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"Doing" Theory In and About East Asia: Transgression and Translation

在東亞內「做」相關東亞的理論:踰越和翻譯

Abstracts


Academics typically conceive of theory as a Western way of conceptual thinking or producing knowledge. In today's academic context, nevertheless, theory is influential in the non-Western world as well, as many scholars outside of the West adopt a theoretical stance in the production of knowledge. Therefore, as scholars of East Asia, we must rethink its relation to theory. Theory has been discussed in the literature in connection with East Asia, but the place of theory, both in the study of East Asia and in the region itself, still remains obscure if not unstable. Here, my term "East Asia" refers to both geographical and academic sites; that is to say, the term refers to both the region of East Asia and the academic field of East Asian studies, especially in Western academia. Native East Asian scholars of any subject, and scholars who study East Asia, whether they are situated in a Western or non-Western academic context, all face similar challenges when they attempt to engage in theory. The perception of theoretical scholars in East Asia, from both the West and the East, is at best ambivalent, if not antagonistic. In opposition to this perception, this paper will illuminate the positive aspects of theory in and about East Asia. To this end, I propose the following guiding question about the relation between theory and East: what does "doing" theory mean when it comes to East Asia? Since the term "East Asia" risks being quickly associated or conflated with the colonialist conception of the Orient or the Other - namely, a mythic territory - a more helpful question might be: what does using theory mean for both scholars of East Asia and scholars in East Asia?

Parallel abstracts


學者們一般將理論視為西方於思想建構或知識生產的方法。然而,現今學院中,許多西方國家之外的學者於生產知識時,也採用某一理論立場,因而使理論在非西方世界中深具影響力。因此,身為東亞的學者,我們必須反思東亞和理論之間的關係。理論的討論可見於相關東亞的文學作品之中,但理論的位置,不論就東亞研究或是地區本身而言,依然模糊、搖擺。在此,「東亞」一詞同時意指地理上和學術上的位置;意即,東亞地區和東亞研究,特別是指西方學院中的一種學術領域。從事任何學科的東亞當地學者,以及研究東亞的學者,無論身處西方學界之內或外,試圖從事理論研究時皆會面臨類似的挑戰。所謂東亞理論學者的這個觀念,不論來自東方或西方,若非互相對峙,也相互矛盾。相對於此觀點,本文將闡明東亞之內和東亞相關理論的正面方面。為達此目的,就理論和東亞關係切入,我提出幾個問題做為引導:「做」東亞相關的理論所謂為何?既然「東亞」一詞容易和殖民主義概念中的東方或他者聯想或同化-意指神話的範疇-因此較有助益的問題應該是:對於研究東亞的學者或東亞的當地學者而言,使用理論的意義究竟為何?

Parallel keywords

理論 東亞 翻譯 踰越 精神分析

References


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