What is Critical East Asian Studies?

Join this graduate reading group to find out.

The purpose of this group is to create an interdisciplinary space to study East Asia as a site of (post/neo/de-) colonial entanglements and open up ways of (re)writing East Asia toward decolonization, cohabitation and postnationalist collectivity. We adopt a transdisciplinary, transnational and transhistorical approach, while acknowledging the value of complicating “East Asia” and theories applied to East Asia from any single or hybrid geographical, temporal,  epistemological location. In thinking East Asia closely with decolonial theories and methods, our mission is three-fold: (1) to examine the efficacy of “East Asia” as an analytical category in literary, cultural and social debates, (2) to foster transdisciplinary dialogues between East Asian Studies, Asian American Studies and diaspora studies while interrogating the ideological foundations of each of these disciplines, and (3) to engage in a non-statist, non-elitist, non-binarist politics of solidarity after critiques and qualifications on postcolonialism. Taking this group as a collaborative space for collective reading, writing, and thinking, we are committed to sharing research ideas through papers, presentations, and peer review. We encourage our members to bring in texts, methods, and ideas from their own disciplines and research.

In 2019-2020, we host yearlong reading workshops on the creative process of producing situated, local theories and methodologies. On April 17th, we will host our second annual interdisciplinary colloquium, “Contact Zone,” a collaborative platform for UCI students, professors and special guests outside UCI to present work-in-progress and offer in-depth feedback to one other."

For more information, contact Alex Yan or Shiqi Lin.