From inter-Asia studies toward tricontinental studies
ABSTRACT This paper aims to propose new conceptual frameworks for “inter-Asia studies” in order to be more appropriate for addressing and redressing the demands of global patriarchal capitalism as well as overcoming the “regime of separation” of Asian studies from African and/or Latin American studies. To do that, first, I will problematize the male-East Asia-metropolis centeredness of “inter-Asia.” Then, I try to locate “inter-Asia studies” into the field of “tricontinental studies” invented by the decolonial and deimperial spirit of connection between the colonized continents of Asia, Africa and Latin America. In the third section, I will propose a “feminist inter-referencing reading” that involves shuttling back and forth between the postcolonial sub-regions of Asia, Africa and/or Latin America horizontally from the location and perspective of gendered subalterns rather than upward-mobile metropolitan feminists. The feminist standpoint that reading takes is combined with the conceptual frameworks of labor, ecology and ethnicity. It is also held that such a feminist inter-referencing reading needs the imaginative and interpretative metaphor of the “planet” to overcome the Westernized notion of the “nation” and “globe” as well as the concept of “universality shared by all humans” not monopolized by Westerners. Lastly, this paper will illustrate the new kind of “tricontinental studies” by providing an example of “feminist inter-referencing reading” which connects and compares the sub-regions of South Korea, Vietnam and Liberia.
Keywords: inter-Asia studies, tricontinental studies, sub-region, feminist inter-referencing reading, gendered subalterns, South Korea-Vietnam-Liberia
Tae Heasook is Professor at the Department of English at Catholic University of Daegu, in Korea. Her research interests include post-colonial feminism, Asian diaspora women’s writing, feminist cultural theories, tricontinental theory and movement, and Red-Green-Purple paradigm. She has published the following four books: Postcolonial Feminism (2001), Postcolonial Feminism and Knowledge-production in Korea (2004), Counter-globalization and “Asian” Feminism (2008), and Reading American Culture in our Multi-ethnic Era (2009) in Korean. She has published “Diaspora, Gender, and Nation: The Case of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee” in Asian Journal of Women’s Studies (2005), and is currently working on research methodologies to further Asian Women’s Studies as well as a book on Gayatri Spivak’s theories and criticisms.