Unlearning Othering: Asian Australian and Asian American Women's Fiction


Emily Yu Zong

PhD defended at: 

University of Queensland



The thesis brings into dialogue contemporary Asian Australian and Asian American women's fiction (1994-2012). In interrogating hybrid identities, embodied female subjectivity, exoticist encounters, and the multicultural community in these works, I situate these writers within a counter-hegemonic, reflexive frame of "unlearning Othering." Their works imaginatively restore the complexity of a categorised diasporic subjectivity, broaden constituencies of the imagined nation, and reclaim pluralist frames of hybridity, multiculturalism, and cosmopolitanism. Writers examined here include the Asian Australian authors Simone Lazaroo, Merlinda Bobis, Chandani Lokugé, and Hsu-Ming Teo and the Asian American authors Jhumpa Lahiri, Julie Otsuka, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, and Gish Jen.