We all have stories to share, to build, to pass around, to inherit, and to create. This story - the one I piece together now - is about a Thai-/Bengali-/Muslim-/American-/Feminist looking for home, looking to manage the tension and conflict of wanting to belong to her family and to her feminist community. This thesis focuses on the seemingly conflicting obligations to kinship on the one hand and to feminist practice on the other, a conflict where being a good scholar or activist is directly in opposition to being a good Asian daughter. In order to understand how and why these communities appear at odds with one another, I examine how the material spaces and psychological realities inhabited by specific hyphenated, fragmented subjects are represented (and misrepresented) in both popular culture and practical politics, arguing against images of the hybrid body that bracket its lived tensions. I argue that fantasies of home as an unconditional site of belonging and comfort distract us from the multiple communities to which hyphenated subjects must move between. Hyphenated Asian-/American bodies often find ourselves torn between nativism and assimilationism - having to neutralize, forsake, or discard parts of our identities. Thus, I reduce complicated, difficult ideas of being to the size of a thimble, to a question of loyalty between my Asian-/American history and my American-/feminist future, between my familial background and the issues that have become foregrounded for me during college, between the home from which I originate and the new home to which I wish to belong. To move with fluidity, I must - in collaboration with others - invent new stories of identity and belonging.
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Park, Shelly M.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Office of Undergraduate Studies
Interdisciplinary Studies; Philosophy
Dissertations, Academic -- Office of Undergraduate Studies;Office of Undergraduate Studies -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Choudhury, Athia, "Story lines moving through the multiple imagined communities of an asian-/american-/feminist body" (2012). HIM 1990-2015. 1254.