Chinese Theories of "Anti-Modern" or Alternative Modernity: Arif Dirlik, Liu Kang, and Wang Hui

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CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, Vol: 20, Issue: 3

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Yuyu, Wu
Purdue University (bepress); Purdue University Press
Anti-modern Modernity; Arif Dirlik; Kang Liu; Hui Wang; Arts and Humanities; literary theory
article description
In Yuyu Wu’s article, "There and Back Again: A Critical Study on 'Anti-modern Modernity,'" the author discusses the arguments about "anti-modern modernity," raised by Arif Dirlik, Kang Liu and Hui Wang, and compares different contexts in which China’s modernity has been understood and interpreted. Both Dirlik and Liu reflect upon western Critical Theory through analysis of the Chinese experience, while Wang brings this theory back to China. However, in this two-way journey, a structural change occurs. By justifying China’s historical experience through abstract western theories, western Critical Theory has not only lost its sharp critical edge, but also transmogrified into an excuse for the Chinese experience. As a result, the insights of western Critical Theory become blind spots for interpreting the Chinese experience.