Ends of EmpireAsian American Critique and the Cold War

Ends of EmpireAsian American Critique and the Cold War

Jodi Kim

Print publication date: 2015

ISBN: 9780816655915

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press


This book examines Asian American cultural production and its challenge to the dominant understanding of American imperialism, Cold War dynamics, and race and gender formation. The book demonstrates the degree to which Asian American literature and film critique the record of U.S. imperial violence in Asia and provides a glimpse into the imperial and gendered racial logic of the Cold War. It unfolds this particularly entangled and enduring episode in the history of U.S. global hegemony—one that, contrary to leading interpretations of the Cold War as a simple bipolar rivalry, was significantly triangulated in Asia. The Asian American works analyzed here constitute a crucial body of what the book reveals as transnational ‘Cold War compositions,’ which are at once a geopolitical structuring, an ideological writing, and a cultural imagining. Arguing that these works reframe the U.S. Cold War as a project of gendered racial formation and imperialism as well as a production of knowledge, this book offers an interdisciplinary investigation into the transnational dimensions of Asian America and its critical relationship to Cold War history.