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Out of the Basement: Forging Asian American Identity through the Basement Workshop

Ong, Christina (2020) Out of the Basement: Forging Asian American Identity through the Basement Workshop. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This thesis uncovers how and to what extent the establishment and early organizing activities of Basement Workshop (1969-1972) influenced the construction of an Asian American identity in juxtaposition to members’ identities that originated in their ethnic heritage. Through my research, I disrupt binary conceptions of the Asian diaspora as either a menace to white America or as bodies of docile complicity to white supremacy through an in-depth case study of Basement Workshop, the East Coast’s first pan-Asian political and arts organization.
Using interviews with former members of Basement Workshop and historical discourse analysis of the organization’s magazine publications, arts anthology, and organizational correspondences, I demonstrate how Basement Workshop developed an Asian American identity which encompassed ideas about anti-imperialism, anti-racism, and anti-sexism.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Ong, Christinacno4@pitt.educno40000-0001-7829-6647
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBloom,
Committee MemberStaggenborg,
Committee MemberHughes,
Date: 17 January 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: June 2019
Approval Date: 17 January 2020
Submission Date: 21 November 2019
Access Restriction: 1 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 1 year.
Number of Pages: 74
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Sociology
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: collective identity, social movements, asian america
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2020 14:28
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2021 06:15


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