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Cultural Brokers in Interwar Orientalism

Cultural Brokers in Interwar Orientalism

(p.33) Chapter One. Cultural Brokers in Interwar Orientalism
Bilingual Brokers
Jeehyun Lim
Fordham University Press

Chapter one examines the formation of Asian American writers in the era of Asian exclusion through a comparative analysis of Younghill Kang’s and Carlos Bulosan’s responses to Orientalism in their works. As legal exclusion created the racial category of Asian in the United States, migrant Asian writers faced the challenge of creating modern Asian subjects in literary English. Cultural brokers between Orientalist images of their countries of origin and the modern experiences of Asian migrants in the United States, Kang and Bulosan tested the boundaries of English to represent migrant experiences lived in languages other than English. As a heterogeneous cultural epistemology, Orientalism placed different constraints on Kang, who contended with the Orientalist valorization of the Far East, and Bulosan, who resorted to the Filipino intellectual tradition of the ilustrado in the face of Orientalist primitivism.

Keywords:   Asian exclusion, Carlos Bulosan, cultural broker, Younghill Kang, Orientalism

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