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Traumatic Enjoyment and Asian American Literature
In Inhuman Citizenship, Juliana Chang claims that literary representations of Asian American domesticity may be understood as symptoms of America’s relationship to its national fantasies and to the “jouissance”—a Lacanian term signifying a violent yet euphoric shattering of the self—that both overhangs and underlies those fantasies. In the national imaginary, according to Chang, racial subjects are often perceived as the source of jouissance, which they supposedly embody through their excesses of violence, sexuality, anger, and ecstasy—excesses that threaten to overwhelm the social order.
To examine her argument that racism ascribes too much, rather than a lack of, humanity, Chang analyzes domestic accounts by Asian American writers, including Fae Myenne Ng’s Bone, Brian Ascalon Roley’s American Son, Chang-rae Lee’s Native Speaker, and Suki Kim’s The Interpreter. Employing careful reading and Lacanian psychoanalysis, Chang finds sites of excess and shock: they are not just narratives of trauma; they produce trauma as well. They render Asian Americans as not only the objects but also the vehicles and agents of inhuman suffering. And, claims Chang, these novels disturb yet strangely exhilarate the reader through characters who are objects of racism and yet inhumanly enjoy their suffering and the suffering of others.
Through a detailed investigation of “family business” in works of Asian American life, Chang shows that by identifying with the nation’s psychic disturbance, Asian American characters ethically assume responsibility for a national unconscious that is all too often disclaimed.
The Perspective from the People's Republic
China’s enormous size, vast population, abundant natural resources, robust economy, and modern military suggest that it will emerge as a great world power. Inside China’s Grand Strategy: The Perspective from the People’s Republic offers unique insights from a prominent Chinese scholar about the country’s geopolitical ambitions and strategic thinking. Ye Zicheng, professor of political science in the School of International Studies at Peking University, examines China’s interactions with current world powers as well as its policies toward neighboring countries. Despite claims that repressive domestic policies and an economic slowdown are evidence that the country’s efforts toward modernization will fail, Ye points to China’s inclusion in the G-20 as an indicator of success. Ye compares China’s global ascension, particularly its emphasis on peace, to the historical experiences of rising European superpowers, providing an insider look at a country poised to become an increasingly prominent international power.
With contributions from scholars on both sides of the Pacific, Issei Buddhism in the Americas upends boundaries and categories that have tied Buddhism to Asia and illuminates the social and spiritual role that the religion has played in the Americas._x000B__x000B_While Buddhists in Japan had long described the migration of the religion as traveling from India, across Asia, and ending in Japan, this collection details the movement of Buddhism across the Pacific to the Americas. Contributors describe the pioneering efforts of first-generation Issei priests and their followers within the context of Japanese diasporic communities and immigration history and the early history of Buddhism in the Americas. The result is a dramatic exploration of the history of Asian immigrant religion that encompasses such topics as Japanese language instruction in Hawaiian schools, the Japanese Canadian community in British Columbia, and Zen Buddhism in Brazil._x000B__x000B_Contributors are Michihiro Ama, Noriko Asato, Masako Iino, Tomoe Moriya, Lori Pierce, Cristina Rocha, Keiko Wells, Duncan RyÃ»ken Williams, and Akihiro Yamakura._x000B_
Three Generations of Japanese American Women in Domestic Service Evelyn Nakano Glenn "A richly detailed and sophisticated examination of...how historical and economic forces restricted women's lives and how women devised strategies for dealing with their plight." --Canadian Woman Studies In this unique study of Japanese American women employed as domestic workers, Evelyn Nakano Glenn reveals through historical research and in-depth interviews how the careers of these strong but oppressed women affected the history of Asian immigration in the San Francisco-Bay Area. Three generations of women speak in their own words about coping with degraded employment and how this work related to family and community life. The disproportionate concentration of Japanese American women in domestic service from the early part of this century to the present resulted from their status as immigrants and women of color in a race and gender stratified local labor market. The three generations covered by this study--pre-1924 immigrants (issei), first American born generation (nisei), and post-World War II immigrants (war brides)--were subjected to multiple forms of oppression but were not appendages of men nor passive victims. Dr. Glenn shows how their struggles to achieve autonomy, dignity, and a suitable livelihood were essential to the survival of the family and the community. Although unique in many ways, the situation of the Japanese American woman has important parallels with that of other women of color in the United States. Ironically her role as a domestic cast her in a menial, degraded job but often elevated her to the position of valued confidant to her employer. Issei, Nisei, War Bride is the first study to offer a sociological/historical perspective on these women. It addresses issues about the nature of labor systems in capitalist economies, the role of immigrant and racial ethnic women in those systems, and the consequences of participation in race and gender stratified systems for minority families and communities. Reviews "A beautifully written, well-organized, and sociologically rich study of three generations of Japanese-American women who worked as domestics. Glenn's study fits well into a women's studies collection, particularly with those materials focusing on immigrants or the working class." --Choice "... A much welcome contribution to the literature on women and work and on Japanese American women, in particular. Glenn has artfully combined a rich case study approach with detailed sociodemographics in an historical framework.... Glenn writes well and skillfully incorporates detailed historical and demographic facts with a descriptive style. The presentation of labor statistics is excellent.... This book is an important contribution, not only to Asian American Studies but to women's studies and the literature on labor and immigrant groups." --Amerasia Journal "A revealing view into the role of Japanese women immigrants in the United States not only as domestic workers but also in their family lives. This study is enlivened by the life stories and quotations from the women themselves..." --Edwin O. Reischauer "This work is a valuable contribution to the literature on immigration and an important addition to the literature on occupations. It contains a fascinating and highly readable account of the array of perspectives on work and family that Glenn was uniquely positioned to collect from Japanese women and provides an extremely useful study for those who teach women and work, gender roles, and sociology of occupations courses." --Arlene Kaplan Daniels About the Author(s) Evelyn Nakano Glenn is Associate Professor of Sociology at State University of New York at Binghamton.
Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado
The Persistence of Community
Why do some groups retain their ethnicity as they become assimilated into mainstream American life while others do not? This study employs both historical sources and contemporary survey data to explain the seeming paradox of why Japanese Americans have maintained high levels of ethnic community involvement while becoming structurally assimilated.
Organizing in American and International Communist Movements, 1919-1933
Japanese and Chinese immigrants in the United States have traditionally been characterized as hard workers who are hesitant to involve themselves in labor disputes or radical activism. How then does one explain the labor and Communist organizations in the Asian immigrant communities that existed from coast to coast between 1919 and 1933? Their organizers and members have been, until now, largely absent from the history of the American Communist movement. In Japanese and Chinese Immigrant Activists, Josephine Fowler brings us the first in-depth account of Japanese and Chinese immigrant radicalism inside the United States and across the Pacific.
Drawing on multilingual correspondence between left-wing and party members and other primary sources, such as records from branches of the Japanese Workers Association and the Chinese Nationalist Party, Fowler shows how pressures from the Comintern for various sub-groups of the party to unite as an “American” working class were met with resistance. The book also challenges longstanding stereotypes about the relationships among the Communist Party in the United States, the Comintern, and the Soviet Party.
Joss and Gold follows Li An, a Malaysian woman living in post-colonial Malaysia in 1969. After she meets Chester, an American Peace Corps volunteer, she moves to New York with him where she is confronted with the possibilities of being an economically independent woman. This novel explores the paradoxes of an era in which cultures merge and traditions die. It is a feminist manifesto and a commentary on women’s struggles for sexual and social agency in postcolonial Southeast Asia.
Vol. 1 (1998) through current issue
The official publication of the Association for Asian American Studies, the Journal of Asian American Studies (JAAS) explores all aspects of Asian American experiences. The Journal publishes original works of scholarly interest to the field, including new theoretical developments, research results, methodological innovations, public policy concerns, pedagogical issues, and book, media, and exhibition reviews. As a much-needed outlet for the increasing volume of scholarship in the field, JAAS provides an avenue for a quick and lively exchange of ideas.