English lessons: Racial hegemony and linguistic hierarchies in selected Asian American texts. Donna To-Fang Tong

ISBN: 9781109247343

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225 pages


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English lessons: Racial hegemony and linguistic hierarchies in selected Asian American texts.  by  Donna To-Fang Tong

English lessons: Racial hegemony and linguistic hierarchies in selected Asian American texts. by Donna To-Fang Tong
| NOOKstudy eTextbook | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | 225 pages | ISBN: 9781109247343 | 3.40 Mb

This dissertation explores the intersection of linguistic hierarchies with racial hegemony. I examine the ways that Asian American writers Li-Young Lee, Chang-rae Lee, Lois-Ann Yamanaka, and Lee A. Tonouchi imagine negotiating, reproducing, andMoreThis dissertation explores the intersection of linguistic hierarchies with racial hegemony.

I examine the ways that Asian American writers Li-Young Lee, Chang-rae Lee, Lois-Ann Yamanaka, and Lee A. Tonouchi imagine negotiating, reproducing, and resisting the implications of linguicism---the unequal division of power and resources between groups based upon language---as it is linked to racial power. Li-Young Lees Rose, Chang-rae Lees Native Speaker, Lois-Ann Yamanakas Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers, and Lee Tonouchis Da Word are texts bounded by their representations of English language learning in the classroom.

In Chapter One, I analyze Li-Young Lees poetics through and against the lens of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattaris theory of minor literature, arguing for the utility but also cautioning against the shortcomings of their concept in regards to ethnic literatures. In Chapter Two, I contextualize Chang-rae Lees narrative amidst the turbulent racial unrest of the inter-minority conflicts between Korean Americans and African Americans as well as the anti-immigrant xenophobia of the 1980s and 1990s in the United States. I argue that besides critiquing these racial tensions, through his spy-protagonist Lee also imagines the racial formation of Asian Americans as a series of distorting and distorted racializations, so that the search for authenticity is always doomed to fail.

Chapters Three and Four focus on Hawaii, examining how writings by Lois-Aim Yamanaka and Lee Tonouchi illuminate American expansionist practices. Specifically, their texts explore the vexed position of Asian Americans in Hawaii who are subordinated by racial hegemony but also are complicit in the silencing of Hawaiian voices.

In Chapter Three, I analyze how protagonist Lovey Nariyoshis story-telling as a kind of talk-story per/forms her subjectivity so that, as it critiques the privileging of standard English, it nonetheless reproduces racial hegemony in its effacement of Hawaiians. In Chapter Four, I probe Tonouchis short story collection Da Word, which contains self-reflexive narratives questioning the superiority of standard English. I argue that his stylistic choices effect literary guerrilla warfare on linguistic hierarchies, challenging the processes of linguistic legitimation.

These texts imagine counter-hegemonic tactics, but readers need to interrogate whether these methods reproduce structural inequalities.



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