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Human Rights and the Arts

Perspectives on Global Asia

Edited by Susan J. Henders and Lily Cho - Contributions by Michael Bodden; Lily Cho; Afsan Chowdhury; Theodore W. Goossen; Susan J. Henders; Alice Ming Wai Jim; Sailaja Krishnamurti; Arun P. Mukherjee; Van Nguyen-Marshall; Jooyeon Rhee; Françoise Robin; Arundathy Rodrigo; Alicia M. Turner and Mary M. Young

Human Rights and the Arts: Perspectives on Global Asia approaches human rights issues from the perspective of artists and writers in global Asia. By focusing on the interventions of writers, artists, filmmakers, and dramatists, the book moves toward a new understanding of human rights that shifts the discussion of contexts and subjects away from the binaries of cultural relativism and political sovereignty. From Ai Wei Wei and Michael Ondaatje, to Umar Kayam, Saryang Kim, Lia Zixin, and Noor Zaheer, among others, this volume takes its lead from global Asian artists, powerfully re-orienting thinking about human rights subjects and contexts to include the physical, spiritual, social, ecological, cultural, and the transnational. Looking at a range of work from Tibet, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, China, Bangladesh, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Macau as well as Asian diasporic communities, this book puts forward an understanding of global Asia that underscores “Asia” as a global site. It also highlights the continuing importance of nation-states and specific geographical entities, while stressing the ways that the human rights subject breaks out of these boundaries. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 278Size: 6 x 9
978-0-7391-8473-8 • Hardback • October 2014 • $95.00 • (£65.00)
978-1-4985-0630-4 • Paperback • March 2017 • $46.99 • (£31.95)
978-0-7391-8474-5 • eBook • October 2014 • $43.99 • (£29.95)

Susan J. Henders is associate professor of political science at York University.

Lily Cho is associate professor of English at York University.

1. Human Rights and the Arts in Global Asia: Conceptualizing Contexts
Lily Cho and Susan J. Henders

Part I Freedoms and Democracies

Love the Future: Ai Weiwei and Art for Human Rights
Alice Ming Wai Jim
3. “September”: Seeing Religion and Rights in Burma
Alicia Turner

Part II War and Atrocity

4. Impacts and Legacies of War on Human Rights: Perspectives from Dương Thu Hương’s
Novel Without a Name
Van Nguyen-Marshall
5. Incendiary Material: Ethnicity and the Sri Lankan Civil Conflict in
Anil's Ghost and Wilting Laughter
Arun Nedra Rodrigo

Part III Livelihoods, Place, and Ecologies

6. Literary Lament of a Death Foretold: Tibetan Writers on the Forced Settlement of Herders
Françoise Robin
7. Reading Peasant Rights to Livelihood in Umar Kayam’s “Sri Sumarah” and Bawuk”
Mary M. Young

8. The River, the People and the State(s):
Padma Nadir Majhi as a Meditation on Ecology and Human Rights
Afsan Chowdhury

Part IV Minorities, Nations, States, and Empires

9. Abuse and Its Aftermath: Kim Saryang’s “Into the Light,” Joy Kogawa’s
Obasan, and Yuasa Katsue’s “Red Dates”
Theodore W. Goossen
10. Chasing the Monster: The Representation of Korean Residents in Japan and Human Rights in Oshima Nagisa’s Film Death by Hanging
Jooyeon Rhee

11. Human Rights and Human Wrongs: Reading Shama Futehally’s
Reaching Bombay Central and Noor Zaheer’s “A Life in Transit”
Arun P. Mukherjee
12. Intersectionality, Hybridity, and the Minority Rights Subject: The Macanese of Macau in Literature, Film, and Law
Susan J. Henders

Part V Migrations, Transnationalisms, Universalisms

13. Human Rights and the Poetics of “Migritude”: South Asian Diasporic Spoken Word
Sailaja Krishnamurti
14. Universal Rights and Separate Universes: Local/National Identities, Global Power, and the Modeling and Representing of Human Rights in Indonesian Performance Arts
Michael Bodden

Part VI Afterword

15. Confucius Institutes, Human Rights, and Global Asia
Lily Cho
Human Rights and the Arts is a valuable and welcome contribution to the growing scholarship on human rights issues and debates in Asia. . . .This volume shows not only that art can be a powerful tool for artists and activists to depict human rights violations and call for justice and recognition, especially important in non-democratic countries, but that art can be an excellent window for students and scholars who want to understand how human rights norms, contestations, and problems are experienced by individual citizens in Asia. One would hope that this volume would inspire further studies that probe deeper into different forms of art, the relationship between art and activism in different Asian countries, and the reception of these art works in Asia.
Pacific Affairs