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The Imperialist Eye: The Cultural Imaginary of a Subempire and a Nation-State

The Imperialist Eye: The Cultural Imaginary of a Subempire and a Nation-State 1. The Problematic of a “Third World” Cultural Studies For the past few years, I have been puzzled by one question: What does it mean to do “cultural studies” in a Third World space like Taiwan?1 After a long period of training in Anglo-American cultural studies, I went back to Taiwan in 1989 and have witnessed the most turbulent transformations. My critical training has driven my involvement in these changes. Meanwhile, the mood of “indigenization” (ben-tu-hua) provokes me to reflect on the necessity of decolonizing my intellectual work. But it also makes me realize that exclusive indigenization is a sheer dead end. Wavering constantly between a local critical theoretical stand and my personal historical experiences, I have been searching for a workable position, without which no research is possible. Compared with my theoretical writings abroad, discourse on “popular democracy” and “new internationalist localism” are harbingers of the results of my attempts.2 An eye-opening event for me was the symposium entitled “The Changing Global Reality and the Future of Asian People,” hosted by ARENA in 1993.3 This was my first opportunity to meet critical scholars who were all from Asia, to actively learn about the political and economic situations http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions asia critique Duke University Press

The Imperialist Eye: The Cultural Imaginary of a Subempire and a Nation-State

positions asia critique , Volume 8 (1) – Mar 1, 2000

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2000 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1527-8271
DOI
10.1215/10679847-8-1-9
Publisher site
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Abstract

1. The Problematic of a “Third World” Cultural Studies For the past few years, I have been puzzled by one question: What does it mean to do “cultural studies” in a Third World space like Taiwan?1 After a long period of training in Anglo-American cultural studies, I went back to Taiwan in 1989 and have witnessed the most turbulent transformations. My critical training has driven my involvement in these changes. Meanwhile, the mood of “indigenization” (ben-tu-hua) provokes me to reflect on the necessity of decolonizing my intellectual work. But it also makes me realize that exclusive indigenization is a sheer dead end. Wavering constantly between a local critical theoretical stand and my personal historical experiences, I have been searching for a workable position, without which no research is possible. Compared with my theoretical writings abroad, discourse on “popular democracy” and “new internationalist localism” are harbingers of the results of my attempts.2 An eye-opening event for me was the symposium entitled “The Changing Global Reality and the Future of Asian People,” hosted by ARENA in 1993.3 This was my first opportunity to meet critical scholars who were all from Asia, to actively learn about the political and economic situations

Journal

positions asia critiqueDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2000

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