A monumental account of one migrant community’s everyday lives, struggles, and aspirations
Forty years of continuous war and conflict have made Afghans the largest refugee group in the world. In this first full-scale ethnography of Afghan migrants in England, Nichola Khan examines the imprint of violence, displacement, kinship obligations, and mobility on the lives and work of Pashtun journeyman taxi drivers in Britain. Khan’s analysis is centered in the county of Sussex, site of Brighton’s orientalist Royal Pavilion and the former home of colonial propagandist Rudyard Kipling. Her nearly two decades of relationships and fieldwork have given Khan a deep understanding of the everyday lives of Afghan migrants, who face unrelenting pressures to remit money to their struggling relatives in Pakistan and Afghanistan, adhere to traditional values, and resettle the wives and children they have left behind.
This kaleidoscopic narrative is enriched by the migrants’ own stories and dreams, which take on extra significance among sleep-deprived taxi drivers. Khan chronicles the way these men rely on Pashto poems and aphorisms to make sense of what is strange or difficult to bear. She also attests to the pleasures of local family and friends who are less demanding than kin back home—sharing connection and moments of joy in dance, excursions, picnics, and humorous banter. Khan views these men’s lives through the lenses of movement—the arrival of friends and family, return visits to Pakistan, driving customers, even the journey to remit money overseas—and immobility, describing the migrants who experience “stuckness” caused by unresponsive bureaucracies, chronic insecurity, or struggles with depression and other mental health conditions.
Arc of the Journeyman is a deeply humane portrayal that expands and complicates current perceptions of Afghan migrants, offering a finely analyzed description of their lives and communities as a moving, contingent, and fully contemporary force.
Bollywood’s New Woman examines Bollywood’s construction and presentation of the Indian Woman since the 1990s. The groundbreaking collection illuminates the contexts and contours of this contemporary figure that has been identified in sociological and historical discourses as the “New Woman.” On the one hand, this figure is a variant of the fin de siècle phenomenon of the “New Woman” in the United Kingdom and the United States. In the Indian context, the New Woman is a distinct articulation resulting from the nation’s tryst with neoliberal reform, consolidation of the middle class, and the ascendency of aggressive Hindu Right politics.
Drawing on a millennia of calligraphy theory and history, Brushed in Light examines how the brushed word appears in films and in film cultures of Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and PRC cinemas. This includes silent era intertitles, subtitles, title frames, letters, graffiti, end titles, and props. Markus Nornes also looks at the role of calligraphy in film culture at large, from gifts to correspondence to advertising. The book begins with a historical dimension, tracking how calligraphy is initially used in early cinema and how it is continually rearticulated by transforming conventions and the integration of new technologies. These chapters ask how calligraphy creates new meaning in cinema and demonstrate how calligraphy, cinematography, and acting work together in a single film. The last part of the book moves to other regions of theory. Nornes explores the cinematization of the handwritten word and explores how calligraphers understand their own work.
Few studies have highlighted the stories of middle-class children of immigrants who move to their ancestral homelands—countries with which they share cultural ties but haven’t necessarily had direct contact. Chasing the American Dream in China addresses this gap by examining the lives of highly educated American-born Chinese (ABC) professionals who “return” to the People’s Republic of China to build their careers. Analyzing the motivations and experiences of these individuals deepens our knowledge about transnationalism among the second-generation as they grapple with complex issues of identity and societal belonging in the ethnic homeland. This book demonstrates how these professional migrants maneuver between countries and cultures to further their careers and maximize opportunities in the rapidly changing global economy. When used strategically, the versatile nature of their ethnic identities positions them as indispensable bridges between the global superpowers of China and the United States in their competition for global dominance.
How global health practices can end up reorganizing practices of care for the people and communities they seek to serve
Commodities of Care examines the unanticipated effects of global health interventions, ideas, and practices as they unfold in communities of men who have sex with men (MSM) in China. Targeted for the scaling-up of HIV testing, Elsa L. Fan examines how the impact of this initiative has transformed these men from subjects of care into commodities of care: through the use of performance-based financing tied to HIV testing, MSM have become a source of economic and political capital.
In ethnographic detail, Fan shows how this particular program, ushered in by global health donors, became the prevailing strategy to control the epidemic in China in the late 2000s. Fan examines the implementation of MSM testing and its effects among these men, arguing that the intervention produced new markets of men, driven by the push to meet testing metrics.
Fan shows how men who have sex with men in China came to see themselves as part of a global “MSM” category, adopting new selfhoods and socialities inextricably tied to HIV and to testing. Wider trends in global health programming have shaped national public health responses in China and, this book reveals, have radically altered the ways health, disease, and care are addressed.
The Courteous Power seeks to provide a nuanced view of the current relationship between Japan and Southeast Asia. Much of the current scholarship on East–Southeast Asian engagement has focused on the multidimensional chess game playing out between China and Japan, as the dominant post-imperialist powers. Alternatively, there has been renewed attention on ASEAN and other Southeast Asian–centered initiatives, explicitly minimizing the influence of East Asia in the region. Given the urgency of understanding the careful balance in the Indo-Pacific region, this volume brings together scholars to examine the history and current engagement from a variety of perspectives, ranging from economic and political, to the cultural and technological, while also focusing more clearly on the specific relationship between the region and Japan.
An icon of global Punjabi culture, the dhol drum inspires an unbridled love for the instrument far beyond its application to regional vernacular music. Yet the identities of dhol players within their local communities and the broadly conceived Punjabi nation remain obscure.
Gibb Schreffler draws on two decades of research to investigate dhol's place among the cultural formations within Punjabi communities. Analyzing the identities of musicians, Schreffler illuminates concepts of musical performance, looks at how these concepts help create or articulate Punjabi social structure, and explores identity construction at the intersections of ethnicity, class, and nationality in Punjab and the diaspora. As he shows, understanding the identities of dhol players is an ethical necessity that acknowledges their place in Punjabi cultural history and helps to repair their representation.
An engaging and rich ethnography, Dhol reveals a beloved instrumental form and the musical and social practices of its overlooked performers.
How Japanese coastal residents and transnational conservationists collaborated to foster relationships between humans and sea life
Drawing the Sea Near opens a new window to our understanding of transnational conservation by investigating projects in Okinawa shaped by a “conservation-near” approach—which draws on the senses, the body, and memory to collapse the distance between people and their surroundings and to foster collaboration and equity between coastal residents and transnational conservation organizations. This approach contrasts with the traditional Western “conservation-far” model premised on the separation of humans from the environment.
Based on twenty months of participant observation and interviews, this richly detailed, engagingly written ethnography focuses on Okinawa’s coral reefs to explore an unusually inclusive, experiential, and socially just approach to conservation. In doing so, C. Anne Claus challenges orthodox assumptions about nature, wilderness, and the future of environmentalism within transnational organizations. She provides a compelling look at how transnational conservation organizations—in this case a field office of the World Wide Fund for Nature in Okinawa—negotiate institutional expectations for conservation with localized approaches to caring for ocean life.
In pursuing how particular projects off the coast of Japan unfolded, Drawing the Sea Near illuminates the real challenges and possibilities of work within the multifaceted transnational structures of global conservation organizations. Uniquely, it focuses on the conservationists themselves: why and how has their approach to project work changed, and how have they themselves been transformed in the process?
In 1968 a cohort of politically engaged young academics established the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars (CCAS). Critical of the field of Asian studies and its complicity with the United States' policies in Vietnam, the CCAS mounted a sweeping attack on the field's academic, political, and financial structures. While the CCAS included scholars of Japan, Korea, and South and Southeast Asia, the committee focused on Maoist China, as it offered the possibility of an alternative politics and the transformation of the meaning of labor and the production of knowledge. In The End of Concern Fabio Lanza traces the complete history of the CCAS, outlining how its members worked to merge their politics and activism with their scholarship. Lanza's story exceeds the intellectual history and legacy of the CCAS, however; he narrates a moment of transition in Cold War politics and how Maoist China influenced activists and intellectuals around the world, becoming a central element in the political upheaval of the long 1960s.
Introducing the concept of state-sponsored platformization, this volume shows the complexity behind the central role the party-state plays in shaping social media platforms. The party-state increasingly penetrates commercial social media while aspiring to turn its own media agencies into platforms. Yet state-sponsored platformization does not necessarily produce the Chinese Communist Party’s desired outcomes. Citizens continue to appropriate social media for creative public engagement at the same time that more people are managing their online settings to reduce or refuse connection, inducing new forms of crafted resistance to hyper-social media connectivity. The wide-ranging essays presented here explore the mobile radio service Ximalaya.FM, Alibaba’s evolution into a multi-platform ecosystem, livestreaming platforms in the United States and China, the role of Twitter in Trump’s North Korea diplomacy, user-generated content in the news media, the emergence of new social agents mediating between state and society, social media art projects, Chinese and US scientists’ use of social media, and reluctance to engage with WeChat. Ultimately, readers will find that the ten chapters in this volume contribute significant new research and insights to the fast-growing scholarship on social media in China at a time when online communication is increasingly constrained by international struggles over political control and privacy issues.
An exploration of the intersection of feminism, human rights, and memory, Ethical Encounters examines contemporary, woman-centered Muktijuddho cinema—features and documentaries that focus on the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971. Elora Chowdhury shows how these films imagine, disrupt, and reinscribe a gendered nationalist landscape of trauma, freedom, and justice. She analyzes the Bangladeshi feminist films Meherjaan, Guerilla, and Itihaash Konna, as well as socially engaged films by activist-filmmakers including Rising Silence, Bish Kanta, Jonmo Shathi, and Shadhinota, to show how war films of Bangladesh can conjure a global cinematic imagination for the advancement of human rights.
Focusing on women-centric films, and steeped in Black and transnational feminist critiques, Chowdhury engages shared histories, experiences, and identities in the region to encourage transnational solidarity among women across borders. Ethical Encounters reveals how Bangladeshi national cinema can foster a much-needed dialogue among ordinary citizens who have grown up with the legacy of liberty and violence of nationalist and anti-colonial struggles.
The Silk Road, which linked imperial Rome and distant China, was once the greatest thoroughfare on earth. Along it traveled precious cargoes of silk, gold and ivory, as well as revolutionary new ideas. Its oasis towns blossomed into thriving centers of Buddhist art and learning. In time it began to decline. The traffic slowed, the merchants left and finally its towns vanished beneath the desert sands to be forgotten for a thousand years; however, legends grew up of lost cities filled with treasures and guarded by demons. In the early years of the last century foreign explorers began to investigate these legends, and very soon an international race began for the art treasures of the Silk Road. Huge wall paintings, sculptures and priceless manuscripts were carried away, literally by the ton, and are today scattered through the museums of a dozen countries. Peter Hopkirk tells the story of the intrepid men who, at great personal risk, led these long-range archaeological raids, incurring the undying wrath of the Chinese.
Chinese culture, to readers of English, is somewhat veiled in mystery. Fundamentals of Chinese Culture (in pinyin, Zhongguo wenhua yaoyi), a classic of great insight and profundity by noted Chinese thinker, educator and social reformist Liang Shuming, takes readers on an intellectual journey into the five-thousand-year-old culture of China, the world's oldest continuous civilization. With a set of "Chinese-style" cultural theories, the book well serves as a platform for Westerners' better understanding of the distinctive worldview of the Chinese people, who value family life, group-centered life and social stability, and for further mutual understanding and greater mutual consolidation among humanities scholars in different contexts, dismantling common misconceptions about China and bridging the gap between Chinese culture and Western culture. As a translation of Liang Shuming's original text, this book pulls back the curtain to reveal to Westerners a highly complex and nuanced picture of a fascinating people.
Growing Old in a New China: Transitions in Elder Care is an accessible exploration of changing care arrangements in China. Combining anthropological theory, ethnographic vignettes, and cultural and social history, it sheds light on the growing movement from home-based to institutional elder care in urban China. The book examines how tensions between old and new ideas, desires, and social structures are reshaping the experience of caring and being cared for. Weaving together discussions of family ethics, care work, bioethics, aging, and quality of life, this book puts older adults at the center of the story. It explores changing relationships between elders and themselves, their family members, caregivers, society, and the state, and the attempts made within and across these relational webs to find balance and harmony. The book invites readers to ponder the deep implications of how and why we care and the ways end-of-life care arrangements complicate both living and dying for many elders.
This Handbook tells the story in 25 chapters of how Japan’s HE system has become what it is now, ending with a very tentative glimpse into the rest of the 21st century. A variety of themes are covered by scholars—both established, senior figures and younger researchers with their own fresh look at current circumstances. Chapters that concentrate on governance look at the distinction between “national,” “public” and “private” institutions; others consider important topics such as internationalization, student recruitment, faculty mobility. More innovative topics include “Women of Color Leading in Japanese Higher Education.” All provide copious references to other authorities, but rather than just toe the conventional line they include opinions and proposals that may be contentious or even revolutionary. The editor provides an overview of the subject and its treatment in an Introduction.
This book examines the role media platforms play in anti-rape and sexual harassment activism in India. Including 75 interviews with feminist activists and journalists working across India, it proposes a framework of agenda-building and establishes a theoretical framework to examine media coverage of issues in the digitally emerging Global South.
This book is an ethnography of culture and politics in Monyul, a Tibetan Buddhist cultural region in west Arunachal Pradesh, Northeast India. For nearly three centuries, Monyul was part of the Tibetan state, and the Monpas, as the communities inhabiting this region are collectively known, participated in trans-Himalayan trade and pilgrimage. Following the colonial demarcation of the Indo-Tibetan boundary in 1914, the fall of the Tibetan state in 1951, and the India-China boundary war in 1962, Monyul was gradually integrated into India and the Monpas became one of the Scheduled Tribes of India. In 2003, the Monpas began a demand for autonomy, under the leadership of Tsona Gontse Rinpoche. This book examines the narratives and politics of the autonomy movement regarding language, place-names, and trans-border kinship, against the backdrop of the India-China border dispute. It explores how the Monpas negotiate multiple identities to imagine new forms of community that transcend regional and national borders.
Every year thousands of foreign-born Filipino and Indian nurses immigrate to the United States. Despite being well trained and desperately needed, they enter the country at a time, not unlike the past, when the American social and political climate is once again increasingly unwelcoming to them as immigrants. Drawing on rich ethnographic and survey data, collected over a four-year period, this study explores the role Catholicism plays in shaping the professional and community lives of foreign-born Filipino and Indian American nurses in the face of these challenges, while working at a Veterans hospital. Their stories provide unique insights into the often-unseen roles race, religion and gender play in the daily lives of new immigrants employed in American healthcare. In many ways, these nurses find themselves foreign in more ways than just their nativity. Seeing nursing as a religious calling, they care for their patients, both at the hospital and in the wider community, with a sense of divine purpose but must also confront the cultural tensions and disconnects between how they were raised and trained in another country and the legal separation of church and state. How they cope with and engage these tensions and disconnects plays an important role in not only shaping how they see themselves as Catholic nurses but their place in the new American story.
Intimate Connections dissects ideas, feelings, and practices around love, marriage, and respectability in the remote high mountains of Gilgit-Baltistan in northern Pakistan. It offers insightful perspectives from the emotional lives of Shia women and their active engagement with their husbands. These gender relations are shaped by countless factors, including embodied values of modesty and honor, vernacular fairy tales and Bollywood movies, Islamic revivalism and development initiatives. In particular, the advent of media and communication technologies has left a mark on (pre)marital relations in both South Asia and the wider Muslim world. Juxtaposing different understandings of ‘love’ reveals rich and manifold worlds of courtship, elopements, family dynamics, and more or less affectionate matches that are nowadays often initiated through SMS. Deep ethnographic accounts trace the relationships between young couples to show how Muslim women in a globalized world dynamically frame and negotiate circumstances in their lives.
Arguably the most brutal crime committed by the Japanese military during the Asia-Pacific war was the forced mobilization of 50,000 to 200,000 Asian women to military brothels to sexually serve Japanese soldiers. The majority of these women died, unable to survive the ordeal. Those survivors who came back home kept silent about their brutal experiences for about fifty years. In the late 1980s, the women’s movement in South Korea helped start the redress movement for the victims, encouraging many survivors to come forward to tell what happened to them. With these testimonies, the redress movement gained strong support from the UN, the United States, and other Western countries.
Korean “Comfort Women” synthesizes the previous major findings about Japanese military sexual slavery and legal recommendations, and provides new findings about the issues “comfort women” faced for an English-language audience. It also examines the transnational redress movement, revealing that the Japanese government has tried to conceal the crime of sexual slavery and to resolve the women’s human rights issue with diplomacy and economic power.
In this groundbreaking study, The Language of Political Incorporation, Amy Liu focuses on Chinese migrants in Central-Eastern Europe and their varying levels of political incorporation in the local community. She examines the linguistic diversity of migrant networks, finding institutional trust and civic engagement depend not on national identity, but on the network’s linguistic diversity—namely, whether the operating language is a migrant’s mother tongue or a lingua franca.
The Language of Political Incorporation uses original survey data to assess when the Chinese engage positively with the authorities and when they become civic minded. The results are surprising. In Hungary, the Chinese community has experienced high levels of political incorporation in part because they have not been targeted by anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies. In contrast, migrants in Romania sought the assistance of the Chinese embassy to fight an effort to collect back taxes.
Liu also compares the Chinese experiences in Central-Eastern Europe with those of Muslims in the region, as well as how the Chinese are treated in Western Europe. Additionally, she considers how the local communities perceive the Chinese. The Language of Political Incorporation concludes by offering best practices for how governments can help migrants become more trusting of—and have greater involvement with—locals in their host countries. Ultimately, Liu demonstrates the importance of linguistic networks for the incorporation of immigrants.
What is it like to grow up in an orphanage? What do residents themselves have to say about their experiences? Are there ways that orphanages can be designed to meet children's developmental needs and to provide them with necessities they are unable to receive in their home communities? In this book, detailed observations of children's daily life in a Cambodian orphanage are combined with follow-up interviews of the same children after they have grown and left the orphanage. Their thoughtful reflections show that the quality of care children receive is more important for their well-being than the site in which they receive it. Life in a Cambodian Orphanage situates orphanages within the social and political history of Cambodia, and shows that orphanages need not always be considered bleak sites of deprivation and despair. It suggests best practices for caring for vulnerable children regardless of the setting in which they are living.
Globalization has opened up a flow of economic and cultural exchanges. While we often think about these concepts in terms of trade policies or international treaties, they also play out in more intimate spheres, such as transnational marriages.
Northeast Thailand has seen an increase in marriages between Thai women and farang (Western) men. Often the women are less well off and from rural areas in the country, while the men largely come from the United States and Europe and settle permanently in Thailand. These unions have created a new social class, with distinctive consumption patterns and lifestyles. And they are challenging gender relations and local perceptions of sexuality, marriage, and family.
In Love, Money and Obligation, Patcharin Lapanun offers an exploration of these marriages and their larger effect on Thai communities. Her interviews with women and men engaging in these transnational relationships highlight the complexities of the associations, as they are shaped by love, money, and gender obligations on the one hand and the dynamics of socio-cultural and historical contexts on the other. Her in-depth and even-handed examination highlights the importance of women’s agency and the strength and creativity of people seeking to forge meaningful lives in the processes of social transition and in the face of local and global encounters.
Multiculturalism in Korea formed in the context of its neoliberal, global aspirations, its postcolonial legacy with Japan, and its subordinated neocolonial relationship with the United States. The Korean ethnoscape and mediascape produce a complex understanding of difference that cannot be easily reduced to racism or ethnocentrism. Indeed the Korean word, injongchabyeol, often translated as racism, refers to discrimination based on any kind of “human category.” Explaining Korea’s relationship to difference and its practices of othering, including in media culture, requires new language and nuance in English-language scholarship.
This collection brings together leading and emerging scholars of multiculturalism in Korean media culture to examine mediated constructions of the “other,” taking into account the nation’s postcolonial and neocolonial relationships and its mediated construction of self. “Anthrocategorism ,” a more nuanced translation of injongchabyeol, is proffered as a new framework for understanding difference in ways that are locally meaningful in a society and media system in which racial or even ethnic differences are not the most salient. The collection points to the construction of racial others that elevates, tolerates, and incorporates difference; the construction of valued and devalued ethnic others, and the ambivalent construction of co-ethnic others as sympathetic victims or marginalized threats.
Mongolian Sound Worlds
Edited by Jennifer C. Post, Sunmin Yoon, and Charlotte D'Evelyn University of Illinois Press, 2022
Music cultures today in rural and urban Mongolia and Inner Mongolia emerge from centuries-old pastoralist practices that were reshaped by political movements in the twentieth century. Mongolian Sound Worlds investigates the unique sonic elements, fluid genres, social and spatial performativity, and sounding objects behind new forms of Mongolian music--forms that reflect the nation’s past while looking towards its globalized future. Drawing on fieldwork in locations across the Inner Asian region, the contributors report on Mongolia’s genres and musical landscapes; instruments like the morin khuur, tovshuur, and Kazakh dombyra; combined fusion band culture; and urban popular music. Their broad range of concerns include nomadic herders’ music and instrument building, ethnic boundaries, heritage-making, ideological influences, nationalism, and global circulation.
A merger of expert scholarship and eyewitness experience, Mongolian Sound Worlds illuminates a diverse and ever-changing musical culture.
Contributors: Bayarsaikhan Badamsuren, Otgonbaayar Chuulunbaatar, Andrew Colwell, Johanni Curtet, Charlotte D’Evelyn, Tamir Hargana, Peter K. Marsh, K. Oktyabr, Rebekah Plueckhahn, Jennifer C. Post, D. Tserendavaa, and Sunmin Yoon
China's Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) produced propaganda music that still stirs unease and, at times, evokes nostalgia. Lei X. Ouyang uses selections from revolutionary songbooks to untangle the complex interactions between memory, trauma, and generational imprinting among those who survived the period of extremes. Interviews combine with ethnographic fieldwork and surveys to explore both the Cultural Revolution's effect on those who lived through it as children and contemporary remembrance of the music created to serve the Maoist regime. As Ouyang shows, the weaponization of music served an ideological revolution but also revolutionized the senses. She examines essential questions raised by this phenomenon, including: What did the revolutionization look, sound, and feel like? What does it take for individuals and groups to engage with such music? And what is the impact of such an experience over time?
Perceptive and provocative, Music as Mao's Weapon is an insightful look at the exploitation and manipulation of the arts under authoritarianism.
This book provides an in-depth exploration and analysis of marriages between Japanese nationals and migrants from three broad ethnic/cultural groups - spouses from the former Soviet Union countries, the Philippines, and Western countries. It reveals how the marriage migrants navigate the intricacies and trajectories of their marriages with Japanese people while living in Japan. Seen from the lens of ‘gendered geographies of power’, the book explores how state-level politics and policies towards marriage, migration, and gender affect the personal power politics in operation within the relationships of these international couples. Overall, the book discusses how ethnic identity intersects with gender in the negotiation of spaces and power relations between and amongst couples; and the role states and structural inequalities play in these processes, resulting in a reconfiguration of our notions of what international marriages are and how powerful gender and the state are in understanding the power relations in these unions.
As shown by China’s relationship to Japan, and Japan’s relationship to South Korea, even growing regional economic interdependencies are not enough to overcome bitter memories grounded in earlier wars, invasions, and periods of colonial domination. Although efforts to ease historical animosity have been made, few have proven to be successful in Northeast Asia. In previous research scholars anticipated an improvement in relations through thick economic interdependence or increased societal contact. In economic terms, however, Japan and China already trade heavily: Japan has emerged as China’s largest trading partner and China as second largest to Japan. Societal contact is already intense, as millions of Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese visit one another’s countries annually as students, tourists, and on business trips. But these developments have not alleviated international distrust and negative perception, or resolved disagreement on what constitutes “adequate reparation” regarding the countries’ painful history.
Noticing clashes of strong nationalisms around the world in areas like Northeast Asia, numerous studies have suggested that more peaceful relations are likely only if countries submerge or paper over existing national identities by promoting universalism. Pride, Not Prejudice argues, to the contrary, that affirmation of national identities may be a more effective way to build international cooperation. If each national population reflects on the values of their national identity, trust and positive perception can increase between countries. This idea is consistent with the theoretical foundation that those who have a clear, secure, and content sense of self, in turn, can be more open, evenhanded, and less defensive toward others. In addition, this reduced defensiveness also enhances guilt admission by past “inflictors” of conflict and colonialism. Eunbin Chung borrows the social psychological theory of self-affirmation and applies it to an international context to argue that affirmation of a national identity, or reflecting on what it means to be part of one’s country, can increase trust, guilt recognition, and positive perception between countries.
Redefining Multicultural Families in South Korea provides an in-depth look at the lives of families in Korea that include immigrants. Ten original chapters in this volume, written by scholars in multiple social science disciplines and covering different methodological approaches, aim to reinvigorate contemporary discussions about these multicultural families. Specially, the volume expands the scope of “multicultural families” by examining the diverse configurations of families with immigrants who crossed the Korean border during and after the 1990s, such as the families of undocumented migrant workers, divorced marriage immigrants, and the families of Korean women with Muslim immigrant husbands. Second, instead of looking at immigrants as newcomers, the volume takes a discursive turn, viewing them as settlers or first-generation immigrants in Korea whose post-migration lives have evolved and whose membership in Korean society has matured, by examining immigrants’ identities, need for political representation, their fights through the court system, and the aspirations of second-generation immigrants.
Shinjuku Ni-chome is a nightlife district in central Tokyo filled with bars and clubs targeting the city’s gay male community. Typically understood as a “safe space” where same-sex attracted men and women from across Japan’s largest city can gather to find support from a relentlessly heteronormative society, Regimes of Desire reveals that the neighborhood may not be as welcoming as previously depicted in prior literature. Through fieldwork observation and interviews with young men who regularly frequent the neighborhood’s many bars, the book reveals that the district is instead a space where only certain performances of gay identity are considered desirable. In fact, the district is highly stratified, with Shinjuku Ni-chome’s bar culture privileging “hard” masculine identities as the only legitimate expression of gay desire and thus excluding all those men who supposedly “fail” to live up to these hegemonic gendered ideals.
Through careful analysis of media such as pornographic videos, manga comics, lifestyle magazines, and online dating services, this book argues that the commercial imperatives of the Japanese gay media landscape and the bar culture of Shinjuku Ni-chome act together to limit the agency of young gay men so as to better exploit them economically. Exploring the direct impacts of media consumption on the lives of four key informants who frequent the district’s gay bars in search of community, fun, and romance, Regimes of Desire reveals the complexity of Tokyo’s most popular “gay town” and intervenes in debates over the changing nature of masculinity in contemporary Japan.
Around five million people across Southeast Asia identify as Shan. Though the Shan people were promised an independent state in the 1947 Union of Burma constitution, successive military governments blocked their liberation. From 1958 onward, insurgency movements, including the Shan United Revolution Army, have fought for independence from Myanmar. Refugees numbering in the hundreds of thousands fled to Thailand to escape the conflict, despite struggling against oppressive citizenship laws there. Several decades of continuous rebellion have created a vacuum in which literati and politicians have constructed a virtual Shan state that lives on in popular media, rock music, and Buddhist ritual.
Based on close readings of Shan-language media and years of ethnographic research in a community of soldiers and their families, Jane M. Ferguson details the origins of these movements and tells the story of the Shan in their own voices. She shows how the Shan have forged a homeland and identity during great upheaval by using state building as an ongoing project of resistance, resilience, and accommodation within both countries. In avoiding a good/bad moral binary and illuminating cultural complexities, Repossessing Shanland offers a fresh perspective on identity formation, transformation, and how people understand and experience borderlands today.
The profound political, economic, and social changes in China in the second half of the twentieth century have produced a wealth of scholarship; less studied however is how cultural events, and theater reforms in particular, contributed to the dynamic landscape of contemporary Chinese society. Rethinking Chinese Socialist Theaters of Reform fills this gap by investigating the theories and practice of socialist theater and their effects on a diverse range of genres, including Western-style spoken drama, Chinese folk opera, dance drama, Shanghai opera, Beijing opera, and rural theater. Focusing on the 1950s and ’60s, when theater art occupied a prominent political and cultural role in Maoist China, this book examines the efforts to remake theater in a socialist image. It explores the unique dynamics between official discourse, local politics, performance practice, and audience reception that emerged under the pressures of highly politicized cultural reform as well as the off-stage, lived impact of rapid policy change on individuals and troupes obscured by the public record. This multidisciplinary collection by leading scholars covers a wide range of perspectives, geographical locations, specific research methods, genres of performance, and individual knowledge and experience. The richly diverse approach leads readers through a nuanced and complex cultural landscape as it contributes significantly to our understanding of a crucial period in the development of modern Chinese theater and performance.
A fascinating look at how the popular musical culture of Guangzhou expresses the city’s unique cosmopolitanism.
Guangzhou is a large Chinese city like many others. With a booming economy and abundant job opportunities, it has become a magnet for rural citizens seeking better job prospects as well as global corporations hoping to gain a foothold in one of the world’s largest economies. This openness and energy have led to a thriving popular music scene that is every bit the equal of Beijing’s. But the musical culture of Guangzhou expresses the city’s unique cosmopolitanism. A port city that once played a key role in China’s maritime Silk Road, Guangzhou has long been an international hub. Now, new migrants to the city are incorporating diverse Chinese folk traditions into the musical tapestry.
In Sonic Mobilities, ethnomusicologist Adam Kielman takes a deep dive into Guangzhou's music scene through two bands, Wanju Chuanzhang (Toy Captain) and Mabang (Caravan), that express ties to their rural homelands and small-town roots while forging new cosmopolitan musical connections. These bands make music that captures the intersection of the global and local that has come to define Guangzhou, for example by writing songs with a popular Jamaican reggae beat and lyrics in their distinct regional dialects mostly incomprehensible to their audiences. These bands create a sound both instantly recognizable and totally foreign, international and hyper-local. This juxtaposition, Kielman argues, is an apt expression of the demographic, geographic, and political shifts underway in Guangzhou and across the country. Bridging ethnomusicology, popular music studies, cultural geography, and media studies, Kielman examines the cultural dimensions of shifts in conceptualizations of self, space, publics, and state in a rapidly transforming the People’s Republic of China.
A sixty-year history of Afro–South Asian musical collaborations
From Beyoncé’s South Asian music–inspired Super Bowl Halftime performance, to jazz artists like John and Alice Coltrane’s use of Indian song structures and spirituality in their work, to Jay-Z and Missy Elliott’s high-profile collaborations with diasporic South Asian artists such as the Panjabi MC and MIA, African American musicians have frequently engaged South Asian cultural productions in the development of Black music culture. Sounds from the Other Side traces such engagements through an interdisciplinary analysis of the political implications of African American musicians’ South Asian influence since the 1960s.
Elliott H. Powell asks, what happens when we consider Black musicians’ South Asian sonic explorations as distinct from those of their white counterparts? He looks to Black musical genres of jazz, funk, and hip hop and examines the work of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Rick James, OutKast, Timbaland, Beyoncé, and others, showing how Afro–South Asian music in the United States is a dynamic, complex, and contradictory cultural site where comparative racialization, transformative gender and queer politics, and coalition politics intertwine. Powell situates this cultural history within larger global and domestic sociohistorical junctures that link African American and South Asian diasporic communities in the United States.
The long historical arc of Afro–South Asian music in Sounds from the Other Side interprets such music-making activities as highly political endeavors, offering an essential conversation about cross-cultural musical exchanges between racially marginalized musicians.
Anthropology is a flourishing discipline in Southeast Asia. Anthropologists in the region spent the second half of the twentieth century establishing the field, and now, as we move further into the twenty-first century, a new generation is working to shift the discipline from European and American narratives to a Southeast Asian locus. There has been a vigorous debate and a wide range of suggestions on what might be done to break from the Euro-, andro-, hetero-, and other centrisms of the discipline and move to an emerging world anthropologies perspective. But actually transforming anthropology requires going beyond mere critique.
Southeast Asian Anthropologies outlines the practices and paradigms of anthropologists working from and within Southeast Asia. It addresses three overlapping issues: the historical development of unique traditions of research, scholarship, and social engagement across diverse anthropological communities of the region; the opportunities and challenges faced by Southeast Asian anthropologists as they practice their craft in different institutional and political contexts; and the emergence of locally grounded, intraregional, transnational linkages and practices undertaken by Southeast Asian-based anthropologists. It is a much-needed assessment of the state of the discipline that will be an invaluable tool for anthropologists navigating a new era of development and challenges.
Luis Borromeo was the Philippines’s “King of Jazz,” who at the height of his popularity created a Filipino answer to the Ziegfeld Follies. Miss Riboet was a world-famous Javanese opera singer who ruled the theater world. While each represented a unique corner of the entertainment world, the rise and fall of these two superstar figures tell an important story of Southeast Asia’s 1920s Jazz Age.
This artistic era was marked by experimentation and adaption, and this was reflected in both Borromeo’s and Riboet’s styles. They were pioneering cultural brokers who dealt in hybrids. They were adept at combining high art and banal entertainment, tradition and modernity, and the foreign and the local.
Leaning on cultural studies and the work on cosmopolitanism and modernity by Henry Jenkins and Joel Kahn, Peter Keppy examines pop culture at this time as a contradictory social phenomenon. He challenges notions of Southeast Asia’s popular culture as lowbrow entertainment created by elites and commerce to manipulate the masses, arguing instead that audiences seized on this popular culture to channel emancipatory activities, to articulate social critique, and to propagate an inclusive nationalism without being radically anticolonial.
The serial narrative is one of the most robust and popular forms of storytelling in contemporary China. With a domestic audience of one billion-plus and growing transnational influence and accessibility, this form of storytelling is becoming the centerpiece of a fast-growing digital entertainment industry and a new symbol and carrier of China’s soft power. Televising Chineseness: Gender, Nation, and Subjectivity explores how television and online dramas imagine the Chinese nation and form postsocialist Chinese gendered subjects. The book addresses a conspicuous paradox in Chinese popular culture today: the coexistence of increasingly diverse gender presentations and conservative gender policing by the government, viewers, and society. Using first-hand data collected through interviews and focus group discussions with audiences comprising viewers of different ages, genders, and educational backgrounds, Televising Chineseness sheds light on how television culture relates to the power mechanisms and truth regimes that shape the understanding of gender and the construction of gendered subjects in postsocialist China.
Curating Taiwan Cinema: 32 New Takes covers thirty-two films from Taiwan, addressing a flowering of new talent, moving from art film to genre pictures, and nonfiction. Beyond the conventional framework of privileging “New and Post-New Cinema,” or prominence of auteurs or single films, this volume is a comprehensive, judicious take on Taiwan cinema that fills gaps in the literature, offers a renewed historiography, and introduces new creative force and voices of Taiwan’s moving image culture to produce a leading and accessible work on Taiwan film and culture.
Film-by-film is conceived as the main carrier of moving picture imagery for a majority of viewers, across the world. The curation offers an array of formal, historical, genre, sexual, social, and political frames, which provide a rich brew of contexts. This surfeit of meanings is carried by individual films, one by one, which breaks down abstractions into narrative bites and outsized emotions.
Fusako Innami offers the first comprehensive study of touch and skinship—relationality with the other through the skin—in modern Japanese writing. The concept of the unreachable—that is, the lack of characters’ complete ability to touch what they try to reach for—provides a critical intervention on the issue of intimacy. Touch has been philosophically addressed in France, but literature is an effective—or possibly the most productive—venue for exploring touch in Japan, as literary texts depict what the characters may be concerned with but may not necessarily say out loud. Such a moment of capturing the gap between the felt and the said—the interaction between the body and language—can be effectively analyzed by paying attention to layers of verbalization, or indeed translation, by characters’ utterances, authors’ depictions, and readers’ interpretations. Each of the writers discussed in this book—starting with Nobel prize winner Kawabata Yasunari, Tanizaki Jun’ichiro, Yoshiyuki Junnosuke, and Matsuura Rieko—presents a particular obsession with objects or relationality to the other constructed via the desire for touch.
In Touching the Unreachable, phenomenological and psychoanalytical approaches are cross-culturally interrogated in engaging with literary touch to constantly challenge what may seem like the limit of transferability regarding concepts, words, and practices. The book thereby not only bridges cultural gaps beyond geographic and linguistic constraints, but also aims to decentralize a Eurocentric hegemony in its production and use of theories and brings Japanese cultural and literary analyses into further productive and stimulating intellectual dialogues. Through close readings of the authors’ treatment of touch, Innami develops a theoretical framework with which to examine intersensorial bodies interacting with objects and the environment through touch.
Higher education hails Asian American students as model minorities who face no educational barriers given their purported cultural values of hard work and political passivity. Described as “over-represented,” Asian Americans have been overlooked in discussions about diversity; however, racial hostility continues to affect Asian American students, and they have actively challenged their invisibility in minority student discussions. This study details the history of Asian American student activism at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, as students rejected the university’s definition of minority student needs that relied on a model minority myth, measures of under-representation, and a Black-White racial model, concepts that made them an “unseen unheard minority.” This activism led to the creation on campus of one of the largest Asian American Studies programs and Asian American cultural centers in the Midwest. Their histories reveal the limitations of understanding minority student needs solely along measures of under-representation and the realities of race for Asian American college students.
Across the global South, poor women’s lives are embedded in their social relationships and governed not just by formal institutions – rules that exist on paper – but by informal norms and practices. Village Ties takes the reader to Bangladesh, a country that has risen from the ashes of war, natural disaster, and decades of resource drain to become a development miracle. The book argues that grassroots women’s mobilization programs can empower women to challenge informal institutions when such programs are anti-oppression, deliberative, and embedded in their communities. Qayum dives into the work of Polli Shomaj (PS), a program of the development organization BRAC to show how the women of PS negotiate with state and society to alter the rules of the game, changing how poor people access resources including safety nets, the law, and governing spaces. These women create a complex and rapidly transforming world where multiple overlapping institutions exist – formal and informal, old and new, desirable and undesirable. In actively challenging power structures around them, these women defy stereotypes of poor Muslim women as backward, subservient, oppressed, and in need of saving.
Whitewashing the Movies addresses the popular practice of excluding Asian actors from playing Asian characters in film. Media activists and critics have denounced contemporary decisions to cast White actors to play Asians and Asian Americans in movies such as Ghost in the Shell and Aloha. The purpose of this book is to apply the concept of “whitewashing” in stories that privilege White identities at the expense of Asian/American stories and characters. To understand whitewashing across various contexts, the book analyzes films produced in Hollywood, Asian American independent production, and US-China co-productions. Through the analysis, the book examines the ways in which whitewashing matters in the project of Whiteness and White racial hegemony. The book contributes to contemporary understanding of mediated representations of race by theorizing whitewashing, contributing to studies of Whiteness in media studies, and producing a counter-imagination of Asian/American representation in Asian-centered stories.
Through family interviews, original photographs, and national records, Beatrice Loftus McKenzie traces the many lives of a resilient multigenerational family whose experiences parallel the complicated relationship between America and China in the twentieth century. In the early 1900s, Charles Wong moved from Guangdong Province to the United States and opened the Nan King Lo Restaurant in Beloit, Wisconsin. Soon after, his wife Yee Shee joined him to build the "Chop House" into a local institution and start a family. When the Great Depression hit, the Wongs shared what they had with their neighbors. In 1938, Charles's tragic murder left Yee Shee to raise their seven children—ages one through fourteen—on her own. Rather than return to family property in Hong Kong, she and her children stayed in Beloit, buoyed by the friendships they had forged during the worst parts of the 1930s.
The Wongs thrived in Beloit despite facing racism and classism, embracing wartime opportunities, education, love, and careers within the U. S. McKenzie's collaboration with descendent Mary Wong Palmer reveals a poignant story of Chinese immigrant life in the Upper Midwest that adds a much-needed Wisconsin perspective to existing literature by and about Asian Americans.