Cambria Press Publication Review: The Borderlands of Asia

Congratulations to Professor Mark Bender (The Ohio State University) on the outstanding review of his book, The Borderlands of Asia: Culture, Place, Poetry, in the journal Modern Chinese Literature and Culture (MCLC).

Sinophone

The review states:

In translating these poems into English, the global ‘language of interaction’ (p. xxi), the voices of poets from the borderlands of Asia can be heard by a wider audience. Bender’s informative introduction gives his readers a broad context for understanding the complicated histories and cultures of the areas and the poets included in the volume. ….

In addition to highlighting the ecocritical aspects of the poems in the volume (p. 14), Bender’s introduction contributes to a growing awareness of the peoples and cultures of Zomia and Sinophone communities of the margins. People transform space into place through the process of inhabiting an environment; the cultural adaptability and knowledge they obtain through human interactions help them shape and conceptualize that environment. The different conceptualizations of place in this collection are associated with various histories and ethnic identities. …

In the borderlands of Asia, people suffer from war, economic inequality, and environmental degradation because of modern development and nation-state building. In this collection of poems, we also encounter the anxiety, rage, and trauma felt by the poets and their peoples as they confront the daunting challenges of the nation-state system, modernity, globalization, and the Anthropocene. …

The editor has done impressive work to offer background knowledge for understanding most of the poems, especially the ones from Southwest China. …

Taken together, this work is a timely publication in dialogue with many scholarly trends, including the Sinophone, Zomia, and the Anthropocene, as understood through the medium of poetry. Although the contributors of this collection hail from a variety of nationalities and cultures, they share common difficulties and concerns in their lives. This volume is a crucial contribution to the fields of literary anthropology, literary studies, and Asian studies and is destined to become required reading for students in anthropology and comparative literature.

The Borderlands of Asia is part of the Cambria Sinophone World Series, headed by Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania).

Like Cambria Press on Facebook and
follow Cambria Press on Twitter to stay posted.

 

 

Advertisements

Meet Mabel Lee, Shen Jiawei, and Victor Mair at the double book launch

Victor Mair Mabel Lee Shen Jiawei

The double book launch for Mabel Lee and Shen Jiawei just got even more exciting! Attendees will also get to meet world-renowned Sinologist Victor H. Mair (University of Pennsylvania), general editor of the Cambria Sinophone World Series. Register now for the event!

The double book launch for Painting History: China’s Revolution in a Global Context
and Gao Xingjian and Transmedia Aesthetics will be held on July 14, 2018 (Saturday) at 2–5 p.m. at iPreciation, Singapore’s premier gallery that showcases the best of modern and contemporary Asian Art, including the works of Nobel laureate Gao Xingjian.

Celebrity Artist Shen Jiawei is not only known for his commissioned portraits of dignitaries such as Pope Francis, Princess Mary of Denmark, and Australian Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove but also his famous history paintings, which are held at the National Museum, Art Museum, and Military Museum in Beijing, as well as in public and private collections around the world. Mr Shen’s unique experiences and innovative techniques are documented in his new book Painting History: China’s Revolution in a Global Context (edited by Dr. Mabel Lee), which he will discuss at the event.

Dr. Mabel Lee is an honorary professor at the Open University of Hong Kong and an adjunct professor at the University of Sydney, where she taught 20th-century Chinese history and literature for more than 30 years. She is best known for her translations of Gao Xingjian’s writings, including his eponymous book Gao Xingjian: Aesthetics and Creation (Cambria Press, 2012). Dr Lee will also be speaking about her latest book Gao Xingjian and Transmedia Aesthetics, coedited with Dr Liu Jianmei, a professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Both Gao Xingjian and Transmedia Aesthetics  and Gao Xingjian: Aesthetics and Creation are in the Cambria Sinophone World Series, headed by Professor Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania).

Painting History and Gao Xingjian and Transmedia Aesthetics were published in March 2018  and made their debut at the Association of Asian Studies conference in Washington, DC.

Books will be available for purchase at the event during the book signing.

To register for the event or to receive more information about the book launch, please contact either Cambria Press at bgoodman<AT>cambriapress.com, or iPreciation at  enquiry<AT>ipreciation.com or +65 6339 0678.

Cambria Press thanks iPreciation for being the venue sponsor for this event.

Like Cambria Press on Facebook and
follow Cambria Press on Twitter to stay posted.

Haun Saussy Presents Victor Mair with Surprise Festschrift at Cambria Press AAS 2018 Reception

Cambria Press Publication Author Haun Saussy Victor Mair

What took place on the evening of March 24, 2018, in Washington, DC, was one of the most unforgettable events in AAS history, and probably any academic conference.

The evening began with short speeches about new books by Shen Jiawei and Mabel Lee, Albert Welter, Jonathan Stalling, Megan M. Ferry, Christopher Rea, Liu Jianmei (and Mabel Lee), and Carolyn T. Brown.

Then Professor Haun Saussy was asked by Toni Tan, director of Cambria Press, to come up to speak. While Professor Mair was aware that Professor Saussy was working on an edited volume, he had no idea that this was a festschrift being put together in his honor and that it would be unveiled that very night. So when Toni Tan asked Professor Saussy to take the stage, Professor Mair was under the impression that Professor Saussy was coming up just to say a few words about the forthcoming book. Little did he know that he would be presented with the highly anticipated top-secret volume that was the talk of the AAS.

After Professor Saussy gave his speech and presented the festschrift, Texts and Transformations: Essays in Honor of the 75th Birthday of Victor H. Mair, the birthday surprises did not end there. Toni Tan gave a speech about Professor Mair and then announced that a surprise mystery guest had come all the way specially to Washington, DC, to present Professor Mair with his birthday cake and lead the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” (in Chinese and English). It was a wonderful night celebrating Cambria authors and honoring Professor Victor Mair, a most beloved scholar who has helped so many in and outside the field.

Watch the video of the astonishing and incredibly heartwarming event, including speeches by Haun Saussy and Toni Tan, the surprise mystery guest who wheeled in the huge birthday cake, and finally by Victor Mair (whose reaction was wonderful and priceless)!

More photos of the event will be posted on Facebook and Twitter soon.

Victor Mair

Order your copy of Texts and Transformations: 
Essays in Honor of the 75th Birthday of Victor H. Mair today!

Editor: Haun Saussy
Publisher: Cambria Press
ISBN: 9781604979565
486 pp.  |   2018   |   Hardback & E-book
Book Webpage: http://www.cambriapress.com/books/9781604979565.cfm

Like Cambria Press on Facebook and
follow Cambria Press on Twitter to stay posted.

Cambria Press Author Carolyn T. Brown – Speech at AAS 2018 Reception

Cambria Press author Dr. Carolyn T. Brown, retired Director of the Office of Scholarly Programs and the John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress, gave a speech about her book, Reading Lu Xun Through Carl Jung, at the Cambria Press reception at the AAS 2018 conference in Washington, DC.

Watch Dr. Carolyn Brown’s speech and/or read the transcript below.

 

Cambria Press Publication Author Carolyn Brown

“I always seem to do things a little bit differently from other people, so my questions are questions that I’ve asked myself over many years, and they are embedded in my comments.

My first encounter Lu Xun’s short stories occurred during my sophomore year at Cornell University in a survey course in modern Chinese literature in translation. We must have read several of his iconic stories, undoubtedly “A Madman’s Diary” and “The True Story of Ah Q”. One particular story sent me reeling. When I reached the conclusion of “The New Year’s Sacrifice,” my whole being recoiled in a physiological grimace. I knew something had happened to make me almost double over in pain, but I did not know what. No short story I had ever read had ever delivered such a visceral punch before.

In the decades that followed, I asked myself multiple times why I, a black woman from Queens, New York, would have found Lu Xun’s stories so compelling, why I would have returned to them repeatedly through the years, why their importance increased to the point of consuming hours of my attention through the hard times of my life, why during my career as an academic I would write about them, and why in my post-academic career I would still find the need to close the circle and write this book.

My presence in that Cornell classroom was, in the first place, a bit unlikely. When I entered college, I knew virtually nothing about China. I had never met anyone who came from China or who had lived there, as best I can recall; nor had I felt a particular urge to visit China myself, not that I could have because at that time Americans were barred from travel to “Red China” as it was called. But I had received a rigorous high school training in the “history of civilization,” which as it was then taught was the heroic history of the great white men of Western Europe and the United States. My immature intellect knew enough from my family’s history to know that black people were a full part of the American story even though the textbooks omitted that fact. From my mother’s chinoiserie home décor and a few books in our family library, I also knew that “civilization” included China, which had as much (or more) history and culture—art, literature, philosophy, and so forth—as Europe, and the quality was as good or better. Out of revenge for “the lies” I had been taught, once in college I turned to China, being too young and inexperienced to know that all nations lie to some degree about their histories. I wanted truth!

So there I was, studying Chinese history, language, and literature and reading stories by the man who, for much of the twentieth century, was considered modern China’s greatest writer. He was a central figure in the tumultuous decades of that century, both a product of his time and an agent giving it shape. He is still appreciated for his profound insights into the nature of Chinese society, his dedication to ending the suffering of his nation’s populace, his deep moral integrity, and his unrelenting commitment to self-scrutiny. He never relented in his struggle against the forces that stood in the way of a more humane China, even though he despaired of success. Whatever my initial motivation, there I was, sitting in that classroom, deeply moved by these stories from a different time and place. Why?

Lu Xun’s stories stories are clear-eyed critiques of the social norms and conditions of Chinese society that were, in his eyes and those of many of his reform-minded contemporaries, essential causes of China’s insufficient response to the calamities visited upon it by the forced encounter with Western imperial powers. Lu Xun took what was known, familiar, and accepted and exposed it to be cruel and inhumane, and so opened his readers’ eyes to seeing and understanding in new ways. I had felt the impact of that wrenching reversal of perspective without quite knowing what was acting upon me.

In later years, during my own hard times, I probed my own psyche in an attempt to understand unfortunate patterns of my own creation that were shaping my life and causing me considerable suffering. At the same time in my professional life as an academic I was also living with these short stories, searching below their surfaces for patterns that shaped them. As I was rethinking the narrative patterns of my life, I found myself drawn more fully into Lu Xun’s rewriting of the narrative of his contemporary Chinese reality, looking for the internally generated cultural patterns which had been bequeathed by that tradition and which, to his mind, accounted for dysfunctional dimensions of China’s interaction with external forces and events. In interrogating his texts, I found myself searching for embedded structures that were generating these manifestations, a process analogous to the tasks I was performing in my own life. Somewhere along the way, I encountered the work of Carl Jung and over time began to see the connections between his work, Lu Xun’s analyses, and my life’s journey. This book is the result of that process of inquiry and the best answer I can give to my wonderment about the capacity of these short stories to touch me so profoundly.

My thanks to Cambria Press and all the wonderful friends who have helped me over the decades to bring this book to fruition. Thank you.”

* * * * *

About the book

Scholars who study Lu Xun’s modern short stories have usually focused on the content and used the stories to understand Lu Xun the writer or to sheds light on his times; they have attended to the structure only to the degree that it illuminates these concerns. This study executes a reversal, decentering the content and focusing on the structure as a primary means to understand the texts, and it seeks to understand the Lu Xun who presents himself through his work, not Lu Xun the full human being. The structure that emerges from a close reading of the stories does indeed present an implicit therapeutic model. Carl Jung’s theories of the normative human self articulate with some precision Lu Xun’s implicit vision of spiritual cure. Jung, one of three key founders of modern Western psychology, grounded his understanding of the human psyche in personal self-scrutiny and extensive clinical practice, and so his theories offer a validated psychological model for interpreting the textual evidence.

Reading Lu Xun Through Carl Jung thus deploys a new methodology and proposes a new model for interpreting Lu Xun’s two collections of modern short stories. Perhaps more important is that understanding Lu Xun’s psychological model opens new ways of imagining the relevance of his stories to timeless human concerns. Contemporary scholars increasingly ask about Lu Xun’s value now that the overt subjects of his concerns have receded into the past, and they have also looked to understand his role in the context of the international intellectual currents of his time. Although not primarily concerned with the sources of Lu Xun’s creativity, this study does suggest resonances between the structure of his thought as revealed in the stories and that of key nineteenth-century European philosophers and writers. Even while being firmly grounded in his own times, Lu Xun evoked universal themes and archetypes of the human condition. This book will appeal to scholars in Asian studies, comparative literature, and psychology.

Title: Reading Lu Xun Through Carl Jung
Author: Carolyn T. Brown
Publisher: Cambria Press
ISBN: 9781604979374
312 pp.  |   2018   |   Hardback & E-book
Book Webpage: http://www.cambriapress.com/books/9781604979374.cfm

Like Cambria Press on Facebook and
follow Cambria Press on Twitter to stay posted.

Cambria Press Author Liu Jianmei – Speech at AAS 2018 Reception

Cambria Press author Professor Liu Jianmei, Professor of Chinese Literature at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, gave a speech about her book, Gao Xingjian and Transmedia Aesthetics, coedited with Mabel Lee, at the Cambria Press reception at the AAS 2018 conference in Washington, DC.

Watch Professor Liu Jianmei’s speech and/or read the transcript below.

Cambria Press Publication Author Liu Jianmei

“I will jump right to the first question people ask about our book, which is what does your book bring that is new to Gao Xingjian studies? Previous studies on Gao Xingjian usually focus on particular areas of his fiction, plays, painting, film or poetry, or used his essays to explore his ideas on literature and creative aesthetics. This new book, which I have coedited with Mabel Lee, aims to cross the boundaries of these media, and to provide a comprehensive investigation of Gao Xingjian’s creations and ideas. The purpose of this is to showcase his transcultural, transdisciplinary, and transmedia explorations, and examine how he has persistently projected the struggles and agonies of the individual’s inner landscape into vivid images on stage, in films, in black-and-white paintings, and in the multilayered narrative expressions in fiction and poetry, and even in dance and music.

The second question people ask is what is different in your approach to this volume? Well, this volume crosses the boundaries of traditional academic writing and takes the reader to the in-between spaces of different styles of writing, research, and commentary, which help us better understand Gao’s endeavors in literary, theatrical, and pictorial creation and their accompanying philosophical insights. The chapters in this book transgress the boundaries of different media and genres—fiction, drama, poetry, painting, film—in their deliberations, and these diverse approaches serve to broaden the scope of Gao Xingjian research through what can be described as a dimension of heightened freedom, that is suggestive of Chan Buddhist comprehension. Gao Xingjian often states that for him creative innovations emerge at boundaries and in-between space. The aim of this collection thus seeks to explore such boundaries and in-between spaces in academic research on Gao Xingjian.

Finally, I want to thank Toni Tan and Victor Mair for their strong support of our new book. I also want to thank our contributors for their excellent essays and David Armstrong for his patience and help through the whole process of publication. We are really grateful to Cambria Press.

* * * * *

About the book

Since Gao Xingjian’s Nobel win in 2000 he has demonstrated his profound erudition across cultures in his creative explorations in literature and the visual arts. His intense intellectual curiosity can seldom be matched by his contemporaries, and his creative achievements in literature, the dramatic arts, painting, and film have been extraordinary, and have been reflected in his aesthetic treatises on art and literature. English-language publications have been in the forefront of Gao Xingjian research since the 1980s, and this book fills a Gao Xingjian research hiatus simply because it is hard to keep abreast of his stridently innovative creations. This volume brings readers up to date on Gao Xingjian, who is probably in this age of uncertainties, one of the foremost aesthetes in literature and the visual arts.

Gao Xingjian and Transmedia Aesthetics demonstrates the extensive reach of Gao Xingjian’s transcultural, transdisciplinary and transmedia explorations. Showcased here is the panoramic aesthetics of a polymath who has successfully personified modern-time renaissance by projecting the struggles of the individual’s inner landscape into vivid images on stage, film, black-and-white paintings, and in the multilayered narrative expressions of fiction and poetry, even dance and music, to evoke a sense of sincerity and authenticity that penetrates a viewer/reader’s heart. The volume is divided into four parts: philosophical inquiry; transdiscipline, transgenre, transculture; cine-poems with paintings, dance and music; and identifying and defining the self. The chapters probe different aspects of Gao Xingjian’s work, bearing testimony to their diverse specializations.

This book will appeal to Chinese literature scholars, undergraduate and graduate students, and general readers with an interest in the broad subjects of contemporary Chinese literature, high arts, avant-garde culture, women’s and gender studies, Sinophone film and transmedia culture, comparative literature, and cultural studies.

Title: Gao Xingjian and Transmedia Aesthetics
Editors: Mabel Lee and Liu Jianmei
Publisher: Cambria Press
ISBN: 9781604979466
362 pp.  |   2018   |   Hardback & E-book
Book Webpage: http://www.cambriapress.com/books/9781604979466.cfm

Like Cambria Press on Facebook and
follow Cambria Press on Twitter to stay posted.

Texts and Transformations: Essays in Honor of Victor H. Mair

Saussy VHM Front Cover.jpg

Tabula Gratulatoria

The following individuals have entered their names in the tabula gratulatoria of Texts and Transformations: Essays in Honor of the 75th Birthday of Victor H. Mair, edited by Haun Saussy, to express their gratitude for what Victor Mair has done and as a tribute to his impact on Asian studies throughout the world. While we did our best to reach all who might have wanted to add their names, we did not reach everyone and know that this list represents only a fraction of those whose lives and work have been greatly enriched by Victor Mair.

*     *     *

Susan R. Anderson

Center for Buddhist Studies, University of Arizona

East Asian Studies Department, University of Arizona

Kathlene Baldanza

Anthony Barbieri-Low

T. H. Barrett

Wolfgang Behr

Mark Bender

James A. Benn

Rostislav Berezkin

Michael Berry

Susan D. Blum

Gayle Foster Bodorff

Stephen R. Bokenkamp

Daniel Boucher

Jim Breen

Katharine P. Burnett

Cambria Press

Linda H. Chance

Kang-i Sun Chang

Huaiyu Chen

Chen Jinhua

Kaijun Chen

Xiaomei Chen

Cheng Fangyi

Eva Shan Chou

John Colarusso

Jennifer Crewe

Wiebke Denecke

Nicola Di Cosmo

June Teufel Dreyer

Ronald Egan

Gina Elia

Lothar von Falkenhausen

Geraldine Fiss

Erika Forte

Charlotte Furth

Liangyan Ge

Levi Gibbs

Erika H Gilson

Peter B. Golden

Phyllis Granoff

Linda Greene

Alison Groppe

Guinsr Peggy Guinsr

Chris Hamm

Valerie Hansen

Lauran R. Hartley

Hartman Charles Hartman

Rowena He

Anne Henochowicz

Jane Hickman

Gene Hill

Michel Hockx

Laura Hostetler

H. M. Agnes Hsu-Tang

Minghui Hu

Hu Ying

Wilt L. Idema

Lionel Jensen

Jiang Chenxin

Nicholas A. Kaldis

Paize Keulemans

Ross King

Jeffrey C. Kinkley

Cornelius C. Kubler

Wendy Larson

Charles A. Laughlin

Mabel Lee

Dore J. Levy

Melody Yunzi Li

Qiancheng Li

Perry Link

Jonathan Lipman

Liu Jianmei

Zhenzhen Lu

Liang Luo

Christopher Lupke

Richard John Lynn

In memory of Joseph C. and Esther F.L. Mair

David M. Mair

Denis C. Mair

Joseph R. Mair

Thomas Krishna Mair

Thomas L. Mair

Jim Mallory

Paul Manfredi

Justin McDaniel

Joseph P. McDermott

Tsu-Lin Mei

Xiuyuan Mi

Arina Mikhalevskaya

James Millward

Diane Moderski

Thomas Moran

David Moser

Brendan O’Kane

EALC, University of Pennsylvania

Peter Perdue

Martin Powers

Nanxiu Qian

Bob Ramsey

Evelyn S. Rawski

Jeffrey Rice

John S. Rohsenow

Carlos Rojas

Haun Saussy

Neil Schmid

David K. Schneider

Leander Seah

Cecilia Segawa Seigle

Tansen Sen

Kelsey Seymour

Ed Shaughnessy

Shu-mei Shih

Koichi Shinohara

Jerome Silbergeld

Jonathan Stalling

Tanya Storch

E. K. Tan

Toni Tan

Ori Tavor

Emma J. Teng

Jing Tsu

J. Marshall Unger

Rudolph Wagner

David Der-wei Wang

Jiajia Wang

Yuanfei Wang

Sophie Ling-chia Wei

Stephen H. West

Ellen Widmer

Carrie E. Wiebe

Endymion Wilkinson

Dorothy C. Wong

Chia-rong Wu

I-Hsien Wu

Jiang Wu

Kunbing Xiao

Xie Bo

Xu Wenkan

Xiaowen Xu

Mimi Yiengpruksawan

Leqi Yu

Li Yu

Zhansui Yu

Zhang Xing

Like Cambria Press on Facebook and
follow Cambria Press on Twitter to stay posted.

Cambria Press Publication Review – The Immortal Maiden Equal to Heaven and Other Precious Scrolls from Western Gansu

Congratulations to Professor Wilt Idema (Harvard University) on the great review of his book, The Immortal Maiden Equal to Heaven” and Other Precious Scrolls from Western Gansu.

Wilt Idema

The Journal of Chinese Religions praises the book, noting that “this addition to a growing body of premodern popular Chinese literature in translation, much of it also by Idema, is something to be celebrated. Books like these provide a welcome source of variety for those of us who regularly teach undergraduates and hope to broaden our students’ understanding of Chinese literature beyond the highlight reel of the Shijing, Tang poetry, and six great novels of the Ming and Qing. … there remains incredible value in making obscure, yet compelling, stories such as these available to non-native Chinese readers.”

This book is in the Cambria Sinophone World Series headed by Victor H. Mair (University of Pennsylvania).

Like Cambria Press on Facebook and
follow Cambria Press on Twitter to stay posted.