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Area and Ethnic Studies > American Studies > Asian American Studies

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Imprisoned Apart Cover

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Imprisoned Apart

The World War II Correspondence of an Issei Couple

Louis Fiset

Scholar Iwao Matsushita was interned as an enemy alien at Fort Missoula in Montana, his wife Hanaye at the Minidoka Relocation Center in southwestern Idaho. Their letters tell a poignant story of ignominy and despair.

In Defense of Justice Cover

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In Defense of Justice

Joseph Kurihara and the Japanese American Struggle for Equality

Eileen H. Tamura

As a leading dissident in the World War II concentration camps for Japanese Americans, the controversial figure Joseph Yoshisuke Kurihara stands out as an icon of Japanese American resistance. In this astute biography, Kurihara's life provides a window into the history of Japanese Americans during the first half of the twentieth century. Born in Hawai'i to Japanese parents who immigrated to work on the sugar plantations, Kurihara Kurihara was transformed by the forced removal and incarceration of ethnic Japanese during World War II. As an inmate at Manzanar in California, Kurihara became one of the leaders of a dissident group within the camp and was implicated in the Manzanar incident, a serious civil disturbance that erupted on December 6, 1942. In 1945, after three years and seven months of incarceration, he renounced his U.S. citizenship and boarded a ship for Japan, never to return to the United States. Shedding light on the turmoil within the camps as well as the sensitive and formerly unspoken issue of citizenship renunciation among Japanese Americans, In Defense of Justice explores one man's struggles with the complexities of loyalty and resistance.

In Pursuit of Gold Cover

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In Pursuit of Gold

Chinese American Miners and Merchants in the American West

Sue Fawn Chung

Both a history of an overlooked community and a well-rounded reassessment of prevailing assumptions about Chinese immigrants in the American West, In Pursuit of Gold brings to life the world of turn-of-the-century mining towns in the Northwest. Sue Fawn Chung meticulously recreates the lives of Chinese immigrants, miners, merchants, and others who populated these towns and interacted amicably with their white and Native American neighbors, defying the common perception of nineteenth-century Chinese communities as insular enclaves subject to increasing prejudice and violence. Peppered with fascinating details about these communities from the intricacies of Chinese gambling games to the techniques of hydraulic mining, In Pursuit of Gold draws on a wealth of historical materials, including immigration records, census manuscripts, legal documents, newspapers, memoirs, and manuscript collections.

Indian Accents Cover

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Indian Accents

Brown Voice and Racial Performance in American Television and Film

Shilpa S. Dave

Amid immigrant narratives of assimilation, Indian Accents focuses on the representations and stereotypes of South Asian characters in American film and television. Exploring key examples in popular culture ranging from Peter Sellers' portrayal of Hrundi Bakshi in the 1968 film The Party to contemporary representations such as Apu from The Simpsons and characters in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, Shilpa S. Dave develops the ideas of "accent," "brownface," and "brown voice" as new ways to explore the racialization of South Asians beyond just visual appearance. Dave relates these examples to earlier scholarship on blackface, race, and performance to show how "accents" are a means of representing racial difference, national origin, and belonging, as well as distinctions of class and privilege. While focusing on racial impersonations in mainstream film and television, Indian Accents also amplifies the work of South Asian American actors who push back against brown voice performances, showing how strategic use of accent can expand and challenge such narrow stereotypes.

Ingratitude Cover

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Ingratitude

The Debt-Bound Daughter in Asian American Literature

erin Ninh, 0, 0

Inhuman Citizenship Cover

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Inhuman Citizenship

Traumatic Enjoyment and Asian American Literature

Juliana Chang

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.

Inside China's Grand Strategy Cover

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Inside China's Grand Strategy

The Perspective from the People's Republic

Ye Zicheng

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.

Islanders in the Empire Cover

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Islanders in the Empire

Filipino and Puerto Rican Laborers in Hawai‘i

JoAnne Poblete

In the early 1900s, workers from new U.S. colonies in the Philippines and Puerto Rico held unusual legal status. Denied citizenship, they nonetheless had the right to move freely in and out of U.S. jurisdiction. As a result, Filipinos and Puerto Ricans could seek jobs in the United States and its territories despite the anti-immigration policies in place at the time.JoAnna Poblete's Islanders in the Empire: Filipino and Puerto Rican Laborers in Hawai'i takes an in-depth look at how the two groups fared in a third new colony, Hawai'i. Using plantation documents, missionary records, government documents, and oral histories, Poblete analyzes how the workers interacted with Hawaiian government structures and businesses, how U.S. policies for colonial workers differed from those for citizens or foreigners, and how policies aided corporate and imperial interests.A rare tandem study of two groups at work on foreign soil, Islanders in the Empire offers a new perspective on American imperialism and labor issues of the era.

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Issei Buddhism in the Americas

Duncan Ryuken Williams

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 Ryûken Williams, and Akihiro Yamakura._x000B_

Issei, Nisei, War Bride: Three Generations of Japanese American Women in Domestic Service Cover

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Issei, Nisei, War Bride: Three Generations of Japanese American Women in Domestic Service

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.

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