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.

 

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China Studies – 10 Important Books

Today on China’s National Day, we highlight books that have made important contributions to China studies. Below are ten books that have earned stellar reviews and should be in all China-studies library collections. Check to see if these titles are in your library. If not, please let your librarian know that there is a 25% discount on publisher-direct orders of all hardcoversuntil October 31. The coupon code is SAVE25 and can be used by individuals too (*does not apply to display copies)

China Books

Ten Important Books for China Studies

  1. The Poetics and Politics of Sensuality in China
    by Xiaorong Li
  2. Spatial Imaginaries in Mid-Tang China by Ao Wang
  3. Insects in Chinese Literature by Wilt L. Idema
  4. Imperfect Understanding by Christopher Rea
  5. The Administration of Buddhism in China
    by Albert Welter
  6. Cosmopolitanism in China, 1600–1950
    by Minghui Hu and Johan Elverskog, eds.
  7. China and Beyond in the Mediaeval Period
    by Dorothy C. Wong and Gustav Heldt, eds.
  8. Eroticism and Other Literary Conventions in Chinese Literature by I-Hsien Wu
  9. Modern Poetry in China by Paul Manfredi
  10. Gao Xingjian by Gao Xingjian (trans. Mabel Lee)
    *See also titles in the Cambria Sinophone World Series.

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NYCAS 2019 Panel Chairs – Megan Ferry and Nicholas Kaldis

Two Cambria Press authors–Professor Megan Ferry and Professor Nicholas Kaldis–will be at the 2019 New York Conference on Asian Studies (NYCAS) at SUNY New Paltz. 

Cambria Press Publication Author Megan Ferry

Professor Megan Ferry (Union College), author of Chinese Women Writers and Modern Print Culture will be chairing the panel “Between State And Populace, Chasing The China Dream” at the 2019 NYCAS conference on October 4, 2019.

Cambria Press Nicholas Kaldis Suny Binghamton Lu Xun Yecao Wild Grass Modern Chinese Literature and Culture MCLC
Cambria Press author Nicholas Kaldis (SUNY Binghamton), author of The Chinese Prose Poem: A Study of Lu Xun’s Wild Grass (Yecao)

Professor Nicholas Kaldis (Binghamton University SUNY), author of The Chinese Prose Poem: A Study of Lu Xun’s Wild Grass (Yecao) will be chairing the panel “Unsettling Perspectives in Chinese & Japanese Film & Fiction”on October 4, 2019.

Both Professors Ferry’s and Kaldis’ books are in the Cambria Sinophone World Series, headed by Professor Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania).

Please see our ad in the NYCAS conference program and browse our books and pick up a flyer in the NYCAS book exhibit hall.

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Wendy Larson Keynote Speaker for 2019 MCAA Conference

Professor Wendy Larson (University of Oregon; author of Zhang Yimou: Globalization and the Subject of Culture) be the keynote speaker at the 68th Annual Meeting of the Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs at Michigan State University. The title of her keynote speech is “Revolutionary Optimism in 1950s Chinese Culture.”

Cambria Press author Wendy Larson publication Zhang Yimou

A description from the program about Professor Larson’s speech :

When Chinese revolutionary culture reached its zenith in the 1950s and 1960s, revolutionary optimism became a strongly encouraged emotional perspective, attitude, and expression. It was touted through literature, film, images, and virtually every aspect of daily life. However, the valorizing of happiness took place with equal fervency in the United States. Socialism and capitalism both embodied the modern ideals of progress and improvement characteristic of scientific rationalism, which drove their embrace of happiness and an optimistic attitude.

For more information on the 2019 MCAA conference, please see the MCAA program.

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Cambria Press Publication Review: Zhang Yimou

Congratulations to Professor Wendy Larson (University of Oregon) on yet another glowing review of her book Zhang Yimou: Globalization and the Subject of Culture. The China Journal commends her book for being “a sophisticated, nuanced assessment of the ways in which Zhang Yimou displays and performs culture and the unexpected ways in which he deliberately undermines expectations.”

Larson

The book review further notes that:

“Larson does this through careful analysis of eight of Zhang’s first nine films as a director, from 1987’s stunning Red Sorghum to 2005’s cross-cultural elegy Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles…. Larson opens with a masterful discussion of the question of culture in relation to the study of China, Eurocentrism, postcolonial assessments, and the nation. This sets the scene for a discussion of the arc of the treatment of culture in Zhang’s socalled Red Trilogy: Red SorghumJudou, and Raise the Red Lantern. This provides Larson with an opportunity to investigate Chinese critics’ debates about authenticity and performance of the nation. She also deftly addresses other issues in these three films, such as women’s agency. … The movies she discusses include Hero, which many critics and scholars at home and abroad have labeled as fascist in its presentation of culture against a background of the formation of the Chinese state. Contrary to this critique, Larson presents a persuasive argument that Hero fits neatly into the development of Zhang’s directing career. Larson’s analysis of Hero illustrates the subtlety of her argument on culture. Arguing persuasively against the notion of it being a fascist work, she emphasizes the contest in the film between two kinds of power: that of the emperor (associated by critics with fascism) and that of the xia (usually translated as knight-errant, though not in these pages) culture of the would-be assassins of the emperor. … Less well-known films equally get impressive treatment in these pages. … English-speaking fans and critics of Zhang’s films have much to contemplate in this richly argued and original book.”

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

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

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

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

Stalling

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

Supernatural Sinophone Taiwan

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

Hou Hsiao-hsien

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

Cambria Sinophone World Series Video
Watch the updated video for the Cambria Sinophone World Series

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Cambria Press Publication Review: The Borderlands of Asia

Congratulations to Professor Mark Bender (The Ohio State University) on the outstanding review of his book, The Borderlands of Asia: Culture, Place, Poetry, in the journal Modern Chinese Literature and Culture (MCLC).

Sinophone

The review states:

In translating these poems into English, the global ‘language of interaction’ (p. xxi), the voices of poets from the borderlands of Asia can be heard by a wider audience. Bender’s informative introduction gives his readers a broad context for understanding the complicated histories and cultures of the areas and the poets included in the volume. ….

In addition to highlighting the ecocritical aspects of the poems in the volume (p. 14), Bender’s introduction contributes to a growing awareness of the peoples and cultures of Zomia and Sinophone communities of the margins. People transform space into place through the process of inhabiting an environment; the cultural adaptability and knowledge they obtain through human interactions help them shape and conceptualize that environment. The different conceptualizations of place in this collection are associated with various histories and ethnic identities. …

In the borderlands of Asia, people suffer from war, economic inequality, and environmental degradation because of modern development and nation-state building. In this collection of poems, we also encounter the anxiety, rage, and trauma felt by the poets and their peoples as they confront the daunting challenges of the nation-state system, modernity, globalization, and the Anthropocene. …

The editor has done impressive work to offer background knowledge for understanding most of the poems, especially the ones from Southwest China. …

Taken together, this work is a timely publication in dialogue with many scholarly trends, including the Sinophone, Zomia, and the Anthropocene, as understood through the medium of poetry. Although the contributors of this collection hail from a variety of nationalities and cultures, they share common difficulties and concerns in their lives. This volume is a crucial contribution to the fields of literary anthropology, literary studies, and Asian studies and is destined to become required reading for students in anthropology and comparative literature.

The Borderlands of Asia is part of the Cambria Sinophone World Series, headed by Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania).

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