The Dynamics of Cultural Counterpoint in Asian Studies

Edited by David Jones & Michele Marion

Subjects: Asian Studies
Series: SUNY series in Asian Studies Development
Paperback : 9781438451923, 247 pages, March 2014
Hardcover : 9781438451916, 247 pages, March 2014

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Table of contents

Editor’s Introduction
David Jones and Michele Marion
Roger T. Ames, Peter D. Hershock, and Elizabeth Buck
1. Philosophical Issues in Japanese Gardens: In Reality, Literature, and Film
Mara Miller
2. Feeling as Form in Indian Aesthetics
Harriette D. Grissom
3. Images of What Never Was to Suggest What Might Be: Japanese Popular Culture and Japaneseness
Paul E. Dunscomb
4. Korean P’ansori and the Blues: Art for Communal Healing
Katharine C. Purcell and E. Taylor Atkins
5. Mosques and Muslim Identity along China’s Trade Routes
Lawrence E. Butler
6. Dynamics of Religion and Politics in South Asia
Aslam Syed
7. First Contact: The Earliest Western Views of Daoism in Matteo Ricci’s Journals
Ronnie Littlejohn
8. Considering Asia and Teaching the Daoist Way: Understanding Identity, Community, and Ecology in Connection, Perspective, and Practice
Shudong Chen
9. Cultural Counterpoint and Hidden Assumptions: Confucianism, Feminist Theory, and Revealing the Cultural Complexity of Foot Binding
Xiufen Lu
10. The North Korean Nuclear Weapons Threat, Japanese Reactions, and the Possibility of a Northeast Asian Nuclear Arms Race
George P. Brown
11. Bhutan in the Middle: In Between in the Powers’ Game
Kelly Long
12. The “Sea of Malayu”: An Ocean Perspective on Early Southeast Asian History
Barbara Watson Andaya and Leonard Y. Andaya
About the Authors

Essays on a wide range of areas and topics in Asian studies for scholars looking to incorporate Asia into their worldview and teaching.


Contributors give contemporary presence to Asian studies through a variety of themes and topics in this multidisciplined and interdisciplinary volume. In an era of globalization, scholars trained in Western traditions increasingly see the need to add materials and perspectives that have been lacking in the past. Accessibly written and void of jargon, this work provides an adaptable entrée to Asia for the integration of topics into courses in the humanities, social sciences, cultural studies, and global studies. Guiding principles, developed at the East-West Center, include noting uncommon differences, the interplay among Asian societies and traditions, the erosion of authenticity and cultural tradition as an Asian phenomenon as well as a Western one, and the possibilities Asian concepts offer for conceiving culture outside Asian contexts. The work ranges from South to Southeast to East Asia. Essays deal with art, aesthetics, popular culture, religion, geopolitical realities, geography, history, and contemporary times.

David Jones is Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, National Taiwan University and Professor of Philosophy at Kennesaw State University. His books include Asian Texts — Asian Contexts: Encounters with Asian Philosophies and Religions (coedited with E. R. Klein), also published by SUNY Press. Michele Marion is Director of the Center for International Studies at Paradise Valley Community College.


"The editors and contributors are successful in having produced a work that offers a survey of themes and issues for those wishing to incorporate Asian perspectives into their own projects … Representing a variety of disciplines and approaches, this book will be helpful to Asia specialists as well as those seeking topical introductions to the region." — Philosophy East & West

"This volume truly lies at the intersection of scholarship and teaching. Each essay has the potential to help rethink approaches to scholarly issues, and there is a great deal of material for classroom discussion and examples. The book's breadth—covering India, China, Korea, the Sea of Malay, Bhutan, and other locations—is impressive." — Robert André LaFleur, Beloit College