Resistance has a different valence in physics, biology, the social sciences, and the humanities, but each usage alludes to withstanding or opposing a force, power, or pathogen. The online Dictionary of Critical Theory (Buchanan 2012) helpfully steers us away from the desire to fix the definition of resistance, and, instead, encourages us to treat the concept as a “problematic” or a “theoretical starting point that is at once perplexing and productive.” Many scholars in the humanities and social sciences have been deeply influenced by one such starting point: philosopher Michel Foucault’s formulation, “Where there is power, there is resistance, and yet, or rather consequently, this resistance is never in a position of exteriority in relation to power” (1990, 95). The strategic, fluid, relational, and always-open-to-contest understanding of power enabled the idea that knowledge is a power effect exposed to destabilizations. Asian American studies itself was born as a site of resistance to the erasure of the histories and experiences of Asian Americans in university curricula. In the 1960s and 1970s, documenting, contextualizing, and analyzing the forging of this racialized group, developing material in which Asian American students could see their lives reflected, and connecting the issues that working-class Asian Americans...

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