Ends of Empire
Asian American Critique and the Cold War
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: University of Minnesota Press
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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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INTRODUCTION: Unsettling Hermeneutics and Global Nonalignments
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...“Aid to the disinherited countries,” says Truman. “The time of the old colonialism has passed.” That’s also Truman. Which means that Americanhigh finance considers that the time has come to raid every colony in theworld. So, dear friends, here you have to be careful. I know that some of you,disgusted with Europe, with all that hideous mess which you did not witness...
1. COLD WAR LOGICS, COLD WAR POETICS: Conjuring the Specter of a Red Asia
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I begin this chapter by returning us briefly to Chang-rae Lee’s Native Speaker,the novel with which I opened the introduction. Even as the Korean Waremerges in this text as a problem of knowledge rather than a transparentobject of knowledge that is given narrative form after the event, it is a per-sistent present or presence that informs and haunts the narrator’s subjectiv-...
2. THE EL DORADO OF COMMERCE: China’s Billion Bellies
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In her novel China Men, Maxine Hong Kingston provides a genealogy ofAmerica’s wars in Asia in the latter half of the twentieth century. In a chapternear the end of the novel entitled “The Brother in Vietnam,” Kingston chartshow World War II, the Chinese civil war, the Korean War, and the VietnamWar rendered successive groups of Asians and Asian Americans as the new...
3. ASIAN AMERICA’S JAPAN: The Perils of Gendered Racial Rehabilitation
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In the opening scenes of Alain Resnais’s film Hiroshima, Mon Amour, thedialectic of remembering and forgetting is hauntingly captured through alter-nating images of the entwined bodies of a pair of lovers and significantsights in the city of Hiroshima—the hospital for the bomb victims and thePeace Museum.1 Throughout, a voiceover in the form of a succession of asser-...
4. THE FORGOTTEN WAR: Korean America’s Conditions of Possibility
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In her poem “Fragments of the Forgotten War,” Korean American poet SujiKwock Kim “speak[s] back—in English—” to American empire from a “verydiﬀerent positionality.” The positionality expressed by the poem encompassesmultiple generations of a Korean family divided and scattered by the KoreanWar: a Korean American daughter who dedicates the poem to her father and...
5. THE WAR-SURPLUS OF OUR NEW IMPERIALISM: Vietnam, Masculinist Hypervisibility, and the Politics of (Af)filiation
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From Hollywood to Hanoi, a personal documentary made by VietnameseAmerican actress and filmmaker Tiana (Thi Thanh Nga), opens with the fol-This articulation of what we could call a poetics of nonalignment rejects the ideologies of both communism and nationalism, and embraces insteada third term—“Vietnamese”—as identity and ontology. In declaring “I am...
EPILOGUE: Imagining an End to Empire
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In this book, I have analyzed how Asian American critique and cultural pol-itics imagine America’s imperial pasts and presents in Asia by reframing theCold War as at once a geopolitical, cultural, and epistemological project ofimperialism and gendered racial formation undergirding U.S. global hege-mony. In doing so, I have privileged culture as a potent site of knowledge,...
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I owe many debts to many people for transforming the writing of this bookfrom a condition of seeming impossibility to a condition of sustained pos-sibility. The project began as a dissertation at the University of California,Berkeley. I thank the members of my dissertation committee, Elaine H. Kim,Sau-ling C. Wong, and Colleen Lye. I am especially grateful to Elaine Kim for...
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About the Author
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Jodi Kim is assistant professor of ethnic studies at the University of California,...
Page Count: 344
Publication Year: 2010
Series Title: Critical American Studies