Asia’s Other History
Imagined histories draw their own boundaries, and yet these boundaries are simultaneously challenged through the articulation of their relation to larger networks that exist beyond their peripheries. Critics have questioned the limitations and implications of studying representations of histories and cultures against a globalized, cosmopolitan backdrop. Asia and the Historical Imagination is preoccupied with two types of boundaries. Geographical boundaries provide a broad-spectrum view that privileges similar historical experiences of a group of countries in close proximity. These boundaries are also shaped by cultural, socio-political, and economic imperatives. Strategic boundaries, having to do with political and ideological exigencies, are also significant as the contributors in this volume trace imagined pasts and examine how they diverge and converge, or even clash, in response to contemporary anxieties and ambitions that are influenced by regional or global power relations. Instead of focusing on the “export” of fictional narratives as a means to represent histories and cultures, Asia and the Historical Imagination considers historical fiction more introspectively and explores how relationships among community, nation, and region can help explicate the reading of the local alongside the global.