Sexy Asian Things?: 

Thinking Through Race Fetishism

Seminar with Leslie Bow︎︎︎

[Four people connect virtually on a Zoom grid that is outlined by a magenta line. They are engaged in a group conversation about the book Racist Love: Asian Abstraction and the Pleasures of Fantasy. On the top left of the grid is seminar leader Leslie Bow, a femme East Asian woman with shoulder length dark hair and gray bangs. On the top right is Davecat, a Black man with dark hair slicked over the right side of his forehead. On the bottom left is Amber Hawk Swanson, a femme white woman with long dark hair and bangs. And on the bottom right is Sidore Kuroneko, a Japanese-British Synthetik with shoulder-length purple hair and bangs. Leslie Bow, who is smiling, wears a light blue blouse, a delicate necklace, and uses the blur background function in Zoom. Davecat, who looks bemused, is wearing a factory gray button down, a necktie, and silver corded headphones. His chin rests on his hand, exposing his many bracelets and polished black nails. He sits on a loveseat covered with a plaid blanket and his bookshelf and desk are viewable in the background. Amber, who smiles behind her green mask, wears a black dress with green flowers and vintage gold framed glasses on a gold chain. She sits against a pastel grid background in front of a live studio audience that is not pictured. Sidore, who looks engaged, is wearing a white button down with black accents, a dark purple pleather choker, glasses with silver frames, red lipstick, and vintage Pan Am corded headphones. She sits in front of a black bookcase holding books and collectables.] 



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Leslie Bow is Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of English and Asian American Studies and Dorothy Draheim Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the author of the award-winning ‘Partly Colored’: Asian Americans and Racial Anomaly in the Segregated South (New York University Press, 2010); Betrayal and Other Acts of Subversion: Feminism, Sexual Politics, Asian American Women's Literature (Princeton University Press, 2001), and just co-edited The Oxford Handbook of Twentieth-Century American Literature (Oxford 2022). Her book, Racist Love: Asian Abstraction and the Pleasures of Fantasy came out with Duke University Press in 2022.

Photograph by Bryce Ricther, University of Wisconsin-Madison

[Leslie Bow smiles directly at the camera, head slightly tilted, while seated in front of a bookshelf holding a selection of books of different sizes and colors that recedes, out of focus, in the background. She is a femme East Asian woman wearing a scoop neck ribbed blue-green sweater, dangly earrings, eyeliner and lipstick. Her shoulder length dark hair frames her face.]


  • Bow, Leslie. “Asian • Female • Robot • Slave: Techno-Orientalism after #MeToo.” Chapter. In Racist Love: Asian Abstraction and the Pleasures of Fantasy, 109–51. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2022.
    Please read pages


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