Here there be monsters…
Colonial & Post-Colonial Borderlands
Free and open to the public ~ Refreshments will be served
A three-way panel featuring:
- Sookja Cho, Asst. Prof. of Korean, School of International Letters & Cultures, ASU
- Dr. Sharonah Fredrick, Assistant Director, ACMRS
- Alejandro Lugo, Prof. and Director, School of Transborder Studies, ASU
The concept of Borderlands, as enunciated by Gloria Anzaldua, is equally applicable to different liminal areas that have been touched by colonialism, and by the imperial gaze, from the Early Modern period onward. Is “colonization,” even in the anti-colonial discourse, a latently Western concept that can really embrace Asia? Is it entirely suitable to Latin America as well, or does it serve to obscure points of complexity in that region’s indigenous/European/African/Asian mixture?
If we are bound by Western academic terms, how do those terms succeed, or fail, in describing processes such as cultural dominance, coercion, or economic manipulation, which may come as much from within a culture as from without it? The comparison of “marginalized areas” – Korea, the Philippines, the Pacific coast of Latin America, etc. – allows us to look at the idea of mapping liminality. Who creates these concepts of metropolis and periphery, and why, decades after the pioneering work of those such as Benedict Anderson and Gloria Anzaldua, do we still wrestle with ideas of regional concepts (the Eurocentric vision) being presented as universal truths?
Additionally, we will explore the mechanisms of “internal imperialism” — forces that evidence subtle gradations of domination and collaboration that exerted coercive cultural control over their subjects in the Americas and Asia. We will analyze how these forces engage with the strategic gambits of the 16th and 17th centuries, in which the world is “mapped”, and certain areas and peoples (the Koreans, the Mayans, etc.) were designated as “marginal.” How does that perceived “marginality” manifest itself in literature, and in the genre of literary and historical fiction, in these “liminal” cultures?