Xiang will discuss how mid-20th century artists Nam June Paik, Senga Nengudi, and Mary Suzuki use synthetic materials in their works, to further theorize the relationship between art, fashion and militarism in the Cold War.
Sunny Xiang is an assistant professor of English and affiliate professor of ethnicity, race, and migration at Yale University. She is the author of Tonal Intelligence: The Aesthetics of Asian Inscrutability during the Long Cold War (Columbia UP, 2020), which reperiodizes the Cold War by taking a tonal approach to reading aesthetic texts and intelligence records. Her teaching and research focuses on Asian / Pacific / American and Asian diasporic literature and culture, with a special interest in transpacific genealogies of war, militarism, and imperialism. She is currently at work on a second book project tentatively entitled “Atomic Wear: Transpacific Fashion and the Making of the Militarized Mundane, which will explore how cold war articulations of style also functioned as vernacular theories of race and gender.