Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 12:00pm to 1:30pm
640 Stewart Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA
"Her-Story: The Study of Alternative History through ASEAN Women’s Literary Works"
Ranwarat Poonsri, PhD Candidate, Department of Comparative Literature, Chulalongkorn University
ASEAN women’s literary works present the universal sisterhood and reveal some significant issues namely Amy-Tan syndrome (mother-daughter conflict), the anti-ideal Asian women discourse, and the dilemma between ASEAN women’s needs and social norms. These ASEAN women writers Merlinda Bobis (Philippines), Suchen Christine Lim (Singapore), Wendy-Law-Yone (Myanmar), Sopak Suwan (Thailand), and Duong Thu Huong (Vietnam) demonstrate female problems in parallel with social problems in their own cultural milieu. Bobis’s work reveals the life of marginalized women, Lim’s criticizes the state’s national identity construction, Law-Yone’s and Sopak Suwan’s unveil their own diaspora and cultural hybridity, while Thu Huong’s exposes her traumatized political experience through a love triangle plot. As ASEAN writers, they have been constructing their “ASEAN women writer identity” by employing their cultural resources, historical background and their own family history. Meanwhile, as national citizens, they have been constructing “Her-Story”, the national identity and history in their own terms. Their “insignificant female little daily life stories” contests the mainstream “His-story” created by male dominant institutions and reveal the alternative history by women including revealing their own diaspora, cultural hybridity and paradoxical mindset. With “Her-Story”, we can perceive “History” from a different perspective and reconsider the construction of the mainstream national history.