Lisa Lowe, Immigrant Acts, Chapter 2 (via mrsonsai)
When I put “Lisa Lowe” into the tumblr search system, I kept getting pictures of white people: Someone should sort that out
Lisa Lowe! Immigrant Acts was the first time I read theory and realized how useful theory can be in analysis. I barely remember the basic contours of the book (proof of my own patchy memory, not the strength of her argument) so had to look up the description at Duke Press:
Lowe argues that a national memory haunts the conception of Asian American, persisting beyond the repeal of individual laws and sustained by U.S. wars in Asia, in which the Asian is seen as the perpetual immigrant, as the “foreigner-within.” In Immigrant Acts, she argues that rather than attesting to the absorption of cultural difference into the universality of the national political sphere, the Asian immigrant—at odds with the cultural, racial, and linguistic forms of the nation—displaces the temporality of assimilation. Distance from the American national culture constitutes Asian American culture as an alternative site that produces cultural forms materially and aesthetically in contradiction with the institutions of citizenship and national identity. Rather than a sign of a “failed” integration of Asians into the American cultural sphere, this critique preserves and opens up different possibilities for political practice and coalition across racial and national borders.
Re: Lisa Lowe not popping up in searches, while Tumblr is fine when looking to reblog the greatest hits of social theory (hello French philosophers), it’s kinda terrible as a repository of “mid-list” theory, especially when the text under question was published in 1997.
50% off AND free shipping. I too had to resist buying the entire catalog. I got those capitalism-related books because I wanted to learn more about its history! So which books did you end up getting?? I might go for another round before April 14th…
I ended up getting Marshall Berman’s On the Town, Chin-tao Wu’s Privatising Culture, and Juan González and Joseph Torres' News for All the People. As much as I love planning and geography books, sometimes I gotta go back to my first loves - arts and journalism.