Global Asia

As Global Asia is rapidly institutionalized by the state, by corporations, and by the academy, the term’s potential for political critique is at risk of becoming homogenized and encumbered with hierarchies of power. In this Periscope dossier, we seek to rescue and reform Global Asia as a framework and a method. Our version of Global Asia must, we argue, be tethered in a critical aesthetics. By “critical aesthetics,” we refer to scholarship that reveals the ways aesthetic practices bear out critique of uneven power structures, transnational flows, or imperial formations. As an assemblage of affect and embodiment that renders the historical and the political through sensory experience, critical aesthetics offers us a means of understanding moving and multi-sited Asia(s) that are mediated and produced by cultural texts–what we call “alternative globalities.” The twin terms “critical aesthetics” and “alternative globalities” thus thicken, nuance, and anchor the framework of Global Asia as a cultural and political critique that seeks to align the humanistic study of aesthetics with the rethinking of global figuration and sites of power.

In Search of Alternative Globalities: A Critical Aesthetics of Global Asia

Nadine Chan and Cheryl Narumi Naruse

Singapore has been engineered as the paradigmatic example of “Global Asia,” a place where curated narratives of “Asian culture” attract global capital.1 Amid the city-state’s iconic markers of cosmopolitan modernity (modern architecture, a multilingual population fluent in English, and food … Continue reading “In Search of Alternative Globalities: A Critical Aesthetics of Global Asia”

Global Asia and the Legacy of Counterinsurgency: Malaya Speaks and the Malayan Film Unit

Peter J. Bloom

Global Asia deploys the discourse of globalization as a reframing of an expansive geographic point of reference. A significant element regarding debates about globalization is whether it restages with greater efficiency the same underlying context for political and social violence … Continue reading “Global Asia and the Legacy of Counterinsurgency: Malaya Speaks and the Malayan Film Unit”

Questioning Asianist Autoethnography: Critical Aesthetics of Global Asia in Singapore’s National Gallery

Brian Bernards

Housed in the former Supreme Court and City Hall buildings, Singapore’s National Gallery opened in 2015 under state sponsorship and is emblematic of the island nation’s ambitions to be a globalized Asian hub of not just shipping and finance, but … Continue reading “Questioning Asianist Autoethnography: Critical Aesthetics of Global Asia in Singapore’s National Gallery”