Tonal intelligence : the aesthetics of Asian inscrutability during the long Cold War / Sunny Xiang.  (Text) (Text)

Xiang, Sunny
Call no.: DS33.4.U5 X53 2020Series: Literature now: Publication: New York : Columbia University Press, c2020Description: xi, 353 p. : illISBN: 9780231196963; 0231196962; 9780231196970; 0231196970Other title: Temperament, temporality, and the American Cold War in AsiaSubject(s): Orientalism -- United States -- History -- 20th centuryCold War -- Secret serviceAsians in literatureAsians in motion picturesAsian Americans -- Race identityPropaganda, American -- Asia -- History -- 20th centuryPropaganda, American -- Pacific Area -- History -- 20th centuryAsia -- Foreign public opinion, AmericanPacific Area -- Foreign public opinion, AmericanUnited States -- Foreign relations -- 1945-1989LOC classification: DS33.4.U5 | X53 2020
Contents:Introduction: Hardly war, partly history -- The tone of intelligence : unconventional warfare and its archives -- The tone of the rumors : something in the air -- The tone of the times : a surpassing hurry -- The tone of documentation : the brainwashee's drone -- The tone of intimacy : among the fish -- Coda: The tone of commons : solidarities without a solid.
Summary: "In postwar America, different expressions of the "Inscrutable Oriental" have produced and challenged ideas about how we perceive, process, and make claims about race during periods of dramatic change and historical unpredictability. In Neutral Tones, Sunny Xiang examines two different modes of Asian and Asian-American self-representation. The first, produced during the height of the Cold War were US-sponsored projects that furthered U.S. strategic and ideological goals in Japan, Korea, China, and Vietnam. In addition to helping to reinforce Washington's goal of communist containment, they also reinforced liberal notions of racial assimilation and integration. Examining such case studies as Hirohito's transformation into a democratic human emperor, the testimonies of South Korean women, and the autobiography of a Korean POW, Xiang considers how these examples became sources of intelligence and certainty. While the earlier texts come from the records of the US foreign policy, the later come from literary and artistic works from the 1970s to the 2000s by figures such as Ha Jin, Kazuo Ishiguro, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, and Viet Thanh Nguyen. These works, Xiang argues, critique and subvert earlier forms of self-expression and challenges and neutralizes standard markers and personas of race. In the place of compulsory forms of racial self-expression sponsored by mid-century US cold war liberalism, this new formulation of racial identity gave expression to an emergent economic regime that valorizes flexible persons - a regime increasingly associated with the rise of the Pacific Rim as an economic power"--
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Includes bibliographical references and index.

Introduction: Hardly war, partly history -- The tone of intelligence : unconventional warfare and its archives -- The tone of the rumors : something in the air -- The tone of the times : a surpassing hurry -- The tone of documentation : the brainwashee's drone -- The tone of intimacy : among the fish -- Coda: The tone of commons : solidarities without a solid.

"In postwar America, different expressions of the "Inscrutable Oriental" have produced and challenged ideas about how we perceive, process, and make claims about race during periods of dramatic change and historical unpredictability. In Neutral Tones, Sunny Xiang examines two different modes of Asian and Asian-American self-representation. The first, produced during the height of the Cold War were US-sponsored projects that furthered U.S. strategic and ideological goals in Japan, Korea, China, and Vietnam. In addition to helping to reinforce Washington's goal of communist containment, they also reinforced liberal notions of racial assimilation and integration. Examining such case studies as Hirohito's transformation into a democratic human emperor, the testimonies of South Korean women, and the autobiography of a Korean POW, Xiang considers how these examples became sources of intelligence and certainty. While the earlier texts come from the records of the US foreign policy, the later come from literary and artistic works from the 1970s to the 2000s by figures such as Ha Jin, Kazuo Ishiguro, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, and Viet Thanh Nguyen. These works, Xiang argues, critique and subvert earlier forms of self-expression and challenges and neutralizes standard markers and personas of race. In the place of compulsory forms of racial self-expression sponsored by mid-century US cold war liberalism, this new formulation of racial identity gave expression to an emergent economic regime that valorizes flexible persons - a regime increasingly associated with the rise of the Pacific Rim as an economic power"--

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