Nationalism and perversion : the Diaoyutai Movement of 1996 in Hong Kong

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Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University; Kwan Fong Cultural Research and Development Programme, Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences, Lingnan University

Event Title

Dept. of Cultural Studies & KFCRD Cultural Studies Seminar Series & Cultural Magazine Series, 2004-05

Document Type

Public Seminar




11:30 a.m. -- 1:00 p.m.


AM201, Amenities Building, Lingnan University


Sovereignty claims over the Diaoyu/Senkaku islet have driven heated reactions from people in China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the U.S. since the 1970s. Since then, the competing trans-local nationalist movements centered on this islet have produced a sumptuous volume of discourses and practices, ranging from scholarly analyses of archival sources and international law, to some of the most spectacular, comic, and macabre media events. What is most intriguing in the 1996 eruption of the Diaoyutai Movement in Hong Kong is the achievement and loss of subjectivity among the different participants in relation to nationalism. This paper suggests that a politics of subjectivity vis-a-vis nationalism is made possible via the use of Lacanian psychoanalysis, through which the micropolitics of desire in nationalist cultural imaginaries and symbolic orders can be understood vis-a-vis the clinical sense of perversion. This paper focuses on the various ways people perform their enjoyment of nationalism; the Hong Kong actors' masquerade of nationalism in competition with Chinese state patriotism; and some Japanese and Hong Kong actors' possible traversal of the fantasies involved in nationalist cultural imaginaries and symbolic orders.



Additional Information


Mirana May Szeto did her Ph.D. in the Department of Comparative Literature, UCLA. She has taught at the University of Oregon and is now teaching for the Master of Cultural Studies Program at Lingnan University. She is working on a book manuscript entitled "Sexualized National and Colonial Pathologies in Contemporary Chinese Cultural Politics." Her current research project is on the representations of the nuxia (the Chinese female “knight-errant”) and the yaonu (the Chinese “femme fatale”) in modern and contemporary Chinese popular culture.

Recommended Citation

Szeto, M. M. (2005, March 8). Nationalism and perversion: The Diaoyutai Movement of 1996 in Hong Kong [Video podcast]. Retrieved from http://commons.ln.edu.hk/videos/232