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Asia Week: Book launch for Robin Visser’s Questioning Borders: Ecoliteratures of China and Taiwan

September 27, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

The Carolina Asia Center is proud to host a book launch for the release of

Cover of Robin Visser's book _Questioning Borders: Ecoliteratures of China and Taiwan_Questioning Borders: Ecoliteratures of China and Taiwan

by Robin Visser, Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies




Indigenous knowledge of local ecosystems often challenges settler-colonial cosmologies that naturalize resource extraction and the relocation of nomadic, hunting, foraging, or fishing peoples. Questioning Borders explores recent ecoliterature by Han and non-Han Indigenous writers of China and Taiwan, analyzing relations among humans, animals, ecosystems, and the cosmos in search of alternative possibilities for creativity and consciousness.

Informed by extensive field research, Robin Visser compares literary works by Bai, Bunun, Kazakh, Mongol, Tao, Tibetan, Uyghur, Wa, Yi, and Han Chinese writers set in Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Southwest China, and Taiwan, sites of extensive development, migration, and climate change impacts. Visser contrasts the dominant Han Chinese cosmology of center and periphery that informs what she calls “Beijing Westerns” with Indigenous and hybridized ways of relating to the world that challenge borders, binaries, and hierarchies.

By centering Indigenous cosmologies, this book aims to decolonize approaches to ecocriticism, comparative literature, and Chinese and Sinophone studies as well as to inspire new modes of sustainable flourishing in the Anthropocene.

If you wish to join this event virtually, please register by clicking this link. Those wishing to join in person do not need to register.


Those interested in ordering a copy of the book can order it from Columbia University Press (, and receive a 20% discount using the coupon code New20.

In this book launch, Prof. Mark Bender of the Ohio State University will provide a brief reflection on the book, followed by a response by Prof. Visser, and discussion by those gathered.


September 27, 2023
3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Event Categories:
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New West 219
NC United States + Google Map


Carolina Asia Center
View Organizer Website

The Carolina Asia Center supports diverse Asia-related events. However, CAC co-sponsorship of any talk, seminar, documentary screening, film screening, performance or celebration does not constitute endorsement of or agreement with the views presented therein. As an academic institution, we value diverse perspectives that promote dialogue and understanding.

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