East Main Street

Asian American Popular Culture

382 pages

29 illustrations

May, 2005

ISBN: 9780814719633



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Shilpa Davé is Assistant Professor of Media and American Studies and Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia.

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LeiLani Nishime is associate professor of American multicultural studies at Sonoma State University.

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Tasha Oren is Associate Professor of English and Media Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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All books by Robert G. Lee

From henna tattoo kits available at your local mall to “faux Asian” fashions, housewares and fusion cuisine; from the new visibility of Asian film, music, video games and anime to the current popularity of martial arts motifs in hip hop, Asian influences have thoroughly saturated the U.S. cultural landscape and have now become an integral part of the vernacular of popular culture.

By tracing cross-cultural influences and global cultural trends, the essays in East Main Street bring Asian American studies, in all its interdisciplinary richness, to bear on a broad spectrum of cultural artifacts. Contributors consider topics ranging from early Asian American movie stars to the influences of South Asian iconography on rave culture, and from the marketing of Asian culture through food to the contemporary clamor for transnational Chinese women’s historical fiction. East Main Street hits the shelves in the midst of a boom in Asian American population and cultural production. This book is essential not only for understanding Asian American popular culture but also contemporary U.S. popular culture writ large.


  • “A veritable feast of the field's most scrumptious offerings, East Main Street satisfies with some of the best minds in Asian American studies at this table.”

    —Gary Y. Okihiro, author of Common Ground: Reimagining American History

  • “Sure to spark the imagination of both seasoned fans of Asian American popular culture and the as yet uninitiated. From cyberspace and animé to The Simpsons and Secret Asian Man, this book intrigues and provokes with every chapter. The sheer number of savvy cultural critics assembled ensures that readers will find something of interest, no matter where one begins exploring the popular culture of Asian America.”

    —Kent Ono, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

  • East Main Street creates its own relevance by touching on an abundance of cultural mediums and themes. Scholars of film, literature, the Internet, music, and history can all find essays in which to sink their teeth.”

    Western American Literature

  • “This volume explores historical and contemporary Asian American popular culture in the context of three broad themes: globalization and local identities, cultural legacy and memories, and ethnicity and identification. Among topics covered are transnational Vietnamese music, Asian fusion cuisine, race on the Internet, kung fu movies, hip hop, and the ‘iconography of Tiger Woods.’”

    Sage Race Relations Abstracts