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Homemaking in Asian American women's writing : Chuang Hua, Bharati Mukherjee and Meena Alexander performing the diasporic home

Author: Yan Jiang; Katherine Joslin
Publisher: 2009.
Dissertation: Thesis (Ph. D., English)--Western Michigan University, 2009.
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Thesis/dissertation : Manuscript   Archival Material : English
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
This dissertation examines how homemaking, as depicted in contemporary Asian American literature, reflects the bigger issue of Asian diaspora and identity transformation. I analyze how Asian immigrants, especially Asian women, make the home in America in varying ways, seemingly following their ancestral pattern or the mainstream American model but eventually transcend both. Following Judith Butler, I suggest that  Read more...
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Details

Named Person: Hua Chuang; Bharati Mukherjee; Meena Alexander
Material Type: Thesis/dissertation, Manuscript
Document Type: Book, Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: Yan Jiang; Katherine Joslin
OCLC Number: 457053832
Notes: Advisor: Katherine Joslin.
Description: ii, 237 leaves ; 29 cm
Responsibility: by Yan Jiang.
More information:

Abstract:

This dissertation examines how homemaking, as depicted in contemporary Asian American literature, reflects the bigger issue of Asian diaspora and identity transformation. I analyze how Asian immigrants, especially Asian women, make the home in America in varying ways, seemingly following their ancestral pattern or the mainstream American model but eventually transcend both. Following Judith Butler, I suggest that Asian immigrants' homemaking is performative. In this study, I look to the definitions of the diasporic home and contend that far from being a static mimicking of their former homes, Asian migrants' homemaking is actually a dynamic process that comprises continual anxiety in relation to identity performance and transformation. Employing the framework of Bulter's performative theory, each chapter explores the shifting conceptions of the home in Asian American literature of the latter half of the twentieth century. I examine how authors such as Chuang Hua, Bharati Mukherjee and Meena Alexander, after 1965, represent immigrant homemaking that transcends nationalism for survival and success in the host country. This method demonstrates how performances of the home, as depicted by these women writers, require a redefinition of diasporic homemaking to include attributes hitherto under-explored in the literature, namely the complex and performative features of the home. Drawing on Asian American studies, diaspora scholarship and Butler's performativity theory, my dissertation proffers a fresh approach to Asian American texts that dismantles easy connections between homemaking and fixed identities and suggests a significant methodology for analyzing immigrant narratives.

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