Learning Places: The Afterlives of Area Studies. Edited by Masao Miyoshi and Harry D. Harootunian. Durham and London: Duke U, 2002. ix + 408 pp. $22.95. "The Work of Translation Still to Come" The provocative essays collected in Learning Places: The Afterlives of Area Studies illuminate the complicated history of area studies, more specifically Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese Studies, and the frustrating interrelations among the U.S. governmental institutions (the CIA in particular), policy makers, universities, and foundations that sustain the life of college programs. "Area Studies" in U.S. college programs have been the study of enemies (there is an eerie resonance with a recent growing interest in Arab and Muslim Studies), and this disconcerting origin returns to haunt anyone who teaches or learns about former and present foes. The same ghost haunts even those who deal with "friends," which can be, in some contexts, those who yearn to control or even colonize foes. The main question of this intriguing anthology is how to reinvent the existence of area studies after enemies appear to be dissolved. What has happened to our enemies? Who are really "our" friends anyway? Who authorizes the "we" that mobilizes political consciousness? Examining various
Comparative Literature Studies – Penn State University Press
Published: May 17, 2005
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