Foreign Accents: Chinese American Poetry and the Language of Ethnicity


ACLS Fellowship Program




To address the current limitations of Asian American literary criticism, this study discusses works by an exemplary group of poets in and from the US (mostly of specifically Chinese descent), each of whom bears a distinctive relationship to the linguistic and cultural tradition he or she seeks to represent. Specifically, it analyzes the range of rhetorical and formal strategies by which these writers have sought to incorporate Chinese culture and especially language in constructing a cultural or ethnic subjectivity. Combining such analysis with extensive social contextualization, this project thus delineates an historical poetics of Chinese American verse from the early twentieth century to the present.