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Volume Editor:
Javanese literature is one of the world’s richest and most unusual literary traditions yet it is little known today outside of Java, Indonesia, and a handful of western universities. With its more than a millennium of documented history, its complex interactions over the centuries with literature written in Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Malay and Dutch, its often symbiotic relationship with the performing arts of puppetry and dance, and its own immense creativity and insight, this vastly understudied literature offers a lens to understanding Java’s fascinating world as well as human ingenuity more broadly. The essays in this volume, Storied Island: New Explorations in Javanese Literature, take a fresh look at questions and themes pertaining to Java’s literature, employing new theoretical and methodological lenses.
The Song Dynasty Making of China’s Greatest Poet
Author:
Irreducible to conventional labels usually applied to him, the Tang poet Du Fu (712–770) both defined and was defined by the literary, intellectual, and socio-political cultures of the Song dynasty (960–1279).
Jue Chen not only argues in his work that Du Fu was constructed according to particular literary and intellectual agendas of Song literati but also that conventional labels applied to Du Fu do not accurately represent this construction campaign. He also discusses how Du Fu’s image as the greatest poet sheds unique light on issues that can deepen our understanding of the subtleties in the poetic culture of Song China.
Science and Society in the Sanskrit World contains seventeen essays that cover a kaleidoscopic array of classical Sanskrit scientific disciplines, such as the astral sciences, grammar, jurisprudence, theology, and hermeneutics. The volume foregrounds a unifying theme to Christopher Z. Minkowski’s intellectual oeuvre: that scholars’ scientific endeavors are inseparable from the social worlds that shaped those scholars’ lives.
Contributors are: Anne Blackburn, Johannes Bronkhorst, Jonathan Duquette, Robert Goldman, Setsuro Ikeyama, Stephanie Jamison, Takanori Kusuba, John Lowe, Clemency Montelle, Valters Negribs, Rosalind O'Hanlon, Patrick Olivelle, Deven Patel, Kim Plofker, Frederick Smith, Barbora Sojkova, Thomas Trautmann, Elizabeth Tucker, Anand Venkatkrishnan, and Dominik Wujastyk.
Crossing Cultural Boundaries in East Asia and Beyond explores the personal complexities and ambiguities, and the successes and failures, of crossing borders and boundaries. While the focus is on East Asia, it universalizes cultural anxieties with comparative cases in Russia and the United States. The authors primarily engage the individual experiences of border-crossing, rather than more typically those of political or social groups located at territorial boundaries. Drawing on those individual experiences, this volume presents an array of attempts to negotiate the discomforts of crossing personal borders, and attends to the intimate experiences of border crossers, whether they are traveling to an unfamiliar cultural location or encountering the “other” in local settings such as the classroom or the coffee shop.
Editor:
Eastern and Western Synergies and Imaginations: Texts and Histories is a product of east-west studies crossed with adaptation studies: it goes beyond evaluation of cultural interactions and discussion of forms and manners of adaptation. This volume brings together critical discourses from various cultural locales which have developed from and thrived on the notion of “East meets West” or “West meets East”. The 10 chapters trace and investigate cross-, trans- or multi-cultural interpretations of fictional and non-fictional narratives that feature people and events in cities and regions which thrive, or have thrived, as East-West hubs, thereby expounding multiple layers of relationship between source texts and new texts. An allegorical play, The Three Ladies of Macao, premièred in December 2016, is now published as appendix in this volume.
Author:
The Neo-Buddhist Writings of Lafcadio Hearn: Light from the East by Antony Goedhals offers radical rereadings of a misunderstood and undervalued Victorian writer. It reveals that at the metaphysical core of Lafcadio Hearn’s writings is a Buddhist vision as yet unappreciated by his critics and biographers. Beginning with the American writings and ending with the essay- and story-meditations of the Japanese period, the book demonstrates Hearn’s deeply personal and transcendently beautiful evocations of a Buddhist universe, and shows how these deconstruct and dissolve the categories of Western discourse and thinking about reality – to create a new language, a poetry of vastness, emptiness, and oneness that had not been heard before in English, or, indeed, in the West.
Read an interview with Karen Thornber.

In Global Healing: Literature, Advocacy, Care, Karen Laura Thornber analyzes how narratives from diverse communities globally engage with a broad variety of diseases and other serious health conditions and advocate for empathic, compassionate, and respectful care that facilitates healing and enables wellbeing.

The three parts of this book discuss writings from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania that implore societies to shatter the devastating social stigmas which prevent billions from accessing effective care; to increase the availability of quality person-focused healthcare; and to prioritize partnerships that facilitate healing and enable wellbeing for both patients and loved ones.

Thornber’s Global Healing remaps the contours of comparative literature, world literature, the medical humanities, and the health humanities.

Watch a video interview with Thornber by the Mahindra Humanities Center, part of their conversations on Covid-19.

Read an interview with Thornber on Brill's Humanities Matter blog.
Strategy, Revolution, and the First European Translation of Sunzi’s Art of War (1772)
Author:
The Mandate of Heaven examines the first European version of Sunzi’s Art of War, which was translated from Chinese by Joseph Amiot, a French missionary in Beijing, and published in Paris in 1772. His work is presented in English for the first time. Amiot undertook this project following the suppression of the Society of Jesus in France with the aim of demonstrating the value of the China mission to the French government. He addressed his work to Henri Bertin, minister of state, beginning a thirty-year correspondence between the two men. Amiot framed his translation in order to promote a radical agenda using the Chinese doctrine of the “mandate of heaven.” This was picked up within the sinophile and radical circle of the physiocrats, who promoted China as a model for revolution in Europe. The work also arrived just as the concept of strategy was emerging in France. Thus Amiot’s Sunzi can be placed among seminal developments in European political and strategic thought on the eve of the revolutionary era.
Ideas and History in China’s "Independent Cinema", 1988-2008
Author:
In Postsocialist Conditions: Idea and History in China’s “Independent Cinema,” 1988-2008, WANG Xiaoping offers a comprehensive survey and trenchant critique of China’s “Independent Cinema” by the sixth-generation auteurs. By showing the multi-valence of the postsocialist conditions in contemporary Chinese society, their films articulate a new cultural-political logic in postsocialist China, which is also the logic of the market in this era of neoliberal transformation, brought about by the forces of marketization since the late 1980s. The directors laudably show the spirits of humanism and the humanitarian concerns of the underclass, yet the shortage and repudiation of class analysis prohibits the artists from exploring the social contradictions and the cause of class restructuration.
Volume Editors: and
Memory is not an inert container but a dynamic process. It can be structured by ritual, constrained by textual genre, and shaped by communities’ expectations and reception. Urging a particular view of the past on readers is a complex rhetorical act. The collective reception of portrayals of the past often carries weighty implications for the present and future. The essays collected in this volume investigate various aspects of memory in medieval China (ca. 100-900 CE) as performed in various genres of writing, from poetry to anecdotes, from history to tomb epitaphs. They illuminate ways in which the memory of individual persons, events, dynasties, and literary styles was constructed and revised through processes of writing and reading.
Contributors include: Sarah M. Allen, Robert Ashmore, Robert Ford Campany, Jack W. Chen, Alexei Ditter, Meow Hui Goh, Christopher M. B. Nugent, Xiaofei Tian, Wendy Swartz, Ping Wang.