Asian Studies

Elections in Modern Dictatorships: Why Do Some Autocrats Tie Their Hands by Credible Elections?

by Briana Johnson July 19, 2022

Today, most autocracies hold elections. Surprisingly, opposition parties are allowed to participate in such elections despite the presence of electoral manipulation. This seems to contradict our stereotype of authoritarian regimes, where autocrats are seen as essentially repressive and do not allow any dissent against them. Intriguingly, some of those modern autocrats even embark on political reforms that attempt to reduce blatant forms of electoral manipulation, as well as willingly accept the participation of opposition parties. How do authoritarian leaders design elections? What consequences do autocratic elections have on autocratic stability? My new book, The Dictator’s Dilemma at the Ballot Box […]

Read more

Q&A With “Made-Up Asians” Author Esther Kim Lee

by Briana Johnson July 5, 2022

This guest author post is a Q&A with Esther Kim Lee, author of Made-Up Asians: Yellowface During the Exclusion Era, from the University of Michigan Press. This book is available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook. What was the inspiration behind Made-Up Asians? What surprised you the most while conducting your research for the book?   For my first book, A History of Asian American Theatre (2006), I interviewed over seventy Asian American theater artists, including actors, playwrights, directors, producers, and designers. While conducting the interviews, I noticed almost everyone mentioned yellowface as something that they were reacting against in their […]

Read more

The Stan Lai Collection is Now Available at the University of Michigan Press

by Briana Johnson February 25, 2022

“Playwright, director, cultural ambassador, and internationally renowned theatre artist, Stan Lai is a global visionary. He is not only a singular leader in the formation of modern Taiwanese theatre, but also an artist who uses the space of performance to forge historical and geographic connection. This collection is a gift to anyone who cares about the transnational relevance of the theatre in the 21st century.” —Shannon Jackson, University of California, Berkeley Stan Lai (Lai Shengchuan) is one of the most celebrated theatre practitioners working in the Chinese-speaking world. Spanning over the past three decades, his work has pioneered the course […]

Read more

Q&A with “Bridging State and Civil Society” Author Suzanne Levi-Sanchez

by Briana Johnson December 7, 2021

This is a guest blog featuring author Suzanne Levi-Sanchez, author of Bridging State and Civil Society: Informal Organizations in Tajik/Afghan Badakhshan from the University of Michigan Press. This volume is available for purchase in hardcover and accessible ebook formats.  CW: Mentions of sexual assault  Where did inspiration for Bridging State and Civil Society: Informal Organizations in Tajik/Afghan Badakhshan come from? I guess it was less ‘inspiration’ and more time in place. In 2009, UCLA and Professor Mark Kleiman funded fieldwork in Afghanistan. My research at that time focused on counternarcotics policy within counterinsurgency in Afghanistan. Soon after, the University of Delaware awarded me funding […]

Read more

Being Human during COVID

by Briana Johnson November 29, 2021

This is a guest post from Kristin Ann Hass, editor of Being Human during COVID, from the University of Michigan Press. This volume is available for purchase in paperback and open access reading — made possible by the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science and the Arts and the Michigan Humanities Collaboratory. Did the headlines this weekend about the Omicron variant suck a little of the joy out of your holiday? Did it bring back all too familiar waves of worry? It is one thing to know that variants will be popping up and circulating for some time to come – and it […]

Read more