Cultural Production and the Transnational Imaginary


Asia-Pacific: Culture, Politics, and Society

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Book Pages: 408 Illustrations: Published: May 1996

Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Asian Studies, Cultural Studies

This groundbreaking collection focuses on what may be, for cultural studies, the most intriguing aspect of contemporary globalization—the ways in which the postnational restructuring of the world in an era of transnational capitalism has altered how we must think about cultural production. Mapping a "new world space" that is simultaneously more globalized and localized than before, these essays examine the dynamic between the movement of capital, images, and technologies without regard to national borders and the tendency toward fragmentation of the world into increasingly contentious enclaves of difference, ethnicity, and resistance.
Ranging across issues involving film, literature, and theory, as well as history, politics, economics, sociology, and anthropology, these deeply interdisciplinary essays explore the interwoven forces of globalism and localism in a variety of cultural settings, with a particular emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region. Powerful readings of the new image culture, transnational film genre, and the politics of spectacle are offered as is a critique of globalization as the latest guise of colonization. Articles that unravel the complex links between the global and local in terms of the unfolding narrative of capital are joined by work that illuminates phenomena as diverse as "yellow cab" interracial sex in Japan, machinic desire in Robocop movies, and the Pacific Rim city. An interview with Fredric Jameson by Paik Nak-Chung on globalization and Pacific Rim responses is also featured, as is a critical afterword by Paul Bové.
Positioned at the crossroads of an altered global terrain, this volume, the first of its kind, analyzes the evolving transnational imaginary—the full scope of contemporary cultural production by which national identities of political allegiance and economic regulation are being undone, and in which imagined communities are being reshaped at both the global and local levels of everyday existence.


Global/Local strikes an impressive balance between theoretical explorations of how the global shapes the local and more particularized treatments of the disorientation and transformative impact of migrants as registered in cultural forms and expressions.” — American Literary History

“[I]n essay after essay [one finds] a patient attentiveness to the complexities of cultural identity and exchange, and an equally impressive determination to expose racism and exploitation, however well disguised they might be.” — , Canadian Literature

“A timely volume addressing contemporary issues concerning cultural production, Global/Local takes up the challenge of explaining forces of globalism and localism in a variety of cultural settings. . . . Few other works have ventured into what is a hotly debated terrain today, having addressed partial aspects, without the all-encompassing sweep of this volume. The essays are wide ranging. . . . The critical polemics of discussion in this ambitious and comprehensive study heralds a new future in analyzing the cultural production and the transnatural imaginary. This volume as a whole addresses a highly complex and very real phenomenon. For these reasons, it is likely to be a handy teaching text facilitating accessibility, at the same time offering a significant development in the field.” — Shomi Munshi , Social Semiotics

“The issues raised are significant in a world context in which conventional paradigms are not necessarily useful in comprehending forces that pay little heed to administrative boundaries and have scant respect for older control mechanisms, such as the nation-state. . . . The treatments are as unconventional as the topics. . . . [V]astly entertaining.” — Pacific Affairs

“This volume poses the necessary challenge to a field of study that is on the brink of intellectual impasse and begs for further theoretical expansion and intervention.” — College Literature

"Challenging, provocative, informative, and giving full substance to the interrelations of the global and local, these essays carry the reader through a marvelously rich range of materials just where intellectual life in the humanities and social sciences today is most vital." — Jonathan Arac, University of Pittsburgh


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Rob Wilson is Professor of Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is the author of Reimagining the American Pacific and coeditor of Asia/Pacific as Space of Cultural Production, both published by Duke University Press. Wimal Dissanayake is editor of East-West Film Journal.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Introduction: Tracking the Global/Local / Rob Wilson and Wimal Dissanayake 1

I. Globalizations

The Global in the Local / Arif Dirlik 21

Localism, Globalism, and Cultural Identity / Mike Featherstone 46

A Borderless World? From Colonialism to Transnationalism and the Decline of the Nation-State / Masao Miyoshi 78

Real Virtuality / Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto 107

Phobic Spaces and Liminal Panics: Independent Transnational Film Genre / Hamid Naficy 119

From the Imperial Family to the Transnational Imaginary: Media Spectatorship in the Age of Globalization / Ella Shohat and Robert Stam 145

II. Local Conjunctions

Flirting with the Foreign: Interracial Sex in Japan's "International" Age / Karen Kelsky 173

Desiring the Involuntary: Machinic Assemblage and Transnationalism in Deleuze and Robocop 2 / Jonathan L. Beller 193

In Whose Interest? Transnational Capital and the Production of Multiculturalism in Canada / Katharyne Mitchell 219

III. Global/Local Disruptions

Globalism's Localisms / Dana Polan 255

The Oceanic Feeling and the Regional Imaginary / Christopher L. Connery 284

Goodbye Paradise: Global/Localism in the American Pacific / Rob Wilson 312

The Case of the Emergent Cultural Criticism Columns in Taiwan's Newspaper Literary Supplements: Global/Local Dialectics in Contemporary Taiwanese Public Culture 337

South Korea as Social Space / Fredric Jameson interviewed by Paik Nak-chung 348

Afterword: "Global/Local" Memory and Thought 372

Index 387

Contributors 397
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1712-8 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-1702-9
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