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Important Research Achievements
[2019] Transpacific Asymmetries: Masao Miyoshi and Asian American Studies Transpacific Asymmetries: Masao Miyoshi and Asian American Studies
  • Boundary 2: An International Journal of Literature and Culture, 46(3), 89-115.

This article address the issue of asymmetry in the transpacific imagination by returning to and unpacking the work of Masao Miyoshi who though trained as a scholar of Victorian literature, was at the epicenter of the Asian American movement. Though his work is usually not taken up in the Asian American field, his "off-center" approach and emphasis on transpacific asymmetry, I argue, has much to inform Asian American studies, as it takes on a decided transpacific turn. The article is thus divided into two sections: The first section deals primarily with how Miyoshi developed the idea of transpacific asymmetry through historical US-Japan encounter and how that idea sketches out a thinking of Asian American subjectivity as produced precisely in that asymmetrical encounter. Taking this inspiration from Miyoshi, the second section turns to an analysis of Asian Canadian writer Ruth Ozeki's 2013 novel, A Tale for the Time Being, and discusses how the novel through its immigrant narration reproduces some of the very asymmetries that Miyoshi critiques. The aim of my critique is to restore and explore the off-center approach that Miyoshi pioneers for the advance of Asian North American studies.


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