Contemporary Asian America: A Multidisciplinary Reader

Min Zhou and James Gatewood, eds.

New York: New York University Press, 2000.

$27.50; ISBN 0-8147-6970-7; Call (800) 996-NYUP to order

The edited volume attempts to provide an introductory Asian American Studies reader for undergraduate education. It focuses on issues and trends, evolving from "classic" themes and research and predominating Asian American Studies today. In doing so, we seek to ground students with a larger theoretical orientation to the discipline, exposing them not only to those readings fundamental to their understanding of Asian American Studies, but also to development of the Asian American Studies project over time. More importantly, we want to make the reader reflexive (and personally meaningful), showing students how the central concerns of the discipline have changed as contemporary immigration has redefined the field over the last forty years and as newer generations of Asian Americans have come of age and redefined the concerns facing them in contemporary American society.

The reader, therefore, includes a broad range of works that illustrate the evolution of the larger Asian American Studies project from its conception as part of the ethnic consciousness movement of the 1960s to the more contemporary theoretical and practical issues facing the community at the century’s end. We aim at those thematic issues that are a) critical for any student of Asian American Studies to be acquainted with in order to have a holistic understanding of contemporary Asian American Studies project, and b) immediately interesting, intellectually stimulating, and thought-provoking to the student.

We organize our selection of recently published work on 13 key thematic section: 1) Claiming Visibility: The Asian American Movement; 2) Making History: The Asian American Experience; 3) Traversing Borders: Contemporary Asian Immigration to the United States; 4) Struggling to Get Ahead: Life and Work in Asian America; 5) Ties that Bind: The Asian American Family and Community; 6) Keeping the Faith: Spiritual Practices among Asian Americans; 7) Women in Asian America; 8) The Construction and Deconstruction of the "Model Minority"; 9) Confronting Adversity: Racism, Exclusion, and the Burden of Double Standards; 10) Queering Asian America; 11) The Complexity of Ethnic Identity: Interracial Marriage and Multiethnic Asian Americans; 12) Visual Culture; 13) Mapping the Terrain: New Paradigms in Asian American Studies. Each section includes two to three articles and ends with a lecture guide that outlines main issues of concern in the selected articles and a suggested reading list. We also includes a list of relevant documentary films.

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