What’s “Chinese” in Chinese Diasporic Literature?

  • Emma J. Teng


In response to the call to reexamine the boundaries that circumscribe and define “modern Chinese literature”, this chapter considers the geographic and linguistic parameters of this field.1 Traditional distinctions between “Chinese literature” and “Asian American literature” rely on geographic, linguistic, and disciplinary divisions: the former being literature produced in China, written in the Chinese language, and studied by China specialists; the latter being literature produced in America, written in English, and studied by Asian Americanists. Recent trends within academia, however, have led to a blurring of these boundaries and a questioning of their continued relevance. This phenomenon, celebrated by some and decried by others, will have major implications for how we define the two fields of Chinese literature and Asian American literature in the new millennium.2


Mother Tongue Chinese Language American Literature Chinese Writer Code Switching 
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© Charles A. Laughlin 2005

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  • Emma J. Teng

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