This book is in the Cambria Sinophone World Series headed by Victor H. Mair (University of Pennsylvania).
This unprecedented volume presents important cultural works from the borders, margins, buffer zones, transitional areas, and frontiers from within and around the mega-states of China and India, subsumed within the larger geo-political constructs of East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. Many are from communities of poets or individuals writing within the watersheds of the Eastern Himalayas, an area encompassing North East India, Myanmar, and Southwest China. A number are from farther north in Western China and the steppes of Inner Mongolia and the nation of Mongolia.
This book is a rare collection that brings together the works of poets of diverse cultural backgrounds located in places that are only beginning to be recognized globally as sites of intense poetic work. Major themes that penetrate these works are rapid environmental change and subsequent effects on traditional culture and challenges to ethnic and personal identity. These concerns are often framed within imagery of the local folk culture and local geographic environment, which are under increasing pressures of development by local and international governments and business enterprises.
This volume offers a substantial glimpse into contemporary poetry from exciting but under-represented poetic voices speaking out in the border areas of eastern Asia. The collection reflects the high energy, sense of purpose, and deep insight and feeling of highly sensitive poets living in times of cultural and environmental change.
The Borderlands of Asia is an important book for Asian studies, Indigenous literature studies, and literature of the environment studies.
Mark Bender is a professor of Chinese literature and folklore at The Ohio State University. He did his undergraduate at The Ohio State University, then taught in China (Wuhan and Guangxi) during much of the 1980s, before returning to The Ohio State University for graduate school. Dr. Bender's publications include Plum and Bamboo: China's Suzhou Chantefable Tradition, Butterfly Mother: Miao (Hmong) Creation Epics from Guizhou, China, and The Columbia Anthology of Chinese Folk and Popular Literature (coedited with Victor Mair). He has published in journals such as Asian Ethnology, Oral Tradition, and Chinese Literature Today. Dr. Bender was the keynote speaker at the 25th Albert Lord and Milman Parry Lecture Series at the Center for Oral Tradition, University of Missouri, in 2011.