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Southeast Asian American Studies Special Issue: Guest Editors' Introduction– Fiona I. B. Ngô, Mimi Thi Nguyen, and Mariam B. Lam
The Refugee Soldier: A Critique of Recognition and Citizenship in the Hmong Veterans' Naturalization Act of 1997– Ma Vang
Exile of Freedom: The Nation-State and Exile in Linda Lê's Slander– Anh Thang Dao
Deporting Cambodian Refugees: Youth Activism, State Reform, and Imperial Statecraft– Soo Ah Kwon
Beyond Gran Torino's Guns: Hmong Cultural Warriors Performing Genders– Louisa Schein, Va-Megn Thoj, Bee Vang, and Ly Chong Thong Jalao
Luminous Elegies: Chăm Family Documentary in Phước Lập, Vietnam– Julie Thi Underhill
Cambodian American Memory Work: Justice and the “Cambodian Syndrome”– Cathy J. Schlund-Vials
Exiled Memory: History, Identity, and Remembering in Southeast Asia and Southeast Asian Diaspora– Khatharya Um
Reporting on Madame Nhu in the Viet Nam War: Representations of the Gendered Other– Diem-My T. Bui
Pop Tarts (Photographic Portfolio)– Viet Le
Globalization and the Public Cartographies of Vietnam Idol– Long Bui
Refugee Memories and Asian American Critique– Viet Thanh Nguyen
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This special issue claims Southeast Asian/American studies as a unique site for scholarly engagements with US empire and its professions of liberal humanism as well as its practices of neoliberal violence. Dissolving the disciplinary distinctions between Southeast Asia area studies and Asian American studies, the authors construct transnational analytic methods to examine new assemblages of nations and states, refugees and residents, migrations and returns.
The contributors represent a new generation of scholars, some of whom are themselves migrants and refugees, who seek to reinvent the study of displaced populations and their diasporas. One essay considers the historical production of the refugee soldier during the “secret wars” of Laos. An ethnography of Southeast Asian American youth protests post-9/11 reveals how neoliberal rationalization of “personal responsibility” created a context for both deportation and the youth movement against it. Several contributions explore concepts of exile, belonging, and the nation-state via media representations of masculinity and the erotic, including the Hmong actors who appear in Clint Eastwood’s film Gran Torino, campy pan-Asian boy bands, and Vietnam Idol, a reality show that, like its British and American counterparts, illustrates specific cultural imagination and national ambitions.
Fiona I. B. Ngô and Mimi Thi Nguyen are both assistant professors of gender and women’s studies and Asian American studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Nguyen is the author of The Gift of Freedom: War, Debt, and Other Refugee Passages and a co-editor of Alien Encounters: Popular Culture in Asian America, both also published by Duke University Press.
Contributors: Diem-My T. Bui, Long Bui, Thang Dao, Ly Chong Thong Jalao, Soo Ah Kwon, Mariam B. Lam, Viet Le, Fiona I.B. Ngô, Mimi Thi Nguyen, Viet Thanh Nguyen,
Louisa Schein, Cathy J. Schlund-Vials, Va-Megn Thoj, Khatharya Um, Julie Thi Underhill, Bee Vang, Ma Vang