Cambria Press Publication Review: Opening to China

Congratulations to Professor Charlotte Furth on the outstanding review of her book, Opening to China: A Memoir of Normalization, 1981–1982, by China Review International.

Modern Chinese History

The review notes that

For those who saw China at this time, this book is a touching reminder of the tentativeness of the whole affair – how Americans and Chinese alike were desperate to meet and get to know each other – and how difficult that was in reality – as cultural gaps and political realities loomed in the background of every encounter.

It further adds that:

Opening to China tells us also about the life of one of our most important China scholars, and through that life we see the growth and maturation of the field of modern Chinese history in the twentieth century. … this book about her time there informs us about the fraught nature of public diplomacy. …those interested in this key period of relations between the United States and China will find in this book a detailed and evocative picture of the personal side of public diplomacy. At the same time, it is a jolly good read.

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

Congratulations to Professor Ana Lucia Araujo (Howard University) on the outstanding review of her book African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic World by H-Net Reviews. The book review states:

Cambria Press publication review

Examining systems of oppression, representation, and acculturation, this book offers alternative ways of understanding and privileging African legacies in Brazil. Essentially, this interdisciplinary text challenges systems of racism and calls for the preservation,
presentation, and proliferation of African legacies in Brazil. … this book examines the systematic suppression of black and African-centered arts, bodies, religious practices, cultural norms, and sociopolitical traditions in Brazil. Chartering new perspectives, scholars uncover archival mysteries, museum practices, hidden histories, and places of historic trauma. This collection also reveals communal legacies of resistance and empowerment in the lives and practices of all Brazilian people. Read the rest of the review.

Title: African Heritage and Memories of Slavery in Brazil and the South Atlantic World
Authors: Ana Lucia Araujo
Publisher: Cambria Press
ISBN: 9781604978926
428 pp.  |   2015   |   Hardback & E-book
Book Webpage: http://www.cambriapress.com/books/9781604978926.cfm

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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 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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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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Cambria Press Publication Review: Transatlantic Memories of Slavery

Congratulations to Professors  Elisa Bordin and Anna Scacchi on the glowing review of their book, Transatlantic Memories of Slavery: Reimagining the Past, Changing the Future, by the European Journal of American Studies.

Scacchi Bordin Book Cover

The following are excerpts from the book review.

“With great courage, sharp intuition and professional dedication they have tackled some of the most controversial issues of historical revision and imaginative projection linked to the slave trade all over the world. While stressing the central role of slavery in the affirmation of Euro-American modern capitalistic society, they give space to the dignity and validity of long time ignored acts of memory produced in different fields by people of African descent. The importance attributed by them to these narratives in both written or visual form, are now shown as a dialogic and no less important counterpart to the over-publicized acts of memory written by representatives of the Euro-American hegemonic platform. Through the analysis of a large sample of writings, fiction and non-fiction, films, photographs, popular culture, the authors, a group of renown scholars and artists, question the legitimacy of the kept records, showing that the problem, as William Styron maintained, is not just how to portray the history of slavery, but how ‘to wrestle with the incomplete project of freedom.’

“What appears particularly relevant in this collection is the methodological approach, a complex, comparative, transnational gaze that rightly pulls down the ideal boundaries of nation and continent, North and South America, Brazil and West Africa, and above all French, Spanish and English Caribbean – where, it should be remembered, the slave trade registers its highest peak – allowing them to shed light on the multiple ways in which difference builds up a privileged path to artistic productions. The mechanics of how slavery affected the intercultural, inter-human, inter-linguistic exchanges between different peoples finds in this broad discussion one of the best possible readings, where the textual and the meta-textual crisscross and contaminate each other; a modern approach that ignores stale categories, narrow paradigms, prefigured evaluations.”

“The fluidity achieved between disciplines, territories, languages, anthropological characterizations is happily harmonized with a captivating style, that accrues the meaning of the research and the pleasure of reading.”

Read the entire review here.

This book is in the Cambria Studies in Slavery book series (general editor: Ana Lucia Araujo).

See this book at the #LASA2016 congress. For a 30% discount, order Transatlantic Memories of Slavery now and use the coupon code LASA2016 at www.cambriapress.com.

You can also buy this book on Amazon and get free shipping.

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