Ethics After Idealism: Theory, Culture, Ethnicity, Reading (Theories of Contemporary Culture)

Rey Chow

Published by Indiana University Press, 1998
ISBN 10: 0253333636 / ISBN 13: 9780253333636
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Synopsis: In "Ethics after Idealism", Rey Chow explores once again the issue of cultural otherness that has been central to her work since the publication of "Woman and Chinese Modernity". At a time when cultural identity has become irreversibly imbricated with the manners in which we read our many 'others', Chow argues, what demands to be examined critically is no longer identity politics per se but, more precisely, the idealism - especially in the sense of idealizing otherness - that lies at the heart of identity politics. Recognizing the necessity for a critique of idealism - the necessity to see how idealism is constructed, consolidated and perpetuated, and mobilized with disturbing consequences - constitutes for Chow an ethics in the postcolonial, postmodern age. In particular, she uses 'ethics' to refer to the act of taking decisions - in this context, decisions of reading - that may not immediately conform with prevalent social mores of idealizing our others but that, nonetheless, would enable such others to emerge in their full, albeit irrational, complexities. From theorists Slavoj Zizek and Gayatri Spivak to Frantz Fanon, from songwriter Luo Dayou to poet Leung Ping-kwan, and from the film "M. Butterfly" to the films "The Joy Luck Club", "To Live", and "Rouge", Chow discusses a collection of source materials whose affinities are as surprising as their appearances are diverse. The readings she offers involve multiple cultural forms - including fiction, film, popular music, poetry, and critical essays - as well as a range of cultural topics - including pedagogy, multiculturalism, fascism, sexuality, miscegenation, community, fantasy, governance, nostalgia, and postcoloniality. Methodologically situated in the contentious spaces between critical theory and cultural studies, and always attentive to the implications of ethnicity in contemporary cultural politics, Chow's work should be of interest to readers from many scholarly disciplines.

About the Author:

Rey Chow is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine. She is the author of several books, including Woman and Chinese Modernity, Writing Diaspora, Xie zai guo yi wai, and Primitive Passions: Visuality, Sexuality, Ethnography, and Contemporary Chinese Cinema, which was awarded the James Russell Lowell Prize by the Modern Language Association.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Ethics After Idealism: Theory, Culture, ...
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publication Date: 1998
Book Condition: Very Good

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Chow, Rey
Published by Indiana Univ Pr (1998)
ISBN 10: 0253333636 ISBN 13: 9780253333636
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Book Description Indiana Univ Pr, 1998. Hard Cover. Condition: Very Good. No Jacket. No dust jacket. Size: 8vo - otver 7¾" - 9¾" Tall. Seller Inventory # 623043

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