Affective regimes and artistic interventions: a post-Cold War perspective from East Asia
Joyce C.H. LIU and Naoki SAKAI
The current special issue grew out of two workshops addressing several related themes under the general rubric of “Conflicts and Decolonization” that we organized in Spring 2017 at the International Center for Cultural Studies, National Chiao Tung University, as part of the long-term project Conflict, Justice and Decolonization: Critical Studies of Inter-Asia Societies in Global Context. The collection in this issue focuses on the question of decolonization with regard to aesthetic regimes and artistic interventions.
The authors in this volume share the insight that the project of decolonization is not yet complete; it has to be renewed over and over again, and the path to decolonization has to take a more complex approach. They also are convinced that decolonization cannot be completed upon the closure of colonial rule because, even though the military, judicial, administrative and economic practices of the colonial regime might be transformed with the so-called “independence,” the colonial power relations can still persist. Of course, this shared insight derives partly from the historical experiences of post-coloniality that many of us underwent in East Asia after the Second World War/the Asia Pacific War. The collapse of the Japanese Empire in 1945 led to the military, political and economic withdrawal of the Japanese government from the many territories it occupied and governed prior to its defeat. As a result, many regions including Taiwan and Korea were liberated from direct colonial governance by the Japanese Imperial Nationalism, but this did not result in the termination of colonial governance at all. Certainly colonial power relations were revised, but it did not mean that they ceased. In many parts of East Asia, new colonial regimes were introduced and institutionalized, often in the name of decolonization.
Notes on guest editors
Joyce C.H. Liu, Chair Professor of Critical Theory, Comparative Literature, Visual Studies and Cultural Studies in the Institute of Social Research and Cultural Studies (SRCS), National Chiao Tung University (NCTU), Taiwan. She is the founder of the first Doctoral Program in Comparative Literature (Fu Jen) in Taiwan, former president of the Association of Cultural Studies in Taiwan, the founding director of the Institute of Social Research and Cultural Studies, NCTU, and the chief editor of Routers: A Journal of Cultural Studies. She is currently the director of the International Center for Cultural Studies of NCTU and the International Program of Inter-Asia Cultural Studies of the University System of Taiwan. Her research focus covers the critique of East-Asian modernity, questions of biopolitics, border politics, unequal citizenship, migration, logistics, internal colonialism, and epistemic decoloniality.
Naoki Sakai is Goldwin Smith Professor of Comparative Literature and Asian Studies at Cornell University. He has published in the fields of comparative literature, intellectual history, translation studies, the studies of racism and nationalism, and the histories of textuality. His publications include: Translation and Subjectivity (University of Minnesota Press, 1997); Voices of the Past (Cornell University Press, 1991); The Stillbirth of the Japanese as a Language and as an Ethnos (Shinyô-sha, 1995); The End of Pax Americana and the Nationalism of Hikikomori (Duke University Press, forthcoming). He has edited many volumes in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, and English, including TRACES.