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Nueva Bibliografía de la Association for Asian Studies

The AAS is excited to announce publication of the following titles in its “Key Issues” and “Asia Past & Present” and series.


“Key Issues” books are designed for use in undergraduate humanities and social science courses, as well as by advanced high-school students and teachers, and anyone with an interest in Asia.


New: “TRADITIONAL CHINA IN ASIAN AND WORLD HISTORY” (by Tansen Sen and Victor Mair). “Victor Mair and Tansen Sen have provided an account of China’s engagement with the Eurasian world around it that is succinct, accessible, and masterful. They demonstrate how—from their Neolithic origins through Zheng He’s fifteenth century voyages across maritime Asia—the Chinese were constantly interacting with their neighbors, through warfare, diplomacy, religious pilgrimages, trade, the accounts of travelers, and the translation of foreign books . . . a valuable addition to the literature on Chinese history in a global context.” (John W. Chaffee, SUNY Binghamton)


New: “KOREA IN WORLD HISTORY” (by Donald N. Clark). “Donald Clark does a masterful job of situating the entire sweep of Korean history in its global context thus belying the shop worn stereotype of Korea as a ‘hermit nation.’ Clark uses his mastery of both medieval and modern history to vividly describe the often ignored contributions of this fascinating society to East Asian civilization writ large. His concise chapter arrangement and lively narrative writing pulls the reader into the Korean story while showing just how relevant that story is, particularly in modern times, for an American readership.” (Michael Robinson, Indiana University)


New: “ZEN PAST AND PRESENT” (by Eric Cunningham).A concise but comprehensive survey of the history of Zen Buddhism. Because it examines Zen from historical, religious, literary, artistic, and political standpoints, Zen Past and Present is an ideal supplemental text for a wide variety of disciplines. Zen Past and Present covers the evolution of Zen thought and practice from the foundations of Buddhism in ancient India up to the most recent interpretations of Zen in the contemporary postmodern world.

“JAPANESE POPULAR CULTURE AND GLOBALIZATION” (by William M. Tsutsui) is the only concise overview of Japan’s phenomenal impact on world pop culture available in English. Surveying Japanese forms from anime (animation) and manga (comic books) to monster movies and Hello Kitty products, this volume is an accessible introduction to Japan’s pop creativity and its appeal worldwide. “Hardcore student fans, bewildered teachers, and clueless scholars will all benefit from the way William Tsutsui makes sense of the diverse styles, narratives and images surfacing in manga, anime, TV drama, music, and cinema. Professor Tsutsui’s engaging guide to some of the most important themes, historical threads, and scholarly theories found in such a vast cultural domain is guaranteed to charm readers and to enhance our appreciation of its irresistible appeal and global reach” (Laura Miller, University of Missouri-St. Louis).


“JAPAN AND IMPERIALISM, 1853–1945” (by James L. Huffman). This lively narrative tells the story of Japan’s experience with imperialism and colonialism, looking first at Japan’s responses to Western threats in the nineteenth century, then at Japan’s activities as Asia’s only imperialist power. Using a series of human vignettes as lenses, Japan and Imperialism examines the motivations—strategic, nationalist, and economic—that led to imperial expansion and the impact expansion had on both national policies and personal lives. “This concise and readable introduction to a complex subject—the rise and fall of Japan as an imperialist power—will be a splendid addition to the reading list of any course on modern Japanese history. Teachers will appreciate Huffman’s ability to raise key issues of analysis and interpretation, and students will appreciate his ability to discuss them with clear and lively prose” (Peter Duus, William H. Bonsall Professor of Japanese History, Emeritus, Stanford University).


“By focusing on traders, missionaries, warriors, and adventurers, the four types of agents who are responsible for globalizing processes, ‘GLOBAL INDIA CIRCA 100 CE: SOUTH ASIA IN EARLY WORLD HISTORY’ (by Richard H. Davis) brings analytical coherence and clarity to an unwieldy subject matter. An entertaining introduction to India’s international interactions and conceptions that will greatly benefit teachers and students of world history as well as ancient Asia” (Cynthia Talbot, University of Texas at Austin).


“CASTE IN INDIA” (by Diane Mines). “Diane Mines has produced a clear and compelling introduction to one of the world’s most complex and misunderstood social systems. This booklet offers an exhaustive overview of the anthropology and history of caste based on extensive reading and over two decades of ethnographic research in rural South India. It also speaks to the wider political and economic dimensions of caste as it is lived and debated in India today. Caste in India will be a most welcome addition to introductory courses in anthropology, history, sociology, geography, and political science” (Bernard Bate, Yale University).


Updated and Reprinted in 2012: Concise yet comprehensive, “UNDERSTANDING EAST ASIA’S ECONOMIC ‘MIRACLES’” (by Zhiqun Zhu) is the perfect introduction to the political economy of East Asia for undergraduate and advanced high school classes. Zhu’s analysis of the economic ‘miracles’ of Japan, South Korea, China and Taiwan takes into account both domestic factors and the international environment, and is sensitive to the similarities as well as differences between the developmental experiences of these nations. Zhu raises important related issues such as the connections between economic development and democratization, the relative economic contributions of the state and the market, and the portability of the East Asian developmental model. A glossary of abbreviations, timeline, and extensive bibliography add to the pedagogical values of this booklet (Robert Y. Eng, University of Redlands, ASIANetwork Board of Directors).


“POLITICAL RIGHTS IN POST-MAO CHINA” (by Merle Goldman) provides an engaging overview of political changes in China in the later decades of the twentieth-century and early years of the twenty-first century, highlighting the growing rights consciousness movement among China’s citizens. “This is a wonderfully accessible overview of the highly charged debates (among Chinese and Westerners alike) concerning political rights in contemporary China. Merle Goldman’s informative booklet has much to say to scholars and advanced graduate students in the field of Asian studies, but its greatest use is likely to be in college and high school classrooms. Professor Goldman has performed an invaluable service in supplying to students and their teachers a clear and compelling account of China’s impassioned struggles over the meaning and practice of citizenship” (Elizabeth J. Perry, Harvard University).


Updated and Reprinted in 2011: “GENDER, SEXUALITY AND BODY POLITICS IN MODERN ASIA” (by Michael Peletz) addresses topics of importance for students and scholars of multiple disciplines—including anthropology, sociology, gender studies, Asian studies, religion, geography, political science, and history. “Peletz’s book addresses topics of the highest significance for multiple disciplines, effectively linking gender issues and gendered identities to many other matters of current and enduring import across Asia—including public health, violence, industrialization, and media. Peletz has made an extraordinary effort to do justice to multiple complexities while delivering a wonderfully succinct and lucid text” (Ann Grodzins Gold, Syracuse University).



A scholarly book series from AAS. “Asia Past & Present” books are fully refereed and selected on the basis of exemplary, original, and enduring scholarship.


New: “SCATTERED GODDESSES: TRAVELS WITH THE YOGINIS” (by Padma Kaimal). This is a book about the lost home, the new homes, and the journeys in between of nineteen sculptures that now reside in at least twelve separate museums across North America, Western Europe, and South India. After piecing together what these goddesses and their former companions might have meant when they were together in tenth-century South India, Kaimal traces them into the hands of private collectors and public museums as these objects became more thoroughly separated from each other with each transaction. In the process of export and purchase, and in the hostile as well as loving receptions these sculptures received within South Asia, she finds that collecting and scattering were the same activity experienced from different points of view.


New: “MEMORY, VIOLENCE, QUEUES: LU XUN INTERPRETS CHINA” (by Eva Shan Chou). A new look at the writer whose name is synonymous with the radical newness of modern Chinese literature. It identifies key moments in Lu Xun’s creative development and places them in the context of the turbulent era in which China became a republic. The result is a fresh and nuanced interpretation of a range of works, from fiction and essays to classical poems. The analyses highlight the writer’s engagement with epochal political events—the discarding of the queue style of hair, the failed monarchical restoration of Zhang Xun, the Five Martyrs incident of the leftist literary movement, and the parallel movement in art.


New: “SOUTH ASIAN TEXTS IN HISTORY: CRITICAL ENGAGEMENTS WITH SHELDON POLLOCK” (edited by Yigal Bronner, Whitney Cox, and Lawrence McCrea). “This volume will make a signal contribution to the modern study of South Asia by engaging on many levels with the ideas of a scholar who has revolutionized our understanding of Indian cultural history. Pollock has generated hypotheses of enormous scope and great boldness; it is only right and natural that these have sparked controversy and criticism, and this volume reveals the richness of the debate that has developed.” (David Shulman, Hebrew University of Jerusalem)


“BEATING DEVILS AND BURNING THEIR BOOKS: VIEWS OF CHINA, JAPAN, AND THE WEST” (edited by Anthony E. Clark). Following works such as Edward Said’s Orientalism and John Dower’s War Without Mercy, this important volume seeks to continue needed dialogue regarding how China, Japan, and the West have historically viewed and represented each other. “A marvelous collection of insightful analysis on topics ranging from the Chinese picturesque in 19th-century Britain, to the twisted spirituality of Brad Warner’s Hardcore Zen, to the representation of missionaries in China as baby-eaters and beasts, Beating Devils and Burning their Books illustrates the tendency to exaggerate radical difference—both positive and negative—that is part of the complex interaction that makes up cultural exchange” (Wendy Larson, University of Oregon).


Written by leading East Asia specialists, librarians, and scholars, “COLLECTING ASIA: EAST ASIAN LIBRARIES IN NORTH AMERICA, 1868–2008” (edited by Peter X. Zhou) is an essential book for all scholars of East Asia, as well as libraries and East Asia centers. This unique book offers a vibrant and fascinating look at the development of twenty-five major East Asian libraries in North America and the pioneers who helped shape them. “This extraordinarily important volume provides us with a unique look at the events and people that shaped the major collections of East Asian materials in North America. . . Richly illustrated and engagingly written, Collecting Asia will appeal to scholars, librarians, students, and anyone with an interest in Asia and the history behind these important collections” (Martha Ann Selby, University of Texas at Austin).


An essential book for scholars of East Asian history, “PRESCRIBING COLONIZATION: THE ROLE OF MEDICAL PRACTICES AND POLICIES IN JAPAN-RULED TAIWAN, 1895–1945” (by Michael Shiyung Liu) addresses the impact of Western-influenced Japanese medicine on medical practices in Taiwan during Japanese colonial rule and examines the role colonial medicine played in Japanese empire building. “Through this vivid analysis of the institutions, people, and ideals of Japanese state medicine in the ‘model colony’ of Taiwan, Prescribing Colonization clearly reveals the commonalities and contrasts between Asian and European imperialisms. Prescribing Colonization is a vital contribution to the global history of colonial medicine, while scholars of twentieth-century East Asia will find within its pages a key to understanding the successes and failures of the Japanese empire” (Ruth Rogaski, Vanderbilt University).


“TO DIE AND NOT DECAY: AUTOBIOGRAPHY AND THE PURSUIT OF IMMORTALITY IN EARLY CHINA” (by Matthew V. Wells) is the only book-length study to date on early Chinese autobiographical writing and the cultural issues surrounding this particular genre. “Without a doubt, specialists in Chinese medieval history, literature, religion, and culture will be delighted with this book. It will have an important effect on our views of medieval China and the texts that it produced” (Keith N. Knapp, The Citadel).


A CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title, “MODERN SHORT FICTION OF SOUTHEAST ASIA: A LITERARY HISTORY” (edited by Teri Shaffer Yamada) surveys the historical and cultural significance of modern short fiction in nine Southeast Asian nations—Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines. “This is a delightful collection of essays that demonstrate that artful writing in Southeast Asia is still very much alive and kicking. In all the countries of the region short stories obviously are the predominant literary form in which authors not only explore the vigor of their national languages but also give often painful evidence of the central issues in their societies, as befits the public intellectuals they are. And for those who are in search of Southeast Asia, this book should serve as an outstanding and challenging guide” (Hendrik Maier, University of California, Riverside).


“TOOLS OF CULTURE: JAPAN’S CULTURAL, INTELLECTUAL, MEDICAL, AND TECHNOLOGICAL CONTACTS IN EAST ASIA, 1100s–1500s” (edited by Andrew Edmund Goble, Kenneth R. Robinson, and Haruko Wakabayashi) addresses aspects of Japanese human and material interactions in East Asia from the late eleventh through the late sixteenth centuries, a period coincident with Japan’s late classical and medieval eras. “. . . offers refreshing, important new perspectives on the production and reproduction of medieval Japanese culture, taken in the context of the international and transnational processes of travel, trade, and interaction with contemporary Korea, China, the Mongols, and the Arab world. The authors’ focus on the materiality of culture as embodied in the movement of pilgrims, proselytizers and traders, of the texts they carried to Japan as physical objects and as objects of possession, of the new temple complexes they constructed and religious practices they introduced, of ceramics and other trade goods, and of medical and other forms of knowledge, reframes the cultural milieux of medieval Japan in productive contexts that will enrich our understanding and recast our agendas of research” (Ronald P. Toby, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).


For a full list of AAS publications, please visit


Call for Manuscripts: AAS members interested in having their work published in the “Asia Past & Present” series should view the “Call for Manuscripts” at


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Association for Asian Studies
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