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Rey Chow - Author

About the Author

Books by Rey Chow

Not Like a Native Speaker On Languaging as a Postcolonial Experience

Not Like a Native Speaker On Languaging as a Postcolonial Experience

Author: Rey Chow Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/09/2014

Although the era of European colonialism has long passed, misgivings about the inequality of the encounters between European and non-European languages persist in many parts of the postcolonial world. This unfinished state of affairs, this lingering historical experience of being caught among unequal languages, is the subject of Rey Chow's book. A diverse group of personae, never before assembled in a similar manner, make their appearances in the various chapters: the young mulatto happening upon a photograph about skin color in a popular magazine; the man from Martinique hearing himself named Negro in public in France; call center agents in India trained to Americanize their accents while speaking with customers; the Algerian Jewish philosopher reflecting on his relation to the French language; African intellectuals debating the pros and cons of using English for purposes of creative writing; the translator acting by turns as a traitor and as a mourner in the course of cross-cultural exchange; Cantonese-speaking writers of Chinese contemplating the politics of food consumption; radio drama workers straddling the forms of traditional storytelling and mediatized sound broadcast. In these riveting scenes of speaking and writing imbricated with race, pigmentation, and class demarcations, Chow suggests, postcolonial languaging becomes, de facto, an order of biopolitics. The native speaker, the fulcrum figure often accorded a transcendent status, is realigned here as the repository of illusory linguistic origins and unities. By inserting British and post-British Hong Kong (the city where she grew up) into the languaging controversies that tend to be pursued in Francophone (and occasionally Anglophone) deliberations, and by sketching the fraught situations faced by those coping with the specifics of using Chinese while negotiating with English, Chow not only redefines the geopolitical boundaries of postcolonial inquiry but also demonstrates how such inquiry must articulate historical experience to the habits, practices, affects, and imaginaries based in sounds and scripts.

Not Like a Native Speaker On Languaging as a Postcolonial Experience

Not Like a Native Speaker On Languaging as a Postcolonial Experience

Author: Rey Chow Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/09/2014

Although the era of European colonialism has long passed, misgivings about the inequality of the encounters between European and non-European languages persist in many parts of the postcolonial world. This unfinished state of affairs, this lingering historical experience of being caught among unequal languages, is the subject of Rey Chow's book. A diverse group of personae, never before assembled in a similar manner, make their appearances in the various chapters: the young mulatto happening upon a photograph about skin color in a popular magazine; the man from Martinique hearing himself named Negro in public in France; call center agents in India trained to Americanize their accents while speaking with customers; the Algerian Jewish philosopher reflecting on his relation to the French language; African intellectuals debating the pros and cons of using English for purposes of creative writing; the translator acting by turns as a traitor and as a mourner in the course of cross-cultural exchange; Cantonese-speaking writers of Chinese contemplating the politics of food consumption; radio drama workers straddling the forms of traditional storytelling and mediatized sound broadcast. In these riveting scenes of speaking and writing imbricated with race, pigmentation, and class demarcations, Chow suggests, postcolonial languaging becomes, de facto, an order of biopolitics. The native speaker, the fulcrum figure often accorded a transcendent status, is realigned here as the repository of illusory linguistic origins and unities. By inserting British and post-British Hong Kong (the city where she grew up) into the languaging controversies that tend to be pursued in Francophone (and occasionally Anglophone) deliberations, and by sketching the fraught situations faced by those coping with the specifics of using Chinese while negotiating with English, Chow not only redefines the geopolitical boundaries of postcolonial inquiry but also demonstrates how such inquiry must articulate historical experience to the habits, practices, affects, and imaginaries based in sounds and scripts.

Entanglements, or Transmedial Thinking about Capture

Entanglements, or Transmedial Thinking about Capture

Author: Rey Chow Format: Hardback Release Date: 11/04/2012

How might the pornographic be associated with Brecht's and Benjamin's media theories? How are Foucault's and Deleuze's writings on visibilities postcolonial ? What happens when Ranciere's discussions of art are juxtaposed with cultural anthropology? What does a story by Lao She about collecting reveal about political collectivism in modern China? How does Girard's notion of mimetic violence speak to identity politics? How might Arendt's and Derrida's reflections on forgiveness be supplemented by a film by Lee Chang-dong? What can Akira Kurosawa's films about Japan say about American Studies? How is Asia framed transnationally, with what consequences for those who self-identify as Asian? These questions are dispersively heterologous yet mutually implicated. This paradoxical character of their discursive relations is what Rey Chow intends with the word entanglements, by which she means, first, an enmeshment of topics: the mediatized image in modernist reflexivity; captivation and identification; victimhood; the place of East Asia in globalized Western academic study. Beyond enmeshment, she asks, can entanglements be phenomena that are not defined by affinity or proximity? Might entanglements be about partition and disparity rather than about conjunction and similarity? Across medial forms (including theater, film, narrative, digitization, and photographic art), and against more popular trends of declaring things and people to be in flux, Chow proposes conceptual frames that foreground instead aesthetic, ontological, and sentient experiences of force, dominance, submission, fidelity, antagonism, masochism, letting-go, and the attraction to self-annihilation. Boundary, trap, capture, captivation, sacrifice, and mimesis: these riveting terms serve as analytic pressure points in her readings, articulating perversity, madness, and terror to pursuits of freedom.

Entanglements, or Transmedial Thinking about Capture

Entanglements, or Transmedial Thinking about Capture

Author: Rey Chow Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/04/2012

How might the pornographic be associated with Brecht's and Benjamin's media theories? How are Foucault's and Deleuze's writings on visibilities postcolonial ? What happens when Ranciere's discussions of art are juxtaposed with cultural anthropology? What does a story by Lao She about collecting reveal about political collectivism in modern China? How does Girard's notion of mimetic violence speak to identity politics? How might Arendt's and Derrida's reflections on forgiveness be supplemented by a film by Lee Chang-dong? What can Akira Kurosawa's films about Japan say about American Studies? How is Asia framed transnationally, with what consequences for those who self-identify as Asian? These questions are dispersively heterologous yet mutually implicated. This paradoxical character of their discursive relations is what Rey Chow intends with the word entanglements, by which she means, first, an enmeshment of topics: the mediatized image in modernist reflexivity; captivation and identification; victimhood; the place of East Asia in globalized Western academic study. Beyond enmeshment, she asks, can entanglements be phenomena that are not defined by affinity or proximity? Might entanglements be about partition and disparity rather than about conjunction and similarity? Across medial forms (including theater, film, narrative, digitization, and photographic art), and against more popular trends of declaring things and people to be in flux, Chow proposes conceptual frames that foreground instead aesthetic, ontological, and sentient experiences of force, dominance, submission, fidelity, antagonism, masochism, letting-go, and the attraction to self-annihilation. Boundary, trap, capture, captivation, sacrifice, and mimesis: these riveting terms serve as analytic pressure points in her readings, articulating perversity, madness, and terror to pursuits of freedom.

The Age of the World Target Self-Referentiality in War, Theory, and Comparative Work

The Age of the World Target Self-Referentiality in War, Theory, and Comparative Work

Author: Rey Chow Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/04/2006

Martin Heidegger once wrote that the world had, in the age of modern science, become a world picture. For Rey Chow, the world has, in the age of atomic bombs, become a world target, to be attacked once it is identified, or so global geopolitics, dominated by the United States since the end of the Second World War, seems repeatedly to confirm. How to articulate the problematics of knowledge production with this aggressive targeting of the world? Chow attempts such an articulation by probing the significance of the chronological proximity of area studies, poststructuralist theory, and comparative literature-fields of inquiry that have each exerted considerable influence but whose mutual implicatedness as postwar U.S. academic phenomena has seldom been theorized. Central to Chow's discussions is a critique of the predicament of self-referentiality-the compulsive move to interiorize that, in her view, constitutes the collective frenzy of our age-in different contemporary epistemic registers, including the self-consciously avant-garde as well as the militaristic and culturally supremacist. Urging her readers to think beyond the inward-turning focus on EuroAmerica that tends to characterize even the most radical gestures of Western self-deconstruction, Chow envisions much broader intellectual premises for future transcultural work, with reading practices aimed at restoring words and things to their constitutive exteriority.

The Age of the World Target Self-Referentiality in War, Theory, and Comparative Work

The Age of the World Target Self-Referentiality in War, Theory, and Comparative Work

Author: Rey Chow Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/04/2006

Martin Heidegger once wrote that the world had, in the age of modern science, become a world picture. For Rey Chow, the world has, in the age of atomic bombs, become a world target, to be attacked once it is identified, or so global geopolitics, dominated by the United States since the end of the Second World War, seems repeatedly to confirm. How to articulate the problematics of knowledge production with this aggressive targeting of the world? Chow attempts such an articulation by probing the significance of the chronological proximity of area studies, poststructuralist theory, and comparative literature-fields of inquiry that have each exerted considerable influence but whose mutual implicatedness as postwar U.S. academic phenomena has seldom been theorized. Central to Chow's discussions is a critique of the predicament of self-referentiality-the compulsive move to interiorize that, in her view, constitutes the collective frenzy of our age-in different contemporary epistemic registers, including the self-consciously avant-garde as well as the militaristic and culturally supremacist. Urging her readers to think beyond the inward-turning focus on EuroAmerica that tends to characterize even the most radical gestures of Western self-deconstruction, Chow envisions much broader intellectual premises for future transcultural work, with reading practices aimed at restoring words and things to their constitutive exteriority.

Modern Chinese Literary and Cultural Studies in the Age of Theory Reimagining a Field

Modern Chinese Literary and Cultural Studies in the Age of Theory Reimagining a Field

Author: Rey Chow Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/01/2001

These groundbreaking essays use critical theory to reflect on issues pertaining to modern Chinese literature and culture and, in the process, transform the definition and conceptualization of the field of modern Chinese studies itself. The wide range of topics addressed by this international group of scholars includes twentieth-century literature produced in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China; film, art, history, popular culture, and literary and cultural criticism; as well as the geographies of migration and diaspora. One of the volume's provocative suggestions is that the old model of area studies-an offshoot of U.S. Cold War strategy that found its anchorage in higher education-is no longer feasible for the diverse and multifaceted experiences that are articulated under the rubric of Chineseness. As Rey Chow argues in her introduction, the notion of a monolithic Chineseness bound ultimately to mainland China is, in itself, highly problematic because it recognizes neither the material realities of ethnic minorities within China nor those of populations in places such as Tibet, Taiwan, and post-British Hong Kong. Above all, this book demonstrates that, as the terms of a chauvinistic sinocentrism become obsolete, the critical use of theory-particularly by younger China scholars whose enthusiasm for critical theory coincides with changes in China's political economy in recent years-will enable the emergence of fresh connections and insights that may have been at odds with previous interpretive convention. Originally published as a special issue of the journal boundary 2, this collection includes two new essays and an afterword by Paul Bove that places its arguments in the context of contemporary cultural politics. It will have far-reaching implications for the study of modern China and will be of interest to scholars of theory and culture in general.Contributors. Stanley K. Abe, Ien Ang, Chris Berry, Paul Bove, Sung-cheng Yvonne Chang, Rey Chow, Dorothy Ko, Charles Laughlin, Leung Ping-kwan, Kwai-cheung Lo, Christopher Lupke, David Der-wei Wang, Michelle Yeh

Modern Chinese Literary and Cultural Studies in the Age of Theory Reimagining a Field

Modern Chinese Literary and Cultural Studies in the Age of Theory Reimagining a Field

Author: Rey Chow Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2001

These groundbreaking essays use critical theory to reflect on issues pertaining to modern Chinese literature and culture and, in the process, transform the definition and conceptualization of the field of modern Chinese studies itself. The wide range of topics addressed by this international group of scholars includes twentieth-century literature produced in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and mainland China; film, art, history, popular culture, and literary and cultural criticism; as well as the geographies of migration and diaspora. One of the volume's provocative suggestions is that the old model of area studies-an offshoot of U.S. Cold War strategy that found its anchorage in higher education-is no longer feasible for the diverse and multifaceted experiences that are articulated under the rubric of Chineseness. As Rey Chow argues in her introduction, the notion of a monolithic Chineseness bound ultimately to mainland China is, in itself, highly problematic because it recognizes neither the material realities of ethnic minorities within China nor those of populations in places such as Tibet, Taiwan, and post-British Hong Kong. Above all, this book demonstrates that, as the terms of a chauvinistic sinocentrism become obsolete, the critical use of theory-particularly by younger China scholars whose enthusiasm for critical theory coincides with changes in China's political economy in recent years-will enable the emergence of fresh connections and insights that may have been at odds with previous interpretive convention. Originally published as a special issue of the journal boundary 2, this collection includes two new essays and an afterword by Paul Bove that places its arguments in the context of contemporary cultural politics. It will have far-reaching implications for the study of modern China and will be of interest to scholars of theory and culture in general.Contributors. Stanley K. Abe, Ien Ang, Chris Berry, Paul Bove, Sung-cheng Yvonne Chang, Rey Chow, Dorothy Ko, Charles Laughlin, Leung Ping-kwan, Kwai-cheung Lo, Christopher Lupke, David Der-wei Wang, Michelle Yeh

Ethics after Idealism Theory-Culture-Ethnicity-Reading

Ethics after Idealism Theory-Culture-Ethnicity-Reading

Author: Rey Chow Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/01/1998

Methodologically situated in the contentious spaces between critical theory and cultural studies, and always attending to the implications of ethnicity, this book constitutes a unique intervention in contemporary cultural politics. -Social Semiotics At a time when cultural identity has become intrinsic to the way we read our many others, Rey Chow argues that what demands to be examined critically is no longer identity politics per se but the idealism-especially in the sense of idealizing otherness-that lies at the heart of identity politics. She discusses multiple cultural forms-fiction, film, popular music, poetry, and essays-and a range of cultural topics-pedagogy, multiculturalism, fascism, sexuality, miscegenation, fantasy, nostalgia, and postcoloniality.

Writing Diaspora Tactics of Intervention in Contemporary Cultural Studies

Writing Diaspora Tactics of Intervention in Contemporary Cultural Studies

Author: Rey Chow Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/06/1993

... this is no doctrinaire tract but rather a concerted attempt to look at important cultural problems from a fresh perspective.... Chow's book is an excellent example of its type. -Discourse & Society I believe that Rey Chow has written a powerful set of essays which offer a critical strategy for approaching questions of otherness and other societies by forcing us to constantly reassess our position. -Harry Harootunian Writing Diaspora questions aspects of cultural politics, including the legacies of European imperialism and colonialism, the media, pedagogy, literature, literacy, sexuality, intellectual labor, the uses and abuses of theory, and popularized notions about others.

Woman and Chinese Modernity The Politics of Reading between West and East

Woman and Chinese Modernity The Politics of Reading between West and East

Author: Rey Chow Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/1991

In this era, analysis of the West has become not only possible but mandatory. Where does this analysis leave those ethnic peoples whose entry into culture is, precisely because of the history of Western imperialism, already Westernized ? This is the primary question Rey Chow addresses in Woman and Chinese Modernity . The author brings together a variety of texts about modern China - from Bertolucci's Last Emperor and the Mandarin Duck and Butterfly stories, to writings by male and female authors of the May Fourth period - and organizes them along four critical paths all of which involve woman . Those include the visual image, literary history, narrative structure and emotional reception. These, in turn, allow four mutually implicated aspects of Chinese modernity to come to the fore - the ethnic spectator, the fragmentation of tradition in popular literature, the problematic construction of a new inner reality through narration, and the relations between sexuality, sentimentalism and reading.