The Newsletter 89 Summer 2021

IBP 2021 Spanish / Portuguese Language Edition

Total number of books submitted: 22 (17 Spanish, 5 Portuguese)

Organizing Institute SEPHIS
Secretary: Claudio Pinheiro
Acting Secretary: Vinicius K. Ferreira
Reading Committee Members: Armando Renato Balderrama (humanities); Rosa Maria Perez (social sciences)
Sponsor of the IBP 2021 Spanish/Portuguese Language Edition: The South-South Exchange Program for Research on the History of Development (SEPHIS)

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Spanish Winner

AUTHOR: Carles Prado-Fonts

TITLE: Regresar a China / Returning to China

PUBLISHER: Editorial Trotta, 2019

Returning to China is fascinating book, produced by a senior researcher and gifted writer. Carlos Prado-Fonts portrays the experience of the return of Chinese intellectuals who left their country for studying in Europe, the United States and Japan in the first half of the 20th century. Prado-Fonts focuses on the trajectory of three renowned writers, Lu Xun (1881-1936), Lao She (1899-1966) and Qian Zhongshu (1910-1998), to address a much broader social, cultural and political context. This captivating work, endowed with a rich and sensitive narrative, does not avoid confronting clichés about China. The book articulates an analysis of macro processes and individual trajectories, observing the dilemmas of a society in vertiginous transformation of its political system, while observing individual trajectories of thousands of returned intellectuals, divided between different cultures and national experiences.


Portuguese Winner

AUTHOR: Bruna Soalheiro

TITLE: Viagem da Cruz ao Teto do Mundo: Encontros culturais e diálogo inter-religioso nas missões da Companhia de Jesus na Índia e no Tibete (séculos XVI a XVIII) / The travels of the Cross to the roof of the world: Cultural Encounters and Interreligious Dialogue in the Missions of the Society of Jesus in India and Tibet (16th-18th centuries)

PUBLISHER: Paco Editorial, 2018

The product of serious and dedicated research, on the expansion of Christianity in a region with a shortage of academic analysis: the history of the connections between South Asia, the plateau of Asia and Central Asia. Bruna Soalheiro's careful research on the Jesuit presence in India between the 16th and 18th centuries, focuses on the missions to the Mogul court (1579), and that to the Tibet (started in 1624), analyzing writings published and circulated by the Society of Jesus, as well as on letters and notebooks written by missionaries. Soalheiro explores reports on the complex dynamics of cultural transfers, ways of circulating ideas and political disputes that go beyond strictly religious readings and help "de-cloistering" the history of religious orders. The book dialogues with a global, connected history that does not lose sight of the geopolitical dimension of religious missions, which need to be analyzed in the face of disputes with other religions present in the region, such as Buddhism and Islam. Another merit of this work is to show that even if the conversion intentions were not very successful with the Mogul court and in Tibet, the missions certainly left a mark in the political and cultural history of these spaces, ending up generating new fields of possibilities in religious terms and politicians.


IBP 2021 Spanish/Portuguese Language Shortlist

Los combatientes del pueblo de IránAUTHOR: Moisés Garduño García

TITLE: Los combatientes del pueblo de Irán: historia, auge y caída de una oposición islamo-marxista / Iran's People's Combatants: History, Rise and Fall of an Islamo-Marxist Opposition

PUBLISHER: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2019

The scholarship of Portuguese- or Spanish-speaking countries’ is not normally considered when we search for as specialists in the Middle East, near Asia or central Asia. This impressive and very detailed study conducted by Moises Garduño shows the accumulated scholarship in Latin America concerning these regions. The investigation deals with archival sources and interviews with politicians, activists and former intellectuals related to the contemporary history of Iran and the engagement of the Iran's People's Fighters (Moyahedin-e Jalq-e Iran) for decades. The scholarship of Portuguese- or Spanish-speaking countries’ is not normally considered when we search for as specialists in the Middle East, near Asia or central Asia. This impressive and very detailed study conducted by Moises Garduño shows the accumulated scholarship in Latin America concerning these regions. The investigation deals with archival sources and interviews with politicians, activists and former intellectuals related to the contemporary history of Iran and the engagement of the Iran's People's Fighters (Moyahedin-e Jalq-e Iran) for decades.


Historia mínima de FilipinasAUTHOR: Paulina Machuca

TITLE: Historia mínima de Filipinas / A concise history of the Philippines

PUBLISHER: Colmex, 2019

Paulina Machuca brings an important contribution to the study of Asia in Spanish language, presenting the Philippines as a space historically marked by the crossing of worlds and the circulation of cultures. In addition to emphasizing the archipelago's connections with other territories in the Indian and Pacific Ocean over five centuries, the book takes an innovative look at the history of relations between the Philippines and Mexico. One of her main contributions is to propose a history of the Philippines that transcends the hegemonic national historiographical narratives essentially centered on the Manila region. Machuca highlights regions marginalized by the official historical narrative, such as the Muslim Mindanao, as well as dedicating itself to the intertwined relations between the islands of the vast Philippine archipelago. The work also stands out for its critical eye in relation to Spanish and American historiographies, which are still dominant, essentially based on colonial archives and reproducing stereotypes inherited from that period.


Arte y NaciónAUTHOR: Daniel Sastre de la Vega

TITLE: Arte y Nación. El discurso de la historia del arte en el Japón Meiji / Art and Nation The Discourse of the History of Art in Meiji Japan

PUBLISHER Edicions Bellaterra, 2019

Daniel Sastre’s work concentrates on the role of the State in the construction of aesthetics, and of a consumption of the aesthetics of art in Japan in the second half of the 19th century. Although the connection between art and nation has been extensively explored over the past few decades for the case of Japan, Sastre's work brings fresh innovations to the debate. The book shows that writings on aesthetics and historical-artistic narratives, anticipate the creation of museums, the consolidation of an artistic criticism and the formalization of the field of history of art in a vast geography of the Far East.


IBP 2021 Spanish/Portuguese Language Accolades


Publishers Accolade for Outstanding Production Value

Primeira Circum-navegação brasileira e Primeira Missão à ChinaAUTHORS: Marli Cristina Scomazzon and Jeff Franco (eds.)

TITLE: Primeira Circum-navegação brasileira e Primeira Missão à China /

The first Brazilian circumnavigation and the first mission to China

PUBLISHER Dois por Quatro Editora, 2019

The major relevance of the Primeira Circum-navegação brasileira remains on its careful editorial project, valuable for the dissemination of the history of diplomatic relations between Brazil and Asia during the Brazilian imperial period. This richly illustrated publication with iconographic and documentary material from late 19th century, accompanies the celebrations of the 500 years of the first circumnavigation of the planet, which docked at Guanabara Bay in 1519. Scomazzon and Franco follow the journey of the corvette Vital de Oliveira, built in Rio de Janeiro especially for this mission. The book restores the history of the first Brazilian circumnavigation, undertaken by the Imperial Navy between 1879 and 1891, addressing the role of this mission in consolidating Brazil's diplomatic relations with African and Asian countries, with an emphasis on relations between Brazil and China.


Specialist Publication Accolade

A arte romanesca do atorAUTHOR: Henrique Buarque de Gusmão

TITLE A arte romanesca do ator: Constantin Stanislavski na cultura do romance /

The Actor's Novel Art: Constantin Stanislavski in the Culture of the Novel

PUBLISHER Hucitec, 2020

This is a robust, careful and innovative book. Certainly one of the best written texts submitted to the ICAS-Sephis prize in 2021. The publication is a contribution to the history of theater and art in general. In order to advance in what he calls a cultural history of theatrical practices, Henrique Gusmão revisits the work of the Russian director Constantin Stanilavski, resuming his contributions to a movement to redefine the work of this actor and the kind of theater he represents, as the son of the modern novel in early 20th century. In addition to the field of theater, Gusmão's erudition allows him to explore the influence of literature in the emergence of new, less conventional relations between the text and the scene. Although the field of studies on Asia in Anglophone, Germanophilic or Francophone contexts does not always include studies on Russia, the committee considered the unique quality of this work and its relevance to the field in Portuguese and Spanish.


Teaching Tool Accolade

Historia mínima del yoga AUTHOR: Adrián Muñoz e Gabriel Martino

TITLE: Historia mínima del yoga / A concise history of Yoga

PUBLISHER: Colmex, 2019

This book provides a historical synthesis of yoga as a cultural, philosophical and political practice. The questions that motivate the book are compelling: what is yoga? A philosophy, a religion, a physical exercise, a lifestyle? More than proposing an answer to these dilemmas, the authors intend to retrace a long and diverse history of yoga, always attentive to its transformations and impacts in different historical and social contexts. Its merit is to offer a holistic but accessible view of yoga, while challenging exotic or proselytizing views of an old practice that has gained global contours and, consequently, new meanings. It is an important reading to introduce readers interested in a complex history, crossed by disputes of meaning, metamorphoses and full of symbolism.


Edited Volume Accolade

Nuevas aproximaciones a la literatura japonesaAUTHOR: Pau Pitarch Fernández Pau (ed.)

TITLE: Nuevas aproximaciones a la literatura japonesa / New approaches on Japanese literature

PUBLISHER: Edicions Bellaterra, 2019

The book organized by Pau Pitarch reflects the international renewal of the field of studies on modern Japan in the humanities and social sciences. This movement is visible in recent publications in several languages and linguistic-academic communities from English to Korean, through German, Japanese, Chinese and Spanish and Portuguese works. It is important to note that not all recently released publications on modern Japan are nipcentered, but include the reverberations of historical transformations that have taken place elsewhere, with or without immediate reverberation in Japanese life. Pitarch's book amplifies this dimension by presenting a collection of 10 chapters by 11 Spanish-speaking authors who consistently produce on Japanese literature, based from Mexico and the US to Japan itself.


Honorary Mention: Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Asian Studies

Filhos da TerraAUTHOR: Amntonio Manuel Hespanha

TITLE: Filhos da Terra. Identidades Mestiças nos Confins da Expansão Portuguesa /

Mestizo Identities at the Edges of Portuguese (Imperial) Expansion

PUBLISHER: Tinta-da-China, 2019

This is the last book by one of the greatest Portuguese intellectuals, before his death. In this work, António Manuel Hespanha (1945-2019) opens up new research agendas, proposes new concepts and renews the historiographical debate about the Portuguese empire, paying special attention to subjects from communities of mixed identities that figure in images that circulate between the 16th and 19th centuries and between places as distant as Guinea, Angola or Macau, constituting a vast empire in territorial and identity terms. Through concepts such as the empire of shadows and the informal empire, the detailed description of these communities on different continents, and the use of dense demographic and socio-cultural data, Hespanha analyzes mechanisms of governance operating in these territories and discusses notions of identity in imperial contexts.