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Improvisational Islam
Indonesian Youth in a Time of Possibility
Nur Amali Ibrahim
Improvisational Islam is about novel and unexpected ways of being Muslim, where religious dispositions are achieved through techniques that have little or no precedent in classical Islamic texts or concepts. Nur Amali Ibrahim foregrounds two distinct autodidactic university student organizations, each trying to envision alternative ways of...



The Venture Capital State
The Silicon Valley Model in East Asia
Robyn Klingler-Vidra
Silicon Valley has become shorthand for a globally acclaimed way to unleash the creative potential of venture capital, supporting innovation and creating jobs. In The Venture Capital State Robyn Klingler-Vidra traces how and why different states have adopted distinct versions of the Silicon Valley model.Venture capital seeks high rewards but is...



More Than Words
Transforming Script, Agency, and Collective Life in Bali
Richard Fox
Grounded in ethnographic and archival research on the Indonesian island of Bali, More Than Words challenges conventional understandings of textuality and writing as they pertain to the religious traditions of Southeast Asia. Through a nuanced study of Balinese script as employed in rites of healing, sorcery, and self-defense, Richard Fox...



Hamka and Islam
Cosmopolitan Reform in the Malay World
Khairudin Aljunied
Since the early twentieth century, Muslim reformers have been campaigning for a total transformation of the ways in which Islam is imagined in the Malay world. One of the most influential is the author Haji Abdul Malik bin Abdul Karim Amrullah, commonly known as Hamka.In Hamka and Islam, Khairudin Aljunied employs the term "cosmopolitan reform"...



Battling the Buddha of Love
A Cultural Biography of the Greatest Statue Never Built
Jessica Marie Falcone
Battling the Buddha of Love is a work of advocacy anthropology that explores the controversial plans and practices of the Maitreya Project, a transnational Buddhist organization, as it sought to build the "world's tallest statue" as a multi-million-dollar "gift" to India. Hoping to forcibly acquire 750 acres of occupied land for the statue park...



Art and Engagement in Early Postwar Japan
Justin Jesty
Justin Jesty’s Art and Engagement in Early Postwar Japan reframes the history of art and its politics in Japan post-1945. This fascinating cultural history addresses our broad understanding of the immediate postwar era moving toward the Cold War and subsequent consolidations of political and cultural life. At the same time, Jesty delves into an...



Traders in Motion
Identities and Contestations in the Vietnamese Marketplace
With essays covering diverse topics, from seafood trade across the Vietnam-China border, to street traders in Hanoi, to gold shops in Ho Chi Minh City, Traders in Motion spans the fields of economic and political anthropology, geography, and sociology to illuminate how Vietnam's rapidly expanding market economy is formed and transformed by...



The Teahouse under Socialism
The Decline and Renewal of Public Life in Chengdu, 1950–2000
Di Wang
To understand a city fully, writes Di Wang, we must observe its most basic units of social life. In The Teahouse under Socialism, Wang does just that, arguing that the teahouses of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, are some of the most important public spaces—perfect sites for examining the social and economic activities of everyday...



The Geopolitics of Spectacle
Space, Synecdoche, and the New Capitals of Asia
Natalie Koch
Why do autocrats build spectacular new capital cities? In The Geopolitics of Spectacle, Natalie Koch considers how autocratic rulers use "spectacular" projects to shape state-society relations, but rather than focus on the standard approach—on the project itself—she considers the unspectacular "others." The contrasting views of those from the...



Harvests, Feasts, and Graves
Postcultural Consciousness in Contemporary Papua New Guinea
Ryan Schram
Ryan Schram explores the experiences of living in intercultural and historical conjunctures among Auhelawa people of Papua New Guinea in Harvests, Feasts, and Graves. In this ethnographic investigation, Schram ponders how Auhelawa question the meaning of social forms and through this questioning seek paths to establish a new sense of their...



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