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What is video game culture and video games as culture? Culture at Play avoids easy answers and deceitful single definitions. Instead, the collected essays included here navigate the messy and exciting waters of video games, of culture, and of the meeting of video games and culture, and do so from four perspectives: Players: Types and Identities; The Human/The Machine: Agents, Ethics, and Affect; Compassion, Recognition, and the Interpersonal; and Learning through Play. As a form of play, video games can greatly affect our lives. As digital objects, they participate in our digital lives. As both, they have a noticeable impact on our relationships with others, with society, and with ourselves, and this is the scope of this book.
Author: Julian Meyrick
In Australian Theatre after the New Wave, Julian Meyrick charts the history of three ground-breaking Australian theatre companies, the Paris Theatre (1978), the Hunter Valley Theatre (1976-94) and Anthill Theatre (1980-94). In the years following the controversial dismissal of Gough Whitlam’s Labor government in 1975, these ‘alternative’ theatres struggled to survive in an increasingly adverse economic environment. Drawing on interviews and archival sources, including Australia Council files and correspondence, the book examines the funding structures in which the companies operated, and the impact of the cultural policies of the period. It analyses the changing relationship between the artist and the State, the rise of a managerial ethos of ‘accountability’, and the growing dominance of government in the fate of the nation’s theatre. In doing so, it shows the historical roots of many of the problems facing Australian theatre today.

“This is an exceptionally timely book... In giving a history of Australian independent theatre it not only charts the amazing rise and strange disappearance of an energetic, radical and dynamically democratic artistic movement, but also tries to explain that rise and fall, and how we should relate to it now.”
Prof. Justin O’Connor, Monash University

“This study makes a significant contribution to scholarship on Australian theatre and, more broadly… to the global discussion about the vexed relationship between artists, creativity, government funding for the arts and cultural policy.”
Dr. Gillian Arrighi, The University of Newcastle, Australia
The concept of friendship is more easily valued than it is described: this volume brings together reflections on its meaning and practice in a variety of social and cultural settings in history and in the present time, focusing on Asia and the Western, Euro-American world.
The extension of the group in which friendship is recognized, and degrees of intimacy (whether or not involving an erotic dimension) and genuine appreciation may vary widely. Friendship may simply include kinship bonds—solidarity being one of its more general characteristics. In various contexts of travelling, migration, and a dearth of offspring, friendship may take over roles of kinship, also in terms of care.
This volume explores the complex aesthetic, cultural, and memory politics of urban representation and reconfiguration in neo-Victorian discourse and practice. Through adaptations of traditional city tropes – such as the palimpsest, the labyrinth, the femininised enigma, and the marketplace of desire – writers, filmmakers, and city planners resurrect, preserve, and rework nineteenth-century metropolises and their material traces while simultaneously Gothicising and fabricating ‘past’ urban realities to serve present-day wants, so as to maximise cities’ potential to generate consumption and profits. Within the cultural imaginary of the metropolis, this volume contends, the nineteenth century provides a prominent focalising lens that mediates our apperception of and engagement with postmodern cityscapes. From the site of capitalist romance and traumatic lieux de mémoire to theatre of postcolonial resistance and Gothic sensationalism, the neo-Victorian city proves a veritable Proteus evoking myriad creative responses but also crystallising persistent ethical dilemmas surrounding alienation, precarity, Othering, and social exclusion.
This book starts with a consideration of a 1997 issue of the New Yorker that celebrated fifty years of Indian independence, and goes on to explore the development of a pattern of performance and performativity in contemporary Indian fiction in English (Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy and Vikram Chandra). Such fiction, which constructs identity through performative acts, is built around a nomadic understanding of the self and implies an evolution of narrative language towards performativity whereby the text itself becomes nomadic. A comparison with theatrical performance (Peter Brook’s Mahabharata and Girish Karnad’s ‘theatre of roots’) serves to support the argument that in both theatre and fiction the concepts of performance and performativity transform classical Indian mythic poetics. In the mythic symbiosis of performance and storytelling in Indian tradition within a cyclical pattern of estrangement from and return to the motherland and/or its traditions, myth becomes a liberating space of consciousness, where rigid categories and boundaries are transcended.
Japanese Colonial Literature in Taiwan and Manchuria
Author: Ying Xiong
In Representing Empire Ying Xiong examines Japanese-language colonial literature written by Japanese expatriate writers in Taiwan and Manchuria. Drawing on a wide range of Japanese and Chinese sources, Representing Empire reveals not only a nuanced picture of Japanese literary terrain but also the interplay between imperialism, nationalism, and Pan-Asianism in the colonies.

While the existing literature on Japanese nationalism has largely remained within the confines of national history, by using colonial literature as an example, Ying Xiong demonstrates that transnational forces shaped Japanese nationalism in the twentieth century.

With its multidisciplinary and comparative approach, Representing Empire adds to a growing body of literature that challenges traditional interpretations of Japanese nationalism and national literary canon.

Representing Empire is an outstanding accomplishment, at once making clearer and complicating our understandings of the literary worlds of Manchuria and Taiwan, and the greater imperial empire within which all were transformed. … add[s] substantially to the ways in which Japan’s empire and twentieth century East Asian history more generally might be interpreted.”
Norman Smith, University of Guelph, Modern Chinese Literature and Culture Resource Center Publication (February, 2015)

Past, Present and Future
Volume Editor: Wilt Idema
The Netherlands have a long and proud history in Chinese studies. This volume collects not only articles that trace the historical development of Chinese studies in the Netherlands from the middle of the nineteenth century to the present and beyond, but also studies that deal with Dutch research in specific disciplines within Chinese studies. Chinese studies in the Netherlands originated from the needs of the Dutch colonial administration in the Dutch East Indies, but developed a strong philological emphasis in the first part of the twentieth century, to turn increasingly towards disciplinary research on modern and contemporary China in the last few decades.
Contributors include Leonard Blussé, Maghiel van Crevel, Barend ter Haar, Albert Hoffstädt, Wilt Idema, Mark Leenhouts, Oliver Moore, Frank Pieke and Rint Sybesma.
Volume Editor: Benjamin A. Elman
The authors consider new views of the classical versus vernacular dichotomy that are especially central to the new historiography of China and East Asian languages. Based on recent debates initiated by Sheldon Pollock’s findings for South Asia, we examine alternative frameworks for understanding East Asian languages between 1000 and 1919. Using new sources, making new connections, and re-examining old assumptions, we have asked whether and why East and SE Asian languages (e.g., Chinese, Manchu, Mongolian, Jurchen, Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese) should be analysed in light of a Eurocentric dichotomy of Latin versus vernaculars. This discussion has encouraged us to explore whether European modernity is an appropriate standard at all for East Asia. Individually and collectively, we have sought to establish linkages between societies without making a priori assumptions about the countries’ internal structures or the genealogy of their connections.
Contributors include: Benjamin Elman; Peter Kornicki; John Phan; Wei Shang; Haruo Shirane; Mårten Söderblom Saarela; Daniel Trambaiolo; Atsuko Ueda; Sixiang Wang.



Volume Editors: James St. André and Hsiao-yen PENG
This volume brings together some of the latest research by scholars from the UK, Taiwan, and Hong Kong to examine a variety of issues relating to the history of translation between China and Europe, aimed at increasing dialogue between Chinese studies and translation studies. Covering the nineteenth century to the present, the essays tackle a number of important issues, including the role of relay translation, hybridity and transculturation, methods for the incorporation of foreign words and concepts, the problems entailed by the importation of foreign paradigms and epistemes, the role of public institutions, the issue of agency, and the role of metaphors to conceptualize translation. By examining the dissemination of certain key terms from the West to the East, often through pivotal languages, and by laying bare the transformation of knowledge conveyed through these terms, the essays go well beyond the “difference and similarity” comparison model in the investigation of East-West relations, demonstrating that transcultural hybridity is a more meaningful topic to pursue. Moreover, they demonstrate how the translator, always working simultaneously under several domestic and foreign institutions, needs to resort to “selection, deletion and compromise”, in other words personal free choice, when negotiating among institutional powers.
Gender and Sexuality in Contemporary Chinese Canadian Women’s Writing
Transgressive Transcripts examines the construction of women’s subjectivity and the textual production of Canadian female voices orchestrated in history, culture, ethnicity, and sexuality. The book, stressing the dissemination and re-inscription of femaleness and femininity in Chinese Canadian history, employs critical models that defy the sexual/textual imaginary of the Canadian literary scene. Four fields of study are conjoined: feminist theories of the body, gender and sexuality studies, women’s writing, and Asian North American studies. Analysing four writers, SKY Lee, Larissa Lai, Lydia Kwa, and Evelyn Lau, the book anchors its thematic and theoretical concern with female sexuality in the context of Chinese Canadian writing. Feminist narratives and gender politics in contemporary Asian North American literature are highlighted via the trope of ‘transgression’.