AAS Annual Meeting

Interarea/Border-Crossing Session 357

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Session 357: Asia as a Problem in Transnational Humanities

Organizer: Jie-Hyun Lim, , South Korea

Discussants: Naoki Sakai, Cornell University, USA; Charles K. Armstrong, Columbia University, USA; Rada Ivekovic, Independent Scholar, France; Joyce Chi-Hui Liu, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan (R.O.C.)

This panel will interrogate the disciplinary shift towards transnational humanities on and in ‘Asia.’ Contrary to widely disseminated binary of the national and the international, the panel envisages that the categories of the national and the international are mutually constitutive and are in fact complicitous in their opposition. An intellectual history of Asian modernity would reveal that internationalist arguments often harbored nationalist agendas and that nationalism has never been possible without a simultaneous postulation of an international order. As a matter of fact, the discourses of an internationalist Asia based on ‘Pan-Asianism,’ perhaps best represented by the Japanese idea of the East Asian Community in the 1930’s, have been loaded with nationalist repugnance, impulses, and aspirations. This intellectual history demands an investigation into the geopolitical complicity between the national and the international, and between Eurocentrism and Pan-Asianism and brings up the urgent task of problematizing the geographic configuration of East Asia versus Western Europe. To problematize Asia is to disclose its self-Orientalization and reverse the Occidentalism in anti-Western international regionalism in ‘Asia.’ By employing post-disciplinary approaches peculiar to transnational humanities, this panel will explore times, spaces, and subjects in ‘Asia’ as fluid and hybrid constructs not necessarily constrained by geopolitical or cultural boundaries. An analysis of this historical formation will open doors to the possibility of transnational humanities on and in ‘Asia’.