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Reading Chinese Transnationalisms

Society, Literature, Film

Maria N. Ng ,Philip Holden

Publication Year: 2006

This volume will appeal to all with an interest in Chinese transnationalism, and in particular those who come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds in the humanities and social science.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU


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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-x

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1 - Introduction

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pp. 1-13

Transnationalism, and particularly Chinese transnationalism, is very much the concept of the moment in anthropology, literary, and cultural studies. Gayatri Spivak's 1999 declaration in A Critique of Postcolonial Reason that she had made a transition "from colonial discourse studies to transnational cultural studies" (x) is now paradigmatic for a generation of intellectuals. While postcolonial studies still has resolute and, in our opinion, thoroughly justified defenders, transnationalism as an area of inquiry has certain advantages for contemporary scholarship.2...


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2 - Hokkien-Philippines Familial Transnationalism, 1949-1975

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pp. 17-36

One way to think broadly about transnationalism is to define it as the regular movement across national boundaries of persons, money, goods, and ideas. The literature on Chinese transnationalism that fits this definition has often described transnational networks of diasporic Chinese business or other organizations which link groups of Chinese to each other or to China. ...

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3 - On Eating Chinese: Diasporic Agency and the Chinese Canadian Restaurant Menu

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pp. 37-62

Almost nobody does it anymore. If you take the slower road south down the middle of Alberta from Edmonton to Calgary, following the old rail line, you will cut across Main Street, Olds, Alberta, where you might stop for lunch at the A & J Family Restaurant (see Figure 3.1). In 1915, you would have stepped across the railway platform (the railway stopped running a long time ago but the station is still there, empty and abandoned) and ordered a hot lunch at what was then known simply as the Public Lunch Counter (see Figure 3.2). ...

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4 - Putting the Nation Back into the Transnational: Chinese Self-Fashioning and Discipline in Singapore

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pp. 63-74

It is a short, rather grainy black and white video, a series of flickering images that most Singaporeans of my age or older are very familiar with. The scene is a press conference on August 7, 1965, hastily called by then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew to announce Singapore's independence from the Malaysian Federation, which it had entered only two years previously. Lee sits at a coffee table, surrounded by other members of his government, and the camera alternates fitfully between a long shot and an almost overly intimate close-up. ...


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5 - Trans-East Asian Literature: Language and Displacement in Hong Ying, Hikaru Okuizumi, and Yi Mun-yol

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pp. 77-88

In her book The Body in Pain, Elaine Scarry works from the thesis that, as she says in her introduction, "Physical pain does not simply resist language but actively destroys it, bringing about an immediate reversion to a state anterior to language, to the sounds and cries a human being makes before language is learned" (4). The subsequent text of the book goes to great lengths to show how language and pain in the body interrelate. ...

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6 - Cultural and Culinary Ambivalence in Sara Chin, Evelina Galang, and Yoko Tawada

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pp. 89-102

In "Notes from a Fragmented Daughter,"1 Elena Tajima Creef, the "daughter of a World War II Japanese war bride who met and married [Elena's] North Carolinan hillbilly father one fine day in 1949" (83) addresses her sense of cultural fragmentation, a product of her dual cultural heritage, as well as her exoticization by European Americans. I am prefacing my article with an excerpt from this text, as it links "Asian" food to female "Asian" ethnicity. ...

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7 - "The Tao is Up": Intertextuality and Cultural Dialogue in Tripmaster Monkey1

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pp. 103-116

Many critics, noting the dialogic quality inherent in ethnic texts, have referred to Mikhail Bakhtin's ideas on dialogism in their analyses of Maxine Hong Kingston's works.2 Bakhtin understood dialogism to occur when a privileged belief system or view is "relativized [and] de-privileged" by the appearance of an opposing viewpoint.3 Although "not a dialogue in the narrative sense...rather it is a dialogue between points of view."4 ...

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8 - Overseas Chinese Literature: A Proposal for Clarification

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pp. 117-127

The expression Overseas Chinese (haiwai huaren) here is understood as referring to people of Chinese ancestry living outside mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao. The term Overseas Chinese literature, haiwai huaren wenxue, contains two notions: Overseas Chinese-language literature (haiwai huawen wenxue) and Overseas non-Chinese-language literature (haiwai fei huawen wenxue). ...


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9 - Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: (Re)packaging Chinas and Selling the Hybridized Culture in an Age of Transnationalism

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pp. 131-142

In 2001, numerous international awards garnered by Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, together with its resounding box office success, marked an age of transnationalism and globalization in Chinese film culture and identity.1 When observed as the flow of culture and the dynamics of the world economy, the concept of globalization embraces the inclusionist ideals of cross-culturalism and boundary crossing.2 ...

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10 - Father Knows Best: Reading Sexuality in Ang Lee's The Wedding Banquet and Chay Yew's Porcelain

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pp. 143-160

In "Corning Out into the Global System," Mark Chiang states that the closet "signifies the deviation from ethnic identity that must be covered up" in The Wedding Banquet (379).2 For Chiang, it is clear that "all of the younger generation of Chinese/Taiwanese in the United States are engaged in the masquerade of authenticity insofar as none of them are capable of enacting the forms of tradition that the older generation continually seeks to re-create" (379). ...

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11 - The Cinema of Tsai Ming-liang: A Modernist Genealogy

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pp. 161-172

The cinema of the Taiwanese filmmaker Tsai Ming-liang arguably has been neglected by Western scholars in favor of work by other East Asian filmmakers, including those working within the context of the New Taiwanese cinema of which Tsai might be considered tangentially a part. This chapter seeks to go some way in redressing the balance and aims to stimulate further interest in Tsai within the Western academic arena of work on East Asian cinema.1 ...

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12 - Sentimental Returns: On the Uses of the Everyday in the Recent Films of Zhang Yimou and Wong Kar-wai1

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pp. 173-187

The everyday: an open, empty category, one that allows critics to fill it with critical agendas as they please. This is why both its defenders and its detractors can use it to stake their political claims, either as the bedrock of reality, the ground zero of cultural representation, or as a misleading set of appearances concealing ideological exploitation, a collective false consciousness. ...


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pp. 189-209

Works Cited

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pp. 211-230


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pp. 231-238

E-ISBN-13: 9789882203860
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622097964

Page Count: 248
Publication Year: 2006

OCLC Number: 647930859
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Reading Chinese Transnationalisms

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Transnationalism.
  • National characteristics, Chinese.
  • Popular culture -- China.
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