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#AsiaNow Speaks with Tania Murray Li

Tania Murray Li is Canada Research Chair in the Political-Economy and Culture of Asia and the Director of the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Toronto. Dr. Li is author of Land’s End: Capitalist Relations on an Indigenous Frontier, published by Duke University Press and winner of the 2017 AAS George McT. Kahin Book Prize (SE Asia). To begin with, please tell us what your book is about. Drawing on two decades of ethnographic research in Sulawesi, Indonesia, the book offers an intimate account of the emergence of capitalist relations among indigenous highlanders who privatized their common land to plant a boom crop, cacao. Spurred by the hope of ending their poverty and isolation, some prospered, while others lost their land and struggled to sustain their families. Yet the winners and losers in this transition were not strangers—they were kin and neighbors, increasingly caught up in a set of competitive, capitalist relations that imposed a stringent market discipline. My acc ...

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#AsiaNow Speaks with Anna M. Shields

Anna M. Shields is Professor of East Asian Studies at Princeton University and the author of One Who Knows Me: Friendship and Literary Culture in Mid-Tang China, published by Harvard Asia Center (2015) and winner of the 2017 AAS Honorable Mention for the Levenson Book Prize (pre-1900).   To begin with, please tell us what your book is about. My book explores mid-Tang [Dynasty] literature in order to understand the complex value mid-Tang writers discovered in friendship―as a rewarding social practice, a rich literary topic, a way to negotiate literati identity, and a path toward self-understanding. I look at the evolution of the performance of friendship in a wide range of genres, including letters, prefaces, exchange poetry, and funerary texts, and I translate and explicate dozens of texts. The book follows the life-course of mid-Tang literati men, from youthful competition in the exams through career vicissitudes to death and commemoration.   What inspired you to research this topic? I was ...

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New Titles from “Key Issues in Asian Studies”

In addition to its two periodicals, the Journal of Asian Studies and Education About Asia, the Association for Asian Studies publishes several book series, including “Key Issues in Asian Studies.” Edited by Lucien Ellington (University of Tennessee at Chattanooga), the “Key Issues in Asian Studies” series produces short texts intended for advanced high-school and undergraduate classroom use. We now have two new titles, as well as two revised and updated books, available for purchase:   NEW Chinese Literature: An Introduction, by Ihor Pidhainy In this brief yet thorough introduction to the key features and important names of Chinese literature, Ihor Pidhainy covers Chinese writings from oracle bones to the internet. Contextualizing the literature within political, historical and cultural frames, Prof. Pidhainy also provides a smorgasbord of examples from the authors noted. Written with a college freshman (or senior in high school) in mind, the book combines an introduction t ...

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