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

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Take a sneak peek at the Cambria Press Asian studies catalog
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Use coupon code AAS2017 at http://www.cambriapress.com to save 30% on all hardcover titles. Offer ends May 15, 2017.
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Forthcoming book in the Cambria Rapid Communications in Conflict and Security Studies (RCCS) Series headed by Dr. Geoffrey R. H. Burn
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Come to booth 109 to get a complimentary Cambria Sinophone World Series tote bag

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Sheraton Toronto Churchill Room

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

The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien

Cambria Press is pleased to announce a new publication The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien: Culture, Style, Voice, and Motion by Christopher Lupke (Washington State University). This book is in the Cambria Sinophone World Series headed by Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania) and the Cambria Contemporary Global Performing Arts Series headed by John Clum (Duke University).

This book will be launched at the upcoming 2016 Association of Asian Studies (AAS) conference in Seattle.

Hou Hsiao-hsien

The following are excerpts from the book.

Chapter 1: The Odyssey of Hou Hsiao-hsien
Hou Hsiao-hsien Cannes“The odyssey of Hou Hsiao-hsien, a director now in his late sixties, is an unfinished one. Audiences look forward to his constant interrogation of the boundaries of film representation, his wonderful creativity and courage, and his obsessive honing of signature techniques. … he made full use of his training and talent, as well as his collaborative relationships with such important intellectuals as Zhu Tianwen and Wu Nianzhen and technical geniuses such as Du Duzhi, Liao Qingsong, Li Pingbin, and Huang Wenying. When many filmmakers concede to the demands of global capitalistic aesthetics, Hou unwaveringly pursues his craft, disregarding the received viewing conventions of the film public and redefining them at the same time. His is a visionary art whereby he is as restless and uncomfortable as are many film aficionados.” (pp. 37-38)

Chapter 2: Zhu Tianwen and the Sotto Voce of Gendered Expression

Chu-Tien-wen-3
“The influence of Zhu in the film production cannot be underestimated but is difficult to completely distill without resorting to detailed autobiographical and interview evidence about each and every film. For instance, one can tell from interviews of Hou and Zhu,  often conducted jointly, as well as various essays that Zhu Tianwen has written, that there has been a symbiotic, even synergistic, energy at work in their artistic and professional relationship.” (pp. 47-48)

Chapter 3: Comparing Hou Hsiao-hsien and Ozu Yasujirô

Ozu Yasujirô
“Notably, in spite of whatever uncanny resemblances may exist between the cinematic style of Ozu and Hou, especially in Hou’s works up until his 1989 classic A City of Sadness, Hou insists that he had never seen an Ozu film all the way through to that point and therefore could not have been influenced by him except perhaps in some general fashion that perhaps all intellectuals in Taiwan are influenced to one extent or another by, for lack of a better word, what one might call ‘the Japanese aesthetic.'” (pp. 78-79)

Chapter 4: The Muted Interstices of Testimony

A-City-Of-Sadness
“The dissection of these particular sequences [in A City of Sadness] leads to the conclusion that a large measure of the film’s import rests on the fact that just as political repression is a form of silencing, the silent witness Wenqing (Fourth Brother) enacts the very problem of communication which the February 28 Incident creates and the critics of A City of Sadness deplore. Therefore, it is not so much that Hou Hsiao-hsien has failed to put forth a film that adequately represents this historical truth, nor that he has acted on behalf of the Guomindang, wittingly or unwittingly, to present a politically suspect whitewash of the affair, but that his representation of the event contains within itself the seeds of its own skepticism. Hou’s film implies that a pristine recapitulation of the February 28 Incident is no longer accessible and in fact itself would serve to undermine the most important element of political repression: the silencing of contending voices.” (pp. 114-115)

Chapter 5: Time and Teleology in Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Films of Quest and Disillusionment

Goodbye SouthDust in the Wind
“That his characters do not accomplish what they set out to, that they do not get to where they always seem to be going, that the spectator is left to puzzle over the apparently unfinished quality of his carefully wrought paeans to the quotidian is a responsibility that  Hou places on the spectator. Hou’s audiences are left to ponder the awful ennui of his characters and the curiously tentative conclusions of his films. … The circular logic of Hou’s film narratives illusively structured as teleological journeys echoes the feelings of vulnerability its inhabitants hold for Taiwan, an island entity with no official status as a nation, whose denizens have nowhere to which they can flee and no option of expanding its economy within its borders.” (p. 192)

Chapter 6: What is Said and Left Unsaid in Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Period Adaptations

flowers of shanghaiMillennium Mambo
“Even for Hou Hsiao-hsien, Flowers of Shanghai (1998) is a film that presses the bounds of feature filmmaking. … Despite the fact that Hou Hsiao-hsien has said in an interview that Millennium Mambo is a contemporary version of Flowers of Shanghai, the latter does not even contain the narrative voiceover to guide the spectator as the former does.1 The audience is forced to puzzle over the meaning and implications of the film, an alienating experience even for Chinese and Taiwanese audiences due to its period setting. (p. 209)

The Assassin

“Watching Hou Hsiao-hsien’s most recent film The Assassin carefully and repeatedly, one comes to the initial conclusion that it is a plot stripped of all excess, an adumbration of the full story of what happened to the heroine Nie Yinniang and of the historical  circumstances surrounding the militarized province of Weibo where the film is set. While this is true, it is deceiving too because The Assassin is also a colossal reinterpretation of the original Tang-dynasty classical tale “Nie Yinniang,” and the film version and particularly the screenplay endow it with a cornucopia of newly created material that the authors drew both from historical research and from their imaginations.” (p.215)

See also Author Interview with Christopher Lupke.

Learn more about the book and recommend it.

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Author Interview with Christopher Lupke

Christopher Lupke’s latest book, The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien, will be released next week at the 2016 Association of Asian Studies (AAS) annual conference in Seattle.

Professor Lupke is one of the few who has visited the set of Hou’s latest film, The Assassin (2015) and includes a discussion of it in his book. He will be at the Cambria Sinophone World Series event on Saturday evening in the Jefferson Room at the Sheraton Seattle. It will be a great time to learn more about his work and ask him questions about the book.

Hou Hsiao-hsien

In the meantime, we have a short interview with Professor Lupke about the book here to start things off.

Q: Why did you decide to write this book?
CL: “When I was in graduate school, I happened to see Hou Hsiao-hsien’s film A Time to Live, A Time to Die (1985). It totally blew me away. I watched a lot of Chinese films mainly to maintain my listening comprehension, but I was not particularly impressed. Hou’s film was spectacular and subtle at the same time. I immediately knew that Taiwan cinema had changed forever. A few years later, his film A City of Sadness (1989) sealed the deal. I have been fascinated by his work ever since and over a long period of time developed the material for The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien: Culture, Style, Voice and Motion.

Hou Hsiao-hsien scholarship is now voluminous. This is a testament to the compelling quality of his work. About ten years ago, I realized that if I wanted to say something definitive about his work, I should write a whole book. My basic goal has been to illustrate how his work is intricate on a formal level but still intimately tied to cultural, historical and political issues in Taiwan and East Asia. I knew I couldn’t be exhaustive, but I wanted to be comprehensive. And that’s what I set out to do.”

Q: What do you hope your readers take away from your book?
CL: Readers can go to my book as a sort of one-stop for information on any and all of Hou’s feature length productions. I discuss them all to one extent or another. Secondly, on the chapters that feature very close analysis (Chapters 2 through 6), I provide detailed insight that can help unlock some of the mystery of this very intricate and idiosyncratic auteur filmmaker. His films require careful dissection, and that’s what I do. Third, for film lovers who don’t know Chinese, the last chapter is sixty pages of interviews I have translated from Chinese that heretofore has been inaccessible to people who just love Hou because he is a great director.
Finally, the first chapter sketches what I call the “odyssey” of Hou Hsiao-hsien – how he has changed (and not changed) over the past three and a half decades. I tried to say something about all of his feature films. Readers can utilize that chapter to get the big picture of Hou’s contribution. The book as a whole engages much of the secondary scholarship on Hou Hsiao-hsien in English and in Chinese. It is impossible to make reference to it all, because it has become an industry of its own. However, through my book readers will be able to identify many of the other scholars working on Hou Hsiao-hsien and others, and can use my book to track down this secondary scholarship, should they wish to do further study.

Q: What other research do you believe is needed on this topic?
CL: Hou Hsiao-hsien is one of those geniuses of the screen who, by virtue of the density of his work, will always be of interest to scholars and critics. He’s a classic. There will be no end to Hou Hsiao-hsien scholarship. Additional work needs to be done on the Chinese literary and discursive context that underlies his works. His work also will benefit from more scholarship in English by people who are fluent in not only in the Hoklo (Taiwanese) language but also in Hakka.

It also would be very interesting to pursue in more depth some of the formal aspects of Hou’s work such as set and costume design. It is such an important component of his production. There are now books in Chinese that discuss in further detail the construction of these things in films like The Assassin (2015) and Flowers of Shanghai (1998).

The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien is in the Cambria Sinophone World Series (General Editor: Victor Mair, University of Pennsylvania) and the Cambria Contemporary Global Performing Arts Series (General Editor: John Clum, Duke University).

Read excerpts from The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien.

Learn more about The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien and recommend it.

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AAS 2016 Seattle: Cambria Sinophone World Series Event

Cambria Press will be holding its annual Cambria Sinophone World Series event at the AAS conference on Satuday (April 2, 2016) at 7:30 p.m. in the Jefferson Room (4th floor in the Union Street Tower) at the Sheraton Seattle. All are welcome to this event.

AAS 2016 Asian Studies

Dr. Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania) will be discussing the series and introducing the new books.

Sinophone

Dr. Mair will speak on behalf of Dr. Wilt Idema (Harvard University) and Dr. Chia-rong Wu (Rhodes College) about their books, The Immortal Maiden Equal to Heaven and Other Precious Scrolls from Western Gansu and Supernatural Sinophone and Beyond respectively.

Wilt Idema author Cambria Press book publication baojuan precious scrolls China SinologistSupernatural Sinophone Taiwan

Dr. Christopher Lupke (Washington State University) will be present to discuss his book, The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien, which will make its highly anticipated debut at the conference.

Hou Hsiao-hsien

Another long-awaited book that will be released at the conference is Cosmopolitanism in China, 1600-1950 by Minghui Hu and Johan Elverskog. Both will be present to talk about their book.

Cosmopolitanism China

In addition, Dr. Karil Kucera (St. Olaf College) will be there to speak about her book (also being released at the AAS), Ritual and Representation in Chinese Buddhism: Visualizing Enlightenment at Baodingshan from the 12th to 21st Centuries. Her book features 159 color images as well as an innovative online component that takes readers through Baodingshan.

baodingshan

Finally, it is a great honor to have Colonel Thomas Drohan who will discuss his book, A New Strategy for Complex Warfare: Combined Effects in East Asia.

East Asia Warfare Strategy

This is the first book in the new series, Rapid Communications in Conflict and Security (RCCS), headed by general editor Dr. Geoffrey R. H. Burn.

Conflict and Security

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Hou Hsiao-hsien’s THE ASSASSIN Released – Watch Trailer

Hou Hsiao hsien The Assassin Cambria Press publication author Sinophone
Hou Hsiao-hsien’s fans will want to get Christopher Lupke’s forthcoming book, The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien.

Hou Hsiao-hsien’s latest film, The Assassin, was released this past weekend.  It stars Shu Qi, the Taiwanese actress who is a major star across Greater China. Click here to watch a trailer from The AssassinHou Hsiao-hsien’s reputation as one of the most beloved auteur film directors active today is well deserved. His work has garnered more than a dozen awards, including prizes at The Venice Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival, and the Cannes Film Festival.

World cinema buffs and Hou’s fans have something else to look forward to–a book that is a comprehensive treatment covering Hou’s entire oeuvre to date by Dr. Christopher Lupke, a scholar well-known for his work on Sinophone filmmakers. Lupke’s book, The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien, is scheduled to be launched at the 2016 annual conference of the  Association for Asian Studies (AAS).

The book is in the Cambria Sinophone World Series headed by Dr. Victor H. Mair (University of Pennsylvania) and the Cambria Global Performing Arts Series headed by Dr. John M. Clum (Duke University).

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RMMLA 2014 Keynote Speech by Victor H. Mair – The Impact of Technology on the Study of Language and Literature

Victor Mair Toni Tan  Cambria Press Chris Lupke Paul Manfredi Joy Landeira RMMLA
Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania), RMMLA 2014 keynote speaker and editor of the Cambria Sinophone World Series, with Toni Tan (Cambria Press), Joy Landeira (RMMLA Executive Director), Paul Manfredi (Pacific Lutheran University) and Christopher Lupke (Washington State University).

Victor Mair, renowned Sinologist at the University of Pennsylvania and editor of the Cambria Sinophone World Series, delivered the keynote address at the 68th RMMLA annual convention last Friday (October 10).

Dr. Eduardo Caro (Arizona State University), the RMMLA president, kicked off the luncheon event, which was attended by hundreds of RMMLA attendees, by having Dr. Christopher Lupke (Washington State University) introduce Dr. Mair.

During Christopher Lupke’s eloquent introduction, he announced that he would make a revelation about Victor Mair, of which even the keynote speaker himself would be unaware. Thirty-one years ago, an editorial assistant at the journal CLEAR (Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews) had to type up an article “The Narrative Revolution in Chinese Literature: Ontological Presuppositions”–this was the lead article in the paradigm-shifting symposium on the origins of Chinese fiction. For the editorial assistant, the article was memorable not only for its content and its author but also because it contained an astounding number of footnotes for a 27-page piece–there were 101 of them, and they were all substantive. The article also contained Egyptian and Chinese characters which the editorial assistant had to typeset manually. That editorial assistant was none other than Christopher Lupke and the author of the article Victor Mair! This remarkable coincidence was indeed unknown to Victor Mair, who expressed his gratitude for Christopher Lupke’s careful, painstaking work.

Aptly described by Christopher Lupke as “a naturally restless intellectual whose impact is felt well beyond Chinese studies” and “truly one of the monuments of our profession,” Victor Mair’s authority spans across a wide spectrum from Asian languages to Central Asian mummies (“Texts were not enough for Victor Mair” as Christopher Lupke put it). Given how Victor Mair is always in the vanguard of scholarship (e.g., his incredibly popular Language Log blog, his taking the readers of the Sino-Platonic papers from hundreds of hard-copy readers to an online audience of hundreds of thousands), he is the perfect scholar to speak on the impact of technology on the study of language and literature. Victor Mair’s speech resonated with scholars from all areas–not just Asian studies–as he related fascinating accounts of how he has successfully harnessed technology to accomplish in days what would have normally taken weeks, even months (e.g., his reading of the 40-ft ancient Chinese scrolls). After the speech, audience members commented on how pleased they were to be able to hear such an inspiring and interesting talk by this eminent scholar. This was also mentioned repeatedly later at the special publishing seminar by Toni Tan (director of Cambria Press) and at various sessions and events, such as the RMMLA VIP reception.

Victor Mair and Toni Tan thank the RMMLA, especially executive director Joy Landeira and her team as well as Christopher Lupke, for having them at this important conference.

If you were not at the RMMLA convention, you can still watch Victor Mair’s keynote address, along with the preliminary speeches by Dr. Eduardo Caro and Dr. Christopher Lupke.

You and your library can also enjoy the 30% discount–order by Nov 15 and use the code RMMLA 2014. This is applicable to all titles, not only the ones on the RMMLA flier.

Cambria Press will be at the MLA convention in Vancouver, B.C. and the AAS conference in Chicago. Drop by our booths, which will be right in front of the exhibit hall entrance at both conferences, to browse our books.

In addition to the Cambria Sinophone World Series by Victor Mair, Cambria Press also has other important series for scholars in language and literature:

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