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Ernest Mandel (1923–1995) was one of the best-known Marxist scholars active in the second half of the twentieth century. A leading member of the Fourth International, his books on capitalist economics, bureaucracies in the workers’ movement and on power and socialist strategy were translated into many languages. Democratic self-organisation of workers was a red thread that ran through all of his thinking. In Against Capitalism and Bureaucracy, Manuel Kellner presents the first and until now only comprehensive overview of Mandel’s theoretical and political contributions, arguing that his work remains important for the debates on a socialist alternative in the twenty-first century.
In 1870, a prominent samurai from Tōhoku sells his castle to become an agrarian colonist in Hokkaidō. Decades later, a man also from northeast Japan stows away on a boat to Canada and establishes a salmon roe business. By 1930, an investigative journalist travels to Brazil and writes a book that wins the first-ever Akutagawa Prize. In the 1940s, residents from the same area proclaim that they should lead Imperial Japan in colonizing all of Asia.

Across decades and oceans, these fractured narratives seem disparate, but show how mobility is central to the history of Japan’s Tōhoku region, a place often stereotyped as a site of rural stasis and traditional immobility, thereby collapsing boundaries between local, national, and global studies of Japan.

This book examines how multiple mobilities converge in Japan’s supposed hinterland. Drawing on research from three continents, this monograph demonstrates that Tohoku’s regional identity is inextricably intertwined with Pacific migrations.
In the past decades, the world has watched the rise of China as an economic and military power and the emergence of Chinese transnational elites. What may seem like an entirely new phenomenon marks the revival of a trend initiated at the end of the Qing. The redistribution of power, wealth and knowledge among the newly formed elites matured during the Republican period.
This volume demonstrates both the difficulty and the value of re-thinking the elites in modern China. It establishes that the study of the dynamic tensions within the elite and among elite groups in this epochal era is within reach if we are prepared to embrace forms of historical inquiry that integrate the abundant and even limitless historical resources, and to engage with the rich repertoire of digital techniques/instruments available and question our previous research paradigms.
This renewed approach brings historical research closer to an integrative data-rich history of modern China.
Social and Cultural Constructs of Hakka Identity in Modern and Contemporary Fujian, China
Sabrina Ardizzoni’s book is an in-depth analysis of Hakka women in tulou villages in Southeast China. Based on fieldwork, data acquired through local documents, diverse material and symbolic culture elements, this study adopts an original approach that includes historical-textual investigation and socio-anthropological enquiry. Having interviewed local Hakka women and participated in rural village events, public and private, in west Fujian’s Hakka tulou area, the author provides a comprehensive overview of the historical threads and cultural processes that lead to the construction of the ideal Hakka woman, as well as an insightful analysis of the multifaceted Hakka society in which rural women reinvent their social subjectivity and negotiate their position between traditional constructs and modern dynamics.
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The Chinese work point system was a series of labor organization rules and regulations used for the calculation of the amount and quality of labor and for determining the form of labor organization. The history of the work point system is thus the history of China’s agricultural collectivization. In this book we analyse how these work points were allotted, how they provided, or impaired, labor incentives, and if they leave open the possibility for income mobility.
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Slavery and Bonded Labor in Asia, 1250–1900 is the first collection of studies to focus on slavery and related forms of labor throughout Asia. The 15 chapters by an international group of scholars assess the current state of Asian slavery studies, discuss new research on slave systems in Asia, identify avenues for future research, and explore new approaches to reconstructing the history of slavery and bonded labor in Asia and, by extension, elsewhere in the globe. Individual chapters examine slavery, slave trading, abolition, and bonded labor in places as diverse as Ceylon, China, India, Korea, the Mongol Empire, the Philippines, the Sulu Archipelago, and Timor in local, regional, pan-regional, and comparative contexts.

Contributors are: Richard B. Allen, Michael D. Bennett, Claude Chevaleyre, Jeff Fynn-Paul, Hans Hägerdal, Shawna Herzog, Jessica Hinchy, Kumari Jayawardena, Rachel Kurian, Bonny Ling, Christopher Lovins, Stephanie Mawson, Anthony Reid, James Francis Warren, Don J. Wyatt, Harriet T. Zurndorfer.
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This volume describes the social and practical aspects of Islamic mysticism (Sufism) across centuries and geographical regions. Its authors seek to transcend ethereal, essentialist and “spiritualizing” approaches to Sufism, on the one hand, and purely pragmatic and materialistic explanations of its origins and history, on the other. Covering five topics (Sufism’s economy, social role of Sufis, Sufi spaces, politics, and organization), the volume shows that mystics have been active socio-religious agents who could skillfully adjust to the conditions of their time and place, while also managing to forge an alternative way of living, worshiping and thinking.

Basing themselves on the most recent research on Sufi institutions, the contributors to this volume substantially expand our understanding of the vicissitudes of Sufism by paying special attention to its organizational and economic dimensions, as well as complex and often ambivalent relations between Sufis and the societies in which they played a wide variety of important and sometimes critical roles.

Contributors are Mehran Afshari, Ismail Fajrie Alatas, Semih Ceyhan, Rachida Chih, Nathalie Clayer, David Cook, Stéphane A. Dudoignon, Daphna Ephrat, Peyvand Firouzeh, Nathan Hofer, Hussain Ahmad Khan, Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen, Richard McGregor, Ahmet Yaşar Ocak, Alexandre Papas, Luca Patrizi, Paulo G. Pinto, Adam Sabra, Mark Sedgwick, Jean-Jacques Thibon, Knut S. Vikør and Neguin Yavari
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In Periodicals, Readers and the Making of a Modern Literary Culture: Bengal at the Turn of the Twentieth Century Samarpita Mitra studies literary periodicals as a particular print form, and reveals how their production and circulation were critical to the formation of a Bengali public sphere during the turn of the twentieth century. Given its polyphonic nature, capacity for sustaining debates and adaptability by readers with diverse reading competencies, periodicals became the preferred means for dispensing modern education and entertainment through the vernacular. The book interrogates some of the defining debates that shaped readers’ perspectives on critical social issues and explains how literary culture was envisioned as an indicator of the emergent nation. Finally it looks at the Bengali-Muslim and women’s periodicals and their readerships and argues that the presence of multiple literary voices make it impossible to speak of Bengali literary culture in any singular terms.
Tikim: Essays on Philippine Food and Culture by Doreen G. Fernandez is a groundbreaking work that introduces readers to the wondrous history of Filipino foodways. First published by Anvil in 1994, Tikim explores the local and global nuances of Philippine cuisine through its people, places, feasts, and flavors.

Doreen Gamboa Fernandez (1934–2002) was a cultural historian, professor, author, and columnist. Her food writing educated and inspired generations of chefs and food enthusiasts in the Philippines and throughout the world. This Brill volume honors and preserves Fernandez’s legacy with a reprinting of Tikim, a foreword by chef and educator Aileen Suzara, and an editor’s preface by historian Catherine Ceniza Choy.
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The commercialized economy of late imperial China depended on efficient transport, yet transport technologies, transport economics as well as its role in local societies and in interdependencies of environments and human activities are acutely under-researched. Nanny Kim analyses two transports systems into the Southwest of Qing China through the long eighteenth century and up to the mid-nineteenth century civil wars. The case studies explore shipping on the Upper Changjiang in Sichuan and through the Three Gorges into Hubei, and road transport out of the Sichuan Basin across northeastern Yunnan and northwestern Guizhou into central Yunnan. Specific and concrete investigations of a river that presented extreme dangers to navigation and carriage across the crunch zone of the Himalayan Plateau provides a basis for a systematic reconstruction of transport outside the lowland centres and their convenient networks of water transport.