The Politics of Memory and the Craft of Governance: Inter-Asian Studies on State, Society, Ethnicity and History
Subproject I is to fulfill the joint-project’s mission to re-evaluate history. Under this main theme, there are three sub-themes:
I. Literary debates, thought-trends, and the politics of memory: Cultural movements and philosophical debates of intellectuals; Characteristics of the cultural movements when they happened, and the politics of memory in later stages
II. Cultural heritage and the politics of memory: Preservation and uses of cultural heritage, including cultural governance by the state sectors and acceptance or resistance from the non-state sectors
III. History of ethnicities and the politics of memory: Representation of the community’s memory of ethnic minorities and loyalists during regime change; Significance and uses of narratives of memory constructed by oral history.
Through examinations on the actions launched by intellectuals, states, civil societies, historical groups, and individuals, we are exploring and investigating: How has the past has been crystalized into cultural memory of contemporary society? What kinds of conflicts have been represented or covered in the process of digging up historical memories? What kinds of justice have been pursued through the different reconstitution projects of historic memories? How can the knowledge produced by these investigations contribute to decolonization?
Subproject I’s focus of the first two years was on “Literary debates and the politics of memory”. Our researchers have published three books, including East Asian Literature Field: Colonialism and Cultural Interaction in Taiwan, Joseon, and Manchuria (edited by Shu-chin Liu, Linking Publishing, 2018), Class That Matters: National Discourse, Gender Politics, and The Representation of Capitalism In Taiwan Literature (by Elliott S.T. Shie, Socio Publishing, 2019), and Division in Thought: Chen Yingzhen and Park Hyun-Chae (by Yeon Gwang-Seok, Taishe, 2019). We also organized an international conference, “Literary Debates and the Politics of Memory: Toward an Inter-Asia Perspective” in September 2019.
Our focus on the 3rd and 4th years are: (a) to continue the discussions in the first sub-theme, “Literary debates, thought-trends, and the politics of memory”, and to publish the edited volumes Literary Debates and the Politics of Memory: Toward an Inter-Asia Perspective, resulted from the international conference in 2019; (b) to open up our discussions in the second sub-theme, “Cultural heritage and the politics of memory”.
• The edited volume Literary Debates and the Politics of Memory: Toward an Inter-Asia Perspective is now under blinded review and revision. It will integrate the discussion on Nativist Literature (Xiantu Wenxue) Debate in postwar Taiwan, Debate on National (Kokumin) Literature in Japan, National and People’s (Minjok-Minjung) Literature Debate in Korea, and Debates of Malaysian Chinese / Sinophone (Mahua) Literature. Its contribution includes: (i) Formulating new perspectives on literary debates through inter-referencing several literary debates in East and Southeast Asia; (ii) Providing a new understanding of postwar East and Southeast Asia through the politics of memory in literary debates.
• For “Cultural heritage and the politics of memory”, our researchers are working on a journal special issue on “Regeneration of Historic Sites”.
Our focus in the fifth year will be: to continue to investigate and explore “History of ethnicities and the politics of memory”. In terms of ICCS’ 5-year SPROUT project, we will integrate and summarize the discussions in “literary debates” and “cultural heritage”. We will illustrate how history and memory respond to contemporary issues, and we aim to provide an inter-Asian perspective answer to the characteristics of politics of memories in Taiwan and the wider East Asia.
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