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East-West Dialogues: The Transferability of Concepts in the Humanities

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Edited By Christoph Bode, Michael O'Sullivan, Lukas Schepp and Eli Park Sorensen

This is an edited collection of essays drawn from collaborative events organized jointly by The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. The book focuses on how literary and cultural perspectives from different humanities academic environs in Asia and Europe might contribute to our understanding of the "transferability of concepts." Exploring ways in which these traditions may enter into new and productive collaborations, the book presents readings of a wide range of Western and Eastern writers, including Shakespeare, J.M. Coetzee, Yu Dafu. The book contains a virtual round table followed by four thematic sections – "Travels and Storytelling," "Translation and Transferability," "Historical Contexts and Transferability," and "Aesthetic Contexts and Transferability."

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Chapter 13: Taking Center Stage: Performance as Substance in Earl Lovelace’s Is Just a Movie: Laura Zander

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Laura Zander

Taking Center Stage:Performance as Substance in Earl Lovelace’sIs Just a Movie

The mockery was over, the double entendre at an end. I take off my jacket and roll up my sleeves. I would become the recorder of the people’s story, singer of their praises, restorer of their faith, keeper of their vexation, embalmer of their rage. I became the poet of the revolution. (6)

In his 1982 article “The Empire Writes Back with a Vengeance,” composed for The Times, Salman Rushdie coined the concept of writing back to the center. Clearly a pun on George Lucas’ famous movie, which was released only two years earlier, this notorious phrase was later appropriated by Bill Ashcroft and his colleagues. Since the publication of The Empire Writes Back in 1989, the field of postcolonial studies has been clearly determined by a project of writing back. Whether understood as a call for the re-working of canonized texts, for new approaches for re-reading them from a different perspective in order to decolonize their content, or as an ideological conception re-directing the creative as well as the academic approach within the field – the empire has indeed been writing back. These various and often highly potent approaches, however, have not always been able to decontextualize the former empire from what was once its conceptual center; the political imperative of resistance, on the contrary, has often perpetuated the shackles of this very relationship. This is not the place to...

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