Cover

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pp. 1-7

Contents

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pp. 8-9

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

Writing a book is always a collective endeavor. With this in mind, I would like to express my deep gratitude to those who have contributed to this work. This book would not have come into being without the open and welcoming response of the South Asian American activists and performers whose efforts fill these pages: teachers and students at the School for Indian ...

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Chapter One: Toward Acknowledgment: Care in Diasporic Performances

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pp. 3-41

Shyamala Moorty sits on a cold, white toilet in the center of a bare stage. Her eyes move slowly across an audience that includes mainstream and South Asian American community members, war veterans, as well as university students and faculty. This diverse group has come together on a cold October night in Madison, Wisconsin, to participate in a 2005 performance ...

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Chapter Two: Performing South Asian American Histories

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pp. 43-72

One hundred years separate these evocations of flags and founding fathers in the name of minority exclusion.1 Taken together, however, they reveal a good deal about the central dilemmas facing South Asian American community members today. In both moments, South Asian Americans have found themselves characterized as perpetual strangers at the door of ...

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Chapter Three: National Recognition and Community Acknowledgment

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pp. 73-102

Performances at folk festivals have long encouraged community members to engage in imaginary travel, drawing attention to the tension between us/ them, here/there, and then/now, while also collapsing these divides (Bauman and Sawin 1991; Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 1991). Growing out of colonial discourses of the eighteenth century, they implicitly address questions such ...

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Chapter Four: A Future in Relation to the Other

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pp. 103-144

As I write this, the tenth anniversary of 9/11 is upon us. In the decade following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, much has changed in the United States, particularly for South Asian Americans. As Divakaruni’s quote suggests, while South Asian American community members mourned the terrible events, for many their horror was mixed with fear. ...

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Chapter Five: Cultural Activism and Sexuality in Feminist Performance

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pp. 145-180

In the United States today, consumer culture often fuels the multicultural attraction to everyday “ethnic” performances. Nose rings, mendhi tattoos, belly chains, and bindis—these traditional fashions associated with South Asian American women can now be found in most mainstream shopping centers as stylish accessories. Over the years, traditional styles from Asia ...

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Chapter Six: Intertwining Folklore and Rhetoric: Cultural Performance, Acknowledgment, and Social Justice

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pp. 181-196

As part of the human condition, innumerable manifestations of violence challenge us during the course of our lives. Around the world, people struggle daily to respond with dignity as they are subjected to terrorist acts, war crimes, racist speeches in public forums, physical and sexual abuse in the home, or deafening silence in response to requests for acknowledgment. ...

Notes

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pp. 197-209

References

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pp. 211-226

Index

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pp. 227-233