Rob Wilson, "Spectral City: San Francisco as Pacific Rim City and Counter-Cultural Contago

ABSTRACT San Francisco, since its global takeoff in the Gold Rush Days and long-standing trafficking in Bohemian, socialist, queer, and left-leaning energies in and beyond the Beat era of the 1960s, has a complicated global/local history of trying to disentangle its city-space and urban imaginary from the Greco-Roman will-to-supremacy that would turn California into a frontier settlement of Asian/Pacific domination and US-framed empire. Forces of social becoming like the Beats and post-Beat hippies as well as more experimental authors like Jack Spicer, Maxine Hong Kingston, Frank Chin, and Bob Kaufman helped to forge a different literary-social vision of San Francisco and the Pacific Rim city as a porous community of transnational innovation and outer-national becoming.  This paper will invoke some literary and film texts from Howl and Tripmaster Monkey to Vertigo to Margaret Cho stand-up performances as well as some geopolitical studies, such as Gray Brechin’s Imperial San Francisco  and City Light Press’s Reclaiming San Francisco  to substantiate this double vision of San Francisco as global/local US site of (a) imperial ratification and (b) counter-orientalist deformation. Link

Taylor and Francis RIAC_A_338817.sgm 10.1080/14649370802386503
Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 1464-9373 (print)/1469-8447 (online)
Original Article 2008 Taylor & Francis 9 4 000000December 2008


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