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date: 21 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Exploring how the field of Asian American studies might transform the study of race in U.S. history more generally, this essay suggests the need to critique themes at the heart of American exceptionalism: immigration and assimilation or racial exclusion and national inclusion. By exposing the violence enacted and justified by the U.S. state and the inherently relational logic of racial formations, it argues, Asian American studies has the capacity to disrupt predominant narratives of national redemption to reveal a broader history of struggles over race, empire, and social justice. In particular, this essay highlights recent studies that have attempted to move beyond binary frames (black-white, Asian-white, loyal vs. disloyal) in the study of race.

Keywords: Asian American studies, race, history, American exceptionalism, state violence, empire, Korean-black conflict

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