Yumi Lee

Andrew W. Mellon Graduate Fellow in the Humanities

20122013 Forum on Peripheries

Yumi Lee


Remote Struggles: Borders of the U.S. Cold War, 1950-1959

My dissertation explores paradigms of citizenship in the early Cold War years in the United States and in the embattled spaces it occupied overseas. Building on recent scholarship that has recentered our study of the Cold War on its apparently peripheral battlegrounds, this project focuses on conflicts over the drawing and policing of new territorial borders in East Asia and asks what happens when these borders – territorial, ideological, racial – are crossed. Multivalent bodies and ideas circulated within, between, and among the territories of U.S. empire in this period. Reading texts by Richard Wright, C.L.R. James, Rolando Hinojosa, and Chang-Rae Lee among others, I argue that borders drawn to secure a bipolar world order in Asia also work to open up modes of national belonging that exceed and transform given Cold War binaries.