Imagine Otherwise: On Asian Americanist Critique

Front Cover
Duke University Press, Apr 17, 2003 - Social Science - 215 pages
Imagine Otherwise is an incisive critique of the field of Asian American studies. Recognizing that the rubric "Asian American" elides crucial differences, Kandice Chuh argues for reframing Asian American studies as a study defined not by its subjects and objects, but by its critique. Toward that end, she urges the foregrounding of the constructedness of "Asian American" formations and shows how this understanding of the field provides the basis for continuing to use the term "Asian American" in light of—and in spite of—contemporary critiques about its limitations.

Drawing on the insights of poststructuralist theory, postcolonial studies, and investigations of transnationalism, Imagine Otherwise conceives of Asian American literature and U.S. legal discourse as theoretical texts to be examined for the normative claims about race, gender, and sexuality that they put forth. Reading government and legal documents, novels including Carlos Bulosan's America Is in the Heart, John Okada's No-No Boy, Chang-rae Lee's A Gesture Life, Ronyoung Kim's Clay Walls, and Lois Ann Yamanaka's Blu's Hanging, and the short stories "Immigration Blues" by Bienvenido Santos and "High-Heeled Shoes" by Hisaye Yamamoto, Chuh works through Filipino American and Korean American identity formation and Japanese American internment during World War II as she negotiates the complex and sometimes tense differences that constitute 'Asian America' and Asian American studies.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

against uniform subjectivity remembering Filipino America
31
nikkei internment determined identitiesundecidable meanings
58
one hundred percent Korean on space and subjectivity
85
disowning America
112
when difference meets itself
147
notes
153
works cited
187
index
211
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 19 - For people of color have always theorized — but in forms quite different from the Western form of abstract logic. And I am inclined to say that our theorizing (and I intentionally use the verb rather than the noun) is often in narrative forms, in the stories we create, in riddles and proverbs, in the play with language, since dynamic rather than fixed ideas seem more to our liking.

About the author (2003)

Kandice Chuh is Professor of English, Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is coeditor of Orientations: Mapping Studies in the Asian Diaspora, published by Duke University Press.

Bibliographic information