In Alien Capital Iyko Day retheorizes the history and logic of settler colonialism by examining its intersection with capitalism and the racialization of Asian immigrants to Canada and the United States. Day explores how the historical alignment of Asian bodies and labor with capital's abstract and negative dimensions became one of settler colonialism's foundational and defining features. This alignment allowed white settlers to gloss over and expunge their complicity with capitalist exploitation from their collective memory. Day reveals this process through an analysis of a diverse body of Asian North American literature and visual culture, including depictions of Chinese railroad labor in the 1880s, filmic and literary responses to Japanese internment in the 1940s, and more recent examinations of the relations between free trade, national borders, and migrant labor. In highlighting these artists' reworking and exposing of the economic modalities of Asian racialized labor, Day pushes beyond existing approaches to settler colonialism as a Native/settler binary to formulate it as a dynamic triangulation of Native, settler, and alien populations and positionalities.
In the final volume of Asia Inside Out, a stellar interdisciplinary team of scholars shows the ways that itinerant groups criss-crossing the continent have transformed their culture and surroundings. Going beyond time and place, which animated the first two books, this third one looks at human beings on the move.
Eleanor Ty's bold exploration of literature, plays, and film reveals how young Asian Americans and Asian Canadians have struggled with the ethos of self-sacrifice preached by their parents. This new generation's narratives focus on protagonists disenchanted with their daily lives. Many are depressed. Some are haunted by childhood memories of war, trauma, and refugee camps. Rejecting an obsession with professional status and money, they seek fulfillment by prioritizing relationships, personal growth, and cultural success. As Ty shows, these storytellers have done more than reject a narrowly defined road to happiness. They have rejected neoliberal capitalism itself. In so doing, they demand that the rest of us reconsider our outmoded ideas about the so-called model minority.
Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States examines in comprehensive detail the most rapidly growing and quickly changing minority group in the United States. Once a small population, this group is now recognized by official census counts and by society as a diverse people, comprised of Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Filipinos, Hawaiians, Samoans, and many other heritages. However, the conception that Asians are a single and successful model minority still exists, though they are in fact a complex and multidimensional people still struggling in the pursuit of the American dream. "...a major addition to the literature on recent immigration. The book is lucidly written by three demographers eager to convey their findings and analyses to general readers as well as to fellow professionals. It provides easily accessible information and useful commentary, making it an excellent resource for anyone interested in those groups now lumped together under a single Census Bureau rubric." —Choice "This is a demographer's delight....The major question addressed in this book is: How well are the new Asian immigrants adapting to American society? Barringer, Gardner, and Levin cogently argue and convincingly demonstrate that the response to the question is much more complex than suggested by articles in the popular press....an important book and highly recommended." —Contemporary Sociology "For the real scoop on the state of Asian America, turn to the Russell Sage Foundation's excellent Asians and Pacific Islanders of the United States. The best demographic overview, it makes a strong case for Asian-American success without overlooking genuine problems." —Reason "...a comprehensive study of the size, diversity, and complexity of the Asian and Pacific Islander populations based on the 1980 census and subsequent mid-census assessments prior to the 1990 census....sheds a particularly interesting light on the shifting nature of recent Asian and Pacific Islander immigration and the related but often undocumented secondary movement of populations after arrival." —The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Census Series
In the first ever book devoted to a critical investigation of the personal style blogosphere, Minh-Ha T. Pham examines the phenomenal rise of elite Asian bloggers who have made a career of posting photographs of themselves wearing clothes on the Internet. Pham understands their online activities as “taste work” practices that generate myriad forms of capital for superbloggers and the brands they feature. A multifaceted and detailed analysis, Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet addresses questions concerning the status and meaning of “Asian taste” in the early twenty-first century, the kinds of cultural and economic work Asian tastes do, and the fashion public and industry’s appetite for certain kinds of racialized eliteness. Situating blogging within the historical context of gendered and racialized fashion work while being attentive to the broader cultural, technological, and economic shifts in global consumer capitalism, Asians Wear Clothes on the Internet has profound implications for understanding the changing and enduring dynamics of race, gender, and class in shaping some of the most popular work practices and spaces of the digital fashion media economy.
The definition of Asian American dance is as contested as the definition of "Asian American." The contributors to this volume address such topics as the role of the 1960s Asian American movement in creating Japanese American taiko groups, and the experience of internment during World War II influencing butoh dance in Canada. Essays about artists such as Jay Hirabayashi, Alvin Tolentino, Shen Wei, Kun-Yang Lin, Yasuko Yokoshi, Eiko & Koma, Sam Kim, Roko Kawai, and Denise Uyehara look closely at the politics of how Asian aesthetics are set into motion and marketed. The volume includes first-person narratives, interviews, ethnography, cultural studies, performance studies, and comparative ethnic studies.
Crossing the Bay of Bengal
Sunil S. Amrith Harvard University Press, 2013 Library of Congress JV8490.A728 2013 | Dewey Decimal 304.8091824
For centuries the Bay of Bengal served as a maritime highway between India and China, and as a battleground for European empires, while being shaped by monsoons and human migration. Integrating environmental history and mining a wealth of sources, Sunil S. Amrith offers insights to the many challenges facing Asia in the decades ahead.
Asians have settled in every country in the Western Hemisphere; some are recent arrivals, other descendents of immigrants who arrived centuries ago. Bringing together essays by thirteen scholars from the humanities and social sciences, Displacements and Diasporas explores this genuinely transnational Asian American experience-one that crosses the Pacific and traverses the Americas from Canada to Brazil, from New York to the Caribbean.
With an emphasis on anthropological and historical contexts, the essays show how the experiences of Asians across the Americas have been shaped by the social dynamics and politics of settlement locations as much as by transnational connections and the economic forces of globalization. Contributors bring new insights to the unique situations of Asian communities previously overlooked by scholars, such as Vietnamese Canadians and the Lao living in Rhode Island. Other topics include Chinese laborers and merchants in Latin America and the Caribbean, Japanese immigrants and their descendants in Brazil, Afro-Amerasians in America, and the politics of second-generation Indian American youth culture.
Together the essays provide a valuable comparative portrait of Asians across the Americas. Engaging issues of diaspora, transnational social practice and community building, gender, identity, institutionalized racism, and deterritoriality, this volume presents fresh perspectives on displacement, opening the topic up to a wider, more interdisciplinary terrain of inquiry and teaching.
In sharp contrast to the “melting pot” reputation of the United States, the American South—with its history of slavery, Jim Crow, and the civil rights movement—has been perceived in stark and simplistic demographic terms. In Far East, Down South, editors Raymond A. Mohl, John E. Van Sant, and Chizuru Saeki provide a collection of essential essays that restores and explores an overlooked part of the South’s story—that of Asian immigration to the region.
These essays form a comprehensive overview of key episodes and issues in the history of Asian immigrants to the South. During Reconstruction, southern entrepreneurs experimented with the replacement of slave labor with Chinese workers. As in the West, Chinese laborers played a role in the development of railroads. Japanese farmers also played a more widespread role than is usually believed. Filipino sailors recruited by the US Navy in the early decades of the twentieth century often settled with their families in the vicinity of naval ports such as Corpus Christi, Biloxi, and Pensacola. Internment camps brought Japanese Americans to Arkansas. Marriages between American servicemen and Japanese, Korean, Filipina, Vietnamese, and nationals in other theaters of war created many thousands of blended families in the South. In recent decades, the South is the destination of internal immigration as Asian Americans spread out from immigrant enclaves in West Coast and Northeast urban areas.
Taken together, the book’s essays document numerous fascinating themes: the historic presence of Asians in the South dating back to the mid-nineteenth century; the sources of numerous waves of contemporary Asian immigration to the South; and the steady spread of Asians out from the coastal port cities. Far East, Down South adds a vital new dimension to popular understanding of southern history.
For centuries, Asian immigrants have been making vital contributions to the cultures of North and South America. Yet in many of these countries, Asians are commonly viewed as undifferentiated racial “others,” lumped together as chinos regardless of whether they have Chinese ancestry. How might this struggle for recognition in their adopted homelands affect the ways that Asians in the Americas imagine community and cultural identity?
The essays in Imagining Asia in the Americas investigate the myriad ways that Asians throughout the Americas use language, literature, religion, commerce, and other cultural practices to establish a sense of community, commemorate their countries of origin, and anticipate the possibilities presented by life in a new land. Focusing on a variety of locations across South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and the United States, the book’s contributors reveal the rich diversity of Asian American identities. Yet taken together, they provide an illuminating portrait of how immigrants negotiate between their native and adopted cultures.
Drawing from a rich array of source materials, including texts in Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Gujarati that have never before been translated into English, this collection represents a groundbreaking work of scholarship. Through its unique comparative approach, Imagining Asia in the Americas opens up a conversation between various Asian communities within the Americas and beyond.
An attempt to put an Asian woman on Canada's $100 bill in 2012 unleashed enormous controversy. The racism and xenophobia that answered this symbolic move toward inclusiveness revealed the nation's trumpeted commitment to multiculturalism as a lie. It also showed how multiple minor publics as well as the dominant public responded to the ongoing issue of race in Canada. In this new study, Christine Kim delves into the ways cultural conversations minimize race's relevance even as violent expressions and structural forms of racism continue to occur. Kim turns to literary texts, artistic works, and media debates to highlight the struggles of minor publics with social intimacy. Her insightful engagement with everyday conversations as well as artistic expressions that invoke the figure of the Asian allows Kim to reveal the affective dimensions of racialized publics. It also extends ongoing critical conversations within Asian Canadian and Asian American studies about Orientalism, diasporic memory, racialized citizenship, and migration and human rights.
Musicians of Asian descent enjoy unprecedented prominence in concert halls, conservatories, and classical music performance competitions. In the first book on the subject, Mari Yoshihara looks into the reasons for this phenomenon, starting with her own experience of learning to play piano in Japan at the age of three. Yoshihara shows how a confluence of culture, politics and commerce after the war made classical music a staple in middle-class households, established Yamaha as the world's largest producer of pianos and gave the Suzuki method of music training an international clientele. Soon, talented musicians from Japan, China and South Korea were flocking to the United States to study and establish careers, and Asian American families were enrolling toddlers in music classes.
Against this historical backdrop, Yoshihara interviews Asian and Asian American musicians, such as Cho-Liang Lin, Margaret Leng Tan, Kent Nagano, who have taken various routes into classical music careers. They offer their views about the connections of race and culture and discuss whether the music is really as universal as many claim it to be. Their personal histories and Yoshihara's observations present a snapshot of today's dynamic and revived classical music scene.
Despite great ethnic and racial diversity, ethnicity in Brazil is often portrayed as a matter of black or white, a distinction reinforced by the ruling elite’s efforts to craft the nation’s identity in its own image—white, Christian, and European. In Negotiating National Identity Jeffrey Lesser explores the crucial role ethnic minorities from China, Japan, North Africa, and the Middle East have played in constructing Brazil’s national identity, thereby challenging dominant notions of nationality and citizenship. Employing a cross-cultural approach, Lesser examines a variety of acculturating responses by minority groups, from insisting on their own whiteness to becoming ultra-nationalists and even entering secret societies that insisted Japan had won World War II. He discusses how various minority groups engaged in similar, and successful, strategies of integration even as they faced immense discrimination and prejudice. Some believed that their ethnic heritage was too high a price to pay for the “privilege” of being white and created alternative categories for themselves, such as Syrian-Lebanese, Japanese-Brazilian, and so on. By giving voice to the role ethnic minorities have played in weaving a broader definition of national identity, this book challenges the notion that elite discourse is hegemonic and provides the first comprehensive look at Brazilian worlds often ignored by scholars. Based on extensive research, Negotiating National Identity will be valuable to scholars and students in Brazilian and Latin American studies, as well as those in the fields of immigrant history, ethnic studies, and race relations.
In Postcolonial Grief Jinah Kim explores the relationship of mourning to transpacific subjectivities, aesthetics, and decolonial politics since World War II. Kim argues that Asian diasporic subjectivity exists in relation to afterlives because the deaths of those killed by U.S. imperialism and militarism in the Pacific remain unresolved and unaddressed. Kim shows how primarily U.S.-based Korean and Japanese diasporic writers, artists, and filmmakers negotiate the necropolitics of Asia and how their creative refusal to heal from imperial violence may generate transformative antiracist and decolonial politics. She contests prevalent interpretations of melancholia by engaging with Frantz Fanon's and Hisaye Yamamoto's decolonial writings; uncovering the noir genre's relationship to the U.S. war in Korea; discussing the emergence of silenced colonial histories during the 1992 Los Angeles riots; and analyzing the 1996 hostage takeover of the Japanese ambassador's home in Peru. Kim highlights how the aesthetic and creative work of the Japanese and Korean diasporas offers new insights into twenty-first-century concerns surrounding the state's erasure of military violence and colonialism and the difficult work of remembering histories of war across the transpacific.
In Racial Melancholia, Racial Dissociation critic David L. Eng and psychotherapist Shinhee Han draw on case histories from the mid-1990s to the present to explore the social and psychic predicaments of Asian American young adults from Generation X to Generation Y. Combining critical race theory with several strands of psychoanalytic thought, they develop the concepts of racial melancholia and racial dissociation to investigate changing processes of loss associated with immigration, displacement, diaspora, and assimilation. These case studies of first- and second-generation Asian Americans deal with a range of difficulties, from depression, suicide, and the politics of coming out to broader issues of the model minority stereotype, transnational adoption, parachute children, colorblind discourses in the United States, and the rise of Asia under globalization. Throughout, Eng and Han link psychoanalysis to larger structural and historical phenomena, illuminating how the study of psychic processes of individuals can inform investigations of race, sexuality, and immigration while creating a more sustained conversation about the social lives of Asian Americans and Asians in the diaspora.
Tiger Mom. Asian patriarchy. Model minority children. Generation gap. The many images used to describe the prototypical Asian family have given rise to two versions of the Asian immigrant family myth. The first celebrates Asian families for upholding the traditional heteronormative ideal of the “normal (white) American family” based on a hard-working male breadwinner and a devoted wife and mother who raises obedient children. The other demonizes Asian families around these very same cultural values by highlighting the dangers of excessive parenting, oppressive hierarchies, and emotionless pragmatism in Asian cultures.
Saving Face cuts through these myths, offering a more nuanced portrait of Asian immigrant families in a changing world as recalled by the people who lived them first-hand: the grown children of Chinese and Korean immigrants. Drawing on extensive interviews, sociologist Angie Y. Chung examines how these second-generation children negotiate the complex and conflicted feelings they have toward their family responsibilities and upbringing. Although they know little about their parents’ lives, she reveals how Korean and Chinese Americans assemble fragments of their childhood memories, kinship narratives, and racial myths to make sense of their family experiences. However, Chung also finds that these adaptive strategies come at a considerable social and psychological cost and do less to reconcile the social stresses that minority immigrant families endure today.
Saving Face not only gives readers a new appreciation for the often painful generation gap between immigrants and their children, it also reveals the love, empathy, and communication strategies families use to help bridge those rifts.
Unfastened examines literary works and films by Asian Americans and Asian Canadians that respond critically to globality—the condition in which traditional national, cultural, geographical, and economic boundaries have been—supposedly—surmounted.
In this wide-ranging exploration, Eleanor Ty reveals how novelists such as Brian Ascalon Roley, Han Ong, Lydia Kwa, and Nora Okja Keller interrogate the theoretical freedom that globalization promises in their depiction of the underworld of crime and prostitution. She looks at the social critiques created by playwrights Betty Quan and Sunil Kuruvilla, who use figures of disability to accentuate the effects of marginality. Investigating works based on fantasy, Ty highlights the ways feminist writers Larissa Lai, Chitra Divakaruni, Hiromi Goto, and Ruth Ozeki employ myth, science fiction, and magic realism to provide alternatives to global capitalism. She notes that others, such as filmmaker Deepa Mehta and performers/dramatists Nadine Villasin and Nina Aquino, play with the multiple identities afforded to them by transcultural connections.
Ultimately, Ty sees in these diverse narratives unfastened mobile subjects, heroes, and travelers who use everyday tactics to challenge inequitable circumstances in their lives brought about by globalization.