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Inter-Asian Decolonization of Knowledge under the Shadow of Post/Cold War Culture

Convener:NaiFei(Fifi) Ding

The three individual and team projects herewith address the conundrum and contradictions of a so-called post-cold war, post second-world war, post-socialist orders through the prism of culture among societies and states in East and South East Asia. In the process, the projects address the unfinished decolonization of knowledge regimes – through political historical research, oral histories of contemporary “boat peoples,” feminist and medical comparative historiography, literary and performance histories and theories. On the one hand, decolonization is an ongoing unfinished intellectual project that continues to fuel contemporary cultural debacles. On the other hand, decolonization is a critical lens whereby contradictions and concepts in translation might be revisited and understood anew.  (Prof. Ding)

This subproject adopts “post-cold war” as its central concern to revisit history and launch projects of social practice around the topic of decolonization of knowledge through Inter-Asian cultural studies. This subproject focuses on “cold war” as the beginning to decolonize knowledge. Through cultural history, textual analysis, and interviews, we analyze the conundrums and contradictions in a so-called post-cold war, post second-world war, post-socialist order, or post-authoritarianism world across societies and states in East and South-East Asia. This subproject includes topics that address the unfinished decolonization of knowledge regimes through political historical research, oral histories of contemporary “exiles,” comparative historiography on feminism and medical modernity, and literary and performance histories and theories.
The first and second years of this subproject focused on “revisiting cold war consciousness.” Our research output during the past two years is manifested in international conferences, local lectures, and academic publishing. Our collective concerns include reexamining “sex/gender” research as a “modern” knowledge regime, which has served as a conduit for (post-cold war) Western modernity, as well as how the modern gaze has become a (post) cold war knowledge (of war). 
During the third and the fourth years, we will move onto the topic of “reexamination and archival reconstruction of post-cold war knowledge regime of modernity.” We will focus on revisiting the production and reproduction of labor under wartime (knowledge), the misplacement of human and material resources, the movement and relocation of the population, the wartime (post) national structure, and the biopolitical governance under the modern nation state and its knowledge production of cold-war division. 
During the fifth year, we will focus on “social practice and methodologies for undoing cold war and knowledge decolonization.” We will propose different genealogies and methodologies of knowledge, in order to examine the subjects and knowledge that have been overshadowed by (post) cold war cultural discourses. We hope to propose concrete solutions for decolonizing Inter-Asian societies through the cross-fertilization of different knowledge productions. 
 

Each subproject is answering part of the research problem of the joint project:

Subproject II “Inter-Asian Decolonization of Knowledge under the Shadow of Post/Cold War Culture” adopts “cold war” as its central concern over the topic of the decolonization of knowledge. Our collective research is focused on the development and exploration of inquiries related to the so-called “post-cold war.” In terms of research methodologies, our researchers explore and analyze new archival information, re-read textual and historical narratives, or study the movements and narratives in ethnographies and documentary films to engage with discourses and knowledge production related to “cold war studies” through their interdisciplinary training. We also challenge the existing definitions, periodizations, and regional categorizations regarding the idea of “cold war” at the present moment. Through the exchange of knowledge and research interests among scholars in Subproject II, we expect to strengthen critical cold war studies with a third-world, inter-Asian perspective, to continue exploring new inquiries regarding the cold war, and to conduct serious examinations of the ongoing “cold war” conditions, historical relations, and knowledge productions. Each of our research topic addresses the unfinished business of cold war across diverse disciplines. The distinction in how this inquiry is conceptualized in different disciplines is exactly what we propose as a central concern regarding “cold war” history and epistemological mediation. We ask: to what extent is this gap between historical perspectives a result of the mediation of “cold war” knowledge and how much has this limited our options for decolonization practices?

Research Topics

Towards Decolonizing Cold War Gender/Sexuality KnowledgeNaiFei(Fifi) Ding, Amie Parry, Hans Huang, Chien- Ting Lin, Jen-Peng Liu, Department of English, National Central University/Department of Chinese Literature, National Tsing- Hua University
Discrepant Cosmopolitanisms: Bandung, Formosa, and the Asian 1950sYen-Ling Tsai, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Chiao Tung University
An Oral History of the Vietnamese “Refugees” in TaiwanShu-Fen Lin/ Asio Chi-Hsiung Liu, Institute of Social Research and Cultural Studies, National Chiao Tung University/ Mimeo Films Ltd.
The Theatrical Knowledge and Artistic Production during the Cold War Globalisation in TaiwanKo Lun Chen, Postdoctoral Researcher, National Chiao Tung University
The Production of Gender/Sexual Discourses and The Fantasy of Theory: On the Case of Boys' Love StudiesJui-an CHOU, Postdoctoral Researcher, National Chiao Tung University
The History of Se: the epistemology of Nanse and Sexual Modernity in East AsiaTsai Meng-Che, IACS, National Chiao Tung University

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