The Refugee Aesthetic

Reimagining Southeast Asian America

Timothy K. August
Book Cover

PB: $27.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1531-8
Publication: Feb 21

HC: $99.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-1530-1
Publication: Feb 21

Ebook: $27.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1532-5
Publication: Feb 21

184 pages
5.25 x 8.5
7 halftones

Explores how refugees are represented and represent themselves

Description

The refugee is conventionally considered a powerless figure, eagerly cast aside by both migrant and host communities. In his book, The Refugee Aesthetic, Timothy August investigates how and why a number of Southeast Asian American artists and writers have recently embraced the figure of the refugee as a particularly transformative position. He explains how these artists, theorists, critics, and culture-makers reconstruct their place in the American imagination by identifying and critiquing the underlying structures of power that create refugees in the contemporary world.

August looks at the outside forces that shape refugee representation and how these expressions are received. He considers the visual legacy of the Southeast Asian refugee experience by analyzing music videos, graphic novels, and refugee artwork. August also examines the power of refugee literature, showing how and why Southeast Asian American writers look to the refugee position to disentangle their complicated aesthetic legacy.

Arguing that “aesthetics” should be central to the conceptualization of critical refugee studies, August shows how representational structures can galvanize or marginalize refugees, depending on how refugee aesthetics are used and circulated.

About the Author(s)

Timothy K. August is an Assistant Professor of English at Stony Brook University.


Subjects

In the Series

  • Asian American History and Culture edited by Cathy Schlund-Vials, Rick Bonus, and Shelley Sang-Hee Lee

    Founded by Sucheng Chan in 1991, the Asian American History and Culture series has sponsored innovative scholarship that has redefined, expanded, and advanced the field of Asian American studies while strengthening its links to related areas of scholarly inquiry and engaged critique. Like the field from which it emerged, the series remains rooted in the social sciences and humanities, encompassing multiple regions, formations, communities, and identities. Extending the vision of founding editor Sucheng Chan and emeriti editor Michael Omi, David Palumbo-Liu, K. Scott Wong and Linda Trinh Võ, series editors Cathy Schlund-Vials, Rick Bonus, and Shelley Sang-Hee Lee continue to develop a foundational collection that embodies a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to Asian American studies.