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Globalization and the Humanities

Globalization and the Humanities

Edited by David Leiwei Li
Copyright Date: 2004
Pages: 360
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  • Book Info
    Globalization and the Humanities
    Book Description:

    This is the most comprehensive collection to date on how economic globalization transforms contemporary humanistic inquiries on matters of fundamental cultural and political significance. Against the tyranny of the worldwide free market that naturalizes the aggregation of power for the increasingly few, the contributors to this volume at once advocate an egalitarian model of global distributive justice and cultivate a cosmopolitan communal consciousness. Writing from their diverse specialties and theoretical perspectives, the group of scholars assembled here has made the humanities a productive forum to articulate an alternative form of globalization based on universal human rights. As such, this collaborative effort counters the hegemony of neoliberal privatization and holds the promise of intellectual agency for an equitable reproduction of cultural capital in the global era. Globalization and the Humanities will be of great use for scholars and students interested in the intellectual and ideological developments of the humanities in the past three decades. It clearly anchors the debates on the canon, the inclusion of third world and minority authors, of popular cultural genres and new media forms in an emerging globalization paradigm. The anthology will prove essential for students of undergraduate and graduate levels as well for scholars in the academy.

    eISBN: 978-988-220-145-3
    Subjects: Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Introduction: Globalization and the Humanities
    (pp. 1-16)
    David Leiwei Li

    The phenomenon that comes to be known as “globalization” is both complex and contradictory. Some trace it to the dawn of human civilization while others locate its origin in recent history. Some talk about it as a practical reality while others consider it yet a figment of imagination. Regardless of its contentious meaning and amorphous contour, globalization has registered as much in popular consciousness as it does in academic discourse. We shall approach the concept in its many contemporary manifestations, especially its ramification in the humanities. In economic terms, globalization signifies a worldwide domination of free-market capitalism with its local...

  5. Part I: Field Imaginaries

    • 1 Turn to the Planet: Literature, Diversity, and Totality
      (pp. 19-36)
      Masao Miyoshi

      In 1983, I was in Seoul to present a paper. The occasion was a conference on East Asian literature, a topic not too different from the one assigned to me for another event last year in the same city. This seventeen-year interval may not seem to be a long time in a normal phase of history. Between 1715 and 1732, for example, or even between 1918 and 1935, the change was certainly not trifling, but still the sense of continuity was quite strong. The difference between 1983 and 2000, however, is so immense that we can barely grasp the magnitude...

    • 2 Is Globalization Good for Women?
      (pp. 37-58)
      Alison M. Jaggar

      Is globalization good for women? The answer to this question obviously depends on what one means by “globalization” and by “good” and which “women” one has in mind. After explaining briefly what I mean by “globalization” and “good” and indicating which women I have in mind, I intend to argue that globalization, as we currently know it, is not good for most women. However, I’ll suggest that the badness of the present situation is not due to globalization as such, but rather to its specific neoliberal mode of organization. I’ll identify some of the questions that globalization urgently raises for...

    • 3 Globalization, Desire, and the Politics of Representation
      (pp. 59-78)
      Rajagopalan Radhakrishnan

      What is the attraction of globality, and why is its rhetoric so seductively irresisistible? What is the nature of its authority? Let me begin by suggesting that the triumphalism of globality has to do with the fact that it seems to emanate from reality itself even as it speaks persuasively for that reality. As afait accompli, globality presents itself both as reality and as a representation of that reality, all within a unified temporality. It is as though the very essence of reality were global, and, therefore, any attempt at interrogating globality would be nothing short of discrediting reality...

    • 4 Globalization and the Postcolonial Condition
      (pp. 79-100)
      Paul Jay

      We live in an age increasingly dominated by the phenomenon of globalization. While the publication in June, 2000 of Thomas L. Friedman’sThe Lexus and the Olive Treebrought the significance of economic and cultural globalization home to a wide public audience, it was old news in an age in which everything from food? music, identity, culture, film, the economy and politics had “gone global.” This was especially true inside the academy, where papers, conferences, and books on globalization have proliferated with increasing rapidity since the mid-1980’s.¹ Indeed, by the time Friedman had published his book, the study of globalization...

    • 5 Latin, Latino, American: Split States and Global Imaginaries
      (pp. 101-118)
      Román de la Campa

      Ours may be an age of disbelief, but America’s hold on the universal imaginary seems to have withstood the test of time. As a distant moment of discovery, a hemispheric marker, or the naming of a powerful modern nation, America’s claims to unique transcendental dimensions continue to seem natural — if not necessary — to peoples, nations, and academic traditions. These outlines are only disturbed when the concept is asked to suit a plurality that rests beyond these ritualized references, when America’s fate as a field of differences comes into full view, for then there is hardly any consensus as...

    • 6 Doing Cultural Studies Inside APEC: Literature, Cultural Identity, and Global/Local Dynamics in the American Pacific
      (pp. 119-134)
      Rob Wilson

      This chapter offers a critical genealogy of US imperial dynamics in the Pacific by examining the discursive tactics of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the emerging hegemony of transnational capital in the region. It tracks the dynamics of globalization and movements towards localization under which “Asia-Pacific” is being constructed into a postcolonial, if not postnational, identity as a coherent region of teleological belonging. The chapter invokes literary and cultural producers in order to force upon “Asia/Pacific” a critical awareness of its own regional unevenness, alternative possibility, spatial contestation, and desublimated otherness. “Asia/Pacific“ can thus become a critical signifier...

    • 7 (The) Nation-State Matters: Comparing Multiculturalism(s) in an Age of Globalization
      (pp. 135-158)
      Brook Thomas

      Multiculturalism and globalization, two of the most frequently discussed topics at the beginning of the twenty-first century, seem to feed off of one another. Encouraging the flow of people across national boundaries, an increasingly globalized economy generates more and more culturally diverse countries at the same time that individual nations have discovered that a multicultural workforce helps them compete more effectively in that same economy. Despite this mutually reinforcing relation, most discussions of multiculturalism continue to focus on a single nation. Studies of multiculturalism, it seems, need to follow Pheng Cheah and Bruce Robbins’ call “to think beyond the nation.”...

  6. Part II: Virtual Worlds and Emergent Sensibilities

    • 8 The Growth of Internet Communities in Taiwan and the Marginalization of the Public Sphere
      (pp. 161-186)
      Allen Chun and Jia-lu Cheng

      To say the least, the Internet has experienced exponential growth over recent years both in user activity and academic attention. The technological developments that have contributed to its media as we know it today and the changing sociological landscapes of the media themselves are, however, analytically distinct aspects that must be seen in their own light. Contrary to common misconception, the Internet is not, strictly speaking, a network but rather a common protocol (TCP/IP) that formed the gateway for linking separate networks.¹ The protocol was initially designed in 1969 by the Department of Defense and established in 1982 to link...

    • 9 The Internet in China: Emergent Cultural Formations and Contradictions
      (pp. 187-212)
      Liu Kang

      Since the mid-1990s, hundreds and thousands of Chinese-language Internet websites emerged in China, and the number of Internet users has increased dramatically. The Internet has become a dynamic force in China’s cultural landscape. It is an important aspect of globalization, and plays an increasingly active role in China’s transformation from its Maoist past to a post-revolutionary, post-socialist society. Globalization not only brings China closer than ever to the capitalist world economic system and market, but also generates new forms of culture and social interaction. The Internet has provided a new impetus to this process of transformation. Internet communication and global...

    • 10 Home Pages: Immigrant Subjectivity in Cyberspace
      (pp. 213-232)
      Sangita Gopal

      In Arjun Appadurai’s now classic formulation media and migration are the two major and interconnected diacritics that constitute subjectivity in the present time (Modernity3). Global subjects emerge in the simultaneous circulation of bodies and images, through motion and mediation. Yet motion and mediation function contrapunctally. The former works through expansion — as agents are displaced, their experience of space is dispersed. The place left behind, the spaces traveled through survive as memory and nostalgia. A diaspora is defined by the multiplicity of location. The plural experience of space accounts, in part, for the so-called “double” consciousness of diasporic populations....

    • 11 Very Busy Just Now: Globalization and Harriedness in Ishiguro’s The Unconsoled
      (pp. 233-248)
      Bruce Robbins

      Readers of Kazuo Ishiguro’s novelThe Remains of the Day(1989) will have no trouble remembering the novel’s case against professionalism. “Our professional duty is not to our own foibles and sentiments,” the butler-protagonist tells Miss Kenton, “but to the wishes of our employer” (149). Professionalism, the explicit center of the butler’s belief-system, seems responsible both for his personal sacrifice of love with Miss Kenton and for his moral failure in backing his employer’s pro-Nazi diplomacy. Lord Darlington convenes a conference of European diplomats at Darlington Hall in March 1923 in order to make “a strong moral case for a...

    • 12 Concentricity, Teleology, and Reflexive Modernity in Edward Yang’s Yi Yi
      (pp. 249-272)
      David Leiwei Li

      Among Hou Hsiao-hsien’s aching yearning for the agrarian tradition, Ang Lee’s comic rumination on filiation and affiliation, and Tsai Ming-liang’s wrenching condemnation of angst and alienation, Edward Yang’s films stand out as the most complex cinematic treatment of contemporary Taiwan, caught between an inertial Confucian structure of feeling and a vibrant if not violent domination of global capital. FromThat Day on the Beach(1983) to the most recentYi Yi(2000), Yang’s camera has tracked the meteoric rise of the island economic miracle with a clairvoyant eye on its social, cultural, and affective mutations.² His oeuvre has at least...

  7. Afterword: Can We Judge the Humanities by Their Future as a Course of Study?
    (pp. 273-284)
    Paul A. Bové

    US readers have made Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s Empire a widely noticed academic bestseller. The book came into the market at a time when globalization was still a term on almost everyone’s lips; it afforded a way for a subset of academic humanists to link their work to what they took to be an issue of deep socio-political, cultural, and economic consequence.Empirebuilt itself from a great many terms and ways of talking already circulating in the university and media. Its familiarity made it easy for academic cultural studies scholars to engage with it. Its bold and universal...

  8. Notes
    (pp. 285-306)
  9. Works Cited
    (pp. 307-330)
  10. Contributors
    (pp. 331-334)
  11. Index
    (pp. 335-350)