Cambria Press Publication Excerpt by the Association of Asian Studies (AAS)

Read the #AsiaNow piece from the Association for Asian Studies, Inc. (AAS) about Professor Charlotte Furth’s new book Opening to China, which Ian Johnson, Beijing correspondent for The New York Times, and author of “The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao,” praises because

“Charlotte Furth’s memoir provides a window into a China that few of us can remember or even believe possible: a country that was not the economic and political powerhouse of today, but a hesitant, slightly paranoid society emerging from decades of being closed-off to the outside world. As one of the rare witnesses to this crucial transition, Professor Furth takes us into the life of China’s most important university, showing the struggle to accept her group of visiting scholars–a microcosm for the debate in China at the time over whether the country really should open up. Written honestly and candidly, this memoir will be of interest to scholars of US-China engagement but also to general readers eager to see how much China has changed over the past decades.”

Cambria Press author Charlotte Furth publication Opening to China

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Cambria Press author Charlotte Furth (AAS 2017 speech)

Cambria Press author Charlotte Furth (University of Southern California) spoke about her new book Opening to China: A Memoir of Normalization, 1981–1982 at the Cambria Press  reception.

Watch Professor Charlotte Furth’s speech
at the Cambria Press reception

Cambria Press author Charlotte Furth publication Opening to China

Below is a transcript of Professor Charlotte Furth’s speech:

“Many of you here may not even remember what it was like to study China during the Cold War, when we could not go there.  But I began my teaching career in the mid-1960s, at its height.  PRC was hidden behind the Bamboo Curtain.  Taiwan and Hong Kong didn’t really count… You then can imagine  how we responded to Nixon’s visit to China in 1972.  Thrilled!  The decade that followed was one of  very tentative rapprochement and  limited travel, via delegations approved by PRC authorities.  Think  “socialist tourism”  two week guided tours, itineraries chosen by our hosts. .   Nonetheless, we all schemed to get a place on a delegation—and then we wondered what on earth we had seen (1970s were  the height of the cultural revolution as it turned out).

Then in 1979  President Carter negotiated full diplomatic relations.  Among the changes: a full  American diplomatic mission in Beijing, some Western journalists could be posted there, a few big banks set up shop, and the Fulbright program  of  international exchange of scholars and  teachers, suspended since 1950, was resumed.

And I wangled a year in Beijing as a Fulbright teacher.  Why and how the Chinese authorities choose a historian of China to teach young Chinese scholars about America is a curious story. The details are in the memoir, but it is one of many that show how uncertain PCR leaders were  about the new relationship between  us Americans and the Chinese—and also about the future direction of their own country.  My students weren’t ordinary university students: they were mostly young and a few middle-aged scholars— products of education in Mao’s China.  All one way or another had assignments to teach college-level English.  They came to Beijing from all over the nation.  Of course they were woefully unprepared: torn between curiosity about the outside world and anxiety about their own futures.  But their lives were an amazing window into the revolutions history.

So the memoir is the story of our mutual encounter.  I’d left my husband and daughter to embark on this adventure alone—and I wrote in detail about daily life in letters home—so  much detail that my husband complained that I didn’t seem to miss him. It was true…I knew the letters would be a record of an unusual experience..and I also knew when I came home in 1982 that I wasn’t ready to write about it all.  Thirty five years later, you have it. I am glad I  lived long enough to do this!”

* * * * *

Based on Professor Furth’s detailed notes and letters home at the time, this book evokes the unique atmosphere of expectation and frustration that characterized the first years of normalization. This book is a valuable account for specialists on Sino-American relations and on the formative years of the generation of Chinese who lead the People’s Republic of China today. It is also a fascinating read for anyone who wants to explore the pleasures and perils of Chinese and American struggles to understand one another.

Title: Opening to China: A Memoir of Normalization, 1981–1982
Author: Charlotte Furth
Publisher: Cambria Press
ISBN: 9781604979848
158 pp.  |   2017   |   Paper & E-book
Book Webpage: http://www.cambriapress.com/books/9781604979848.cfm

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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.

Asian Studies 2

Cambria Press AAS 2016 Book Exhibit Hall Banner 2

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

Christopher Lupke Toni Tan Victor Mair Sinophone Asian Studies

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

Christopher Lupke Victor Mair Sinophone Asian Studies Toni Tan Cambria

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

 

Victor Mair Sinophone Christopher Lupke Hou Hsiao-hsien Toni Tan Cambria Press

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

 

Buddhist Baodingshan Karil Kucera

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

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

Supernatural Sinophone Taiwan and Beyond

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

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

The following are excerpts from the book.

Supernatural Sinophone Taiwan

On zhiguai

Zhong Kui

 

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

On ghost island literature 鬼島文學

ghost island Taiwan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

On Pai Hsien-yung

Pai Hsien-yung

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

On  Chu T’ien-hsin

Zhu-Tianxin-1

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

On Li Ang

Li Ang

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

On Giddens Ko

Giddens Ko

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

On strange narratives and Chineseness

zhiguai

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

Learn more about the book and recommend it.

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