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Class That Matters: National Discourse, Gender Politics, and the Representation of Capitalism in Taiwan Literature
Authors｜Elliott Shr-tzung Shie
At the onset of the twenty-first century, postcolonial theory that has been indiginized in Taiwan for nearly three decades is far from losing its discursive significance. Postcolonial theory was first introduced to Taiwan in the 1990s, and since then, it has continued to generate considerable academic interest, informing debates about feminism, queer theory, and aboriginal studies.
While postcolonial theory in Taiwan has occupied an important discursive space within the field of literary criticism, one important dimension that seems missing from the debates is class. By embracing the trialectics of national discourse, gender politics, and critique of capitalism, this book seeks to explore the degree to which the concept of class informs Taiwanese nativist literature by writers such as Huang Chunming, Wang Zhenhe, Chen Yingzhen, Wang Tuo, and Yang Qingchu. It further hopes to illustrate that the term of “colonial economy” that featured prominently in the debates over Taiwanese nativist literature in the 1970s underpins the way nativist literature reflects and responds to the politico-economic circumstance at home and abroad.
By way of close readings of representative works of nativist literature, this book rethinks the efficacy of applying the discourse of “economic colonialism” to twenty-first century Taiwan. By combining the postcolonial discourse with an alternative perspective on class, the author hopes to propose a new discursive framework to discuss the challenges posed by a new military and economic power not far from Taiwan that increasingly exerts influence over Taiwan’s political autonomy.
Keywords: postcolonialism, nationalism, class, capitalism, nativist literature, colonial economy
Elliott Shr-tzung Shie received his PhD from the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale University and is currently an Associate Professor for the Graduate Institute of Taiwan Literature at National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan. His research interests include postwar Taiwanese fiction, the Taiwan New Cinema, literary theory and cultural studies. He has published academic articles both in Chinese and English and a textbook entitled Film and Visual Culture: Reading the Classics of Taiwan Cinema (Taipei: Wunan, 2015). He is also writing a monograph on Hou Hsiao-hsien’s oeuvre.
Introduction: The Trialectics of Nationalism, Gender, and Capitalism
Chapter 1: Colonial Effeminism and Nationalist Masculinities: The Economy of Desire in Taiwan’s Nativist Literature
Chapter 2: Economic Discourse, Mass Consumption, and Imported Modernity:
Taiwanese Colonial Economic Fiction and Its Gender Subtext
Chapter 3: Transnational Capitalism and the Spirit of Rationality:
The Prototype of Entrepreneurs in Wang Zhenhe’s and Huang Chunming’s Literary Works
Chapter 4: Focusing the Lens on Taiwan’s Capitalism under Globalization:
Rereading Wang Zhenhe’s Rose, Rose, I Love You
Chapter 5: Writing and Self-Positioning of a Nativist Intellectual: Space, Class, Generation, and Gender in Wang Tuo’s Short Stories
Chapter 6: The Political Economy of Love, Sex, and Marriage:
A Study of Yang Qingchu’s Anti-romantic Fiction
Chapter 7: Entrepreneurial Management, Gender Division, and the Representations of the National Capitalist Class: A Comparative Study of Yang Qingchu and Chen Yingzhen
Conclusion: What is Colonial Economy? Rethinking the Critical Perspective and Limits of Taiwanese Nativist Literature
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