Sample Abstract: Asian Superheroes (Creative Piece)
Though there has been an increase in the number of Asian American actors in American entertainment, the industry’s subtle racism has been left unnoticed or ignored by its majoritarian audience. American viewers have become accustomed to seeing white dominant figures in mainstream culture, a normalcy with origins dating back to Western imperialism. Most, if not all, of the leading protagonist roles are casted to Caucasian males and Asian American actors remain in the shadows as the sidekick or villain. Where are the Asian Superheroes?
My final project will be a creative piece accompanied by a written analysis. First, I will be designing three posters with famous male superheroes as Asian characters. One poster will be designed to fit the stereotypical characteristics of Asians—slanted eyes, yellow, bucktoothed, and “kawaii”. The second will be drawn in a realistic style that is familiar to American-produced comics. Lastly, I will be recreating the Asian Superheroes as ghosts. The purpose of the three pieces is to visually comment on the stereotypes and invisibility that Asian American actors face in the American entertainment industry. The written supplement will aim to explain the posters and include an in-depth analysis on Asian American males as the counter-hegemonic forces of White masculinity. I will be using supplemental information from Edward Said, Mike Donaldson, and media commentary sites such as Racebending to analyze historical and social elements that have contributed to the marginalization. Overall, the audience’s reaction to the Asianized superheroes is expected to be surprised or unfamiliar to as it is still a deviant concept to the Caucasian majority.
Aoki, Guy, and Jeffrey Scott Mio. “Stereotypes and Media Images.” Asian American Psychology: Current Perspectives. New York: Psychology, 2009. 421-39. Print.
Cheng, Cliff. “Marginalized Masculinities and Hegemonic Masculinity: An Introduction.” The Journal of Men’s Studies 7.3 (2008): 295-315. Print.
Donaldson, Mike. “What Is Hegemonic Masculinity?” Theory and Society, Special Issue:Masculinities (1993): 1-8. Print.