The Configuration of Orient and Occident in the Global Chain of National Histories: Writing National Histories in East Asia

Maison de l'Asie - Grand salon (1er étage)  -  22, avenue du Président Wilson  -  75116 Paris
Le professeur Lim Jie-Hyun, de Hanyang University, donnera une seconde conférence, intitulée "The Configuration of Orient and Occident in the Global Chain of National Histories: Writing National Histories in East Asia".

The national history encapsulated in the Eurocentric tunnel history during the imperialist age remains unshaken in this postcolonial era, leaving the episteme of the national history paradigm consigned the less developped nations to 'an imaginary waiting room of history'. They saw their indigenous history as a history of 'lack' in comparison with Europe. They have been very keen to prove that they belong to historical nations by finding European elements, which led them to an endeavor to make their histories intelligible to a Western readership. In order to achieve this goal, the East and West, and the Orient and Occident had to be configured in a way that satisfies the expectation of Western readers in the modern historiography of the peripheries. The result was misery for the East because the configuration of East and West in the Eurocentric historical scheme affirmed once again Occidental superiority and Oriental inferiority. Neither nationalist nor Marxist historians of the peripheries broke free from the Eurocentric discourse of historicism that projected the 'West' as 'History'. They both have been entangled by the stagist theory of history, which views the European colonialism and third-world nationalism had in common was the universalisation of the nation-state as the most desirable and natural form of political community. This mode of thought forms a global chain that ties together national histories on a worldwide scale, which feeds Eurocentrism and Orientalism. The upshot is that the non-European national histories became the epistemological twins of the Eurocentric national histories of the West by sharing the Orientalist value-code in the form of 'anti-Western Orientalism'. This lecture aims to offer a genealogy of the national historiography in East Asia with a focus on cultural transfers and interactions in the historical thinking on a global scale.
  • le vendredi 14 janvier 2011  de 16h  à 18h

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