Essential Books for Taiwan Studies

The following are essential books for Taiwan Studies. The first three have just been published in the new Literature from Taiwan Series, in collaboration with the National Museum of Taiwan Literature and National Taiwan Normal University.

A Taiwanese Literature Reader

edited by Nikky Lin

Taiwanese Literature Reader Front Cover

According to Taiwanese writer and historian Ye Shitao (see next book), the development of Taiwanese literature during Japanese occupation can be divided into three stages: the “nascent period” (1920–1925), followed by the “mature period” (1926–1937), and finally the “war period” (1937–1945). The six stories in this collection are representative works from the mature period and the war period. Each story depicts different hardships and predicaments faced by Taiwan as a colony under Japanese rule, offering insight into how this part of Taiwan’s history continues to impact contemporary Taiwanese society. Save 30% on the print edition (use coupon code AAS2020) by ordering here.

 

A History of Taiwan Literature

by Ye Shitao; translated by Christopher Lupke

Lupke Ye Shitao Front Cover

A History of Taiwan Literature by Ye Shitao, an important public intellectual in Taiwan, was published in the crucial watershed year of 1987 when the end of martial law on the island was signaled. This is arguably one of the most important intellectual works of literary history, made even more impressive by Ye’s inclusion of copious notes, including Japanese-language ones. In this translation, Christopher Lupke has painstakingly translated both Ye’s main text and notes, making this valuable resource available to English readers for the first time. Save 30% on the print edition (use coupon code AAS2020) by ordering here.

 

The Soul of Jade Mountain

by Husluman Vava; translated by Terence Russell

Soul of Jade Mountain Front Cover

Ethnographic novels, such as The Soul of Jade Mountain (Yushan hun) by Bunun writer Husluman Vava (1958–2007), have been an important tool in the process of bringing the circumstances of Indigenous people to the attention of mainstream audiences. Vava’s novel The Soul of Jade Mountain won the 2007 Taiwan Literature Award for the best novel, and this is the first English translation of an ethnographic novel by a Taiwan Indigenous writer to be published by a North American publisher, marking an important step in bringing Indigenous Taiwan to international audiences. Save 30% on the print edition (use coupon code AAS2020) by ordering here.

 

Contemporary Taiwanese Women Writers

edited by Jonathan Stalling, Lin Tai-man, and Yanwing Leung

Stalling

With this first English-language anthology of contemporary Taiwanese women writers in decades, readers are finally provided with a window to the widest possible range of voices, styles, and textures of contemporary Taiwanese women writers. The quality and diversity of the stories in this anthology are representative of the work produced by the Taipei Chinese PEN, which curates, translates, and publishes the best Chinese Literature from Taiwan since its founding in 1972.  Save 30% on the print edition (use coupon code AAS2020) by ordering here.

 

The Sinophone Cinema of
Hou Hsiao-hsien

Christopher Lupke

Hou Hsiao-hsien

Christopher Lupke’s book is a comprehensive treatment of Hou Hsiao-hsien’s entire oeuvre, including The Assassin. Lupke was able to visit the set of The Assassin and includes rare photos of Hou on his film set. In addition to a detailed filmography and a substantial bibliography, the book also contains interviews with Hou Hsiao-hsien. This book is a must read for all interested in global cinema. It is valuable for those interested in the society and politics of postwar Taiwan and Sinophone culture in general. It will appeal to readers concerned with issues such as the representation of ethnicity, gender, political repression, and the tensions between cities and the countryside. Save 30% on the print edition (use coupon code AAS2020) by ordering here.

 

Supernatural Sinophone Taiwan and Beyond

Chia-rong Wu

Supernatural Sinophone TaiwanWhile reexamining the cultural and political complexities of Sinophone Taiwan, this book recognizes the narrative of the strange as a widely adopted artistic form in highlighting Sinophone practices and experiences separated from the China-centric ideology. The study argues that the narratives of the strange in Sinophone Taiwan cross the boundaries between the living and the dead as well as the past and the present, in response to a pastiche of phantasm, Chinese diaspora, gender discourse, and transnational politics. Save 30% on the print edition (use coupon code AAS2020) by ordering here.

 

Remapping the Contested Sinosphere

Chia-rong Wu

Wu Chia-rong Cover

FORTHCOMING AUGUST 2020

Taiwan has long been regarded as a supplementary addition to its cultural Other: China, Japan, or imperial Western powers. To create a self-claimed subjectivity, Taiwan’s localist camp has been promoting the Taiwanese consciousness via political movements and literary writings in a century-long campaign. To examine the literary expressions of Taiwan through any singular conceptual lens, such as postcolonaility and transnationalism, would be far too limiting. As such, this book reconsiders both the (trans)localist agenda and the post-loyalist discourse in the contested Sinophone arena.

 

Locating Taiwan Cinema in the
Twenty-First Century

edited by Paul G. Pickowicz and Yingjin Zhang

Pickowicz-Zhang Front Cover

FORTHCOMING AUGUST 2020

This book is a much-needed study that takes the study of Taiwan cinema out of the late-twentieth century and into the twenty-first century. This is the first book to take a multidisciplinary approach to an evaluation of recent Taiwan film. It features a team of cultural studies, social science, and history specialists who use differing film materials and methodologies to analyze the ways in which filmmakers deal with the evolution of Taiwan’s society, economy and culture in the new century. 

 

Cambria Cloud Women

Professors, make going remote easy by assigning this book for readings through the Cambria Book Cloud, which allows for affordable semester-long 24/7 access to multiple books (even the entire Cambria Sinophone World Series) anywhere through web browser. Students are able to read titles on their phone, tables, laptops, or desktops.

 

Like Cambria Press on Facebook and
follow Cambria Press on Twitter to stay posted.

Reexamining the Sinosphere: Cover art of Korean manuscript map shows Indian-, Chinese-, and Western-influenced cartographic genre

Professors Nanxiu Qian, Richard J. Smith, and Bowei Zhang, editors of Reexamining the Sinosphere: Transmissions and Transformations in East Asia, on the image on the front cover of their book.

Reexamining Sinosphere Front Cover

The cover image for this volume is an anonymous Korean manuscript map of the world (Ch’ŏnhado 天下圖), c. 1820. This Indian-, Chinese-, and Western-influenced cartographic genre, which developed in Korea during the seventeenth century, reflects a distinctly Korean world view that persisted well into the nineteenth century. This particular map highlights China, Japan, Korea and the Ryukyu Islands in red. Vietnam is also represented by characters on the map, but is not highlighted––presumably an indication of Korea’s bias toward more proximal states in the Sinosphere. For details on the Ch’ŏnhado genre, see Sang-Hak Oh, “Circular World Maps of the Joseon Dynasty,” Korea Journal 48.1 (Spring 2008): 9–44. We are grateful to Götzfried Antique Maps, https://www.vintage-maps.com/en/antique-maps/world-maps/anonymous-korean-manuscript-chonhado-1820::11503, for permission to reproduce our cover image.

See also Rethinking the Sinosphere: Poetics, Aesthetics, and Identity Formation by the same professors.

This book is part of the Cambria Sinophone World Series, headed by Professor Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania).

Professors, make going remote easy by assigning this book for readings through the Cambria Book Cloud, which allows for affordable semester-long 24/7 access to multiple books (even the entire Cambria Sinophone World Series) anywhere through web browser. Students are able to read titles on their phone, tables, laptops, or desktops.

Like Cambria Press on Facebook and
follow Cambria Press on Twitter to stay posted.

 

Rethinking the Sinosphere: Cover art depicts “brush conversations” (筆談 or 筆話) between scholars

Professors Nanxiu Qian, Richard J. Smith, and Bowei Zhang, editors of Rethinking the Sinosphere: Poetics, Aesthetics, and Identity Formation, on the images on the front cover of their book.

Rethinking Sinosphere Front Cover

The cover images for this volume depict “brush conversations” (筆談 or 筆話) between scholars in the Sinosphere who did not speak the same languages, but who could communicate by writing notes to each other using literary Sinitic characters. One collection of these conversations records 667 communications between the Takasaki 高崎daimyo Ōkōchi Teruna 大河内輝聲 (1848–1882) and his friends in the Sinosphere, including 58 Chinese, 69 Japanese, and 5 Koreans, in the period from September 3, 1875, to October 13, 1881. The upper image shows an ink-brush sketch, dated August 15, 1876, which features the late Qing Chinese literati/artist Luo Xuegu 羅雪谷 (the one wearing a queue) in conversation with three Japanese literati. Judging from the round seal bearing his studio name (Minamoto Keikaku 源桂閣), Teruna may have drawn the sketch himself.

The lower image records Teruna’s conversation with Wang Qiyuan 王桼園 (a.k.a. Wang Zhiben 王治本, 1836–1908) and Shen Meishi 沈梅史 (dates unknown) on February 13, 1878. It includes a poem praising the close friendship between these “people of the same race from different countries” (異邦同種人), written by a Japanese scholar named Matsui Kyōsai 松井強哉. We are grateful to the Zhejiang Ancient Book Publishing House 浙江古籍出版社 for permission to reproduce our cover images from its 2016 publication of Riben cang Zhong Ri Chao bitan ziliao: Dahenei wenshu 日本藏晚清中日朝筆談資料: 大河內文書 (Documents of late Qing brush conversations between Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans preserved in Japan: the Ōkōchi monjo).

See also Reexamining the Sinosphere: Transmissions and Transformations in East Asia by the same professors.

Both books are part of the Cambria Sinophone World Series, headed by Professor Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania).

Professors, make going remote easy by assigning this book for readings through the Cambria Book Cloud, which allows for affordable semester-long 24/7 access to multiple books (even the entire Cambria Sinophone World Series) anywhere through web browser. Students are able to read titles on their phone, tables, laptops, or desktops.

 

AAS 2020 Virtual Book Exhibit

Welcome to our AAS 2020 virtual book exhibit! Below are the new titles that would have been released at the AAS conference. These were also featured on the outside back cover of the AAS 2020 conference program. Save 30% on the print edition of all titles if you order directly from the Cambria Press website and use the coupon code AAS2020.

At the AAS conference, we were going to launch the Cambria Book Cloud for going remote. Now this effective teaching and learning solution has become all the more important. With the Cambria Book Cloud, professors can assign pages or chapters from multiple books—or even entire books—from our collection to their students for a low, flat fee for semester-long access. During the semester, students will be able to access multiple books via any web browser; they can read the material on their smart phones, iPads, laptops, desktops. Professors can sign up here for their free trial access.

NEW TITLES

Cambria Sinophone World Series

Letty Chen Front Cover

The Great Leap Backward
Forgetting and Representing the Mao Years
Lingchei Letty Chen

“Letty Chen has done magnificent work in looking into the art and politics of remembering, and re-membering, the Maoist era—its fanatic causes, its violent episodes, and its traumatic consequences. With sources drawn from fictional and biographical narratives, she identifies ideological and affective contestations, and ponders the possibilities of inscribing the immemorial and unthinkable. Both historically engaged and theoretically provocative, Chen’s book is a timely intervention with the prevailing narrative of the Chinese Dream. The Great Leap Backward is a compelling reference for anyone interested in memory studies, Chinese and comparative literature, and cultural and political history.”

—David Der-wei Wang,
Edward C. Henderson Professor of Chinese Literature,
Harvard University

Allen Front Cover

The Chinese Lyric Sequence
Poems, Paintings, Anthologies
Joseph R. Allen

“This book is the first attempt to discuss, in both theoretical and concrete terms, the historical development of an important but decidedly understudied Chinese literary form, the poetic sequence (zushi). The poetic sequence is an important form in the Chinese tradition, as it allows the poet to build a complex argument in poetic form about an issue, an experience, or a phenomenon in life. This book is the first English-language monograph to discuss the poetic sequence in the context of the historical development of this art form as a whole, and the connection made between the poetic sequence and album leaves is thought-provoking. Each chapter contains many inspired and inspiring analyses of individual texts. The writing is lucid and accessible, and the book is a great pleasure to read from beginning to end. This book will be invaluable for both specialists in the field of Chinese literature and general readers who are interested in Chinese poetry and aesthetics; it will be essential reading for scholars and students in classical Chinese literature, cultural history, and art history.”

—Tian Xiaofei, Professor of Chinese Literature, Harvard University

Rethinking Sinosphere Front Cover

Rethinking the Sinosphere
Poetics, Aesthetics, and Identity Formation
by Nanxiu Qian, Richard J. Smith, and
Bowei Zhang, eds.

Rethinking the Sinosphere signifies a landmark in the study of cultural interaction in East Asia in two senses. First, it tells the story that literary Sinitic has served as the platform of personal and historical connections in East Asia. Through several case studies, the book affirms that the Chinese characters are the common dominator of the Sinosphere. Secondly, it is a well-knitted tapestry in which the personal, historical, poetic and aesthetic dimensions of cultural interaction in East Asia interweave with one another. This book is a most important source for anyone interested in East Asian studies.”

—Chun-chieh Huang, Distinguished Chair Professor,
National Taiwan University

Reexamining Sinosphere Front Cover

Reexamining the Sinosphere
Transmissions and Transformations
in East Asia

by Nanxiu Qian, Richard J. Smith, and
Bowei Zhang, eds.

Reexamining the Sinosphere is an excellent and much-needed book that explores the various aspects of the concept of Sinosphere with a wealth of textual examples and on the basis of rich and multifaceted contemporary scholarship. The volume puts together a fine group of essays that discuss issues of cultural transmissions and transformations in East Asia and contribute to our understanding by raising important questions as much as by providing answers. This is a volume that stimulates our rethinking of the Sinosphere and will be essential reading for anyone interested in the historical relations of East Asian countries and how this regional concept may be relevant to the reality of our world today. I highly recommend it.”

—Zhang Longxi,
Chair Professor of Comparative Literature and Translation,
City University of Hong Kong

Peng Front Cover

Metalworking in Bronze Age China
The Lost-Wax Process
Peng Peng

“In pre-imperial China, lost-wax casting was very rarely used. As the identification of the technique has generated lively debates among specialists, some disputing the possibility of its use, a comprehensive investigation of its history is long overdue. For the first time, through the careful investigation of Professor Peng we have with this well-researched book a complete state-of-the-field report on this issue.”

—Alain Thote, Directeur d’études, École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris

Burnett Front Cover

Shaping Chinese Art History
Pang Yuanji and His Painting Collection
Katharine P. Burnett

“This comprehensive and engaging study for the first time brings into focus the full range of activities of the great collector Pang Yuanji, giving us a picture of a crucial figure in the field of Chinese art history. By situating him within a number of relevant frameworks as collector, businessman, and philanthropist, this book helps us better understand the key role which the art of the past played in the making of a modern China.

—Craig Clunas, FBA,
Professor Emeritus of the History of Art, Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, University of Oxford

See the entire list of the Cambria Sinophone World Series, which is headed by Professor Victor H. Mair (University of Pennsylvania).

New in Japan Studies

Traphagan Front Cover

Cosmopolitan Rurality, Depopulation, and Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in 21st-Century Japan
John W. Traphagan

“A very engaging and thoughtful work that will be of great interest to Japan scholars and to any social scientists with a concern for conditions of life in contemporary rural regions in many of the advanced industrial societies. This is a book about entrepreneurship, depopulation, and the nature of the contemporary rural. Each of these is of broad and comparative significance. The Japanese countryside doesn’t look like the countryside of the sentimental imagination; it is a complex hybrid formation, much as we find in Europe and North America, giving the case a wide salience. Depopulation is a shorthand for several related trends of much consequence: population decline, yes, but rapid aging of the population and significant marriage delay, declining births, and solo living. This too is a feature of the rest of the “developed” world, but Japan’s trends are among the most advanced and there is much to learn from a judicious account such as this book. This is an impressive book, which should gain an enthusiastic and appreciative readership.”

—William Kelly,
Professor of Anthropology and Sumitomo Professor of Japanese Studies,
Yale University

Morgan Front Cover

Law and Society in Imperial Japan
Suehiro Izutaro and the Search for Equity
Jason Morgan

“A first-rate scholarly work that is an important contribution to understanding Japan’s legal and wartime history, especially the nature of tenko (ideological conversion during wartime Japan). Not only is this book the first serious study of Suehiro Izutaro in English, but it is also a profound analysis of the the development of law (labor law espcially) in Imperial Japan, and more broadly the impact of Suehiro’s case-study approach on Japanese law today. Built on primary sources in Japanese and other languages, the bibliography is exhaustive and will be valuable in itself as a guide to the field. There is much to learn from this book, including important lessons about the nature of wartime Japanese society and politics.”

— Kevin M. Doak, Professor and Nippon Foundation Endowed Chair;
and Chair, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Georgetown University

NEW! Literature from Taiwan Series

Cambria Press is proud to announce a new series, the Literature from Taiwan Series, in collaboration with the National Museum of Taiwan Literature and National Taiwan Normal University.

Lupke Ye Shitao Front Cover

A History of Taiwan Literature by Ye Shitao
translated by Christopher Lupke

A History of Taiwan Literature by Ye Shitao, an important public intellectual in Taiwan, was published in the crucial watershed year of 1987 when the end of martial law on the island was signaled. This is arguably one of the most important intellectual works of literary history, made even more impressive by Ye’s inclusion of copious notes, including Japanese-language ones. In this translation, Christopher Lupke has painstakingly translated both Ye’s main text and notes, making this valuable resource available to English readers for the first time. Lupke also provides an introduction that contextualizes Ye’s work as well as an epilogue that outlines some of the major historical and literary developments after 1987, along with a brief mention of some of the most important literary figures of Taiwan. In addition to a glossary and index, Lupke offers a select bibliography that lists works that Ye referenced in his own notes as well as some books that Lupke consulted in completing this translation.

Soul of Jade Mountain Front Cover

The Soul of Jade Mountain by Husluman Vava
translated by Terence Russell

Cultural production, including literary work, has been a key element in the Indigenous struggle for decolonization worldwide. In Taiwan, ethnographic novels written in Chinese, such as The Soul of Jade Mountain (Yushan hun) by Bunun writer Husluman Vava (1958–2007), have been an important tool in the process of bringing the circumstances of Indigenous people to the attention of mainstream audiences. The Soul of Jade Mountain won the 2007 Taiwan Literature Award for the best novel, and this is the first English translation of an ethnographic novel by a Taiwan Indigenous writer to be published by a North American publisher, marking an important step in bringing Indigenous Taiwan to international audiences.

Taiwanese Literature Reader Front CoverA Taiwanese Literature Reader
Nikky Lin, ed.

According to Taiwanese intellectual Ye Shitao, the development of Taiwanese literature during Japanese occupation can be divided into three stages: the “nascent period” (1920–1925), followed by the “mature period” (1926–1937), and finally the “war period” (1937–1945). The six stories in this collection are representative works from the mature period and the war period. Each story depicts different hardships and predicaments faced by Taiwan as a colony under Japanese rule, offering insight into how this part of Taiwan’s history continues to impact contemporary Taiwanese society.

See www.cambriapress.com for more titles.

 

#ISA2020 Highlights – Outstanding Books by Excellent Women Authors

On International Women’s Day, we are very proud to highlight some outstanding books by excellent women authors.

Dr. Sanchita Banerjee Saxena (UC Berkeley)
author of Made in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka

Sanchita Banerjee Saxena

Made in Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka: The Labor Behind the Global Garments and Textiles Industries by Dr. Sanchita Banerjee Saxena is praised by William Milam, Senior Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center and former U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh for being “insightful and perceptive,” noting that “most exciting to me is the potential that domestic coalitions in industry might augment to full-fledged policy networks, perhaps to grow into the kind of inclusive political institutions that are the basis of modernization and real democracy.”

Dr. Gabriela Fried Amilivia
(California State University Los Angeles)
author of State Terrorism and the Politics of Memory in Latin America

 

Gabriela Fried Amilivia

State Terrorism and the Politics of Memory in Latin America: Transmissions Across The Generations of Post-Dictatorship Uruguay, 1984–2004 by Gabriela Fried Amilivia is lauded by Gabriele M. Schwab, Chancellor’s Professor, Comparative Literature, School of Humanities, University of California, Irvine, for being “a groundbreaking study for anyone interested in crimes against humanity and their haunting transgenerational legacy.”

Dr. Anita Dey Nuttall (University of Alberta)
coeditor of International Relations and the Arctic

Anita Dey Nuttall Arctic

International Relations and the Arctic: Understanding Policy and Governance coedited by Dr. Anita Dey Nuttall earned an excellent review in Polar Record, which noted that “this is a fantastic and elaborate collection” that “will be of great interest to both the Arctic studies community and IR scholars.”

Dr. Hume Johnson (Roger Williams University)
author of Challenges to Civil Society

Hume Johnson civil society

Challenges to Civil Society: Popular Protest & Governance in Jamaica by Hume Johnson is praised by Dr. Priya Kurian, University of Waikato, because it is “a pioneering work that reconceptualises civil society to examine the nature and consequences of popular protest in Jamaica” and “will be invaluable to our rethinking the concept of civil society.”

Dr. Anabela Carvalho  (University of Minho)
coeditor of Climate Change Politics

Anabela Carvalho

Climate Change Politics: Communication and Public Engagement by Anabela Carvalho and Tarla Rai Peterson is commended by Max Boykoff, University of Colorado, because it “effectively take readers beyond well-worn laments of science-policy woes and into emancipatory spaces of possibility and innovation in order to confront twenty-first-century climate challenges.”

Dr. Tarla Rai Peterson (Texas A&M University)
coeditor of Social Movement to Address Climate Change

Tarla Rai Petersen Climate

Social Movement to Address Climate Change: Local Steps for Global Action edited by by Danielle Endres, Leah Sprain, and Tarla Rai Peterson is the Winner of the Christine L. Oravec Award in Environmental Communication. Professor Leah Ceccarelli, University of Washington, notes that “this book exhibits the best that public scholarship has to offer. Its authors utilize sophisticated rhetorical theory and criticism to uncover the inventional constraints and possibilities for participants at various sites of the Step-It-Up day of climate activism.”

Dr. Susan Bryant (United States Army, ret.)
coeditor of Military Strategy in the 21st Century

Susan Bryant

Military Strategy in the 21st Century: People, Connectivity, and Competition coedited by Susan Bryant comes highly recommended by John Nagl, author of Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife and Knife Fights: A Memoir of Modern War because it delves into “the evolving character of war in an increasingly interconnected, networked world—and suggest innovations that will make us safer and more capable.”

Dr. Helen E. Purkitt (United States Naval Academy)
editor of African Environmental and Human Security in the 21st Century 

 

Helen Purkitt African Security

African Environmental and Human Security in the 21st Century by Helen E. Purkitt is commended by the Institute for Environmental Security, which notes that “the originality and comprehensiveness of each chapter means that the volume is likely to appeal to a wide range of readers for many years … an important book for African Studies, economic development, environmental and earth science, environmental security, human security, international relations, national security and military science collections.”

Dr. Edith A. Disler (United States Army, ret.)
author of Language and Gender in the Military

Edith A Disler

Language and Gender in the Military: Honorifics, Narrative, and Ideology in Air Force Talk by Edith A. Disler  provides a refreshing perspective on gender and language dynamics in a setting that had previously not been examined.

These books are all available on the Cambria Book Cloud.

Cambria Cloud Women

Like Cambria Press on Facebook and
follow Cambria Press on Twitter to stay posted.

Author Interview with Dr. T. X. Hammes on “Deglobalization and International Security”

The following is an interview with Dr. T. X. Hammes about his book Deglobalization and International Security, which is part of the Rapid Communications in Conflict and Security (RCCS) Series (General Editor: Geoffrey R.H. Burn).

Hammes Front Cover

A central thesis of your book is that the fourth industrial revolution will lead to deglobalization. What does a deglobalized United States, to you, look like in the next few years? In the coming decades?

TH: Like previous industrial revolutions, the 4th will take time to evolve and will be subject to political actions. The onshoring of manufacturing and services was progressing well in 2015 and 2016 with record levels of foreign direct investment (FDI) flowing into the United States.  Unfortunately, FDI fell dramatically in 2017 and has remained down since. The inconsistency of the Trump Administration’s tariff policies makes it very difficult for foreign investors to develop accurate cost predictions for manufacturing and export from the United States. However, the continuing improvement in robotics, 3D printing, low-cost natural gas, and artificial intelligence mean U.S. firms continue to repatriate manufacturing and services. While this brings more, higher-paying jobs to the country, factories employing advanced manufacturing need only a fraction of the people the old plants required. Thus a critical issue will be dealing with the labor dislocation inherent in industrial revolutions. Each previous revolution resulted in many more and better jobs but only after a period of dislocation as people acquired the skills needed in the new environment. A great unknown is how long that process will take for the fourth industrial revolution.

In your conclusion, you write about what Iran can do in the wake of the fourth industrial revolution. Do you have any further suggestions for Iran as the situation between Iran and the US escalates? How about for the US?

TH: In the last few months Iran has demonstrated clearly that the convergence of new technologies has created a family of relatively inexpensive, precision munitions.  As stated in the book, smaller powers and even insurgent groups now have access to long-range precision strike.  In October 2016, the Houthis insurgent group fired cruise missiles from Yemen at U.S. Navy ships patrolling offshore.  In September, oil facilities located hundreds of miles inside Saudi Arabia were hit with drones and cruise missiles with 17 of 19 weapons hitting designated targets. The Yeminis claimed responsibility but the weapons were Iranian. In January 2020, Iranians fired 16 missiles at two U.S. bases in Iraq. Twelve hit their targets. They have demonstrated that the limited number of U.S. anti-missile batteries simply cannot cover all the U.S. and Allied facilities within range of Iranian systems. In addition the narrow waters of the Strait of Hormuz provide confined space where Iranians might employ emerging naval and air swarm technology.

The United States can take advantage of the same advances to create its own family of small, smart, and cheap weapons. These can be used to reduce U.S. manpower and footprint requirements overseas. Most important they don’t require the large indefensible bases our current family of weapons does.   In addition, they can be offered to allies to allow them affordable defense that can be coordinated with U.S. forces.

In a similar vein, how do you think that the technologies invented during the fourth industrial revolution will impact US-Iran relations?

TH: The new generation of weapons means any U.S. power projection efforts will face much more serious challenges than in the past.  In the past, we relied on big, secure bases overseas to provide basing and logistics support.  These bases were essentially invulnerable to enemy activity.  As Iran has recently demonstrated that is no longer true. Iran will have increasingly viable military options against the U.S. — either through proxies like Hizbollah or directly as in the January missile attack. The mobility and ubiquity of these weapons make them extremely difficult to preempt.

On a positive note, the major changes in U.S. energy mix has reduced the pressure on U.S. administrations to “do something” about instability in the Middle East. Despite major disruptions and even the threat of major war, the OPEC Basket price of oil spiked only 5% before rapidly returning to pre-crisis level.

Of more concern, China understood these developments a decade ago and have built their “counter-intervention” concept (known as A2/AD in the U.S.) around the concept of long-range, precision, unmanned weapons.  This concept specifically challenges the U.S. ability to support our allies in the Far East by threatening our air and logistics facilities with a mix of long-range drones, ballistic, cruise and hypervelocity missiles.

In the conclusion to your book, you note that “employment changes being driven by the revolution, the reduced reliance on overseas trade, the increasing cost of intervention, and budgetary pressures” will decrease the already low US public support for war. Do you think new technological nature of war will also impact public support for it? Why or why not?

TH: The book also discusses how the new generation of small, smart, and cheap weapons will raise the cost of any U.S. intervention significantly. The combination of lower perceived need for engagement, ambiguous benefit of almost 20 years of foreign wars, and higher cost of intervention will combine to reduce public support for conflict they don’t perceive as directly threatening the United States.

You conclude Deglobalization and International Securityby writing that “the alarming political dysfunction” of American politics perhaps poses the greatest threat to the country’s prosperity in the fourth industrial revolution. Given that, as you write, this dysfunction has plagued American politics for decades, could you point to ways that this dysfunction has already restricted our progress through this revolution?

TH: While political dysfunction has been an issue for decades, until recently parties agreed that international trade and the free flow of ideas and people was a good thing for the United States. For decades, much of our success came from attracting the best and brightest from all over the world to come to America to study and then stay to contribute to the rapidly expanding information economy. Developments from the information economy — robotics, AI, 3D printing — set the conditions for advanced manufacturing and services to return to the United States. This was reflected in foreign direct investment statistics until 2017. Then the uncertainty created by this Administration’s trade and tariff policies have made foreign businesses reluctant to invest in the United States.  Compounding the problem, the recent severe restrictions on immigration have seriously damaged both our STEM education programs and made it much harder for the very people our economy most needs to come to the United States.  The fourth industrial revolution is about brain power. Three hundred million Americans cannot outpace the world.  But if we add ten million of the best minds in the world, we can.  The exceptional success of foreign born entrepreneurs in the new economy clearly demonstrated the United States needs these people. We need to once again become their destination of choice.

 

Cambria Press Publication Review: Reading John Banville Through Jean Baudrillard

Congratulations to Professor Hedda Friberg-Harnesk on the outstanding review of her book Reading John Banville Through Jean Baudrillard in the journal Études Irlandaises, which praises the the book for being an “eloquent, thought-provoking study grants the reader a deeper insight into Banville’s bewitching ‘territory of mercurial instability.'”

The review also notes that

Hedda Friberg-Harnesk sheds new light on the fiction of John Banville thanks to an original theoretical frame: her perceptive use of Baudrillard’s orders of simulacra engages the reader in a stimulating critical conversation with the unstable and uncertain worlds and beings of Banvillean fiction.

The review concludes, stating that

This brilliant book, which itself involves creative reiterations, casts light on Banville’s mature treatment of exquisitely recycled literary concerns in his more recent fiction, urging the reader to delve further into his work and again admire its beautifully crafted simulacra.

Reading John Banville Through Jean Baudrillard is an important resource for scholars, teachers, and students in the fields of contemporary literature and Irish studies.

Order this book today (print and e-book versions available).

Friberg Front Cover

Like Cambria Press on Facebook and
follow Cambria Press on Twitter to stay posted.