Dr. Robin Visser has published a new book, Questioning Borders: Ecoliteratures in China and Taiwan (Columbia UP, 2023), due to hit the shelves next month! From Columbia UP’s website, the book description follows:
Indigenous knowledge of local ecosystems often challenges settler-colonial cosmologies that naturalize resource extraction and the relocation of nomadic, hunting, foraging, or fishing peoples. Questioning Borders explores recent ecoliterature by Han and non-Han Indigenous writers of China and Taiwan, analyzing relations among humans, animals, ecosystems, and the cosmos in search of alternative possibilities for creativity and consciousness.
Informed by extensive field research, Robin Visser compares literary works by Bai, Bunun, Kazakh, Mongol, Tao, Tibetan, Uyghur, Wa, Yi, and Han Chinese writers set in Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Southwest China, and Taiwan, sites of extensive development, migration, and climate change impacts. Visser contrasts the dominant Han Chinese cosmology of center and periphery that informs what she calls “Beijing Westerns” with Indigenous and hybridized ways of relating to the world that challenge borders, binaries, and hierarchies.
By centering Indigenous cosmologies, this book aims to decolonize approaches to ecocriticism, comparative literature, and Chinese and Sinophone studies as well as to inspire new modes of sustainable flourishing in the Anthropocene.
Dr. Visser is the associate chair here in DAMES. Congratulations, Dr. Visser!