The China Coda: Hegemons, Empires and Gaps in a Postcolonial Imaginary

No Thumbnail Available



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Department of English, NTNU


This recounting attempts to illuminate the representations in my creative work of imperial projects (Britain, the U.S., China; also Japan and Portugal), their political and economic realities and insubstantialities, and passing powers. Today, the U.S. is constantly measured against the People’s Republic of China, newly recast master of Hong Kong and Macau, now claiming Taiwan and asserting sovereignty over islands and waters far from its continental shelf. These historical and contemporary geo-political empires have everything to do with Anglophone, Chinese American literature; literature as symbolic actions of the Imagination participates in, contributes to and intervenes in the dynamics whereby empires are imagined and their discourses endowed with threat and danger, capabilities and meanings. My memoir, fictions and poems take on these imperial imaginaries as they get played out in the interpellation of the authorial subject, dramatized in narrative plot and addressed as ideologies and shadowy figures to be obsessively represented, resisted, and also finally projected as textual erasure, residue and strata in a postcolonial imagination of avowals and disavowals of Chinese identity.