The goal of this final paper is to compose an analysis of two reading excerpts in relation to each other. You need to analyze the concepts/themes being addressed in each excerpt you chose, and then demonstrate how the two separate sources relate or complement each other (at this point, you can also focus on the entire essay/story in its entirety rather than the excerpted portion).
As a part of your argument, integrate relevant concepts or themes discussed during the semester and its impact on people and culture (for example, Orientalism, cultural appropriation, cultural hybridity, soft power versus hard power, colonization, postcolonialism, consumerism, commodification, and war, to name a few).
Even as these works stem from different periods in time and places of origin, address thematic commonalities or differences. Moreover, once you have established a relationship between the two passages, incorporate at least TWO (2) outside supporting examples that extend upon your argument/analysis. These examples do NOT provide background history/information, but should further illustrate the synthesis of ideas from the two selected excerpts. Ambitious attempts are always welcomed, especially for the more difficult readings.
Requirements checklist (Failure to meet any of these will result in point deductions):
Follow prompt directions
Have a clear argument/topic
Do not summarize readings
Integrate concrete information/support from readings
Demonstrate a relationship between selected readings
Proofread your essay
Adhere to consistent formatting requirements: e.g., MLA/APA
Include proper works cited page (does not count as a part of the page total)
Submit by deadline
These are the six selections that you need to choose from. Do NOT copy the entire quote into your essay.
1. Eddie Huang: I would never want to be the person to tell white people, “You can’t cook this.” It’s not about, “You’re white and you can’t cook it.” It’s about power. There’s very few things that someone from Thailand can bring to America and get people to pay top dollar for. Food is one of them. And when somebody else does it instead, it’s like, ‘There goes our opportunity” . . . I’m concerned about cultural appropriation. Ownership of soft power. Times are changing. People don’t want to fight wars. And food is part of that, part of soft power. People need to be more defensive about it, and they need to take ownership of it.
2. Soleil Ho: The Westerner as cultural connoisseur and authority… is a theme that has shone… in the imperialist imagination ever since Marco Polo first rushed back to Europe to show off the crazy Chinese “ice cream” that he discovered on his travels. I don’t doubt that these guys love bulgogi and soba and want more people to enjoy them, but that kind of appreciation certainly doesn’t seem to have advanced their understanding of the Asian American experience beyond damaging and objectifying generalities.
Their commonality is their insistence on appreciating a culture that exists mostly in their heads; they share a nostalgia for someone else’s life. Nostalgia traps the things you love in glass jars, letting you appreciate their arrested beauty until they finally die of boredom or starvation. The sought-after object cannot move on from you or depart from the fixed impression that you have imposed upon it. After all, a thing can’t be “authentic” if it’s allowed the power to change. Robbed of its ability to evolve on its own, the only way such a thing can venture into the future is as an accessory worn by someone who can.
3. Doobo Shim: The third approach comprises discourses that identify cultural hybridity and investigate power relations between periphery and centre from the perspective of postcolonial criticism (Kraidy, 2002; Shome and Hegde, 2002). Paradoxically, globalization encourages local peoples to redicover the ‘local’ that they have neglected or forgotten in their drive towards Western-imposed modernization during the past decades (Featherstone, 1993; Robertson, 1995). There are two distinct modes of re-localization in non-Western political and cultural formations. While some forces and groups–such as Hindu nationalists in India, and the Taleban in Afghanistan–campaign for a return to the imagined ‘good old days’, others–such as the Asian tiger economies–revisit or strengthen their own developmental routes by embracing and utilizing the new glocal economic situation (Chadha and Kavoori, 2000). In this transnational context of a meeting between the periphery and the centre, hybridity reveals itself as new practices of cultural and performative expression. For example, locals appropriate global goods, conventions and styles, including music, cuisine, cinema, fashion and so on, and inscribe their everyday meaning into them (Bhabha, 1994; Young, 2003)
4. Hazel Smith: It is common to see accounts of life in North Korea that disregard scientific protocols. Basic chronological logic is ignored and bits of isolated “data” are used to support large claims that supposedly are truthful for any era and every part of society. Defector accounts are regularly misused in this way. Accounts that are speculative or unsubstantiated and where research processes cannot be replicated are also antithetical to even the most basic forms of science, yet these form a mainstay of common knowledge on North Korea. Much of North Korean “analysis” displays the classic error made of neophyte students, which is to look for “facts” that fit prior assumptions. In the case of North Korea, these are dominated by security concerns to the extent that understandings about all aspects of North Korean society, economy, and government are subsumed under and within a securitized understanding. Within this “securitized” perspective, “knowledge” outcomes are predetermined by the use of highly biased assumptions that are very often smuggled in unannounced.
5. Nam Le: The thing is not to write what no one else could have written, but to write what only you could have written. I recently found this fragment in one of my old notebooks. The person who wrote that couldn’t have known what would happen: how time can hold itself against you, how a voice hollows, how words you once loved can wither on the page.
“Why do you want to write this story?” my father asked me.
“It’s a good story.”
“But there are so many things you could write about.”
“This is important, Ba. It’s important that people know.”
“You want their pity.”
I didn’t know whether it was a question. I was offended. “I want them to remember,” I said.
He was silent for a long time. Then he said, “Only you’ll remember. I’ll remember. They will read and clap their hands and forget.” For once, he was not smiling. “Sometimes it’s better to forget, no?”
“I’ll write it anyway,” I said. It came back to me—how I had felt at the typewriter the night before. A thought leapt into my mind: “If I write a true story,” I told my father, “I’ll have a better chance of selling it.”
He looked at me a while, searchingly, as though seeing something for the first time. Then he said, in a considered voice, “I’ll tell you. But believe me, it’s not something you’ll be able to write.”
“I’ll write it anyway,” I repeated.
6. Salman Rushdie: I look at my own home, and I see that it has been plundered by burglars. I can’t deny that there is a residue of distress . . . Their museums are full of our treasures, I meant. Their fortunes and cities, built on the loot they took. So on, so forth. One forgives, of course; that is our national nature. One need not forget.’ Zulu pointed at a tramp, sleeping on the next bench in a ragged hat and coat. ‘Did he steal from us, too?’ he asked.
‘Never forget,’ said Chekov, wagging a finger, ‘that the British working class collaborated for its own gain the colonial project. Manchester cotton workers, for instance, supported the destruction of our cotton industry. As diplomats we must never draw attention to such facts; but facts, nevertheless they remain.’
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