Howerton Introduction

Hi all, apologies for the lateness of this post. If this is supposed to be an introduction for who we are, however, then the lateness is both indicative and appropriate.

I’m Alex Howerton, a first year Phd student. Like others, I was enrolled in Eli’s post-colonial course, which served as one of my primary interventions in non-American, non-British studies in a classroom setting. I look forward to exploring the methodologies of scholarship that seek to extricate themselves from the grasp of Western canonicity and its seeming indebtedness to its academic lineage.

My primary interest as a scholar lies in Asian American Studies, particularly the manner in which artists negotiate identities that are indebted to the mercurial and fatally unstable categories of “Asian” and “American” in the first place. I tend to approach these concerns from either affective or poststructuralist avenues (I am embarrassingly indebted to Deleuze), and am especially interested in questions of representation, visibility, violence, and inter-minority hierarchy. I’m always nurturing a stable of side interests, which have most recently included children’s literature and television (particularly within Asian American studies), fashion criticism, American sitcoms, comfort women, and magical girls. I look to these interests as a means of developing an archive that exists outside of the traditional canon to describe social phenomenon and anxieties that press on gendered and racialized communities, bringing a more cultural studies-oriented approach to traditionally literary and historical concerns.

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