Review, Compositional Subjects, Enfiguring Asian American Women

With the hope of imagining and practicing alternative

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Unformatted text preview: ower dynamics are revealed by paying close attention to who controls the gaze of the camera, the flow of questions, and who is called upon to provide scholarly analysis. With the hope of “imagining and practicing alternative methods of documentation, representation, and composition,” Kang urges readers to interrogate historical and material conditions that allow Asian American feminists to locate and visually stage the subjectivities of other Asian women. In this way, Kang hopes to resist homogenization and the displacement of the agencies of Korean sex workers. Kang further suggests that these documentaries demonstrate the “untenability of any innocent and selfeffacing gesture of transnational diasporic or feminist affiliation between Korean American and Korean women” (262). As in this example, throughout Compositional Subjects, Kang works at two levels: at the textual, where she analyzes 218 • JAAS • 6:2 the operations and implications of the text under study; and at the metacritical, where she comments on the ways and means of analysis and representation itself. Indeed, Kang’s argument unfolds as powerfully as it does in this book in large part because she is able so persuasively to shed light upon the intimate connections between these levels. Kang ends her monograph on much the same note on which it began, by challenging the structures of identity and disciplinarity. Hoping to “productively extend the study of tensions and collision of identity, disciplinarity, and interdisciplinarity,” Kang urges us to understand compositions such as Camp Arirang and The...
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