Press news

Seasons Greetings
from Press News, posted 12/25/2012 - 21:49

 NIAS Press gets (at least!) as busy as the next person this time of year, but from our little family to yours, we'd like to wish you happy holidays and the very merriest of Christmases.


Now Asia is staring back at Europe
from Press News, posted 12/06/2012 - 07:58

 NIAS Press has recently published a new work, a comparative study of the Nordic Region and Asia. This intriguing volume explains why, after centuries of Western scholars studying Asia, Asian scholars are beginning to study Western societies in return. Highlighting the parallels and differences between East Asia and the Nordic region, it explores how both regions have much to learn from each other and offers challenges to scholars and policy-makers from both regions. The picture is of proud co-author (and NIAS director) Geir Helgesen and the new book.


Found at Bangkok Airport
from Press News, posted 11/22/2012 - 23:27

 A key source of academic books in Thailand is Asia Books, which has branches all over Thailand. Its outlets at Bangkok Airport (Suvarnabhumi) are especially frequented by foreign scholars passing through.

One such scholar returning from a trip to Burma/Myanmar and caught on camera at Suvarnabhumi earlier this week was Mikael Gravers. (Note how carefully he is not staring at the prominent place in the bookshop given to his Exploring Ethnic Diversity in Burma, published back in 2007 by NIAS Press.)

Part of Mikael's recent trip was to collect material on a new book that he is editing with Flemming Ytzen. Aimed not just at scholars but also journalists, NGOs, businesses, policy-makers, etc., this tightly focused volume analyses the changes sweeping the country and their implications. We look forward to bringing this out into the world in February-March.


E-pub Evolution
from Press News, posted 11/14/2012 - 18:54

As the publishing business evolves, so too must the Press!  This is not a joke at the expense of our staff, but a reality in the changing world of our business.

Below is a shot of a few members of the NIAS Press team - Freek, Gerald and Karl Jakob - working on an e-publishing course.  



In With the New...
from Press News, posted 10/31/2012 - 11:59

They say that change is the only constant, right?  So in that spirit we announce a new edition to our team, Freek Jonker, who will be joining us as a student assistant for NIAS Press.  Freek is a Copenhagen University student, originally from Holland.

Freek (on the left) has an academic background in international law, and work experience with marketing and communication.  Welcome!



Arne Kalland is dead
from Press News, posted 10/22/2012 - 16:31

Today we heard with great shock that Arne Kalland is dead after a long illness. He was only 67 years old. Incredibly, it is 18 years since Arne left NIAS to make significant contributions to the study of modern Asia back home in Norway. But those of us who worked with him back in the early 1990s remember him well and with great fondness.

Besides putting in much work behind the scenes supporting other people’s research, Arne was a well-known scholar in his own right. Japan and fishing were his big focal areas, while whaling (and the politics thereof) was a great passion. (Being from New Zealand, a nation vehemently opposed to especially Japanese whaling fleets in our waters, we had our debates.)

Arne’s earliest work published in 1981 via NIAS was Shingu: A Study of a Japanese Fishing Community (available from Routledge as an expensive hardback; NIAS still has a few copies of the original paperback if you are interested). Whaling came to the fore in 1992 with Japanese Whaling: End of an Era? which I hear Arne and co-author Brian Moeran wrote in a marathon session, two giants crammed inside a tiny Japanese hotel room. They then infuriated anti-whaling activists by promoting the book outside the meeting of the International Whaling Commission (in Edinburgh, I think).

In the same year, together with Ole Bruun, Arne edited a volume on Asian Perceptions of Nature, first published as a proceedings by NIAS. A reworked edition was then published by Curzon Press to international acclaim, the volume being recognised as a breakthrough study of human interaction with the environment. In next year or so, we were amused to see quite a number of copycat titles from other publishers.

By then, however, Arne was on his way back to Norway where eventually he would end his days as Professor of Social Anthropology at Oslo University. In the meantime, however, he finalised what arguably was his most accomplished work, Fishing Villages in Tokugawa Japan, published by Curzon Press and the University of Hawai‘i Press in 1995.

More significant for NIAS, however, was that at the same time he initiated and ably edited a new NIAS book series, Man & Nature. By the time that NIAS Press was launched in 2002, the series had lost much of its impetus; the dominant discourses on the environment had shifted from Arne’s anthropologically based emphasis on human responses to nature to more policy-driven studies that failed to spark his enthusiasm (or so it seemed).

With Arne gone, the series is effectively dead in terms of future titles. (Recently, we announced a new NIAS title that in many ways should have been placed in the series but for various reasons wasn’t; I regret that now.) In their own terms, however, the eight titles published in the series are classic studies that will continue to be appreciated – just as Arne will be remembered and loved long after the time last Friday when he left us.


More Frankfurt
from Press News, posted 10/15/2012 - 16:21

Frankfurt Book Fair is huge, with an exhibition site that spans separate, multi-level buildings. As such, it is only fair it covers two blog postings.  

On the first 3 days, the fair is closed to the public and a "mere" 10,000 or so publishing professionals throng the halls. But which halls? So-called "international publishers" can be found on one of the 3 levels of Hall 5 but, as much of our business is transacted in Hall 8 -- presses from the US, UK and other Anglo-Saxon countries, plus Israel -- by a wee sleigh of hand NIAS Press has a booth there. See if you can spot the fiddle in the photo below.

As you can see by the smart suit our editor-in-chief is all business! Buying and selling rights is at the heart of doing business at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Here a potential Indian buyer for a new NIAS title -- All Religions Merge at Tranquebar -- assesses the work.

And so another book fair has passed, so until next year, Frankfurt.


Vacancy at NIAS Press
from Press News, posted 10/15/2012 - 13:11

 Academic knowledge is constantly changing, evolving, and improving, and these terms can also be used to describe NIAS Press.  As a part of this ongoing process of change, we are looking for a new part-time student assistant for our office in Copenhagen.

This person should be a cheery and motivated self starter, someone who has a passion for books and an interest in Asia.  Office experience is necessary, and publishing experience desired.  Fluency in Danish and English is also required.  The candidate must be a student currently enrolled at a Danish university, at a masters or undergraduate level.  

If you meet these qualifications and are interested in this position, please send a short cover letter and C.V. to Heather, reachable  at books "at"  Deadline is Friday, Oct 19th.




Frankfurt Book Fair
from Press News, posted 10/12/2012 - 14:10

Much of the business transacted at Frankfurt Book Fair takes place during meetings.  Typically these are of a half-hour duration and the changeover between meetings can see aisles clogged at times. Since the onset of the current economic meltdown in 2008, the aisle traffic has been much reduced. This year, however, the traffic jams are again more common. 

One of the meetings we had this year at Frankfurt was with the Lontar Foundation, which originated and managed the publication of "Plaited Arts".  That book is now published and out there attracting attention -- currently at an indigenous arts exhibition in Paris, for instance -- but what we discussed at the meeting with Kestity Pringgoharjono (pictured with Gerald Jackson) were new ideas for an enhanced relationship.  This was an unexpected opportunity, something only possible by attending Frankfurt.

Another successful year!




NIAS Press is moving
from Press News, posted 10/02/2012 - 06:04

After more than 17 years at Leifsgade 33 near Copenhagen University's southern (Humanities) campus, NIAS is moving across town to the city campus where we will be in far closer contact with our colleagues at the Social Sciences faculty.

It is of course a wrench to depart a place we know so well and - especially after over 40 years being together - to be located somewhere different than our colleagues at the Asian Studies Department. However, we are confident of a continued close working relationship not only because of shared ventures like the university's Asian Dynamics Initiative but also the many various personal relationships between colleagues.

And of course where NIAS moves, so does the Press.

From today, our new address is:

NIAS Press
Nordic Institute of Asian Studies
Øster Farimagsgade 5
DK-1353 Copenhagen K
(no change to phone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc.)

Note that the above (postal) address is the same for the entire city campus, which covers more than a city block. As such, until such time as a more official map is made, visitors to NIAS might find this hastily made map of use.

As can be seen, the institute can be approached in several directions but the two most common routes will be:

1) from the main entrance to the campus (bus stop outside on route #40 or a 5-10 minute walk from Nørreport metro station), or

2) directly from Øster Søgade (the physical street address being no. 18 but not the postal address - see above).

Note that there is plenty of space for bicycles outside the institute but we do not have a private car park such as we enjoyed at Leifsgade. There is some free, off-street parking available near the institute but visitors will need to arrange a parking permit in advance with the institute secretary (currently Natalie Wheeler, contact details on the NIAS website). Street parking is also possible but note this is central Copenhagen so it is not easy to find and definitely not cheap.

As can be seen on the map, physically we are located on the north-western (lakeside) edge of the city campus, the Press offices looking out on lakes that were once part of the old city defences. The view is quite lovely but we have yet to discover how bad the traffic noise is (moving from a quiet suburban street to a main central city traffic route could be "interesting").

This news item is written in the early hours of the first day of the physical shift (Tuesday, 2 October) and the whole moving process won't be over until the library is moved in over a week's time. It has been a long, hard slog these past few weeks deciding what to keep and what to throw out. (Here we have been confronted by the startling evidence of the move from paper to electronic communication in the past two decades.)

The premises are also a bit smaller and organised very differently so we have quite a bit of reorganisation and adjustment ahead of us. The long and short of it, then, is: expect the usual professional standards you normally receive from the Press and NIAS generally but please do realise that behind the scenes it will be something of a madhouse for a while.

It is of course great timing that the Frankfurt Book Fair starts next week.



Press news

  • Aug. 9 2019
    Carol Ann Boshier's book 'Mapping Cultural Nationalism: The Scholars of the Burma Research Society,1910-1935' has been shortlisted for the EuroSEAS Humanities Book Prize 2019. Congratulations!

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