Narrating the pasts and selves: in dialogue with Ashis Nandy’s “Memory Work”
Vickie Ying-En CHEN
Abstract Through taking Ashis Nandy’s “Memory Work” as the entry point to his psychological-political thoughts toward colonialization, de-colonialization and the empathetic critique of ultra-nationalism in India/South Asia, this paper aims to emphasize Nandy’s essential argument to see how ideologies of modern colonialism works on molding the narrative of pasts and vivisecting the multiplicity of subjecthood—which Nandy termed as “multiple selves.” In this regard, this paper considers “Memory Work” a revitalization of the perspective to look into how the selves and the narrative of pasts inter-configuring each other under colonialism and nationalism. The paper also further looks for alternative accountability of pasts and selves within communities and their cultural traditions.
Keywords: Ashis Nandy, selves, man-made sufferings, colonization and de-colonization, narrative of pasts
Vickie Ying-En Chen is an M.A. student in Inter-Asia Cultural Studies International Program at National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan. She has engaged in the peasant movement since 2012. Her current research project is to revisit historical trajectories of left-leaning youths’ “go-to-the-rural” movement alongside with the peasant movement in late 1980s Taiwan.