Alexandra Holdbrook

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Texas, San Antonio, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10687

Approve Date

April 15, 2024

Project Title

Holdbrook, Alexandra (Texas, San Antonio, U. of) "Texas Exotic Wildlife: Exploring the Multispecies Co-Production of the Hill Country Landscape"

This research explores Asian massage workers’ sonic articulations of the political, which often includes intimacy and care, with an attention towards quietness. Notions of “quietness” include but are not limited to recalcitrance, resistance, and subterfuge. While quietness has been largely defined as a symptom of Asian political compliance—one that is characterized as apathetic—I consider the broad range of quietness without foreclosing its potentialities. I examine the intersections of migration, care, gender, and labor organizing to examine Asian massage workers’ usages of sonic articulation at work and in activism. This ethnographic project illuminates how everyday practices of quietness are embedded in massage workers’ lives and to understand the experience of Asian massage workers inhabiting labor conditions of quietness, especially how they forge a sensibility of their own quietness. I examine what it means to practice quietness as a set of labor practices and political articulation within an American social context that generally understands quietness as absence. Aware of racialized danger and activist urgency, I ask, what substance could quietness generate? How do massage workers’ usages of sound foster new forms of participation, connection, and inclusion, and how might this inform anthropological analysis of activism, gender and race, and care?