Notes on David Eng’s “Queerness and Diaspora in Asian American Studies”

*Home: diaspora means being between loss and nostalgia, also bound up in the semi-geographical “Asian America” (31). Extending the problem of home to queer theory (example: queers often ex-communicated from physical homes, but also being queer = being in a kind of social diaspora? (32)). Both maintain “doubtful… entitlements to both home and nation-state.” “In its alignment with the nation-state, home becomes the site of validation– the privileged location for the benefits of citizenship” (32).
*Asian American Studies: Eng reasserts importance of remembering the history of Asian American Studies/movement in relationship to the Civil Rights movement, as a political movement bound up specifically in a claim to national belonging. Claims to domestic or private spaces bound up with claims to public spaces- home in a dual sense. The same claims hinged the purchase of said access on a rejection of stereotypes of Asian men as either “sissy” or gay, a formulation that needs now to be queered (35).
*Queerness: predominantly a methodology for Eng, though it comes into focus as concomitant, rather than oppositional, only when considered through a framework of globalisation, and in light of the restructuring of global capital that began in the 1980s.

The application to my thesis is this: I think I can begin a section on queerness and biopolitics in my primary text by framing citizenship and access for Asian American minorities as having always been bound up in questions of access to space, and access to space as filtered through heteronorms.

Notes on David Eng’s “Queerness and Diaspora in Asian American Studies”

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