Asian Studies

Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with UMP!

by Danielle Coty-Fattal May 11, 2023
Banner image with text "Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month" and illustration of two people holding a banner that says "celebrate."

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which is a celebration and acknowledgement of the cultural and historical impacts of these important groups and their members. AAPI month was first recognized in the US in 1978, and since then has become a time to honor Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. You can learn more about it here, and for those lucky enough to be in Ann Arbor, you can attend some AAPI month events. From Japanese video games to the ecology of the Pacific, the University of Michigan Press is highlighting some of our most relevant titles. During […]

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Q&A with Ben Whaley

by Danielle Coty-Fattal May 3, 2023

This guest author post is a Q&A with Ben Whaley, author of Toward a Gameic World: New Rules of Engagement from Japanese Video Games, from the University of Michigan Press. The book is Volume 100 in the Michigan Monograph Series in Japanese Studies and is available in hardcover, paper, and accessible ebook. What originally interested you in Japanese video games? I have played video games ever since I was young and owned most of the major home console systems. However, growing up, I am not sure that I associated many of the Nintendo, Sega, and Sony games I played with Japan […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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