Plato Goes to China: The Greek Classics and Chinese Nationalism, Shadi Bartsch (Princeton University Press, March 2023)
Plato Goes to China: The Greek Classics and Chinese Nationalism, Shadi Bartsch (Princeton University Press, March 2023)

As improbable as it may sound, an illuminating way to understand today’s China and how it views the West is to look at the astonishing ways Chinese intellectuals are interpreting—or is it misinterpreting?—the Greek classics. In Plato Goes to China, Shadi Bartsch offers a provocative look at Chinese politics and ideology by exploring Chinese readings of Plato, Aristotle, Thucydides, and other ancient writers. She shows how Chinese thinkers have dramatically recast the Greek classics to support China’s political agenda, diagnose the ills of the West, and assert the superiority of China’s own Confucian classical tradition.

Radio for the Millions: Hindi-Urdu Broadcasting Across Borders, Isabel Huacuja Alonso (Columbia University Press, January 2023) Columbia University Press
Radio for the Millions: Hindi-Urdu Broadcasting Across Borders, Isabel Huacuja Alonso (Columbia University Press, January 2023)

From news about World War II to the broadcasting of music from popular movies, radio played a crucial role in an increasingly divided South Asia for more than half a century. Radio for the Millions examines the history of Hindi-Urdu radio during the height of its popularity from the 1930s to the 1980s, showing how it created transnational communities of listeners.

India And Faraway Lands: 5,000 Years Of Connected History, Ashutosh Mehndiratta (Amaryllis, January 2023)
India And Faraway Lands: 5,000 Years Of Connected History, Ashutosh Mehndiratta (Amaryllis, January 2023)

India and Faraway Lands is a compact yet panoramic exploration of the story of India from a global perspective. Meticulously researched and lucidly told, the book takes the readers on a journey around the world, in reverse chronological order, tracing pivotal events and unraveling intriguing connections with India—starting with the present that is more visible and relatable to the readers and moving towards the past that is relatively lesser known.

Waves of Upheaval in Myanmar: Gendered Transformations and Political Transitions, Jenny Hedström (ed), Elisabeth Olivius (ed) (NIAS Press, November 2022)
Waves of Upheaval in Myanmar: Gendered Transformations and Political Transitions, Jenny Hedström (ed), Elisabeth Olivius (ed) (NIAS Press, November 2022)

This is the first comprehensive account of the multifaceted processes of gendered transformation that took place in Myanmar between 2011 and 2021, and which continues to shape events today. The period began with the end of direct military rule and the transition to a hybrid, semi-democratic regime, precipitating far-reaching political, economic and social changes across Myanmar. To date, the gendered dynamics and effects of this transition have not yet received sustained scholarly attention.

The Journey of Hindi Language Journalism in India: From Raj to Swaraj and Beyond, Mrinal Pande (Orient BlackSwan, September 2022)
The Journey of Hindi Language Journalism in India: From Raj to Swaraj and Beyond, Mrinal Pande (Orient BlackSwan, September 2022)

In India, the English-language media is considered the “national media”, while vernacular media remains “regional”. However, from the 1980s onwards, demographic changes and growth in literacy in the Hindi heartland broadened the market for Hindi newspapers.

The Second Karmapa Karma Pakshi: Tibetan Mahasiddha, by Charles Manson (Shambhala Publications, November 2022(
The Second Karmapa Karma Pakshi: Tibetan Mahasiddha, by Charles Manson (Shambhala Publications, November 2022)

Karma Pakshi is considered influential in the development of the reincarnate lama tradition, a system that led to the lineage of the Dalai Lamas. Born in East Tibet in the 13th century, Karma Pakshi himself was the first master to be named Karmapa, a lineage that continues to modern times and has millions of admirers worldwide. During his lifetime, Karma Pakshi was widely acknowledged as a mahāsiddha—a great spiritual adept—and was therefore invited to the Mongol court at the apogee of its influence in Asia.

States of Disconnect: The China-India Literary Relation in the Twentieth Century, Adhira Mangalagiri (Columbia University Press, January 2023)
States of Disconnect: The China-India Literary Relation in the Twentieth Century, Adhira Mangalagiri (Columbia University Press, January 2023)

In an interconnected world, literature moves through transnational networks, crosses borders, and bridges diverse cultures. In these ways, literature can bring people closer together. Today, as hopes for globalization wane and exclusionary nationalism is on the march, can literature still offer new ways of relating with others? Comparative literature has long been under the spell of circulation, contact, connectivity, and mobility—what if it instead sought out their antitheses?