“A Queer, Queer Race: Origins for Japanese/American Literature” provides a genealogy for Japanese and English-language literary texts written by persons of Japanese descent who sojourned or resided in the United States between 1885 and 1924. It argues that the back-application of a framework of progressive reproductive succession from Issei to Nisei, or first to second generations, has systematically obscured potentials for recognizing queer, non-heteronormative origins for Japanese/American literature during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This workshop will focus on portions of the introduction to “A Queer, Queer Race,” as well as the monograph’s third chapter on counterfeit and masquerade in the early writings of Yone Noguchi.
Andrew Way Leong is assistant professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on the literature of Japanese diasporas in the Americas as well as queer and critical theoretical approaches to the study of literary genre, gendered embodiment, and generational time. He is the translator of Lament in the Night (Kaya Press 2012), a collection of two novels by Nagahara Shōson, an author who wrote for a Japanese reading public in Los Angeles during the 1920s. This translation received an Association for Asian American Studies Outstanding Book Award in 2014. Leong is also the 2018 recipient of the Association for Asian American Studies’ Early Career Achievement Award. His recent publications have appeared in The New Whitman Studies, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Asian American Literature and Culture, Comparative Literature Studies, Verge: Studies in Global Asias, and Post-45: Contemporaries.