Strange Future - Pessimism and the 1992 Los Angeles Riots

Song, Min Hyoung

Published by Duke Univ
ISBN 10: 0822335794 / ISBN 13: 9780822335795
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Synopsis: Sometime near the start of the 1990s, the future became a place of national decline. The United States had entered a period of great anxiety fueled by the shrinking of the white middle class, the increasingly visible misery of poor urban blacks, and the mass immigration of nonwhites. Perhaps more than any other event marking the passage through these dark years, the 1992 Los Angeles riots have sparked imaginative and critical works reacting to this profound pessimism. Focusing on a wide range of these creative works, Min Hyoung Song shows how the L.A. riots have become a cultural-literary event—an important reference and resource for imagining the social problems plaguing the United States and its possible futures.

Song considers works that address the riots and often the traumatic place of the Korean American community within them: the independent documentary Sa-I-Gu (Korean for April 29, the date the riots began), Chang-rae Lee’s novel Native Speaker, the commercial film Strange Days, and the experimental drama of Anna Deavere Smith, among many others. He describes how cultural producers have used the riots to examine the narrative of national decline, manipulating language and visual elements, borrowing and refashioning familiar tropes, and, perhaps most significantly, repeatedly turning to metaphors of bodily suffering to convey a sense of an unraveling social fabric. Song argues that these aesthetic experiments offer ways of revisiting the traumas of the past in order to imagine more survivable futures.

From the Publisher: "Min Song's Strange Future asks of us - a public formed by Los Angeles riots of 1992 - what is to be done with the will to revolution in light of the injustices mounting since the 1990s? Clearing precious critical space, Song exemplifies our capture by and necessary revisitation of 1992, as neither fatalism nor melancholy, but a careful hermeneutic of the event and its aftermath: a working through that is a provision for a possible future. This is a thoughtful work for our serious times." Lisa Lowe, author of Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics

"This is one of the most enjoyable, well-written, Asian American studies books I have read in the last few years. Min Hyoung Song's work is a testament to writing well when saying something important." Kent Ono, coauthor of Shifting Borders: Rhetoric, Immigration, and California's Proposition 187

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Title: Strange Future - Pessimism and the 1992 Los ...
Publisher: Duke Univ
Book Condition: BRAND NEW

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