Un/productive Raciality and Transnational Affiliations in Lydia Kwa’s<i> Pulse<i/>


  • Michelle O’Brien


This paper explores the intersections that develop as Canada and Singapore redefine the terms of their productive raciality through their respective multicultural/multiracial forms in order to remain globally competitive. It draws out these intersections as they appear in Lydia Kwa’s Pulse (2010) through its engagement with the limits of “productive” raciality and the desires of the sexual racial body. Set both in Singapore and Canada, Pulse explores the everyday experiences of the particular figurations that are bracketed out through the rhetoric of productive raciality in both nations – including the Asianfication of Canada’s identity and Singapore’s use of “Asianism” as part of their global multicultural identities. As Pulse considers the effects of these states’ failure to facilitate frameworks that would make ostensibly “unproductive” transnational figurations legible to others, it also draws out new affiliations between these bodies subjected to these effects across these distinct contexts.


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Author Biography

Michelle O’Brien

Michelle O'Brien received her PhD from the Department of English at the University of British Columbia and is currently a Sessional Lecturer in the Social Justice Institute. She is currently completing her first manuscript which examines how social organisation across Canada, Singapore and Malaysia was transformed by the same racial logic that circulated throughout the colonial world and is reiterated in their multicultural structures.




How to Cite

O’Brien, M. (2016). Un/productive Raciality and Transnational Affiliations in Lydia Kwa’s<i> Pulse<i/>. Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature, 10(2). Retrieved from https://journals.iium.edu.my/asiatic/index.php/ajell/article/view/896



Section III: General Section: Articles and Interviews