Editor's note: for Doug Shrader.
So many good ideas came from Doug. Not only was he a good philosopher, Doug was more than anything else a dedicated and devoted teacher. Over the years, many students at SUNY Oneonta prospered under his wise mentoring and benefited from his philosophical openness and dedication. Doug Shrader became a friend of many in ASDP over the years. Over my sixteen year participation in ASDP, he became a supporter, colleague, and a very dear friend of mine.
Last summer, after glimpsing his death with heart surgery in Honolulu, Doug was later struck down by a car as he walked on a sidewalk in Kaneohe where he was visiting his daughter and grandson. Several days after recovering from the surgery, Doug presented at the 50th East-West Center Association Conference in Honolulu. Doug was indefatigable in spirit and energy. Although I would see Doug only on occasion, my closeness to and respect for him grew over the years. Some nights ago while in Honolulu for a wedding of a beloved former student, Doug came to me in a dream; he came to me with that smile of his, that smile that could bring light and fullness to a dark and empty space. He said nothing to me in the dream; he just nodded and smiled. That nod--a nod I remembered of his on so many occasions when he was understanding a point, finding himself in agreement with some worthwhile project, or just as he was having one of his many insights that emerged somehow through his interactions with others--indicated it was alright on the other side of nothingness.
Perhaps more about me and how much I miss him--and will continue to miss him--than about Doug himself communicating from some great beyond, I was nevertheless elated to see him smile once again. On January 4, 1960 Albert Camus was killed in an automobile accident in the small town of Villeblevin, far from the Paris where he was traveling to with his publisher and friend Michel Gallimard. Gallimard was driving and somehow lost control of the woefully designed Facel Vega, a now extinct species of a four seat sports car that rivaled Mercedes, but only in its looks. In Camus' pocket was a train ticket, his original plan for travel that day. Camus fought the nihilism of his day with absurdity and the absurdity of his death is not lost on us, even fifty years after the train ticket was discovered in his pocket. Doug's death has been unimaginable for us because of its absurdity: to be struck down on a sidewalk is almost unthinkable and with its proximate juxtaposition to his heart surgery just weeks before is the saddest of ironies. Doug too fought the nihilism of our own day, not with the philosophical absurdism of a Camus, but with positive action to improve whatever context was at hand for him. Doug Shrader made things better for those around him, for those contexts in which he found himself--for those of us who were fortunate enough to enter the space and time of his being.
I dedicate this issue of East-West Connections, the journal Doug helped start, to him. I dedicate this issue to his work, to his family, students, and to his colleagues. For them, I realize Doug's absence is more difficult than for those of us who only saw him on occasion. I wish for them what time brings to the death of a loved one: some peace from the turmoil of the absence of the loved one who is all of a sudden gone and the lessening of the suffering of that person's absence and its continued presence in their lives. May the memory of Doug's smile serve as a marker along the way that lights the darkness that we feel all too often in our lives.
This issue is divided into three sections: Poetics, Culture, and Crossing Over; In the Field--Culture, Religion, and Health; and Political Interactions and Relations. As is our practice, articles in this issue extend across a number of the disciplines found in Asian studies and across geographical lines. In Poetics, Culture, and Crossing Over, three articles focus on literature in China, Indonesia, and India. In "Notions of Image and Emotion across Culture and Time," Jianqing Zheng examines how imagery occupies a central position in classical Chinese poetry and how the connection between human feelings and nature is essential to the Chinese poetic tradition. Following a somewhat different track, but equally focused on the natural environment and literature, is Shudong Chen's analysis of the Indonesian novel And the War Is Over: A Novel. In his "Ginsberg, India, and the Holiness of Dirt," Raymond-Jean Frontain moves us from China and Indonesia to India with his treatise on the aesthetic and ethical dimensions that Alan Ginsberg developed as a result of his experiences in India.
In the next section, In the Field--Culture, Religion, and Health, the current state of mental health services in Cambodia is explored by Nancy Janus. Interviews with counselors and social workers in fourteen NGOs in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and at the Royal University of Phnom Penh provide her with data to better understand how practicing counselors are currently being trained in Cambodia. Also in this section, Michele Marion discusses "Culture, Context, and The Qur'an." In her article, she investigates feminist issues in the Qur'an. Her article is based upon several Fulbright-Hays awards to Brunei, Malaysia, and Morocco.
In Political Interactions and Relations, the final section of this issue, Koushik Ghosh studies differences of shame across cultures in his "Shin-gate: Misunderstanding the Power of Shame in South Korea." He uses Shin-gate as an example of the difference of perceptions between the ways in which East-Asians and Americans perceive and respond to the sense of shame. In her " The Rise of China within American Hegemony," Sungshin Kim investigates the rise of China and evaluates the two emerging major issues in public debate on U.S.-China relations: the growing economic interdependency between the U.S. and China, and the possibility of military competition between these two powers. In her article she provides an alternative analysis of how these two states participate and are affected by larger, global, structures of exchange and competition.
Finally, we are delighted to present our readers with a feature article by the distinguished scholar of Japanese history, William M. Tsutsui. In "Sunrise, Sunset: Japan in the American Imagination since World War II," Tsutsui suggests how the orientalized and feminized image of a geisha has figured prominently in the American imagination of Japan. By tracing the changes and continuities in American impressions of Japan since World War II, he argues that although American popular culture showed a rising anxiety about Japan's postwar "economic miracle," Americans generally have envisioned Japan as an exotic, inscrutable, and inferior place.
The East-West Connections staff is most pleased to offer this strong issue to its readers and dedicate it to our dear friend Doug Shrader. This anniversary issue marks an evolutionary process of the last ten years in our desire to create a unique venue for the presentation of scholarly work that provides readers with interesting, informative, and thought-provoking engagements with a variety of topics in Asian studies. East-West Connections enjoys ongoing support from its contributors, generosity from its editors, and funding from its patrons and ASDP National Conference registrants. We continue to appreciate the moral support from Terry Bigalke (Director of Education at the East-West Center), Gordon Ring (East-West Center Alumni Officer), and Charles Morrison (President of the East-West Center). We very much value our grounding in the Asian Studies Development Program and are grateful to the ASDP staff of Betty Buck, Roger Ames, Peter Hershock, Grant Otoshi, and Sandy Osaki. Without being rooted in ASDP, Connections would be adrift in the vast sea of pluralism. East-West Connections is commissioned by the Association of Regional Centers for Asian Studies of the Asian Studies Development Program.
This issue was in part put together by Paul Dunscomb. I remain grateful to the Connections' editorial staff of Ronnie Littlejohn and Jeffrey Dippmann. I am once again most grateful to Harriette Grissom for her excellent and prompt copy editing that has significantly improved the quality of and timely printing of East-West Connections. John L. Crow, our production editor, has taken us once again from electronic text to a quality journal design. Michele Marion has graciously agreed to join the Connections editorial staff as an associate editor and we are delighted to have her. Michele brings dedication, commitment, a strong work ethic, and superb organizational skills to the journal. As we move forward into the next transformative phase of East-West Connections, we will need her talents to complement our existing ones.
East-West Connections continues its commitment to cultivate a special place for publishing in Asian studies. Doug Shrader would have been proud and pleased at how far we've come from that day when we first discussed the journal's conception. Doug will be continually missed, steadfastly respected, and will always be dearly loved.