Tao of S

Tao of S

America's Chinee & the Chinese Century in Literature and Film

A study of recent shifts in the depictions of Asian cultural stereotypes

The Tao of S is an engaging study of American racialization of Chinese and Asians, Asian American writing, and contemporary Chinese cultural production, stretching from the nineteenth century to the present. Sheng-mei Ma examines the work of nineteenth-century "Sinophobic" American writers, such as Bret Harte, Jack London, and Frank Norris, and twentieth-century "Sinophiliac" authors, such as John Steinbeck and Philip K. Dick, as well as the movies Crazy Rich Asians and Disney's Mulan and a host of contemporary Chinese authors, to illuminate how cultural stereotypes have swung from fearmongering to an overcompensating exultation of everything Asian. Within this framework Ma employs the Taoist principle of yin and yang to illuminate how roles of the once-dominant American hegemony—the yang—and the once-declining Asian civilization—the yin—are now, in the twenty-first century, turned upside down as China rises to write its side of the story, particularly through the soft power of television and media streamed worldwide.

A joint publication from the University of South Carolina Press and the National Taiwan University Press.

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • Contents
  • Series Editor’s Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: The Tao of S
  • Part I ▶ California Dreamin’
    • CHAPTER 1: Sinophobia/Sinophilia, circa 1870–2020, Harte–Trump
    • CHAPTER 2: Oriental High Gone to P(l)ot: Philip K. Dick and Counterculture Pilgrims
    • CHAPTER 3: Afro-Asian Filmic Duet
  • Part II ▶ Asian America Awakenin’
    • CHAPTER 4: Pacific Envy of Crazy Rich Asians
    • CHAPTER 5: From A(sian) to Z(ombie): Ling Ma’s Severance Package for the China Bug
    • CHAPTER 6: Asian America Double Tonguing
    • CHAPTER 7: “LONG LIVE the waste!”: Junk Food Bites Back in Jung’s Approved for Adoption
  • Part III ▶ The Chinese Century
    • CHAPTER 8: Online Bingeing of Free Chinese TV Bound to Soft Power: Entrance Exam Series and Sino-Fi
    • CHAPTER 9: The Wolf’s Substitute Family in Chinese TV Series: Social Realism and Wuxia Fantasy
    • CHAPTER 10: Soul Mates Can’t Mate: Homoerotic Tease in Annibaobei and Derek Tsang
    • CHAPTER 11: Private Slant Eye Getting Bigger, Faster, even Beijinger
  • Notes
  • Works Cited
  • Index


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