Shifting Grounds

Cultural Tectonics along the Pacific Rim

Geological in origin, ‘Pacific Rim’ refers to a zone of high tectonic stresses along the margins of the Pacific Ocean, thus conceptually tying together the Americas, the islands of the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand as well as Southeast and Northeast Asia. The phrase gained wider currency in the 1970s when the political and economic situation of the United States necessitated a strategic reorientation in terms of spatial imaginaries and, concomitantly, the coinage of a new transnational discourse. While the notion of the Pacific Rim has seeped from the realms of politics, business, and trade into cultural studies, scholars increasingly challenge its logic of linkage along borders and develop alternative conceptions favouring, for instance, an archipelagic approach.

The volume contributes to the current debate by offering expert geohistorical and theoretical discussions plus in-depth analyses of cultural products including photography, film, TV, music, and literature.