Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
An Ethics of BetrayalThe Politics of Otherness in Emergent U.S. Literatures and Culture$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Crystal Parikh

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780823230426

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823230426.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 29 May 2020

4. Ethnic America Undercover: The Intellectual and Minority Discourse

4. Ethnic America Undercover: The Intellectual and Minority Discourse

(p.96) 4. Ethnic America Undercover: The Intellectual and Minority Discourse
An Ethics of Betrayal

Crystal Parikh

Fordham University Press

This chapter considers narratives that actualize the metaphor of minority subjects as intelligence agents—racialized spies who are indeed “traitors” of their “own people.” It begins with a stalemated issue that has faced U. S. ethnic studies since its inception, the divide between academic work and community experience. This division underpins charges that ethnic studies is out of touch and ineffective in producing change in the “real world” and that its practitioners exploit the community for professional advantage. To address this question, the chapter turns to two spy narratives, Américo Paredes's George Washington Gómez and Chang-rae Lee's Native Speaker, both of which confront the anxiety that ethnic insiders might come to serve as traitorous informants against their community. The novels allegorize intellectual work, in this case, ethnic studies, as “intelligence work.” They conceive of the institution as neither a space where one discovers an authentic racial identity, nor one that generates inadequate, second-order representations of racial identities that are essentially located elsewhere. Rather, the university serves as a crucial site, in conjunction and in conflict with other locations, for the making and unmaking of racial identifications.

Keywords:   minorities, intelligence agents, traitors, ethnic studies, George Washington Gómez, Native Speaker

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .