“Doubting Mania” (la folie du doute)

Jennifer Fleissner on “doubt” as part of what she calls “obsessional modernity“:

The mechanical discourse of neurasthenia as nervous exhaustion, however, was not the only way its symptoms were characterized in the 1880s and 1890s. Notably, a number of American psychologists borrowed from their French counterparts another term to describe some of the condition’s more striking symptoms—a term for which the dialectics of modern rationalism, as we’ve been figuring them here, remained very much front and center. This term was doubting mania (or la folie du doute, as it was first discussed at length in an 1875 French study of the same name).

Insofar as many of us are familiar with this problem, it seems hard to distinguish such a “mania” from paranoia. Indeed, what does it mean to be a “doubting maniac” in a “post-truth” world? To be someone who doubts we are beyond truth, or someone who doubts that we really doubt? Both? Neither?

“Detention” {返校} Taiwanese horror PC game set during Martial Law Era

The lone teenager, the ominous campus, the unbearable truth. Set in 1960’s Taiwan under martial law. Detention, with unique and appealing graphics and OST. Invites you to unlock the spine-chilling mysteries.”


It’s put out by Red Candle Games, buyable here

Update 02-02-2018: I still haven’t gotten around to playing this game since switching to a mac…

Taiwanese Science Fiction Bibliography

Chinese-language SF Bibliography from NCHU (國立中興大學), Taiwan (in 繁體中文)















Continue reading

Loos Talk: Notes

poster loos talk1) Loos begins by offering an example of a ‘triangulated reassessment of sexual ethics’ (Siam/China) to show complexity of the transnational history of sexuality in Asia. –transnational histories give broader, yet simultaneously more detailed views of regional histories…uneven integration.

2) Sets up a distinction between ‘transnational’ and ‘postcolonial’ histories—the latter focus on heterosexual, male-female relations, and favor “East-West” relations instead of inter-Asian relations.

3) Idea that “gender plays a more salient role in Asian sexual eroticism”—by this I think she means male/transgendered/female sexuality was more important than it was in the “West”? (gender eroticism, as opposed to?) (She also privileges East/West dyad).

4) Race and sex managed “through the regulation of sex along gendered lines” (again—why the emphasis on gendered?). Ban on white women in Asia meant establishment of ‘institutionalized’ interracial sexual relations.

5) Ann Stoler—distinguished professor of anthropology at The New School for Social Research. Pioneer in the study of colonial sexuality and mixed race populations. SEXUALITY because of eugenics movement; Victorian repression as a misnomer—identity formed by sexuality; idea of sex only for marriage;

6) Sexuality vs. the erotic—sex’s emphasis on genital sex—and the performance of gender roles in Asia before the colonies; imposition of hetero-normative sexual order by imperialists.

7) Somehow Foucault’s ideas don’t fit the gendered erotics of Asia—I disagree!—and Butler’s Foucauldian ideas of performative gender identity would seem to be at play in her conception of Asian sexuality.

8) Conclusions—a) wants to shift emphasis from postcolonial top-down approach to a more horizontal one involving inter-asian sexualities. b) wants to shift emphasis away from colonial miscegenation studies (Stoler) to deeper Asian (non-genital, gendered) sexuality.

9) Futures—study of “sexual subjectivities” which would address the “dissonance” of Foucault’s work for Asia. (Contra the idea that sexuality reflects deepest inner self and not some form of exercise/therapeutic behavior).

Loos, Tamara. “Transnational Histories of Asian Sexualities.” American Historical Review, Dec. 2009.