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Scrutinized!Surveillance in Asian North American Literature$
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Monica Chiu

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780824838423

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824838423.001.0001

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The Conspicuous Subjects of Interracial Spaces in Nina Revoyr’s Southland

The Conspicuous Subjects of Interracial Spaces in Nina Revoyr’s Southland

(p.48) Chapter 3 The Conspicuous Subjects of Interracial Spaces in Nina Revoyr’s Southland

Monica Chiu

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines how Asian (ethnic) enclaves have been demonized as dangerous, threatening racial spaces into which innocent subjects are transformed, disappear, or die by offering a reading of Nina Revoyr's 2003 novel Southland. In Southland, Revoyr maps the twin themes of love and hate in the multiracial Crenshaw neighborhood in Los Angeles and introduces readers to a changing landscape of race relations in a region that eventually disintegrated into an African American ghetto, a space with connotations related to violence and crime. In Revoyr's novel, Japanese Americans are proclaimed enemy aliens during World War II but are eventually accepted as hardworking minorities. This chapter explores the political interconnections among place, racial strife, and social identity, particularly in relation to the vacillating construction of Asian Americans against the relatively static representation of African Americans as potential threats.

Keywords:   crime, racial spaces, Nina Revoyr, Southland, Los Angeles, Crenshaw neighborhood, race relations, Japanese Americans, Asian Americans, African Americans

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