Review, Compositional Subjects, Enfiguring Asian American Women

Knowledge produced through this trifold mechanism of

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Unformatted text preview: hese categories. Knowledge produced through this trifold mechanism of “encased specification” is intertwined with and supported by powers embedded in academic disciplinarity. Kang warns readers that marginalized groups can claim visibility “under the most insidious compulsions” (18). For her, the creation of disciplined, identity-based scholarship constrains alternative possibilities for identification and knowledge production. While many understand the burgeoning body of scholarship by and “about” Asian and Asian American women as advantageous, Kang urges readers to rethink the “terms and conditions by which Asian/American women have been rendered legible, visible, and intelligible” (17). JAAS JUNE 2003 • 215—226 © THE JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY PRESS 216 • JAAS • 6:2 Methodologically, Kang employs “trenchant interdisciplinarity” to think more skeptically about producing knowledge around social identities. “Trenchant” here signals an “agnostic but nevertheless situated relation” to existing disciplines and their complicity in contributing to techniques of social control. Kang argues that the prefix “inter” is employed as a spatial term, which implicitly reveals academic disputes over territory and the imbuing of disciplines with a seeming “fixity.” In contrast to this territorial figuration, Compositional Subjects proposes an “inbetweenness” or “being in the midst of ” disciplinary knowledge and structures as...
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