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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Edward T Mack
HUM 597
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in the Humanities

Credit/no-credit only.

Class description

Transnationalism, Visuality, and Identity: A Microseminar with Shu-mei Shih

Course Meeting Dates and Times:

Tuesday, October 30, 3:30-5:30 pm, CMU 202 Tuesday, November 6, 3:30-5:30 pm, CMU 202 Wednesday, November 14, Colloquium, 3:30-5:30 pm, CMU 202 Thursday, November 15, Katz Lecture, 6:00 pm, KNE 220 Tuesday, November 20, 3:30-5:30 pm, CMU 202

How do bounded notions of national, ethnic, racial, and class identity function amid constant flows of capital, cultural products, and populations? What new formations have appeared within these transnational contexts? What new methodologies and concepts do these contexts demand of those engaged in the study of languages, literature, film, and history, to name only a few of the disciplines affected?

This microseminar, organized to frame the visit of visiting Katz Lecturer Shu-mei Shih (Comparative Literature, Asian Languages & Cultures, and Asian American Studies, University of California Los Angeles), will explore these critical questions by examining her three most recent books—Minor Transnationalism (2005), Visuality and Identity (2007), and The Creolization of Theory (2011)—as well as her current work on “comparison as relation.”

Shu-mei Shih specializes in comparative Chinese, Sinophone, and Asian American literatures, with research emphases in transnational feminism, minority discourse, modernism, (post)humanism, and (post)colonialism. At University of California, Los Angeles, she co-directs the “Cultures in Transnational Perspective” Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in the Humanities, which promotes comparative studies of minority cultures in transnational contexts. Her Katz Lecture is the keynote for the international conference New Geographies of Feminist Art: China, Asia, and the World at the University of Washington, November 15-17, 2012.

Student learning goals

Students will gain familiarity with the vocabularies of transnational cultural studies, and deepen their analysis of historical and emergent cultural formations and the politics of identity.

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Successful completion of the course requires completing assigned readings, attending consistently, and actively participating in seminar discussions.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Miriam Bartha
Date: 08/08/2012