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Project Details
Funding Scheme : Early Career Scheme
Project Number : 28602021
Project Title(English) : Redressing Atrocities: Forms of Reconciliation in Postcolonial Southeast Asian Literature 
Project Title(Chinese) : 糾正暴行:後殖民東南亞文學中的和解形式  
Principal Investigator(English) : Dr Tse, Kelly Yin Nga 
Principal Investigator(Chinese) : 謝延雅 
Department : Department of Literature and Cultural Studies
Institution : The Education University of Hong Kong
Co - Investigator(s) :
Panel : Humanities, Social Sciences
Subject Area : Humanities and Arts
Exercise Year : 2021 / 22
Fund Approved : 391,919
Project Status : On-going
Completion Date : 31-12-2024
Abstract as per original application
(English/Chinese):
Redressing Atrocities: Forms of Reconciliation in Postcolonial Southeast Asian Literature This project offers a critical exposition of reconciliation in postcolonial Southeast Asian literature in English. It considers how literary forms are used as a medium to explore reparative possibilities for past and present conflicts in Southeast Asia. How might we read Anglophone Southeast Asian literature and critically frame the apparent lure of reconciliation for postcolonial Southeast Asia? How do these texts register reparative desires in their literary strategies, narrative shapes, and formal structures? What aesthetic, ethical, and epistemological roles do literary imaginations perform in present-day conflict-ridden spaces around the world? Though reconciliation assumes a prominent status in public discourses and transitional justice mechanisms such as Truth and Reconciliation Commissions globally, it has yet to attain sustained discussion in the literary humanities. This is particularly so in postcolonial critical discourses which have often stressed the ethical value of resistance and viewed reconciliation with suspicion. While some postcolonial scholars have begun to examine the complexity of reconciliation in recent years, they have hitherto tended to overlook the remedial potential of English-language Southeast Asian narratives. As a first attempt to address these critical lacunae, this proposed ECS project seeks to reclaim the vocabulary of reconciliation for postcolonial studies and shift the field’s geographical ambit from the dominant sites of Canada, South Africa, Australia to the often neglected Southeast Asia. In particular, the project examines a corpus of Anglophone Southeast Asian literature on four conflicts: Tan Twan Eng’s novel on the Japanese occupation of Malaya, Viet Thanh Nguyen’s short story collection on the war in Vietnam, Vaddey Ratner’s literary memoir on the Cambodian genocide, and the recent poetry on the Rohingya crisis. This proposed project argues that by addressing atrocities and their aftermaths, the selected postcolonial Southeast Asian texts thematically and formally register an ethics of reconciliation. Such literary expressions seek to redress injustices and repair injured communities within and beyond Southeast Asia, despite the acknowledged enormity, if not impossibility, of the task. Contrary to its often reductive representation in governmental policies and legal avenues, reconciliation as articulated in the selected aesthetic forms captures the paradoxes, partiality, and cultural-historical embeddedness of reparative work. All four cases consider the possibility of reconciliation and the countervailing prospect of irreconcilability. Overall, this project demonstrates that Anglophone Southeast Asian literature makes an important contribution to rethinking reconciliation outside bureaucratic and legal-judicial domains.
本研究對後殖民東南亞文學中的和解想像進行批判性的闡述。其旨在考慮文學作為媒介如何探索東南亞過去和現在衝突的修復可能性。我們如何理解東南亞英語文學,並批判性地理解和解的魅惑?這些文本如何在其文學策略、敘事形式和形式結構中記錄修復的慾望?文學想像在當今世界各地衝突頻發的空間中扮演著什麼美學、倫理和認知角色?儘管和解在全球公共話語和過渡機制(如真相與和解委員會)中佔據重要地位,但在文學人文領域尚未獲得持續的討論。在後殖民研究中尤其如此,這些話語經常強調抵抗的倫理價值,並以懷疑的態度看待和解。儘管近年來一些後殖民學者開始研究和解的複雜性,但他們往往忽視了東南亞英語敘事的和解潛力。作為第一次嘗試,本項目旨在為後殖民研究恢復和解這個詞彙,並將該領域的範圍從加拿大、南非、澳大利亞的主要地點轉移到經常被忽視的東南亞。具體而言,本研究審查了東南亞英語文學關於四個衝突的討論:日本佔領馬來亞的小說,越戰的短篇小說集,柬埔寨種族滅絕的文學回憶錄,以及最近關於羅興亞人危機的詩歌。本項目認為,通過處理暴行及其後果,後殖民東南亞文本在主題上和結構中記錄了和解的倫理。這些文學試圖糾正東南亞內外的不公正現象並修復受傷害的社區,儘管這項任務是艱鉅的。與其在政策和法律途徑中的表現有别,美學中表達的和解捕捉了修復工作的矛盾性、局部性和文化歷史背景。所有案例都考慮了和解的可能性以及不可能性。總體而言,本研究表明東南亞英語文學對重新思考官僚和法律領域之外的和解做出了重要貢獻。
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  SCREEN ID: SCRRM00542