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  • Preface ix

    Acknowledgments xi

    Introduction 1

    1. The Rise, and Fall, of a Gay Asian American Porn Star 29

    2. Relfections on an Asian Bottom 71

    3. The Lover's "Gorgeous Ass" 111

    4. The Politics of Starch 151

    Conclusion 193

    Notes 207

    Bibliography 253

    Videography 271

    Index 275
  • "Little or none of the scholarship around the sexual position of the bottom has accurately articulated it as a sexual practice with the capacity to rewrite both shame and vulnerability... [Nguyen] sets himself a part from today’s contemporary queer canon of scholars."

    “Using tools not of the master's house, Nguyen offers a pioneering study of Asian American gender and sexuality with reverberating tools that transform our theory and praxis.”

    "Communication researchers who are interested in critical racial studies, cultural studies, and queer theory should find [A View from the Bottom] relevant and inspiring."

    "The book is written with nuance and theoretical sophistication, in a clear and lively style that is at once personable and playful.... A View from the Bottom is certainly well positioned to provoke new conversations—even realignments of boundary—between gay studies and trans studies."

    "A View from the Bottom... provokes a political recalibration that aligns bottomhood, femininity, and race in tender union.... Nguyen bravely models a praxis of vulnerability that we rarely encounter in academic writing, especially around the fraught and fragile imbrications of race, desire, and power"

    "...the author offers many fresh and novel insights in his analysis, and his arguments are thoughtful, nuanced, and complex. A View from the Bottom is a valuable piece of cultural criticism about a topic that has received very little attention."

    "Nguyen’s insights allow us to view the bottom as an opportunity for creativity, a position of receptiveness that affords agency and pleasure, and an occasion to build a queer utopic space that offers unbounded social relations with others."

    "A View from the Bottom offers us a new position from which to critique the ideologies of top/bottom and subject/object in sexual representation."

    "This monograph is a generative work for scholars who center comparative racialization and queer diaspora, as well as gender, sexuality, and media representation more broadly. Nguyen deftly engages numerous conversations in queer studies, film studies, Asian American studies, and queer of color critique."

    "A View from the Bottom is a critical and insightful read for anyone interested in media studies, particularly for people interested in the performance and representation of sexual and racial minorities."

    Reviews

  • "Little or none of the scholarship around the sexual position of the bottom has accurately articulated it as a sexual practice with the capacity to rewrite both shame and vulnerability... [Nguyen] sets himself a part from today’s contemporary queer canon of scholars."

    “Using tools not of the master's house, Nguyen offers a pioneering study of Asian American gender and sexuality with reverberating tools that transform our theory and praxis.”

    "Communication researchers who are interested in critical racial studies, cultural studies, and queer theory should find [A View from the Bottom] relevant and inspiring."

    "The book is written with nuance and theoretical sophistication, in a clear and lively style that is at once personable and playful.... A View from the Bottom is certainly well positioned to provoke new conversations—even realignments of boundary—between gay studies and trans studies."

    "A View from the Bottom... provokes a political recalibration that aligns bottomhood, femininity, and race in tender union.... Nguyen bravely models a praxis of vulnerability that we rarely encounter in academic writing, especially around the fraught and fragile imbrications of race, desire, and power"

    "...the author offers many fresh and novel insights in his analysis, and his arguments are thoughtful, nuanced, and complex. A View from the Bottom is a valuable piece of cultural criticism about a topic that has received very little attention."

    "Nguyen’s insights allow us to view the bottom as an opportunity for creativity, a position of receptiveness that affords agency and pleasure, and an occasion to build a queer utopic space that offers unbounded social relations with others."

    "A View from the Bottom offers us a new position from which to critique the ideologies of top/bottom and subject/object in sexual representation."

    "This monograph is a generative work for scholars who center comparative racialization and queer diaspora, as well as gender, sexuality, and media representation more broadly. Nguyen deftly engages numerous conversations in queer studies, film studies, Asian American studies, and queer of color critique."

    "A View from the Bottom is a critical and insightful read for anyone interested in media studies, particularly for people interested in the performance and representation of sexual and racial minorities."

  • "Nguyen Tan Hoang's exciting book is a compelling account of the aesthetic, political, and queer possibilities of racialized forms of 'bottomhood.' As someone who has been writing about masochism and passivity in relation to queer feminisms for a while, I realize that this is the book I have needed in sorting through the complex forms of personhood, pleasure, and power that bottomhood braids into the meanings of race, nation, and sexuality." — Jack Halberstam, author of The Queer Art of Failure

    "Artist-scholar Nguyen Tan Hoang's dexterous unpacking of a Hollywood classic, the oeuvre of a gay Asian American porn star, an international art house film, videos by gay Asian artists and the self-representation of online sex sites challenged me to radically rethink the terms and stakes for reconsidering the representation of Asian American masculinity. A profoundly insightful and provocative book." — Richard Fung

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  • Description

    A View from the Bottom offers a major critical reassessment of male effeminacy and its racialization in visual culture. Examining portrayals of Asian and Asian American men in Hollywood cinema, European art film, gay pornography, and experimental documentary, Nguyen Tan Hoang explores the cultural meanings that accrue to sexual positions. He shows how cultural fantasies around the position of the sexual "bottom" overdetermine and refract the meanings of race, gender, sexuality, and nationality in American culture in ways that both enable and constrain Asian masculinity. Challenging the association of bottoming with passivity and abjection, Nguyen suggests ways of thinking about the bottom position that afford agency and pleasure. A more capacious conception of bottomhood—as a sexual position, a social alliance, an affective bond, and an aesthetic form—has the potential to destabilize sexual, gender, and racial norms, suggesting an ethical mode of relation organized not around dominance and mastery but around the risk of vulnerability and shame. Thus reconceived, bottomhood as a critical category creates new possibilities for arousal, receptiveness, and recognition, and offers a new framework for analyzing sexual representations in cinema as well as understanding their relation to oppositional political projects.

    About The Author(s)

    Nguyen Tan Hoang is Assistant Professor of English and Film Studies at Bryn Mawr College. He is also a videomaker whose works include K.I.P, Forever Bottom!, PIRATED! and look_im_azn.  His videos have been screened at the Museum of Modern Art, The Getty Center, and the Centre Pompidou.
     
Spring 2017
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