Accepted Paper:

What one talks about when one talks about area  


Artur Lozano-Méndez (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

Paper short abstract:

This overview paper is an introduction to the panel by reviewing practices and conditions that build up the East Asia Studies discipline, and how the field has coped with challenges posed by critical theory in a knowledge production framework.

Paper long abstract:

We will begin by quickly reviewing some statistics regarding the conditions of the field of knowledge that East Asia Studies scholars build for themselves as they go about their research and teaching. The figures will help us illustrate and flesh out the fundamental issues also present in our fellow panellists' contributions. Then we will address more specific issues contributing to the 'status quo' and we will argue the need of specific initiatives that confront such issues (ranging from the curricula of grades to the the approach to team research endeavours). Finally, we will return to the heart of the matter and reflect about what it means for scholars to commit themselves to area studies thirty years after "Orientalism" and forty years after "The Archaeology of Knowledge." What the problem of imaginative geographies boils down to is the same argument that Said and Foucault confronted --can we actively shape the enunciative function of discourse or rather discourse is a Leviathan bigger than the sum of its components (discursive formations and their units, strategies, archive, accumulations, exclusions, positivity). And whatever the answer, we will consider what are the possibilities for an individual's ethical stance and a collective ethical 'doxia' effective beyond the realm of goodwill.

Panel G23
Disjoining approaches: tropes, hubs, and production of knowledge on East Asia