Critical Zone 2

A Forum of Chinese and Western Knowledge


Edited by Q. S. Tong, Wang Shouren, and Douglas Kerr

ISBN : 978-962-209-799-5

Literary Studies Critical Zone: A Forum of Chinese and Western Knowledge

February 2007

316 pages, 6″ x 9″

Not for sale in Mainland China

  • HK$225.00

Despite globalizing forces, whether economic, political, or cultural, there remain conspicuous differences that divide scholarly communities. How should we understand and respond to those discursive gaps among different traditions and systems of knowledge production? Critical Zone is a book series in cultural and literary studies that is concerned with current critical debates and intellectual preoccupations in the humanities. The series aims to improve understanding across cultures, traditions, discourses, and disciplines, and to produce international critical knowledge. Critical Zone is an expression of timely collaboration among scholars from Hong Kong, mainland China, the United States, and Europe, and conceived as an intellectual bridge between China and the rest of the world.

The second volume of Critical Zone, as does its predecessor, consists of two parts. The first part includes original essays that deal with the concept and practice of “empire,” as a collective response to the question of how imperial formations and operations, in the past and at present, should be examined in a larger context of international politics and how historical imperialism may be considered in relation to the conditions of our time. Part II includes two sets of translations of essays, first published in Chinese, about two recent debates in China: one on the canonicity of Lu Xun and the other on the problem of how to reform Peking University in the context of globalization. These two groups of translations are led by review essays that contextualize the debates.

Q. S. Tong teaches in the School of English, the University of Hong Kong. Wang Shouren teaches in the English Department, Nanjing University. Douglas Kerr teaches in the School of English, the University of Hong Kong.

“This second issue of Critical Zone confirms the success of the inaugural volume. Focusing on a twenty-first century paradigm of comparative and globalized cultural studies, Critical Zone takes direction from a distinctly Sinicized historical tradition. Testifying to an ascendant China, this ‘Forum of Chinese and Western Knowledge’ also expropriates, re-orients, and indigenizes comparative cultural studies with new, sharp edges, engaging and challenging critical workers from the West. ‘Local particularities’ are understood rightly through a global vocabulary. Critical Zone is an ambitious contemporary intertext, a forum for dialogue in which Chinese and Western scholars and theorists can learn from and about each other.” —Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Professor of English, University of California, Santa Barbara

“The desire to know whether globalisation has produced a more homogenous or more heterogenous world has not abated since Critical Zone was launched two years ago. Indeed, all forms of border crossings have become even more frequent, and controversies surrounding the effects of cultural interaction are becoming more intense. This second issue of Critical Zone continues the project of challenging essentialising tendencies in much scholarship on ‘the East’ and ‘the West’. With ‘empire’ as the point of departure to explore topics such as imperial gardens and universities, the articles navigate diverse locations (from Beijing, Paris, London, through to Hong Kong). This volume is sure to delight and inspire all thoughtful readers.” —Kam Louie, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, the University of Hong Kong