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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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The Political Economy of Minority Literature

The Political Economy of Minority Literature

(p.138) 4 The Political Economy of Minority Literature (p.139)
The Cultural Capital of Asian American Studies

Mark Chiang

NYU Press

This chapter examines the origins of the Asian American literary field in the writings of Frank Chin and Maxine Hong Kingston—the authors of the book Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian-American Writers. These writers subordinate art to politics, and their own self-representation as the “radical” pole of Asian American cultural production. Juxtaposing this subordination with the reading of The Woman Warrior, the chapter argues that the dilemma motivating the narrative is not the anxiety of influence—as in the dominant literary tradition—but the anxiety of representation. Only within and against the writers' relation of representation to the community can they become a representative or an author.

Keywords:   Asian American, Frank Chin, Maxine Hong Kingston, Aiiieeeee, American cultural production, influence, representation

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