Saturday, July 24, 2010
Spaces of Enunciation
The return of orientalist frames within the multicultural academe that emphasizes the need for mapping out other cultures in order to generate profits for TNCs is played out in the form of the mushrooming of "culture experts" across university campuses. These "culture experts" use the language of cultural sensitivity and multiculturalism to serve an industry of orientalist politics with neocolonial agendas. With the increasing emphasis on culture across the academic disciplines, there is a growing turf war about the legitimacy of who gets to participate in this enunciative politics and in the politics of representation. Who gets to be the one that is doing the "representing?" First, it is worth noting that much of this turf war is situated within the terrains of West-centrism as Western scholars find themselves amidst a situation where they now have to make justifications in order to maintain the privilege embedded in their enunciative position amidst this highly profitable business of representing the other. The emergence of postcolonial scholars from the spaces of the global South which have historically served as the primitive subjects of Western knowledge has also meant that the fundamental expertise of Western scholars is no longer unchallenged. Questions are being raised about the legitimacy of the methods as well as the legitimacy of the representative positions that have gone unchallenged over the decades, asking questions such as: Who speaks? With what agendas? What are the political implications of these enunciative positions? What are the politics of race and culture that are tied to these positions of enunciation?