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Comparative Postcolonial Theory and the Question of Chinese Empire
February 23, 2017 @ 11:10 am - 12:30 pm
This lecture joins the recent calls to expand the Anglo-Franco focus of prevailing postcolonial theory by engaging with Asian empires as well as Sinophone perspectives situated in Southeast Asia. What might a more comparative or relational postcolonial theory look like? How might Sinophone studies contribute to a more globally-oriented postcolonial critique?
Shu-mei Shih is a professor of Comparative Literature, Asian Languages and Cultures, and Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. Among other works, her book, Visuality and Identity: Sinophone Articulations across the Pacific (2007), has been attributed as having inaugurated a new field of study called Sinophone Studies. Sinophone Studies: A Critical Reader (2013) is a textbook that she co-edited for the field. Besides Sinophone studies, her areas of research include comparative modernism, as in the book The Lure of the Modern: Writing Modernism in Semicolonial China, 1917-1937 (2001); theories of transnationalism, as in her co-edited Minor Transnationalism (2005); critical race studies, as in her guest-edited special issue of PMLA entitled “Comparative Racialization” (2008); critical theory, as in her co-edited Creolization of Theory (2011); Taiwan studies, as in her guest-edited special issue of Postcolonial Studies entitled “Globalization and Taiwan’s (In)significance” and the co-edited volume Comparatizing Taiwan (2015) and Knowledge Taiwan (2016). She is currently working on two monographs entitled Empires of the Sinophone and Comparison as Relation, and two co-edited volumes: Keywords of Taiwan Theory and World Studies: Theories and Debates.