Speaker: Prof. Chen Kuan-Hsing (Visiting Professor, Institute for Research in the Humanities, Kyoto University)
Discussant: Prof. Victor Li (CSEAS Guest Scholar)
Abstract: Covid-19 testifies to the fact that it is a transnational movement beyond the structure of the nation-state, but it is the nation-state formation which tries to protect itself, unwilling to move forward by questioning the legitimacy of its own form, especially in confronting the on-going global crisis. This seminar presentation argues that we will need to divest the unchallenged assumptions of the nation-state and imagine new possibilities by learning lessons from the past. Drawing on Korean thinker Choi Won-shik’s “small-medium-large countryism,” a formulation from the Chinese history of the Warring States, the presentation suggests the possibility of remapping the world by first liberating it from the no longer workable model of the nation-state.
About the speaker and discussant: Kuan-Hsing Chen, currently a visiting professor at the Institute for Research in the Humanities, Kyoto University, is co-editor of Inter-Asia Cultural Studies: Movements, and editor of Renjian Thought. He is a founder of the Inter-Asia School and Bandung School (Taipei). His publications include Asia as Method: Towards Deimperilization (2010), and Chen Yingzhen’s Third World (2020).
Victor Li recently retired from teaching in the Department of English and the Centre for Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto. He is the author of The Neo-Primitivist Turn: Critical Reflections on Alterity, Culture, and Modernity, and has published in journals such as ARIEL, boundary 2, Cultural Critique, Criticism, Globalizations, Interventions, and Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Inquiry. He is currently a guest scholar at CSEAS, Kyoto University, where he is working on a history of his grandfather who was a leader in Rangoon’s Chinese community in the early half of the 20th century.