Below I have attached the final paper guidelines. This class has been extremely difficult for me and I need to receive an A on this paper. This paper does need to include sources from the course material, however it is easy to access all of the material necessary for the paper.

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AAS 152: Asian American Literary and Popular Culture: Race, Fantasy, Futures
Guidelines for Final Paper/Project
Fall 18 Professor Leslie Bow
Due Week 15 in section (20%)
You have two options for written work due at the end of the semester:
1. Paper based on below topics (or a topic of your choice in consultation with your section
leader). The guidelines are identical to those provided for the midterm paper.
2. Creative project with short, evaluative, self-reflective written statement.
Please make note of your section leader’s office hours for optional paper conferences. The Writing
Center on the 6th fl of HC White is also available for draft or brainstorming consultations by
appointment online or with limited drop-in hours: (608) 263-1992 or
The requirements for each are described below:
1. Final Paper Topics
Guidelines: The final paper focuses on your own close analysis of a course text based on issues and
contexts developed out of lectures, readings, and discussion reflected in the prompts below. Your
paper should
be 5-6 pages (1250-1500) words, labeled with your name, titled, typed, double-spaced, page
numbered, one inch margins, 12-pt font, and [stapled or in a word file]. See your section
leader for preferred method of delivery.
develop a specific argument with a clear thesis statement in the introduction.
include analysis in close readings of text, passages, images, or graphics (i.e. refer to specific
passages in the text that support your argument).
engage any of the readings for this course from and including Week 9.
The use of secondary sources is optional unless otherwise noted. If you include graphics in your
paper, please note that these do not count towards the word-length requirement.
See the documents, “Shared goals for literary paper-writing” and “citation examples” uploaded to
Canvas for expectations on literary critical writing, citing page numbers internally, and bibliographic
citations (modified MLA style). If your paper engages only the reading on the course syllabus, no
bibliography is required unless otherwise noted below.
Choose one topic. These are merely areas of inquiry and do not specify a thesis. They should
function as a starting point for your own reflections rather than a restriction of them. You are free to
tailor any topic to your area of interest or develop your own topic in consultation with your section
leader. You will not be graded on how closely you adhere to the prompts, but on how well you fulfill
the premises of an argument that you initiate. It is not necessary to rehearse material from section or
lecture in your paper, but you are welcome to reference it. Choose the prompt that inspires your
ideas and your interpretation and develop your thesis based on these. Your paper should be free of
grammatical, spelling, and proofing errors to the best of your ability.
a. Making the Case: Asian Fetishism through the Commodity
Throughout the course, we have talked about the ways in which things become Asianized as part
of the pleasure of their U.S. consumption. Following the model provided by our reading, this
topic invites you to explore that relationship more closely by analyzing a specific commodity or
practice that has particular significance for Asians in the U.S.. Authors Sujata Moorti, Lisa
Helke, Sunaina Maira, Douglas McGray, Euny Hong and Koichi Iwabuchi explore the
circulation of products and practices in the context of cultural appropriation or the “soft power”
of nations. Moorti, Helke, and Maira take up the fetishization of Asian culture directly through
the pashmina, Thai recipes, and mehndi respectively. McGray, Hong, and Iwabuchi engage the
politics of national resonance within globalization arguing for or against the notion of
“mukokuseki,” the “statelessness” of commodities as part of their appeal.
In the first half of your paper, choose two of the above authors to frame an argument about the
ways in which Asia becomes fetishized within American culture. Mirroring their engagement, in
the second half of your paper, focus on one commodity or practice of your choice that provides
an example of fetishization or appropriation. In keeping with our course themes, analyze the
symbolic meaning underlying the object or activity. Your argument might anticipate common
counter-arguments to this political frame: that consumption reflects cultural appreciation,
homage, or adaptation. Your paper should make clear that how your chosen object or practice is
a conduit of deeper racial and cultural meaning.
Note: A bibliography of sources is required for this topic.
b. Techno-Orientalism, Asian Futurity
In “Techno-Orientalism” (1995), David Morley and Kevin Robins identify a specific form of
“yellow peril” representation focused on 1980s fears surrounding Japan’s economic ascendency
in the realm of technology, what they identify as the “Japan problem.” Write a paper in which
you expand and extend Morley and Robins’ argument about the association between Japan and
technology to a broader frame in which Asia “is held up as the future” (149) in popular media,
visual culture, sci fi, or speculative fiction. Where else do we see the lingering effects of what
they call “techno-orientalism” surfacing in contemporary U.S. culture?
Focusing on one or two examples of your own choosing, discuss the ways in which these
examples link Asian “Otherness” to technology. The first half of your paper should distill the
argument made in “Techno-Orientalism”; the second half of your paper should describe, analyze,
and unveil the stakes underlying your example(s). Does your example reflect the traits depicted
by Morley and Robins, for example, the image of a culture “that is cold, impersonal and
machinelike,” one in which “barbarians have now become robots” (172)? How is Asia
implicated within a vision of the future and what is the nature of that vision?
Note: A bibliography of sources is required for this topic.
c. The Arrival: Fairy-tale Realism?
At its inception, Asian American literature was narrowly read through an ethnographic lens and
valued primarily for its contributions to the literature of social realism. In contrast, we have been
focusing on what it means to depict racial-ethnic experiences in the context of fantasy. What
does a text like The Arrival gain or lose in its portrayal of immigrant’s migration to an imaginary
place of refuge?
As in Time Magazine’s “morphies” grid of invented interracial subjects, Part Asian/100% Hapa
could be said to celebrate the notion of diversity embodied by multiracial figures. Both visual
texts implicitly address the spectre of immigration, but forestall anxieties surrounding it through
the image of healthy, attractive diversity. On the surface level, The Arrival might likewise be
said to reflect American cultural values celebrating immigration in its portrayal of a imaginary
Pacific Rim nation as a site of acceptance, inclusion, or respite. Conversely, the text might also
be read as a much darker commentary on migration, adjustment, and modern alienation. Write a
paper in which you explore the ways in which The Arrival can be interpreted as providing both a
critique and a celebration of immigration and the processes of acculturation to a new
environment. What does its fantasy displacement add to its realist message about migration? To
what extent does the turn to fantasy deflect or universalize social conflict, evacuating its political
content or real world referents?
d. Metaphoric Oppression
Can animal allegories, fake ethnics, or imagined landscapes enhance our understanding of social
hierarchy in the “real” world? Is fantasy political? Monstress does not invoke race or ethnicity
overtly even as it depicts a “race” war as its central plot. Even as it portrays a matriarchal
society, its feminist politics are likewise somewhat veiled. One could say that it renders political
oppression metaphoric, disembodied, or fantastically embodied. Should we see this as an
evasion of politics? Or does it help us think through themes of social status, privilege, and
“Otherness” more complexly and imaginatively because they are portrayed at a step removed?
Invoking specific instances and images in the text as evidence, write a paper in which you
evaluate the ways in which Liu’s portrayal of an imagined dystopia asks us to reflect on history,
women’s empowerment, species hierarchy, or racial politics. What can fantasy do that the social
realism of our other readings can’t?
2. Creative Project with evaluative, self-reflective written statement
This assignment gives you the opportunity to produce an original, creative piece that engages a topic
inspired by the reading, lectures, or class discussions of the course. Asian American art practices
often directly (or indirectly) engage issues of social justice and race-based politics. In lieu of a
traditional final paper, this prompt gives you the option to explore these connections in a format of
your choice. Forms include but are not limited to: poetry; performance (choreography, music,
comedy, slam poetry); script or monologue; creative video; 2-D art, 3-D art; comics; photographic
essay; short story or personal narrative.
Guidelines: There is no length requirement associated with the creative component of your final
project (excluding the below) and there is no prompt specifying its content. However, the nature of
your intervention and its connection to our course should be clear. Your piece might engage themes
of activism, whitewashing, yellowface, kawaii, multi-racialism, the Asian fetish and yellow fever,
racial microaggressions, Asian American masculinity, Asian American satire, globalization,
stereotyping, dystopia, immigration. Or it may well take “Asian American Literary and Popular
Culture: Race, Fantasy, Futures” into a new direction.
The creative option must be paired with a written statement of 2-3 pages (500-750 words) labeled
with your name, typed, double-spaced, page numbered, one inch margins, 12-pt font, and [stapled or
in a word file]. The statement should frame your creative project, reflect upon its origins and
investments, and analyze its connection to the course or course reading.
See your section leader for preferred means of delivering your final project.
If you would like to share your project in lecture or section, alert me or your section leader by
Monday, 12/3, Week 14.

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