"Rethinking Asianism As Alternatives: Film, Cultural Production, and Non-State Agency"

Project: Research project

Project Details


This research project investigates the historical developments of Asianism from the nineteenth century till the present as a manipulable ideology, an emancipatory cause, and a mechanism through which people in the region negotiate and construct their unique identity. It examines how China interacts with the changes of Asianism and in what ways the notion can shed new light on China’s developments and problems. Other than considering the conceptual writings about Asianism, the project also makes use of the cultural productions in the region, such as transnational films, and other cultural exchanges, in order to analyze how Asian collaborations and the region’s drive for unity are operated and perceived in concrete reality. While Asianism has been (and is still being) appropriated by the state to serve the interests of ruling class for aggressive expansion and by those (individuals and groups) motivated by nationalist ideology to claim hegemonic position over other Asians, this research attempts to focus more on the ideas of the non-state or transnational agencies and their movements for the cause of Asianism and exploring its emancipation potentials and deep cultural implications not only for the Asian races but also for other peoples in the world.

The project aims to i) understand and analyze Asianism as a concept, an ideology and a movement within its appropriate historical contexts; ii) examines the implications of Asianism to China especially in the twenty-first century; iii) conceptualize Asianism, with the focus on the non-state or transnational agencies, as a vibrant internationalist alternative to nationalist ideology that is prevailing in the cultural-political scene of today’s world; iv) seek the potential of Asianism for a possible emancipation project by rediscovering its revolutionary and utopian spirit that has been dismissed and manipulated in the past; v) rethink Asianism in order to find out a new momentum for changing the existing hierarchy and hegemonic order, and look for the possibility of a more egalitarian and just form of human community; and vi) go beyond the elite-driven or state-oriented Asianism to investigate the connections between Asianism and non- state forces in order to examine their multiple voices and enormous possibilities through the study of various cultural forms, film in particular, circulated and exchanged in Asia.
Effective start/end date1/01/1231/12/14


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