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Open Casket: Post-Mortem Asian American Resonances and Performances of Mourning and Justice


This thesis examines Asian American racialization through instances of premature death as well processes of mourning and advocacy for the dead. I juxtapose Celeste Ng’s novel Everything I Never Told You with Season One of the podcast Serial in order to explore state procedures and the process of knowledge generation through the dead. I do so in order to consider the relationship between the state and the marginalized and address the gaps in the state’s epistemological processes. I also examine the death and after life of Vincent Chin. Chin has become an integral part of Asian American Studies because of the racial elements involved in his murder and the panethnic Asian American organizing that arose in the wake of his death. Through these readings, I question the place of the state in producing justice and how to cultivate more ethical relationships with the dead.

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