2 Uncivil society, or orientalism andTiananmen, 1989

In the current conjuncture, typified as much by the rise of China (and China studies) as by the U.S. imperium, the social force called orientalism knows a new lease on life. Ranging from academic to media and state-policy as well as literary circles, it emerges where Edward Said's disseminative account from 1978 leaves off: its migration from Europe and philology to U.S.-based social science and area studies, to the pax Americana and a closer relation to the logic if not the actual policies of the state. In this chapter I begin to make my case for the existence of a “new,” Sinological orientalism by way of an extended reading of the 1989 Tiananmen protests.

1978 also marks the end of the uncertain ...

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