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Chapter 4 examines the persistent and evolving economism of Asian racialization in the postexclusion era. Turning to Ken Lum’s multimedia works and Karen Tei Yamashita’s novel Tropic of Orange, this chapter tracks their works’ reconceptualizations of labor, migration, urbanism, and multiculturalism. Their works point to the capacity of the neoliberal border to recruit and restrict surplus labor populations from around the world while preserving the racialized abstractions that surround both high-tech, flexible Asian labor and working-class labor. As such, free trade becomes a further conduit for the fungibility of bodies as capital across borders and the continuing perils of abstract labor associated with the “new Jew.” Far from symbolizing multicultural inclusion, this chapter argues that the border is a central motor for the expanded fulfillment of a settler colonial mode of production that relies on a disposable migrant labor system.

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