Othered cultural practices are too often discussed in binaries—global and local, center and periphery, oppressor and oppressed—that strip them of their complexities. Inspired by Deleuze and Guattari (1986), Chakrabarty (2000), and Lionnet and Shih (2005), we use “minor” not as a synonym of “subordinate” but to signal disruptive powers that operate on and with dominant power. Our panelists assign a productive force to the “minor” so that critical relations, experiences, and knowledges among understudied subjects can be foregrounded. We view notions of resistance as neither fixed nor permanent but works to reframe and relocate power via the conceptualization of minor.
Specifically, this panel examines minor (Inter)-Asian and Transpacific cultures in their multiplicities, directionalities, and lateral connectivities. Nakao and Yoshimizu look at Tamura Toshiko’s less studied writings published in Vancouver, Canada, in the early 20th century, and develop “letters-to-the-editor” as a creative and collaborative form of critique to re-activate her minor transnational feminism in our contemporary context. Through cultural representations, Liu reads Hong Kong 70s beyond the narrative of “local awareness”; instead, it is a relational time-space shaped by minor encounters among Asian regions and entangled empires of British-French-American-Chinese powers. Chen and Ogawa explore how the performative act of writing by popular diasporic female bloggers wavers between embodied hybridity and a nostalgic sense of belonging that reinforces national identity. Trichilo looks at auditory cultural productions of those affected by 3.11—in Fukushima and Miyagi—to interpret minor experiences that contrast hegemonic narratives of local recovery.
Paper Presenter: Novia Shih-Shan Chen – Simon Fraser University
Co-author: Sho Ogawa
Paper Presenter: Atsumi Nakao – University of British Columbia
Co-author: Ayaka Yoshimizu – University of British Columbia
Paper Presenter: Yiwen Liu – Simon Fraser University
Paper Presenter: Josh Trichilo – York University