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:

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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 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

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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

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

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LASA 2016 Highlights – New & Noteworthy in Latin American Studies

We are proud to launch Dr. Gabriela Fried Amilivia’s new book, State Terrorism and the Politics of Memory in Latin America, at the LASA congress.

Fried Book Cover

This interdisciplinary study, written in a highly accessible style, will have both specialists and nonspecialists appreciating it for how it vividly brings to life the terror inflicted by the state on its people and how it continues to affect them. Tying sociology with history, psychology, and politics, this book will not only add depth to the fields of culture and memory studies but also broaden the scope of understanding for literary works which weave in trauma of Latin American history.

“A groundbreaking study for anyone interested in crimes against humanity and their haunting transgenerational legacy.” —GABRIELE M. SCHWAB, Chancellor’s Professor, University of California, Irvine

Gabriela Fried
Watch Dr. Fried discuss the book at the LASA Congress

Dr. Fried will speak about her book
at the special LASA author session
Sunday morning
(May 29) at 9:45 a.m.

in the book exhibit hall at the Hilton.

Mularski Book Cover

“An interesting, enjoyable and instructive example to other nations and cultures about how the powerful get to tell everyone else what their culture is even if the evidence doesn’t support it.” Sounds and Colours

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“Innovative in its transatlantic scope, and is a valuable contribution to attempts to reconsider the role and status of the poet in globalized-—and especially neoliberal-—socioeconomic context.”  A contra corriente

Currie Thompson Book Cover
“Una recomendable monografía para aquellos que quieran profundizar en el cine y la Argentina de los dos primeros mandatos de Perón (1946–55)Thompson cita numerosas y relevantes fuentes a lo largo de todo el volumen, que servirán para apoyar sus argumentos, así como para ilustrar sus ejemplos.”Hispania

Kane Book Cover

“It is entirely revitalizing to see a work devoted to the Central American avant-garde that both grounds its focus critically and keeps its focus on both the aesthetics and politics that grounded the literary production of the vanguardia in the early 20th century. A very welcomed addition to the corpus of writings on the avant-garde, valuable to students and scholars of Central American literature,and those studying the avant-garde from any region.” A contra corriente

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Carefully researched and generously illustrated, Lauren Beck’s book offers a thorough study of primary sources, both textual and visual, on the cultural construction of the enemy in Spanish culture. … The case of Spanish culture is particularly interesting because the Spaniards have been active in the creation of stereotypes of their enemies  and at the same time they have been the object of similar processes of cultural construction by other European nations.”  Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Herrera Book Cover
Offers insightful and nuanced interpretations of selected canonical Chicana writers … focused on the interlocking structure of discriminatory discourses of classism, racism, sexism, and homophobia. Indeed, her discussion of queer Chicana motherhood and patriarchal heterosexism … offers a very productive model for critically embedding queer representations of sexual and gender formation in the context of allied ‘straight’ texts.” Contemporary Women’s Writing
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This book will push understandings of membership and identities in Africa and the African diaspora forward though unique and insightful discussions on Pan-Africanism and African freedom, British colonialism and African spaces, the politics of Brazilian baianas, linguistic and cultural Africanisms in the Caribbean, identities in postcolonial francophone literature, and much more.
Araujo Heritage Book Cover.jpg

“The memory of slavery and the slave trade has strongly influenced how history is understood. What is remembered and why are clearly identified as major historical themes of analysis in this valuable collection.” Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Scacchi Bordin Book Cover.jpg

“With great courage, sharp intuition and professional dedication the editors have tackled some of the most controversial issues of historical revision and imaginative projection linked to the slave trade all over the world … Praise be to them for gathering such a relevant instrument of research, and for opening new perspectives in the field.” European Journal of American Studies

Integrating research from the various fields of humanities and social sciences is more important than ever, which is why Cambria series are interdisciplinary. Click on each series link to see the books in the series.

Cambria Studies in Latin American Literatures and Cultures
(General Editor: Román de la Campa, University of Pennsylvania)

Cambria Studies in Slavery: Past and Present
(General Editor: Ana Lucia Araujo, Howard University) 

Cambria Studies in Contemporary Global Performing Arts
(General Editor: John Clum, Duke University)

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.

Asian Studies
Essential Books in Asian Studies

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


“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?

“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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