Thinking Orientals: Migration, Contact, and Exoticism in Modern America

by Henry Yu

Hardcover, 2001




Oxford University Press (2001), 288 pages


What is the difference between an "Oriental" and an "Asian American"? In this fascinating study, Henry Yu explains how Chinese Americans and Japanese Americans came to be lumped together as "Orientals" in the United States, and how this eventually led to their understanding of themselves as Asian Americans ... this book builds on Orientalism, Edward Said's famous study that showed how the notion of a mythical Orient was used to justify and implement European and American colonialism. Yu uses poignant vignettes to illustrate the difficult and often ironic positions of intellectuals of color, providing a glimpse into the W.E.B. DuBois called the "double consciousness" of racial minorities in the United States. He goes on to discuss how cultural theory has become confused with anti-racism, and how a color-blind denial of race has failed to free us from racism.… (more)


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