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The Chinese Exotic

Modern Diasporic Femininity

Olivia Khoo

Publication Year: 2007

The book examines new representations of diasporic Chinese femininity emerging from Asia Pacific modernities since the late twentieth century.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU


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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction: The Chinese Exotic

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pp. 1-23

Gong Li, poster girl of Fifth Generation Chinese films, swore after being lampooned by the media for her first Hollywood film Chinese Box, that she would never again star in another American production. With a further three English-language films released, and more in production, her comment to the Chinese media appears to have been all but ...

I: Fold

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1. Folding Chinese Boxes: Sensing the Chinese Exotic

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pp. 27-66

This chapter explores how the Chinese exotic ‘makes sense’ by following a form that ‘folds’ — both in terms of the way it negotiates competing discourses and formations, and also in the way it permits certain images and representations of diasporic Chinese femininity to circulate and become globally visible. The Chinese exotic manifests itself as both ‘inside’...

II: Cross Over

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2. Spies, Vamps and Women Warriors: Translating the Exotic into the Technics of Chinese Femininity

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pp. 69-110

The previous chapter examined how the Chinese exotic travels as a fold — a trope of movement that can potentialise a shift from object to subject positions within diasporic contexts in the West. In this chapter I explore the movement of two popular Hong Kong film stars, Maggie Cheung and ...

III: Ornament

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3. Ethnic Supplementarity and the Ornamental Text: Asian American and Asian Australian Diasporic Literary Production

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pp. 113-147

This chapter examines how diasporic Chinese femininity, as translated through cross over films in Chapter 2, can also be produced through mimetic forms of reading and writing. Mimesis can be defined as “an intentional construction of a correlation”. It corresponds to some form of identification, and in this sense is distinct from the concept of mimicry, which emphasises the physical

IV: Region

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4. From the Chinese Exotic to the Asian Exotic: Critical Regionalism and Pop Culture Asianism

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pp. 151-168

This chapter concludes with some thoughts and observations on a movement I have been signalling throughout; that is, a movement from the Chinese exotic into a formation of the Asian exotic. The Chinese exotic is a phenomenon that is constituted through excentric movements that mark its dispersal and displacement at local, regional, and global levels. The Asian...

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Conclusion: Heliotropic Manoeuvres

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pp. 169-172

Across the various chapters I have sought to examine new representations of diasporic Chinese femininity emerging from the development of alternative modernities and economies in the Asia Pacific region. I argued that an analysis of such representations could inform reconfigured relations between China, ...


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pp. 173-196


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pp. 197-198


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pp. 199-213


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pp. 215-218

E-ISBN-13: 9789888052851
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622098794

Page Count: 228
Illustrations: 6 b/w illus
Publication Year: 2007

OCLC Number: 650854207
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Chinese Exotic

Research Areas


Subject Headings

  • Feminism.
  • Chinese in literature.
  • Chinese -- Foreign countries -- Social life and customs.
  • Chinese -- Foreign countries -- Ethnic identity.
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