- Exploring Central Asia: From the Steppes to the High Pamirs 1896-1899
In the 1890s, the Danish lieutenant Ole Olufsen set out to lead two expeditions to Tsarist Central Asia. Exploring areas that were still blank on European and Russian maps, the participants spent more than a year traveling on horseback in the pamirs and adjacent valleys bordering Afghanistan, China, and British India.
Esther Fihl offers an in-depth study of these Danish expeditions and presents the magnificent collection of objects brought back to the National Museum of Denmark. Drawing on diaries, reports, and published works and a scrutiny of the guiding principles for their collecting of objects, she demonstrates how these explorers portrayed the cultures encountered. This work is a treasure for anyone interested in Central Asia, early anthropological theory, material culture, or European travel literature.
They lived with Kyrgyz nomads who carved out an existence for themselves above the tree line with their sheep, goats, and yaks. Traveling along the river Pandsh, they were the first Europeans to collect ethnographical information on the transhumant pastoralists in the elevated valleys bordering Afghanistan. On the steppes of the western lowlands, the Danish expeditions stopped in Samarkand, Khiva, and Bukhara, commercial hubs on the old Silk Road. As official guests of both the emir of Bukhara and the khan of Khiva, they studied the handicrafts of the bazaars and the irrigation agriculture practiced by the Tajiks and Uzbeks. On visits to Merv they also spent time with Turkmen nomadic tribes who had only recently been fighting the Russian colonial power.
- The Poetic Edda
The Poetic Edda comprises a treasure trove of mythic and spiritual verse holding an important place in Nordic culture, literature, and heritage. Its tales of strife and death form a repository, in poetic form, of Norse mythology and heroic lore, embodying both the ethical views and the cultural life of the North during the late heathen and early Christian times.
Collected by an unidentified Icelander, probably during the twelfth or thirteenth century, The Poetic Edda was rediscovered in Iceland in the seventeenth century by Danish scholars. Even then its value as poetry, as a source of historical information, and as a collection of entertaining stories was recognized. This meticulous translation succeeds in reproducing the verse patterns, the rhythm, the mood, and the dignity of the original in a revision that Scandinavian Studies says "may well grace anyone's bookshelf."
- The Bullying Problem: How to Deal with Difficult Children
Why do some children become bullies? What motivates their aggressive behaviour? How do they pick their victims? Alan Train takes a challenging look at the problem of bullying in schools and comes up with fresh answers and solutions.
Many parents are reluctant to admit that their child is a bully, or is being bullied, and when they do admit it, have no idea of how to approach the problem. Alan Train explains the underlying needs of both the bully and the bullied, and how they may be met in a less destructive way. He centres the problem in the child's family dynamic, and proposes solutions that can tackle the problem.
- Chandigarh's Le Corbusier: The Struggle for Modernity in Postcolonial India
When India emerged from colonial rule in 1947, the division of Punjab left its historic capital, Lahore, in newly created Pakistan. Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru insisted that Punjab's new capital, Chandigarh, should be a symbol of the nation's faith in the future, unfettered by the traditions of the past. Its design and construction galvanized national attention, and Le Corbusier, the icon of European architectural modernism, was invited to help remake India's national ideal.
Le Corbusier arrived in 1950, in the twilight of his career. He set to work alternately wooing and clashing with Nehru and with the Indian planners and builders, prevailing ultimately only in the design of the Capitol Complex and a few buildings in the Museum Complex, as well as in his enduring symbol of peace and nonalignment, the Open Hand.
Vikramaditya Prakash tells the fascinating story that lies behind the planning and architecture of Chandigarh. Drawing on his intimate knowledge of the city, where he grew up as the son of one of the nine Indian architects who assisted in designing Chandigarh, Prakash brings to light stories of town planners, bureaucrats, and architects vying over the colonial past and the symbolic future of India. Different conceptions of the modern and the role of Indian civilization clashed and coalesced in a process that highlights the mutual interdependence of "East" and "West," and the fact that architecture and aesthetics cannot be separated from ideological claims and political implications.
Prakash skillfully unfolds the intricate layers of the Capitol's symbolism, tracing the cultural preconceptions and influences that produced Le Corbusier's understanding of India and animated his obsessions, desires, and aspirations. Chandigarh's Le Corbusier is the story of the making of an Indian modern architecture as both an aspect and an engine of post-colonial culture.
- Text and Ritual in Early China
In d104 and Ritual in Early China, leading scholars of ancient Chinese history, literature, religion, and archaeology consider the presence and use of texts in religious and political ritual. Through balanced attention to both the received literary tradition and the wide range of recently excavated artifacts, manuscripts, and inscriptions, their combined efforts reveal the rich and multilayered interplay of textual composition and ritual performance. Drawn across disciplinary boundaries, the resulting picture illuminates two of the defining features of early Chinese culture and advances new insights into their sumptuous complexity.
Beginning with a substantial introduction to the conceptual and thematic issues explored in succeeding chapters, d104 and Ritual in Early China is anchored by essays on early Chinese cultural history and ritual display (Michael Nylan) and the nature of its textuality (William G. Boltz). This twofold approach sets the stage for studies of the E Jun Qi metal tallies (Lothar von Falkenhausen), the Gongyang commentary to The Spring and Autumn Annals (Joachim Gentz), the early history of The Book of Odes (Martin Kern), moral remonstration in historiography (David Schaberg), the "Liming" manuscript text unearthed at Mawangdui (Mark Csikszentmihalyi), and Eastern Han commemorative stele inscriptions (K. E. Brashier).
The scholarly originality of these essays rests firmly on their authors' control over ancient sources, newly excavated materials, and modern scholarship across all major Sinological languages. The extensive bibliography is in itself a valuable and reliable reference resource.
This important work will be required reading for scholars of Chinese history, language, literature, philosophy, religion, art history, and archaeology.