Mapping Studies in the Asian Diaspora


Book Pages: 352 Illustrations: Published: September 2001

Asian American Studies, Asian Studies, Cultural Studies

Asian and Asian American studies emerged, respectively, from Cold War and social protest ideologies. Yet, in the context of contemporary globalization, can these ideological distinctions remain in place? Suggesting new directions for studies of the Asian diaspora, the prominent scholars who contribute to this volume raise important questions about the genealogies of these fields, their mutual imbrication, and their relationship to other disciplinary formations, including American and ethnic studies.
With its recurrent themes of transnationalism, globalization, and postcoloniality, Orientations considers various embodiments of the Asian diaspora, including a rumination on minority discourses and performance studies, and a historical look at the journal Amerasia. Exploring the translation of knowledge from one community to another, other contributions consider such issues as Filipino immigrants’ strategies for enacting Asian American subjectivity and the link between area studies and the journal Subaltern Studies. In a section that focuses on how disciplines—or borders—form, one essay discusses “orientalist melancholy,” while another focuses on the construction of the Asian American persona during the Cold War. Other topics in the volume include the role Asian immigrants play in U.S. racial politics, Japanese American identity in postwar Japan, Asian American theater, and the effects of Asian and Asian American studies on constructions of American identity.

Contributors. Dipesh Chakrabarty, Kuan-Hsing Chen, Rey Chow, Kandice Chuh, Sharon Hom, Yoshikuni Igarashi, Dorinne Kondo, Russell Leong, George Lipsitz, Lisa Lowe, Martin F. Manalansan IV, David Palumbo-Liu, R. Radhakrishnan, Karen Shimakawa, Sau-ling C. Wong


"Orientations is the latest of a number of exciting studies to identify current themes and to consolidate three decades of academic scholarship and discourse in Asian American studies. . . . [T]here is much talent and versatility in the research of the mostly Asian American authors, who range from new scholars to established academics and who hail from various academic disciplines, including history, English, law, anthropology, ethnic studies, comparative literature, theatre, dance, and Asian American studies. A strong introduction by the two editors provides a conceptual framework to the volume. . . ." — Jennifer W. Jay , Canadian Literature

"[Chuh and Shimakawa] inaugurate a series of questions and avenues of inquiry that will undoubtedly reshape how projects are envisioned in Asian Studies, Asian American Studies, and American Studies and will resonate with the best work coming from these fields. Their project is ambitious and wide-reaching, and the stakes of their projects are correspondingly high." — Grace Kyungwon Hong , Diaspora

"[W]ill prove valuable not only to those in the two fields directly addressed but also to anyone interested in the theoretical and practical difficulties (and possibilities) of crossing discipline boundaries. . . . This volume is significant because it is the first to address the fraught linkages and disconnections between Asian studies and Asian American studies. Its strength lies in the range of scholars it brings together: from heavyweight senior scholars . . . to more junior scholars. . . from Asian Americanists trained in traditional disciplines, Ethnic studies and/or Asian studies, to Asian studies specialists working in or between Asian studies, Asian American studies, and traditional fields; and from those based in the United States to those based abroad." — Dorothy Wang, Journal of Asian American Studies

“Bristling with provocations, this timely collection of intoxicating essays interrogates the margins of disciplinary and institutional centers, revealing unsettling glimpses of the intellectual and material investments in ‘Asia,’ ‘America,’ and the fields that figure and are configured by them.” — Gary Y. Okihiro, author of Margins and Mainstreams: Asians in American History and Culture


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Kandice Chuh is Professor of English, Graduate Center, City University of New York.

Karen Shimakawa is Assistant Professor of Theatre and Dance and Asian American Studies at the University of California, Davis.

Table of Contents Back to Top

Introduction: Mapping Studies in the Asian Diaspora / Kandice Chuh and Karen Shimakawa

I. Investments and Interventions

(Un)Disciplined Subjects: (De)Colonizing the Academy? / Dorinne Kondo

(Re)Viewing and Asian American Diaspora: Multiculturalism, Interculturalism, and the Northwest Asian American Theatre / Karen Shimakawa

Creating Performative Communities: Through Text, Time, and Space / Russell Leong

Cross-Discipline Trafficking: What’s Justice Got to Do With It? / Sharon K. Hom

II. Translating Knowledge

Notes toward a Conversion between Area Studies and Diasporic Studies / Dipesh Chakrabarty

The Stakes of Textual Border-Crossings: Hualing Nieh’s Mulberry and Peach in Sinocentric, Asian American, and Feminist Critical Practices / Sau-Ling C. Wong

Biyuti in Everyday Life: Performance, Citizenship, and Survival among Filipinos in the United States / Martin F. Manalansan IV

Missile Internationalism / Kuan-Hsing Chen

III. Para-Sites, Or, Constituting Borders

Leading Questions / Rey Chow

Modeling the Nation: The Asian/American Split / David Palumbo-Liu

Postwar Japan / Yoshikuni Igarashi

Conjunctural Identities, Academic Adjancencies / R. Radhakrishnan

IV. Asian/American Epistemologies

Epistemological Shifts: National Ontology and the New Asian Immigrant / Lisa Lowe

“Imaginary Borders” / Kandice Chuh

“To Tell the Truth and Not Get Trapped”: Why Interethnic Antiracism Matters Now / George Lipsitz



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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2739-4 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2729-5
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