Helen Jun’s Race for Citizenship: Black Orientalism and Asian Uplift from Pre-Emancipation to Neoliberal Americaexplores how the history of U.S. citizenship has positioned Asian Americans and African Americans in interlocking socio-political relationships since the mid nineteenth century. Rejecting the conventional emphasis on ‘inter-racial prejudice,’ Jun demonstrates how a politics of inclusion has constituted a racial Other within Asian American and African American discourses of national identity.
While, Leslie Bow’s Partly Colored elucidates the experience of interstitial ethnic groups such as Mexican, Asian, and Native Americans—groups that are held to be neither black nor white—Leslie Bow explores how the color line accommodated—or refused to accommodate—“other” ethnicities within a binary racial system. Analyzing pre- and post-1954 American literature, film, autobiography, government documents, ethnography, photographs, and popular culture, she investigates the ways in which racially “in-between” people and communities were brought to heel within the South’s prevailing cultural logic, while locating the interstitial as a site of cultural anxiety and negotiation.
Authors Jun and Bow will present their latest books published with NYU Press and be in discussion on issues of race and citizenship with moderator Crystal Parikh, Associate Professor of English and the Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis