Researcher: Asian American Studies

My first link here is one of Karen Yamashita doing a reading from her I-Hotel. I always find it interesting to hear what has been written in the writer’s own voice: http://frontrow.bc.edu/program/yamashita/ This article here from Forbes (not something I usually read) presents an interesting notion that is relevant to the course. And that notion […]

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Primary Reader: Transnational Labor & Capital

Today’s readings deal with transnational laborers and relevant qualities of the world and its globalized economy that have facilitated their being so. The piece on the migrant Filipinas could hardly have painted a bleaker picture. My fellow primary reader below was able to find a “silver lining” in the piece. I found none: this is […]

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Researcher: The War on Terror

This first article I’m sharing aims to decry the unchecked power of the U.S. executive branch and the inherent hazards thereof. The primary evidence herein is the staggering mountain of corpses that the U.S. has left in the wake of its military misadventures, the implications of which are surely a vital lens through which one […]

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Primary Reader: Pacific Wars

As one might have gleaned from the title of this post, today’s readings deal America’s involvement in the post WWII wars along the Pacific, but not directly. No, the two pieces don’t talk about the carnage on the ground; they talk about ¬†how America’s strategic interests at the time facilitated a different kind of racial […]

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Primary Reader: Discourses of Exclusion

Today’s three reading assignments examine the travails of the Asian American experience from different, complementary angles, which is good, because we don’t want to keep reading the same thing over and again. These 3 readings contribute to our perception of how discourses can coalesce into disciplines, thus increasing our theoretical understanding. For example, readings with […]

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Researcher: Racial formation, the state, capital

In the piece Racial Formation, the question of the state’s role in providing special treatment for members of races who have faced institutional discrimination in the past is raised. “Neo-conservative” and “liberal” reactions to this dilemma are presented, which nicely sum up the two poles of the American debate: one which aims to propagate institutional […]

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On "Primary Reader: Asian American Studies"

The CRAASH article and Umemoto piece really illustrate the potential effectiveness of large groups of loud people -- something we'd all do well to remember once in a while.

On "Primary Reader #01"

Indeed, it's all terribly unjust, all of it: American imperial adventures causing unrest all about, and then persecuting the very refugees of those excursions. Words cannot do justice to the injustice. No words! [...]

On "Primary Reader – Racial Capital, Racial Hierarchy"

I fear that this quest for ultimate inclusivity is an exercise in futility. It seems that nothing is holding together America anymore; the society's coming apart at the seams. So, this raises the question, what it is to even be an American anymore. Our highly polarized political environment can't even come together on what the facts are. It's as if the real world and bizarro world have merged into this incoherent entity in which we're now ensconced. We have to remember, this whole American thing is still pretty new, its multicultural aspect; there's no real precedent. There definitely is no precedent for this multiculturalism and democracy coexisting. I wonder if they can exist together effectively, if such a diverse population can be represented effectively by a single governing body without opportunistic powers using the fractured electorate to divide the country and enrich themselves. We seem to be failing miserably at it. Maybe a new Constitution is needed. None of this is to say that we shouldn't try, however. But we should know what it is we're facing.

On "First Reading – Shah and Said’s Asian/Oriental “Other”"

I have been to SF's Chinatown, and you can breath a sigh of relief; it does not resemble the accounts in Shah's piece. But such exploitation continues, of course. The workers only need not always be imported now, e.g., Apple factories in China. Yes, it seems capitalism has quite the love affair with cheap, exploitative labor. But is this an intrinsic property of capitalism, or is it a nastier symptom that might be mitigated if the will were present? I wonder. Also, if Said were my "guide of sorts" to the Orient, I'd throw up my arms in dismay, cursing the heavens for sending me such a pedantic, turgid, dense guide whose penchant for ostentatious banality rivals even mine.

On "Primary Reader – June 5th Readings"

I think it's probably wrong to say that the Chinatown which we've studied and the Chinatowns of today would be described in the same way. There are large degrees of severity here to grapple with. Generally "living standards" have improved since then. In regard to this notion of "unlearning" this dichotomous relationship between Occident and Orient, was it ever learned in the first place? The notion that parts as disparate as say Pakistan and Japan could be considered of an entity is utterly preposterous to me. Perhaps we're just of different times, Said and I.

On "Primary Reading, 6/5/13 (Said & Shah)"

You seem quite angry in your writing -- perhaps rightfully so. Indeed, it seems humans have found some difficulty in coexistence, a difficulty that looks like it will persist through the foreseeable future. There are many factors contributing to hatred, prejudice, xenophobia, and the like, and we should be careful not to conflate them. Education can help to mitigate these things, but obviously it cannot eliminate conflict between people and peoples. There are many problems in the world (duh), and as long as they persist (forever) someone will seek someone else upon whom to cast the blame, whether rightly so or not.