"This book contributes significantly to postcolonial studies, American studies, and ethnic studies--specifically Irish studies, Jewish studies, and Asian American studies--and will have a salutary impact on the development of these fields. Cheng effectively combines the scholarly and the personal, adding critical insight and human interest to a topic that will surely attract the attention of both scholars and laymen." --King-Kok Cheung, author of Articulate Silences "In this superb and timely exploration, Vincent Cheng offers an acute and wise analysis that may offer the best hope for formulating the kind of flexible solutions needed to meet the challenge of belonging in the changing, global world." -Margot Norris, author of Writing War in the Twentieth Century "Cheng's lively description of how the academy, the marketplace, and the media profit from consumers' anxieties about culture and identity both amuses and enlightens. This is an important book for anyone who wants to understand what complicates identity in a multicultural society." -Rachel Adler, author of Engendering Judaism Who is "authentic" and who is "other" in a given culture? Who can speak for the "other?"
What do we mean by authenticity? These are critical questions that today's world--brought closer together and yet pulled farther apart by globalism and neocolonialism--has been unable to answer. Inauthentic compellingly probes these issues through revealing case studies on the pursuit of authenticity and identity. Each chapter explores the ways in which we construct "authenticity" in order to replace seemingly vacated identities, including: the place of minorities in academia; mixed-race dynamics; the popularity of Irish culture in America; the Good Friday agreement in Northern Ireland; Jewish American identity; the status of Jewish America in relation to Israel and Palestine; the cultural problems of international adoptions; and the rapidly changing nature of the Asian American population in the United States. Written in an accessible style, Inauthentic presents provocative analyses of contemporary notions of identity to academic scholars as well as a broad reading audience. Vincent J. Cheng is the author of many scholarly articles and several books, including Joyce, Race, and Empire.
He has taught at the University of Southern California, and is currently the Shirley Sutton Thomas Professor of English at the University of Utah, and the director of the Tanner Humanities Center.
Publisher: Rutgers University Press