Gods of Mount Tai: Familiarity and the Material Culture of North China, 1000-2000
By Susan Naquin
At the intersection of art and religious history, this work suggests a fresh method for studying Chinese gods and sacred places. Susan Naquin tells the full story of the transformations of the Lady of Mount Tai, North China’s most important female deity, and her mountain home. This generously illustrated visual history presents a rich array of overlooked statues, prints, murals, and paintings of gods that were discovered in museums, auctions, and extensive travel. By focusing on ordinary images, temples, and region-based materiality Naquin demonstrates how this flexibly gendered new god flourished while her male predecessor was neglected. Both suffered greatly during the last century, but Mount Tai continues to be a culturally significant monument and China’s most popular tourist mountain. Read more about Gods of Mount Tai.
Samurai and the Warrior Culture of Japan, 471–1877: A Sourcebook
Edited and translated by Thomas Donald Conlan
In addition to providing excerpts from classic tales of Japan’s warrior past, this volume draws on a wide range of lesser-known but revealing sources—including sword inscriptions, edicts, orders, petitions, and letters—to expand and deepen our understanding of the samurai, from the order’s origins in the fifth century to its abolition in the nineteenth. Taken together with Thomas Donald Conlan's contextualizing introductions and notes, these sources provide a rare window into the experiences, ideals, and daily lives of these now-sentimentalized warriors. Numerous illustrations, a glossary of terms, and a substantial bibliography further enhance the value of this book to students, scholars, and anyone interested in learning more about the samurai. Read more about Samurai and the Warrior Culture of Japan.
Revolutions Aesthetic: A Cultural History of Ba'thist Syria
By Max Weiss
The November 1970 coup that brought Hafiz al-Asad to power fundamentally transformed cultural production in Syria. A comprehensive intellectual, ideological, and political project—a Ba'thist cultural revolution—sought to align artistic endeavors with the ideological interests of the regime. The ensuing agonistic struggle pitted official aesthetics of power against alternative modes of creative expression that could evade or ignore the effects of the state. With this book, Max Weiss offers the first cultural and intellectual history of Ba'thist Syria, from the coming to power of Hafiz al-Asad, through the transitional period under Bashar al-Asad, and continuing up through the Syria War. Read more about Revolutions Aesthetic.