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Elaine Yee Lin Ho and Julia Kuehn

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9789622099456

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789622099456.001.0001

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The Sino-Japanese Conflict of Asian American Literature

The Sino-Japanese Conflict of Asian American Literature

Chapter:
(p.155) 9 The Sino-Japanese Conflict of Asian American Literature
Source:
China Abroad
Author(s):

Colleen Lye

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789622099456.003.0009

Asian American identity can be understood as assuming a certain rhetorical form, this rhetorical form necessarily has a history. The postwar period witnessed an overall expansion of Asian American publishing even before the immigration reform of the 1960s could exert a demonstrable demographic impact because World War II had made intra-Asian ethnic distinctions a matter of political consequence. Inaugurating a new phase of U.S. identification with proxy nationalisms in the Pacific Rim, World War II in the Pacific Theater demanded especially that Americans learn the subtle “difference between a Chinese and a Jap.” The well-known Sino-Japanese centrism of “Asian American literature” may well have a start here, in the World War II constitution of Asian American identity, whose traditional domination by Chinese and Japanese American narrative examples seems to have an ideological force in excess of a numerical basis.

Keywords:   Asian Americans, identity, immigration reform, World War II, identification, Sino-Japanese, centrism, Asian American literature

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