Critical Bottoming: Repositioning Male Effeminacy and its Racialization

By John Paul Stadler

Nguyen Tan Hoang. A View from the Bottom: Asian American Masculinity and Sexual Representation. Duke University Press, 2014. 287 pp.

The figure of the gay, Asian bottom is often misunderstood. His racial, gender, and sexual identities are typically conflated and maligned for being too submissive and effeminate. This, at least, is the opening contention of Nguyen Tan Hoang’s A View from the Bottom: Asian American Masculinity and Sexual Representation.
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Geopolitics of Hope, Despair and the Arab Spring

By Ranbir K. Banwait

Hamid Dabashi. The Arab Spring: the End of Postcolonialism. Zed Books, 2012. 272 pp.

In The Arab Spring: the End of Postcolonialism, Hamid Dabashi provides a compelling study of the global geopolitical implications of the Arab Spring. The string of uprisings known as the Arab Spring is commonly marked as beginning on December 17, 2010, when a Tunisian man, Mohamed Bouazizi, self-immolated to protest the seizure of his produce cart.
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Housing Whiteness

By Lisa Uddin

Dianne Harris. Little White Houses: How the Postwar Home Constructed Race in America. University of Minnesota Press, 2013. 392 pp.

Last year marked a milestone in my life as a multiracial immigrant to the United States who has thus far warded off steep downward mobility. The purchase of a modest ranch-style house located on the corner lot of a quiet, leafy street was arguably the most explicit investment in whiteness our family had ever made.
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Canadian Ghosts and the Narratives of Nation Building

By Shaun Stevenson

Margot Francis. Creative Subversions: Whiteness, Indigeneity, and the National Imaginary. University of British Columbia Press, 2011. 252 pp.

Soon after relocating to Vancouver, British Columbia, I made an obligatory tourist excursion to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park on the North Shore. While struck by the beauty and lushness of a West coast rainforest, the enormity of the trees, and the vastness of the cliffs traversed via narrow, swinging bridges, I found my attention drawn to other things residing in the these dense, damp woods.
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Race and Citizenship in Postwar America

By Michael Mayne

Joseph Keith. Unbecoming Americans: Writing Race and Nation from the Shadows of Citizenship, 1945-1960. Rutgers University Press, 2013. 239pp.

On June 25, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in Shelby v. Holder that the most important Section (Section 4b) of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA) was unconstitutional. The majority decision, written by John Roberts, was filled with references to progress: “50 years later, things have changed dramatically”; “history did not end in 1965”; “history since 1965 cannot be ignored”; “our Nation has made great strides” (17, 24, 4, 20).
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Intersectionality Matters

By Melissa Haynes

Mel Y. Chen. Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect. Duke University Press, 2012. 312 pp.

The title of Mel Y. Chen’s Animacies: Biopolitics, Racial Mattering, and Queer Affect immediately announces to readers that this is not a book that can be easily disciplined. “Animacies,” for readers who are unfamiliar with the term, might sound like a portmanteau of “animal” and “intimacies.” The rest of the title evokes a compendium of areas of inquiry, namely biopolitics, critical race theory, new materialism, queer studies, and affect theory.
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Rethinking Race and Digital Divides

By Lisa Patti

Lisa Nakamura and Peter A. Chow-White, eds. Race After the Internet. Routledge, 2012. 343 pp.

In their introduction to the edited collected Race After the Internet, Lisa Nakamura and Peter A. Chow-White trace the emergence of multiple digital divides in the wake of what they call at different moments the “biotechnical turn,” the “technobiological turn,” and the “techno-genetic turn”–a cultural, institutional, and scholarly transformation that “privileges the technological and specifically the digital over other forms of knowledge, mediation, and interaction”(4).
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Undoing the Ties that Bind and Finding New Bonds

By Lily Cho

David L. Eng. The Feeling of Kinship: Queer Liberalism and the Racialization of Intimacy. Duke University Press, 2010. 268 pp.

In The Feeling of Kinship, David Eng asks, “[w]e have moved beyond structuralist accounts of language, but have we moved beyond structuralist accounts of kinship?” (16). Not only do his investigations reveal the persistence of structuralism in how we think about family and intimate relationships, he also presents an urgent and sophisticated case for the necessity of a poststructuralist account of kinship.
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Resistance in the Affirmative

By Dana C. Mount

David Jefferess. Postcolonial Resistance: Culture, Liberation, and Transformation. University of Toronto Press, 2008. 224 pp.

In his first book, Postcolonial Resistance: Culture, Liberation, and Transformation, David Jefferess surveys the meaning of resistance in postcolonialism and attempts to develop a working definition of the term which, while still narrow enough to be effective, can lend itself broadly against interlocking systems of oppression.
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Identifying Universal Particularities

By David Lawrimore

John Michael. Identity and the Failure of America: From Thomas Jefferson to the War on Terror. University of Minnesota Press, 2008. 320 pp.

At its heart, John Michael’s Identity and the Failure of America: From Thomas Jefferson to the War on Terror is about the conflict between a national identity that promises justice to all and the various identities that have experienced America’s failure to make good on that promise.
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