Cambria Press Publication Review: The Rimbaud of Leeds

Congratulations to Dr Christine Regan on the outstanding review of her book The Rimbaud of Leeds: The Political Character of Tony Harrison’s Poetry by the journal English – Journal of the English Association. The journal review commends the book for being:

Meticulously researched … an unusually astute and impressively well informed guide to the poetry. Even those well versed in Harrison’s work will, I suspect, depart this volume with new insights and new knowledge in hand … In the age of Trump and Brexit, there is a certain pathos to seeing this one time member of the ‘white working class’ prove so inclined to side with postcolonial peoples in their struggles with the architects of the post-war order. … Regan’s work offers many new and valuable insights.

Cambria Press publication review

Title: The Rimbaud of Leeds: The Political Character of Tony Harrison’s Poetry
Author: Christine Regan
Publisher: Cambria Press
ISBN: 9781604979275
290 pp.  |   2016   |   Hardback & E-book
Book Webpage: http://www.cambriapress.com/books/9781604979275.cfm

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Cambria Press author I-Hsien Wu (AAS 2017 speech)

Cambria Press author I-Hsien Wu (City University of New York) spoke about her new book Eroticism and Other Literary Conventions in Chinese Literature: Intertextuality in The Story of the Stone 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 I-Hsien Wu’s speech
at the Cambria Press reception

Cambria Press author I-Hsien Wu publication Story of the Stone

Below is a transcript of Professor I-Hsien Wu’s speech:

“Let me begin with a heartfelt thank you to Toni Tan and David Armstrong, and the whole production team at Cambria. Thank you for helping me transform my project into a book. And thank you, Professor Mair. It is my great honor to have my book included in the series. I feel extremely honored and grateful.

And I am so thrilled to be here today, because The Story of the Stone is not only the most celebrated prose fiction in Chinese literature but also my favorite book. I vividly remember reading an abridged version of the novel for young readers when I was in elementary school. And I remember reading the original for the first time when I was eleven — it was such a struggle! I was completely confused by Chapter 1 and gave up!

But now that’s history. Chapter 1 has since become where I turn to all the time, especially the metafictional framework. I am intrigued by the idea that a stone can be a character, a narrator, a jade pendant, and the book itself all at the same time. And I am fascinated by the stone’s famous criticism of historical romance, erotic fiction, and scholar-and-beauty novels. Although it looks like he is drawing a line between his story and these previous works, in fact he only reveals that The Story of the Stone is deeply rooted in these genres and conventions.

This is where the novel openly shows the author’s anxiety of influence and alludes to the nature of intertextuality, and this is also where my book comes in. To me, the novel’s construction of lust is a dialogue with erotic literature; its making of romance is about the use of drama; in the last forty chapters, the novel wrestles with the scholar-and-beauty ideals; and finally, the mythic stone is created to question the convention of storytelling, not only in pre-existing fiction but also in the novel’s many previous lives in manuscript versions and printed editions.

It has been a long journey for me reading and writing about The Story of the Stone. I hope you will all join me by reading my book. Thank you.”

* * * * *

How does The Story of the Stone utilize language and text to make meanings of the human lives it creates? How does The Story of the Stone exist through its relation to previous fiction? To answer these questions, this book argues that the mythic stone’s harsh critiques of historical romance (yeshi), erotic fiction (fengyue bimo), and scholar-and-beauty fiction (caizi jiaren) cannot be taken at face value. Instead, they signify The Stone’s anxiety of influence and allude to the nature of intertextuality. Professor Wu’s book, Eroticism and Other Literary Conventions in Chinese Literature, is thus a must-read for anyone interested in The Story of the Stone, and for readers interested in novel, fiction, drama, and other literary genres and subgenres in Chinese literature.

Title: Eroticism and Other Literary Conventions in Chinese Literature: Intertextuality in The Story of the Stone
Author: I-Hsien Wu
Publisher: Cambria Press
ISBN: 9781604979770
240 pp.  |   2017   |   Hardback & E-book
Book Webpage: http://www.cambriapress.com/books/9781604979770.cfm

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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 author & series editor Victor Mair (AAS 2017 speech)

Cambria Press author & series editor Professor Victor Mair spoke at the 2017 AAS (Association of Asian Studies) Cambria Press reception about how he first learned about Cambria Press at the 2008 conference and eventually came to head the Cambria Sinophone World Series, which he is pleased to note has “exploded” in such a short time. Thanks to Professor Mair’s leadership, the Cambria Sinophone World Series has grown with outstanding works from established, renowned scholars and rising academic stars.

Watch Professor Victor Mair’s speech
at the Cambria Press reception.

Victor Mair

Professor Mair also spoke about his new book Buddhist Transformations and Interactions: Essays in Honor of Antonino Forte, which was released at the AAS conference. The book is testimony to Forte’s reputation as an important scholar for his contributions, including the publication of his research and his generous assistance to many scholars. The authors in the volume are some of these scholars, and they include Tansen Sen (Baruch College), Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania), Antonino Forte, Timothy Barrett (SOAS, University of London), Jinhua Chen (University of British Columbia), Hubert Durt (International College for Advanced Buddhist Studies Tokyo), Phyllis Granoff (Yale University), Paul Groner (University of Virginia), John R. McRae (Indiana and Cornell Universities), Michael Radich (Victoria University of Wellington), James Robson (Harvard University), Koichi Shinohara (Yale University), Albert Welter (University of Arizona), and Mimi Yiengpruksawan (Yale University). This is an important book for scholars in the fields of Buddhist studies and Sinology.

Title: Buddhist Transformations and Interactions: Essays in Honor of Antonino Forte
Editor: Victor H. Mair
Publisher: Cambria Press
ISBN: 9781604979718
598 pp.  |   2017   |   Paperback & E-book

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AAS 2017 Toronto: Books and Scholars in Asian Studies to Watch

AAS 2017 Cambria Press Authors

Check out the new books by these Asianists at the Cambria Press booth 109 at the Association for Asian Studies, Inc. (AAS) #AAS2017 conference in Toronto.

Top (left to right): Wilt Idema (Harvard University), Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania), Wendy Larson (University of Oregon), Mark Bender (The Ohio State University), and Charlotte Furth (University of Southern California).

Bottom (left to right): Zhansui Yu (Nazareth College), Christopher Lupke (University of Alberta), Takayoshi Yamamura (Hokkaido University), I-Hsien Wu (City College of New York), and Philip Seaton (Hokkaido University).

Professor Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania) will make a special appearance at the Cambria Press booth (109) on Friday (March 17) at 11 a.m. to discuss the Cambria Sinophone World Series and his latest book Buddhist Transformations and Interactions. In addition, six other new books are being launched just in time for the AAS conference. These are:

  • Zhang Yimou by Wendy Larson (University of Oregon)

    “Larson’s book is important for any reader interested in how the political sphere and visual culture redefine each other.” —Yomi Braester, University of Washington; and Coeditor, Journal of Chinese Cinemas

  • The Borderlands of Asia by Mark Bender (The Ohio State University) 

    “When it comes to other books on the market, there is nothing close to this book in terms of quality or range of material. This is a unique and valuable addition to the field of literature and Asian studies.”—Jonathan Stalling, University of Oklahoma; and Editor, Chinese Literature Today

  • Eroticism and Other Literary Conventions in Chinese Literature by I-Hsien Wu (CUNY) 

    “I-Hsien Wu has done brilliant work in teasing out the intertextual threads of The Story of the Stone. In a very astute manner, she examines sources drawn from performing arts and erotic fiction, identifies ideological and affective contestations, and ponders the consequences of the novel as a text in flux.” —David Der-wei Wang, Harvard University

  • Chinese Avant-garde Fiction by Zhansui Yu (Nazareth College) 

    “This thoughtful book offers fresh insights into avant-garde fiction in the early decades of China’s reform. Engaging Chinese and Western traditions, Yu Zhansui argues forcefully that the Chinese avant-garde carries on the probe into the darkness of history in a quest for transcendent truths about human conditions.” —Ban Wang, Stanford University

  • Opening to China by Charlotte Furth (Univerity of Southern California) 

    “Few Americans today have any sense of how far China has come since its opening in the early 1980s. Charlotte Furth was there to see the start of the defrost with the country’s opening and her lively account of her experiences in China then provides a unique and invaluable record. It is useful in these days of rising tensions between China and the U.S. to be reminded of China’s social reality not very long ago.” —Gordon H. Chang, Stanford University

  • Contents Tourism in Japan by Philip Seaton, Takayoshi Yamamura, Akiko Sugawa-Shimada, and Kyungjae Jang

    “This may be the best book ever written on tourism in Japan! This work is on one of the most important subjects in contemporary tourism studies and Japan studies, perhaps a forerunner of things that are also happening in the Korean and Chinese worlds and elsewhere, which makes it doubly important.” —Nelson Graburn, UC Berkeley

Taika square sneak peek

Take a sneak peek at the Cambria Press Asian studies catalog

Taika square book sales

Use coupon code AAS2017 at http://www.cambriapress.com to save 30% on all hardcover titles. Offer ends May 15, 2017.

Taika square book

Forthcoming book in the Cambria Rapid Communications in Conflict and Security Studies (RCCS) Series headed by Dr. Geoffrey R. H. Burn

Taika square BAG

Come to booth 109 to get a complimentary Cambria Sinophone World Series tote bag

Taika Big Banner.jpg

Taika square dessert

Sheraton Toronto Churchill Room

#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

paul-manfredi

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

mabel-morana

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

christopher-lupke

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

ek-tan

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

alison-groppe

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

susan-lever

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

john-clum

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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