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Immigrant Subjectivities and Desires in Overseas Student Literature: Chinese, Postcolonial, or Minority Text?

Immigrant Subjectivities and Desires in Overseas Student Literature: Chinese, Postcolonial, or... My project explores these lacunae and takes up the intersecting space I call immigrant subjectivities. In “Overseas Student Literature” (Ziu-hsueh-sheng wen-hsueh) there has existed since the 1960s in Taiwan a cluster of middleclass immigrant subject positions in literature; these are surfacing now in sinophone Hong Kong and enclaves elsewhere. I intend to situate such texts precisely at the interface of Chinese, Postcolonial, and Minority studies. Overseas Student Literature is produced and consumed by one singular, growing element of a heterogeneous American society: the middle-class naturalized professional whose previous “incarnation” as a foreign student was the precondition of middle-class professional standing. The emergence and the longevity of Overseas Student Literature are effects, in other words, of the Cold War conditions that mediated relations between Taiwan and the rest of the Pacific Rim. That body of work is also tied to the U.S. immigration policies of the 1960s and the ensuing U.S. minority problematics.1 Only the rare China specialist residing in the Pacific Rim and North America has devoted any critical attention to Overseas Student Literature and then only in the context of the Chinese characters’ loss of cultural mooring. Sinologists, postcolonial theorists, and Asian American critics have, I conclude, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions asia critique Duke University Press

Immigrant Subjectivities and Desires in Overseas Student Literature: Chinese, Postcolonial, or Minority Text?

positions asia critique , Volume 4 (3) – Dec 1, 1996

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 1996 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1527-8271
DOI
10.1215/10679847-4-3-421
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

My project explores these lacunae and takes up the intersecting space I call immigrant subjectivities. In “Overseas Student Literature” (Ziu-hsueh-sheng wen-hsueh) there has existed since the 1960s in Taiwan a cluster of middleclass immigrant subject positions in literature; these are surfacing now in sinophone Hong Kong and enclaves elsewhere. I intend to situate such texts precisely at the interface of Chinese, Postcolonial, and Minority studies. Overseas Student Literature is produced and consumed by one singular, growing element of a heterogeneous American society: the middle-class naturalized professional whose previous “incarnation” as a foreign student was the precondition of middle-class professional standing. The emergence and the longevity of Overseas Student Literature are effects, in other words, of the Cold War conditions that mediated relations between Taiwan and the rest of the Pacific Rim. That body of work is also tied to the U.S. immigration policies of the 1960s and the ensuing U.S. minority problematics.1 Only the rare China specialist residing in the Pacific Rim and North America has devoted any critical attention to Overseas Student Literature and then only in the context of the Chinese characters’ loss of cultural mooring. Sinologists, postcolonial theorists, and Asian American critics have, I conclude,

Journal

positions asia critiqueDuke University Press

Published: Dec 1, 1996

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