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By Karen Shimakawa

National Abjection explores the vexed dating among "Asian Americanness" and "Americanness” via a spotlight on drama and function paintings. Karen Shimakawa argues that the types of Asian Americanness that seem in U.S. tradition are a functionality of nationwide abjection—a technique that calls for that Americanness be outlined by means of the exclusion of Asian americans, who're both forged as symbolic foreigners incapable of integration or Americanization or distorted into an “honorary” whiteness. She examines how Asian americans turn into culturally noticeable off and on degree, revealing the methods Asian American theater businesses and artists reply to the cultural implications of this abjection.

Shimakawa appears to be like on the origins of Asian American theater, relatively in the course of the thoughts of a few of its pioneers. Her exam of the emergence of Asian American theater businesses illuminates their recommendations for countering the stereotypes of Asian americans and the shortcoming of visibility of Asian American performers in the theater global. She exhibits how a few plays—Wakako Yamauchi’s 12-1-A, Frank Chin’s Chickencoop Chinaman, and The yr of the Dragon—have either without delay and in a roundabout way addressed the displacement of Asian americans. She analyzes works trying to negate the method of abjection—such because the 1988 Broadway creation of M. Butterfly in addition to Miss Saigon, a mainstream construction that enacted the method of cultural displacement either onstage and rancid. eventually, Shimakawa considers Asian Americanness within the context of globalization by way of meditating at the paintings of Ping Chong, really his East-West Quartet.

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Extra resources for National Abjection: The Asian American Body Onstage

Sample text

American (male) veterans assume the roles of "father, and a family" -even as they avoid personal accountability-thereby resignif)ring these children as wholly non-Vietnamese. Thus, Kim cannot coexist with Tam any more than she can coexistwith Ellen: as a biologicallink between the child and Vietnam, Kim signifies the penneability of that boundary and the ethical ramifications of that penneation. st leave your embrace" ("The Sacred Bird"). S. Americanness, however: Chris and Ellen initially only want to help Kim financially and from a distance.

Rather,TheEngineer's parentage illustrates the unseemly dangers ofcross-race (and, according to the show's logic, therefore cross-nation) liaisons: "My father was a tattoo artist in Haiphong," he explains. " This is a far cry from Kim's maternal crusade and Chris's and Ellen's sense of "duty" toward their son. The Engineer's biraciality is a sign of miscegenated, unreformed debasement rather than of the assimilationist ideal embodied in the child. S. Americanness and so must perpetually undergo abjection.

Thus, Kim cannot coexist with Tam any more than she can coexistwith Ellen: as a biologicallink between the child and Vietnam, Kim signifies the penneability of that boundary and the ethical ramifications of that penneation. st leave your embrace" ("The Sacred Bird"). S. Americanness, however: Chris and Ellen initially only want to help Kim financially and from a distance. Even Kim's suicide, a spectacle calculated to ensure Tam's place in Chris's American family, is undetermined in its success.

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