A concise new history of a century of struggles to define Asian identity and express alternatives to European forms of universalism.The balance of global power changed profoundly over the course of the twentieth century, above all with the economic and political rise of Asia. Asia after Europe is a bold new interpretation of the period, focusing on the conflicting and overlapping ways in which Asians have conceived their bonds and their roles in the world. Tracking the circulation of ideas and people across colonial and national borders, Sugata Bose explores developments in Asian thought, art, and politics that defied Euro-American models and defined Asianness as a locus of solidarity for all humanity.Impressive in scale, yet driven by the stories of fascinating and influential individuals, Asia after Europe examines early intimations of Asian solidarity and universalism preceding Japan’s victory over Russia in 1905; the revolutionary collaborations of the First World War and its aftermath, when Asian universalism took shape alongside Wilsonian internationalism and Bolshevism; the impact of the Great Depression and Second World War on the idea of Asia; and the persistence of forms of Asian universalism in the postwar period, despite the consolidation of postcolonial nation-states on a European model.Diverse Asian universalisms were forged and fractured through phases of poverty and prosperity, among elites and common people, throughout the span of the twentieth century. Noting the endurance of nationalist rivalries, often tied to religious exclusion and violence, Bose concludes with reflections on the continuing potential of political thought beyond European definitions of reason, nation, and identity.
A pioneering study of historical developments that have shaped Asia concludes with this volume tracing the impact of ideas and cultures of people on the move across the continent, whether willingly or not.In the final volume of Asia Inside Out, a stellar interdisciplinary team of scholars considers the migration of people—and the ideas, practices, and things they brought with them—to show the ways in which itinerant groups 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.Human movement from place to place across time reinforces older connections while forging new ones. Erik Harms turns to Vietnam to show that the notion of a homeland as a marked geographic space can remain important even if that space is not fixed in people’s lived experience. Angela Leung traces how much of East Asia was brought into a single medical sphere by traveling practitioners. Seema Alavi shows that the British preoccupation with the 1857 Indian Revolt allowed traders to turn the Omani capital into a thriving arms emporium. James Pickett exposes the darker side of mobility in a netherworld of refugees, political prisoners, and hostages circulating from the southern Russian Empire to the Indian subcontinent. Other authors trace the impact of movement on religious art, ethnic foods, and sports spectacles.By stepping outside familiar categories and standard narratives, this remarkable series challenges us to rethink our conception of Asia in complex and nuanced ways.
Does media representation advance racial justice?
While the past decade has witnessed a push for increased diversity in visual media, Asians on Demand grapples with the pressing question of whether representation is enough to advance racial justice. Surveying a contemporary, cutting-edge archive of video works from the Asian diaspora in North America, Europe, and East Asia, this book uncovers the ways that diasporic artists challenge the narrow—and damaging—conceptions of Asian identity pervading mainstream media.
Through an engagement with grassroots activist documentaries, experimental video diaries by undocumented and migrant workers, and works by high-profile media artists such as Hito Steyerl and Ming Wong, Feng-Mei Heberer showcases contemporary video productions that trouble the mainstream culture industry’s insistence on portraying ethnic Asians as congenial to dominant neoliberal values. Undermining the demands placed on Asian subjects to exemplify institutional diversity and individual exceptionalism, this book provides a critical and nuanced set of alternatives to the easily digestible forms generated by online streaming culture and multicultural lip service more broadly.
Employing feminist, racial, and queer critiques of the contemporary media landscape, Asians on Demand highlights how the dynamics of Asian representation play out differently in Germany, the United States, Taiwan, and Spain. Rather than accepting the notion that inclusion requires an uncomplicated set of appearances, the works explored in this volume spotlight a staunch resistance to formulating racial identity as an instantly accessible consumer product.
Black Star documents the vibrant Asian Youth Movements in 1970s and 80s Britain who struggled against the racism of the street and the state. Anandi Ramamurthy shows how they drew inspiration from Black Power movements as well as anti-imperialist and workers' struggles across the globe.
Drawing on her intimate knowledge and extensive research, Ramamurthy shows how the struggle to make Britain 'home' led to a broad-based identity where 'black' was a political colour inspiring unity amongst all those struggling against racism.
Ramamurthy documents how by the late 1980s this broad based black identity disintegrated as Islamophobia became a new form of racism. In the process the legacy of the Asian Youth Movements has been largely hidden. Black Star retrieves this history and demonstrates its importance for political struggles today.
The Indian Ocean was global long before the Atlantic, and today the countries bordering the Bay of Bengal—India, Bangladesh, Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Malaysia—are home to one in four people on Earth. Crossing the Bay of Bengal places this region at the heart of world history for the first time. Integrating human and environmental history, and mining a wealth of sources, Sunil Amrith gives a revelatory and stirring new account of the Bay and those who have inhabited it.For centuries the Bay of Bengal served as a maritime highway between India and China, and then as a battleground for European empires, all while being shaped by the monsoons and by human migration. Imperial powers in the nineteenth century, abetted by the force of capital and the power of steam, reconfigured the Bay in their quest for coffee, rice, and rubber. Millions of Indian migrants crossed the sea, bound by debt or spurred by drought, and filled with ambition. Booming port cities like Singapore and Penang became the most culturally diverse societies of their time. By the 1930s, however, economic, political, and environmental pressures began to erode the Bay’s centuries-old patterns of interconnection.Today, rising waters leave the Bay of Bengal’s shores especially vulnerable to climate change, at the same time that its location makes it central to struggles over Asia’s future. Amrith’s evocative and compelling narrative of the region’s pasts offers insights critical to understanding and confronting the many challenges facing Asia in the decades ahead.
The definitive account of transpacific Asian movement through the Spanish empire—from Manila to Acapulco and beyond—and its implications for the history of race and colonization in the Americas.Between 1565 and 1815, the so-called Manila galleons enjoyed a near-complete monopoly on transpacific trade between Spain’s Asian and American colonies. Sailing from the Philippines to Mexico and back, these Spanish trading ships also facilitated the earliest migrations and displacements of Asian peoples to the Americas. Hailing from Gujarat, Nagasaki, and many places in between, both free and enslaved Asians boarded the galleons and made the treacherous transpacific journey each year. Once in Mexico, they became “chinos” within the New Spanish caste system.Diego Javier Luis chronicles this first sustained wave of Asian mobility to the early Americas. Uncovering how and why Asian peoples crossed the Pacific, he sheds new light on the daily lives of those who disembarked at Acapulco. There, the term “chino” officially racialized diverse ethnolinguistic populations into a single caste, vulnerable to New Spanish policies of colonial control. Yet Asians resisted these strictures, often by forging new connections across ethnic groups. Social adaptation and cultural convergence, Luis argues, defined Asian experiences in the Spanish Americas from the colonial invasions of the sixteenth century to the first cries for Mexican independence in the nineteenth.The First Asians in the Americas speaks to an important era in the construction of race, vividly unfolding what it meant to be “chino” in the early modern Spanish empire. In so doing, it demonstrates the significance of colonial Latin America to Asian diasporic history and reveals the fundamental role of transpacific connections to the development of colonial societies in the Americas.
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.
Latinas/os and Asians are rewriting the meaning and history of race in the American South by complicating the black/white binary that has frequently defined the region since before the Civil War. Arriving in southern communities as migrants or refugees, Latinas/os and Asians have experienced both begrudging acceptance and prejudice as their presence confronts and troubles local understandings of race and difference—understandings that have deep roots in each community’s particular racial history, as well as in national fears and anxieties about race.
Nuevo South offers the first comparative study showing how Latinas/os and Asians are transforming race and place in the contemporary South. Integrating political, economic, and social analysis, Perla M. Guerrero examines the reception of Vietnamese, Cubans, and Mexicans in northwestern Arkansas communities that were almost completely white until the mid-1970s. She shows how reactions to these refugees and immigrants ranged from reluctant acceptance of Vietnamese as former US allies to rejection of Cubans as communists, criminals, and homosexuals and Mexicans as “illegal aliens” who were perceived as invaders when they began to establish roots and became more visible in public spaces. Guerrero’s research clarifies how social relations are constituted in the labor sphere, particularly the poultry industry, and reveals the legacies of regional history, especially anti-Black violence and racial cleansing. Nuevo South thus helps us to better understand what constitutes the so-called Nuevo South and how historical legacies shape the reception of new people in the region.
Human rights violations have always been part of Asian American studies. From Chinese immigration restrictions, the incarceration of Japanese Americans, yellow peril characterizations, and recent acts of deportation and Islamophobia, Asian Americans have consistently functioned as subordinated “subjects” of human rights violations. The Subject(s) of Human Rights brings together scholars from North America and Asia to recalibrate these human rights concerns from both sides of the Pacific.
The essays in this collection provide a sharper understanding of how Asian/Americans have been subjected to human rights violations, how they act as subjects of history and agents of change, and how they produce knowledge around such subjects. The editors of and contributors to The Subject(s) of Human Rights examine refugee narratives, human trafficking, and citizenship issues in twentieth- and twenty-first century literature. These themes further refract issues of American war-making, settler colonialism, military occupation, collateral damage, and displacement that relocate the imagined geographies of Asian America from the periphery to the center of human rights critique.
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