ANNE ANLIN CHENG THE MELANCHOLY OF RACE PDF

She is an interdisciplinary scholar who works at the intersection of aesthetics and politics, drawing from literary theory, critical race studies, film theory, feminist theory, and psychoanalysis. She works primarily with twentieth-century American literature and visual culture with special focus on Asian American and African American literatures. She is the author of The Melancholy of Race: Assimilation, Psychoanalysis, and Hidden Grief Oxford University Press , a study of the notion of racial grief at the intersection of culture, history, and law. Her second book Second Skin: Josephine Baker and the Modern Surface , also published by Oxford University Press, excavates the story of the unexpected intimacy between modern architectural theory and the invention of a modernist style and the conceptualization of black skin at the turn of the twentieth century. This study offers a feminist theory of the yellow woman and suggests that embedded within the extensive archive of Euro-American Orientalism is an archaeology of synthetic personhood that is integral to the ideal of modern, organic, western personhood. Cheng is currently working on another project on race at the intersection of food and animal Studies.

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She is an interdisciplinary scholar who works at the intersection of aesthetics and politics, drawing from literary theory, critical race studies, film theory, feminist theory, and psychoanalysis.

She works primarily with twentieth-century American literature and visual culture with special focus on Asian American and African American literatures.

She is the author of The Melancholy of Race: Assimilation, Psychoanalysis, and Hidden Grief Oxford University Press , a study of the notion of racial grief at the intersection of culture, history, and law. Her second book Second Skin: Josephine Baker and the Modern Surface , also published by Oxford University Press, excavates the story of the unexpected intimacy between modern architectural theory and the invention of a modernist style and the conceptualization of black skin at the turn of the twentieth century.

This study offers a feminist theory of the yellow woman and suggests that embedded within the extensive archive of Euro-American Orientalism is an archaeology of synthetic personhood that is integral to the ideal of modern, organic, western personhood. Cheng is currently working on another project on race at the intersection of food and animal Studies. Cheng received her B. Prior to returning to Princeton as a faculty, she taught at Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley.

Cheng is the founder and organizer of the public conversation series Critical Encounters that promotes dialogue between art and theory and encourages cross-disciplinary conversations on the shared topic of social justice. Past programs include a collaborative student reenactment of the Minoru Yasui Trial, with Judge Denny Chin, which highlights the roles of Asian Americans in American legal history as well as explores the enduring question of civil rights and the American Constitution; a screening of new works by internationally renowned filmmaker Isaac Julien; a conversation between contemporary experimental playwrights Jorge Ignacio Cortinas and Young Jean Lee.

Selected Publications:.

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Anne A. Cheng

Psychoanalysis, Assimilation, and Hidden Grief Anne Anlin Cheng A highly original and accessible study of race and its relations to melancholia The Melancholy of Race Psychoanalysis, Assimilation, and Hidden Grief Anne Anlin Cheng Race and American Culture Description In this groundbreaking, interdisciplinary study Anne Anlin Cheng argues that we have to understand racial grief not only as the result of racism but also as a foundation for racial identity. The Melancholy of Race proposes that racial identification is itself already a melancholic act—a social category that is imaginatively supported through a dynamic of loss and compensation, by which the racial other is at once rejected and retained. Using psychoanalytic theories on mourning and melancholia as inroads into her subject, Cheng offers a closely observed and carefully reasoned account of the minority experience as expressed in works of art by, and about, Asian-Americans and African-Americans. She argues that the racial minority and dominant American culture both suffer from racial melancholia and that this insight is crucial to a productive reimagining of progressive politics.

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Annotation: Anne Anlin Cheng’s “The Melancholy of Race’ (2001)

Read preview Synopsis In this groundbreaking, interdisciplinary study Anne Anlin Cheng argues that we have to understand racial grief not only as the result of racism but also as a foundation for racial identity. The Melancholy of Race proposes that racial identification is itself already a melancholic act--a social category that is imaginatively supported through a dynamic of loss and compensation, by which the racial other is at once rejected and retained. Using psychoanalytic theories on mourning and melancholia as inroads into her subject, Cheng offers a closely observed and carefully reasoned account of the minority experience as expressed in works of art by, and about, Asian-Americans and African-Americans. She argues that the racial minority and dominant American culture both suffer from racial melancholia and that this insight is crucial to a productive reimagining of progressive politics. Her discussion ranges from "Flower Drum Song" to "M. Butterfly," Brown v. Her investigations reveal the common interests that social, legal, and literary histories of race have always shared with psychoanalysis, and situates Asian-American and African-American identities in relation to one another within the larger process of American racialization.

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The Melancholy of Race

Through a wonderfully chosen series of literary and cultural phenomena, she captures both the hidden melancholy of those who, in order to conform to the American dream, learn to discriminate against themselves, and the even more hidden melancholy of a nation thus deprived of some of the most vital energies of its citizens. That she does so in a volume that offers her readers the genuine jolt of intellectual surprise testifies at once to the originality of her insights and to our need for the vital and revitalizing intelligence with which she makes possible new ways of questioning the terms through which we pose, and thereby reimpose, the so-called question of race. Deftly using psychoanalytic theory to expose the roots of racial identity, Cheng also demonstrates, through her compelling readings, the inextricability of politics and desire. It is also sufficiently complex to credit the productive possibilities of melancholic consciousness.

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