Asian American Studies | Asian American Literature
A200 | 32631 | Jin, J

Course meets second eight weeks only.

The Other vs. In-Between

How does the growing popularity of East Asian cinema and K-Pop affect
our understanding of Asian Americans? Can we only “otherize”
or “consume” cultural imports? If we cannot inscribe place upon the
placeless cultural goods, then how are we to understand the ways in
which certain cultural (mis)conceptions about East Asia still shape
and transfer onto Asian American identity?  How do all these
intersect with the assumption that Asian Americans are foreigners who
cannot be fully assimilated?

Fueled by the postmodern implosion of borders crossing over to one
another, transnational cultural exchange encourages our paradoxical
desire to be and to have “the other” at the same time while
remaining “in-between.”  In this course, we will compare Asian
American cinema and literature to those of East Asian, examining how
the two modes of identity formation, “the other” and “in-between”
respectively, can express the compelling issues in our time such as
nationalism, multiculturalism, and postmodernism. We will give
special attention to the paradigm of “impersonation” found in Asian
American literature and how it facilitates a performance of multiple
allegiance to different cultures while questioning the binary
concepts such as original/copy, authentic/fake and Asian/American.
Assignments include two essays, midterm and a final paper.