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Ends of Empire

Asian American Critique and the Cold War

2010
Author:

Jodi Kim

Ends of Empire

A bold examination of how the U.S. Cold War in Asia impacted the formation of Asian America

Ends of Empire examines Asian American cultural production and its challenge to the dominant understanding of American imperialism, Cold War dynamics, and race and gender formation. Jodi Kim demonstrates the degree to which Asian American literature and film critique the record of U.S. imperial violence in Asia and provides a glimpse into the imperial and gendered racial logic of the Cold War.

Ends of Empire is a consistently penetrating and rigorous critique of U.S. Cold War involvement in North and Southeast Asia. Through Kim's compelling analysis we begin to understand the critical ways in which many of the post-1980s Asian American cultural texts, as traces of the Cold War violence, index and challenge the continuing U.S. imperialist history over Asia.

Lisa Yoneyama, author of Hiroshima Traces

Ends of Empire examines Asian American cultural production and its challenge to the dominant understanding of American imperialism, Cold War dynamics, and race and gender formation.

Jodi Kim demonstrates the degree to which Asian American literature and film critique the record of U.S. imperial violence in Asia and provides a glimpse into the imperial and gendered racial logic of the Cold War. She unfolds this particularly entangled and enduring episode in the history of U.S. global hegemony—one that, contrary to leading interpretations of the Cold War as a simple bipolar rivalry, was significantly triangulated in Asia.

The Asian American works analyzed here constitute a crucial body of what Kim reveals as transnational ‘Cold War compositions,’ which are at once a geopolitical structuring, an ideological writing, and a cultural imagining. Arguing that these works reframe the U.S. Cold War as a project of gendered racial formation and imperialism as well as a production of knowledge, Ends of Empire offers an interdisciplinary investigation into the transnational dimensions of Asian America and its critical relationship to Cold War history.

Ends of Empire

Jodi Kim is assistant professor of ethnic studies at the University of California, Riverside.

Ends of Empire

Ends of Empire is a consistently penetrating and rigorous critique of U.S. Cold War involvement in North and Southeast Asia. Through Kim's compelling analysis we begin to understand the critical ways in which many of the post-1980s Asian American cultural texts, as traces of the Cold War violence, index and challenge the continuing U.S. imperialist history over Asia.

Lisa Yoneyama, author of Hiroshima Traces

Kim has written a much-needed, remarkably perceptive study of the Asian and Asian American cultural dimensions of the Cold War. Not only does she thoughtfully articulate her critical methodology, but she also offers a series of well-crafted interpretations of literary and cinematic works within her multifaceted cultural-historical context.

Choice

Kim provides sensitive close readings and useful context, and her explorations highlight the political importance of key themes.

Journal of American History

Ends of Empire makes Asian American studies known in critical ethnic studies, not as a project
of identity affirmation but as a critique of racialized and gendered state violence.