AMST 200 INTRO TO CRITICAL RACE AND ETHNICITY STUDIES
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PAPER #2: A-SSIMILATING DESPAIR
For this paper, watch the following comedy sketch before addressing the prompt below:
Hasan Minhaj’s Homecoming King (FREE on Netflix)
In the following, I am hoping to ask you to consider how our own affect can be revelatory, and
as such, an important pedagogical tool. If the “personal is political,” a feminist mantra of the 60s
and 70s that changed how we think about knowledge as sets of universal truths, then not only
does your personal experience offer a different perspective of reality, it can also potentially
disrupt dominant modes of seeing and knowing the world. The same can be true (although it is
not guaranteed), that how we feel can move us to do either the same or different behavior—
which either reinforces the status quo or disrupts it. In this paper, employ the readings in further
discussing HOW Minhaj employs affective tools to counter dominant concepts about the
American immigrant experience.
In several of the class readings, we discussed the immigrant—specifically Asian and Latino
experience. Having watched the comedy sketch above, consider HOW Minhaj employs affect in
his comedy routine(s) in a way that challenges dominant ideas of what it means to be and feel
Questions that might be helpful to consider:
As a spectator, how does Minhaj take you on an affective journey?
What do you learn from his performance about the Asian American experience?
How might this be the product of history and/or context?
How does he inscribe certain affects in his show?
Which stories were funny? Why?
What feeling/affect is generated in/by the audience? What did you feel?
What did you learn about the condition of racism?
Requirement: 3-4 pages. Use standard format.
DUE DATE: FRIDAY, MARCH 19
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