Alterities in Asia

Reflections on Identity and Regionalism

Edited by Leong Yew

© 2011 – Routledge

240 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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About the Book

This book investigates the politics of identity in Asia and explores how different groups of people inside and outside Asia have attempted to relate to the alterity of the places and cultures in the region through various modes (literary and filmic representation, scholarly knowledge, and so on) and at different points in time. Although coming from different perspectives like literary criticism, film studies, geography, cultural history, and political science, the contributors collectively argue that Asian otherness is more than the dialectical interplay between the Western self and one of its many others, and more than just the Orientalist discourse writ large. Rather, they demonstrate the existence of multiple levels of inter-Asian and intercultural contact and consciousness that both subvert as much as they consolidate the dominant ‘Western Core-Asian periphery’ framework that structures what the mainstream assumes to be knowledge of Asia.

With chapters covering a wealth of topics from Korea and its Cold War history, to Australia's Asian identity crisis, this book will be of huge interest to anyone interested in critical Asian studies, Asian ethnicity, postcolonialism and Asia cultural studies.

Leong Yew is an Assistant Professor in the University Scholars Programme, National University of Singapore. He is the author of The Disjunctive Empire of International Relations (2003).


"[I]t is a really useful advance on discussions of Asian otherness beyond the Western discourse of Orientalism. In particular, the book does a good job demythologising the notion of ‘Asia’ as a singular Other. Instead, multiple constructions of Asian selves and Asian others are at play in this extremely diverse and heterogeneous region. In a time when ‘Asia’ is widely perceived as ‘on the rise’ on the global stage, the book is a timely reminder that active processes of othering exist internally to Asia, not just imposed onto it." - Ien Ang, Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Western Sydney, Australia

"In asking that we re-engage otherness and Orientalism and alert ourselves against its apparent certainties, Alterities in Asia makes good ground in pointing towards that." - Dell Marie Butler; In-Spire: Journal of Law, Politics and Societies, Vol. 6, No. 1, Summer 2011

Table of Contents

1. The Asian as Other, Leong Yew 2. The Transformation of Asian Regionalism and the Construction of Anticommunist Identity: The Discourse of ‘Asia’ in Early Cold War South Korea, Kim Ye-rim 3. Constructing an Alternative Regional Identity: Panchsheel and India–China Diplomacy at the Asian–African Conference 1955, Sally Percival Wood 4. Naming and locating Asia: Australian dilemmas in its regional identity, David Walker 5. Singapore, Southeast Asia and the Place of Orientalism, Leong Yew 6. Boutique Alterity: Southeast Asia’s Exotics Abroad and At Home, Tamara S. Wagner 7. Misreading Asia: A Survey of What Filipinos Read of Asia, Karina Bolasco 8. Inquiring into a Parallel Other: A Filipino Gazing Back at Thailand, Antonio P. Contreras 9. The Construction of ‘Indigenous Peoples’ in Cambodia, Ian G. Baird 10. Asian Hauntings: Horror Cinema, Global Capitalism and the Reconciliation of Alterity? Christopher SelvaRaj

About the Editor

Leong Yew is Assistant Professor in the University Scholars Programme at the National University of Singapore.

About the Series

Routledge Contemporary Asia Series

The aim of this series is to publish original, high-quality work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of contemporary Asia.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General