Author Archives: alicia

Interview: Language Documentation & Conservation editor Nick Thieberger

In the fall of 2005, linguistics professor Kenneth L. Rehg and UHM Foreign Language Resource Center director Richard Schmidt planned a meeting with the goal of advancing language documentation and associated activities as a legitimate subfield of linguistics. In the spring, 28 linguists gathered at the East-West Center from as far east as Japan and as far west as New England, and as far south as Australia. As a result of this meeting, the journal Language Documentation & Conservation launched in June 2007.

From the outset, LD&C has been an open access journal because, as founding editor Rehg writes, “In many communities where vulnerable and endangered languages are spoken, any amount charged for a subscription is too much.” In the past decade, the journal has provided 340 articles comprising 10 volumes, totaling more than 661,000 downloads. Below, current editor Nick Thieberger discusses the benefits of being an online-only journal and what’s in store for LD&C as it enters its second decade.

You’ve been with Language Documentation & Conservation since the beginning, starting as the Technology Review Editor and then taking over from founding editor Kenneth L. Rehg in 2011. Can you share with us how LD&C got started and your current work leading the journal?

For background on how LD&C began, please see the recent article by our founding editor. The role of editor involves coordinating production, doing initial assessments of contributions (sometimes with the help of the Editorial Board), finding reviewers, maintaining the website, and updating the Facebook page.

Dr. Nick Thieberger (R) plays audio of the Koita language near Port Moresby to Koitabuan E’ava Geita (L). Picture: Rachel Nordlinger. This image was first published in the Pursuit article, “Islands of language enter virtual reality.”

In Prof. Rehg’s “The Founding of Language Documentation & Conservation” (Vol. 11), he notes that one of the goals of the journal was to “focus … on topics that do not readily find a home in other journals.” How is LD&C unique from other journals in your field?

Issues around language documentation and revitalization have become increasingly relevant in the past decade or two. With the increased focus on language endangerment, more attention is being paid to creating good records of as many different performances and speakers as possible. Performance includes narratives, dialogues, songs, multi-participant events as well as good old-fashioned elicitation.

The journal Language Documentation & Conservation provides a venue for exploring new methods in creating language records and in using records for language revitalization. It is unique in its scope and in the quality of its contributions (peer-reviewed since the first issue in 2007). A topic of particular current interest is the ‘collection overview’ which presents a guide to a set of primary language records, allowing readers to identify its extent and the context in which it was created. We hope that such overviews will become more common in our discipline.

LD&C was designed to be an electronic-only, open access journal, which was uncommon when you launched the journal in 2006. Why was this important then, and why does it remain relevant now?

LD&C has been committed to providing open access from its inception. As so many of the languages that are the focus of language documentation efforts are spoken in small communities, we want to ensure that the research we publish is fully accessible to anyone with Internet access. We ensure longevity of access by lodging all LD&C content in the University of Hawai‘i’s digital repository, linked from our website.

Online publication allows us to produce articles quickly and to embed media to illustrate examples in the papers. It also allows authors to add material incrementally over time.

We encourage subscription, which is free, so that readers can be informed twice a year about new content, which we upload four times a year.

LD&C Editor Nick Thieberger took this photo at the University of Hawai‘i and posted it on the journal’s Facebook page.

Where is LD&C going next?

We have published a couple of volumes that allow incremental addition of new material over time, taking advantage of the non-book format of online publication. SCOPIC is a volume that will provide a series of papers in the next few years. In the pipeline now is a grammar that will be published incrementally in what would have been called fascicles in the past.

With 11 volumes and 13 special publications now available, is there an issue that you’re particularly proud of?

With 340 articles produced it is hard to choose among them. However, the most popular article has been download over 60,000 times (see the statistics here).

Do you have any advice for academics interested in submitting to LD&C?

Take advantage of the possibilities offered by online publishing. Include media as examples of phenomena discussed in the article, include corpus materials that allow readers to check your analysis and to potentially carry out their own reanalysis of the data.



About the Journal

Language Documentation & Conservation is a free open-access journal on issues related to language documentation and revitalization. The journal is sponsored by the National Foreign Language Resource Center.

Submissions

Instructions for submission can be found on the Language Documentation & Conservation‘s website.

The Contemporary Pacific, vol. 29 no. 2 (2017)

Featured art in the new issue of The Contemporary Pacific by Selwyn Muru: On 9 June 2017, 135 years after government troops invaded and violently decimated the Māori settlement of Parihaka (and at the time this issue of the journal was about to go to press), a Crown apology was finally offered to the people of Parihaka. The gesture is more than symbolic: an additional deed of reconciliation, legacy statement, ongoing relationship agreements with local and national government, a development fund, and legislation are being put in place to ensure that the Crown’s commitment is legally binding. Parihaka Papakainga Trust Chair Puna Wano-Bryant’s declaration of a “new dawn” echoed sentiments expressed at the time of Parihaka’s founding. The cover image depicts two important prophets, peacemakers, and leaders of nonviolent resistance in this story: Te Whiti o Rongomai, who helped establish Parihaka with Tohu Kakahi, and their colleague Riwha Titokowaru, who was blind in one eye, and who was arguably “the best general New Zealand has ever produced” (James Belich, in Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand).

This issue of The Contemporary Pacific features a dialogue, “Losing Oceania to the Pacific and the World,” political reviews, the work of artist Selwyn Muru, book and media reviews, and the following articles:

  • Climate Change and the Imagining of Migration: Emerging Discourses on Kiribati’s Land Purchase in Fiji by Elfriede Hermann and Wolfgang Kempf
  • Charting Pacific (Studies) Waters: Evidence of Teaching and Learning by Teresia K. Teaiwa

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Interview: Asian Theatre Review editor Kathy Foley

Later this year, Asian Theatre Journal editor Kathy Foley will step down from her post, which she’s held since 2004, and pass the baton onto current area editor, Siyuan Liu. Foley is a distinguished scholar, performer and director based out of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and has been engaged with the journal since “before it was born.” This summer, Foley shared with us the history of ATJ and highlights from her tenure with the journal.

Learn more about Foley in the recent “Founders of the Field” feature by Margaret J. Caldiron in ATJ Vol. 34, No. 1. A specialist in wayang golek (Indonesian rod puppets), Foley also shared her knowledge with the Asian Art Museum in this short video.

Kathy Foley leads a performance class at the University of Malaya during a Fulbright Senior Scholar grant in 2014. Students rehearse the wilderness scene from the Layla and Majnun story in Mughal Miniatures. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Foley)

Asian Theatre Journal launched in 1984 with an article written by you and, 20 years later, you took over the editorship from Samuel L. Leiter. Can you tell us about your history with the journal and what lead you to become editor of ATJ?

When I was a graduate student at UH and the East-West Center, I and my peers started a mimeographed Asian Theatre Reports, which brought together recent field research of graduate students studying Asian theatre. When East-West Center offered to upgrade this publication, James Brandon suggested instead a full peer-reviewed journal and went to UH Press with his proposal. Thus, in some ways, I feel I have been with journal since before it was born. To have followed in the footsteps of editors James Brandon with Elizabeth Wichmann-Walczak and Samuel Leiter—giants of our field—is an honor.

How has Asian Theatre Journal evolved over the years? And what issues are particularly relevant now?

As editor my quest has been to publish fundamental research. Arts and humanities in the American and European University often remain focused on the West—what happens in New York, London, Berlin, Paris is touted as “theatre.” Japan, China, and Singapore, as they developed economic clout, have gotten attention, but I want us to see that Dili and Naha are equally important; that more than the doings of the elite need attention. We need larger vistas. Aesthetic biodiversity, past and present, is important for humans. Art makers mount stages to expand our possibilities as a species. This journal is about widening visions—my own and I hope of readers, too.

In your first editor’s note, you wrote, “Knowledge is crossing oceans and leaping across generations. We are a joint community of teachers and learners.” Today, in addition to articles and translations, the journal features sections on “Emerging Scholars” as well as “Founders of the Field.” How would you describe your approach to editing ATJ?

Jim Brandon started ATJ with a focus on “traditional” forms. As Samuel Leiter came, contemporary play translations and papers by “Emerging Scholars” got space. During my time there has been increasing focus on urban contemporary forms and China has mushroomed. This is not because I dictate it—it comes with the “trends” of trans-national scholarship; gender issues, sexualities, postcolonial thrusts come from what is transpiring in both grad seminars and in the world. We definitely have become more global—graduate student cohorts and assistant professors hail from across the globe.

Kathy Foley (center) performs wayang golek sunda with the clown Semar (light face and black body) and his sons (Astrajingga behind Semar and Petruk facing him). Her puppetry graduate students Michael Schuster (foreground) and Shae Uisna (behind Foley) assist along with UCSC gamelan players. (Photo courtesy of Kathy Foley)

Siyuan Liu and David Jortner edited “Founders of the Field”; it was initially just a way to do more than just mark death of a single important Asian theatre scholar (Andy Tsubaki from University of Kansas). I suggested we talk to our forerunners while they were still around about how/why our field was formed. This “Founders” series ballooned, while seemingly “about” individuals, it really asks more—what is the evolving place of Asian theatre studies in the academy? How did World War II and the Occupation jumpstart our field by creating Japanist besotted with kabuki? How did the 1960s era give Southeast Asian or South Asian theatre focus? How has China after Mao allowed new studies? Looking at lineages is germane to our discipline—the guru, the sensei, the sifu—is “built in” to our training. The 10-week quarter or even the five-year PhD does not work in the same way. That Founder project asked, where do we come from and where are we heading? The next editor may not continue the series on actions and interactions, but will still keep a finger to the pulse.

This year, you pass the editorship onto Siyuan Liu. Looking back on a dozen years at the helm, is there an issue that you’re particularly proud of?

I think that some of the themed issues—Shakespeare in Asia, Kyogen, Malaysian Theatre, Women in Asian Theatre—have been useful, not only because they had good articles, but many of those editors have gone on to bigger editing jobs better prepared. Siyuan Liu, himself, became seasoned as an editor with the “Founders” and is now ready to do the whole.

Colleague Margaret J. Coldiron characterizes your scholarly work as “detailed, accessible, and passionate.” After ATJ, what’s next for you?

After ATJ I’m ready to focus on my own writing. I have so much research I have never really processed while performing, raising kids, administrating, and editing. James Brandon told me when I was a graduate student that single-point focus (then, the dissertation) was something I would seldom experience again. He was right. But Jim actually did his most important writing on kabuki after he passed off ATJ, I hope to follow his example and watch my “to do” list shrink.


About the Journal

Asian Theatre Journal is dedicated to the performing arts of Asia, focusing upon both traditional and modern theatrical forms. It aims to facilitate the exchange of knowledge throughout the international theatrical community for the mutual benefit of all interested scholars and artists. It is the official journal of the Association of Asian Performance.

Subscriptions

Single issue sales and annual subscriptions for both individuals and institutions available here.

Submissions

Asian Theatre Journal welcomes articles on Asian theatre and on the relations and mutual influences between Asian and Western theatre. Find submission guidelines here.

Interview: MĀNOA Editor Frank Stewart

In late June, the team behind the MĀNOA journal won the Ka Palapala Po‘okela Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for its book-length special project, Curve of the Hook: An Archaeologist in Polynesia, from the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association. Curve of the Hook features the life of Dr. Yosihiko Sinoto. The full-color volume was designed by Barbara Pope Book Design and translated by Madoka Nagadō and MĀNOA editor Frank Stewart.

MĀNOA began here in the Mānoa Valley, where the University of Hawai‘i is situated, nearly 30 years ago. Dedicated to storytelling in all forms, MĀNOA frequently crosses the boundary between journal and book. Below, editor Frank Stewart details how MĀNOA began, the importance of place, and the narratives that connect us all.

You founded the journal with Robert Shapard. Can you share with us MĀNOA’s origin story?

In 1987, University of Hawai‘i President Albert Simone wanted to expand the number of journals published by the University of Hawai‘i Press. He offered five-year start-up funds to three prospective journals and invited proposals. My colleague, Robbie Shapard, and I submitted an outline for MĀNOA: A Pacific Journal of International Writing. The two of us saw that there was no journal anywhere that focused on contemporary literary writing exclusively from Asia, the Pacific, and the Americas, and we felt that such a journal could best be produced at the University of Hawai‘i. Our proposal was approved, and we published the first issue of MĀNOA in fall 1989. Barbara Pope signed on as art editor. Howard Goldblatt was our first guest editor, contributing a feature on new Chinese fiction. UH Press Production typeset it, and Journals contracted the printing.

MĀNOA founding editors Frank Stewart (left) and Robert Shapard (right), 1994. Photo courtesy of Frank Stewart

MĀNOA’s subtitle is “A Pacific Journal of International Writing.” What role does place play in MĀNOA?

The subtitle is important. It makes clear that MĀNOA is published in the Pacific. Our editorial perspective is distinctive to Hawai‘i; our home is the Pacific hemisphere. In Honolulu, we are closer to Tokyo and Auckland than to New York. This means that neither Asia nor Oceania is exotic to us, and so we don’t treat writing from there as strange and mysterious. We chose to put “writing” in the subtitle rather than “literature” because we publish work that isn’t limited to what is conventionally meant by that term: we include, for example, chants, rap lyrics, oratory, graphic narratives, and film scripts. We are “international” in that we don’t view writing as confined in regional cages; we want to present writing from everywhere as belonging to the world as a whole.

Every issue of MĀNOA features visual art alongside prose and poetry. Why do you think it’s important, and how do you pair artists?

Visual art is a powerful form of narrative. Juxtaposed with writing, art quickens the imagination and intensifies both the word and image. We are concerned primarily with storytelling, and the visual art in MĀNOA tells its own narrative—rather than simply illustrating the writing—and makes its own statements about people, culture, history, and other elements in each issue.

The last decade of issues and books produced by MĀNOA.

In your field, what issues or questions are particularly relevant now? How is MĀNOA part of that conversation?

In 2017, we no longer have to persuade people that knowing individuals who are seemingly different from ourselves is good and necessary if we are going to live together ethically on the same planet. The best writing expands and deepens our sense of familiarity and kindredness. Those are the kinds of stories we want to publish—often in new translations—whether they’re from Pakistan, Mongolia, Tibet, Indonesia, or the Philippines. And we’re particularly aware that indigenous works from Hawai‘i, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, French Polynesia, and other Pacific Islands are sorely underrepresented in English-language publishing. We want to help change that.

Is there an issue that you’re particularly proud of?

Our summer 2016 special project, Curve of the Hook: An Archaeologist in Polynesia, presents the life and work of Dr. Yosihiko Sinoto, who changed the way the world regards Polynesia and Polynesians. His story not only links people and cultures across the entire Pacific, but also shows that relationships of outsiders with island peoples need to be ethical and to respect their sacred sites, beliefs, and languages. His life story inspires us to look below the surface and over the horizon—something every project of MĀNOA attempts to do. Our winter 2016 issue, Red Peonies, presents two novellas by Zhang Yihe, a Chinese woman imprisoned during the Cultural Revolution. Now in her seventies, Zhang Yihe advocates for freedom of expression in the PRC.

Curve of the Hook received the excellence-in-nonfiction award from the HBPA on June 22. Accepting the award were Frank Stewart (left) and Akihiko Sinoto (middle), son of Dr. Sinoto. Eric Komori (right) wrote the introduction. Photo courtesy of MĀNOA.

MĀNOA recently received a $10,000 grant from the NEA. How does this help sustain MĀNOA and what can readers look forward to?

The University stopped underwriting the new journals after three years instead of five. So since 1991, MĀNOA has survived because of its staff’s efforts to attract funds from sources such as the NEA. Grants sustain us one year at a time, but after nearly thirty years, we are optimistic. We’re looking forward in the next few years to publishing powerful new work from Cambodia, Burma, Brazil, and from minority poets in China writing about the natural environment. Every issue is an adventure.


About the Journal

MĀNOA is a unique, award-winning literary journal that includes American and international fiction, poetry, artwork, and essays of current cultural or literary interest. Beautifully produced, MĀNOA presents traditional alongside contemporary writings from the entire Pacific Rim, one of the world’s most dynamic literary regions.

Purchase & Subscribe

Purchase a copy of Curve of the Hook here.

MĀNOA subscriptions for both individuals and institutions are available here.

JSEALS Special Publication No. 1: Issues in Austronesian Historical Linguistics (2017)

Cover photo courtesy of Alexander Smith


Journal of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society has released Special Publication No. 1: Issues in Austronesian Historical Linguistics. Editor-in-Chief Mark J. Alves writes in the introduction,

This is the first JSEALS special publication since JSEALS became a University of Hawai‘i Press publication as of January 2017. The goal of JSEALS special publications is to share collections of linguistics articles, such as select papers from conferences or other special research agendas, as well as to offer a way for linguistic researchers in the greater Southeast Asian region to publish monograph-length works. In this instance, Hsiu-chuan Liao, the primary editor of this publication, requested that papers from the 2015 13-ICAL meeting be published through JSEALS, which we were able to complete in a timely manner. The five papers include works by prominent names in the field of Austronesian historical linguistics.

Papers

Mora, Vowel Length, and Diachrony: the Case of Arta, a Philippine Negrito Language by Yukinori Kimoto

Re-evaluating the Position of Iraya Among Philippine Languages by Lawrence A. Reid

Reconstructing Proto Kenyah Pronouns and the Development of a True Five Number System by Alexander D. Smith

Linguistic Evidence for Prehistory: Oceanic Examples by Malcolm Ross

Classifying Old Rapa: Linguistic Evidence for Contact Networks in Southeast Polynesia by Mary Walworth


Open Access: Read JSEALS issues and special publications here


About the Journal

Devoted to a region of extraordinary linguistic diversity, the journal features papers on the languages of Southeast Asia, including Austroasiatic, Austronesian, Hmong-Mien, Tibeto-Burman, and Tai-Kadai.

Open Access

JSEALS is an open access publication. All journal content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license. Sponsor: Southeast Asian Linguistics Society

Submissions

Find Submission Guidelines here.

Review: Curve of the Hook, from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (MĀNOA)

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reviewed MĀNOA Vol. 28 No. 1, Curve of the Hook in its Sunday Magazine.

Curve of the Hook is the first book-length work in English about Dr. Sinoto’s life and work. Dr. Sinoto’s research fundamentally changed the way the world views the accomplishments of ancient Polynesians, whose early voyages are considered to be among the great achievements in human history.

In the April 23 review, David A.M. Goldberg wrote:

Sinoto, who learned Tahitian and started his research from a place of respect, represents the best that science has to offer as a discipline and worldview. ‘Curve of the Hook’ is the story of a life everyone in Hawaii should know about and be inspired to emulate as we witness ongoing threats to the indigenous cultures of Polynesia.

Find the full review here at the Star-Advertiser.

Attend MĀNOA’s Curve of the Hook panel at this weekend’s Hawai‘i Book & Music Festival, Saturday, May 6 at noon. Preview the event here.

Interview: Oceanic Linguistics Editor John Lynch

In 56 years, Oceanic Linguistics has been led by only three editors: George W. Grace, Byron Bender, and John Lynch. Below, Lynch shares the journal’s history, how he managed to complete Vol. 54 in the middle of a hurricane, and how the journal has kept up with its expanding field.

John Lynch, editor of Oceanic Linguistics since 2007.

Oceanic Linguistics will publish its 56th volume this year. Tell us about the history of the journal.

OL was founded in 1962 on the recommendation of the Tenth Pacific Science Congress, held in Honolulu in 1961. The founding editor, George W. Grace, was then at Southern Illinois University; in 1964 he moved to the UH, and brought the journal with him. After 30 years as editor, he handed over to a colleague in the UH Linguistics Dept., Byron W. Bender, who continued as editor till 2007, when he handed over to me. (See Grace, Bender, and Lynch 2011. “The first fifty years of Oceanic Linguistics.” Oceanic Linguistics 50(2):285–311.)

Tell us about your journey to become editor of Oceanic Linguistics.

I had been an associate editor of OL since 1999, but that just consisted of refereeing the occasional paper. A cabal consisting of the two previous editors, two other UH faculty associated with the journal, and a linguist then at UH Press suggested to me that, since Byron Bender wanted to retire as editor, perhaps the editorship should move south of the equator — and I was their suggested nominee. I guess the fact that I am originally from Australia, have a UH PhD, have lived in Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu since 1970, and was about to retire was qualification enough.

George W. Grace (right) in Houaïlou, New Caledonia, in 1955. Source: Wikipedia. Grace founded the journal in 1962 and served as editor for 30 years. See Robert Blust’s “In Memoriam: George William Grace (1921-2015)” in Vol. 54, Issue 2.

In your field, what issues are particularly relevant now? 

Two issues have remained relevant for many years. One is the historical interrelationships of the languages of the Pacific, both Austronesian and non-Austronesian, and the contribution of this study to wider Pacific prehistory. The other is the contribution that Pacific linguists can make to the general study of language and linguistic theory.

How has Oceanic Linguistics evolved over the years? Do you foresee any changes on the horizon?

The major evolution has been in terms of size: many of the early issue were 100 pages or smaller; the most recent issue, on the other hand, runs to almost 400 pages. The field has expanded enormously in the last half-century, and the pool of potential authors has expanded along with it.

Byron Bender served as the second editor of OL for 15 years, and now serves as managing editor. Source: UH Dept. of Linguistics.

Is there an issue that you’re particularly proud of?

I’m especially proud of vol. 54, no. 1, of June, 2015. Final copy goes from my laptop to UH Press for printing. However, as I was about to prepare the final files, Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu — the most powerful hurricane in Vanuatu’s history. We were without water for a few days and without power for two weeks. My son purchased a tiny gasoline generator, which kept lights and refrigerator going … and allowed OL 54(1) to be produced to deadline!

Do you have any advice for those interested in submitting to Oceanic Linguistics? What are you looking for in future issues?

Two things: 1) Find a topic that is interesting to other people, not just to you. And 2) write simply and clearly.


About the Journal

Oceanic Linguistics is the only journal devoted exclusively to the study of the indigenous languages of the Oceanic area and parts of Southeast Asia.

Subscriptions

Annual subscription rates are US$120 for institutions and US $40 for individuals. Click here to subscribe.

Submissions

All submissions and editorial inquiries should be addressed to John Lynch, Editor, at oceanic@hawaii.edu.