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Becoming Yellow:
A Short History of Racial Thinking
Michael Keevak

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [in PDF format]


"All racial categories are constructed, but none so laboriously as the 'yellow' of East Asians. This learned and stimulating book ranges across a half-dozen centuries of writing to tell the story of East Asians' transformation from 'white' to 'yellow' (and many hues in between) and their homogenization as members of a 'Mongolian' race. Drawing on travelogues, medical texts, and works of geography, anthropology, and natural history, Keevak unveils the complex and surprising history of an idea that remains deeply ingrained in our image of Asia and Asians today. Becoming Yellow is a marvelous contribution to the history of racialist thinking."--David L. Howell, Harvard University

"Becoming Yellow is an absorbing tale of how science was manipulated in quest of assigning a less-than-becoming shade to Asian peoples. Poring over several centuries of European accounts, Michael Keevak documents how the jaundiced views of the literati were by no means evenly applied and how scientific justifications of racial theory were colored more by contingent events than physical truths."--Michael Laffan, Princeton University

"This book will make an indelible and enlightening mark in the fields of post-colonial, race, and cultural studies, and will attract an uncommonly diverse audience. It has a rightful place as part of the literary and historical scholarship that comprises the greater contemporary postcolonial project."--Don J. Wyatt, Middlebury College

"Well-organized and engaging, this very interesting and singular work is a solid contribution to various fields and innovative in both its focus and approach. I cannot think of any other book that addresses the same subject that this one does."--Larissa Heinrich, University of California, San Diego

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File created: 4/24/2017

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