This is the first English translation of 2021 Suntory Literary Prize-winning author and visual anthropologist Itsushi Kawase. In this playfully-structured collection of stories and photographs, Kawase journeys from Japan to the Ethiopian streets of Gondar. Join him in Africa where he learns from a diverse cast of characters including local bards, prostitutes, musicians, priests, the homeless, spirit mediums and even a few deceptive guides. This work, translated by Jeffrey Johnson, is sure to surprise and captivate readers.
Category Archive: Non-fiction
Is environmental degradation an inevitable result of economic development? Can ecosystems be restored once government officials and the public are committed to doing so? These questions are at the heart of An Ecological History of Modern China, a comprehensive account of China’s transformation since the founding of the People’s Republic from the perspective not of the economy but of the biophysical world. Examples throughout illustrate how agricultural, industrial, and urban development have affected the resilience of China’s ecosystems—their ability to withstand disturbances and additional growth—and what this means for the country’s future.
New Book Announcement: “Negotiating Borders and Borderlands: The Indian Experience”, edited by Gorky Chakraborty and Supurna Banerjee
Borders have always been seen as physical lines of separation, which mark the “other” and group geographical spaces into territories and nation-States. However, can borders and borderlands also simultaneously exist as gateways for trade and commerce while being rigid institutions that disallow the movement of people from one part to another? Are some borders seen while others are only felt?
New Book Announcement: “Sinophone Utopias: Exploring Futures Beyond the China Dream” by Andrea Riemenschnitter, Jessica Imbach, and Justyna Jaguscik
Focusing on counter-narratives that challenge or undermine the grand nationalist Chinese theme, this book studies the ways Sinophone artists, writers, and other cultural agents reimagine a future (world) society that can be more tolerant of cultural, ecological, ethnic, gender and ideological diversity.
Gandhi’s Travels in Tamil Nadu highlights the deep and abiding connection and friendship Gandhi had with Tamil Nadu and its people, from the time that he, as a young lawyer, led the struggle of Indian contractual labourers, many of them Tamilians, against the colonial government in South Africa, to when he returned to India to lead the Congress and the freedom movement. It covers the period from his very first visit to (what was then) Madras State/Province in 1896, to his last visit to the state in 1946, a year before Independence.
New Book Announcement: “Where the Madness Lies: Citizen Accounts of Identity and Nationalism” by Kishalay Bhattacharjee
The idea of citizenship today conveys a static dullness, a clerical certification, and a fixed sense of identity. By re-examining the relationship between citizenship and nationality, Where the Madness Lies redefines the multiple sources of identity that ordinary people contend with. Citizenship becomes a critical theatre where diverse identities crisscross to create new forms of meaning and interaction.
New Book Announcement: “Labor of Reinvention: Entrepreneurship in the New Chinese Digital Economy” by Lin Zhang
From start-up founders in the Chinese equivalent of Silicon Valley to rural villages experiencing an e-commerce boom to middle-class women reselling luxury goods, the rise of internet-based entrepreneurship has affected every part of China. Problematizing worldwide euphoria about digital entrepreneurship while complicating the dichotomy of “China threat vs. China model”, The Labor of Reinvention attends to the everyday labor of digital-centered entrepreneurial reinvention vis-à-vis China’s national remaking amid global technological transformations and changing geopolitical currents.