Seth Jacobowitz Awarded 2017 ICAS Book Prize for Best Humanities Book on Asia

August 1, 2017
Seth Jacobowitz's "Writing Technology in Meiji Japan: A Media History of Modern Japanese Literature and Visual Culture"

Last week the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) awarded Seth Jacobowitz the ICAS Book Prize (IBP) for best Humanities book on Asia for his Writing Technology in Meiji Japan: A Media History of Modern Japanese Literature and Visual Culture (Harvard East Asian Monographs 387).

Superbly written, Writing Technology in Meiji Japan deploys a sophisticated analytical prism to examine the interlocked transformations of literature, language, and visual culture during a historical epoch known for its increasing efforts toward standardization. See the Humanities shortlist and ICAS’s description of each book.

In addition to Seth Jacobowitz’s book, ICAS recognized three other Asia Center titles this year. Ellen Widmer’s Fiction’s Family: Zhan Xi, Zhan Kai, and the Business of Women in Late-Qing China (Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series 99) was selected to the shortlist of five final candidates in the Social Sciences category; see the shortlist and descriptions.

And both Tamara Chin’s Savage Exchange: Han Imperialism, Chinese Literary Style, and the Economic Imagination (Harvard-Yenching Institute Monographs 94) and Sunyoung Park’s The Proletarian Wave: Literature and Leftist Culture in Colonial Korea, 1910-1945 (Harvard Harvard East Asian Monograph Series 374) were chosen for the ICAS long list (of fifteen final candidates) in the Humanities category. Chin’s Savage Exchange also won the “Ground-Breaking Subject Matter Accolade,” and Park’s The Proletarian Wave was chosen for the “Most Accessible and Captivating Work for the Non-Specialist Reader Accolade.”

The ICAS Book Prize, established by ICAS in 2004, aims to create an international focus for academic publications on Asia, thus increasing their worldwide visibility. The biennial ICAS Book Prize is awarded for outstanding English-language works and dissertations on Asia in the Humanities and Social Sciences categories. This year, more than three hundred books were submitted by over sixty publishers.

Founded in 1997, ICAS is a platform for representatives of academia and civil society to focus on issues critical to Asia and by implication to the rest of the world, and is an active accelerator of research. The Tenth International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS 10) was held at the Chiang Mai International Exhibition and Convention Centre (CMECC) in Chiang Mai, Thailand from July 20-23, 2017. ICAS is the premier international gathering in the field of Asian Studies.