Pheng Cheah

Pheng Cheah is Professor of Rhetoric and Chair of the Center for Southeast Asia Studies at U. C. Berkeley. Cheah has published extensively on cosmopolitanism, postcolonial literature, continental philosophy, biopolitics, and world literature. His most recent book What is a World? on postcolonial literature as world literature is a critique of spatializing theories of “worldedness” and thinks through the idea of “world” as a function of time. This temporal concept of “world” also allows for an understanding of literature as a world-making force, as an agent of change. He is currently completing a book entitled The Politics and Rights of Life: Toward a Biopolitical Theory of Human Rights and a collection of essays on the changing character of power in contemporary globalization and the role of culture and comparison in these transformations with special reference to postcolonial Asia. Also in progress is a book on globalization and world cinema from the three Chinas that focuses on the films of Jia Zhangke, Tsai Ming-liang and Fruit Chan and includes interviews with the three directors.