This thesis analyzes groundbreaking experimental texts by Asian American writers that employ genre-bending formal innovations to resist the uneasy containment of social hierarchies and aesthetic categories. After a brief discussion of Monica Youn’s 2019 poem, “Study of Two Figures (Pasiphaë/Sado),” I trace such experimentation back to the late twentieth century, focusing on two other texts that explore similar strategies of literary experimentation and that present themselves as novels but, as Youn does with poetry, resist that classification at the same time. The experimental expansions of form in both Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictee (1982) and Pamela Lu’s Pamela: A Novel (1998) defy categorization and the containments of genre. Further, the formal resistances of both texts repudiate social categorizations on the basis of ethnic, racial, and gender containment. The hybrid forms of Dictee and Pamela: A Novel act as corollaries for resistance to the racial and gender markers constructed by society to contain Asian American identities.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Qazi, Zohra, "Contained Identities: Forms of Resistance in Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's Dictee and Pamela Lu's Pamela: A Novel" (2022). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 1189.