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This longitudinal study weaves the complex stories of many disparate musics into an account of quests for identities that illuminates Lombok’s history, its complex religious and ethnic composition, and its current political circumstances. It focuses on agents, musicians and leaders on the ground, and the socioreligious and artistic changes that transformed many music forms. The book outlines the years of political difficulty for music and years of transition and government interventions to remake musics, and identifies the emerging ideologies and developments that laid the groundwork for a diversity of musics – traditional, Islamic, popular – to simultaneously exist in an unprecedented way.
Women’s Speculative Fiction in Contemporary Japan
Author: Kazue Harada
Contemporary Japanese female speculative fiction writers of novels and manga employ the perspectives of aliens, cyborgs, and bioengineered entities to critique the social realities of women, particularly with respect to reproduction, which they also re-imagine in radical ways. Harada examines the various meanings of (re)production in light of feminist and queer studies and offers close readings of works by novelists Murata Sayaka, Ōhara Mariko, Ueda Sayuri and manga artists Hagio Moto and Shirai Yumiko. Scholarship of SF in Japanese studies has primarily focused on male authors, but this book shows not only how women writers have created a space in SF and speculative fiction but how their work can be seen as a response to particular social norms and government policies.
At a lonely place, in a remote hermitage somewhere in the Himālaya, the god Śiva is teaching Tantric worship to his humiliated sons, who want to regain their divine status: “You should worship the goddess Mahāmāyā Kālikā”. Remarkable are his ‘talks’ about preliminary rituals, mudrās, and animal as well as human sacrifice. The Tantric Teachings form the inner core of the Kālikā Purāna, i.e. ‘Old Stories about Kālikā’, composed by a learned Brāhmin about a thousand years ago in Kāmarūpa (Assam). Careful listening to the text has been my first priority when presenting the relevant passages in text and translation.
After piloting an emperor the age of a college student through China’s most drastic government reforms before the modern era, Wang Anshi retreated to his Halfway Hill villa at Nanjing, where in late middle age he became one of the Northern Song dynasty’s three or four most innovative poets.
He redirected the craft of composing high-stakes policy papers into lighter-than-air evocations of clear-eyed grief, sensuous Buddhism, and intricate reactions to rain on the river or donkey-riding up Bell Mountain. Acrimony over his redesigned government, which he lived just long enough to see totally dismantled, remains relevant to Chinese politics and economics. Published during his thousand-year jubilee, this first full English biography since 1937 draws on Wang’s essays, poems, and his vivid, seldom-explored throne-room diary.
Abhinavagupta on Dance and Dramatic Acting
Author: Elisa Ganser
What is Dance? What is Theatre? What is the boundary between enacting a character and narrating a story? When does movement become tinted with meaning? And when does beauty shine alone as if with no object? These universal aesthetic questions find a theoretically vibrant and historically informed set of replies in the oeuvre of the eleventh-century Kashmirian author Abhinavagupta. The present book offers the first critical edition, translation, and study of a crucial and lesser known passage of his commentary on the Nāṭyaśāstra, the seminal work of Sanskrit dramaturgy. The nature of dramatic acting and the mimetic power of dance, emotions, and beauty all play a role in Abhinavagupta’s thorough investigation of performance aesthetics, now presented to the modern reader.
Its Social and Cultural Significance
Author: Jiří Jákl
Author: Rita Banerjee
Comparing the variant ideologies of the representations of India in seventeenth-century European travelogues, India in Early Modern English Travel Narratives concerns a relatively neglected area of study and often overlooked writers. Relating the narratives to contemporary ideas and beliefs, Rita Banerjee argues that travel-writers, many of them avid Protestants, seek to negativize India by constructing her in opposition to Europe, the supposed norm, by deliberately erasing affinities and indulging in the politics of disavowal. However, some travelogues show a neutral stance by dispassionate ethnographic reporting, indicating a growing empirical trend. Yet others, influenced by the Enlightenment ideas of diversity, demonstrate tolerance of alien practices and, occasionally, acceptance of the superior rationality of the other's customs.
Textualization and Performance, Authorship and Censorship of the “National Drama” of China from the Late Qing to the Present
Author: David Rolston
What was the most influential mass medium in China before the internet? Jingju (Peking opera)! Although its actors were commonly thought to have been illiterate, written and other inscripted versions of plays became more and more important and varied.
This book shows how increasing textualization and the resulting fixation of a performance tradition that once privileged improvisation changed the genre. It traces, from Jingju’s birth in the 19th century to the present, how texts were used for the production and consumption of this important performance genre and the changes in the concepts of authorship, copyright, and performance rights that took place during the process. The state’s desire to police what was performed is shown to have been a major factor in these changes.
The scope and coverage of the book is already unprecedented, but it is also supplemented by an additional chapter (on where the plays were performed, who performed them, and who went to see them) available for download online.
Author: Zaifu Liu
Volume Editors: Howard Y. F. Choy and Jianmei Liu
Liu Zaifu 劉再復 is a name that has already been ingrained within contemporary Chinese literary history. This landmark volume presents Anglophone readers with Liu’s profound reflections on Chinese literature and culture at different times. The essays collected here demonstrate Liu’s historical experience and trajectory as an exiled Chinese intellectual who persistently safeguards the individuality and the autonomy of literature, refusing to succumb to political manipulation.

Liu’s theory of literary subjectivity has opened ways for Chinese writers to thrive and innovate. His panoramic view not only unravels the intricate interplay between literature and politics but also firmly regards the transcendental value of literature as a significant ground to subvert revolutionary dogmatism and criticize Chinese modernity. Rather than drawing upon the existing paradigm, he reinvents his own unique theoretical conceptions in order to exile the borrowed “gods.”
Author: Alexander Vovin
“The echo of the stone/ where I carved the [Buddha’s] honorable footprints/ reaches the Heaven, […]”.
This book presents the transcription, translation, and analysis of Chinese (753 AD) and Japanese inscriptions (end of the 8th century AD) found on two stones now in the possession of the Yakushiji temple in Nara. All these inscriptions praise the footprints of Buddha, and more exactly their carvings in the stone. The language of the Japanese inscription, which consists of twenty-one poems, reflects the contemporary dialect of Nara. Its writing system shows a quite unique trait, being practically monophonic. The book is richly illustrated by photos of the temple and of the inscriptions.