Subject: This Month in Mongolian Studies - February 2014

Having trouble viewing this email?  Click here to open in your browser.

February 2014
In this Issue:

ACMS Sponsored Programs and Events

New Books in the ACMS Library

Call for Papers, Conferences and Workshops

Position Openings

Research Fellowships, Scholarships and Grants


News and Events

Recent Publications

This is a monthly listing of selected academic activities and resources related to Mongolia. This list is based on information the ACMS has received and is presented as a service to its members. If you would like to submit information to be included in next month's issue please contact the ACMS at and/or the editor, Marissa Smith, at

ACMS Sponsored Programs and Events
Speaker Series
The Speaker Series are formal presentations given by leading academics, experts and community leaders on a wide variety of topics related to Mongolia. Each session has a 30-45 minute formal lecture followed by a 30 minute Q&A session. All presentations are held in the American Corner presentation room of the Natsagdorj Library in Ulaanbaatar. We invite all researchers visiting Mongolia and who are interested in presenting to contact us at their earliest convenience.

February 10th Speaker Series – Author Dr. Baasan Ragchaa
Dr. Ragchaa Baasan will be discussing her book The Impact of China and Russia on United States-Mongolian Political Relations in the Twentieth Century. A well known expert in Mongolian foreign relations, Dr. Baasan was a member of Mongolia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for over 30 years. After serving several years in India, she became director of the North America and Europe desk in Ulaanbaatar. Baasan was appointed First Secretary in the Mongolian Embassy in Washington, D.C. with accreditation to Mexico from 1997-2000. Upon her retirement from government service in 2001, she moved to Indiana University as a Special Researcher for three years in the Department of Central Eurasian Studies. She now is a free-lance consultant in Ulaanbaatar.

February 25th Speaker Series – Meloney Lindberg
Mrs. Lindberg is the Country Representative of the Asia Foundation and will be discussing the changing roles of international NGO’s in modern Mongolia. Looking back on the Asia Foundation’s 20 years in Mongolia, she will also be looking at how the changing needs and conditions in Mongolia are causing NGO’s to adapt. Meloney has a B.A. in international studies from Miami University and an M.A. in international and intercultural management from the School for International Training, World Learning; Brattleboro, Vermont.

Scholar's Corner
The Scholar's Corner is an informal gathering aimed at providing an opportunity for visiting academics, resident scholars and interested individuals to meet, discuss their research and exchange ideas.

February 20th Scholars Corner – "Being Vegetarian in Mongolia" – Enkhee Purev
Open discussion on being a vegetarian in Mongolia lead by a long standing Mongolian Vegan. Discussion will be on why be vegetarian, where to shop, restaurants and other essentials. Event will be held at the Blue Sky Hotel, 23rd floor lounge starting at 6 pm. Hope to see you all there. Cash bar will be available.

Upcoming ACMS Annual Meeting in the US
The ACMS will be holding its Annual Meeting and Reception in conjunction with the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) annual meeting on Friday, March 28th, at 7:30pm. This year the meeting will be in Philadelphia, at the Downtown Marriott (1201 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA). A reception, cultural program, and poster session will be held after the membership meeting and those events will be free and open to the public and all interested parties. Registration to AAS is not required.
New Books in the ACMS Library
W. W. Hopkins. 2012. Communication and the law. Northport, AL: Vision Press
L. Rowntree, et al. 2006. Diversity amid globalization: world regions, environment, development. Upper Saddle River, NJ : Pearson Prentice Hall.
G. M. Meier. 2000. Leading issues in economic development. New York: Oxford University Press.
T. H.Tietenberg. 2009. Environmental economics and policy. Boston: Pearson Addison Wesley,
B M. Robinson. 2003. Hatley Park through the seasons. Victoria, B.C.: Natural Light Productions.
M.T. Brown. 2003. The ethical process: an approach to disagreements and controversial issues. Upper Saddle River, NJ : Prentice Hall.
L. H. Newton. 2003. Ethics and Sustainability: sustainable development and the moral life. Upper Saddle River, N.J. : Prentice Hall.
Calls for Papers, Conferences, and Workshops
Call for Posters
The ACMS still has space available for presenters for the poster session that will coincide with the ACMS Annual Meeting and Reception, Friday, March 28th, 2014 at the Downtown Marriott in Philadelphia, PA. To propose a poster or display for the session, please send a brief abstract or description (no more than 250 words) to David Dettmann at before March 1, 2014. Posters and displays will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Call for Articles
Asian Literature and Translation (ALT) is an open access, peer-reviewed, online journal established by the Centre for the History of Religion in Asia (CHRA), Cardiff University. The main objective of the journal is to publish research papers, translations, and reviews in the field of Asian religious literature (construed in the widest sense) in a form that makes them quickly and easily accessible to the international academic community, to professionals in related fields, such as theatre and storytelling, and to the general public. The scope of the journal covers the cultural, historical, and religious literature of South, Southeast, East and Central Asia in the relevant languages (e.g. Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese, Tibetan, Japanese, et al.). We particularly welcome literary translations, including extracts from longer works in progress, manuscript reports and commentarial material, new adaptations of classic texts, archive stories and debate pieces, and the discussion of new approaches to translation. Book and performance reviews, including visual material, and letters to the editor, including responses to published material, are also solicited. Contributions are welcome on a wide range of topics in the research area as defined above. For further information see: asian-lit-and-translation.html.

Call for Papers
The Centre for East Asian Studies Groningen (University of Gronigen, The Netherlands) will be hosting a conference titled "East Asia and the European Union: strong Economics, weak Politics?" on May 8-9 2014. Participants from around the world are welcome. Among the themes included in this free conference will be the Political and security complex, Trade and investment, Trand and investment partnership (TTIP), Culture and people-to-people. For full information on the call for papers see here, otherwise for visit the conference website at papers_-east-asia-and-the-european-union_-strong-economics_-weak- politics_
Position Openings
Postdoctoral Position
The European Research Council (ERC) project Mobility, Empire and Cross- Cultural Contacts in Mongol Eurasia at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem under the direction of Professor Michal Biran is offering up to 2 Post-Doctoral scholarships beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year. Scholars who have received their Ph.D. after October 1st 2008 and no later than August 1st 2014 are eligible to apply. The successful candidates will spend one academic year in Jerusalem (with a possibility of extension to two or more years). They will take part in a group enterprise of creating a prosopographical database for people active under Mongol rule, and can use the accumulated database for their own research. Fellows will receive a monthly stipend of approximately 10,000 NIS and will be given offices at the Hebrew University (Mount Scopus campus). They will participate in the project's seminar and its other activities and are expected to produce a project-related article(s) or monograph. The required criteria for submitting candidacy for the fellowships: Proven academic excellence; Sound knowledge of *at least* one of the following classical languages: *Arabic, Persian and/or Chinese*. Knowledge of Russian is also an advantage; Sound knowledge of the history of the Mongol Empire. Interested individuals are requested to send 1 copy of the following documents as well as an electronic version (in one file): Curriculum vitae (including language proficiency); Transcript of grades; Abstract of the PhD dissertation; Letters of evaluation of the PhD dissertation (if available); A document describing the research program (up to 500 words); Two letters of recommendation to be sent directly to the project's coordinator at and; A writing sample: PhD chapter or a paper that has been accepted for publication. Please send materials in hard copy to: Professor Michal Biran, Institute of Asian and African Studies, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mt. Scopus, 91905, Israel; and electronically in one file to: and by February 28th, 2014. For additional information about the project see

The Department of History at the University of Kansas invites candidates to apply for a tenure-track faculty position at the Assistant Professor level in Premodern China/Chinas Borderlands; the position is expected to begin as early as August 18, 2014. We are particularly interested in candidates whose work focuses on Chinas ethnic diversity, its multi-ethnic borderlands and/or its coastal regions, or that considers China as a source or destination of major population movements in the period from 1300 to the late nineteenth century. We are seeking candidates who are prepared to participate in a cluster of faculty located in departments across the university who are working on collaborative research and teaching projects related to migration, immigration, diaspora, and human trafficking. The successful candidate will join a well-established East Asian history program with two historians of Japan and a historian of modern China, and will be a member of the University’s Center for East Asian Studies, a Title VI National Resource Center.
Research Fellowships, Scholarships and Grants
ACMS US-Mongolia Field Research Fellowship Program
This program provides awards of up to $4,000 to students and/or faculty from US universities to conduct academic field research in Mongolia between May and October 2014. Student applicants can be at an advanced undergraduate, masters, or doctoral level, and all fields of study are eligible. Applicants must be US citizens currently enrolled full-time in a university or college in the United States. Students graduating in the spring of 2014 are eligible to apply. Faculty fellowship supports faculty members from US colleges and universities to conduct short-term field research in Mongolia between May and October 2014. Applicants must be US citizens currently teaching at a college or university in the United States. The program priority is to support faculty from non-research intensive universities and colleges, especially faculty who are helping guide student research projects or who can show how the experience will enhance their teaching. The fellowship is supported with funding from the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs through a grant by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers. Deadline for receipt of complete applications: February 15, 2014. Visit for more information.

ACMS Library Fellowship Program

This fellowship supports US advanced graduate students or faculty members in library science or related fields from US colleges and universities to conduct short-term projects and/or research in Mongolia between May and October 2014. Applicants must be US citizens. The ACMS Library Fellowship program is to help support the development of the ACMS research library through specific defined projects designed to enhance the collection content and resource availability. The Fellow will also offer training and support for local scholars and the public. Fellows will spend up to 12 weeks onsite in Mongolia at the ACMS library; prior experience working in Mongolia is not a requirement. Fellowships will be awarded to fund travel and living expenses of up to $4,000. The fellowship is supported with funding from the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs through a grant by the Council of American Overseas Research Centers. Deadline for receipt of complete applications: February 15, 2014. Visit for more information.

Doctoral Fellowships and Postdoctoral Fellowships: ANARCHIE Research Group and REALEURASIA Research Group, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany. The aim of ANARCHIE is to renew transdisciplinary agendas in fields where socio-cultural anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians have much to gain from cross-fertilisation. The designated fields include collective identifications, religion and ritual, and economic and demographic causation. While the first cohort of PhD students is conducting research in the area of collective identifications, students now invited are expected to present research projects dealing with religion and ritual. Further information on the research agenda of the Max Planck Institute is available on our website: REALEURASIA (Realising Eurasia: Civilisation and Moral Economy in the 21st Century) is a multidisciplinary comparative project rooted in economic anthropology which will take a fresh look at classical contributions to historical sociology on the basis of ethnographic fieldwork. It draws together the large literatures on moral economy (Thompson) and economic ethic (Weber), and applies these concepts at multiple levels within the framework of civilizational analysis (Arnason). In towns selected to ensure structural comparability, doctoral students will investigate a spectrum of family-controlled firms and the domestic group per se. The overall hypothesis is that, alongside civilisational pluralism, the long- term evolution of Eurasia has established a substantial degree of unity across the landmass. Please submit your application electronically by 31st of March 2014 following the link for vacancies on our homepage. Contact: Robert Gille,, Personnel Administration. Informal enquiries concerning the positions may be directed to Prof. Dr. Chris Hann. (

Postdoctoral Fellowships: The Louis Frieberg Center for East Asian Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem offers post-doctoral fellowships for the year 2014-2015. The post-docs are open to scholars in the humanities and social sciences specializing in East Asia, especially China, Japan, Korea and Mongolia. Fellowships are granted for one academic year or one term with the possibility of extension for an additional year. The starting date of the visit should not be later than four years after receipt of the Doctoral Degree; the fellow must hold a valid Doctoral Degree no later than September 2014. The fellowship consists of a monthly stipend (tax free) of $1,500. Payments are made once in three months in Israeli Shekels and are linked to the “representative rate of exchange.” Fellows are entitled to one airline ticket (economy class, up to 1500$) for a direct flight from their home town to Israel and back. The fellows are expected to teach one or two courses in the Hebrew University (for additional payment, according to the Hebrew University regulations). The ability to teach a course in Hebrew is welcome, but is not a prerequisite for attaining the fellowship. The fellows are also expected to actively participate in the life and activities of the Louis Frieberg Center for East Asian Studies. The fellows will present their research at the department seminar of the Asian Studies Department, and possibly at other relevant forums. Any work outside the Hebrew University would be allowed only after specific approval by the Frieberg Center. Applicants should submit one hard copy and one electronic copy (in one file) of their application to the address below, no later than April 30, 2014. Visit:
Dissertation Reviews now includes a section on Inner and Central Asia: http://dissertationrev

Asian Highlands Research Network [AH-RN] is a scholarly discussion group associated with the journal Asian Highlands Perspectives. This group focuses on the Tibetan Plateau and surrounding regions, including the Southeast Asian Massif, Himalayan Massif, the Extended Eastern Himalayas, the Mongolian Plateau, and other contiguous areas. We aim to promote exploration of cross-regional commonalities in history, culture, language, and socio-political context not served by current academic forums. AH-RN will be of interest to Sinologists, Tibetologists, Mongolists, and South and Southeast Asianists. We welcome group members to share information about events and publications related to the study of the Asian Highlands.
Services: timely and exclusive reviews of new books in the field; semi-regular roundup of new open access publications; announcements
of new publications from Asian Highlands Perspectives.
AH-RN is a private group. To join, please contact: Gerald.Roche[at]
For more on Asian Highlands Perspectives: hlandsperspectives

TheDukha Ethnoarchaeological Project. The primary goal of the DukhaEthnoarchaeological Project is the development of spatial theory of human behavior for application to archaeological problems. Visit the website at: .

Asian Politics and History Association. Asian Politics and History Association is a non-political, non-profit academic society organized by scholars of Asian studies. Established in 2011 in Hong Kong, APHA currently has members from Asian-Pacific, European and North American countries. APHA supports the Journal of Asian Politics & History, an academic journal published twice a year beginning in October 2012. Visit the website at:

Juniper: Online Database for Mongolian and Siberian Studies. This new French scientific tool is created at the initiative of the Centre for Mongolian and Siberian EPHE. It aims to bring together texts (native), images and multimedia on the peoples of Mongolia and Siberia. Several galleries of images are presented, including collections of old prints and a new series of old photographs of the Tuvan National Museum. Sheets populations gather essential information and links to documents relating to the peoples of Northern Asia. Subject files (kinship, Personalia, shamanism and soon others) allow you to browse the data according to thematic itineraries. The bibliography contains references to books and articles, some of which have been digitized and can be downloaded for researchers. Visit: www.base-

Searchable Ornithological Research Archive (SORA). Recently the University of New Mexico Library officially announced the launch of the new, upgraded Searchable Ornithological Research Archive (SORA). The ornithological community is once again indebted to the UNM library for investing in the open access distribution of our historical ornithological literature. SORA has been moved to a new platform that will allow the resource to grow and expand over time. Many of the SORA journal titles have been updated with additional articles, and a new ornithological title has been added to the site. SORA now offers a number of new features for users and provides tools for journal publishers to update the SORA repository directly, with little or no technical support. All of these improvements have been needed for some time, and the UNM Libraries SORA team appreciates your collective patience; it has taken over a year to convert the entire SORA article holdings and prepare the new site for production. A number of ongoing improvements are still in the works for 2014, and as with any major system upgrade, there are a countless number of small details that still require attention. The new URL to the site is

The Mongolist is a website dedicated to sharing knowledge about Mongolian politics, business, and society. The website is an ever growing resource built on data and information collected on the Internet and in Mongolia. The aim of this website is to make understanding the complexity of the rapid social and economic change occurring in Mongolia not only accessible but also rewarding. The underlying principle guiding the development of all content on this website is evidence based investigation. Whenever possible, opinion, conjecture, and pure guesswork are replaced with facts, data, and extrapolation. And, when this is not possible, opinion, conjecture, and pure guesswork are advertised as such. Visit:

Education About Asia (EAA) has become an essential resource for teachers dealing with Asian themes or topics; both in the broad trans-continental and regional contexts. Conceived as a publication for K-12 faculty, it has in fact proved to be extremely helpful for higher education faculty seeking insights on many subjects. The Asian Studies outreach activities of many colleges and universities have greatly benefited from EAA materials. Register (for free) to access approximately 900 articles from all thirty-seven back issues from 1996-2008: and subscribe to the Print Edition at Subscriptions.htm.

Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center: Indiana University’s IAUNRC has updated its website to include not only its regular newsletters but podcasts, lecture videos, teaching resources and more:

Mongolia Focus (formerly “Mongolia Today”): “This blog is an attempt by three avid Mongolia watchers to share their observations about current developments in Mongolia.” By Julian Dierkes and Dalaibulanii Byambajav, social scientists at the University of British Columbia, this blog mostly follows Mongolian politics and the mining sector. Visit:
News and Events
Monthly Biobeers Talk: First Thursday of the month, Sweet Cafe (located behind the Information and Technological National Park and next to the Admon Printing Company, west of Internom Bookstore Building). People are requested to arrive after 6pm, in time for the talk to start at 6.30. Biobeers is a monthly gathering of government and NGO staff, biologists, researchers, and other professionals interested in conservation. Each month, Biobeers sponsors a half-hour presentation on a topic relevant to Mongolian conservation, followed by an informal gathering to discuss activities and issues of interest. Biobeers is an opportunity to find out what is happening in the field of conservation in Mongolia, talk informally to other researchers and peers in your field, and share information about issues critical to the environment and people of Mongolia. Biobeers is organised by the Zoological Society of London's Steppe Forward Programme and sponsored by the Wildlife Conservation Society. Join the Yahoo! Group Mongolbioweb for announcements
Recent Publications
Tragic Spirits: Shamanism, Memory and Gender in Contemporary Mongolia, (Manduhai Buyandelger). The collapse of socialism at the end of the twentieth century brought devastating changes to Mongolia. Economic shock therapy—an immediate liberalization of trade and privatization of publicly owned assets—quickly led to impoverishment, especially in rural parts of the country, where Tragic Spirits takes place. Following the travels of the nomadic Buryats, Manduhai Buyandelger tells a story not only of economic devastation but also a remarkable Buryat response to it—the revival of shamanic practices after decades of socialist suppression. Attributing their current misfortunes to returning ancestral spirits who are vengeful over being abandoned under socialism, the Buryats are now at once trying to appease their ancestors and recover the history of their people through shamanic practice. Thoroughly documenting this process, Buyandelger situates it as part of a global phenomenon, comparing the rise of shamanism in liberalized Mongolia to its similar rise in Africa and Indonesia. In doing so, she offers a sophisticated analysis of the way economics, politics, gender, and other factors influence the spirit world and the crucial workings of cultural memory.

In Pursuit of Early Mammals (Life of the Past) , (ZofiaKielan-Jaworowska). In Pursuit of Early Mammals presents the history of the mammals that lived during the Mesozoic era, the time when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, and describes their origins, anatomy, systematics, paleobiology, and distribution. It also tells the story of the author, a world-renowned specialist on these animals, and the other prominent paleontologists who have studied them. ZofiaKielan-Jaworowska was the first woman to lead large-scale paleontological expeditions, including eight to the Gobi Desert in Mongolia, which brought back important collections of dinosaur, early mammal, and other fossils. She shares the difficulties and pleasures encountered in finding rare fossils and describes the changing views on early mammals made possible by thesediscoveries.Between 1963 and 1971, Kielan-Jaworowska organized eight paleontological expeditions to the Gobi Desert in Mongolia. These expeditions assembled an impressive collection of dinosaurs and Cretaceous mammals. Her research has focused on the study of the detailed structure of the brain and musculature of early mammals and their evolutionary relationships.

A Monastery in Time: The Making of Mongolian Buddhism, by Caroline Humphrey and Hurelbaatar Ujeed. (University of Chicago Press). A Monastery in Time is the first book to describe the life of a Mongolian Buddhist monastery—the Mergen Monastery in Inner Mongolia—from inside its walls. From the Qing occupation of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries through the Cultural Revolution, Caroline Humphrey and HürelbaatarUjeed tell a story of religious formation, suppression, and survival over a history that spans three centuries.Often overlooked in Buddhist studies, Mongolian Buddhism is an impressively self-sustaining tradition whose founding lama, the Third MergenGegen, transformed Tibetan Buddhism into an authentic counterpart using the Mongolian language. Drawing on fifteen years of fieldwork, Humphrey and Ujeed show how lamas have struggled to keep MergenGegen’s vision alive through tremendous political upheaval, and how such upheaval has inextricably fastened politics to religion for many of today’s practicing monks. Exploring the various ways Mongolian Buddhists have attempted to link the past, present, and future, Humphrey and Ujeed offer a compelling study of the interplay between the individual and the state, tradition and history.

Fossil Mammals of Asia: Neogene Biostratigraphy and Chronology, by Xiaoming Wang, Lawrence J. Flynn, Mikael Fortelius.(Columbia University Press). Fossil Mammals of Asia, edited by and with contributions from world-renowned scholars, is the first major work devoted to the late Cenozoic (Neogene) mammalian biostratigraphy and geochronology of Asia. This volume employs cutting-edge biostratigraphic and geochemical dating methods to map the emergence of mammals across the continent. Written by specialists working in a variety of Asian regions, it uses data from many basins with spectacular fossil records to establish a groundbreaking geochronological framework for the evolution of land mammals.Asia's violent tectonic history has resulted in some of the world's most varied topography, and its high mountain ranges and intense monsoon climates have spawned widely diverse environments over time. These geologic conditions profoundly influenced the evolution of Asian mammals and their migration into Europe, Africa, and North America. Focusing on amazing new fossil finds that have redefined Asia's role in mammalian evolution, this volume synthesizes information from a range of field studies on Asian mammals and biostratigraphy, helping to trace the histories and movements of extinct and extant mammals from various major groups and all northern continents, and providing geologists with a richer understanding of a variety of Asian terrains.

LIVE FROM UB: A Documentary on Modern Mongolian Rock, by Lauren Knapp (Fulbright-mtvU Fellow 2012). post-production is currently underway Lauren Knapp's documentary film LIVE FROM UB. She spent ten months in Mongolia researching the rock music scene, its history, and how the new generation of musicians is fusing traditional music and themes with modern styles to create something that is unique to both their generation and Mongolia. Lauren was first interested to learn how the first generation of Mongolians to grow up in a democracy was expressing themselves through music. She found that the trajectory of Mongolian rock through, emulates the path Mongolia has taken as a nation over the past three decades. You can read more about the film, her research, and watch exclusive videos on the film website (

Does Everyone Want Democracy? : Insights from Mongolia, by Paula Sabloff. (Left Coast Press). Do all people desire democracy? For at least a century, the idea that democracy is a universal good has been an article of faith for American policy makers. Paula Sabloff challenges this conventional wisdom about who wants democracy and why. Arguing that certain universal human aspirations exist, she shows how local realities are highly particularistic and explains that culture, history, and values are critical to the study of political systems. Her fascinating study of Mongolia —feudal until it became the first country to follow Russia into communism and now struggling with post-socialist democratization—is a model for investigating how everyday people around the world actually think about and implement democracy on their own terms.

A History of Land Use in Mongolia: The Thirteenth Century to the Present, by Elizabeth Endicott (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012). A History of Land Use in Mongolia examines conceptual and practical issues of land use during eight centuries of Mongolian history. The book analyzes how Mongolia's pastoral nomadic herding population historically has dealt with secular and religious forms of authority in the ongoing struggle for control over pastureland and water resources. The author's findings derive from a number of field trips to the Mongolian countryside as well as a diverse array of written sources including Russian geographic treatises, historical texts, Mongolian press accounts, and Western economic analyses of the present day herding sector.

A Kazakh Teacher's Story: Surviving the Silent Steppe, by Mukhamet Shayakhmetov. (Stacey International, 2013). This book begins where 'The Silent Steppe' left off. It is early 1945, and the author, Mukhamet, still recuperating from serious war injuries, has traveled thousands of kilometers back to his home village in the eastern Kazakh steppe. As he encounters scenes of desperate poverty, he quickly realizes the immense sacrifices made by local people, and particularly women, while the able-bodied men were away fighting. Mukhamet endeavors to pick up the pieces of his pre-war life, working hard to support his extended family, marrying, continuing his education, and eventually embarking on a life in teaching dedicated to giving young people the best education possible. Through his insightful portraits of local party bosses, district officials and bureaucrats, and tales of the vicissitudes of daily life, a broader, more personal picture emerges of life under Stalin, and of his pervading shadow decades on. The author's moral integrity, stoicism and profound respect for the struggles of the common people stand out in this memoir of a life of self-effacing dedication.

Energy Access, Poverty, and Development: The Governance of Small-Scale Renewable Energy in Developing Asia (Ashgate Studies in Environmental Policy and Practice) by Benjamin K. Sovacool and Ira Martina Drupady. (Ashgate Pub Co, 2012). This book showcases how small-scale renewable energy technologies such as solar panels, cook stoves, biogas digesters, microhydro units, and wind turbines are helping Asia respond to a daunting set of energy governance challenges. Using extensive original research this book offers a compendium of the most interesting renewable energy case studies over the last ten years from one of the most diverse regions in the world. Through an in-depth exploration of case studies in Bangladesh, China, India, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, and Sri Lanka, the authors highlight the applicability of different approaches and technologies and illuminates how household and commercial innovations occur (or fail to occur) within particular energy governance regimes. It also, uniquely, explores successful case studies alongside failures or "worst practice" examples that are often just as revealing as those that met their targets. Based on these successes and failures, the book presents twelve salient lessons for policymakers and practitioners wishing to expand energy access and raise standards of living in some of the world's poorest communities. It also develops an innovative framework consisting of 42 distinct factors that explain why some energy development interventions accomplish all of their goals while others languish to achieve any.

The History of Central Asia: The Age of the Steppe Warriors (Complete Illustrated History 1) by Christoph Baumer. (I. B. Tauris, 2012). The epic plains and arid deserts of Central Asia have witnessed some of the greatest migrations, as well as many of the most transformative developments, in the history of civilization. ChristophBaumer's ambitious four-volume treatment of the region charts the 3000-year drama of Scythians and Sarmatians; Soviets and transcontinental Silk Roads; trade routes and the transmission of ideas across the steppes; and the breathless and brutal conquests of Alexander the Great and Chinghis Khan. Masterfully interweaving the stories of individuals and peoples, the author's engaging prose is richly augmented throughout by color photographs taken on his own travels. For all the complexity of the history, Dr. Baumer, a noted authority on Central Asia, never loses sight of the sweeping grandeur of its overall setting. Volume 1 focuses on the geography of the area now occupied by present-day Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, northern Afghanistan, western and central Mongolia and parts of southern Russia and northern China. Discussing the changing climates of the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Ages, the author explores subjects as diverse as glacial retreat; the invention of the wheel; the legendary Cimmerians and Amazons; Hellenism and Zoroastrianism; and the Oxus Treasure. Future volumes will explore the later historical periods of the region.

The Short Essays of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, by Wang Hong and Zhang Shunsheng. (Paths International Ltd., 2013). The late Ming Dynasty (1572-1644) and the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1722) saw the true splendour of short essays in China. No other period in the history of short essays in ancient China can match them in the quality and number of works, literary schools, or the variety of styles. Compared with those written before or after, the short essays in these periods were richer in the choice of topics, and freer in form, focusing not only on real social life, but also on worldly experience and life's little delights. They are a rich and vital part of China's literary and cultural heritage. The 127 short essays in this wonderful book are considered to be the very best examples from an era of China's history that's synonymous with beautifully crafted short essays. 82 essays are from the Ming Dynasty and 45 essays are from the Qing Dynasty, written by more than a hundred different Chinese authors from both dynasties. These are arranged in the order of the authors' birth dates and tenderly translated into English by leading Chinese translators Wang Hong and Zhang Shunsheng, who have faithfully represented the styles and literary achievements made by the featured essayists. It's a wonderful book that will delight fans of classic Chinese short essays, as well as providing the perfect introduction to readers new to the genre.