Annual Conference on South Asia Preview

The Annual Conference on South Asia takes place in Madison, Wisconsin this week (October 22-25) and UW Press is thrilled to mark the publication of the first book in the Global South Asia series, A Place for Utopia: Urban Designs from South Asia, with a book signing with author Smriti Srinivas.

Edited by Padma Kaimal, Kalyanakrishnan (Shivi) Sivaramakrishnan, and Anand A. Yang, Global South Asia draws on humanities, social sciences, and interdisciplinary approaches to examine the ways in which South Asia is and has been global and shaping the world. Learn more in the series flyer.

If you are attending the meeting, we hope you will stop by booth #7 to check out our new and forthcoming titles in South Asian studies and beyond and to meet UW Press Executive Editor Lorri Hagman.

Read on for more information about the scheduled book signing and a few featured titles.

Book Signing with Smriti Srinivas

Saturday, October 24 at 5:30 p.m., Booth #7

A Place for Utopia: Urban Designs from South Asia
By Smriti Srinivas

This first book in the Global South Asia series connects utopian imaginaries and practices from South Asia in the early 20th century and present with a global history of urbanisms.

From the vitalist urban plans of the Scottish polymath Patrick Geddes in India to the Theosophical Society in Madras and the ways in which it provided a context for a novel South Indian garden design; from the visual, textual, and ritual designs of Californian Vedanta from the 1930s to the present; to the spatial transformations associated with post-1990s highways and rapid transit systems in Bangalore that are shaping an emerging “Indian New Age” of religious and somatic self-styling, Srinivas tells the story of contrapuntal histories, the contiguity of lives, and resonances between utopian worlds that are generative of designs for cultural alternatives and futures.

Recent Award Winners in Asian Studies

Puer Tea: Ancient Caravans and Urban Chic
By Jinghong Zhang

Winner of the 2015 ICAS Book Prize in the Social Sciences

Puer Tea tells the story of how the ancient leaf’s noble lineage and unique process of aging and fermentation was rediscovered in the 1990s, helping it achieve cult status both in China and internationally. The tea became a favorite among urban connoisseurs who analyzed it in language comparable to that used in wine appreciation and paid skyrocketing prices.

In 2007, however, local events and the international economic crisis caused the Puer market to collapse. Anthropologist Jinghong Zhang traces the rise, climax, and crash of this phenomenon. With ethnographic attention to the spaces in which Puer tea is harvested, processed, traded, and consumed, she constructs a vivid account of the transformation of a cottage handicraft into a major industry–with predictable risks and unexpected consequences.

Bodies in Balance: The Art of Tibetan Medicine
Edited by Theresia Hofer
Published with Rubin Museum of Art

2015 ICAS Best Art Book Accolade, Humanities

Bodies in Balance is the first comprehensive, interdisciplinary exploration of the triangular relationship among the Tibetan art and science of healing (Sowa Rigpa), Buddhism, and arts and crafts. Generously illustrated with more than 200 images, this book includes essays on the history, theory, and practice of Tibetan medicine.

“We get an even larger understanding of [Tibetan medicine]—including a discussion of contemporary Tibetan pharmacology, the history of Tibetan surgery and the global influence of Tibetan healing—in the imposing exhibition catalog, edited by Ms. Hofer.”
—Edward Rothstein, The New York Times