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Title: What Remains of Tiananmen?
Authors: Erik Bordeleau
Issue Date: Mar-2011
Publisher: 英語學系
Department of English, NTNU
Abstract: Conjugation, Emily Tang’s first feature film, describes the difficult love of a young unmarried couple, seeking to build a home away from the turmoil of the times after the Tiananmen events. Telling the story of their precarious active life, the sorrow about giving up their ideals, and the memories of fallen friends and comrades, Conjugation marks a temps mort, a time no verb can be conjugated with. In this article, I would like to think Emily Tang’s attempt at expressing the post-Tiananmen malaise in relation to the more general background of neoliberal globalization. More precisely, I would like to show how the existential itinerary depicted in Conjugation can be read as a powerful allegory about how neoliberalism operates as a reduction of the political to a postpolitical, economic management issue. Following on the work of Giorgio Agamben, this reduction will be thought of as an extraction of bare life that can be understood as the production of a form of survival. In the last instance, I wish to show how Emily Tang’s film constitutes a paradigmatic cinematic itinerary illustrating the complex passage from qualified form-of-life to a form of survival or bare life, a passage whose relevance far exceeds the Chinese context and can directly contribute to a better understanding of the formatting of subjectivities corollary to the ongoing global oikonomic mobilization.
Other Identifiers: 5C479542-AE14-B405-E0CA-4D63808467A3
Appears in Collections:Concentric: Studies in English Literature and Linguistics

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