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Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies

Other Epistemologies Online Lecture Series 2.0: On Chineseness as a Theoretical Problem


Prof. Dr. Rey Chow, Duke University, USA

Datum und Zeit

09. November 2023, 14:00 - 15:45 Uhr (CEST)/20:00-21:45 (GMT+8)


Online lecture. Please register here:


This seminar will be based on the essay “On Chineseness as a Theoretical Problem,” which served as the introduction to the anthology Modern Chinese Literary and Cultural Studies in the Age of Theory: Reimagining a Field (2000). We will discuss some of the influential legacies of what in North American academia is called “theory,” both in relation to humanistic inquiry in general and in relation to area studies, in particular the evolving field of China studies. Among the critical concepts we will focus on are “the ethnic supplement,” “the logic of the wound,” the conundrum of “literary and/or ethnic difference,” and “coerced mimeticism” in the study of an ethnic literature. Above all, we will discuss the ever-interesting if contentious issues arising from the use of the terms “Chinese” and “Chineseness” in contemporary studies of Chinese-language literature, films, artworks, mass culture, and related discourses.


Asien-Orient-Institut, Sinologie