The Newsletter 89 Summer 2021

IBP 2021 French Language Edition

Total number of books submitted: 21

Organizing Entity: GIS Asie
Secretary: Aurélie Varrel
Acting Secretary: Gosia Chwirot 
Reading Committee Members: Vincent Goossaert and Matthias Hayek (humanities); David Picherit and Louise Pichard-Bertaux (social sciences)
Sponsor of the IBP 2021 French Language Edition: GIS Asie – French Academic Network on Asian Studies

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AUTHOR: Aurore Candier

TITLE: La réforme politique en Birmanie pendant le premier moment colonial (1819-1878) /

Political reform in Burma during the first colonial period (1819-1878)


Erudite, extremely well documented and very well written, Aurore Candier's book about Burma in the nineteenth century is a major contribution to the knowledge of South East Asia political history. u. Perfectly constructed, the text explores this unique moment in the 19th century when part of Burma was still an independent kingdom while the other was annexed by the British Empire. Working with archives and sources in Burmese and English, the author traces this period not from a Eurocentric point of view, as too often, but by putting into perspective the vernacular and western sources. Shedding light on this period of political transition which will nourish the Burmese conception of political reform, this monograph is an essential source for understanding the current political and societal movements in Burma, but also in the region.


IBP 2021 French Language Shortlist

Japanoise – Extrémismes & entropie / Japanoise – Extremisms & entropyAUTHOR: Jérémy Corral

TITLE: Japanoise – Extrémismes & entropie / Japanoise – Extremisms & entropy

PUBLISHER: Les presses du reel, 2019

Corral's book aims to decompartmentalise the study of a musical genre (or non-genre) that was built up in Japan from the 1990s onwards: Japanese noise music, or ‘Japanoise'. This genre is a continuation of the explorations that began in the West and in Japan in the 1960s and 1970s, which sought a form of rupture, sometimes violent, with the 'commercial' or 'mainstream' musical genres. Characterised by different forms of extremism and ostensibly subversive, the Japanese phenomenon is interesting because of the contradictions at the heart of its creation, between a desire to break with the existing local scene and the affirmation of an autonomy from Western styles, a vision that is in turn nurtured by the international representations and expectations of Japanese anti-culture. The volume comes out in a quasi coffee table book format with many pictures, in a welcome effort to bring it to a large audience.


La Littérature à l’ère de l’AnthropocèneAUTHOR: Gwennaël Gaffric

TITLE: La Littérature à l’ère de l’Anthropocène, Une étude écocritique autour des œuvres de l’écrivain taïwanais Wu Ming-yi / Literature in the Anthropocene Era, an ecocritical study of the works of the Taiwanese writer Wu Ming-yi

PUBLISHER: Asiatheque, 2019

Gwennaël Gaffric signs a fascinating work which describes the link between ecology and literature based on the work of Taiwanese writer Wu Ming Yi. Organized around six main themes - natures, waters, terroirs, species, catastrophes and ecotopias - the study is based on the theories of ecocriticism and on a deep knowledge of Taiwanese language and literature. The book is serious, well documented and provides a very good bibliography. The choice of having the translated version and the original version appear for each quotation is quite relevant since it allows Chinese-speaking readers to read at two levels. Beyond the importance of this book to enhance our knowledge of Taiwanese literature, this monograph on an author engaged in preservation of nature highlights a facet of the Taiwanese society facing the ecological emergency.



IBP 2021 French Language Edition Accolades


Publishers’s Accolade for Outstanding Production Value

Nomad’s land. Eleveurs, animaux et paysages chez les peuples MongolsAUTHOR: Charlotte Marchina

TITLE: Nomad’s land. Eleveurs, animaux et paysages chez les peuples Mongols /

Nomad’s Land: Herders, Animals and Landscapes among the Mongols

PUBLISHER: Editions Zones Sensibles, 2019

It is a remarkably original and innovative work, published by the Belgian publisher Zones Sensibles. Reworked from Marchina’s dissertation, it offers an analysis of the occupation and conception of space by Mongolian herders based on a long-term ethnography and geographical analysis of nomadic routes, through diagrams and precise maps, some of which were made by GPS sensors attached to animals. The book offers all the qualities of a scholarly work but in an accessible format for a larger audience, and it is beautifully illustrated by the author’s photographs. This book is also on the shortlist.

Most Accessible and Captivating Work for the Non-specialist Reader Accolade

Les avatars de la participation en IndeAUTHOR: Stéphanie Tawa Lama-Rewal

TITLE: Les avatars de la participation en Inde. Formes et ambiguïtés de la démocratie participative / Avatars of Participation in India. Forms and Ambiguities of Participatory Democracy

PUBLISHER: Editions du Croquant, 2018

While participation is gaining ground in the European public debate as a means of reinvigorating a representative democracy that may run out of steam, it is often seen in India as an instrument of neoliberal governance in the hands of the upper classes seeking to bypass politics. The author draws on this contrast to highlight the debates in India about the forms of participatory democracy since Independence. The author offers a convincing, nuanced and welcome book on participation. Written in a clear and rigorous manner, the volume is of interest to an audience beyond specialists of India, opening a welcome dialogue between European and Indian bodies of literature on participation and democracy. This book is also on the shortlist.