Cambria Press Publication Review: Digital Media in East Asia

Congratulations to Dr. Carin Holroyd (Associate Professor Political Studies and the Chair of the International Studies Program at the University of Saskatchewan) and Dr. Kenneth Coates (Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation at the University of Saskatchewan) on another excellent review of their book Digital Media in East Asia: National Innovation and the Transformation of a Region in the journal Asiascape: Digital Asia.

digital-media-in-east-asia

The review commends the book because it “provides a wide-ranging introduction to the various issues raised and presented by the digital revolution, with a focus on East Asia.” The review also notes that “the book is definitely one to recommend to interested students of East Asian Studies and New Media Studies” and that “the book is of great current value.”

Read more reviews of Digital Media in East Asia: National Innovation and the Transformation of a Region.

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Cambria Press Publication Review: Giving This Country A Memory

Congratulations to to Dr. Anne Brewster, Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales, on another excellent review of her book, Giving this Country a Memory: Contemporary Aboriginal Voices of Australia, in The Journal of the European Association for Studies of Australia.

australian-literature

The review praises the book because it is “a respectful, very accessible and timely overview of Indigenous Australian writing … . Brewster’s adroit and engaged analysis of the novels, short stories, and poetry—the way these can be contextualized and understood within the mainstream pressures exerted upon the Aboriginal communities and the continuing fight for Indigenous sovereignty—never frames or takes over from, but rather adds on to, the Indigenous author’s voice which precedes the analysis. …the collection strikes a fine balance between the distancing effect of a scholarly approach and the respect and engagement owed to the Indigenous community. … Brewster’s well-pitched, necessary and timely initiative stands as an indispensable piece of engaged scholarship from a mainstream speaking position that contributes significantly to what Martin Nakata has called the “cultural interface” (198) between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.”

Read more outstanding reviews for Giving this Country a Memory: Contemporary Aboriginal Voices of Australia.

This book is part of the Cambria Australian Literature Series, headed by Dr. Susan Lever.

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Cambria Press Publication Review: The Chinese Prose Poem

Congratulations to to Dr. Nicholas A. Kaldis, Associate Professor of Asian and Asian American Studies at SUNY Binghamton, on another excellent review of his book, The Chinese Prose Poem: A Study of Lu Xun’s Wild Grass (Yecao), in the journal Frontiers of Literary Studies in China.

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The book review notes that “The Chinese Prose Poem is a well-crafted, critical, and interpretive analysis of Lu Xun’s Wild Grass (Yecao ). In addition to standing as its own critical interpretation, The Chinese Prose Poem is also a well annotated bibliographical reference for interpretations of Lu Xun’s prose poem collection. Nicholas A. Kaldis draws convincingly on the literary interpretive strategy of Walter A. Davis and is informed by Freudian psychology and Nietzschean symbolism (an interest of Lu Xun’s), which the author weaves into his close readings of Lu Xun’s prose poems themselves.”

The review further praises the book because “Kaldis’ close readings of Yecao works use ample quotations with accompanying Chinese characters (which will be appreciated by Chinese-literate readers), discussions of Lu Xun’s linguistic expressions, and his psychological and emotional states. The readings are well considered and complex, and Kaldis’ analyses and interpretive perspectives are clear and solid, engaging productively with Lu Xun’s intentionally difficult embrace of a language of paradox in Yecao.”

Read more outstanding reviews for The Chinese Prose Poem.

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

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Cambria Press Publication Review: The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien

Congratulations to to Dr. Christopher Lupke, Professor and Chair of the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Alberta, on the outstanding review of his book, The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien, in the journal Modern Chinese Language and Cutlure (MCLC).

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The review praises the book because

“In plain, jargon-free language replete with astute insights garnered from decades of scholarly engagement with the films of Hou Hsiao-hsien and Taiwanese cinematic and literary culture, Lupke sets out to lift the veil of the technical finesse and structural ambiguity that enshrouds much of Hou’s oeuvre and frequently frustrates film spectators. In this endeavor alone, Lupke succeeds brilliantly. … Lupke not only demonstrates his astute familiarity with Hou Hsiao-hsien scholarship, which he critically engages with throughout the study, but also reveals his intense familiarity with lesser known yet highly insightful details about Hou’s relationship with his collaborators Zhu Tianwen and Wu Nianzhen. … Read more

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Cambria Press Publication Review: Contemporary Chicana Literature

Congratulations to Professor Cristina Herrera of California State University, Fresno, on the outstanding review of her book, Contemporary Chicana Literature: (Re)Writing the Maternal Script, by the Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature.

Contemporary Literature

The book review commends Contemporary Chicana Literature because:

“In the field of mothering and motherhood studies, there is a lack of literature which specifically focuses on the mother-daughter relationship in Chicana Studies. Cristina Herrera’s Contemporary Chicana Literature: (Re)Writing the Maternal Script fills this void in literary scholarship by examining a diverse array of Chicana writers that push the boundaries of maternal relationships. The text is a welcome addition to the canon, especially since it goes beyond the limited interpretations of Chicana mother-daughter relationships, motherhood, and mothering and recognizes the intersectionality of race, gender, sexuality, socioeconomics, and religion in shaping the relationship between Chicana mothers and daughters. With its widely interdisciplinary literary, cultural, religious, and historical sources, this book gives readers some much-needed critical perspectives and Herrera should be commended for her notable effort. … By challenging the limited models of Chicana mother-daughter relationships that frequently dictate the analysis of Chicana literature, Herrera presents a fresh paradigm to the ensuing discussion of Chicana literary scholarship. She recognizes that Chicana mothering, like society, is changing and that it is time the academy understands this broad scope. In doing so, she succeeds in rewriting Chicana mother-daughter relationships and forming a new space of reexamining representations of Chicana mothers and daughters.”

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Forthcoming: Buddhist Transformations and Interactions

The following is an announcement from Dr. Victor H. Mair, Professor of  Chinese Language and Literature at the University of Pennsylvania and general editor of the Cambria Sinophone World Series.

Buddhist Studies

“It is with great pleasure that I announce the forthcoming publication of Buddhist Transformations and Interactions: Essays in Honor of Antonino Forte (Cambria Press, 2017).  We have chosen today to make this announcement because it is the tenth anniversary of Nino’s passing on July 22, 2016.

This tome is unusual in the way that it assembles the research of distinguished scholars from various fields and regions. All these scholars knew Professor Forte personally and were influenced by his scholarship. Seldom does one find the combination of spatial breadth, temporal depth, and conceptual rigor that is found in Buddhist Transformations and Interactions.  The twelve chapters in this book exemplify the method and principles of Antonino Forte’s own work and will provide readers with a much better appreciation and understanding of East Asian Buddhism.

The individual chapters and their authors are listed in the table of contents and the aims of the work as a whole are presented in the book description.

It is our intention to hold a roundtable focused on Buddhist Transformations and Interactions at the next Association for Asian Studies meeting, which will be held in Toronto from March 16-19, 2017.  The book will be launched at the AAS conference.”

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China’s Response to Territorial Disputes

The Economist recently reported that “the Permanent Court of Arbitration, an international tribunal in The Hague, has declared China’s “historic claims” in the South China Sea invalid. It was an unexpectedly wide-ranging and clear-cut ruling, and it has enraged China.” As the region and the United States anxiously await China’s response, Colonel Thomas Drohan’s new book, A New Strategy for Complex Warfare: Combined Effects in East Asia, provides useful insights in gauging China’s possible reactions.

East Asia Warfare Strategy

The book’s concept of combined effects warfare shows how Chinese strategy in East Asia is so effective against the combined arms-heavy approach of the US such as in recent “rebalancing,” relative weaknesses in the key US-Japan alliance and mounting Chinese capabilities account for the timing of Chinese actions; and Chinese security culture explains why China pursues a strategy of blending confrontation with cooperation. It explains contemporary China’s combined-effects approach to complex warfare, specifically which includes the kind of persistent reexpansion we are seeing in the South China Sea:

“Current operations seek to fragment rivals on China’s borders and occupy China-claimed territories with complex invasions…Party operations play an existential role in constructing and justifying both an intuitive moral order and a central authority. Major combined-effects offensives include:

  1. a) Military, economic, and political operations to reorient Taiwan toward the mainland
  2. b) Diplomatic partnering with the Soviet Union, then conducting ideological warfare against it
  3. c) Support of Vietnam, and then warfare against it to ensure cliental loyalty to China
  4. d) Seizure of disputed Southeast Asian territory while expanding ties with claimants
  5. e) Incursions in Japan-claimed territory while increasing ties with Japan and the U.S.
  6. f) Maritime reclamation (dredging) operations create, occupy, and militarize new territory.

China’s leaders value holistic, sustainable operations, consistent with the assumption that threats are permanent and any elimination of them are temporary…”

The book also explains how how the limitations of of the US-Japan alliance empower China’s combined-effect strategy in the South China Sea.

“However, the limits of the US-Japan alliance–such as restricting Japanese defense to its own territory– facilitate China’s desired combined effect. Thus, China does not have to integrate its problematic effects of masking its predatory intent while increasing its military-economic strength, stirring anti-Japanese nationalism that does not empower Chinese democracy, and isolating Japan from US intervention, as long as Japan and the United States are complying with these effects anyway.”

In addition, the book helpfully explains why China’s strategy emphasizes military and economic confrontation (in the South China Sea)– while at the same time claiming to be all about harmony and peace as China follows up the UN Tribunals ruling again them with threats to establish an ADIZ and use all of that to “negotiate” its expanding new normal.

“Chinese security culture can help us understand continuity in Chinese strategies and why elites cannot afford to fold in the face of foreign pressure if they are to retain domestic influence. Confrontational sovereignty claims trump tangible benefits of cooperative interdependence. Moral order, central authority, and territorial integrity persist as highly valued interests, particularly among China’s single-Party leadership. So while modernization has strengthened national capabilities, it has also increased national willpower. When China has had the capability to engage other powers as an equal or more, it has done so. We can infer that military equality is the PLA’s precondition for expanding military-to-military relations with the U.S. The loss of ideological sovereignty in the past has become the consensus threat to national security. Ideological sovereignty is closely connected to economic nationalism.”

A New Strategy for Complex Warfare: Combined Effects in East Asia is part of the  Rapid Communications in Conflict and Security (RCCS) Series, headed by Dr. Geoffrey R. H. Burn.

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