The Idea of Asia
The idea of Asia is so easy to ridicule, and yet it tugs at the mind. It has a curious potency. It is sometimes referred to (for instance, by Australia's 1996 Boyer Lecturer, Pierre Ryckmans) as a European creation, brought into being for European purposes (Ryckmans, 1993:182). But it is much more than that. As semioticians would put it, 'Asia' is a free-floating signifier  - a term the exact meaning of which is not settled. The signification of 'Asia' is, in fact, in contest and it is those...[Show more]
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