Cold War Reckonings: In the Shadow of Solzhenitsyn
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Cold War Reckonings: In the Shadow of Solzhenitsyn with Jini Kim Watson, NYU.
How did the Cold War shape political modernity in the decolonizing world, and what do literature and literary networks reveal about such political contestations and their afterlives? In the first half of the presentation, Kim gives an overview of her new book, "Cold War Reckonings: Authoritarianism and the Genres of Decolonization" (Fordham UP, 2021), which examines cultural production that emerges from, and reflects upon, the entanglement of the Cold War and decolonization in East and Southeast Asia.
In the second half, she considers several high-profile dissident writers from the region: Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Kim Chi-ha, and Ninotchka Rosca. Kim argues that these figures challenge Cold War liberal, human-rights notions of the dissident Third World writer via their emphases on incomplete decolonization and bipolar economic restructuring. Such an analysis, suggests Kim, helps us parse the way Cold War exigencies reshaped notions of literary and political freedom in postcolonial Asia.
This event is facilitated by Bonnie Chung, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Literatures in English at Cornell University.
Co-sponsored by the Asian American Studies Program and Literatures in English Department.