SCL Pick for Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month 2012: "Interracial Encounters"

Did you know that May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month? This celebration was established in 1978, and recognizes the contributions of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States. “The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869.” (Source:
With this in mind, today’s SCL Pick is the newly-acquired Interracial Encounters : Reciprocal Representations in African American and Asian American Literatures, 1896-1937. Written by Julia H. Lee (2011, New York University Press), this book “explores the diverse ways in which Asian American and African American texts represented racial relations and racial others in an era dominated by a national racial philosophy that presumed, as W.E.B. Du Bois put it, the ‘high civilization of the whites, the lack of culture among the blacks, the apparent incapacity for self-rule in many non-Europeans, and the stagnation of Asia’” (Source: Syndetic Solutions).
Interested in this area of study? Come by the SCL! Today’s pick is but one of several volumes on Afro-Asian topics available here at the Library. For instance, check out last year’s selections here and here. And stay tuned for more SCL Picks this week and next, as we highlight some fabulous new titles that have recently been added to the collection. Happy reading!

SCL Picks: "The Cool-Kawaii: Afro-Japanese Aesthetics and New World Modernity"

In recognition of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, this week the Stone Center Library recommends: 

The cool-kawaii : Afro-Japanese aesthetics and new world modernity. 2011. By Thorsten Botz-Bornstein.

“At the turn of the millennium, international youth culture is mainly dominated by two types of aesthetics: African American cool, which, propelled by hip-hop music, has become the world’s favorite youth culture, and Japanese aesthetics of Kawaii or cute, which is distributed internationally by Japan’s powerful anime industry. The Cool-Kawaii: Afro-Japanese Aesthetics and New World Modernity, by Thorsten Botz-Bornstein, analyzes these attitudes and explains the intrinsic powers that are leading to a fusion of both aesthetics.”

Interested in learning more? Check out what two reviewers had to say:

“By investigating the rich manifestations of two globalizing aesthetics—cuteness and coolness—Thorsten Botz-Bornstein offers a subtle interpretation that explores the nexus of consumerism, virtual reality, and ethics. “—Brian J. McVeigh, University of Arizona
“Thorsten Botz-Bornstein’s vast knowledge of philosophy and theory is amalgamated with his keen understanding of Japanese, African-American, and Afro-Japanese cultures to explain with precision, clarity, and valuable insights, tricky concepts such as kawaii, modernity, cuteness, coolness, kitsch, and dandyism. Drawing upon boundless examples, including those of Japanese manga and anime, Botz-Bornstein has given us a volume that will spark discussion and debate in a number of disciplines and set a standard for theoretical analysis.”—John A. Lent, Publisher and Editor-in-chief, International Journal of Comic Art

Happy reading! 🙂

Summary: Syndetic Solutions
Reviews: Lexington Books website

May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month! Resources available @the Stone Center Library!

In celebration of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, here’s a quick sampling of some Stone Center Library titles on Afro-Asian topics:
Everybody was Kung Fu fighting : Afro-Asian connections and the myth of cultural purity. 2001. By Vijay Prashad.

  • “Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting examines five centuries of remarkable cultural & political interaction between black & Asians around the world. Prashad offers the theory of polyculturalism, which allows for solidarity, not just lip service to diversity.”**

AfroAsian encounters : culture, history, politics. 2006. Edited by Heike Raphael-Hernandez and Shannon Steen; with a foreword by Vijay Prashad and afterword by Gary Okihiro.

  • “the first anthology to look at the mutual influence of and relationships between members of the African and Asian diasporas. While these two groups have often been thought of as occupying incommensurate, if not opposing, cultural and political positions, scholars from history, literature, media, and the visual arts here trace their interconnections and interactions, as well as the tensions between the two groups that sometimes arise. AfroAsian Encounters probes beyond popular culture to trace the historical lineage of these coalitions from the late nineteenth century to the present.”**
  • “Fred Ho and Bill V. Mullen have assembled a first-rate dossier of Afro-Asian work. It is equal parts lyrical and analytical. Flies like a butterfly; stings like a bee.”–Vijay Prashad, author of “Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity”**

Happy reading!
**Source: reviews provided by Syndetic Solutions.