The latest edition of our catalogue of new titles, Selections 105, has just been released. Here are six titles from the catalogue:
Palace, Political Party and Power: A Story of the Socio-Political Development of Malay Kingship by Kobkua Suwannathat-Pian. After independence in 1957, the Malay monarchy was compelled to embrace Westminster-style constitutional monarchy, under which the role of the monarch is symbolic and affairs of the nation are run by Parliament and the executive branch. Palace, Political Party and Power: A Story of the Socio-Political Development of Malay Kingship, traces the history of the Malay rulers from the late colonial period to the first decade of the 21st century, considering the implications of the decline of the Malay rulers under colonial rule, the role of the Japanese Occupation of Malaya in defining postwar Malay identity. A key element of that identity was the relation between the Malays and their Rulers, and UMNO - the United Malays National Organisation - positioned itself the "official" voice of the Malays and the Rulers. The postwar settlement underwent a significant change after the shocking outcome of the March 2008 General Election weakened UMNO's hold on power. Subsequently, the Malay Rulers have "reinvented" themselves as active players in the affairs of the nation and have recovered some of their traditional rights. This book describes socio-political developments since the departure of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad have that worked in favour of a royal resurgence, and shows how the rulers have become a power to be reckoned with.
Between Eden & Earth: Gardens of the Islamic World by Heba Nayel Barakat. A book that explores the history and philosophies behind the greatest Islamic gardens. In a visual journey through the colourful array of photographic images, the major surviving Islamic gardens are vividly brought to life, illustrating the glories of the past. Examined here are the splendours of the gardens of Spain, the marvels of Morocco, the courtyard gardens of Syria and Egypt, the enchantment of Ottoman Turkey and much more. This book was published in conjunction with a photography exhibition of the same name. With notes and bibliography.
Contemporary Art + Philanthropy: Private Foundations: Asia-Pacific Focus edited by Nicholas Jose. Why support contemporary art? What role does art play in defining cultural values? How does today's Australia measure up in terms of cultural giving? What international models exist for private support of contemporary art in public spaces? These questions and many more are answered in Contemporary Art and Philanthropy, a book of papers given by key cultural players in the contemporary art scene at a form held at Sherman Galleries. Of particular use is a list of organisations and institutions such as art foundations, private museums, privately funded art galleries and not-for-profit art institutions and art centres.
Jewels without Crowns: Mughal Gems in Miniatures edited by Lucien De Guise, Lucien. India and gemstones are inseparable. Among the subcontinent's most prolific patrons of the jewelled arts were the Mughal emperors, whose adornments dazzled visitors centuries ago and continue to excite viewers today. Complementing the brilliance of these creations were the miniature paintings of the time. Often likened to jewels, these works on paper do more than entertain the eye; they illuminate as well. By comparing the paintings and the objects depicted in them, the world of Mughal opulence is opened to the reader. Jewels without Crowns brings together two fields of artistic accomplishment by one of the most visionary dynasties of the Islamic world. With bibliography.
Erotic Triangles: Sundanese Dance and Masculinity in West Java by Henry Spiller. In West Java, Indonesia, all it takes is a woman's voice and a drum beat to make a man get up and dance. Every day, men there - be they students, pedicab drivers, civil servants, or businessmen - breach ordinary standards of decorum and succumb to the rhythm at village ceremonies, weddings, political rallies, and nightclubs. The music the men dance to varies from traditional gong ensembles to the contemporary pop known as dangdut, but they consistently dance with great enthusiasm. In Erotic Triangles, Henry Spiller draws on decades of ethnographic research to explore the reasons behind this phenomenon, arguing that Sundanese men use dance to explore and enact contradictions in their gender identities. Framing the three crucial elements of Sundanese dance - the female entertainer, the drumming, and men's sense of freedom - as a triangle, Spiller connects them to a range of other theoretical perspectives, drawing on thinkers from Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Lévi-Strauss, and Freud to Euclid. By granting men permission to literally perform their masculinity, Spiller ultimately concludes, dance provides a crucial space for both reinforcing and resisting orthodox gender ideologies.
Education in Vietnam edited by Jonathan D. London. Vietnam is a country on the move. Yet contemporary Vietnam's education system is at a crossroads. Rapid economic growth has permitted rapid increases in the scale and scope of formal schooling, but there is a prevailing sense that the current education system is inadequate to the country's needs. Sunny assessments of Vietnam's achievements in the sphere of education have given way to a realisation that the country lacks skilled workers. Some have even spoken of an "education crisis". These are not abstract concerns. What is occurring in Vietnam's education system today has broad implications for the country's social, political, economic, and cultural development. Featuring contributions from scholars and policy analysts from within and outside Vietnam, Education in Vietnam addresses key issues pertaining to the political economy of education, the provision and payment for primary and secondary education, and the development of vocational and tertiary education.