By Mimi Thi Nguyen
This interdisciplinary assortment brings jointly members operating in Asian American reports, English, anthropology, sociology, and artwork historical past. they give thought to problems with cultural authenticity raised by way of Asian American participation in hip hop and jazz, the emergence of an orientalist “Indo-chic” in U.S. early life tradition, and the circulate of Vietnamese song kind exhibits. They study the connection among chinese language eating places and American tradition, problems with sexuality and race dropped at the fore within the video functionality artwork of a Bruce Lee–channeling drag king, and immigrant tv audience’ dismayed reactions to a chinese language American chef who's “not chinese language enough.” The essays in Alien Encounters reveal the significance of scholarly engagement with pop culture. Taking pop culture heavily unearths how humans think and convey their affective relationships to background, id, and belonging.
Contributors. Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Kevin Fellezs, Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez, Joan Kee, Nhi T. Lieu, Sunaina Maira, Martin F. Manalansan IV, Mimi Thi Nguyen, Robyn Magalit Rodriguez, Sukhdev Sandhu, Christopher A. Shinn, Indigo Som, Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu, Oliver Wang
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Additional info for Alien Encounters: Popular Culture in Asian America
Rapping and Repping Asian 39 Rivera’s analysis o√ers much to this essay’s engagement with how Asian American rappers have had to deal with the question of race and identity in their own careers. In her work, Rivera traces the ﬂuid ethnic identities that Puerto Ricans have had to negotiate over time, contextualizing how these change with shifting understandings of race, ethnicity, sexuality, and so on. In similar ways, Asian American rappers have changed their subject positions in relation to race over the last ﬁfteen years.
Beginning in the 1980s, the threatening specter of the mechanistic, and supposedly ‘‘soulless,’’ Japanese (on whom, of course, the ‘‘greatest’’ technological weapon of World War II was unleashed by the United States in the form of the atomic bomb) began to cast its shadow on American culture. Apparent admiration for ‘‘Japanese e≈ciency’’ slid easily, and quietly, into fears of a hyperrationalized, corporate empire of the rising sun. Within popular culture, these fears appeared in a spate of novels and ﬁlms that pitted an all-American hero, with his rugged frontier skills, against a yuzuka-style, Japanese machine monolith.
Likewise, Choi admitted in her 1998 interview with Judy Tseng, ‘‘We were more interested in spreading our political message. We produced our own music and sold our tapes. ’’∑≥ While there is some practical logic to this—often rappers will try to establish a core audience before branching out to others—given the topical speciﬁcity of their music, it seems more likely that their audience was always intended to be select. Although hip hop has subgenres that appeal to more discerning listeners, as a whole, the music has always been geared toward a populist agenda.
Alien Encounters: Popular Culture in Asian America by Mimi Thi Nguyen