Note to Readers

Wen-hsin Yeh, University of California, Berkeley
Sungtaek Cho, Korea University
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March 2016

Dear Cross-Currents readers,

We are pleased to present you with the eighteenth quarterly issue of the open-access Cross-Currents e-journal.

The March 2016 issue features research articles by Jooyeon Rhee of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (“Against the Nihilism of Suffering and Death: Richard E. K. Kim and His Works”); Xiaobing Tang of the University of Michigan (“Street Theater and Subject Formation in Wartime China: Toward a New Form of Public Art”); and Vladimir Tikhonov of Oslo University (“A Russian Radical and East Asia in the Early Twentieth Century: Sudzilovsky, China, and Japan”). The articles by Rhee and Tikhonov are based on presentations the authors delivered at the 4thCross-Currents Forum at UC Berkeley’s Institute of East Asian Studies in June 2015.

This issue also features two review essays. In the first, Cross-Currents editorial board member John Lie (University of California, Berkeley) discusses Sandra Fahy’s Marching Through Suffering: Loss and Survival in North Korea (Columbia University Press, 2015) and Hazel Smith’s North Korea: Markets and Military Rule (Cambridge University Press, 2015). Lie finds these two recent publications to be significant contributions to the Anglophone scholarship on North Korea in that they “convey the contemporary dynamics of North Korea without relying on the ready-made caricatures and stereotypes that dominate in the West (and the rest).”

In the second book review, Ingyu Oh (Korea University) discusses a trio of new books that address three different kinds of borders in present-day Japan: internal, cultural, and geopolitical. The books are: Voice, Silence, and Self: Negotiations of Buraku Identity in Contemporary Japan (Harvard University Asia Center, 2015) by Christopher Bundy; Resilient Borders and Cultural Diversity (Lexington Books, 2015) by Koichi Iwabuchi; and Japan’s Border Issues: Pitfalls and Prospects (Routledge, 2016) by Akihiro Iwashita. Oh suggests that the concurrent publication of these monographs may be “a sign of increasing consciousness within Japan on the issues of diversity, multiethnicity, old and new forms of discrimination, and continuing border conflicts with neighboring countries.”

This issue’s photo essay—“A Himalayan Border Triology: The Political Economies of Transport Infrastructure and Disaster Relief between China and Nepal”—documents three international border posts along Nepal’s border with the Tibet Autonomous Region as potent symbols of ongoing evolutions in Sino-Nepal relations. In his accompanying curator’s statement, Galen Murton (University of Colorado, Boulder) argues that transborder roads like those he documents here “increasingly serve as vectors for the delivery of Chinese commerce, aid, and political power across South Asia.”

This issue’s “Readings from Asia” essay by Yong-ki Lee (Korea National University of Education)—“Exploring Colonial Modernity through the Dynamics of Multilayered Time and Space”—presents for English-language readers Itagaki Ryūta’s (板垣竜太) Hanguk kŭndae ŭi yŏksa minjokji: Kyŏngbuk sangju ŭi singminji kyŏnghŏm 한국 근대의 역사민족지: 경북 상주의 식민지 경험 [A historical ethnography of Korean modernity: Colonial experience in Sangju, Kyŏngbuk Province] (Hyean, 2015). Lee determines that Itagaki’s book is “intriguing and significant,” because the author takes one step further the established argument that the temporal continuity between the premodern and the modern, and the overlapping and coexistence of heterogeneous elements in the modern period, should be revealed and elucidated.

Finally, we are very pleased to let you, our readers, know that Cross-Currents has reached an important milestone as the journal enters its fifth year of publication. This month we received notification that Cross-Currents has been added to the Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI)—part of Thomson-Reuters’ Web of Science™ Core Collection—a new index that includes high-quality, peer-reviewed publications of regional importance and in emerging scientific fields.

We hope you enjoy reading this issue. As always, we look forward to receiving your feedback. Be sure to register here on our website in order to leave comments for our contributors and join the conversation.

Wen-hsin Yeh and Sungtaek Cho
Co-editors