Institutional Scholarship

“Image”-ing Otherwise: the Ambivalent Politics of Asian American Visual Self-Representation in the post-1965 Era

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Friedman, Andrew Zheng, Sunny 2016-07-19T19:25:43Z 2016-07-19T19:25:43Z 2016
dc.description.abstract The post-1965 period was a time of growing Asian American visibility alongside massive sociopolitical unrest, both of which threatened the stability of the U.S. racist capitalist system. During this time, U.S. national culture and Asian Americans contended over the visual forms that would lend Asian visibility political coherence; the “model minority,” the “Asian American,” and the Asian suburbanite were three manifestations of these visual politics. Focusing on Los Angeles as an Asian American population center, this thesis will examine visual evidence from the early model minority press (1966), the Asian American Movement's L.A.-based press (1969-1974), and visual representations of built spaces in L.A.’s San Gabriel Valley Asian-majority suburb to synthesize an Asian American visual critique that unsettles the fixity of U.S. national racial imaging and rethinks the history of the politics of how Asian American visibility took form. In piecing together a history of three unstable, intersecting visual narratives surrounding a highly volatile American subject, this thesis hopes to recuperate the urgent ambivalence of the radical ‘60s “Asian American” identity, locating roots of contemporary theoretical interventions in the archives of the movements/counter-movements of the mid-1960s. The ambiguous and ambivalent ways Asian Americans visually self re-present constitute a “politics of refusal” that embraces Asian America’s “coherent incoherence” and denies the American mainstream the ability to regulate (and narrate) Asian immigrant presence in America. The inability to define Asian America allows it a continual liminality that imperils static racial formations that serve to uphold U.S. national culture. Within these visual archives, the lack of a fixed Asian American visual subject lends the identity its power and needs to be seen as crucial to the struggle over the public presence of Asian Americans in the U.S. post-1965 era. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of History en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.title “Image”-ing Otherwise: the Ambivalent Politics of Asian American Visual Self-Representation in the post-1965 Era en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.rights.access Open Access
dc.description.award The History Department Senior Thesis Prize

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as



My Account