In 1960 Japanese scholar of Chinese literature Takeuchi Yoshimi gave a pair of lectures titled “Asia as Method,” in which he considered how one might engage with Western theory from an East Asian perspective. In this intervention Takeuchi was particularly interested in Western universal values of freedom and equality, noting the manifest tension between these ideals themselves and the imperial legacies with which they are linked. Takeuchi suggested that one response to this tension would be to simply reject these Western ideals out of hand, but he instead proposed that a more productive response would be for Asia to “re-embrace the West” and attempt to improve the West's own ideals by reassessing them from an outside perspective. In order for this to be possible, he concluded, Asia must have “[its] own cultural values.” Noting the possibility that “these values do not already exist, in substantive form,” Takeuchi concluded that they...
Method as Method
CARLOS ROJAS is professor of Chinese cultural studies; gender, sexuality, and feminist studies; and arts of the moving image at Duke University. He is the author, editor, and translator of numerous books, including Homesickness: Culture, Contagion, and National Transformation (2015).
Carlos Rojas; Method as Method. Prism 1 October 2019; 16 (2): 211–220. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/25783491-7978475
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