Considering he is addressing Global Cinema, he focused too much on Japan, though what he found was fascinating. He doesn't examine his incorrect assumConsidering he is addressing Global Cinema, he focused too much on Japan, though what he found was fascinating. He doesn't examine his incorrect assumptions about monolingualism in the world based on his experience with American monolingualism. However, his point that translation needs to be visible and discussed and people who do this work need to be considered is a really important argument....more
Rating this book doesn't seem appropriate because while I couldn't say I liked very much of the reading of it, it is of irrefutable importance in my fRating this book doesn't seem appropriate because while I couldn't say I liked very much of the reading of it, it is of irrefutable importance in my field so I will need to find my way into it. Some have said it is impossible to read, but as a literature student I didn't have a problem with it. I will admit I was happy to have finished reading it. As Puar is rather imaginative and creative with language, when I couldn't pin down a meaning I just accepted that and continued on, knowing that the meaning would come to me. I will be tracing some of her paths and branching off from her work based on her amazing "works cited" over the summer at least. In a review, someone suggested that one should just read the introduction and conclusion if you are not into theory. I wouldn't read it at all if you are not interested in theory. If you are interested in theory, read the book. The introduction and conclusion are the most difficult to read. I found the chapters much easier to get into and it was only through reading the entire book that the conclusion or her title really makes sense. What is crucial about her book is that she is offering a potential way of moving beyond identity politics which she argues must be abandoned because they have come to serve state surveillance at this point, that is if one considers identity fixed and visible. Considering biopolitics and necropolitics and proceeding by way of affect and in tension with intersectionality she begins to establish the power of assemblage (from Deleuze and Guattari). Small annoyances: I got extremely tired of her borrowing of Butler (who borrowed from Derrida) "always already" but I saw her purpose for doing that in the end. I was also frustrated with her very broad use of the word "queer" which is becoming a somewhat amorphous word, a fact I lament as I felt it had rather useful purposes. On the other hand, through her argument, she uncoupled it from sexual behavior as identity and this is useful. Her use of "race" and "racialization" needed more explanation, although it wasn't difficult to extrapolate that she has deconstructed race as she has done with queerness. When she stated her purpose in a direct way she only addressed queer studies whereas I think she is also including critical race theory and it was really too bad she didn't explicate where her work is coming from. Well, I guess that leaves an opening for further work. As groupings and political action by communities of identity are questioned, she opens up a space for creative reimagining of communities or networks. These offer the most compelling implications in her work. ...more
This is basically a textbook but it has vital information about the legacy that various Asian American activists left in the 1960s and 1970s that hasThis is basically a textbook but it has vital information about the legacy that various Asian American activists left in the 1960s and 1970s that has been hidden from history. Even Zinn in his A People's History of The United States leaves their contributions out, and this book offers a correction to Zinn by inclusion of this aspect of political activity of the people. What is offered theoretically is the analysis of the Asian American Movement as coalitional across "race" most importantly uncovering Asian American collaboration with and inspiration from the Black Power movement and the connections made internationally with Postcolonial revolutions. Maeda also reveals the crucial nature of Filipino American activism in the UFW movement and Asian American support for the cause. Conflicts over class/national orientation, the transnational or assimilationist strains were contrasted with Frank Chin's ideas. In the ending, Maeda concludes that the movement is over and questions the continued relevance of the concept of an Asian American group - perhaps similar to Spivak and Lowe's suggestion of a strategic essentialism that is continuously critiqued....more
Still figuring what it all means. I'll get back to you on that, but it's deep. He used three utterly complex phrases: "the color line", "double consciStill figuring what it all means. I'll get back to you on that, but it's deep. He used three utterly complex phrases: "the color line", "double consciousness," and "the veil" and the discussion of race in America has never been the same since. The second term wasn't a new term but he used it in his own brilliant and particular ways-not just one. I don't know who coined the first term. For all I know, it was Dubois, but I kind of doubt it. The third term is from the bible, but he takes control of it. Here is an example of his influence today. I read an article about the construction of race by Viet Thanh Nguyen and he started with a reference to Dubois and "the color line'. I was reading an academic article in Spanish about Afro-Ecuadorian identity and the author cites Dubois's positive concept of "double-conscsiousness" a number of times. While I have tried to read Souls in kind of historical context, I might just side with Jauss and interpret him based on his influence on post colonial studies and cultural studies today. If you weren't sure about reading it, now's the time....more
Douglass anticipated Althusser and Foucault's work on subject formation and Agamben's Homo Sacer and concept of the camp in this work and improved upoDouglass anticipated Althusser and Foucault's work on subject formation and Agamben's Homo Sacer and concept of the camp in this work and improved upon Hegel at his own metaphor whether Douglass was aware of the work or not all while trying to appeal to white liberals to end slavery peacefully though he eventually came to see that slavery wouldn't end without violence. In reading about his adjustment to life after slavery in the north, I felt like I was reading the story of a new immigrant. He documents the racism and statelessness and threat of capture that every escaped slave must have lived. This is an incredibly valuable historic record and current in its own way. At the same time, Douglass shouldn't be classified as an informant, but an accomplished author fully in his own right.
This is quite an important book in Hawaii and at the university I am attending, which is why my advisor suggested I read it. The authors who contributThis is quite an important book in Hawaii and at the university I am attending, which is why my advisor suggested I read it. The authors who contributed were passionate about their topics and experts in their fields, but not all good writers so I can't say I enjoyed the entire book. Some of the essays were harangues without much concrete evidence, others a bit too technical for me, but the rest I found highly instructive. The book was written in response to the way the Hawaiian government was handling the financial crisis and recession and in response to the many primarily social and environmental threats the state faces. I was most alarmed by the unsustainable use of water and the ways that development and global warming are going to threaten the resource of water further. This is a serious threat to Hawaii's future. They are islands - where will they get the fresh water they need? Desalination is costly and resource greedy and doesn't produce good drinking water.I learned how much Hawaii and Hawaiians have been through from the Māhele (land division begun by Kamehameha III and meant to give commoners land, but arguably led to haoles legally purchasing 90% of the land originally ceded to the non-royal Hawaiian people) to the overthrow of Queen Liliʻuokalani (clearly illegal) to annexation by the USA. When Hawaii was a territory the use of the Hawaiian language in school was outlawed and plantation owners brought in waves of laborers primarily from China, Japan, the Philippines (in that order) and Portugal and a few from Norway. Despite cultural differences, they banded together to protest their conditions and won significant gains. Another way of looking at Hawaiian history is how the land use changed or the way the plants changed. A big shift would have been from taro to sugar in the 19th century. The most wonderful thing this book showed me is how the language, philosophy, art and heritage of Hawaiians are significant to all of the contributors, whether local or Hawaiian, and inform both the source of their passion for their topic and also the way they think about their topic as well as how to go about improving conditions or solving the problem. The vitality of Hawaiian culture and the way it can be embraced by non-Hawaiians is beautiful and probably will be the key to Hawaii following a course of sustainability and tolerance, possibly leading the rest of the United States in this. This vitality is due in part to the success of the Hawaiian movement of the 70's and 80's which involved reviving the learning of the language, songs, stories, hula, and the growing of taro - urban guerrilla gardening style.
3 quotes worth sharing:
Coffman, "Reinventing Hawaii" p. 10: "Here was the upside: out of a determination that the sacrifices of war not be in vain, the statehood campaign was at the heart of a political strategy to create a novel multiethnic society, in which the rights of working people were to be secured and the colonial dominance of the Big Five corporations was to be curtailed. At the time, many people equated statehood with equality of citizenship-more fundamentally, an equality of being. With statehood, all became first-class citizens in the American democracy. From this widely shared viewpoint, statehood was a victory over marginalization and discrimination."
This is how I thought of Hawaii's statehood before I came here and it is so well articulated here. However, while people may agree on this, there is a Hawaiian sovereignty movement and questions about land the royal lands that have been held in trust since the monarchy was overthrown. What to do with the land continues to be debated in court. The case is extremely complicated, so I can't explain it here nor do I fully understand it. Below is part of the Hawaiian Supreme Court's decision not to allow the sale of these lands. I don't ever remember hearing language like this in court proceedings. It reveals a legal concern for the complex relationship people have with the land beyond ownership.
MacKenzie, Law and the Courts, p. 90: "Aina is a living and vital part of the native Hawaiian cosmology, and is irreplaceable. The natural elements-land, air, water, ocean-are interconnected and interdependent. To native Hawaiians, land is not a commodity; it is the foundation of their cultural and spiritual identity as Hawaiians. The aina is part of their ohana, and they care for it as they do for other members of their families. For them, the land and the natural environment are alive, respected, treasured, praised, and even worshiped."
There is something special here. If you thought that was bordering on poetic, there is an oil aloha (a traditional greeting chant) carved into Hawaiian state law:
Akahai, meaning kindness, to be expressed with tenderness;
Lōkahi, meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony;
'Olu'olu, meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness;
Ha'aha'a, meaning humility, to be expressed with modesty;
Ahonui, meaning patience, to be express with perseverance....more
This book, though seemingly a straightforward coming of age memoir focused on parental abuse, is quite complex. Though Lac doesn't hold anything back,This book, though seemingly a straightforward coming of age memoir focused on parental abuse, is quite complex. Though Lac doesn't hold anything back, there is a lot of emotional and analytical work he leaves to do with the material he introduces. For my own academic work, Su offers new ways to think about what it meant for him to become an American -it cannot be read as an assimilation narrative, though I would argue this is a terrible model to seek out anyway, and lends support to the ideas I am developing about the intermeshing of transnational and global influences which create very specific cultural hybridities-in this case, Hollywood and East Los Angeles. The father is seen through the eyes of both the child and the adult, neither of whom understand Pa fully. Pa, a tiny man beset by illness is terrifying, close-minded and banal, but he is also terrified and insightful. He inflicts painful and enduring wounds and he must have been wounded and damaged. Lac's speculation regarding his father's actions at the beginning of the memoir, though presented as authoritative, are merely guesses about his father's culturally determined beliefs. The Vietnamese diaspora represents a very diverse array of positionalities, and Lac's perspective is underrepresented so I consider it a valuable resource from a sociological standpoint. Though he quite sensibly lists Augusten Burroughs as a literary mentor, Catfish and Mandala by Andrew Pham could be considered an antecedent to Lac's book as it covers similar territory with parental abuse in the Vietnamese diaspora. Also, the plot follows captivity and slave narratives and can also be considered models for this memoir. For example, when he defies his father to beat him, I was thinking of Frederick Douglass taking his stand against Covey. In the extensive "About the Book" section of this edition, Lac says he was inspired by potential readers. Addressing the reader, he ends with this amazing invitation: "And if I'm ever given the chance to meet you in person, don't be surprised if I tell you that I love you. I can't seem to say it enough these days" (11). Lac, I love that little boy you were and I love the person who is in the process of becoming who I believe will succeed in showing your children how to be happy, which requires an experience with sadness according to your father (and I agree), but without brutalizing them. Your book will offer a way for them into your sadness. ...more
What makes this text well worth reading are his intriguing examples and the methodical way he develops his highly original yet relatively straight forWhat makes this text well worth reading are his intriguing examples and the methodical way he develops his highly original yet relatively straight forward argument. What I found particularly useful were his marxist explanation for how print capital helped create conditions for a nation as an imagined community, his exposition of the fact that nationalism developed in the Americas before Europe, and the wonderful way he shows how colonial administration and education sowed the seeds of rebellion and left the possibility of an imagined community and theory needed to gain independence for colonized spaces. I also appreciate the fact that he gave numerous examples of the development of modern states that are Asian, many SE Asian. An example that is important to me is of the French creation of quoc ngu - the latinate alphabetic transcription system developed in Vietnam in lieu of the ideograph system they had been using actually led to a greater degree of unity throughout diverse areas of what was to become Vietnam which assisted the Viet Minh in defeating France along with the ideas of the French Revolution. He mentions the use of radio as an even more powerful way of creating community but doesn’t discuss it fully - one can easily guess what he wold say. Anderson’s work sets the stage for further analysis of the process of decolonization for states born out of colonies. His work also suggests projects looking at the formation of nation and difficulties in Africa - complicated by horrible divisions of states out of numerous ethnic areas by the colonizers. His example of the Japanese translation using Japanese examples was a really cool suggestion for the direction projects that his book might spawn. Also, his work caused me to reflect on the fate of nations that were former colonies that were based on exploitation rather than settlement such as Guiana with populations created from slavery and indenture. Forming an imagined community seems to be a huge challenge with this different narrative than what he presented here. He suggests the choice of language doesn’t matter and I am not convinced of this entirely either. ...more