Monday, November 5
| AMY TANG
Assistant Professor of English and American Studies, Wesleyan University
This talk explores the concept of trauma and the cultural work it performs in Asian American Studies. While trauma provides a powerful language for exploring how histories of colonialism, imperialism, and racism continue to impact contemporary racial subjects, the prevalence of this framework also threatens to privilege historical recovery over social transformation. To consider how trauma might function not only as a technology for recovering the past, but also as a way of reconfiguring the present, I turn to Susan Choi’s 1999 novel The Foreign Student, where trauma helps to excavate the history of the Korean War but also offers suggestive insights into one of the most pressing concerns in contemporary critical race studies: the question of how to think race in comparative terms.