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WLP Scholar Series: Model Minority Masochism – Performing the Cultural Politics of Asian American Masculinity

April 8 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EDT

While many scholars and activists aim to disprove the Asian American “model minority” myth, author Takeo Rivera instead rethinks the model minority as cultural politics.

Rather than disproving the model minority, Rivera instead argues that Asian Americans have formulated their racial and gendered subjectivities in relation to what Rivera terms “model minority masochism.” Examining hegemonic masculine Asian American cultural performance across multiple media, from literature and theatre to video games and activist archives, Rivera details two complementary forms of contemporary racial masochism: a self-subjugating masochism that embraces the model minority, and its opposite, a self-flagellating masochism that punishes oneself for having been associated with the model minority at all.

Rivera is Assistant Professor of English at Boston University, where he is also core faculty in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and affiliated faculty in African American & Black Diaspora Studies and American & New England Studies.

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April 8
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm EDT
Event Category:


Department of Writing, Literature & Publishing