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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Cultural hybridity and visual representations of the immigrant journey Ho, Charmaine Clarabelle


This study explores the visual representations of the immigrant journey from assimilation to community to hybridity. A sample of Asian-American and Asian-Australian picture books and graphic novels Hannah Is My Name: A Young Immigrant’s Story (written and illustrated by Belle Yang), The Arrival (written and illustrated by Shaun Tan), and American Born Chinese (written and illustrated by Gene Luen Yang), were examined for an understanding of visual representations of the cultural hybrid identity of Asian immigrants to inform classroom practice. This literary analysis is framed by five areas of scholarship: the power of picture books for young readers; Asian-American literary theory; perspectives on multicultural literature; the move from multicultural literary theory to postcolonial theory; and in particular Bhabha’s postcolonial theory of cultural hybridity. The analysis concludes that the immigrant journey moves from assimilation to community to resistance, resulting in the most current representation of the Asian immigrant as negotiating a culturally hybrid identity.

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