The Affect of DifferenceRepresentations of Race in East Asian Empire

The Affect of DifferenceRepresentations of Race in East Asian Empire

Christopher P. Hanscom and Dennis Washburn

Print publication date: 2016

ISBN: 9780824852801

Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press


This collection of essays examines the production of racial difference and its affects in East Asia under Japanese empire and the postwar geo-political order. The contributors turn to materials that demonstrate how race becomes visible or audible in the processes of inclusion and exclusion. From travelogues and records of speech to photographs, radio, plastic surgery, tattoos, postcards, fiction, the popular press, film and soundtracks, these explorations of diverse media demonstrate the links between the apprehension of racial difference, the formation of social and political hierarchies, and the experience of everyday culture under an expanding bio-political realm of imperial sovereignty. By demonstrating the ways in which the politics of inclusion and exclusion worked through explicitly racialized modes of representation, this collection sheds light on affective strategies common to the creation and maintenance of subjectivity across imperial formations. It also resituates theoretical and historical discussions of race and empire within an East Asian context, complicating the history of this region in provocative ways.