Racist Love:  Asian Abstraction and the Pleasure of Fantasy

Thursday, Apr 21, 2022 | 5:00 pm

Hybrid Event - In-Person & Zoom Webinar

04.21 | 5:00 PM PT (Hybrid Event) | CRG Co-sponsor Event
Racist Love:  Asian Abstraction and the Pleasure of Fantasy
with Leslie Bow (Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of English and Asian American Studies and Dorothy Draheim Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and author of Racist Love:  Asian Abstraction and the Pleasure of Fantasy)

In-Person – 602 Social Sciences Building (Please wear a mask.)
Zoom Webinar – Click here to register.

In Racist Love, Leslie Bow traces the ways in which Asian Americans become objects of anxiety and desire. Conceptualizing these feelings as “racist love,” she explores how race is projected onto Asianized things through race fetishism and the stereotype as a desiring structure. Bow shows how anthropomorphic objects and images–whether cartoon animals, home décor and cute tchotchkes, contemporary visual art, or AI–function as repositories of seemingly positive feelings and attachment to Asianness. At the same time, Bow demonstrates that these Asianized proxies reveal how fetishistic attraction and pleasure serve as a source of anti-Asian bias and violence. By outlining how attraction to popular representations of Asianness cloaks racial resentment and fears of globalization, Bow provides a new means of understanding the ambivalence surrounding Asians in the United States while offering a theory of the psychological, affective, and symbolic dynamics of racist love in contemporary America.

This event is wheelchair accessible. Please avoid wearing fragrances. For additional access requests, contact cssc@berkeley.edu.

Hosted by the Center for the Study of Sexual Culture. Co-sponsored by the Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies, the Asian American Research Center at the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, and the Center for Race and Gender.

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