Voices Rising
320 pages, 6 x 9
25 b&w photos
Release Date:01 Jul 2007
Release Date:07 Feb 2007
Release Date:01 Jul 2007

Voices Rising

Asian Canadian Cultural Activism

UBC Press

In the late twentieth century, Western multicultural societies wrestled with questions of cultural difference, identity, and otherness. In Canada, activists from racialized communities took leading roles in the struggle over Canadian identity. Voices Rising examines Asian Canadian political and cultural activism around community building, identity making, racial equity, and social justice.

Informed by a postcolonial and postmodern cultural critique, Voices Rising traces the trajectory of progressive cultural discourse generated by Asian Canadian cultural activists over the course of several generations. Xiaoping Li draws on historical sources and personal testimonies to convincingly demonstrate how culture acts as a means of engagement with the political and social world.

As an interdisciplinary inquiry addressing topical issues of “race,” ethnicity, identity, and transculturalism, Voices Rising will be welcomed by scholars, researchers, and students in Canadian studies, cultural studies, ethnic histories, postcolonial theory, globalization studies, diaspora theory, and transcultural analysis. The general reader interested in Canadian identity and cultural history will also find this book accessible and useful.

An immensely important book. As the first in-depth analysis of Asian Canadian artistic and cultural life, Voices Rising will be referred to in years to come as a definitive work. It is not only full of interesting characters, but contains a succinct historical narrative that explains the genesis of the Asian Canadian social and creative movements, and shows how they have responded to the Canadian nation and a global world. Anthony Chan, author of Perpetually Cool: The Many Lives of Anna May Wong, 1905-1961
Voices Rising is an outstanding contribution to Asian Canadian cultural scholarship, combining illuminating historical analysis with extensive interviews across several generations. The interviews alone are a fascinating record of the cultural apprenticeship and personal life stories of important activists and artists. This book is essential reading for scholars, teachers, and students in the areas of Canadian literature, history, cultural studies, critical race theory, and Asian North American studies, and it is an excellent text for courses in the expanding field of Asian Canadian writing and culture. Glenn Deer, associate editor of Canadian Literature
Xiaoping Li is an independent researcher and professor in the Department of Sociology and Women’s Studies at Okanagan College, British Columbia.



Section I: Mapping Asian Canadian Cultural Activism

1 The Culture Question

2 Inventing Asian Canadian Culture

3 Becoming "Asian Canadian"

4 The Site of Memory

5 Differently Together

6 Redefining Asian Canadian Women

Section II:

7 Emergence

Harry Aoki

Tamio Wakayama

Aiko Suzuki

Keith Lock

Terry Watada

David Kenji Fujino

Sean Gunn

Keeman Wong

Section III:

8 Cross the Threshold

Fumiko Kiyooka

William Lau

Brenda Joy Lem

Gu Xiong

Kyo Maclear

Mina Shum

Valerie Sing Turner

Section IV:

9 Moving Ahead

Alvin Erasga Tolentino

Wayne Yung

Kagan Goh

Norman Lup

Man Yeung

Jen Lam





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