Graphic Intimations: Postwar to Contemporary Asian Diasporic Art and Writing

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2019

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Abstract

Graphic Intimations: Postwar to Contemporary Asian Diasporic Art and Writing follows the oblique tensions in Asian diasporic creative compositions between art and writing, performance and inscription. Identifying the graphic—written and/or drawn—as a preeminent form for Asian diasporic artists and writers in North America, this project connects scholarship in Asian American literary studies on questions of form and social formation with the material histories of Asian diasporic visual culture. From postwar graphic internment memoirs to New York City subway writing, this dissertation traces the Asian diasporic graphic’s investments in embodied creative practices that intimate the sensible and sensual in queer, interracial, and cross-cultural liaisons.

Charting the history of the graphic as a twinned positivist technology of measurement and a visceral aesthetic response, this dissertation proposes that the Asian diasporic graphic intimates social possibilities formed in, but not necessarily of, the purview of nation and the state regulation of Asian North Americans as populations. Accordingly, this work examines how these artists’ staging of the graphic encounter might enact disruptive performances of unforeseen social intimacies and political affiliations during these decades that trouble the fidelity of visual documentation.

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Douglas, Kita (2019). Graphic Intimations: Postwar to Contemporary Asian Diasporic Art and Writing. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/18827.

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