"Race" Panic and the Memory of Migration

"Race" Panic and the Memory of Migration

"Race" Panic and the Memory of Migration

"Race" Panic and the Memory of Migration

Synopsis

This book explores complex relations between violence, historical memory, and the production of "ethnicity" and "race." Some essays analyze the panicked "othering" that has led to violence against Chinese Indonesians, and to the little-known massacres of Hui Muslims in nineteenth century China and of Cheju Islanders in Korea in 1948.

Excerpt

Meaghan Morris

This is the second volume of Traces, an international series of cultural theory and translation established to challenge the ways in which "theory" and "culture" are distributed and "translation" is imagined and structured in the long aftermath of old colonial and Cold War regimes. Traces is not alone in issuing this challenge. Many scholars today lament the assumption continuing in practice that a universalizing "West" produces and exports theory to a "Rest" that is brimming with cultural data but bereft of intellectual means to evaluate its rich particularities and render them intelligible to "Western readers." Debate is everywhere increasing about the legacy of the division between the "humanities" (defining the universal) and "area studies" (redeeming the particular), the valueladen distinction between theoretical and pragmatic or everyday knowledge, and the role played by other divisions (East and West, South and North, ex-colonial periphery and metropolis) in a so-called "new global economy" of knowledge. At the same time, however, the power to widely distribute such debate is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few transnational English-language publishers based around the North Atlantic. An "old colonial" division of labor sustains a new hierarchy of languages even more narrow than that inscribed by imperial maps on which Spanish, French, and German were privileged, as were Japanese and Chinese. We may lament and have local debates in many tongues; to produce "international" theory today we must write or be read in English.

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