Cambria Press author Mark Bender (AAS 2017 speech)

Cambria Press author Professor Mark Bender (The Ohio State University) spoke about his new book The Borderlands of Asia: Culture, Place, Poetry at the Cambria Press reception. This book is in the Cambria Press Sinophone World Series headed by Professor Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania).

Watch Professor Mark Bender’s speech
at the Cambria Press reception

Cambria Press author Mark Bender publication Borderlands of Asia

Below is a transcript of Professor Mark Bender’s speech:

“Firstly, I’d like to say a big thank-you to Toni Tan, Michelle Wright—and, of course, Victor Mair—of Cambria Press for helping me with this project.  I am endlessly grateful for their vision and hard work.

This project began as a side interest to my study of oral traditions in China.  It has grown organically from the translation of a few poems concerning cultural and environmental change written in Nuosu language by Yi poet and academic Aku Wuwu of Southwest University for Nationalities in Chengdu. The  present volume includes the works of 48 poets from Northeast India, Myanmar, Southwest China, Inner Mongolia, and Mongolia.

It has been my great pleasure to work with a number of onsite collaborators who helped in many ways to put me in touch with local poets.  These include Desmond Kharmawthlang from the Northeast Hill University in Shillong, Meghalaya in Northeast India; the poet ko ko thett, a former Burmese ex-pat, now living in Mandalay, Myanmar; poets Aku Wuwu and Burao Yilu, of Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, China; Prof. Chen Ganglong of Peking University who connected me to poets of Inner Mongolia; and the inimitable Delgermaa Ganbat of the Union of Mongolian Writers in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

The theme of the volume is the experiences of cultural and environmental change as channeled through the voices of poets from among the many ethnic groups within and without of the border areas of China and India. As I note in the Preface the array of poets included in this volume would have been different if I had met different people and if my travels had taken me to other places.  That said I feel strongly that the themes of cultural and environmental change treated in the volume have a sharp relevancy in many areas Asia and elsewhere on the planet.  One theme that I raise in the Introduction is that of “place-competency” – the deep familiarity with local environments and how to live in a place – knowledge threatened by new styles of living that require new competencies for survival.  Many of the poets in this volume have written poems that reflect their own adjustments to changing circumstances, and often speak for their local communities. To quote from page 15:

“Many of the poets in this volume reflect perceptual and experiential attitudes towards the lands and waters of specific places that belie deep place-competency—whether the environment they evoke is a humid jhum field in Northeast India, the sublime spaces of the northern steppes, the disorienting streets of an urban megalopolis in Southwest China, or a somehow familiar myth-world inhabited by speaking animals. Some of the poets stress the de-linkage from these familiar relationships with the environment, exhibiting nostalgia for an imagined world of harmony in contrast to the traumatic changes of the present. From another angle, poems such as Desmond Kharmawphlang’s “Thaiang Buried Roots,” reflect an attitude adopted by poets who seek to renew aspects of tradition amidst the chaos of cultural upheaval and environmental destruction and heal intimate ties between community and place (Syiem 2011, 129–130).”

Other themes, such as the imagery of ritual and material culture in relation to imagery are prominent in the poems, but as my three minutes are rapidly coming to a close, I will end here with an entreaty that we pay take advantage of the opportunity to listen to these voices from the borderlands of Asia and see what they have to teach us.”

* * * * *

The Borderlands of Asia is a rare collection that brings together the works of poets of diverse cultural backgrounds located in places that are only beginning to be recognized globally as sites of intense poetic work. This book contributes to raising global awareness of this poetry of land, waters, and cultures in less-highlighted parts of Asia. The subjects of environmental and cultural change are inescapable in the poetry represented in this volume, and many ethnic communities are on the front lines of development, affected in various ways by resource extraction (especially mining and logging), damming of rivers (a severe international issue), loss of wildlife and habitat, population displacement, and the effects of climate change. Likewise, the local cultures have variously experienced the effects of invasion, colonization, revolution, social engineering, insurgency, multi-spectrum development, and globalization contributing to often challenging (or worse) cultural changes. The intense contemporary poetry being produced is an index of the magnitude of these changes. An important book for Asian studies, Indigenous literature studies, and literature of the environment studies, this volume offers a substantial glimpse into contemporary poetry from exciting but under-represented poetic voices speaking out in the border areas of eastern Asia.

Title: The Borderlands of Asia: Culture, Place, Poetry
Author: Mark Bender
Publisher: Cambria Press
ISBN: 9781604979763
396 pp.  |   2017   |   Hardback & E-book

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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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#MLA17 – Best Moments

One of the best moments at #MLA17–when Professor Christian Rubio sees his book Krausism and the Spanish Avant-Garde for the first time!

mla17Mark P. Del Mastro, Chair and Professor of Hispanic Studies of the College of Charleston, notes:

Christian Rubio provides a refreshing, clearly articulated and well-researched study on the impact of Krausism on Spain and the avant-garde movement via the notion of ‘Europeanization,’ while he challenges traditional critical trends that persist with categorizing Spanish literature within generations. In addition, Rubio devotes a much-needed, entire chapter on Krausism’s impact on Spanish women, while at the same time underscoring the importance of the often overlooked contributions by Rosario Acuña and Carmen de Burgos. This important book is a necessary reference for anyone interested in Krausism, the Spanish avant-garde, and Spanish history and culture at the turn of the twentieth century.

See more reviews and look inside the book.

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#MLA17 – Scholars Making a Difference

The following individuals are scholars who are making a difference with their outstanding scholarly and community contributions. Check out their books at the Cambria booth (#509) in the #MLA17 book exhibit hall.

Top row (left to right): Paul Manfredi (Pacific Lutheran University), Mabel Moraña (Washington University in St. Louis), Christopher Lupke (University of Alberta), E. K. Tan (Stony Brook University), and Alison Groppe (University of Oregon).

cambria-press-authors

Bottom row (left to right): Susan Lever (University of Sydney), Christian Rubio (Bentley University), Wendy Larson (University of Oregon), John Clum (Duke University), and Mark Bender (The Ohio State University).

Scholars Making a Difference

Paul Manfredi

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Paul Manfredi is Chair of Chinese Studies Program at Pacific Lutheran University and the author of Modern Poetry in China: A Visual-Verbal Dynamic, which has been praised by the Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art for being “a very well-written, researched, illustrated and convincingly argued book that will no doubt be read widely among those with a specialist interest in Chinese literature and traditional culture. It is a text that challenges rigid distinctions between the verbal and the visual, not simply through theoretical appeals but also thoroughly grounded historical analysis.” The book includes color images and is part of the Cambria Sinophone World Series, headed by Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania). *Dr. Manfredi will be at the #MLA17, presiding over the session “The Aesthetics of Crossing Media Boundaries in Modern and Contemporary Chinese Culture.”

Mabel Moraña

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Mabel Moraña is the William H. Gass Professor in Arts and Sciences and the Director of the Latin American Studies Program at Washington University in St. Louis. She is the 2013 MLA Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize Winner. Her forthcoming book The Monster as War Machine is part of the Cambria Studies in Latin American Literatures and Cultures Series headed by Román de la Campa (University of Pennsylvania).

Christopher Lupke

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Christopher Lupke is Professor and Chair of East Asian Studies at the University of Alberta and the author of The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien: Culture, Style, Voice, and Motion, which Modern Chinese Literature and Culture notes that “Lupke succeeds brilliantly” because “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” and also  because “Lupke further expands the scope of the study by reading Hou’s work in relation to the films of the venerated Japanese director Ozu Yasujiro.” *Dr. Lupke will be at the #MLA17, presenting at the session “The Aesthetics of Crossing Media Boundaries in Modern and Contemporary Chinese Culture.”

E. K. Tan

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E. K. Tan is Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies at Stony Brook University and is the author of the highly acclaimed Rethinking Chineseness: Translational Sinophone Identities in the Nanyang Literary World, which renowned Sinologists David Der-wei Wang and Shu-mei Shih have lauded as “magnificent work” and “conceptually innovative and flawlessly written,” respectively.  The book review by Modern Chinese Literature and Culture notes that Tan’s book is “well-written and researched” and “makes important contributions to Sinophone studies, Chinese studies, and Southeast Asian Studies, as well as to scholarship on diaspora, comparative literature, and world literature.” *Dr. Tan will be at the #MLA17, presenting at the session “The Aesthetics of Crossing Media Boundaries in Modern and Contemporary Chinese Culture.”

Alison Groppe

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Alison Groppe is Associate Professor of Chinese Literature at the University of Oregon and the author of Sinophone Malaysian Literature: Not Made in China, which has earned rave reviews in top academic journals. Southeast Asian Studies commends it for “its comprehensive coverage, focused treatment, and lucid exposition”; and the Journal of Southeast Asian Studies praises Groppe’s book because it “provides us with the much-needed basis for further explorations of the literary and cultural landscape of Southeast Asia. This insightful, detailed, and knowledgeable study will appeal to students and scholars of Chinese literature and culture, diasporic literature, and Southeast Asian studies.”

Susan Lever

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Susan Lever (University of Sydney) is general editor of the Cambria Australian Literature series and the author of David Foster: The Satirist of Australia, which was shortlisted for Australia’s prestigious Walter McRae Russell Award. Lever’s book is praised by JASAL for being “remarkable in many ways … Lever’s analysis is entertainingly accessible and navigates a path through the extremes of contemporary literary theory to explain Foster’s complex philosophical ideas and stylistic idiosyncrasies.” In addition to her own publications, Dr. Lever has also helped many authors develop their own works under the Cambria Australian Literature series. Many of these books, such as by Shirley Hazzard: : Literary Expatriate and Cosmopolitan Humanist by Brigitta Olubas and Giving this Country a Memory: Contemporary Aboriginal Voices of Australia by Anne Brewster, have earned outstanding reviews.

Christian Rubio

christian-rubio

Christian Rubio is Associate Professor of Spanish at Bentley University and the author of Krausism and the Spanish Avant-Garde: The Impact of Philosophy on National Culture. Dr. Salvador A. Oropesa, Professor of Spanish and Chair of the Department of Languages at Clemson University, has praised this new book highly because of how “Rubio argues convincingly that Krausism had a practical effect on everyday life and in literature” and points out that “previous critical work on Krausism has focused on its impact on realism. The novelty of Rubio’s study is that it extends its influence to postrealism movements like modernism (in the Anglo sense of the term), the avant-garde, and women’s right’s literature.” As such, he recommends the book as “a must read for those interested in the influence of Krausism and Kantian philosophy in Spanish culture during the early twentieth century.”

Wendy Larson

wendy-larson

Wendy Larson is professor emerita at the University of Oregon and the author of Zhang Yimou: Globalization and the Subject of Culture. Jerome Silbergeld of Princeton University eloquently explains why Larson’s book is so important: “Complex and controversial, the director, cinematographer, and actor Zhang Yimou has defined Chinese film more than anyone else since the ‘opening up’ of China in the early 1980s. But do his films best define the real China or define the difficulty of defining ‘China’ and Chinese culture? Globalization is upon us, contending against nationalism and nationalists, and among other things modernizing Chinese cinema but also Hollywoodizing and de-Sinicizing it. Throughout his career, Zhang Yimou has both de-Sinicized and re-nationalized his Chinese cinema. Larson’s learned and entertaining engagement with Zhang’s evolving cinematic representations of Chinese culture looks at him and his films not only as agents of both hybridizing global forces and patriotic Chinese agendas but also as the product of both. Larson’s book engages readers in an insightful reflection on the significance, the potential, and the limitations of film as cultural production in a constantly changing China.”

John Clum

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John Clum is professor emeritus at Duke University and the general editor of the Cambria Studies in Contemporary Global Performing Arts Series. Dr. Clum’s publications include Terrence McNally and Fifty Years of American Gay Drama; The Works of Arthur Laurents: Politics, Love, and Betrayal; Awkward Stages: Plays about Growing Up Gay; and Gay Drama Now: An Anthology. His books have been praised for their astute examinations of important cultural works and their impact. For example, on his book on Arthur Laurents, Dr. Brenda Murphy, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Connecticut, praised it because “in this authoritative and engaging book, John Clum draws on an unparalleled fund of knowledge about the musical theatre and the history of LGBT theatre in America to chronicle Laurents’s importance as a gay playwright writing about gay issues during the twentieth century. He elegantly demonstrates the ways in which Laurents’s writings parallel the momentous changes in the social, cultural, and political status of LGBT people.” Dr. Clum has also helped many authors develop their own works and is extremely active in the theatre scene.

Mark Bender

mark-bender

Mark Bender is Professor of Chinese literature and folklore at The Ohio State University and the author of The Borderlands of Asia: Culture, Place, Poetry. Joni Adamson (Arizona State University) notes that the book “introduces poets whose first language is Chinese, Burmese, Khasi, Nuosu, or Mongolian. But here, their poems can be read in English, which Bender brilliantly wields as a ‘language of interaction.’ In the spirit of myth, these poets introduce us to entangled worlds, from the microscopic to the planetary. They reveal a cosmos of intimate relations between animals, plants, landscapes and waters, and urge us to be cautious about environmental changes taking place at scales that are endangering all life on the planet. This is the first and most authoritative book I have seen on the folk cultures, poetic worlds, and geographies of the Eastern Himalayas, Myanmar, and Southwest China.  It is a sparkling ‘cosmography’ that will immediately become required reading in Chinese and Sinophone literary and cultural studies.”

Check out these #MLA17 events!

For more titles and other authors who are making a difference, see www.cambriapress.com.

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Cambria Press Publication Announcement: Krausism and the Spanish Avant-Garde

cambria-press

Cambria Press is excited to announce that Krausism and the Spanish Avant-Garde: The Impact of Philosophy on National Culture by Professor Christian Rubio will be released soon. See it hot off the presses at the Cambria Press booth at the #MLA17 annual convention.

Mark P. Del Mastro, Chair and Professor of Hispanic Studies at the College of Charleston, praises the book because

Christian Rubio provides a refreshing, clearly articulated and well-researched study on the impact of Krausism on Spain and the avant-garde movement via the notion of ‘Europeanization,’ while he challenges traditional critical trends that persist with categorizing Spanish literature within generations. In addition, Rubio devotes a much-needed, entire chapter on Krausism’s impact on Spanish women, while at the same time underscoring the importance of the often overlooked contributions by Rosario Acuña and Carmen de Burgos. This important book is a necessary reference for anyone interested in Krausism, the Spanish avant-garde, and Spanish history and culture at the turn of the twentieth century

Learn more about Krausism and the Spanish Avant-Garde and read more reviews.

Recommend this book to your library for their Spanish history, literary criticism, and culture collections.

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Cambria Press Publication Review: Contemporary Hispanic Poets

cambria-press

Congratulations to Professor John Burns on yet another outstanding review of his book Contemporary Hispanic Poets! The Rocky Mountain Review commends the book, stating that “”Far from an innocent cultural trifle, poetry contributes to the fundamental cultural debates of our time. With this volume, Burns likewise contributes to the fundamental cultural debate of our time,…” Read more and browse the book online at http://ow.ly/U6Nr307l7aY

This book is part of the Cambria Studies in Latin American Literatures and Cultures book series, headed by Dr. Román de la Campa, the Edwin B. and Lenore R. Williams Professor of Romance Languages at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Cambria Press Publication Review: African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic World

cambria-press

Congratulations to Professor Ana Lucia Araujo on yet another outstanding review of her book African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic World!

The Journal of Lusophone Studies praised the book for being “a much needed transatlantic study on Africa and Brazil has finally come alive… in this formidable volume … the ten chapters offer a compendium of well researched work” and recommends it as a “welcome addition to the bibliography on Afro-Brazilian and South Atlantic studies. It will surely provoke further studies.”

This book is part of the Cambria Studies in Slavery: Past and Present series, headed by Dr. Ana Lucia Araujo.

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