Disorienting Politics

Chimerican Media and Transpacific Entanglements

Subjects: Asian Studies, China, Media Studies, T.V. & Radio, American Studies
Open Access : 9780472904464, 230 pages, 6 x 9, June 2024
Paperback : 9780472056798, 230 pages, 6 x 9, June 2024
Hardcover : 9780472076796, 230 pages, 6 x 9, June 2024

Open access version made available with the support of the Dresher Center for the Humanities at UMBC.
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Understanding Chimerican entanglements through 21st-century media

Table of contents

List of Abbreviations

Chapter 1: Chimerica and Chimerican Media

Chapter 2: Economic Chimerica: Fiscal Orientalism and the Indebted Citizen

Chapter 3: Cultural Chimerica: Imagining Chinese as a Global Language

Chapter 4: Political Chimerica: House of Cards and/in China

Conclusion: Ecological Chimerica: Breath, Racialization, and Relational Politics



Disorienting Politics mines 21st-century media artifacts—including films like The Martian and TV/streaming media shows such as Firefly and House of Cards—to make visible the economic, cultural, political, and ecological entanglements of China and the United States. Describing these transpacific entanglements as “Chimerica”—coined by economic historians to reference the symbiosis of China and America—Yang examines how Chimerican media, originating in the US but traversing national boundaries in their production, circulation, and consumption, co-create the figure of rising China and extend a political imagination beyond the conventional ground of the nation.

Examining how Chimerican media are shaped by and perpetuate uneven power relations, Disorienting Politics argues that the pervasive tendency among wide-ranging cultural producers to depict the Chinese state as a racialized Other in American media life diminishes the possibility of engaging transpacific entanglements as a basis for envisioning new political horizons. Such othering of China not only results in overt racism against people of Asian descent, Yang argues, but also impacts the wellbeing of people of color more generally. This interdisciplinary book demonstrates the ways in which race is embedded in geopolitics even when the subject of discussion is not the people, but the (Chinese) state. Bridging media and cultural studies, Asian and Asian American studies, geography, and globalization studies, Disorienting Politics calls for a relational politics that acknowledges the multifarious interconnectivity between people, places, media, and environment.

Fan Yang is Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Communication Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

Disorienting Politics is a paradigm-shifting work that will inspire and foster more work in the US-China relations in media and cultural studies. It will be well received by scholars and students in the social sciences and the humanities in general, and particularly in media studies, China studies, American studies, Asian American studies, and transpacific studies.”
—Chih-Ming Wang, Institute of European and American Studies

- Chih-Ming Wang

Disorienting Politics offers a rich engagement with intriguing media forms. Yang is well-versed in the scholarship of a wide range of disciplines, from anthropology to media studies and several more in between. Yang’s wide-ranging argument is clearly presented and nicely conceived without being turgidly theorized.”
—Jennifer Hubbert, Lewis and Clark University

- Jennifer Hubbert

Watch: Humanities Forum with author Fan Yang | April 30, 2024
Listen: Barbarians at the Gate podcast | June 5, 2024