1st Edition

Knowledge Production and Epistemic Decolonization at the End of Pax Americana

Edited By Naoki Sakai, Jon Solomon, Peter Button Copyright 2024

    This book critically analyzes the global hegemony of the United States – a hegemony whose innovative aspect consists in articulating postcoloniality to imperial control – in relation to knowledge and knowledge production.

    Through targeted case studies on the historical relationship between regional areas and the United States, the authors explore possibilities and obstacles to epistemic decolonization. By highlighting the connection between the control of work and the control of communication that has been at the core of the colonial regimes of accumulation (‘classic colonialism’), they present an entirely new form of disciplinary practice, not based on the equation of evolution and knowledge. An extensive introduction outlines the historical genealogy of Pax Americana epistemic hegemony, while individual chapters examine the implications for different regions of the world and different domains of activity, including visual culture, economy, migration, the arts, and translation.

    This interdisciplinary collection will appeal to students and scholars in many fields, including Asian studies, American studies, postcolonialism, and political theory.

    1. Introduction: Epistemic Decolonization During the New Cold War
    Naoki Sakai, Jon Solomon, and Peter Button

    2. Area Studies and Civilizational Transfer: Epistemic Decolonization at the End of Pax Americana
    Naoki Sakai

    3. The Third Nomos of the Earth: The Decline of Western Hegemony and the Continuity of Capitalism
    Walter Mignolo

    4. Exploring the Landscapes of Extraction. Colonial Continuities, Postcolonial Assemblages of Power, Anticolonial Struggles.
    Sandro Mezzadra

    5. The Ambiguous Status of Eastern Europe and the Criminalization of Communism in Europe.
    Maja Vodopivec

    6. Feeling Freedom: Japanese and American Wartime Films on the Liberation of the Philippines, 1943 – 45
    Takashi Fujitani

    7. What Comes After ‘Area’? The Nomos of the Modern in Times of Crisis
    Gavin Walker

    8. Theory, Institution, and the North American Field of Modern Chinese Literary Studies: Some Preliminary Reflections
    Peter Button

    9. Between Studium and Punctum: Tomatsu Shomei and Nakahira Takuma between "Japan" and "Okinawa"
    Kaori Nakasone and Mayumo Inoue

    10. Lucian Pye and the Foundations of Area Studies in White Settler Colonialism
    Jon Solomon


    Naoki Sakai is a distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences in Asian Studies Emeritus at Cornell University, USA, and has published in the fields of comparative literature, intellectual history, translation studies, the studies of racism and nationalism, and the histories of textuality.

    Jon Solomon is a professor of Chinese literature at the Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3, France, and a researcher attached to the Centre de Recherches Pluridisciplinaires et Multilingues, Université de Paris Nanterre, France.

    Peter Button is an independent researcher living in New York City, USA. He has published Configurations of the Real in Chinese Literary and Aesthetic Modernity (2009).