Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Selections 98

We have just released the latest edition of Selections, our monthly catalogue of new titles: Selections 98. Here are five interesting titles from it:
  • Fisheries Exploitation in the Indian Ocean: Threats and Opportunities edited by Dennis Rumley and Sanjay Chaturvedi. This book aims to further the debate on the impacts of fisheries policies in the Indian Ocean Region in order to facilitate a new regional policy direction. A key argument of the volume is that ecologically sustainable and socially just development and management of Indian Ocean fisheries require a paradigm shift in the perceptions and policies of major stakeholders. A central policy challenge is to identify a collective regional interest for fisheries and accordingly the development of integrated management policies that link ecology and society and which incorporate individuals, communities, agencies, states and regimes into a holistic cooperative endeavour. Successful ocean governance therefore requires greater inter-state and inter-agency consultation and cooperation, an improvement in linking national initiatives to local action, increased participation of local government and local communities and the enhancement of local capability. In order to achieve this overall goal requires either the enhancement of existing regional institutions or the creation of a new regional body.
  • The Fajar Generation: The University Socialist Club and the Politics of Postwar Malaya and Singapore by Poh Soo Kai, Tan Jing Quee and Koh Kay Yew. The University Socialist Club (USC) was formed in February 1953. In the 1950s and 1960s the USC and its organ Fajar were a leading voice advocating the cause of the constitutional struggle for freedom and independence in peninsular Malaya and Singapore. The Fajar Generation tells the hitherto neglected story of a remarkable group of men and women who advanced a radical agenda of anti-colonialism, democracy, multiculturalism and social justice through the agency of the USC. Through personal memoirs and analytical essays the contributors to this collection illuminate the roles that they played in that extraordinary era of political turmoil in the modern histories of Malaya/Malaysia and Singapore, where different strands of nationalist thinking and competing political formations battled to define and shape the character of the future nation states.
  • Bodhisattva of Compassion: The Mystical Tradition of Kuan Yin by John Blofeld. She is the embodiment of selfless love, the supreme symbol of radical compassion, and, for more than a millennium throughout Asia, she has been revered as "The One Who Hearkens to the Cries of the World." Kuan Yin is both a Buddhist symbol and a beloved deity of Chinese folk religion. This 2009 re-issue of John Blofeld's classic study traces the history of this most famous of all the bodhisattvas from her origins in India (as the male figure Avalokiteshvara) to Tibet, China, and beyond, along the way highlighting her close connection to other figures such as Tara and Amitabha. The account is full of charming stories of Blofeld's encounters with Kuan Yin's devotees during his journeys in China. The book also contains meditation and visualization techniques associated with the Bodhisattva of Compassion, and translations of poems and yogic texts devoted to her.
  • Gender and Labour in Korea and Japan: Sexing Class edited by Ruth Barraclough and Elyssa Faison. Bringing together for the first time sexual and industrial labour as the means to understand gender, work and class in modern Japan and Korea, this book shows that a key feature of the industrialisation of these countries was the associated development of a modern sex labour industry. Tying industrial and sexual labour together, the book opens up a range of key questions: In what economy do we place the labour of the former "comfort women"? Why have sex workers not been part of the labour movements of Korea and Japan? Why is it difficult to be "working-class" and "feminine"? What sort of labour hierarchies operate in hostess clubs? How do financial crises translate into gender crises? This book explores how sexuality is inscribed in working-class identities and traces the ways in which sexual and labour relations have shaped the cultures of contemporary Japan and Korea. It addresses important historical episodes such as the Japanese colonial industrialisation of Korea, wartime labour mobilisation, women engaged in forced sex work for the Japanese army throughout the Asian continent, and issues of ethnicity and sex in the contemporary workplace. The case studies provide specific examples of the way gender and work have operated across a variety of contexts, including Korean shipyard unions, Japanese hostess clubs, and the autobiographical literature of Korean factory girls. Overall, this book provides a compelling account of the entanglement of sexual and industrial labour throughout the 20th century, and shows clearly how ideas about gender have contributed in fundamental ways to conceptions of class and worker identities.
  • Malay Peninsula: Old Photographs of Malaya and Singapore By Kleingrothe C. 1900 by John Falconer et al. This impressive volume presents a selection of works by German commercial photographer Charles J. Kleingrothe, who was active in the Malay Archipelago during the early 1900s. His large-format photographs are one of the key visual records of Malaya at a time of great transformation, and record life and landscapes in Malaya at the dawn of the 20th century. The book is based on the more than 100-year-old portfolio Malay Peninsula (Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States) from the personal collection of HRH Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, Sultan of Selangor. Slip cased.

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