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AfroAsian Encounters: Culture, History, Politics / Edition 1

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With a Foreword by Vijay Prashad and an Afterword by Gary Okihiro
How might we understand yellowface performances by African Americans in 1930s swing adaptations of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado, Paul Robeson's support of Asian and Asian American struggles, or the absorption of hip hop by Asian American youth culture?
AfroAsian Encounters is the first anthology to look at the mutual influence of and relationships between members of the African and Asian diasporas. While these two groups have often been thought of as occupying incommensurate, if not opposing, cultural and political positions, scholars from history, literature, media, and the visual arts here trace their interconnections and interactions, as well as the tensions between the two groups that sometimes arise. AfroAsian Encounters probes beyond popular culture to trace the historical lineage of these coalitions from the late nineteenth century to the present.
A foreword by Vijay Prashad sets the volume in the context of the Bandung conference half a century ago, and an afterword by Gary Okihiro charts the contours of a “Black Pacific.” From the history of Japanese jazz composers to the current popularity of black/Asian “buddy films” like Rush Hour, AfroAsian Encounters is a groundbreaking intervention into studies of race and ethnicity and a crucial look at the shifting meaning of race in the twenty-first century.

ISBN-13: 9780814775813

Publisher: New York University Press

Publication Date: 11-01-2006

Pages: 342

Product Dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.86(d)

Heike Raphael-Hernandez is professor of English at the University of Maryland in Europe. She is editor of Blackening Europe: The African American Presence. Shannon Steen is assistant professor of theater, dance, and performance studies at the University of California at Berkeley. Vijay Prashad is author of Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity. Gary Okihiro is author of Common Ground: Reimagining American History.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Succeeds at placing blacks and Asians at the center of the Americas, inviting productive dialogue against the notion that interaction between these groups is out of the ordinary.”
-Journal of American Ethnic History


“This collection is evidence of the important topics and perspectives generated by illuminating AfroAsian linkages.”

-The Journal of African American History


“As fresh and exciting as it is important. This crucial book changes the conversation around American Studies and Ethnic Studies in key ways, challenging scholars to light out for previously-uncharted places on our mental maps in which borders are interrogated and challenged, alliances forged through imagined communities, commerce, popular culture, or politics are investigated and probed, and questions that are simultaneously new, and half a century old, are revivified. This volume, the first interdisciplinary anthology dealing with AfroAsian encounters, stands to become a landmark work in the field.”
-Shelley Fisher Fishkin,Stanford University

“What critical anthologies do best is to present. . . . And AfroAsian Encounters does that.”
-Journal of Asian American Studies


“A ground-breaking interdisciplinary anthology entirely devoted to the studies of historical and contemporary African/Asian interactions.”
-African American Review

Table of Contents

Foreword: “Bandung Is Done”
Vijay Prashad
Introduction: AfroAsian Encounters
Heike Raphael-Hernandez and Shannon Steen
Part I Positioning AfroAsian Racial Identities
1 “A Race So Different from Our Own”
Sanda Mayzaw Lwin
2 Crossings in Prose: Jade Snow Wong and the Demand for a New Kind of Expert
Cynthia Tolentino
3 Complicating Racial Binaries: Asian Canadians and African Canadians as Visible Minorities
Eleanor Ty
4 One People, One Nation? Creolization and Its Tensions in Trinidadian and Guyanese Fiction
Lourdes López Ropero
5 Black-and-Tan Fantasies: Interracial Contact between Blacks and South Asians in Film
Samir Dayal
Part II Confronting the Color Hierarchy
6 “It Takes Some Time to Learn the Right Words”
Heike Raphael-Hernandez
7 Chutney, Métissage, and Other Mixed Metaphors
Gita Rajan
8 These Are the Breaks
Oliver Wang
Part III Performing AfroAsian Identities
9 Racing American Modernity
Shannon Steen
10 Black Bodies/Yellow Masks
Deborah Elizabeth Whaley
11 The Rush Hour of Black/Asian Coalitions?
Mita Banerjee
12 Performing Postmodernist Passing
Cathy Covell Waegner
Part IV Celebrating Unity
13 Persisting Solidarities
Bill V. Mullen
14 Internationalism and Justice
Greg Robinson
15 “Jazz That Eats Rice”
David W. Stowe
16 Kickin’ the White Man’s Ass
Fred Ho
Afterword: Toward a Black Pacific
Gary Y. Okihiro
About the Contributors