Merf. Thinking is Hard.

Jha can has random thoughtz about tapirs, kitties, comics, pretty people, social justice, things in general.


Posts tagged why yes this is for school

Indonesian slogan

used in Amin Sweeny’s A Full Hearing to demonstrate how orality relies on formulas and mnemonic slogans draw on oral formulas for adoption by the masses… Malaysian examples were far less aggressive such as “pemuda harapan banga, pemudi tiang negara” and “bersekutu bertambah mutu” and other Indonesian examples were like “Anda dan hukum bagaikan ikan dan air” and “mati akibat ngebut mati yang sia-sia”. they’re rather memorable because they’re “succinct, acoustically balanced, and relatively concrete”.

pretty cool stuff

Amerika kita setrika, Inggeris kita linggis

I’m reading a breakdown analysis of Hikayat Hang Tuah which saves me a lot of time reading the thing and then there’s this episode:

Ratu Lasem memerintahkan Patih Kerma Wijaya untuk memperbaiki daerah-daerah yang dirusak oleh Raden Inu Kuripan. Patih Kerma Wijaya jatuh sakit dan menyuruh menjemput anak perempuannya bernama Ken Semerta. Di jalan Kem Semerta dibawa lari ratu sendiri dan dijadikan isterinya. Patih Kerma Wijaya marah sekali. Dengan keluarganyea meninggalkan Lasem dan menuju ke Bentan manjadi hamba raja Melayu.

So first thought…. you order someone to fix your region and then kidnap his daughter to marry her? why would you do that?

And then I was like wait does Ratu have a different meaning than I understand it to be….? Check dictionary! Nope. Uh….. huh.

#phdchat could anyone suggest a more recent (post-2000) text that builds on Arjun Appadurai’s MODERNITY AT LARGE?

The 1491s Play with Themselves, Imagery and Reclamation at TedX

Oh my fucking god self!

just write this fucking paper please! we’re almost fucking done!




Kunyosing, Kom. “The Interrelation of Ethnicity, Iconicity, and Form in American Comics.” Dissertation, 2011.

This dissertation analyzes issues of race, ethnicity, and identity in American comics and visual culture, and identifies important areas for alternative means to cultural authority located at the intersections of verbal and visual representation. The symbolic qualities that communicate ethnicity and give ethnicity meaning in American culture are illuminated in new ways when studied within the context of the highly symbolic medium of comics. Creators of comics are able to utilize iconic qualities, among other unique formal qualities of the medium, to construct new visual narratives around ethnicity and identity, which require new and multidisciplinary perspectives for comprehending their communicative complexity. This dissertation synthesizes cultural and critical analysis in combination with formal analysis in an effort to further advance the understanding of comics and their social implications in regard to race and ethnic identity. Much like film scholars in the 1960s, comics scholars in the United States currently are in the process of establishing a core of methodological and theoretical approaches, including Lacanian theories of the image, the comic mapping of symbolic order, the recognition of self in undetailed faces, comics closure, and the implications of the comics gutter. Drawing upon these ideas and additional perspectives offered by scholars of film and literary studies, such as the relationship between ethnicity and the symbolic, the scopophilic gaze, and filmic suture, I analyze the following visual texts: Henry Kiyama’s The Four Immigrants Manga, Gene Yang’s American Born Chinese, and Anna Deavere Smith’s Twilight: Los Angeles. The dissertation also performs a multimedia analysis of the current ascendency of geek culture, its relationship to the comics medium, and the geek protagonist as an expression of simulated ethnicity. Ultimately, the unique insights offered by the study of comics concerning principles of ethnic iconicity and identity have far reaching implications for scholars of visual and verbal culture in other mediums as well.

You can find the whole PDF here!!

For anybody’s reference:

UCR’s Eaton SF Collection is a special collection and you can’t check diddly out of there, so you have to read it there. Lots of good books, including lots of good criticism, are locked up that way.

Fortunately, Black Supherheroes: Milestone Comics And Their Fans is not one of those hapless books.

So I was browsing the academic databases for articles that could help me talk about how hard it is to, firstly, find Asians in comics, and secondly, actually see the drawn stuff as Asians because, you know, I didn’t read Jubilee or Psylocke as Asian (or as in Psylocke’s case, Asian-bodied) until very recently. Because there’s something about East Asians (specifically East Asians) where most comic artists styles don’t really help me read their Asian-ness visually; I need other cues to do so. It probably doesn’t help that I’m not into the major American comic pubs——have never been a fan of “let’s keeping buying this title every single month because drama keeps happening” and preferred the tidiness of novels. When you only read through your brother’s Wizard magazines every so often and maybe pick out a comic book to read once in a while because he’s paranoid about other people handling them since he re-sells them, it becomes difficult to get into comics and even harder to give a shit about the people in it.

So I guess I will spend the rest of my day Googling blogposts that talk about Asians in comics that might help me talk about this visual recognition of East Asians? Any recs?

ETA: OK I guess I should add that my paper is on Secret Identities: An Asian-American Superhero Anthology and I’m writing about how segments run with certain stereotypical narratives and how others use the stereotypes to tell a different story. So I want to firstly place the narratives in the American cultural milieu, and then talk about how race is encoded in these narratives. 

Finished reading Mohsin Hamid’s How To Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. Less cold and more satisfying than The White Tiger, but I’m kind of tired of this sort of bildungsroman poor-boy-becomes-rich-corrupt-man stories exploring some Third World country’s sad underbelly. Is it too soon to say that?