By Pamela Thoma
A quantity within the American Literatures Initiative.
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Extra resources for Asian American Women's Popular Literature: Feminizing Genres and Neoliberal Belonging
Neoliberal maternal discourse includes inspirational tales recounting difficult journeys, popular feminist texts that valorize the maternal, and acclaimed works about traumatic or untenable circumstances for mothering and daughtering. ”10 Susan Douglas and Meredith Michaels have recently characterized the popular media representation of mothers and motherhood that has permeated social life in the United States since the 1970s as a “postfeminist media obsession” with the idealization of motherhood (9).
Asian American Women’s Popular Literature focuses on fictional print narratives, locates them in a neoliberal context that blurs distinctions among cultural, political, and consumer practices, and moves beyond interpretations of literature as aestheticized tools of liberal nation-building or as unequivocal affirmations of cultural citizenship. asian american women’s popular literatureâ•‡ /â•‡ 35 Chapter Overview Chapter 2, “Asian American Mother-Daughter Narrative and the Neoliberal American Dream of Transformative Femininity,” recontextualizes this most identifiable and feminizing genre of Asian American women’s literature in the citizenship discourse I call “neoliberal maternal discourse” and offers an alternative to shallow sentimentality for understanding the popularity of mother-daughter narratives.
34 One goal of this book is to revisit these debates since the tendency is still to dichotomize, either celebrating and romanticizing the popular practices of the public sphere on the one hand or dismissing them as depoliticizing on the other. An editor’s forum in the October 2012 volume of the Journal of Asian American Studies briefly takes up questions related to how Asian American studies might engage asian american women’s popular literatureâ•‡ /â•‡ 23 popular discourse more fully. It focuses on individual academics as public intellectuals or on how Asian American studies may benefit from cultivating scholars who would participate in popular media culture for more critical public-sphere dialogue, providing another indication that reconsideration of the complex role of publicity is especially important at this moment given the substantial development of the media.
Asian American Women's Popular Literature: Feminizing Genres and Neoliberal Belonging by Pamela Thoma