Capitalizing Asian Studies: Critical Scholarship and the Production of Knowledge in a Globalizing World

Tim Oakes


This paper explores the implications of the related trends of economic globalization and the corporatization of higher education in the United States for Asian area studies scholarship. It argues that the scales at which geographical knowledge is produced are increasingly in flux due to the shift in global political economy. Area studies scholarship is subsequently left scrambling to both understand this shift and make its knowledge production somehow relevant and valuable in an arena in which knowledge about Asia is being produced and diffused from an increasingly diverse array of sources. In response, the paper suggests that more attention to the production of scale is needed if area studies scholars are to comprehend the changing relationship between our categories of geographic knowledge and global political economy.

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