Dr. Leslie Bow, Professor of English and Asian American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, joined us March 21, 2012 to talk to us about her book “Partly Colored”: Asian Americans and Racial Anomaly in the Segregated South(New York University Press, 2010).
“Partly Colored”: Meditations on Race, Asian Americans, and Segregation
Where did the Asian sit on the segregated bus?
How were Asian Americans represented within the racial logic of Jim Crow?
Leslie Bow discusses her most recent book , “Partly Colored”: Asian Americans and Racial Anomaly in the Segregated South (New York University Press, 2010) and explores the ways in which Asians came to be portrayed as “partly colored” in the U.S. South, tracing narratives that attempted to reconcile them to the seemingly uncompromising distinction between black and white.
Investigating the ways in which racially “in-between” subjects and communities were understood within the region’s prevailing cultural logic, she locates Asian American representation in visual culture, memoir, and ethnography as a site of cultural anxiety and negotiation. What she uncovers is not so much an alternative account of white supremacy and racism, but a genealogy of repressed dissonance that has consequence for the ways that we remember the Jim Crow era and its legacy. Are Asian Americans between black and white?
This event was co-sponsored by The Center for Multicultural Education & Ethnic Studies Program and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program in the School of Integrative Studies and by the Inclusion Council at Edgewood College.