View on Amazon

Eric Tagliacozzo, Peter C. Perdue, and Helen F. Siu's "Asia Inside Out" project is a model for interdisciplinary and collaborative scholarship in all kinds of ways. Planned as a trilogy, the first two volumes were released this year. Asia Inside Out: Changing Times (Harvard University Press, 2015) collects essays by historians, art historians, and anthropologists that each take a particular year as an inflection point when "certain major cultural processes changed direction." These include key turning points in religious, economic, and political formations across land and sea since the sixteenth century, and they bring us into a wide range of localities from Macau to the Dutch East Indies to Yemen, Japan, Bangalore, and beyond. Asia Inside Out: Connected Places (Harvard University Press, 2015) gathers essays that collectively emphasize connectedness and motion by moving beyond regional and national boundaries to look at a series of "spatial moments" that were shaped by colonialism, nationalism, and post-modernity. In the course of our brief conversation we talked about the genesis of the project, what's to come in the third volume, and how others might take inspiration from the project to think anew about where we might go from here.

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

Leonard CassutoThe Graduate School Mess: What Caused It and How We Can Fix It

September 22, 2015

The discontented graduate student is something of a cultural fixture in the U.S. Indeed theirs is a sorry lot. They work very hard, earn very little, and have very poor prospects. Nearly all of them want to become professors, but most of them won't. Indeed a disturbingly large minority of them won't even finish their degrees. It's little […]

Read the full article →

Federico MarconThe Knowledge of Nature and the Nature of Knowledge in Early Modern Japan

September 22, 2015

Federico Marcon's new book opens a fascinating window into the history of Japan's relationship to its natural environment. The Knowledge of Nature and the Nature of Knowledge in Early Modern Japan (University Of Chicago Press, 2015) traces practices and practitioners of natural knowledge from the late-sixteenth through the mid-nineteenth centuries, arguing that the Tokugawa period (1600-1868) saw […]

Read the full article →

Minghui HuChina’s Transition to Modernity: The New Classical Vision of Dai Zhen

September 15, 2015

Minghui Hu's new book takes Dai Zhen as a case study to look at broader transformations in classical scholarship, technical methodologies, politics, and their relationships in the Qing period. This story of Dai Zhen begins before his birth and ends after his death, extending from a moment in which the Jesuits were denounced as "seditious […]

Read the full article →

Chuck WooldridgeCity of Virtues: Nanjing in an Age of Utopian Visions

September 10, 2015

Nineteenth-century Nanjing was a "city of virtues," the raw material out of which a series of communities in China built the time and space of their utopian visions. Chuck Wooldridge's beautifully written and thoughtfully composed new book City of Virtues: Nanjing in an Age of Utopian Visions (University of Washington Press, 2015) uses Nanjing as a lens with […]

Read the full article →

Anna M. ShieldsOne Who Knows Me: Friendship and Literary Culture in Mid-Tang China

September 4, 2015

Anna M. Shields has written a marvelous book on friendship, literature, and history in medieval China. One Who Knows Me: Friendship and Literary Culture in Mid-Tang China (Harvard University Press, 2015) is the first book-length study of friendship in the Chinese tradition. Focusing on the period from the 790s through the 820s, it asks how writing on friendship […]

Read the full article →

Gordon H. ChangFateful Ties: A History of America’s Preoccupation with China

August 30, 2015

"There was China before there was an America, and it is because of China that America came to be." According to Gordon H. Chang's new book, the idea of "China" became "an ingredient within the developing identity of America itself." Written for a broad audience, Chang's Fateful Ties: A History of America's Preoccupation with China (Harvard University […]

Read the full article →

Shellen WuEmpires of Coal: Fueling China’s Entry into the Modern World Order, 1860-1920

August 25, 2015

Shellen Wu's new book is a fascinating and timely contribution to the histories of China, science, technology, and the modern world. Empires of Coal: Fueling China's Entry into the Modern World Order, 1860-1920 (Stanford University Press, 2015) brings readers into the nineteenth century industrialization of China, when coal became the "fuel of a 'new' imperialism." Wu's book […]

Read the full article →

Paul A. ChristensenJapan, Alcoholism, and Masculinity: Suffering Sobriety in Tokyo

August 19, 2015

Paul A. Christensen's new book is a thoughtful ethnography of drinking, drunkenness, and male sociability in modern urban Japan. Focusing on two major alcohol sobriety support groups in Japan, Alcoholics Anonymous and Danshukai, Japan, Alcoholism, and Masculinity: Suffering Sobriety in Tokyo (Lexington Books, 2014) explores the ways that admitting to and living with alcoholism in Japan challenges […]

Read the full article →

Andrew G. WalderChina Under Mao: A Revolution Derailed

August 14, 2015

"With the benefit of hindsight, it is clear that 1949 was actually the beginning, not the end, of the Chinese revolution." Building from this premise, Andrew G. Walder's new book looks at the ways that China was transformed in the 1950s in order to understand why and how Mao's decisions and initiatives – among those of […]

Read the full article →