Review: Laura Hyun Yi Kang, Compositional Subjects. Duke University Press, 2002

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Compositional Subjects is an ambitious yet convincing exploration of how the figure of the 'Asian American woman' has been composed and understood historically, ideologically and methodologically across various disciplines. Kang provides the reader with a comprehensible yet compact map of the ongoing debates surrounding the Asian American woman within literary criticism, film studies, history and anthropology. Kang dextrously navigates her way around these debates, focusing on the Asian American woman as a writing self, a desiring body, a national citizen and a transnational worker. Far from being a fragmented jumble of ideas spread too wide and thin, Kang's work is a coherent, dedicated and profound interrogation of race, gender, nationality, ethnicity and epistemology; topics which have constantly constructed the figure of the Asian American woman.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)374-375
Number of pages2
JournalFeminist Theory
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2003


  • Asian American women
  • feminist theories
  • ethnicity studies


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