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Rutgers University Press


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Screening Asian Americans

This innovative essay collection explores Asian American cinematic representations historically and socially, on and off screen, as they contribute to the definition of American character. The history of Asian Americans on movie screens, as outlined in Peter X Feng’s introduction, provides a context for the individual readings that follow. Asian American cinema is charted in its diversity, ranging across activist, documentary, experimental, and fictional modes, and encompassing a wide range of ethnicities (Filipino, Vietnamese, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and Taiwanese). Covered in the discussion are filmmakers—Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Ang Lee, Trinh T. Minh-ha, and Wayne Wang—and films such as The Wedding Banquet, Surname Viet Given Name Nam, and Chan is Missing.

Throughout the volume, as Feng explains, the term screening has a twofold meaning—referring to the projection of Asian Americans as cinematic bodies and the screening out of elements connected with these images. In this doubling, film representation can function to define what is American and what is foreign. Asian American filmmaking is one of the fastest growing areas of independent and studio production. This volume is key to understanding the vitality of this new cinema.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813530246
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication date: 01/28/2002
Series: Rutgers Depth of Field Series
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Asian American Bodies
Filming "Chinatown": Fake Visions, Bodily Transformations21
The Early Years: Asians in the American Films Prior to World War II (excerpt, with a new introduction)53
The Desiring of Asian Female Bodies: Interracial Romance and Cinematic Subjection71
Histories of Asian American Cinema
A History in Progress: Asian American Media Arts Centers, 1970-1990101
Identity and Difference in "Filipino/a American" Media Arts111
A Peculiar Sensation: A Personal Genealogy of Korean American Women's Cinema133
Asian American Film and Video in Context
Historical Consciousness and the Viewer: Who Killed Vincent Chin?159
The Politics of Video Memory: Electronic Erasures and Inscriptions173
Being Chinese American, Becoming Asian American: Chan Is Missing185
Emigrants Twice Displaced: Race, Color, and Identity in Mira Nair's Mississippi Masala217
Surname Viet Given Name Nam: Spreading Rumors & Ex/Changing Histories235
Good Clean Fung243
"From the multitude of narratives ... For another telling for another recitation": Constructing and Re-constructing Dictee and Memory/all echo253
Coming Out into the Global System: Postmodern Patriarchies and Transnational Sexualities in The Wedding Banquet273
On Fire293

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