As The Empire Falls

As The Empire Falls: Lessons Learned and Unlearned in "America’s Asia"

Author: Mark Selden et al.


To celebrate four decades of publishing - Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars (1968-2000) and Critical Asian Studies (2001- ) - the directors of BCAS convened a panel of veteran scholar/activists on Saturday evening, 28 March 2009, at the AAS annual convention (Sheraton Hotel, Chicago), to address the topic "As the Empire Falls: Lessons Learned and Unlearned in America's Asia." Participating were Mark Selden (moderator), Amrita Basu, Ngo Vinh Long, Bruce Cumings, and Al McCoy. The participants were given four questions to consider: (1) From the perspective of your work, how do the U.S. wars since 2001 resemble and differ from the U.S. war in Vietnam? What makes the U.S role similar or different? What aspects of the "other side" are similar or different for the purpose of assessing the effect and likely outcome of the U.S. war? (2) The Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars (CCAS) came into being as a challenge to the alignment of the Asian Studies academy with the cold war view of the world. Forty years later, the academy accommodates more diverse viewpoints than it did then. What is the role of critical scholarship in the context of today's academy as opposed to that of 1968? (3) How do we see the roles of the nascent Asian powers in light of the decline of the West? (4) What role have the twenty-first-century wars had in fostering the financial crisis (context: the Vietnam war had much to do with the U.S. going off the gold exchange standard)?

Download complete article from Taylor & Francis Online

September 2009
© Greg Davis