Beyond The Chinese Connection: Contemporary Afro-Asian Cultural Production

Posted in Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Books, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2013-07-20 02:51Z by Steven

Beyond The Chinese Connection: Contemporary Afro-Asian Cultural Production

University Press of Mississippi
2013-05-13
240 pages (approx.)
6 x 9 inches, bibliography, index
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-61703-755-9

Crystal S. Anderson, Associate Professor of English
Elon University, Elon, North Carolina

From Bruce Lee to Samurai Champloo, how Asian fictions fuse with African American creative sensibilities

In this study, Crystal S. Anderson explores the cultural and political exchanges between African Americans, Asian Americans, and Asians over the last four decades. To do so, Anderson examines such cultural productions as novels (Frank Chin’s Gunga Din Highway [1999], Ishmael Reed’s Japanese by Spring [1992], and Paul Beatty’s The White Boy Shuffle [1996]); films (Rush Hour 2 [2001], Unleashed [2005], and The Matrix trilogy [1999-2003]); and Japanese animation (Samurai Champloo [2004]), all of which feature cross-cultural conversations. In exploring the ways in which writers and artists use this transferral, Anderson traces and tests the limits of how Afro-Asian cultural production interrogates conceptions of race, ethnic identity, politics, and transnational exchange.

Ultimately, this book reads contemporary black/Asian cultural fusions through the recurrent themes established by the films of Bruce Lee, which were among the first–and certainly most popular–works to use this exchange explicitly. As a result of such films as Enter the Dragon (1973), The Chinese Connection (1972), and The Big Boss (1971), Lee emerges as both a cross-cultural hero and global cultural icon who resonates with the experiences of African American, Asian American, and Asian youth in the 1970s. Lee’s films and iconic imagery prefigure themes that reflect cross-cultural negotiations with global culture in post-1990 Afro-Asian cultural production.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Passing into the present: Contemporary American Fiction of Racial and Gender Passing

Posted in Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing, United States on 2011-06-24 04:58Z by Steven

Passing into the present: Contemporary American Fiction of Racial and Gender Passing

Manchester University Press
2010-07-01
256 pages
216 x 138mm
Hardback ISBN: 9780719082290

Sinéad Moynihan, Senior Lecturer in English
University of Exeter

  • Discusses wider themes including class, gender, sexuality, and religious identity
  • Focuses on Philip Roth’s ‘The Human Stain‘, Louise Eridich’s ‘Tracks’ Percival Everett’s ‘Erasure’ and Paul Beatty’s ‘The White Boy Shuffle
  • Looks at a wide rage of contemporary writers that represent the theme of gender and racial passing

This book is the first full-length study of contemporary American fiction of ‘passing’. Its takes as its point of departure the return of racial and gender passing in the 1990s in order to make claims about wider trends in contemporary American fiction.

The book accounts for the return of tropes of passing in fiction by Philip Roth, Percival Everett, Louise Erdrich, Danzy Senna, Jeffrey Eugenides and Paul Beatty. These writers are attracted to the trope because passing narratives have always foregrounded the notion of textuality in relation to the (il)legibility of black subjects passing as white. The central argument of this book, then, is that contemporary narratives of passing are concerned with articulating and unpacking an analogy between passing and authorship.

Aimed at students and researchers, it promises to inaugurate dialogue on the relationships between identity, postmodernism and authorship in contemporary American fiction.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Introduction: ‚ÄėPassing‚Äô into the present: passing narratives then and now
  • 2. Living parchments, human documents: passing, racial identity and the literary marketplace
  • 3. The way of the cross(-dresser): Catholicism, gender and race in two novels by Louise Erdrich
  • 4. (W)Rites-of-passing: shifting racial and gender identities in Caucasia and Middlesex
  • 5. Bodies / texts: passing and writing in The White Boy Shuffle and The Human Stain
  • 6. Conclusion: ‚ÄėPassing‚Äô fads?: recent controversies of authenticity and authorship
  • Bibliography
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Racial Choice at Century’s End in Contemporary African American Literature

Posted in Dissertations, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2010-09-19 18:38Z by Steven

Racial Choice at Century’s End in Contemporary African American Literature

University of Maryland
2008
161 pages

Kaylen Danielle Tucker

Dissertation submitted to the Faculty of the Graduate School of the University of Maryland, College Park in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy 2008

This dissertation introduces the term ‚Äúracial choice‚ÄĚ to describe a contemporary idea that racial identity can be chosen or elected, as can the significance and the influence of race on an individual‚Äôs identity. Racial choice emerges out of the shifting historical, cultural, and social discussions of race and identity we have witnessed after integration. This dissertation examines the resulting representations of contemporary black identity in African American literature by analyzing texts that were published in the last quarter of the twentieth century and that feature protagonists that come of age during or after integration. Andrea Lee‚Äôs Sarah Phillips (1984), Danzy Senna‚Äôs Caucasia (1998), and Paul Beatty‚Äôs The White Boy Shuffle (1996) are representative texts that engage racial choice to register how the racial hierarchy has changed in the late twentieth century and how that change affects the African American literary tradition of race writing. In their attempts to write outside of the existing racial paradigm‚ÄĒusing white flight, passing, and satire as narrative strategies‚ÄĒthe authors test the racial boundaries of African American literature, finding that writing outside of race is ultimately unachievable.

The introductory chapter explains the cultural, literary, and scholarly context of my study, arguing that because race matters differently in the late twentieth century contemporary African American literature handles race uniquely. I argue in my first chapter that Lee uses white flight as a narrative form to move Sarah Phillips beyond the influence of racialization and to suggest class as an alibi for racial difference. Continuing this theme amidst the Black Power Movement of the 1970s and the multiracial project of the 1990s, my second chapter analyzes Senna’s Caucasia, which revises the passing narrative form and explores the viability of choosing a biracial identity. In my third chapter, I show how Beatty’s The White Boy Shuffle satirizes the African American protest tradition to point up the performativity necessary in maintaining racial binaries and suggests that culture is a more accurate identifier than race.

My concluding chapter argues that though the three novels under study challenge racial categories‚ÄĒand by extension race writing‚ÄĒto different degrees, they all use similar methods to point up the shifting significance of race, racial categories, and racial identity. By historicizing attitudes about racial categories, challenging the dichotomous understanding of race, representing the tensions of racial authenticity, and showing the performativity necessary to maintain racial categories, the novels illustrate the traditional boundaries of racial choice and attempt to stretch the limits of the African American literary tradition.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: The Future American: The ‚ÄúColor Line‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúRacial Choice‚ÄĚ at the Millennium
  • Chapter One: Integration and White Flight in Andrea Lee‚Äôs Sarah Phillips
  • Chapter Two: Racial Choice and the Contemporary Passing Paradigm
  • Chapter Three: Satire, Performance, and Race in The White Boy Shuffle
  • Conclusion: The Future of Racial Identity and African American Literature
  • Works Cited

Read the entire dissertation here.

Tags: , , , , , ,