Heidi Kim

Web site of Professor Heidi Kim, Dept. of English and Comparative Literature

Category: Books

Invisible Subjects

invisible-subjects-coverReleased in 2016 from Oxford University Press, Invisible Subjects: Asian America in Postwar Literature.

Invisible Subjects broadens the archive of Asian American studies, using advances in Asian American history and historiography to reinterpret the politics of the major figures of post-World War II American literature and criticism.

Taking its theoretical inspiration from the work of Ralph Ellison and his focus on the invisibility of a racial minority in mainstream history, Heidi Kim argues that the work of American studies and literature in this era to explain and contain the troubling Asian figure reflects both the swift amnesia that covers the Pacific theater of WWII and the importance of the Asian to immigration debates and civil rights. From the Melville Revival through the myth and symbol school, as well as the fiction of John Steinbeck and William Faulkner, the postwar literary scene exhibits the ambiguity of Asian forms in the 1950s within the binaries of foreigner/native and black/white, as well as the constructs of gender and the nuclear family. It contrasts with the tortured redefinitions of race and nationality that appear in immigration acts and court cases, particularly those about segregation and interracial marriage. The Melville Revival critics’ discussion of a mythic and yet realistic diabolical Asian, the role of a Chinese housekeeper in preserving the pioneer family in Steinbeck’s East of Eden, and the extent to which the history of the Mississippi Chinese sheds light on Faulkner’s stagnant societies all work to subsume a troubling presence.

Detailing the archaeology and genealogy of Asian American Studies, Invisible Subjects offers an original, important, and vital contribution to both our understanding of American literary history and the general study of race and ethnicity in American cultural history.

Taken from the Paradise Isle

Paradise Isle coverTaken from the Paradise Isle: The Hoshida Family Story, edited by Heidi Kim and with a foreword by Franklin Odo, was released in July 2015 from the University Press of Colorado.

Crafted from George Hoshida’s diary and memoir, as well as letters faithfully exchanged with his wife Tamae, Taken from the Paradise Isle is an intimate account of the anger, resignation, philosophy, optimism, and love with which the Hoshida family endured their separation and incarceration during World War II. The volume includes historical footnotes and contextualization as well as government documents detailing the behind-the-scenes handling of the cases of George, Tamae, and others from Hawaii.

It has been a privilege to work with the family and community to bring this important story to publication at long last, decades after George put it together.

 

MEDIA

WUNC Radio: Prof. Kim speaks with host Frank Stasio on “The State of Things.”

An email Q&A on the Discover Nikkei webpage.

In the video below taken at a public event at Hunter College CUNY, Prof. Kim speaks about the Hoshidas at 1h 33′.

Downloadable press promotional flyer: Kim_ParadiseIsle_Flyer

Review links may be found at the UP Colorado page for the book.

Paradise Isle Facebook page

 

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