'Too Cute' conference on Asian style at Princeton University, March 3-4

Feb. 24, 2010, 12:57 p.m.

Scholars and artists from around the world will come together for a conference titled "Too Cute: American Style and the New Asian Cool," on Wednesday and Thursday, March 3-4, on the Princeton University campus. The conference is free and open to the public.

"Too Cute" will explore the relationship between style and race through the lens of "Asian cuteness," featuring scholars and art practitioners from the diverse fields of literary studies, performance and gender studies, American studies, East Asian studies, anthropology, philosophy, sociology, art and art history.

Conference sessions will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 3-4 in Prospect House on the central campus, and will be followed by keynote events at 4:30 p.m. both days in McCormick Hall, Room 101. The event will feature a keynote address by Eric Nakamura, editor and publisher of Giant Robot magazine, and an appearance by contemporary pop artist Yoshitomo Nara.

[**Media who would like to attend the events should RSVP to Judith Ferszt in the Program for American Studies no later than 5 p.m. Monday, March 1, by e-mailing jferszt@princeton.edu or calling (609) 258-6771.]

"From Frank Lloyd Wright to Ezra Pound, Asian forms have long impacted the philosophic development of American aesthetic traditions, even as Asian bodies -- be it the exploitation of Chinese labor, the Japanese Internment or immigration discrimination -- have traditionally been passionately rejected by American nationhood," said conference organizer Anne A. Cheng, Princeton professor of English and African American studies and associate chair of the Department of English.

"This conference explores the phenomenon of 'Asian cuteness' and its recent explosive transformation into what might be called the new wave of 'Asian cool' as a way to showcase the dynamic and diverse work being done in the field of Asian American studies," Cheng continued. "Current scholarship on Asian Pacific-American issues is expanding beyond traditional disciplinary and regional boundaries, signaling the need for new paradigms of understanding aspects of Asian Pacific experiences, as well as their roles in American national and cultural identities."

Cheng said the conference aims to reflect the University's broader commitment to expanding the discourse on race, as well as to highlight interests in Asian American studies as a comparative and interdisciplinary field of inquiry, and to showcase the intellectual collaboration among various University departments and programs.

The event is sponsored by Princeton's Program in American Studies, the Program in and Department of East Asian Studies, the Center for African American Studies and the Departments of anthropology and English.

For a full listing of the conference schedule, please visit http://www.princeton.edu/ams/events/TooCute/