Category: Asian Studies

Forthcoming: “Memory in Folk Epics of China” by Anne E. McLaren

In pre-contemporary China, folk epics performed at village level helped create a sense of regional as opposed to national identity. This is the first book-length study in the West on the folk epics of the Han Chinese people, who are the majority population of China. These folk epics provide an unparalleled resource for understanding the importance of “the local” in...

Book Excerpt: “Staging for the Emperors” by Liana Chen

Much scholarly attention has been devoted to understanding the dynamics between the Qing court theatre and the burgeoning popular theatrical traditions outside the court. However, the insights drawn from recent studies have only begun to be applied to the analysis of dramas commissioned by the Qing court for various ceremonial occasions. Treating Qing dynasty court theatre as a unique site...

Forthcoming: “Chinese Poetry as Soul Summoning” by Nicholas Morrow Williams

With “Chinese Poetry as Soul Summoning,” Nicholas Morrow Williams has written a “masterful study of the Elegies of Chu (Chuci)” that looks at the soul of the soul (hun) and the soul-summoning ritual in Chinese literature from ancient times up to the twentieth century. Robert Egan of Stanford University writes: “This is a masterful study of the Elegies of Chu (Chuci), particularly...

Book Excerpt: “Taking China to the World” by Theodore Huters

The following is an excerpt from Taking China to the World: The Cultural Production of Modernity by Theodore Huters: In The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels characterized communism as a specter haunting late-nineteenth-century Europe, one whose leaders tried desperately to exorcise. For the past century of Chinese history, following the the pivotal cultural reform movement named after the...

Book Excerpt: “Sensing the Sinophone” by Astrid Møller-Olsen

Since the 1990s, extensive urbanization in East Asian has created a situation where more people identify themselves as citizens of the city they live in rather than their ancestral village or nation. At the same time, however, this new urban identity has been under attack from the constant threat of urban restructuring. Such rapidly changing cityscapes form environments of urban...

Forthcoming: “Calling for a New Renaissance” by Gao Xingjian

With “Calling for a New Renaissance,” the Nobel Laureate explores his primary aesthetic concerns of the past decade. He criticizes the influence of ideology on art and literature and calls for a new Renaissance that would generate truly innovative creations. Unprecedented in this book is Gao’s insight into how, despite being educated in the People’s Republic of China, he succeeded...

Book Excerpt: Yü Ying-Shih’s Time at Harvard

A leading authority in the field of Chinese Studies, Professor Yü Ying-shih (Princeton University) received the John W. Kluge Prize for Achievement in the Study of Humanity in 2006 and the inaugural Tang Prize in Sinology in 2014. In addition to his monumental scholarly contributions over six decades to the fields of Chinese history, thought, politics, and culture during which...

Book Excerpt: The Existentialist Vision of Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami has often been accused of being a feckless, merely popular writer, but in this study Michael Ackland demonstrates that this is not the case, arguing that Murakami has not only assimilated the existentialist heritage but innovatively changed and revitalized it, thereby placing exciting personal possibilities within the reach of his worldwide readership. The bulk of this monograph focuses...

Book Review: “Insects in Chinese Literature” by Wilt Idema

“Insects in Chinese Literature will appeal to many audiences: entomologists and insect lovers will find it delightful, while specialists in Chinese literature will appreciate the copious notes and careful documentation of each text’s provenance. The works included will enrich both the Chinese and the comparative literature classroom. Quirky and eclectic, this anthology is full of unexpected charms. … the translations of...

Winner of MLA Award: “A History of Taiwan Literature” by Ye Shitao (translated by Christopher Lupke)

Congratulations to Professor Christopher Lupke (University of Alberta) for winning the MLA Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for a Translation of a Scholarly Study of Literature for his translation of A History of Taiwan Literature by Ye Shitao (Yeh Shih-tao 葉石濤)! The following is an excerpt from the introduction: Ye Shitao was born on November 1, 1925, in Tainan, Taiwan, the...

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