restricted access Ecologies of Entanglement in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Abstract

This article develops a critical framework—“ecologies of entanglement”—to examine the Great Pacific Garbage Patch as a site of Asian American racial formation. The Garbage Patch’s nonhuman ontology, as explored in Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being (2013) and several shorter works, necessitates revision of the most fundamental paradigms of analysis of Asian American studies: the individual and the nation-state. The first half of the article recuperates the category of garbage as a metonym for deracinated history, while the second situates plastic, the material that constitutes the majority of the Patch, as an Asian American racial form. By perceiving transpacific relations beyond human and transnational frames, ecologies of entanglement show how Asian American literature and criticism constitute a distinct and salient discursive field even in the seemingly postnational, postracial, and posthuman moment of the Anthropocene.


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