Category Archives: Asian Art

June 2017 News, Reviews, and Events

News

We were thrilled to announce our 2017-2018 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowship recipients earlier this month. Please join us and the MIT Press, Duke University Press, the University of Georgia Press, and the Association of American University Presses (AAUP) in welcoming the 2017-2018 fellows and in congratulating the 2016-2017 fellows on their accomplishments, including securing full-time positions within scholarly publishing! Read the full press release.

We are delighted that Western Washington University’s Western Reads committee has chosen Tulalip, From My Heart: An Autobiographical Account of a Reservation Community by Harriette Shelton Dover, as their common book for the 2017–18 school year. The Western Reads common book selection is just one example of how communities and readers engage with the work we publish. Read more from the desk of the director.

Congratulations to American Sabor coauthor Michelle Habell-Pallán, awarded the 2017 Barclay Simpson Prize for Scholarship in Public!

Building the Golden Gate Bridge by Harvey Schwartz is 2017 San Francisco Book Festival runner-up in History. The book is also a 2017 Nautilus Silver Award Winner in Young Adult Non-Fiction. Congratulations to the author and all involved!

Book of the Month Giveaways

Enter to win one a book bundle or the new Western Reads book! (Open to US residents only.)

  1. Native American and Indigenous studies summer reading bundle (Entry form)
    1. Native Seattle by Coll Thrush
    2. Dismembered by David E. Wilkins and Shelly Hulse Wilkins
    3. Unlikely Alliances by Zoltán Grossman
    4. Network Sovereignty by Marisa Elena Duarte
    5. The Gift of Knowledge by Virginia R. Beavert, edited by Janne R. Underriner
  2. Tulalip, From My Heart by Harriette Shelton Dover (Entry form)

The giveaways will close on Friday, June 16, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. PT. Winners will be notified by Monday, June 19, 2017.

Reviews and Interviews

High Country News reviews and features photographs from Once and Future River by Tom Reese and essay by Eric Wagner (May 2017 print issue): “From the recovering chinook salmon to the manufacturing plants that turned the Duwamish into a Superfund site, the images in this book portray a dynamic river carrying its complex legacy into a difficult recovery.”—Rebecca Worby


Critical Inquiry reviews Zuo Tradition / Zuozhuan translated by Stephen Durrant, Wai-yee Li, and David Schaberg (5/1/17): “It is impossible to do justice to this monumental publication in a brief review; let me merely emphasize that these renowned translators, working as a trio, amount to even more than the sum of their parts because their strengths are complementary. No single human being could have handled so many aspects of this text . . . which is compact but rooted in three lifetimes of learning and reflection.”—Paul R. Goldin


The New Statesman reviews Ice Bear by Michael Engelhard (with Yoko Tawada’s Memoirs of a Polar Bear): “Beautifully illustrated.”—Tim Flannery

National Observer also reviews the book: “Lets compelling images and snips of history tell the tale of human projection onto the bear’s white furry screen.”—Carrie Saxifrage


TheKitchn features an article by A Year Right Here author Jess Thomson, as well as an adapted excerpt from the book. ParentMap features the book in a round-up of parenting books to read this summer: “While readers have front row seats to razor clamming on the Washington coast, truffle hunting in Oregon and a winery tour in British Columbia, it’s the way Thomson’s preparations are thwarted that make this book an interesting read.”—Nancy Schatz Alton


New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Word of Mouth” interviews Bike Battles author James Longhurst. La Crosse Tribune also features the book and author.


Humanities Washington blog features Nisei Daughter by Monica Sone in a round-up of prominent Washington literary books (5/11/17): “With perspective, humor, and understanding, Monica Sone describes growing up in Seattle in the 1930s, then being deported with thousands of other Japanese Americans during World War II. Her descriptions of the roundup, the move to the Puyallup fairgrounds, and life in the camps opened the hearts and eyes of her readers, and the book continues to urge Americans to be more decent to all its people.”—Dan Lamberton


Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown publishes an online excerpt of Mother’s Beloved by Outhine Bounyavong.


Seattle Times reviews Woodland by John Bierlein and staff of HistoryLink (dist. for HistoryLink / Woodland Park Zoo) in a round-up of new summer books (print edition): “An intriguing history and exploration of the challenges, innovations, lore and controversies surrounding Seattle’s zoo that will enrich your next zoo visits, this summer and beyond. . . . Full of superb photography.”—Brian J. Cantwell


New Books in History interviews The Social Life of Inkstones author Dorothy Ko (5/18/17): “Dorothy Ko’s new book is a must-read. . . . It is a masterful study that is equally sensitive to objects and texts as historical documents.”—Carla Nappi

New Books

Playing While White: Privilege and Power on and off the Field
By David J. Leonard

Whiteness matters in sports culture, both on and off the field. Offering critical analysis of athletic stars such as Johnny Manziel, Marshall Henderson, Jordan Spieth, Lance Armstrong, Josh Hamilton, as well as the predominantly white cultures of NASCAR and extreme sports, David Leonard identifies how whiteness is central to the commodification of athletes and the sports they play.


The Gift of Knowledge / Ttnuwit Atawish Nch’inch’imamí: Reflections on the Sahaptin Ways
By Virginia R. Beavert
Edited by Janne L. Underriner

The Gift of Knowledge / Ttnuwit Atawish Nch’inch’imamí is a treasure trove of material for those interested in Native American culture. Linguist and educator Beavert narrates highlights from her own life and presents cultural teachings, oral history, and stories (many in bilingual Ishishkíin-English format) about family life, religion, ceremonies, food gathering, and other aspects of traditional culture.


Dismembered: Tribal Disenrollment and the Battle for Human Rights
By David E. Wilkins and Shelly Hulse Wilkins

Since the 1990s, Native governments have been banishing, denying, or disenrolling citizens at an unprecedented rate. Nearly eighty nations, in at least twenty states, have terminated the rights of indigenous citizens. This first comprehensive examination of the origins of this disturbing trend looks at hundreds of tribal constitutions and interviews with disenrolled members and tribal officials to show the damage this practice is having across Indian Country and ways to address the problem.


Network Sovereignty: Building the Internet across Indian Country
By Marisa Elena Duarte

Given the significance of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to social and political life, many U.S. tribes and Native organizations have created their own projects, from streaming radio to building networks to telecommunications advocacy. Duarte examines these ICT projects to explore the significance of information flows and information systems to Native sovereignty, and toward self-governance, self-determination, and decolonization.


Unlikely Alliances: Native Nations and White Communities Join to Defend Rural Lands
By Zoltán Grossman
Foreword by Winona LaDuke

Unlikely Alliances explores the evolution from conflict to cooperation through place-based case studies in the Pacific Northwest, Northern Plains, Great Basin, and Great Lakes, from the 1970s to the 2010s. They suggest how a deep love of place can overcome the most bitter divides between Native and non-Native neighbors. In these times of polarized politics and globalized economies, many of these stories offer inspiration and hope.


Banaras Reconstructed: Architecture and Sacred Space in a Hindu Holy City
By Madhuri Desai

Between the late sixteenth and early twentieth centuries, Banaras, the iconic Hindu center in northern India that is often described as the oldest living city in the world, was reconstructed materially as well as imaginatively, and embellished with temples, monasteries, mansions, and ghats (riverfront fortress-palaces). Desai examines the confluences, as well as the tensions, that have shaped this complex and remarkable city.


Displaying Time: The Many Temporalities of the Festival of India
By Rebecca M. Brown

The U.S. Festival of India was conceived at a meeting between Indira Gandhi and Ronald Reagan to strengthen relations between the two countries at a time of late Cold War tensions and global economic change, when America’s image of India was as a place of desperate poverty and spectacular fantasy. Using extensive archival research and interviews with artists, curators, diplomats, and visitors, Rebecca Brown analyzes a selection of museum shows that were part of the Festival of India to unfurl new exhibitionary modes: the time of transformation, of interruption, of potential and the future, as well as the contemporary and the now.

Events

JUNE

June 10 at 7 p.m., John Bierlein, Woodland, Barnes and Noble, Federal Way, WA

June 10 at 5:30 p.m., Kathleen Alcalá, The Deepest Roots, Time Enough Books, Ilwaco, WA

June 11 at 3 p.m., Kathleen Alcalá, The Deepest Roots, with Iris Graville and Vicki Robin, Eagle Harbor Books, Bainbridge Island, WA

June 12 at 7 p.m., Judy Bentley, Walking Washington’s History, King County Library System – Issaquah, Issaquah, WA

June 15 at 6:30 p.m., James Longhurst, Bike Battles, Whitefish Bay Public Library, Milwaukee, WI

June 17 at 10 a.m., David B. Williams, Too High and Too Steep, Pacific Northwest Historians Guild, Guided walk of the Denny regrade, Seattle, WA (RSVP; $10-25)

June 20 at 5:30 p.m., Jennifer Ott, Waterway, Structural Engineers Association of Washington, SEAW Annual Spring Social & Awards, Seattle, WA (RSVP; $50)

June 21 at 12:30 p.m., Frederick L. Brown, The City Is More Than Human, Eagle Harbor Books, Bainbridge Island, WA

June 22 at 5:30 p.m., James Longhurst, Bike Battles, Bike/Walk Alliance for Missoula (BWAM), Bike History with BWAM at Imagine Nation Brewing, Missoula, MT

June 24 at 12:30 p.m., Jennifer Ott, Waterway, Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society, Ivar’s on Northlake, Seattle, WA

June 24 at 2 p.m., Judy Bentley, Walking Washington’s History, King County Library System – Enumclaw, Enumclaw, WA

June 24 at 2 p.m., David Berger, Razor Clams, Humanities Washington, Monroe Library, Monroe, WA

JULY

July 6 at 8 p.m. (Doors at 7 p.m.) STG & Tall Firs Cinema present Promised Land documentary screening at the Neptune Theater, Nights at the Neptune, with University Book Store, Seattle, WA (Press books will be on display; authors featured in documentary)

July 7-9, Eileen Bjorkman, The Propeller under the Bed, Arlington Fly-In, Arlington, WA

July 8 at 2 p.m., David B. Williams, Seattle Walks, King County Library System – Burien, Burien, WA

July 10 at 4 p.m., Paula Becker, Looking for Betty MacDonald, Historic Seattle and the Shoreline Historical Museum, Firland Sanatorium | CRISTA Ministries, Seattle, WA (RSVP)

July 11 at 7 p.m., Paula Becker, Looking for Betty MacDonald, Humanities Washington, Asotin County Library, Basalt Cellars Winery, Clarkston, WA

July 12 at 7 p.m., David B. Williams, Jennifer Ott, and staff of HistoryLink, Waterway, MOHAI, Seattle, WA ($15 general public / $10 members; RSVP)

July 13 at 7 p.m., Judy Bentley, Walking Washington’s History, King County Library System – Auburn, Auburn, WA

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‘What makes work meaningful?’: Q&A with ‘The Social Life of Inkstones’ author Dorothy Ko

The following interview originally appeared at Barnard News and is adapted and used with permission. (Courtesy of N. Jamiyla Chisholm, Barnard College, New York City.)


To honor Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, Barnard College professor of history Dorothy Ko offers a peek into ancient and modern-day Eastern culture and politics.

According to the Library of Congress, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month takes place in May for two reasons: May 7, 1843, marked the immigration of the first Japanese citizen to the U.S.; and on May 10, 1869, the transcontinental railroad was completed, mostly by Chinese immigrant workers.

Credit: Marvin Trachetenberg

Dorothy Ko explores the subjects of gender and body in early modern China. In her books, Ko unravels the complex worlds of Chinese footbinding (Cinderella’s Sisters: A Revisionist History of Footbinding), fashion (Every Step a Lotus: Shoes for Bound Feet), and feminism (Teachers of the Inner Chambers: Women and Culture in Seventeenth-Century China). Her latest, The Social Life of Inkstones: Artisans and Scholars in Early Qing China, introduces the West to the world of ancient Asian stones and includes close to 100 images (see slideshow below). Ko explains the significance of this highly specialized art form.

What exactly is an inkstone and what is its significance in East Asian culture?

An inkstone is a piece of polished stone about the size of an outstretched palm. Before the invention of fountain pens, let alone laptops and iPads, every student, writer, or painter in East Asia had to grind a fresh supply of ink at the desk by dipping an ink-stick in water and rubbing it on the surface of the stone. This process was as instinctive to them as recharging our iPhones is to us. Day in and day out, the writers and painters developed deep attachments to their implements. More than an instrument for writing, the inkstone was a collectible object of art, a father’s gift to his school-bound son, a token of friendship, and even a diplomatic gift between states.

Why is this tool so unfamiliar to Western civilizations when it has represented so much for the East for more than a millennium?

Europeans drew ink from an inkpot so they had no use for an ink-grinding stone. Nor did the early European collectors appreciate its subtle beauty as the Chinese connoisseurs did. The color of the inkstone tended to be deep purple or black; it is small and does not display well in a stately home or fancy apartment. So it is no wonder that there is no notable collection of inkstones in Europe or America.

Your book shines a light on craftswoman Gu Erniang who became famous for her inkstone-making skills, which were refined between the 1680s and 1730s. What made her such a standout?

Her extraordinary skills. Gu Erniang was a remarkable woman who thrived in a field dominated by men; she became more famous than her male colleagues. Her name was associated with technical and artistic innovations as well as refined taste. It is also interesting to mention that she enjoyed more gender freedom than her genteel sisters in that she could receive male patrons in her studio to discuss commissioned projects face-to-face.

How has the significance of inkstone artisans changed over time?

Gu Erniang was one of the first inkstone makers in China to attach her signature mark on her work, suggesting a heightened respect that exceptional artisans like her enjoyed. Today, because the inkstone is no longer a functional object, all inkstone artisans have to present themselves as creative artists.

What interests you most in this topic area and what are some of the biggest “ah ha!” moments you had conducting research for the book?

I love all the modern conveniences we enjoy but increasingly feel the need to look back and reassess the heavy price we pay for such “industrial development” or “progress.” I became interested in the craftsmen because theirs was a sustainable livelihood that was environmentally responsible. Through their eyes, I arrive at tentative answers to my big question at the moment: What makes work meaningful? The craftsman’s answer: Making one-of-a-kind objects with attention and skill in a collaborative environment. Craft makes us more human by inspiring us to strive for perfection.

How does the research conducted for this book connect to research from your previous publications on footbinding and Chinese feminism?

As a historian of gender, I’m sensitive to power inequalities and trained to analyze the operations of power. In the same way that I had retrieved women in Chinese history in my earlier books, I set out to retrieve the artisans from erasure in the hands of male scholars. Little did I know that the latter turned out to be a far more difficult project.

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Association for Asian Studies Conference Preview

From March 16-19, we will be attending the 2017 Association for Asian Studies (AAS) annual conference in Toronto, Canada.

Executive editor Lorri Hagman and advancement and grants manager Beth Fuget will be representing the press at the meeting. Come see us in the exhibit hall at booth 409 and follow along with the meeting on social media at #AAS2017.

We are thrilled to celebrate the debut of a number of new and recent titles across the range of our Asian Studies titles including offerings in our Classics of Chinese Thought translation series, the Global South Asia series, the Critical Dialogues in Southeast Asian Studies series, books in the Mellon-funded collaborative Modern Language Initiative (MLI), and these recent book prize winners:

The Emotions of Justice by Jisoo M. Kim is winner of the 2017 James B. Palais Book Prize from the Association for Asian Studies.


Letters and Epistolary Culture in Early Medieval China
by Antje Richter was awarded an honorable mention for the 2016 Kayden Book Award in literary studies.

New and Recent Books

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Read an excerpt from Zuo Tradition / Zuozhuan: Commentary on the “Spring and Autumn Annals”

Forthcoming from the Global South Asia series

Banaras Reconstructed: Architecture and Sacred Space in a Hindu Holy City
By Madhuri Desai
Forthcoming May 2017

Desai examines the confluences, as well as the tensions, that have shaped this complex and remarkable city. In so doing, she raises issues central to historical as well as contemporary
Indian identity and delves into larger questions about religious urban environments in South Asia.


Displaying Time: The Many Temporalities of the Festival of India

By Rebecca M. Brown
Forthcoming June 2017

Using extensive archival research and interviews with artists, curators, diplomats, and visitors, Brown analyzes a selection of museum shows that were part of the Festival of India to unfurl new exhibitionary modes: the time of transformation, of interruption, of potential and the future, as well as the contemporary and the now.

Now Available in Paperback

New in Art History and Visual Culture for CAA 2017

From February 15-18, we are excited to attend the annual conference of the College Art Association in New York, NY. Editor in chief Larin McLaughlin and advancement and grants manager Beth Fuget will be representing the Press, debuting several new books, and meeting with authors, publishing partners, and other professionals in the arts.

We are thrilled to introduce our recent and forthcoming titles in art history and visual culture at the meeting. Please stop by our booth (#206) to get a first look at our new offerings, and join the discussion on social media with #caa2017.

New and Recent Books

Migrating the Black Body: The African Diaspora and Visual Culture
Edited by Leigh Raiford and Heike Raphael-Hernandez

Migrating the Black Body explores how visual media—from painting to photography, from global independent cinema to Hollywood movies, from posters and broadsides to digital media, from public art to graphic novels—has shaped diasporic imaginings of the individual and collective self.

Forthcoming Books

The Hope of Another Spring: Takuichi Fujii, Artist and Wartime Witness
By Barbara Johns
Foreword by Roger Daniels
Introduction to the diary by Sandy Kita
Scott and Laurie Oki Series in Asian American Studies
Forthcoming May 2017

The Hope of Another Spring reveals the rare find of a heretofore unknown collection of art produced during World War II. The centerpiece of the collection is Fujii’s illustrated diary that historian Roger Daniels has called “the most remarkable document created by a Japanese American prisoner during the wartime incarceration.”

Sonny Assu: A Selective History
By Sonny Assu
With Candice Hopkins, Marianne Nicholson, Richard Van Camp, and Ellyn Walker
Forthcoming June 2017

Through large-scale installation, sculpture, photography,
printmaking, and painting, Sonny Assu
merges the aesthetics of Indigenous iconography
with a pop-art sensibility. This stunning retrospective
spans over a decade of Assu’s career, highlighting
more than 120 full-color works, including several
never-before-exhibited pieces.

Queering Contemporary Asian American Art
Edited by Laura Kina and Jan Christian Bernabe
Foreword by Susette Min
Afterword by Kyoo Lee
Jacob Lawrence Series on American Artists
Forthcoming May 2017

These artist interviews, cutting-edge visual artworks, and critical essays explore contemporary currents and experiences within Asian American art, including the multiple axes of race and identity; queer bodies and forms; kinship and affect; and digital identities and performances. Continue reading

Annual Conference on South Asia Preview

The 45th Annual Conference on South Asia takes place in Madison, Wisconsin, this week (October 20-23, 2016). We are thrilled to celebrate the publication of three new titles in the Global South Asia series.

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.

16-cosa-final-colorIf you are attending the meeting, we hope you will stop by booth #4 to check out our new and forthcoming titles in South Asian studies and to meet Executive Editor Lorri Hagman.

Read on for more information about our featured titles:

The Afterlife of Sai Baba: Competing Visions of a Global Saint
By Karline McLain

Karline McLain uses a wide range of sources to investigate the different ways that Sai Baba has been understood in South Asia and beyond, and the reasons behind his skyrocketing popularity among Hindus in particular for an entertaining and enlightening look at one of the world’s most popular spiritual gurus.

Sensitive Space: Fragmented Territory at the India-Bangladesh Border
By Jason Cons

Offering lessons for the study of enclaves, lines of control, restricted areas, gray spaces, and other geographic anomalies, Sensitive Space develops frameworks for understanding the persistent confusions of land, community, and belonging in the India-Bangladesh border zones.


The Gender of Caste: Representing Dalits in Print
By Charu Gupta

The Gender of Caste uses print as a critical tool to examine the depictions of Dalits by colonizers, nationalists, reformers, and Dalits themselves and shows how differentials of gender were critical in structuring patterns of domination and subordination.

Recent Award Winners in Asian Studies

Letters and Epistolary Culture in Early Medieval China
By Antje Richter

Honorable Mention for the 2016 Eugene M. Kayden Book Award


The World of a Tiny Insect: A Memoir of the Taiping Rebellion and Its Aftermath
By Zhang Daye
Translated by Xiaofei Tian

Winner of the 2016 Patrick D. Hanan Prize for Translation (China), Association for Asian Studies


Excavating the Afterlife: The Archaeology of Early Chinese Religion
By Guolong Lai

Honorable Mention in the Scholarly Category for the Society for American Archaeology Book Award

Exhibitions on View: ‘Conflicts of Interest’

We are delighted to present the catalog to accompany the exhibition, Conflicts of Interest: Art and War in Modern Japan, presented at the Saint Louis Art Museum from October 16, 2016 – January 8, 2017.

Conflicts of Interest showcases extraordinary visual material documenting Japan’s rise as a military power in East Asia, starting with the Meiji Restoration in 1868, then depicting events of the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) and the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), two wars between Japan and its imperial neighbors China and Russia, and then culminating with Pearl Harbor.

The exhibition is organized by the Saint Louis Art Museum and curated by Philip Hu, associate curator-in-charge of Asian Art, in collaboration with Rhiannon Paget, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow for Japanese Art. The corresponding book edited by Philip Hu features essays by Hu, Andreas Marks, Sonja Hotwagner, Sebastian Dobson, Rhiannon Paget, and Maki Kaneko; catalogue entries by Hu and Paget; and contributions by Sonja Hotwagner.

Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915),The Fall of Jinzhou Fortress: Private First Class Onoguchi Tokuji, 1895, published by Katada Chojiro (active late 19th-early 20th century), center panel of triptych of color woodblock prints, 121:2010b.

Kobayashi Kiyochika (1847-1915),The Fall of Jinzhou Fortress: Private First Class Onoguchi Tokuji, 1895, published by Katada Chojiro (active late 19th-early 20th century), center panel of triptych of color woodblock prints, 121:2010b.

In presenting highlights of this collection to the public, the Museum endeavors to foster understanding of the extraordinary art and visual culture of wartime Japan and the complex causes and repercussions of these conflicts, as well as reflect on the ways in which the images communicate, sometimes with devastating consequences, narratives and ideals of nation, empire, and ethnic identity.—From the foreword by Brent R. Benjamin, The Barbara B. Taylor Director, Saint Louis Art Museum

Continue reading

Exhibitions on View: ‘Bhupen Khakhar’

Bhupen

Khakhar painting “Paan Beedi Shop” at Documenta IX, Kassel, 1992. Photograph by Benjamin Katz.

“I think your own weakness should also be reflected in painting. One can’t hide oneself behind a painting. It is standing naked in front of everyone—what you are.”—Bhupen Khakhar, Arts Council of Great Britain, 1983

The University of Washington Press recently copublished Bhupen Khakhar: You Can’t Please All, edited by Chris Dercon and Nada Raza, with Tate Modern in London. The book accompanies an exhibition on display until November 6, 2016. Bringing together Khakhar’s paintings and some of his ceramics, Bhupen Khakhar: You Can’t Please All is a rare opportunity to discover Khakhar’s work and his inspirational story. Continue reading