Cambria Press Publication Excerpt from “Buddhist Transformations and Interactions”

The following is an excerpt from Buddhist Transformations and Interactions edited by Professor Victor Mair. This new book was released by Cambria Press at the 2017 AAS conference a week ago. According to Tansen Sen (professor at Baruch College), Antonino Forte had the well-earned reputation of being “a valued mentor, a comforting friend, and a great host.” In the book, Sen notes:

“Nino, as we called him, was always ready to share his insights into the cosmopolitan world of the Tang dynasty; he eagerly imparted his knowledge about the Buddhist connections between Tang China and other parts of Asia; and he graciously offered to us his publications, including those that were forthcoming or still at the formative stage. His advice and suggestions invariably improved our research skills and knowledge of Chinese history. His kindness and generosity also helped us better navigate the world of scholarship as well as daily life in Kyoto. Nino Forte was one of the leading global scholars of Tang China.”

We will be posting more chapter excerpts soon. This new book from Cambria Press is also available on Amazon.

Cambria Press publisher reputation Forte

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Cambria Press Publication Review – A New Strategy for Complex Warfare: Combined Effects in East Asia

Cambria Press publication review.jpg
Cambria Press Publication Review for A New Strategy for Complex Warfare

Congratulations to Colonel Thomas Drohan (PhD, Princeton University), Head of the Department of Military & Strategic Studies at the United States Air Force (USAF) Academy, on the outstanding review by the journal Parameters of his book, A New Strategy for Complex Warfare: Combined Effects in East Asia.

This book, which is part of the new Cambria Rapid Communications in Conflict and Security Studies (RCSS) Series (general editor: Dr. Geoffrey R. H. Burn), was published by Cambria Press in 2016 and launched at the ISA and AAS conferences.

The review notes that “in placing weapons-centric strategic changes front and center, policymakers are putting the cart before the horse. Thankfully Drohan, a scholar with a doctorate from Princeton who now heads the Department of Military and Strategic Studies at the US Air Force Academy after years of his own military service, is in a unique position to bridge this gap between academic theorists and policy practitioners, a task he successfully accomplishes.”

It commends the book because it “does much of the heavy lifting required for acquiring a proper understanding of Asian security cultures. 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.”

The review also emphasizes how “Drohan does not simply provide policymakers with pages of historical detail and no guidelines for determining its relevance. He excels in explaining the implications cultural histories have for US security strategy and prescribes both philosophical and pragmatic changes practitioners should make.”

Buy A New Strategy for Complex Warfare: Combined Effects in East Asia for only $29.95 today on Amazon.

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.”

For more information, visit www.cambriapress.com.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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Cosmopolitanism in China, 1600–1950

Cambria Press is pleased to announce a new publication Cosmopolitanism in China, 1600–1950 by Professors Minghui Hu (University of California Santa Cruz) and Johan Elverskog (Southern Methodist University) . 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.

Cosmopolitanism China

The following are excerpts from the book.

Chapter 1: Introduction

awards_levenson

“When Confucianism was vital, it was cosmopolitan…. But when China ceased to be the world and became a nation, or struggled to become one, Confucianism was provincial in that larger world that contained the Chinese nation.” – Joseph R. Levenson

“Levenson was clearly on to something important—this volume explores the implications and possibilities of his potent observation regarding China in relation to the growing scholarship on cosmopolitanism around the world.” – Minghu Ju and Johan Elverskog, pp. 1–2

Chapter 2: Making Manchus and Muslims7c055f6c314a75a379d4188997b0cbe4
“The vicissitudes of the Qing political climate intermittently permitted and forced Chinese Muslims to express their beliefs and collective identity as being not only unthreatening to Chinese culture and society, but, moreover, completely consonant with mainstream Confucian values. The resulting hybrid cultural, religious, and intellectual identity cultivated by the Han Kitab scholars parallels in many ways the multivalent imperial identity promoted by the Qing imperium. In the communal histories of the Manchus and Chinese Muslims, one can observe patterns of development that mirror those of other ethnoreligious communities throughout Chinese history.” —James Frankel, pp. 24–25

Chapter 3: Quotidian Cosmopolitanism in Qing Provincial GovernmentPortrait_of_the_Yongzheng_Emperor_in_Court_Dress
“The imperial responses to the 1723 floods revealed much about the assumptions and traditions of the court and province in river management. The Yongzheng emperor responded to the situation in Henan with a series of new appointments, bringing individuals of different backgrounds and expertise on board —a strategy that captured well the quotidian cosmopolitanism of  Qing rule in that it threw into relief the competing claims of universalism within a local context.” — R. Kent Guy, p. 58

Chapter 4: From Specialized Methodologies to Cosmopolitan Vision450px-Lunyu
“All the basic labels used in the Sinophone world [to denote Qianjia scholarship] are actually misnomers […] Eighteenth-century High Qing scholarship must therefore not simply be characterized as kaojuxue 考據學 (textual methodologies) but rather as the rise of various specialized methodologies encompassed by a coherent cosmopolitan vision.” — Chang So-An and Minghui Hu, pp. 90, 110

 

Chapter 5: Toward a Buddhist Cosmopolitanism Gong Zizhen Memorial

“Gong Zizhen—famous for his New Text classical scholarship, his poetic oeuvre, and his advocacy for the establishment of the province of Xinjiang —was also a devout and erudite Buddhist. […] Given his ardent faith, paying tribute to Sakyamuni in extravagant terms such as [in Ti Fance] hardly sounds exceptional. Nonetheless, it was bold, even a bit cheeky, for a member of the highest stratum of literati society to so explicitly and categorically denigrate native sages in favor of foreigners. […] Gong displays a remarkably even-handed, largely neutral appraisal of China’s place among its neighbors, and an enthusiasm toward the cultivation of what could be loosely called a cosmopolitan sensibility. Key to the emergence of this approach was Gong’s eclectic tendency to cross various cultural and intellectual boundaries, as well as his oft-expressed disdain for ethnic or cultural provincialism.” — Stephen Roddy, pp. 121–123

Chapter 6: A Late Chosŏn Korean Polymath in the Cosmopolitan World of Qing ChinaKim_Jeong-hui
“The story of Kim Chŏng-hŭi provides a view into what can be understood as the East Asian Confucian cosmopolis. Korean translators, as well as their overseas Hokkien, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and Siamese counterparts, played an essential role as go-betweens between China and the broader East Asian Confucian world.  [… These interactions] suggest that a loosely interconnected but very cosmopolitan East Asian sociocultural world of classical learning, literary writings, and political statecraft existed and was powered by the early modern East Asian commercial world during the ‘silver age.’”— Benjamin Elman, pp. 160, 180

Chapter 7: Cultural Solidarity in Troubled TimesN09124_featured_fig28
“Yu Yue used the word ‘people from faraway places’ (yuanren 遠人) to refer only to Europeans and their colonial (or in this case quite possibly enslaved) subjects. […] He often complained that the inventions brought to China by these distasteful, unsightly foreigners were either superfluous or unsettling, and often both. 187-188 [… However, later in life] While falling into a deep gloom over the violence that raged both within and outside of China (Yu Yue expressed a wish to end his life in several poems of 1900–1906), Yu also began in this period to speak of a shared humanity with those people of more distant lands, the so-called ‘yuanren’ that he had dismissed so disparagingly earlier in life.” — Stephen Roddy, pp. 189, 187-188, 201

Chapter 8: Did the Yellow Emperor Come from Babylonia?

41wlmgHceyL._SX321_BO1,204,203,200_
“According to Albert Étienne Jean Baptiste Terrien de Lacouperie, Nakhunte (also romanized as Nai Hwangti) was the legendary Yellow Emperor in Chinese history, and the Bak tribes were derived from the first phonetic unit of Baixing 百姓 meaning the “peasants” or general population. Therefore, the Yellow Emperor—who was widely considered the symbolic beginning of Chinese civilization and the starting point of the Chinese imperial genealogy—actually came from Babylonia. The ancient Chinese were in fact Babylonians. Lacouperie’s argument later became known as Sino-Babylonianism (Xilaishuo). […] In 1903, when Sino-Babylonianism was first introduced to the Sinophone world, the anti-Manchu revolutionary elites in Shanghai and Tokyo took strong political positions in reaction to it. Although some initially supported the theory, when they realized that Sino-Babylonianism implied the foreign origins of Chinese civilization and thereby contradicted their political purpose in mobilizing an anti-Manchu revolution, they quickly shifted positions to oppose it.— Sun Jiang and Minghui Hu, pp. 221–222

Chapter 9: Why Culture? The Great War and Du Yaquan’s Civilizational DiscourseUnknown
“The prominent intellectuals of China’s new Republic identified culture as the primary cause of political change. This remarkable belief in how culture (wenhua) could alter the course of history resurfaced again in the 1960s; however, in the 1910s there were two distinct discourses on the issue. On the more politically moderate side of these debates was Du Yaquan (1873–1933), the editor of the flagship journal Eastern Miscellany (Dongfang zazhi) […] Du Yaquan strove to provide a cosmopolitan perspective in observing and conceiving the political and social problems of China.” — Wang Hui and Minghui Hu, pp. 265, 285

Learn more about the book and recommend it.

Cosmopolitanism in China

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