Brigitte Wallinger-Schorn: Cultural Hybridity in Contemporary Asian American Poetry

“Cultural Hybridity in Contemporary Asian American Poetry” outlines cultural hybridity in the content, form, and language of present-day Asian American poems. Theoretical reasoning on cultural hybridity is illustrated with poems by authors such as Kimiko Hahn, Arthur Sze, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, Nick Carb√≥, Suji Kwock Kim, Victoria Chang, and Srikanth Reddy. Her discussion of cultural hybridity is supplemented by a description of the development of Asian American poetry and a discussion of an Asian American aesthetic. The Asian American identity is presented as a cultural hybrid, a new subjectivity independent from – and at the same time interrelated with both, Asian and mainstream American cultures. This new “third space” (Bhabha’s term) of Asian American identity is expressed in the culturally hybrid contents of the poems, in their poetic forms inspired by Anglo-American as well as Asian poetry, and in their use of the English as well as Asian languages.

(University of Salzburg)