The White Foreign Body of the Native English Speaker
This chapter reflects on the role that foreigners play in Chinese modernism. In numerous interactions, Chinese people drew on circulating images and discourses as models of identity defining the nature of both these foreign others and themselves. No longer simply a national outsider, the “foreigner” is perceived as a particular racialized, gendered, and classed figure in a process called “erasure.” This erasure is significant for two reasons. First, emptying foreigners of agentive individuality makes them complicit within the discursive formation of chronotopic modernity. Foreigners are necessary to the English language enterprise in Shenyang not merely because they are native speakers but, even more importantly, because they are catalytic intermediaries. The path to modernity exists through them and the template established by the West, and their presence (or absence) authenticates (or delegitimates) the actions of Shenyangers who engage with this discourse. Second, however, such erasures also make them ripe for appropriation. Without individuality, the foreigner is a caricature of the semiotic values attributable to “the West,” allowing a subject position called “the otherness of self.”
Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.