Cultural Studies At Tongji University Essay

Cultural Studies At Tongji University Essay

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During my undergraduate years, I gradually developed the aspiration to pursue an academic career in the humanities through my training in cultural studies at Tongji University (Shanghai) and more importantly, the exchange study of Taiwanese literature at National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan. In addition to furnishing me with a better understanding of Taiwanese history and culture, the experience spurred me to reflect on “China” as a contested concept, a multivocal narrative, and a monolithic hegemony calling for deconstructive intervention. After graduation, I came to Duke University to further my training in cultural studies and critical theory. To address the most captivating problem that fuels my academic probe, I am concerned with how the nation predominates the formation of the modern world as an ethical relationship, an aesthetic sensibility, a political agent, and a cultural boundary, and to push it further, why it is im/possible to transcend. My primary interest here at Duke lies in the national and local identities in contemporary Hong Kong and Taiwan, and how these issues enable intertwined aesthetic experiments, intellectual debates, and social practices. Besides, I also have a wide range of interests, from modern intellectual history in both China and Japan to contemporary filmic media, such as Chinese independent documentary and Japanese anime.

The reason why Hong Kong and Taiwan concern me is their genealogical intricateness, which crystalizes such heterogeneous yet intervolved spatiotemporalities of East Asia—modern, colonial, postcolonial, national, diasporic, and local—and thus considerably complicates and problematizes the notion of the nation in the Chinese context. To untangle this intricateness, Rey Chow...


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...l place, and the imagined national space. Second, I will explore how the concern of nation intersects with multiple sociocultural power structures—ethnicity, class, and sexuality—to trigger various discursive and performative articulations that underpin, transform, or even deconstruct the nation. At last, I will seize upon the role of media to look at how specific or interrelated medium mechanism substantializes the nation in which both the nation and the media can be genealogically re-examined. To address a few examples, I am interested in Kuo Sung-fen’s writing in motion across Taiwan, America, Hong Kong, and mainland China in 1970s, American-trained Taiwanese new leftist intellectuals under the banners of War Machine and Isle Margin in early 1990s, and the most recent national/local discourses by Chin Wan and Chan Koonchung in Hong Kong and Wu Rwei-ren in Taiwan.

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