Framing Asian Studies: Geopolitics and Institutions

Review

Kevin Hewison, Journal of Contemporary Asia, Routledge, 18 June 2018.

"A highlight of the collection is its generally optimistic tone. As the co-editors express it, "Asian Studies appears alive and well..." (5) in a range of places from the US to Europe and Australia and to Asia itself. Even though the book developed from a project that was dropped before the book came out - seeking to link Singapore's government think-tank on Southeast Asia, the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, and the International Institute for Asian Studies in the Netherlands - this optimism still shines through (viii). 

The collection is in four parts and 12 chapters. .... Part II involves three chapters that consider Western discourse on Asia. .... Part III of the collection examines Southeast Asia studies in Russia (Chapter 8 by Ekaterina Koldunova) and Indian studies in Soviet Lithuania (by Valdas Jaskunas). Both chapters are welcome given that little has been known of these arenas. .... The final three chapters are in Part IV and about Asian studies in the region - Inter-Asian Gazes. .... For those looking for the optimistic take on Asian studies, this collection is likely to be welcomed."

About the Publication

This book explores the interconnection between geopolitical context and the ways this context frames our knowledge about Asia, highlighting previously neglected cause–effect relations. It also examines how various knowledge institutions promote and shape Asian Studies. The authors seek to explain why Asian Studies and its subfields developed in the way they did, and what the implications of these transformations might be on intellectual and political understandings of Asia. The book not only builds on the current debates on the decolonization and de-imperialization of knowledge about Asia; it also proposes a more multifaceted view rather than just examining the impact of the West on the framing of Asian Studies.


“This timely and valuable collection is the best analytical and substantive guide we have to the great diversity of changing geopolitical contexts which have shaped the modern production of knowledge about Asia, before, during, and after the Cold War, on both sides of the Atlantic, and also in Australia, Russia, Lithuania, India, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia.”
—David Ludden
Professor and Chair, Department of History, New York University

“This book is an important addition to the growing number of works on Asian and Southeast Asian studies that seek to take stock of how area studies concerning the region have been developing and what its trajectory is. This book takes a critical view of these developments by going beyond the geopolitical backdrop, contextualising Asian studies in terms of its colonial and Orientalist roots, and bringing attention to the critical reactions to these problems of knowledge production. The book is unique in that it not only looks at Asian studies in the West, but also examines the field in the former Soviet Union as well as within the Asian centres of research.”
—Syed Farid Alatas
Professor, Department of Sociology
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, National University of Singapore

“Asia, a combination of geo-cultural sites without obvious borders of any kind, is un-learned and re-learned in this timely book via an array of Anglo-Euro-Asian scholarship on knowledge. Anyone determined to move beyond pedagogical categories must engage with this transnational project.”
—Chih-yu Shih
Professor, National Taiwan University

Contents

PDF e-book files for this publication are available as detailed below.

Framing Asian Studies: Geopolitics and Institutions [Whole Publication, ISBN: 978-981-4786-31-7], by Albert Tzeng, William L Richter, Ekaterina Koldunova, editors 24.00 USD
Preliminary pages Download
1. Introduction: Framing Asian Studies, by Albert Tzeng, William L Richter, Ekaterina Koldunova, authors Download
PART I: CONTESTED "ASIA"
2. From Oriental Studies to Asian Studies: The Metamorphosis of the Western Mind, by Maitreyee Choudhury, author 5.00 USD
3. Geopolitical and Social Framings of Australia’s “Asia Literacy”, by Kirrilee Hughes, author 5.00 USD
4. Maps as Illustrations and Logos: Geopolitical Construction of Asia and South Asia, by William L Richter, author 5.00 USD
PART II: GEOPOLITICAL FRAMING OF WESTERN DISCOURSE
5. From Geertz to Ricklefs: The Changing Discourse on Javanese Religion and its Wider Contexts, by Riwanto Tirtosudarmo, author 5.00 USD
6. Framing Cambodian Affairs: French and American Scholarship, Media and Geopolitics, by Gea D.M. Wijers, author 5.00 USD
7. Studying Taiwan: The Politics of Area Studies in the United States and Europe, by Hardina Ohlendorf, author 5.00 USD
PART III: ASIAN STUDIES IN FORMER SOVIET STATES
8. Southeast Asian Studies in Russia: Agents against Structural Limits, by Ekaterina Koldunova, author 5.00 USD
9. India Studies in Soviet Lithuania: Approaching Asia from Outside the Establishment, by Valdas Jaskūnas, author 5.00 USD
PART IV: INTER-ASIAN GAZES
10. Indian Understandings of Asia, by Brij Mohan Tankha, author 5.00 USD
11. South Seas Chinese in Colonial Classifications, by Huei-Ying Kuo, author 5.00 USD
12. Chinese Studies in Japan and South Korea: Geopolitics, Local Embeddedness and Knowledge, by Claire Seungeun Lee, author 5.00 USD
Index Download

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