Beyond black and white, native and alien, lies a vast and fertile field of human experience. It is here that Eric Liu, former speechwriter for President Clinton and noted political commentator, invites us to explore.In these compellingly candid essays, Liu reflects on his life as a second-generation Chinese American and reveals the shifting frames of ethnic identity. Finding himself unable to read a Chinese memorial book about his father's life, he looks critically at the cost of his own assimilation. But he casts an equally questioning eye on the effort to sustain vast racial categories like "Asian American." And as he surveys the rising anxiety about China's influence, Liu illuminates the space that Asians have always occupied in the American imagination. Reminiscent of the work of James Baldwin and its unwavering honesty, The Accidental Asian introduces a powerful and elegant voice into the discussion of what it means to be an American.
This textbook presents a selection of thirteen expository essays written from the 1920s through the 1980s by influential Chinese intellectuals on controversial issues of their times, including the emancipation of women, the reforms of the Chinese language, the implementation of modernization, and freedom and patriotism. To provoke classroom discussion, each topic is treated by essayists with opposing views. Prepared for American students who have already completed two years of Chinese and who are interested in reading original documents, the book juxtaposes traditional and simplified characters for the text and vocabulary so that students can be exposed to both versions of Chinese characters. Each of the thirteen texts is followed by a detailed glossary, annotated in English, with suggested topics for class discussion. An index at the end of the book allows students easy access to the vocabulary items.
Audio and video materials are available for use with this text. For further information, contact the Chinese Linguistics Project, 231 Palmer Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, N.J. 08544. (609-258-4269).
In Advertising Diversity Shalini Shankar explores how racial and ethnic differences are created and commodified through advertisements, marketing, and public relations. Drawing from periods of fieldwork she conducted over four years at Asian American ad agencies in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, Shankar illustrates the day-to-day process of creating and producing broadcast and internet advertisements. She examines the adaptation of general market brand identities for Asian American audiences, the ways ad executives make Asian cultural and linguistic concepts accessible to their clients, and the differences between casting Asian Americans in ads for general and multicultural markets. Shankar argues that as a form of racialized communication, advertising shapes the political and social status of Asian Americans, transforming them from "model minorities" to "model consumers." Asian Americans became visible in the twenty-first century United States through a process Shankar calls "racial naturalization." Once seen as foreign, their framing as model consumers has legitimized their presence in the American popular culture landscape. By making the category of Asian American suitable for consumption, ad agencies shape and refine the population they aim to represent.
With contributions from activists, artists, and scholars, Afro Asia is a groundbreaking collection of writing on the historical alliances, cultural connections, and shared political strategies linking African Americans and Asian Americans. Bringing together autobiography, poetry, scholarly criticism, and other genres, this volume represents an activist vanguard in the cultural struggle against oppression.
Afro Asia opens with analyses of historical connections between people of African and of Asian descent. An account of nineteenth-century Chinese laborers who fought against slavery and colonialism in Cuba appears alongside an exploration of African Americans' reactions to and experiences of the Korean "conflict." Contributors examine the fertile period of Afro-Asian exchange that began around the time of the 1955 Bandung Conference, the first meeting of leaders from Asian and African nations in the postcolonial era. One assesses the relationship of two important 1960s Asian American activists to Malcolm X and the Black Panthers. Mao Ze Dong's 1963 and 1968 statements in support of black liberation are juxtaposed with an overview of the influence of Maoism on African American leftists.
Turning to the arts, Ishmael Reed provides a brief account of how he met and helped several Asian American writers. A Vietnamese American spoken-word artist describes the impact of black hip-hop culture on working-class urban Asian American youth. Fred Ho interviews Bill Cole, an African American jazz musician who plays Asian double-reed instruments. This pioneering collection closes with an array of creative writing, including poetry, memoir, and a dialogue about identity and friendship that two writers, one Japanese American and the other African American, have performed around the United States.
Contributors Betsy Esch, Diane C. Fujino, royal hartigan, Kim Hewitt, Cheryl Higashida, Fred Ho,
Everett Hoagland, Robin D. G. Kelley, Bill V. Mullen, David Mura, Ishle Park, Alexs Pate, Thien-bao Thuc Phi, Ishmael Reed, Kalamu Ya Salaam, Maya Almachar Santos, JoYin C. Shih, Ron Wheeler, Daniel Widener, Lisa Yun
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 this sweeping work, Elliott Young traces the pivotal century of Chinese migration to the Americas, beginning with the 1840s at the start of the coolie trade and ending during World War II. The Chinese came as laborers, streaming across borders legally and illegally and working jobs few others wanted, from constructing railroads in California to harvesting sugar cane in Cuba. Though nations were built in part from their labor, Young argues that they were the first group of migrants to bear the stigma of being alien. Being neither black nor white and existing outside of the nineteenth century Western norms of sexuality and gender, the Chinese were viewed as permanent outsiders, culturally and legally. It was their presence that hastened the creation of immigration bureaucracies charged with capture, imprisonment, and deportation.
This book is the first transnational history of Chinese migration to the Americas. By focusing on the fluidity and complexity of border crossings throughout the Western Hemisphere, Young shows us how Chinese migrants constructed alternative communities and identities through these transnational pathways.
Winner, 2013 Best First Book in Women's, Gender, and/or Sexuality History by the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians
Winner, 2013 Lawrence W. Levine Award, Organization of American Historians
Winner, 2013 Congress on Research in Dance Outstanding Publication Award
At vaudeville theaters, international expositions, commercial nightclubs, and military bases, Hawaiian women acted as ambassadors of aloha, enabling Americans to imagine Hawai'i as feminine and benign, and the relation between colonizer and colonized as mutually desired. By the 1930s, Hawaiian culture, particularly its music and hula, had enormous promotional value. In the 1940s, thousands of U.S. soldiers and military personnel in Hawai'i were entertained by hula performances, many of which were filmed by military photographers. Yet, as Adria L. Imada shows, Hawaiians also used hula as a means of cultural survival and countercolonial political praxis. In Aloha America, Imada focuses on the years between the 1890s and the 1960s, examining little-known performances and films before turning to the present-day reappropriation of hula by the Hawaiian self-determination movement.
The mystery of Chinatown as foreign yet familiar has been long established in the American imagination. Visitors come to expect this, looking for "something different" in its narrow lanes and fish markets. They can taste a world apart, listen to a foreign language, and try to barter for a trinket on the street--without ever leaving the country. And then they go home, sometimes just a few streets away, and get on with the everyday. What is truly under the radar is what they don't see: a unique community getting on with its own everyday.In American Chinatown, Bonnie Tsui takes an affectionate and awestruck look at the bustling part of town that has bewitched her ever since she was a child, when she would eagerly await her grandfather's return from the fortune cookie factory. By interweaving her own personal impressions with the experiences of those living in Chinatowns all across the United States today, Tsui beautifully captures its vivid stories, giving readers a deeper look into what "Chinatown" means to its inhabitants--and to America at large.
In this important and masterful synthesis of the Chinese and Japanese experience in America, historian Roger Daniels provides a new perspective on the significance of Asian immigration to the United States. Examining the period from the mid-nineteenth century to the early 1980s, Daniels presents a basic history comprising the political and socioeconomic background of Chinese and Japanese immigration and acculturation. He draws distinctions and points out similarities not only between Chinese and Japanese but between Asian and European immigration experiences, clarifying the integral role of Asians in American history.
Daniels' research is impressive and his evidence is solid. In forthright prose, he suggests fresh assessments of the broad patterns of the Asian American experience, illuminating the recurring tensions within our modern multiracial society. His detailed supporting material is woven into a rich historical fabric which also gives personal voice to the tenacious individualism of the immigrant.
The book is organized topically and chronologically, beginning with the emigration of each ethnic group and concluding with an epilogue that looks to the future from the perspective of the last two decades of Chinese and Japanese American history. Included in this survey are discussions of the reasons for emigration; the conditions of emigration; the fate of first generation immigrants; the reception of immigrants by the United States government and its people; the growth of immigrant communities; the effects of discriminatory legislation; the impact of World War II and the succeeding Cold War era on Chinese and Japanese Americans; and the history of Asian Americans during the last twenty years.
This timely and thought-provoking volume will be of value not only to specialists in Asian American history and culture but to students and general historians of American life.
The last half century witnessed a dramatic change in the geographic, ethnographic, and socioeconomic structure of Asian American communities. While traditional enclaves were strengthened by waves of recent immigrants, native-born Asian Americans also created new urban and suburban areas.
Asian America is the first comprehensive look at post-1960s Asian American communities in the United States and Canada. From Chinese Americans in Chicagoland to Vietnamese Americans in Orange County, this multi-disciplinary collection spans a wide comparative and panoramic scope. Contributors from an array of academic fields focus on global views of Asian American communities as well as on territorial and cultural boundaries.
Presenting groundbreaking perspectives, Asian America revises worn assumptions and examines current challenges Asian American communities face in the twenty-first century.