Thinking Its Presence: Form, Race, and Subjectivity in Contemporary Asian American Poetry

Dorothy J Wang (Author)

Product Details

Stanford University Press
Publish Date
January 01, 2015
5.9 X 0.8 X 8.9 inches | 1.01 pounds
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About the Author

Dorothy J. Wang is an Associate Professor in the American Studies Program at Williams College.


"Can race sit at the poetry table? Wang's passionate meditation on the inseparability of aesthetics and politics in poetry and poetics will fundamentally transform the ways in which we think racial difference and form in the literary. We will never approach metaphor, irony, parody, or contingency in the same way again. This is a fearless defense of poetry, race, and reading."--David L. Eng "University of Pennsylvania "
"[A] powerful challenge to conventional ways of thinking (or not thinking) about race and poetry."--Ben Lerner The Books We Loved In 2016 "The New Yorker "
"The tendency not to address the formal properties of Asian American poetry--not to take it seriouslyas poetry, in Dorothy Wang's trenchant words--is rigorously corrected in her readings of John Yau, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, and others. This corrective is augmented by a theoretical assertion that demands that mainstream poetry be taken seriously as a record of the complexities of racial formation, and the racialized formation of personal and poetic identity, in the United States. Wang forcefully demands that we become better readers while carefully and generously showing us how to do just that."--Fred Moten "Duke University "
"Dorothy Wang provides an extraordinarily rich reading of minority discourse among experimental Asian American writers. In this theoretically sophisticated study, Wang reads identity as a function of specific linguistic, rhetorical practices that force us to re-think normative attitudes towards racial formations. Rather than discover 'Asianness' through thematic content, Wang studies ethnic identity in linguistic deformations, rhetorical figures, and idioms, which bear the weight of historical marginalization and silencing. It is a brilliant effort, theoretically sophisticated yet grounded in focused readings of individual works."--Michael Davidson "University of California, San Diego "