AAS Annual Meeting

Interarea/Border-Crossing Session 141

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Session 141: Library and Resources

Let me be Moi-self: Representations of the People of Vietnamese High Lands in French Authors and Vietnamese Authors Writing in French
Aurelie Chevant, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

The word moi (savage) today has a very negative connotation in Vietnamese but it used to represent ethnic groups from the High Lands of Vietnam. In this paper, I wish to discuss the evolution of the image of the Moi in French authors and Vietnamese authors writing in French. First, I would like to demonstrate how French colonial literature at the beginning of the twentieth century used the Moi people to emphasize on the savage aspect of the uncivilized colonized population and thus assert French superiority. Then, I will look at how the Vietnamese authors writing in French started using Moi characters to develop the image of Vietnamese strength and the need for a unity of Vietnamese people after the Geneva treaty splitting the country in two in 1954. Finally, I will study a new author who chose as pen name Anna Moi: I will demonstrate how she chose Moi to express her freedom, her gender neutrality to counter the traditional Confucian system and to assert herself (moi=self) as the Other, the one in between two cultures.

Library Collection Development in the Electronic Era
Ranjita Niladri Dash, Independent Scholar, India

ABSTRACT Collection Development is the first and foremost , a vital function of a Library and Information Centre. Dut to advances in Information Technology (IT), particularly the World Wide Web have seen the evolution of the electronic libraries and digital libraries and also there has been a rapid growth of information in different formats. These kinds of libraries are becoming increasingly popular as a result of moving from the traditional print based environment to the electronic environment.The development primarily includes acquisition, selection, evaluation, preservation and weeding out materials/books/journals etc. Dissemination of information at low cost and high speed that cannot be obtained through paper has been achieved through electronic means. The role played by publishers, distributors and library professionals in the electronic environment has completely changed the means of disseminating information. Accordingly the Collection Development Policy has been modify to include the digital content in a collection. Cost of the collection building has also to include the cost of technology and distribution of digital content to be modified. Hence, it is clear that libraries and librarians have little choice but to adapt and adopt IT for library operations, especially in Collection Development activities and information services generation. Despite its enormous potential, IT is largely underused by libraries in India. Therefore, it is necessary that information professionals examine and design appropriate strategies in the selection and use of technologies so as to increase productivity in library operations and also in the enhancement of services to the users. In the context of Collection Development, the information professional has to actively developed and maintain the management of a wide range of structured and organized knowledge resources by providing all type of access -- bibliographic access, physical access, intellectual access and networked access -- to resources. This Paper discusses the importance of Collection Development policy & methods, processes, resources, resource sharing and networking & collection evaluation in Information Technology-based environment are also explained and how the role of the libraries and librarians affected to a great extent has been discussed. .

Bhutan’s National Archives: Preserving the Past, Building the Future
Felicity M. Shaw, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

In 1961 the Mahayana Buddhist Kingdom of Bhutan launched its first five-year development plan as part of a long-term modernization project. The National Library of Bhutan was established in 1967, as part of a government program to safeguard and preserve the rich cultural and religious heritage of the country in the face of the modernization process. Although primary focus initially was on collection and preservation of the religious texts of Buddhism in their various forms, over the years stock came to include a substantial collection of foreign books, mainly in English, with subject emphasis on Buddhism and Himalayan studies. In 1996 Bhutan entered into a long-term twinning project with the Royal Library, Denmark, funded by Danish International Development Assistance (DANIDA), to establish an online database to the collection, classify the religious literature, and set up a library network. The project also included extensive staff training programs, including conservation workshops. With the passing of the Legal Deposit Act 1999, the National Library obtained official depository status as the National Library and Archives. In 2000 a further DANIDA-funded project was launched to construct and equip an Archives building and send nominated staff for formal training in Archives work. This presentation focuses on the setting up and management of the Archives, preservation and conservation activities undertaken so far, future plans (linked largely to forthcoming implementation of an Archives Act), and a brief review of problems encountered along the way and their resolution, together with the ever-enthusiastic and committed Archivist’s plans for the future.

Matrimonial Anxiety in a Besieged City: Identity Complex in Zhang Ailing’s “Boudoir Stories”
Xiaoping Wang, University of Texas, Austin, China

Witnessing in her formative years the irrevocable decline of the Chinese mandarin gentry’s class, Zhang Ailing (1920-1995), an important literary genius in modern China, held unapologetic individualism. This paper provides a new interpretation of the writer’s major works through a practice of political hermeneutics. In analyzing the paramount thematic concerns of the writer’s stories, which show a predominant matrimonial anxiety in a besieged city, this paper delves into the identity politics in her ostensible apolitical stories. It suggests that her stories as a whole demonstrate that individualism – the cardinal principle of the middle class world – was in a deep crisis, and this is because the social-historical reality – the semi-traditional, semi-colonial situation – restricted and conditioned the expressions of the “humanity,” which has a historical and class-bound nature. Therefore, her doubts that individual needs could be attained and her concern with the theme of self-delusion could only find explanation from the social-historical context as the subtext of the fictional texts.

“Subjectivity,” Individualism, and Aborted Bildungsroman: Modern Chinese Intellectual’s Predicament and Lu Ling’s “Neo-Leftist Stories” in 1940s China
Xiaoping Wang, University of Texas, Austin, China

Lu Ling (1923-1994) was generally regarded as the most talented novelist of the famed “July school,” led by Hu Feng (1902-1985) in 1940s China. This study incorporates the insights yielded from three scholars in their representative works on the writer in the English world, and aims to go a step further by looking more closely into the fictional texts and the social-historical subtext and through a re-examination of the theoretical issues of individualism and subjectivity. The textual analyses bear out the author’s overriding thematic subject as the psychologically tortured intellectuals entrapped in a historical predicament, which renders his novel to be an aborted, or anti- Bildungsroman. The paper also contends that the antinomy between “romantic individualism” and revolutionary collectivism needs to be examined in the historical contradiction between the lack of rationalization of the modern Chinese society and the rampant imperial invasion and class conflicts, in which the progressive tendency as well as the ingrained life habitus of Chinese intellectual as a class simultaneously shows itself as two sides of the same coin. Meanwhile, the different functions of individualism during different eras of modern China explain its historical ebbs and flows. Finally, the paper proposes to reflect upon some common presuppositions in current study of modern Chinese literature.