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The Department of Ethnic Studies presents:

“Asian Socialism, Magic Realism” presented by Dr. Colleen Lye

January 25th, 2018


Knight Browsing Room

Light refreshments provided.  Questions: (541) 346-0900


Abstract: As interest in global Maoism has gathered steam in recent years, it is perhaps something of a paradox that the Black Panther Party rather than the Asian American Movement has come to represent the most visible manifestation of global Maoism’s US reach. In some ways this is because the Asian American Movement was composed of elements at once too close and too far from the political caprices of the Chinese Communist Party itself during the contradictory period of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). If global Maoism’s consequences for an Asian American left politics remain in hindsight still indeterminate, its consequences for Asian American literature, however, were extraordinary. Indeed, a closer examination of the emergent form of Asian American literature in the 1970s conceptualized as a response to global Maoism may even open up fresh views of the wider affordances of an Asian American left politics.


Bio: Colleen Lye, Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley, is a leading scholar in the history and politics of literature; race and U.S. empire in the Asia-Pacific; and critical theory. Alongside numerous articles and her award-winning book, America’s Asia: Racial Form and American Literature, 1893-1945 (Princeton UP, 2005), she is the coeditor of several special journal issues: Forms of Asia (Representations, 2007), Financialization and the Culture Industry (Representations 2014), Peripheral Realisms (MLQ 2012), The Humanities and the Crisis of the Public University (Representations 2011), and The Struggle for Public Education in California (SAQ 2011), which won the MLA’s Council of Editors of Learned Journals Award for Best Special Issue of 2011.





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