. Another group of objects had been apprehended by the court police from a so-called ‘fortune-telling house,’ as the headquarters of Afro-Brazilian religious groups were known in imperial, nineteenth-century Rio de Janeiro. The police would regularly invade these ‘cult houses’ in search of what they considered suspicious and confiscate objects at hand as proof of the practice of witchcraft. In one such case, a list of apprehended items was sent to the National Museum bearing the title ‘List of diverse objects encountered in fortune-telling houses, rendered by the police, whose chief was the distinguished Mr. Serafim Muniz Barreto, to the court.’ Among the listed objects were some items that would have come from Africa alongside others made in Brazil by Africans and African descendants in their religious and quotidian pursuits.

Some objects in the museum’s new forthcoming permanent exhibition deserve particular attention. Each of them provides a pathway into the central issue of the role of museums as spaces of engagement with the importance of Africa in the universe of education and research in Brazil. They lend urgent voices to the need to deconstruct the memory of Africa in Brazil, a memory still trapped in the rusted chains of slavery and colonial domination.” (p.26)

This is followed by a section titled “Confronting Memory and History: Three Examples of Africana Artifacts,” which details the following:

  1. The Keaka Mask (1928)
  2. Weapons from the Zambezi River: Herero, Namaqua, and Zulu (1880–1902)
  3. The Gifts from King Adandozan to Dom João (1811)

Mariza de Carvalho Soares concludes her chapter noting the following:

“The violent methods (or in the best of cases, compulsory circumstances) that provided nearly all the objects that today constitute the Africana collection, as well as the African holdings of so many other Brazilian museums, should be brought to the fore and reconsidered. Each of these institutions has the obligation to administer with care and justice the preservation of this heritage, the material legacy of processes that came about at the cost of the blood and suffering of so many Africans. At the same time, the potential of these collections must be channeled into new meanings, marshaling the unjust past into public policies that today foster better understanding of both the history of African peoples and of the diverse connections between Brazil and Africa in the past, present, and future. The most important move at this juncture is to examine these artifacts from a new analytical perspective, to open the study of so-called ethnographic collections to the scrutiny of history. The new parameters that will help define a richer history of Africa can first be applied locally, in the sense of a newly critical gaze on the colonial practices that have too long reigned in the interior of museums themselves.” (p.37)

Araujo Heritage Book Cover

African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic World was published in 2015. A 25% discount is available for the hardcover version (enter coupon code SAVE25 at checkout). There are also e-book versions starting from $8.99.

Book Details

Title African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic World
Editor Ana Lucia Araujo
Book ISBN 9781604978926
Pages 428 (includes illustrations)

Mariza de Carvalho Soares is a Brazilian historian working on slavery, the African diaspora, and African history. She is a researcher at the CNPq/MCT (Brazilian national endowment agency). Since 2012, she has been the curator of the African collection at Museu Nacional (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and director of the research project Africana do Museu Nacional (2013–2015) funded by FAPERJ (Rio de Janeiro state endowment agency). In recent years, she has been a research fellow at Vanderbilt University, Yale University, Stanford University, the University of Chicago, and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. She is the author of numerous chapters and articles and the author and editor of several books, including People of Faith: Slavery and African Catholics in Eighteenth-Century Rio de Janeiro (2011), which received the Roberto Reis Book Award from the Brazilian Studies Association.

Ana Lucia Araujo is a Professor of History at Howard University. In addition to having published several single-authored monographs and edited volumes, Professor Araujo has edited special issues of the journals Luso-Brazilian Review and Journal of African Diaspora Archaeology and Heritage and published articles in several journals, including Slavery and Abolition, the Luso-Brazilian Review, Ethnologie Française, Ethnologies, Varia História, Lusotopie, Tempo, and the Canadian Journal of Latin America and Caribbean Studies. Professor Araujo is the general editor of the Cambria Press book series Slavery: Past and Present.

Ana Lucia Araujo