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Through an innovative interdisciplinary reading and field research, Igor Chabrowski analyses the history of the development of opera in Sichuan, arguing that opera serves as a microcosm of the profound transformation of modern Chinese culture between the 18th century and 1950s. He investigates the complex path of opera over this course of history: exiting the temple festivals, becoming a public obsession on commercial stages, and finally being harnessed to partisan propaganda work. The book analyzes the process of cross-regional integration of Chinese culture and the emergence of the national opera genre. Moreover, opera is shown as an example of the culture wars that raged inside China’s popular culture.
Gender and Interiority in Chinese Painting and Poetry
This book is the winner of the 2020 Joseph Levenson Pre-1900 Book Prize, awarded by the Association for Asian Studies.

In Song Dynasty Figures of Longing and Desire, Lara Blanchard analyzes images of women in painting and poetry of China’s middle imperial period, focusing on works that represent female figures as preoccupied with romance. She discusses examples of visual and literary culture in regard to their authorship and audience, examining the role of interiority in constructions of gender, exploring the rhetorical functions of romantic images, and considering connections between subjectivity and representation. The paintings in particular have sometimes been interpreted as simple representations of the daily lives of women, or as straightforward artifacts of heteroerotic desire; Blanchard proposes that such works could additionally be interpreted as political allegories, representations of the artist’s or patron’s interiorities, or models of idealized femininity.
The Legend of Giō and Hotoke in Japanese Literature, Theater, Visual Arts, and Cultural Heritage
Dancer, Nun, Ghost, Goddess explores the story of the dancers Giō and Hotoke, which first appeared in the fourteenth-century narrative Tale of the Heike. The story of the two love rivals is one of loss, female solidarity, and Buddhist salvation. Since its first appearance, it has inspired a stream of fiction, theatrical plays, and visual art works. These heroines have become the subjects of lavishly illustrated hand scrolls, ghosts on the noh stage, and Buddhist and Shinto goddesses. Physical monuments have been built to honor their memories; they are emblems of local pride and centerpieces of shared identity. Two beloved characters in the Japanese literary imagination, Giō and Hotoke are also models that have instructed generations of women on how to survive in a male-dominated world.
Books of Fate and Popular Culture in Early China is a comprehensive introduction to the manuscripts known as daybooks, examples of which have been found in Warring States, Qin, and Han tombs (453 BCE–220 CE). Their main content concerns hemerology, or “knowledge of good and bad days.” Daybooks reveal the place of hemerology in daily life and are invaluable sources for the study of popular culture.
Eleven scholars have contributed chapters examining the daybooks from different perspectives, detailing their significance as manuscript-objects intended for everyday use and showing their connection to almanacs still popular in Chinese communities today as well as to hemerological literature in medieval Europe and ancient Babylon.
Contributors include: Marianne Bujard, László Sándor Chardonnens, Christopher Cullen, Donald Harper, Marc Kalinowski, Li Ling, Liu Lexian, Alasdair Livingstone, Richard Smith, Alain Thote, and Yan Changgui.
The Sung Home tells the story of Kurdish singer-poets (dengbêjs) in Kurdistan in Turkey, who are specialized in the recital singing of historical songs. After a long period of silence, they returned to public life in the 2000s and are presented as guardians of history and culture. Their lyrics, life stories, and live performances offer fascinating insights into cultural practices, local politics and the contingencies of state borders. Decades of oppression have deeply politicized and moralized cultural and musical production. Through in-depth ethnographic analysis Hamelink highlights the variety of personal and social narratives within a society in turmoil. Set within the larger global stories of modernity, nationalism, and Orientalism, this study reflects on different ideas about what it means to create a Kurdish home.
Aesthetic Afterlives of the Cultural Revolution
Author:
Tapestry of Light offers an account of the psychic, intellectual, and cultural aftermath of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Drawing on a wide range of works including essay, fiction, memoir, painting and film, the book explores links between history, trauma and haunting. Challenging the leftist currents in Cultural Revolution scholarship, the tone pervading the book is a rhythm of melancholia, indeterminacy but also hope. Huang demonstrates that aesthetic afterlives resist both the conservative nostalgia for China’s revolutionary past as well as China’s elated, false confidence in the market-driven future.

Huang engages with prominent Chinese intellectuals, writers, artists and filmmakers, including Ba Jin, Han Shaogong, Hong Ying, Zhang Xiaogang, Jiang Wen and Ann Hui.
Contemporary Japanese Horror Cinema
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Over the last two decades, Japanese filmmakers have produced some of the most important and innovative works of cinematic horror. At once visually arresting, philosophically complex, and politically charged, films by directors like Tsukamoto Shinya (Tetsuo: The Iron Man [1988] and Tetsuo II: Body Hammer [1992]), Sato Hisayasu (Muscle [1988] and Naked Blood [1995]) Kurosawa Kiyoshi (Cure [1997], Séance [2000], and Kaïro [2001]), Nakata Hideo (Ringu [1998], Ringu II [1999], and Dark Water [2002]), and Miike Takashi (Audition [1999] and Ichi the Killer [2001]) continually revisit and redefine the horror genre in both its Japanese and global contexts. In the process, these and other directors of contemporary Japanese horror film consistently contribute exciting and important new visions, from postmodern reworkings of traditional avenging spirit narratives to groundbreaking works of cinematic terror that position depictions of radical or ‘monstrous’ alterity/hybridity as metaphors for larger socio-political concerns, including shifting gender roles, reconsiderations of the importance of the extended family as a social institution, and reconceptualisations of the very notion of cultural and national boundaries.
Volume Editors: and
This volume analyzes mediated articulations of “cosmopatriotism” in East and South-East Asian popular cultures and arts. Cosmopatriots navigate between a loyalty to the home country and a sense of longing for and belonging to the world. Rather than searching for the truly globalized cosmopolitans, the authors of this collection look for the postcolonial, rooted cosmopolitans who insist on thinking and feeling simultaneously beyond and within the nation. The cultural sites they discuss include Hong Kong, Indonesia, China, Singapore, the United States, South Korea and Australia. They show how media from both sides of the arbitrary divide between high art and popular culture – including film, literature, the fine arts, radio, music, television and mobile phones – function as vehicles for the creation and expression of, or reflection upon, intersections between patriotism and cosmopolitanism.
Writing, Nation and Communalism
Volume Editors: and
The debate over whether religious or secular identities provide the most viable model for a wider national identity has been a continuous feature of Indian politics from the late nineteenth century to the present day. Moreover, in the last thirty years the increasingly communal articulation of popular politics and the gradual rise of a constellation of Hindu nationalist parties headed by the BJP has increased the urgency of this debate. While Indian writing in English has fostered a long tradition of political dissent, and has repeatedly questioned ethnocentric, culturally exclusive forms of political identification, few critics have considered how this literature engages directly with communalism, or charted the literary-political response to key events such as the Babri Masjid / Ramjanmabhumi affair and the recent growth of popular forms of Hindu nationalism.
The essays collected in Alternative Indias break new ground in studies of Indian literature and film by discussing how key authors offer contending, ‘alternative’ visions of India and how poetry, fiction and film can revise both the communal and secular versions of national belonging that define current debates about ‘Indianness’. Including contributions from international scholars distinguished in the field of South Asian literary studies, and featuring an informative introduction charting the parallel developments of writing, the nation and communal consciousness, Alternative Indias offers a fresh perspective on the connections and discontinuities between culture and politics in the world’s biggest democracy.
This book looks at a sector of black and Asian British film and television as it presented itself in the 1990s and early 2000s. For this period, a ‘mainstreaming’ of black and Asian British film has been observed in criticism and theory and articulated by an increasing number of practitioners themselves, referring to changing modes of production, distribution and reception and implying a more popular and commercial orientation of certain media products. This idea is a leitmotif for the authors’ readings of recent films and examples of television drama, including such diverse products as Young Soul Rebels and Babymother, East Is East and Bend It Like Beckham, The Buddha of Suburbia and White Teeth. These analyses are supplemented with a look at earlier landmark productions (like Pressure) as well as relevant social, institutional and aesthetic frameworks. The book closes with a selection of statements by black and Asian media practitioners who operate from within Britain’s cultural industries: Mike Phillips, Horace Ové, Julian Henriques, Parminder Vir and Gurinder Chadha.