Show Less

Reading Rey Chow

Visuality, Postcoloniality, Ethnicity, Sexuality

Paul Bowman

This is the first book-length study of the groundbreaking work of Rey Chow, whose work has transformed the fields of postcolonialism, cultural studies, film, ethnicity and gender. It describes and explains the features and the breadth of Chow's interventions and illustrates Chow’s arguments by way of the analysis of a range of engaging examples drawn from the fields of film, popular music, identity and popular culture. Chow’s work is of interest and importance to anyone working on questions of international and transnational film; popular culture; postcolonialism; poststructuralism; and Chinese, Hong Kong and Asian identity in different national contexts; as well as sex, gender and ethnic politics in general. This book elaborates on and illustrates Chow’s fascinating contributions to scholarship and knowledge across many different fields by arguing that her work can best be understood in relation to the «projects» of cultural studies and postcolonial studies. In this way, the work sets out both the enduring importance of these wider projects and the importance of Rey Chow’s contributions to them.


Show Summary Details
Restricted access



n 13 May 2008, Jodi Dean announced on her blog (I cite) that Co- lumbia University Press was having a “white sale.” I clicked the link, browsed the catalogue, and noticed a book called The Protestant Eth- nic and the Spirit of Capitalism by Rey Chow. I had heard of Rey Chow. It was a familiar name. I owned at least one book in which an essay of hers—on Chi- nese literature—was anthologized. However, never having had much reason or inclination to study Chinese literature, I had browsed through this but had never seriously read any of her work. Yet the title of this book appealed to me immensely. This is because I had been involved in studying the ideology cri- tiques of Slavoj Žižek for several years—or rather, I had been involved in an ongoing critique of Slavoj Žižek’s approach to ideology critique—at the same time as I was also attempting to make sense of the complex of factors involved in the explosion of “Western” interest in “Eastern” martial arts and Eastern culture, philosophy and religion—an interest that hit and transformed the mainstream of international popular culture in the early 1970s, around the massive popularity of Bruce Lee’s kung fu films. Taking stock of this complex chiasmus or conjuncture demanded an en- gagement with many factors, including trying to work out the possible reasons for the emergence of a popular Western interest in East Asian philosophy. Žižek had more than once...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.