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Sights of Contestation

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The fourteen essays presented in this volume examine the diverse ways in which cultural products are shaped and re-shaped in public spaces in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and some other countries in the Pacific in their continuing encounters with the forces of localism and globalism.

Various theories of globalization have been proposed since the 1970s to predict the trend of development toward homogenization and explain the tensions hitherto created. However diverse the theories may be, there is one fact that assumes the form of a challenge. As the world has become seemingly less and less divergent in its "shrinkage," the traditional categories of cultural division and opposition, such as the East versus the West, may no longer be adequate in analyzing the world we live in today. Paradoxically enough, this very shrinkage and restructuring of the world has the effect of focusing more sharply on questions of localism, identity and cultural roots. This is, in fact, a moment in history when the local and the global are co-implicated in complex and unanticipated ways.

How do cultural workers, who are primarily writers, intellectuals, journalists, filmmakers and educators, in Asia and the Pacific respond to this challenging phenomenon? How do they conceptualize it? What are the prospects and problems they foresee with regard to their own societies and cultures? These are questions of utmost significance as one seeks to come to terms with East Asia and the emerging Pacific as a space of contestation and resistance in the global/local process of cultural production. The fourteen essays collected in this book certainly represent the views of someof the prominent scholars in the region.

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About the Author

Kwok-kan Tam is Professor in the Department of English, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He received his Ph.D. in English and comparative literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has published extensively on literary and cultural theory, Chinese-Western comparative literature, film and theatre studies. His recent publications include New Chinese Cinema (co-authored, 1998), The Politics of Subject Construction in Modern Chinese Literature (2000), Ibsen in China 1908-1997: A Critical-Annotated Bibliography of Criticism, Translation and Performance (2001) and Soul of Chaos: Critical Perspectives on Gao Xingjian (2001). Wimal Dissanayake received his Ph.D. in literature at the University of Cambridge. He has been scholar-in-residence at Hong Kong Baptist University and an senior fellow of the East-West Center, Honolulu, and is currently a professor at the University of Hong Kong. He has published more than twenty books on Asian culture, communication and film studies. Among his recent publications are Global/Local: Cultural Production and the Transnational Imaginary (co-edited, 1996) and Indian Popular Cinema: A Narrative of Cultural Change (co-authored, 1998). He is an award-winning poet and has published six volumes of poetry. Terry Siu-han Yip is Professor and Chairperson of the Department of English Language and Literature, Hong Kong Baptist University. She received her Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has published extensively on Chinese-Western comparative literature, gender studies and Chinese women's writings. Her recent publications include A Place of One's Own: Stories of Self in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore (co-edited, 1999) and Shakespeare Global/Local (co-edited, 2002).

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