New book chronicles the growth and textures of Asian American literature – Clark Now
In just over two decades, Asian American literature has enjoyed remarkable growth and visibility amid a period of civil unrest and economic struggles.
These literary advances and societal challenges are examined in “Asian American Literature in Transition, 1996-2020”, edited by Betsy Huang, Vice Provost and Dean of Clark College, and Victor Roman Mendoza, Associate Professor of English and women and gender. at the University of Michigan.
The book, published in 2021 by Cambridge University Press, explores Asian American writing through many political, social and historical lenses and contexts, both globally and nationally.
It is the fourth and final installment in “Asian American Literature in Transition”, a four-volume series commissioned by Cambridge University Press and compiled by series editors Rajini Srikanth and Min Hyoung Song. Previous volumes covered 1850-1930, 1930-1965 and 1965-1996. The series is an essential tool for teachers and scholars to access a broader and deeper understanding of the historical, political, and aesthetic concerns of literary works written by Asian Americans and Diaspora Asians.
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The volumes offer a comprehensive listing of literary discoveries, discussions, and theories of eminent scholars by and about Asian Americans during each period, tracing forgotten texts and literary debates as well as prognoses and directions for the field to the future.
While a new wave of creative writing and scholarship by Asian Americans developed between 1996 and 2020, the accelerated literary growth is nevertheless juxtaposed against the realities of ongoing social, racial, and environmental injustices – realities which the researchers of the volume address directly and without compromise.
“The chapters here examine how social, economic, and environmental upheaval in the United States over the past two decades and more has galvanized more nuanced productions and theorizing of Asian American literature across disciplines, geographies, and cultures. genres,” Huang and Mendoza write in the book’s introduction.
Huang, also an associate professor of English, studies the overlap between ethnic American and Asian American literature, as well as science fiction, gene theory, and critical studies of race and ethnicity.
Huang has also published “Contesting Genres in Contemporary Asian American Fiction” (2010) and co-edited two collections of essays, “Techno-Orientalism: Imagining Asia in Speculative Fiction, History, and Media” (2015) and “Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education and Societal Contexts” (2018).