Embodied inter-referencing: encounters with and among “Asian” students in the Australian classroom
Jane Chi Hyun PARK
ABSTRACT This essay examines the pedagogical practice of referencing my experiences as a transnational Korean American woman in the classroom and considers how it opens up space for domestic and international students of East, Southeast, and South Asian backgrounds to reflect on their different identities, histories, and cultures. In particular, it focuses on how this practice enables Asian students to share their experiences of and insights about racial difference, racism, and whiteness in Australia and other parts of the world. Building on the concept of Asian “inter-referencing” from Chua Beng Huat (2015), I coin the term “embodied inter-referencing” to describe the strategic ways I use autobiographical narrative to create an inclusive, interactive, and mutually respectful learning space. I centre here on how some Asian students respond to this strategy by telling their own stories and in the process, create transnational, diasporic, and inter-Asian affective communities inside and outside the classroom.
Keywords: Pedagogy; race; affect; whiteness; Australia; Korea; America; diaspora; autobiography
Notes on contributors
Jane Chi Hyun Park is a senior lecturer in the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney. Her research examines the cultural impact of minority representations in popular media with a particular focus on East Asia. Jane has published in a wide range of journals including Cultural Studies, Global Media Journal, World Literature Today, Asian Studies Review, and Asian American Literary Review as well as a number of anthologies on film, media, and popular culture. Her monograph, Yellow Future: Oriental Style in Hollywood Cinema (University of Minnesota Press, 2010), explored the emergence of East Asian bodies, aesthetics, and cultural tropes as technologized backdrop and spectacle in Hollywood genre films from the 1980s to the early 2000s. She is currently working on her second project, Extreme Women: Transnational Korean Femininities in Popular Culture, on the circulation of popular fantasies of transgressive Korean women in film and television in North America and the Asia Pacific.