National Abjection: The Asian American Body Onstage / Edition 1

National Abjection: The Asian American Body Onstage / Edition 1

by Karen Shimakawa
     
 

National Abjection explores the vexed relationship between "Asian Americanness" and "Americanness" through a focus on drama and performance art. Karen Shimakawa argues that the forms of Asian Americanness that appear in U.S. culture are a function of national abjection-a process that demands that

See more details below

Overview

National Abjection explores the vexed relationship between "Asian Americanness" and "Americanness" through a focus on drama and performance art. Karen Shimakawa argues that the forms of Asian Americanness that appear in U.S. culture are a function of national abjection-a process that demands that Americanness be defined by the exclusion of Asian Americans, who are either cast as symbolic foreigners incapable of integration or Americanization or distorted into an "honorary" whiteness. She examines how Asian Americans become culturally visible on and off stage, revealing the ways Asian American theater companies and artists respond to or oppose the cultural implications of this abjection.

Shimakawa looks at the origins of Asian American theater, particularly through the memories of some of its pioneers. Her examination of the emergence of Asian American theater companies illuminates their various strategies for countering the stereotypes of Asian Americans and the lack of visibility of Asian American performers within the theater world. She shows how some plays-Wakako Yamauchi's 12-1-A, Frank Chin's Chickencoop Chinaman, and The Year of the Dragon-have directly and indirectly addressed the displacement of Asian Americans. She analyzes works attempting to negate the process of abjection-such as the 1988 Broadway production of M. Butterfly as well as Miss Saigon, a mainstream production that enacted the process of cultural displacement both onstage and off. Finally, Shimakawa considers Asian Americaness in the context of globalization by meditating on the work of Ping Chong, particularly his East-West Quartet.

National Abjection will appeal to those in Asian American, American, performance, and cultural studies.

About the Author

Karen Shimakawa is Assistant Professor in the Department of English and the Asian American Studies Program at the University of California, Davis. She is coeditor of Orientations: Mapping Studies in the Asian Diaspora, published by Duke University Press.

 


 

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822328230
Publisher:
Duke University Press Books
Publication date:
12/28/2002
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsix
Introduction: "It's not right for a body to know his own origins"1
Chapter 1"I should be--American!" Abjection and the Asian (American) Body23
Chapter 2"The dance that's happening" Performance, Politics, and Asian American Theatre Companies57
Chapter 3"We'come a Chinatowng, Folks!" Resisting Abjection77
Chapter 4"I'll be here ... right where you left me" Mimetic Abjection/Abject Mimicry99
Chapter 5"Whose history is this, anyway?" Changing Geographies in Ping Chong's East-West Quartet129
Afterword: "Then we'll have drama"159
Notes165
References179
Index189

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >