Asian Dissent: Aesthetic Transgression, Civil Disobedience, and the Alter-Global Consciousness of the Long Sixties

Kai Hang Cheang
UC Riverside

My dissertation focuses on late twentieth and early twenty-first century Asian/American literary and cultural narratives that are in dialogue with the Long Sixties (1955-1973), and in particular, with the socio-political struggle during the period against the racialized politics and neoliberal ideology that developed in the USA after World War II. This approach is vital given the many links between the current cultural moment and the various upheavals of the Long Sixties. The project contends that Asian/American representations of the Civil Rights Movement in the USA, the Anti-War Movement across college campuses, the movement to save the International Hotel at Manilatown in San Francisco, and the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong, chart out paths toward an alternative form of globalization, an “alter-global” consciousness that challenges and contests the capitalist globalization that dominates today. My study makes more accessible Asian/American’s previously understudied artistic and intellectual productions about civil disobediences in the Long Sixties and its afterlives, and reveal Asian/American artists and activists as key figures in the development and direction of the “alter-global” movement that reorganizes the world from a neoliberal order to one that prioritizes humanistic values.