By Tseen-Ling Khoo
This paintings offers a interpreting of east Asian-Australian and East Asian-Canadian novels whereas addressing the literary and political cultures of Australia and Canada. It examines those diasporic literatures in multicultural societies and their placement with regards to nationwide literatures.
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Additional info for Banana Bending: Asian-Australian and Asian-Canadian Literatures
In late 2001, the Canadian Senate passed a bill recognising May as 'Asian Heritage M o n t h ' Although these events have not effected radical change and could be accused of diverting Asian-Canadian cultural concerns along designated paths, it is a significant recognition of community and cultural presence Similar to most post-colonial nations in the Western world, the historical dominance of white groups underwrites the contemporary margmahsation of non-white concerns. This is possibly not as true for those of Asian descent w h o are born in Canada itself, because the relatively recent history of Asian citizenship and activism is now gaining significant profile and m o m e n t u m Canada's anti-Asian history parallels those of the United States and Austraha where fears of, and barriers to, the 'yellow peril' are concerned.
Looking outside Austraha, to similar national formations and other histories of diasporic Asian hterature, offers Asian-Austrahan studies the opportunity to re-site national arguments within global perspectives. T h e scarcity of Asian-Austrahan critical work and publishing can be attributed to the early stage of Asian-Australian community pohticisation as well as Australian resistance to including racial minority groups withm governing and other social structures. Because of this, the field of AsianAustralian studies progresses slowly.
These include the awarding of redress to Japanese-Canadians in 1988, the subsequent establishment of the R a c e Relations Foundation, and the establishment of other initiatives to promote multiculturalism and to combat racism. O t h e r p r i m e factors w h i c h affect the c u r r e n t socio-cultural environment of Asian-Canadians include the ambivalent nature of CanadianUnited States coalitions and the cultural ties of artists within and between Asian-Canadian communities Kogawa's quotation in my epigraph gestures to the 'nation of migrants' model that is applicable to many nations in the world However, it has particular inflections for Asian-Canadians and the assumptions made about visibly different groups and individuals.
Banana Bending: Asian-Australian and Asian-Canadian Literatures by Tseen-Ling Khoo