The Imaginary of Asia and Latin America


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This course will examine the discourse surrounding Asian diaspora in Latin America. By drawing mostly on theory, literature, and film, the seminar investigates the issue of immigration and cultural hybridity as related to racial formation and national identity. What constitutes belonging to the literatures and cultures of the geopolitical and imaginary space of both Asia and Latin America? How are Asia and Asian immigrants imagined in Latin American literary and cinematic production? How does the Orientalist and gendered discourse of the “yellow peril” and “model minority” or the “coolie” make sense in hemispheric American perspective? We will engage historical and anthropological studies as well as theoretical writings on critical race and gender with literature and film screenings to emphasize modes of reading that highlight the intertwined relationship among power, representation, and cultural production. This course will engage visual culture, popular culture and film, among other media, as a way to underscore the role that cultural production has played in transforming, adapting and sustaining normative ideas regarding race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality in relation to citizenship.

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