A Race So Different: Performance and Law in Asian America by Joshua Takano Chambers-Letson

By Joshua Takano Chambers-Letson

Taking a functionality reviews method of figuring out Asian American racial subjectivity, Joshua Takano Chambers-Letson argues that the legislations impacts racial formation through compelling Asian american citizens to include and practice recognizable identities in either well known aesthetic types (such as theater, opera, or rock song) and within the rituals of lifestyle. Tracing the creation of Asian American selfhood from the period of Asian Exclusion during the international battle on Terror, A Race So Different explores the criminal paradox wherein U.S. legislation apprehends the Asian American physique as concurrently excluded from and integrated in the nationwide physique politic.
Bringing jointly generally outlined different types of functionality, from inventive works reminiscent of Madame Butterfly to the excellent Court’s oral arguments within the Cambodian American deportation situations of the twenty-first century, this e-book invitations dialog approximately how Asian American functionality makes use of the degree to rfile, interrogate, and complicate the approaches of racialization in U.S. legislation. via his striking use of a wealthy criminal and cultural archive, Chambers-Letson articulates a strong figuring out of the development of social and racial realities within the modern usa.

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Three years later, the Supreme Court reaffirmed this principle in a case that applied the Chae Chan Ping holding to an ethnic Japanese petitioner in Nishimura Ekiu v. 39 This 1892 case involved a woman who immigrated to the United States aboard a steamer, pursuing a husband who had previously arrived in the country. Resonating with Cho-ChoSan’s ultimate foreclosure from national belonging and reflecting the particular will to keep Asian women from immigrating to the United States (discussed in greater detail in the next chapter), she was denied entry.

Legal discourse forgets its own performative power, transforming a court’s performative utterance into a codified reality. Whether or not the person subject to a jury’s finding committed the felony, the jury’s finding makes him or her a convicted felon as a fact of law unless and until a higher authority intervenes to overturn this determination. As Austin warned, “Of all people, jurists should be best aware of the true state of affairs. Perhaps some now are. ”49 But the United States has a stare decisis system, whereby a decision in a given case will determine future application of the law.

Demonstrating the ways in which the state, and immigration law in particular, deployed a visual logic to compel Asian American subjects to perform for the state’s optic, I argue that the internee’s photographs pose a performative intervention into the visual surveillance and regulation of Japanese America while raising significant questions about the limits of visibility as a strategy for liberation. 26 / introduction The final section of the book turns to the racialization of Asian immigrants and Asian Americans from the period of the Vietnam War to the GWOT.

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