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Undercover AsianMultiracial Asian Americans in Visual Culture$

Leilani Nishime

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038075

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038075.001.0001

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(p.xi) Preface Why Are You?

(p.xi) Preface Why Are You?

Multiracial Asian Americans and the Question of Visibility

Undercover Asian

Leilani Nishime

University of Illinois Press

During a publicity tour for The Replacements (2000), actor Keanu Reeves appeared on The Tonight Show reminiscing about his early days in Hollywood. He explained that his agent had tried to convince him to change his name to K. C. Reeves because, he said, “People won’t know what you are.” Leno responded, “What is a Keanu?” The audience laughed, and the conversation moved on. This oblique reference to Reeves’s race might have led to a longer digression into matters of multiracial recognition or racial passing, but Leno’s quip cut short that possibility. The absurd response also let the audience off the hook since the query neither had an answer nor did it appear to need one. This brief exchange encapsulates the broader failure of audiences to perceive, much less define, Reeves as multiracial. It is also emblematic of popular representations of multiracial people that introduce racial difference only to undermine its significance.

Rather than accepting “What is a Keanu?” as a rhetorical question, this book riffs on and returns to it in both straightforward and distorted ways. Is it a person or a type? Is it a new racial formation? Is it merely a repetition of old racial categories in a new and alluring packaging? Or is it something outside and beyond race? Drawing from the example of Reeves and other mass-media images of multiracial Asian Americans, this book ultimately answers “no” to all the above questions. Rather, it shows that “a Keanu” is repository of and a response to ever-evolving notions of race.

We treat race as if it originates in bodies and as if it could be understood in the same way across space and historical period, placing it outside of culture. (p.xii) Since the visual seems to be unmediated, with the eye simply recording an objective reality, visual racial difference appears to confirm the truth of race. But because audiences read multiracial bodies differently across contexts, those bodies are a crucial site of confrontation with our experience of race as always and transhistorically legible. The ways in which audiences read Reeves racially, for example, has shifted throughout his career: early on, he could refer to himself as a “middle-class white kid,”1 while his later publicity consistently refers to him as a “mixed-race” Asian. Seemingly unrelated media rumors from early in his career regarding his sexuality and his status as an international movie actor late in his career have worked in tandem to racialize Reeves in varied ways, depending on time and context. Visual representations of the multiracial Asian Americans discussed here challenge our ability to fix and define what Asian American, multiracial or otherwise, looks like. Understanding how ideological narratives of race, sexuality, gender, and nation intersect to create or erase multiracial representation is the central task of this book.

The importance of situating race within a specific cultural and historical moment underwrites my use of the unwieldy term “multiracial Asian American” throughout the book. The term multiracial would appear to be at odds with the singular racial designation of Asian Americans. If we are undermining racial categories and focusing on racial forms that cross color lines, then why return to a term that invokes those same identity boundaries? As standalone terms, “multiracial” or “mixed race” would seem to offer more freedom by rejecting racial specificity. However, there are two primary reasons why a unified multiracial racial designation is inadequate for this project. First, in the binary racial system of the United States, the unmodified term multiracial often stands in for African American and white biracial people. While the black/white racial binary is fundamental to all racial formations in the United States, it also means that alternative multiracial representations must be marked as such. Second, and more crucial, is the generic nature of the term multiracial, which assumes a coherent identity untethered from particularized histories or social hierarchies.2 It implies the formation of an entirely new or emergent racial identity. Rather than imagining a radical break from familiar racial categories, the term multiracial Asian American asserts the continuity and particularity of racial formation.3

Instead of casting a wide net and attempting to find commonalities between all multiracial people, a study of multiracial Asian Americans attends to the particular place of Asian Americans in relation to other racial groups in the United States. Paradoxically, this narrowing opens up a broader field of inquiry, as each object of study can be read against the other. The cases examined in this book allow the reader to compare African/Asian Americans and White/Asian (p.xiii) Americans, conventional and queered bodies, transnational and domestic identities, as well as high-culture and mass-culture objects in order to understand multiracial representations at the intersections of distinct discourses of gender, sexuality, nation, and class.4 As a result, we can read racial representations as producing and produced by the convergence of multiple identity narratives.

What Is a Keanu?

Despite the media spotlight currently turned on multiracial people,5 we still have a paucity of multiracial stories in fictional visual media. News stories report on the growing numbers of interracial marriages and a rapid increase in the number of people choosing more than one racial category on the census to breathlessly declare a new racial reality in the United States. With some of the highest rates of exogamous marriage in the United States—some Asian ethnic populations chart an out-marriage rate of over 50 percent—Asian Americans would seem to personify this new era.6 Yet, their stories fail to register in almost all visual popular culture. When multiracial Asian Americans do appear in film (comedian Rob Schneider, actress Jennifer Tilly), television (Kristin Kreuk, Tia Carrera, Fred Armisen), or fashion (Chanel Iman), they may, like Reeves, pose a question about racial categories, but that question remains unanswered. Although images of interracial Asian/white romantic relationships abound, popular culture is bereft of narratives for their multiracial offspring.

A simple explanation for the visual absence of multiracial Asian Americans in popular culture is that Reeves and other multiracial Asian people do not usually “look Asian.” This common sense response neatly situates race on the surface of particular bodies. From college classrooms to the pages of the New York Times, we are told that race is a fiction, a cultural construction. Yet the bodies we see as we walk down the street seem to belie this intellectual belief. Our everyday experience tells us that visual racial difference is a physical objective truth. While appealing in its straightforward narrative of cause and effect, the notion that physiology dictates racial meaning ignores the cultural factors and the history that shape our perception of race. As Robyn Weigman argues, the “optics” of race reside less in the material existence of the “ambiguous” racialized body than in the ways we learn to see that body.7

Although vision seems to bypass culture, affording us access to unmediated reality, it is learned behavior. There may be quantifiable physical differences between the people we place in separate racial groups, but the decision to prioritize the tiny physical differences that separate people along predetermined racial lines is culturally dictated. A prime example would be the 2006 controversy (p.xiv) over images of British twins, one “white” and one “black,” that appeared in the Daily Mail.8 The photographs by Gary Roberts caught the fascinated gaze of the public, and the images went viral. Abstracted from the original story, the pictures challenged our ability to see a familial resemblance across race. Viewers experienced so much difficulty seeing the similarities between the twins, rather than their racially marked differences, that the image showed up on sites dedicated to debunking internet hoaxes.9

The visibility of race, its “epidermal scheme,”10 is crucial to racial difference because it naturalizes race as an immutable essence.11 While some might point to Reeves’s pale skin or the absence of an epicanthic fold to determine a white racial designation, others might focus on his almond-shaped eyes or dark hair to call him Asian; but in both cases viewers highlight features that are racially

Preface Why Are You?Multiracial Asian Americans and the Question of Visibility

“Black and White Twins,” photograph by Gary Roberts.

(p.xv) meaningful while dismissing other features. The body may seem to be a bedrock of meaning, but it is ultimately the social training of our mutable vision that differentiates racial categories. In her study of early technologies used to scientifically inscribe the color line, Sarah Chinn writes, “The visibility of the body does not determine its meanings, but is determined by them; it’s only after we learn to read them that they become visible, something out of which we can see, something we can use to prove that they are workable as evidence after all.”12 Rather than understand the question “What is a Keanu?” as a function of a particular actor’s inherent and inherited anatomical features, a visual cultural approach to multiracial representations emphasizes the question itself. Instead of simply answering the question with a list of racial categories, this book takes a more productive approach by probing the limits of our visual vocabulary for multiracial Asian Americans and discovering how and why we are not taught to see multiracial Asian Americans in popular culture.

The primary issue is not whether Reeves is “really” Asian or white or even multiracial, but under what circumstances he is visible (or not visible) as multiracial Asian American—and why. In reading visual representations of multiracial Asian Americans, this book does not uncover a repressed racial truth. Instead, it traces the production of racial meaning to understand how multiracial Asian Americans become visible. The reverse is also true. When media representations portray multiracial Asian Americans as monoracial or erase them completely from the visual field, we can interpret those moments as productive of racial meaning rather than a misreading of some preexisting racial reality. As Edward Said reminds us, when we turn our gaze on the Other, that gaze is a productive, not a repressive, mechanism.13 Neither “K. C.” nor the name “Keanu” indicate Reeves’s “real” biological race. Instead, each name generates different, equally racialized readings that guide our ability see Reeves racially. Taking the name K. C. Reeves would not be a way out of racial categories but a move into an unmarked or default white racial category. The question of “What is a Keanu?” might be better phrased as “Why is a Keanu?” or “How is a Keanu?” By producing multiracial Asian Americans as a visible subject, we also make the racial category available as an analytical concept that has the potential to demystify the production of racial categories more generally.

Rethinking Visibility

The visual persistence of race despite our intellectual belief in its fictionality should alert us to its continued social value. We cannot, it seems, learn or wish away the visuality of race. To literally not see agreed-upon markers of racial (p.xvi) difference would mean that one did not learn to see the world in a socially meaningful way. Nor can we use the ability to visually identify multiracial people as a political Rorschach test—a sign of a sophisticated or enlightened racial consciousness. The book begins with the premise that the inability of most audiences to see multiracial Asian Americans is an effect of contemporary racial formations, but it also tracks how an audience’s ability to read bodies as multiracial, alone, cannot guarantee a politically progressive outcome.

The politics of visibility, of being able to see and be seen, encompasses much more than numerical representation or recognition. Race and media scholars have questioned cultural nationalist emphases on mainstream representation. They’ve also been skeptical of media activism advocating larger roles for people of color in popular television and film.14 Asian American feminists, in particular, have offered a sustained critique of the assumed link between visibility and empowerment. They point to the proliferation of images of Asian American women that commodify and devalue them.15 While multiracial activists often couch their arguments in terms of the urgency of recognition, Michele Elam and Cherise Smith argue that the absence of multiracial visual representations can speak powerfully to the paradoxes of racial categories. This pointed absence also avoids the fetishistic gaze that frequently characterizes the display of multiracial bodies.16 The display of multiracial people can and frequently does exploit and exoticize them. However, I make the visual representation of multiracial Asians the subject of this book because I also do not want to dismiss multiracial representations as mere spectacle. Nor do I want to reclassify them as echoes of singular racial categories and miss the work those images do in either reifying or undermining race.

It is far too easy, and too common, either to celebrate the visibility of multiracial people as evidence of our newfound embrace of diversity or to dismiss those images as stereotypical, exploitative, and accommodationist. Instead, all the examples included here offer ambivalent and contradictory representations. These cultural artifacts are rich sources of information about how power operates. Although social scientists have given more attention to the study of multiracial Asian Americans than humanists have,17 a turn toward the humanities is a much-needed step in understanding contemporary transformations in multiracial cultural meanings. Aesthetic forms can indicate the everyday and emergent expressions of cultural meaning before they coalesce into empirically measurable phenomena.18 Drawn primarily from mainstream popular culture, each representation remains complicit with hegemonic media systems. None of them are political in a conventionally didactic sense. Yet my purpose here is not to critique them for their betrayal of a purely oppositional politics. If, in (p.xvii) the post–civil rights age, discrimination has become more subtle, often taking the form of microaggressions, then these popular forms offer an alternative resistance that similarly work in incremental or incomplete ways.19

Although multiracial people may appear to be the exception in their supposedly ambiguous visual racial presentation, they are, like all people, racialized through our ability to parse the world visually into sets and groups. What makes multiracial people a compelling point of entry into the analysis of racial representation is the perception that they differ from other “normal” racial categories. The rhetorical framing of them within the discourse of the new and exceptional frees up a momentary space to interrogate and examine race. Since they are subject to debate even more than other racialized bodies, we can look to representations of multiracial people for more overt discussions about race. As race scholars have consistently argued, understanding how and why race appears visually can help decipher the social codes which instantiate race. The metaphoric veil (Du Bois) and screen (Fanon) both act as the surface upon which dominant white society projects its misperception of the Other and sees itself as an unblemished whole.20 Smith writes, “Seeing the Veil also rends the Veil for Du Bois; it is a moment of transformed awareness, of enlightenment.”21 Rather than exceptions to racial rules, multiracial bodies help us decipher the playbook.

Although fleeting, Reeves and Leno’s banter marks a rare moment when public discussion turned not just to race but to the meaning of racial categories. The visual incoherence of multiracial Asian Americans is not a problem to be solved. Instead, their racial ambiguity presents an opportunity to analyze the production of racial meaning before it hardens by consensus under a single sign. Rather than seeking an escape from race, this study of representations of multiracial people provides an opportunity to return to race in a new way and to make visible the complex ideologies that naturalize racial categories.

The Chapters at a Glance

Split between examples of multiracial representation that revise, ignore, or eliminate multiracial bodies and those that directly address the meaning and value of multiracial visibility, the two parts of this book do not fall along an axis of good/bad, old/new, or invalid/valid images. Instead, the first half of the book analyzes hegemonic narratives which promote what Stuart Hall calls “preferred meaning” to understand why these representations divert audiences away from a multiracial reading.22 The second half examines how making multiraciality central and explicit in critical analyses can help us understand the (p.xviii) construction of racial categories within a larger racial system. Just as there are myriad of ways that media images obscure or exclude representations of multiracial Asian Americans, there are also multiple ways to write them back into the narrative. Rather than promoting these representations as affirmations of a multiracial identity or as inherently political, however, these chapters demonstrate the costs as well as the advantages of visibility. The book thus pairs popular representations of multiracial Asians who are read as monoracial or “beyond race” with mass mediated moments when we might read multiracial Asians as multiracial.

The chapters also mirror each other: the first and last body chapters contrast mainstream and independent photographic images, the second and penultimate chapters focus on the advertising campaigns of two African/Asian American celebrities, and the two center chapters compare the representation of multiracial White/Asian Americans in science-fiction serial drama. This reiterative structure promotes an intertextual and comparative approach. These chapters are meant to loop back and comment on each other so that we can see how multiracial Asian American visual culture alternatively supports and challenges racial categories.

The first three chapters after the introduction interrogate the visual representations that avoid or redirect multiracial identities and reading practices. The focus of each of these three examples—the celebrity culture surrounding Keanu Reeves, the rise and fall of Tiger Woods, and the television series Battle-star Galactica—is the flexibility of singular racial readings, how they function to first invoke and then contain multiraciality, and how visual mass media deploys them to differing political ends. The second half of the book asks what happens if we begin with the assumption of multiraciality in reading mass media representations of multiracial Asian Americans. In each of the examples—the Matrix film trilogy, Kimora Lee Simmons’s reality television show, and Kip Fulbeck’s artwork—centering multiraciality gives the audience tools to push back against the naturalization of race and racial hierarchies. Throughout, the intersections of race with other identity categories are a primary concern. In each example, the concurrent stabilization of other marginalized identities maintain racial categories both singular and multiple.

Following an introductory chapter on contemporary multiracial Asian American representation, the book moves to a study of narratives of racial passing and exposure which intersect, parallel, and diverge from the trope of queer closeting and coming out. Using the specific example of Keanu Reeves, the chapter traces how the specter of homosexuality both responds to and redirects a reading of Reeves as multiracial. The celebrity culture surrounding Reeves, particularly (p.xix) the flurry of news activity that accompanied his supposed marriage to David Geffen in the mid-1990s, coincided with the passage of the Clinton administration’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and popular media discussions about gay visibility. Reeves’s star persona demonstrates how, following the push for multicultural inclusion and representation in the 1980s and 1990s, queer and anti-queer coming out rhetoric reframed ethical concerns about racial passing. Supported by an analysis of Reeves’s movie reviews and his publicity photos during this decade, the chapter argues that critics’ and fans’ repeated characterization of Reeves as a bad actor reflects beliefs about racial authenticity and concerns about both racial and sexual passing.

Chapter 3 moves from the more familiar white/nonwhite binary to the less commonly studied double-minority multiracial representation. The celebrity culture surrounding Tiger Woods is a vivid example of how the boundaries between black and white racial categories hinge on the exclusion or erasure of Asians from the national imagination. Until the scandal over his infidelity, sports and mainstream media celebrated Tiger Woods as the exemplar of our current colorblind moment. The chapter’s analysis of Tiger Woods’s online and televised advertising campaigns and his representation in feature magazine articles prior to his adultery scandal demonstrates the difficulty of a multiracial reading in the context of colorblind rhetoric and visual practices. In contrast, postscandal publicity remakes his image from disembodied to overly embodied and debunks the argument, promoted by Woods himself, that we are beyond race and are thus blind to difference.

At the conclusion of part I, chapter 4 moves from passing and colorblind representations to the visual exclusion of multiracial Asians. It also begins to look at television and film’s overt use of multiracial tropes to signal utopic/dystopic futures. The science-fiction television series Battlestar Galactica follows the logic of post-race, wherein racial differences are acknowledged but then ignored. The show’s narrative hinges upon the survival of a child, Hera, the bi-species and, not incidentally, multiracial child of the cyborg Athena (Korean American actress Grace Park) and the human Helo (Euro-American actor Tahmoh Penikett). Hera’s representation resonates with images of the multiracial children of servicemen from the Korean War and Vietnam War, images that tie Asian adoption to concerns about the role of the United States as global citizens and global police. Yet as the story continues, attention moves from the adoptive child to the interracial relationship of her parents. This movement mimics similar shifts in the ways the United States imagines itself in relation to Asia, and how it rewrites its neocolonialism through the celebration of gender-normative heterosexual romance. Hera’s role in the series requires her (p.xx) to be symbolically present but physically absent to give coherence to a story that evolves from one of conflict and colonialism to a tale of highly gendered immigration and assimilation.

In chapter 5, the Matrix film trilogy marks the book’s move away from analyzing the implications of mainstream visual culture’s preferred readings toward an analysis that emphasizes the interpretive possibilities of contestory or ambivalent readings of multiracial narratives. As argued in the first chapter, only a portion of the moviegoing audience can read Keanu Reeves as a multiracial Asian. Rather than recapitulate viewing habits that render multiraciality irrelevant, using a multiracial perspective to understand the film series enables a far richer and more rewarding film experience. Understanding Reeves’s character Neo as multiracial makes visible the interrelated representations of multiraciality, future utopias, and cyclical time in the film trilogy.

The studio marketed the film as a merger of Hong Kong and Hollywood cinema, yet its visual imagery is at odds with its narrative and extratextual portrayal of hybridity. During the same period as the release of the trilogy, Reeves was becoming increasingly visible as an Asian American, due in part to the publicity for the film. His multiraciality, then, was linked to a film narrative that depends upon conflicting depictions of the hybrid body, echoing a larger societal ambivalence about the much-lauded multiracial future.

Just as the chapter on The Matrix responds to the dismissal of the multiracial character in Battlestar Galactica, chapter 6 mirrors the discussion of Tiger Woods’s celebrity. Rather than striving for a colorblind, deracinated public image, African/Asian American fashion model and designer Kimora Lee Simmons capitalizes on both her race and gender in her advertising campaigns and reality television show. While her show is certainly complicit in the twin projects of capital accumulation and globalization, the chapter argues for a camp reading of her image as resistant to dominant misogynistic and essentialist representations of African American women.

Arguments within queer studies over the political efficacy of camp and the role of an aware reading audience frame Simmons’s limited but still valid subversions of racial hierarchies. Her explicitly artificial performances (or disidentifications, in José Muñoz’s terminology) forefront her multiraciality and disturb the widespread denigration of African American female bodily aesthetics.23 Her advertisements for her fashion line and her television show also expose the ways gender and class work together to underwrite multiracial visibility, demonstrating the limits to its subversive potential. The analysis itself is an intervention into readings of devalued racialized representations on reality television and argues for recognition of alternative, albeit compromised, representations.

(p.xxi) The book, which begins in a multiracial “closet,” ends in Chapter 7 with an examination of an explicit declaration of multiracial visibility. Unlike earlier examples, this chapter takes multiracial visibility as its starting point, yet, perversely perhaps, it critiques that very visibility. The chapter uses the artwork of Kip Fulbeck as a lever to pry open some of the thornier matters surrounding the twinned issues of recognition and state-sponsored discipline. Fulbeck’s most famous work, The Hapa Project, is included in the traveling anthropological exhibit “Race: Are We So Different?” By contexualizing his art within the exhibit’s scientific and social-scientific definitions of race, the use of multiracial images and people to confirm the discourse of genetic race takes center stage. The chapter puts Fulbeck’s artwork in dialogue with the history of race-based scientific photography and argues that the exhibit’s representation of multiracial Asian Americans can provide a counternarrative to the re-racialization of genetic science. Thus, Fulbeck’s work demonstrates how audiences might view multiracial visual culture less as an antidote to racial hierarchies and more as a tool that can break open the smooth surface of naturalized and transcendent notions of racial difference. (p.xxii)


(1.) Chris Heath, “The Pursuit of Excellence,” Details, August 1991.

(2.) Ralina Joseph makes a similar argument for her use of the term “mixed-race/multiracial African American,” since the standalone term “multiracial” enacts a rhetorical distancing from blackness. See Transcending Blackness: African American Multiraciality and Anti-Black Racism from the New Millennium Mulatta to the Exceptional Multiracial (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2012).

(3.) The term “hapa” is also used to describe multiracial Asian Americans, but I chose to use this less felicitous term for the reason listed above and because of the controversy over the use of the term by non–Native Hawaiians. For a fuller discussion of the controversy, the logic behind the original use by continental multiracial Asian Americans, and the reasons why I choose not to use the term, see Wei Ming Dariotis, “Hapa: The Word of Power.”

(4.) I use the word “intersection” intentionally to invoke the analytical tradition of women-of-color theorists who advocate an intersectional approach to understanding racial dynamics. Kimberle Crenshaw, “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color,” Stanford Law Review 43, no. 6 (1991); Chela Sandoval, Methodology of the Oppressed (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2000).

(5.) Carol Morello, “Number of Biracial Babies Soars Over Past Decade,” Washington Post, April 25, 2012; Hope Yen, “Interracial Marriage in the U.S. Climbs to New High, Study Finds,” Huffington Post, February 16, 2012; Susan Saluny, “Black? White? Asian? More Young Americans Choose All of the Above,” New York Times, January 29, 2011.

(p.162) (6.) Sue Chow, “The Significance of Race in the Private Sphere: Asian Americans and Spousal Preferences,” Sociological Inquiry 70, no. 1 (2000); Rainier Spencer, “Census 2000: Assessments in Significance,” in New Faces in a Changing America: Multiracial Identity in the 21st Century, ed. Loretta I. Winters and Herman L. DeBose (Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 2003).

(7.) Robyn Wiegman, American Anatomies: Theorizing Race and Gender (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1995).

(8.) Lucy Laing, “Black and White Twins,” Mail Online, March 2, 2006.

(9.) The two most popular Internet hoax sites, snopes.com and urbanlegendsabout.com, responded to inquiries soon after the story broke and confirmed the legitimacy of the stories. David Emery, “Black and White Twins,” available at http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/bl_black_and_white_twins.htm (accessed March 3, 2013); Barbara Mikkelson and David Mikkelson, “Mixed Twins,” available at http://www.snopes.com/photos/people/mixedtwins.asp?print=y.

(10.) Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (New York: Grove, 1967), 112.

(11.) Linda Marin Alcoff makes a similar point in her discussion of the visual perception of multiracial people when she writes, “We may need to be trained to pick out some features over others as the most salient to identity, but those features nonetheless have material reality.” Visible Identities: Race, Gender, and the Self (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), 192.

(12.) Sarah E. Chinn, Technology and the Logic of American Racism: A Cultural History of the Body as Evidence (New York: Continuum, 2000), 9.

(13.) Edward W. Said, Orientalism (New York: Pantheon, 1978).

(14.) Herman Gray, Cultural Moves: African Americans and the Politics of Representation (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005); Darrell Y. Hamamoto, Monitored Peril: Asian Americans and the Politics of TV Representation (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994).

(15.) Laura Hyun Yi Kang, Compositional Subjects: Enfiguring Asian/American Women (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2002); Christine So, Economic Citizens: A Narrative of Asian American Visibility (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2008); Vernadette Gonzalez and Robin Magalit Rodriguez, “Filipina.com: Wives, Workers, and Whores on the Cyberfrontier,” in Asian America.Net: Ethnicity, Nationalism, and Cyberspace, ed. Rachel C. Lee and Sau-ling Cynthia Wong (New York: Routledge, 2003); Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006).

(16.) Michele Elam, The Souls of Mixed Folk: Race, Politics, and Aesthetics in the New Millennium (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2011); Cherise Smith, Enacting Others: Politics of Identity in Eleanor Antin, Nikki S. Lee, Adrian Piper, and Anna Deavere Smith (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2011).

(17.) An incomplete list includes: Paul Spickard, Mixed Blood: Intermarriage and Ethnic Identity in Twentieth-Century America (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1989); Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain, Pure Beauty: Judging Race in Japanese American Beauty Pageants (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006) (p.163) ; Teresa Williams-León and Cynthia L. Nakashima, The Sum of Our Parts: Mixed-Heritage Asian Americans (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2001); Laurie Mengel, “Triples—The Social Evolution of a Multiracial Panethnicity: An Asian American Perspective,” in Rethinking Mixed Race, ed. David Parker and Miri Song (Sterling, Va.: Pluto, 2001); Jeffrey Moniz and Paul Spickard, “Carving Out a Middle Ground: The Case of Hawai‘i,” in Mixed Messages: Multiracial Identity in a “Colorblind” Era, ed. David Brunsma (Boulder: Rienner, 2006); Teresa Williams-León, “Check All That Apply: Trends and Prospectives among Asian-Descent Multiracials,” in New Faces in a Changing America: Multiracial Identity in the 21st Century, ed. Loretta Winters and Herman DeBose (Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage, 2003); Rogelio Saenz et al., “Persistence and Change in Asian Identity among Children of Intermarried Couples,” Sociological Perspectives 38, no. 2 (1995); Zhenchao Qian, “Options: Racial/Ethnic Identification of Children of Intermarried Couples,” Social Science Quarterly 85, no. 3 (2004); Nikki Khanna, “The Role of Reflected Appraisals in Racial Identity: The Case of Multiracial Asians,” Social Psychology Quarterly 67, no. 2 (2004); Yu Xie and Kimberly Goyette, “The Racial Identification of Biracial Children with One Asian Parent: Evidence from the 1990 Census,” Social Forces 76, no. 2 (1997). The Sum of Our Parts is a collection of articles heavily weighted toward the social sciences.

(18.) Elam, The Souls of Mixed Folk, xiv–xvi; Susan Koshy, “Why the Humanities Matter for Race Studies Today,” PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association of America 123, no. 5 (2008).

(19.) Derald Wing Sue, Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation (Hoboken: Wiley, 2010). There has been a great deal of research on microagressions particularly in counseling. Microagressions provides a literature review outlining the primary findings.

(20.) W. E. B. Du Bois, Henry Louis Gates, and Terri Hume Oliver, The Souls of Black Folk: Authoritative Text, Contexts, Criticism, Norton critical edition (New York: Norton, 1999); Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks.

(21.) Shawn Michelle Smith, Photography on the Color Line: W. E. B. Du Bois, Race, and Visual Culture (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2004), 41.

(22.) Stuart Hall, “New Ethnicities,” in Black British Cultural Studies: A Reader, ed. Houston A. Baker, Manthia Diawara, and Ruth H. Lindeborg (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996).

(23.) José Esteban Muñoz, Disidentifications: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics, Cultural Studies of the Americas, vol. 2 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999).