The Rey Chow Reader

The Rey Chow Reader


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The Rey Chow Reader by Rey Chow

Rey Chow is arguably one of the most prominent intellectuals working in the humanities today. Characteristically confronting both entrenched and emergent issues in the interlocking fields of literature, film and visual studies, sexuality and gender, postcolonialism, ethnicity, and cross-cultural politics, her works produce surprising connections among divergent topics at the same time as they compel us to think through the ethical and political ramifications of our academic, epistemic, and cultural practices. This anthology - the first to collect key moments in Chow's engaging thought - provides readers with an ideal introduction to some of her most forceful theoretical explorations. Organized into two sections, each of which begins with a brief statement designed to establish linkages among various discursive fields through Chow's writings, the anthology also contains an extensive Editor's Introduction, which situates Chow's work in the context of contemporary critical debates. For all those pursuing transnational cultural theory and cultural studies, this book is an essential resource.

Praise for Rey Chow

"[Rey Chow is] methodologically situated in the contentious spaces between critical theory and cultural studies, and always attending to the implications of ethnicity."—Social Semiotics

"Rich and powerful work that provides both a dazzling synthesis of contemporary cultural theory and at the same time an exemplary critique of Chinese cinema."—China Information

"Should be read by all who are concerned with the future of human rights, liberalism, multiculturalism, identity politics, and feminism."—Dorothy Ko

"Wide-ranging, theoretically rich, and provocative... completely restructures the problem of ethnicity."—Fredric Jameson

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231149952
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 07/01/2010
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Rey Chow is Anne Firor Scott Professor of Literature at Duke University and the author of numerous influential books, including several published by Columbia University Press: Primitive Passions; The Protestant Ethnic and the Spirit of Capitalism; and Sentimental Fabulations, Contemporary Chinese Films. A book about her writings, The Rey Chow Reader, was edited by Paul Bowman. Her work has appeared in more than ten languages.

Table of Contents

Editor's Introduction
Part 1. Modernity and Postcolonial Ethnicity
1. The Age of the World Target: Atomic Bombs, Alterity, Area Studies
2. The Postcolonial Difference: Lessons in Cultural Legitimation
3. From Writing Diaspora: Introduction: Leading Questions
4. Brushes with the-Other-as-Face: Stereotyping and Cross-Ethnic Representation
5. The Politics of Admittance: Female Sexual Agency, by Miscegenation
6. When Whiteness Feminizes... : Some Consequences of a Supplementary Logic
Part 2. Filmic Visuality and Transcultural Politics
7. Film and Cultural Identity
8. Seeing Modern China: Toward a Theory of Ethnic Spectatorship
9. The Dream of a Butterfly
10. Film as Ethnography; or, by Translation Between Cultures in the Postcolonial World
11. A Filmic Staging of Postwar Geotemporal Politics: On Akira Kurosawa's No Regrets for Our Youth, by Sixty
12. From Sentimental Fabulations, by Contemporary Chinese Films: Attachment in the Age of Global Visibility
13. The Political Economy of Vision in Happy Times and Not One Less; or, by a Different Type of Migration

What People are Saying About This

Caren Kaplan

Rey Chow is one of the most interesting and iconoclastic theorists writing in English today. She crosses fields and areas of study with such assurance and brio as to make one wonder why no one else has done so before.

Christopher L. Connery

Rey Chow is a postcolonial theorist of protean energy whose work has explicitly resisted systematization and reduction to a specific theoretical or methodological programmatic. In few contemporary theorists is the analysis so explicitly and closely determined by the object of analysis, in what is clearly an effort to fashion a mode of critique that in its most fundamental character is anti-imperialist. Chow's is a project that takes no easy refuge either in subject position or in meta-analytical framework. It never lets us forget the social character of knowledge and culture producers, of critics and academics, of students, citizens, and workers. And in its relentless focus on the object of analysis, Chow's work finds its power not in the repetition of or reduction to a historical or political situation, but rather in its capacity to pry loose from the object something essential about the nature of thought itself.

Donna Haraway

Rey Chow is a worldly thinker; she helps us inhabit worlds more thickly and more accountably, in pleasurable discomfort. I treasure the cognitive sensation of such discomfort! This reader is itself an act of responsible and responsive worlding. Inhabiting a wide range of cultural, media, and political scenes, Chow explores how situated identities work for, against, and on those who shape and deploy them. Chow cares about how 'difference' sets the price of admission in myriad worlds for sexualized and racialized persons. She also shows how those prices are in flux as the terms, objects, agents, and frames of geopolitical culture are actively reconstituted.

Elizabeth Grosz

The Rey Chow Reader is a real accomplishment. It brings together many of the most striking and provocative texts of a genuinely and astutely original thinker. Rey Chow has opened up postcolonial, cultural, and feminist studies to the most rigorous and self-aware political and theoretical questioning. In doing so, she has shown us how to think more clearly and carefully about elaborating new modes of political and intellectual engagement.

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