Deterritorialization or Re-territorialization?
Strategies in Global Chinese Literary and Cultural Studies
Sheldon Lu, University of California, Davis
Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 4:30 - 6:00 P.M.
Location: Brower Commons A
Abstract: This lecture examines and compares two opposite approaches in contemporary Chinese literary, cultural, and film studies in a global context. One tendency is to de-center, de-territorialize, and pluralize the object of China. This approach is seen in dispaoric studies, Sinophone studies, and postcolonial theory. The self-alleged counter-hegemonic, anti-Sinocentric position is usually held by scholars and critics outside the People's Republic of China. Another approach is to re-territorialize and re-center China, to take China proper seriously as the very object and subject of critical inquiry. China studies cannot be separated from the land of China itself, as seen in archaeology, philology, ethnography, and anthropology. One cannot theorize away China. The talk will point out the characteristics, strengths, and possible weaknesses in each approach.
One particular example of such a divergence in approaches is the recent debate about Chinese-language cinema (huayu dianying) and the writing of film history, a debate between some Mainland Chinese and overseas film scholars. As Sheldon Lu is a key figure in this round of debate, he will examine the issues behind it.