As U.S.-led imperialism spreads in the Asia Pacific region through neoliberal trades and military occupation, how do "Asia" and "America" as both geopolitical units and embodied spaces construct and assemble diasporic Asian subjects affectively? Furthermore, as national allegiance is aggressively demanded by the surge of white nationalism in the Global North, how does an immigrant subject afford to be continuously attached to an object—"Asia"—that she must reject before becoming Asian American? Drawing on narrative study with queer Asian American activists involved in anti-imperialist organizing, this paper situates narratives of racialized queer grief in the framework of racial melancholia (Cheng 2000; Eng and Han 2000) as a form of protest against the splitting of Asian and American identity as the U.S. empire actively recruits Asian Americans into nationalist discourses. With a queer and intersectional method of narrating identity, this paper highlights how racial melancholia involves strategies of subjectivity-making against the colonial splitting of blackness and whiteness, the erasure of imperial history, and the segregation of communities.


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pp. 176-192
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