Sensing Different Worlds: Author Spotlight – Nicole Go

Nicole Go is a faculty fellow at the University of King’s College, where she teaches in the Foundation Year Program. She completed an Hon. BA and MA in East Asian Studies from the University of Toronto and held a Nippon Foundation Fellowship at Stanford’s Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama, Japan. She is a current PhD candidate and former sessional lecturer in the Department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University, where she is completing a dissertation on how language and translation are theorized in novels, poetry, and photography by Asian Canadian and Japanese authors. More broadly, her research considers the links between language, nation, and race, as well as the intersections of Asian Studies and Asian American studies.


The “retinal-world” of Roy Kiyooka’s Wheels


Roy Kiyooka’s (1926-1994) Wheels: A Trip Thru Honshu’s Backcountry (1981) documents his travels around Japan, but while the text ostensibly presents him as a Western tourist who gazes upon the non-West, his hybridized subjectivity complicates the native/foreigner dichotomy. This liminal state is reflected in photographs mediated by train windows and car windshields separating the camera’s eye from the landscape. Additionally, his constant references to the act of photography—winding up film, brushing dirt off the lens, clicking the shutter—effectively put his own body into the viewfinder. In demonstrating an acute awareness of being seen, Kiyooka implicates a white, hegemonic, Anglophone Canadian audience in his racialization: first, in the exoticization and tokenization of his work within the predominantly white fields of Canadian art and literature; and second, as an “enemy alien” under national surveillance during WWII.

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