New Books Network

Roxann Prazniak, “Sudden Appearances: The Mongol Turn in Commerce, Belief, and Art” (U Hawaii Press 2019)
The “Mongol turn” in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries forged new political, commercial, and religious circumstances in Eurasia. This legacy can be found in the “sudden appearances” of common themes, styles, motifs, and even pigments that circulated across the continents. Drawing on visual as well as textual sources from eight... Read More
Chiara Formichi, “Islam and Asia: A History” (Cambridge UP, 2020)
Challenging the geographical narrative of the history of Islam, Chiara Formichi’s new book Islam and Asia: A History (Cambridge University Press, 2020), helps us to rethink how we tell the story of Islam and the lived expressions of Muslims without privileging certain linguistic, cultural, and geographic realities. Focusing on themes... Read More
Katarzyna J. Cwiertka, “Branding Japan’s Food: From Meibutsu to Washoku” (U Hawaii Press, 2020)
Katarzyna J. Cwiertka and Yasuhara Miho’s Branding Japan’s Food: From Meibutsu to Washoku (University of Hawaii Press, 2020) explores historical and contemporary practices of place branding through food in Japan. The book’s narrative centers on the event that precipitated its writing, namely, the 2013 addition of “Washoku, traditional dietary cultures... Read More
Ben Nobbs-Thiessen, “Landscape of Migration: Mobility and Environmental Change on Bolivia’s Tropical Frontier, 1952 to the Present” (UNC Press, 2020)
Landscape of Migration: Mobility and Environmental Change on Bolivia’s Tropical Frontier, 1952 to the Present (UNC Press, 2020), traces the entwined histories of Andean, Mennonite, and Okinawan migrants to Amazonian Bolivia during the twentieth century, exploring how each of these communities forged and contested the landscape of agrarian citizenship in... Read More
Alexander Bukh, “These Islands Are Ours” (Stanford UP, 2020)
Alexander Bukh’s These Islands Are Ours: The Social Construction of Territorial Disputes in Northeast Asia (Stanford University Press 2020) provides critical historical perspective on the social construction of territorial disputes between Japan and its neighbors in Northeast Asia. In his analysis of Japan’s rows over the “Northern Territories” (with Russia),... Read More
Diana Fu, “Mobilizing Without the Masses: Control and Contention in China” (Cambridge UP, 2017)
When advocacy organizations are forbidden from rallying people to take to the streets, what do they do? Diana Fu’s nuanced ethnography of Chinese labor organizations demonstrates how grassroots non-governmental organizations (NGOs) mobilize under repressive political conditions. Instead of facilitating collective action through public protests or strikes, Fu demonstrates how Chinese... Read More
Jeffrey Wasserstrom, “Vigil: Hong Kong on the Brink” (Columbia Global Reports, 2020)
This podcast was recorded on May 21st, 2020 – the same day that the Chinese government proposed new national security laws that would give China greater control over Hong Kong. What motivates these laws and what is at stake for Hong Kong, China, and the rest of the world if... Read More
Johan Elverskog, “The Buddha’s Footprint: An Environmental History of Asia” (U Penn Press, 2020)
Challenging the popular image of Buddhism as a religion intrinsically concerned with the environment, Dr. John Elverskog’s new monograph, The Buddha’s Footprint: An Environmental History of Asia (University of Pennsylvania Press 2020), demonstrates that Buddhist institutions across Asia have actually been intimately connected to the accumulation of wealth, the consumption... Read More
Julia C. Strauss, “State Formation in China and Taiwan: Bureaucracy, Campaign, and Performance” (Cambridge UP, 2019)
State Formation in China and Taiwan: Bureaucracy, Campaign, and Performance (Cambridge University Press, 2019) by Julia C. Strauss is a comparative study of regime consolidation in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (Taiwan) after 1949. It examines the ways in which bureaucratic and campaign modalities... Read More