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“Denationalization Reconsidered: Asian American Cultural Criticism at a Theoretical Crossroads” by Sau-ling C. Wong 國立高雄師範大學 英語系 李翠玉 10-23-2009 中山大學離散論述研讀會.

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Presentation on theme: "“Denationalization Reconsidered: Asian American Cultural Criticism at a Theoretical Crossroads” by Sau-ling C. Wong 國立高雄師範大學 英語系 李翠玉 10-23-2009 中山大學離散論述研讀會."— Presentation transcript:

1 “Denationalization Reconsidered: Asian American Cultural Criticism at a Theoretical Crossroads” by Sau-ling C. Wong 國立高雄師範大學 英語系 李翠玉 中山大學離散論述研讀會

2 討論 Asia, Asian, Asian American, Asian America 亞美情境下的離散意涵 (Diaspora in the Asian American Context)

3 Overview Appeared in 1995, a special issue entitled “Thinking Theory in Asian American Studies,” Amerasia Journal Influence: (from Wong’s intro to the 1999 reprinted version in Postcolonial Theory 122-3) cited by Arif Dirlik 1996 “Asians on the Rim” to affirm the significant role of Asian America Criticized by Susan Koshy in 1996 as catachresis (misuse of terms) theoretical shift (domestic to transnational/diasporic) Diaspora as political positioning (Stuart Hall) Diaspora as a process of identity construction (Paul Gilroy) Institutional shift (Asian Studies & Asian American Studies as a result of change of political climates) Demographic, political and economic shift  limitations and potentials of diaspora paradigm in Asian American Cultural criticism  contradictory position as an Asian Americanist

4 History of Chinese Immigration 1848 California Gold Rush 1860 Central Pacific Railroad 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act 1943 Magnuson Act (Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act) 1965 Immigration Reform Act 1990s skilled and educated immigrants

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6 Denationalization of Asian American Cultural Criticism A domestic Perspective Easing of Cultural Nationalist Concerns 1970s Frank Chin 趙健秀, Jeffery Paul Chan 陳耀光, Shawn Hsu Wong 徐中雄 1974 Aiiieeeee! Permeability between “Asian” and “Asian American” Ascendance of Asia, the coalescence of the Pacific Rim as a geoeconomic entity, circulation of Asian transnational capital Elaine Kim, King-kok Cheung, Sau-ling Wong, Shirley Lim & Amy Ling 1982 Asian American Literature A global/diasporic perspective Lisa Lowe 1991 “Heterogeneity, Hybridity, Multiplicity: m Making Asian American Differences”

7 Reservation & Aspirations Two Risks of uncritical participation in denationalization(12) Unwitting subsumption into master narratives Depoliticization occluded by theoretical self-critique Aspirations of denationalization: to dialogize & to demystify American National myth To historicize the push to globalize Asian American Cultural Criticism The self-critique echoes the trajectory of liberatory agenda of minorities in the U.S. (13)

8 Problems of Celebrating Heterogeneous Identity Formation (Lowe) Too celebratory a stance toward the loosening of societal constraints on Asian Americans (13) Lisa Lowe: “We might conceive of the making and practice of Asian American culture as nomadic unsettled, taking place in the travel between cultural sites and in the multivocality of heterogeneous and conflicting positions (“Heterogeneity” 39).=>crucial alliance with other groups – ethnicity/class/gender/sexuality based in the ongoing work of transforming hegemony.

9 Danger of Celebrating Heterogeneous Identity Formation (Lowe) Decontexualization (e.g. no socioeconomic positioning, historical juncture of the film A Great Wall) (14) Under exilic sensibility & identity, class element is made invisible (15).

10 Diasporic Perspective (I) Claiming America Establishing Asian American presence in the context of the U.S. (16) Providing a viable discursive space for Asian American population (16). P. 16

11 Diasporic Perspective (II) Asserting Asian presence in the U.S. (ethnic-specific)  pan-ethnic coalition based on shared experience of resistance and advocacy pitfalls: Asian diaspora as too inclusive to be politically ungrounded and ungroundable (17). Asian American diaspora is simply quite meaningless.

12 Comparing Denationalization in Asian American & African-American Contexts depoliticizing vs. politicizing p. 18

13 亞美情境下的離散意涵 Asia as an imagined construct; as an other Diaspora Exclusionary practices: minoritized position, marginalized forces Liberating aspect: A strategy of resistance and advocacy Homeward gaze: redefining belonging Situated positioning and relation with elsewhere: always in hybridized cultural translation Identification and affiliation: shared history and experience among geographically dispersed communities


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