Thursday, September 24, 2009


Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU presents
An Ethics of Betrayal:
The Politics of Otherness in Emergent U.S. Literatures and Culture
Book Talk with Crystal Parikh

Moderated by Ann Pellegrini

Thursday, September 24, 2009
NYU Department of Social and Cultural Analysis
20 Cooper Square, 4th Floor

immediately online at or email: or call 212-992-9653.
This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

In An Ethics of Betrayal, Crystal Parikh investigates the theme and tropes of betrayal and treason in Asian American and Chicano/Latino literary and cultural narratives. In considering betrayal from an ethical perspective, one grounded in the theories of Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida, Parikh argues that the minority subject is obligated in a primary, preontological, and irrecusable relation of responsibility to the Other. Episodes of betrayal and treason allegorize the position of this subject, beholden to the many others who embody the alterity of existence and whose demands upon the subject result in transgressions of intimacy and loyalty. In this first major comparative study of narratives by and about Asian Americans and Latinos, Parikh considers writings by Frank Chin, Gish Jen, Chang-rae Lee, Eric Liu, Américo Parades, and Richard Rodriguez, as well as narratives about the persecution of Wen Ho Lee and the rescue and return of Elian González. By addressing the conflicts at the heart of filiality, the public dimensions of language in the constitution of minority "community," and the mercenary mobilizations of "model minority" status, An Ethics of Betrayal seriously engages the challenges of conducting ethnic and critical race studies based on the uncompromising and unromantic ideas of justice, reciprocity, and ethical society.

Crystal Parikh is Assistant Professor of Social & Cultural Analysis and English, and Ann Pellegrini is Associate Professor of Performance Studies and Religious Studies at NYU.

Co-sponsored by the NYU Department of Social and Cultural Analysis.