By Mimi Thi Nguyen
This interdisciplinary assortment brings jointly members operating in Asian American reports, English, anthropology, sociology, and artwork background. 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. formative years tradition, and the stream of Vietnamese track type indicates. They study the connection among chinese language eating places and American tradition, problems with sexuality and race delivered to 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, identification, 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
Such themes resonated, for instance, throughout the phenomenon of cyberpunk, a sci-ﬁ retelling of the noir staples Christopher A. Shinn describes and analyzes in his essay in part 2. In these tales, the ‘‘third-world’’ underbelly of the criminal world is often paired with the hyperdisciplined space of a Japanese corporate empire above ground, both of which serve as the backdrop for the hero’s adventures. Perhaps the most obvious, and enduring, example of these multiple orientalisms (of an overpopulation of Chinese bodies in the undercity Introduction 27 and the specter of Japanese ﬁnancial dominance ﬁgured by the electronic billboard of a geisha drinking Coca-Cola) is Ridley Scott’s iconic science ﬁction ﬁlm Blade Runner (1982).
The fact that these early 1990s Asian American rappers sought to dialogue speciﬁcally (though not necessarily solely) with Asian American listeners limited their appeal and potential to succeed in a competitive industry and environment. ∑∂ While they recognized the importance of maintaining ties to Asian American listeners, they also wanted to fashion viable careers that courted larger, more diverse audiences, and this inﬂuenced how they identiﬁed themselves to that public. It is not that they lacked an Asian American consciousness but that they saw touting an explicit racialized identity as detrimental to their prospects as recording artists.
In choosing the name Alien Encounters, we propose that popular culture holds out some very familiar and tired narratives but also new and exciting promises. With this collection, we hope to show that Asian Americans’ meeting with the popular has been, and continues to be, one of fascination and worry—an experience of a√ective intensity and political complexity, of expressive pleasure and deep ambivalence, that in any case has irrevocably transformed our imaginations. The authors gathered here take the threat and promise of popular culture seriously.
Alien Encounters: Popular Culture in Asian America by Mimi Thi Nguyen