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The Cultural Capital of Asian American StudiesAutonomy and Representation in the University$
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Mark Chiang

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814717004

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814717004.001.0001

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Disciplinarity and the Political Identity of Asian American Studies

Disciplinarity and the Political Identity of Asian American Studies

(p.93) 3 Disciplinarity and the Political Identity of Asian American Studies
The Cultural Capital of Asian American Studies

Mark Chiang

NYU Press

This chapter discusses the debates over the impact of postmodern and poststructuralist theory in Asian American studies in a special issue of the journal Amerasia, entitled Thinking Theory in Asian American Studies. Even though this debate concerned theoretical paradigms and methods, essays in the issue—whether pro or con—justified positions based on political criteria rather than on intellectual or academic criteria. Thus, the debate over theory was overdetermined by two somewhat different sets of dynamics: political struggles in the Asian American field and academic struggles in the university. This convergence constituted Asian American studies. As such, it allowed the field to contain multiple, overlapping political and intellectual antagonisms.

Keywords:   poststructuralist theory, postmodern, Asian American studies, Amerasia, political criteria, academic criteria

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