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Finance, Realism, and the ‘Rise of China’
November 5, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Thursday, November 5, 7:00 p.m.
at the home of Priscilla Wald and Joe Donahue,
2605 McDowell Road, Durham, NC 27705
Whether cast as an attribute of Asian “crony capitalism” or of an unregulated international financial system, the trope of non-transparency clings to economic narratives of the cause for the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998. Yet how we interpret the Asian financial crisis is key to how we periodize Asian economic development before and after 1997-98, and―even though return to growth was fairly rapid―whether the crisis put an end to the idea of an Asian developmental model of “growth with equity” amidst a world of increasing income inequality, particularly in the advanced industrialized zones. How has Asian American fiction responded to the mysteries of the “rise of Asia”? Given the novel’s particular affinity for the rendering of transparent minds, what kinds of characters are depicted in the contemporary Asian American novel? Whether or not the Asian American novel can be theorized as a genre of a post-Bretton Woods credit economy presents a good test of the explanatory power of the New Economic Criticism (whose leading examples concentrate on the linkages between literature and economy in the years 1750-1850) with regard to literary fiction in the era of fictitious capital.
About the Speaker: Colleen Lye is associate professor of English at UC Berkeley. She is the author of America’s Asia: Racial Form and American Literature, 1893-1945 (Princeton, 2005) which won the Cultural Studies Book Award from the Association of Asian American Studies and was a finalist for the John Hope Franklin Prize for the American Studies Association. She has been involved in several collaborative editorial projects, including most recently: “Financialization and the Culture Industry,” a 2014 special issue of Representations; “Peripheral Realisms,” a 2012 special issue of MLQ; “The Humanities and the Crisis of the Public University,” a 2011 special issue of SAQ. She serves on the editorial boards of Representations, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, and Verge. From 2013-2015, she was co-chair of the Berkeley Faculty Association. She is a fellow at the National Humanities Center in 2015-2016, where she is completing a book on the Asian American Sixties.
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