Brown Boys and Rice Queens
Spellbinding Performance in the Asias
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: NYU Press
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Preface: The Queer Genesis of a Project
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It is now twelve years since a queer sort of Asian encounter started it all. Shortly after I arrived in California from Singapore, my former adviser, in a moment of casual butch-camp ribaldry, asked for my thoughts on rice queens and a Balinese ritual purportedly choreographed by a Ger-man guy involving many Balinese men as monkeys. I was baffled and ...
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Sue-Ellen Case and Susan Foster recruited me to graduate school at the turn of the new millennium while Sue-Ellen was a visiting Fulbright scholar at the National University of Singapore. I learned from them the pleasure of epistemo-erotic senses attuned to the body, to writing, and to the world. Sue-Ellen in particular was instrumental in helping ...
Introduction: Tropic Spells, Performance, and the Native Boy
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The thunderous applause at Brooklyn Academy of Music’s New Wave Festival opera A House in Bali (2010) reached an electric climax as the troupe of gamelan musicians and Balinese dancers filled the length of the stage. A House in Bali is based on a memoir of the same title pub-lished in 1947 by Colin McPhee, who is widely considered a progenitor ...
1. A Colonial Dyad in Balinese Performance
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By the 1930s, when Noel Coward turned to Charlie Chaplin with this ditty about the surfeit of “artistic endeavour” in Bali,1 reports had been filtering out to Europe and America that the island, “not Fiji or Samoa or Hawaii, was the genuine, unspoiled tropical paradise, known as yet, even by reputation, only by the cognoscenti, a category with which all ...
2. The Global Asian Queer Boys of Singapore
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From Bali to Singapore, the transmogrification of the classic white man/brown boy configuration into the postcolonial father-state vis-à-vis its gay citizenry presents a conceptual iteration of the dyad with its own erotic, juridical, and performative spells. This “twist” involves unlikely bedfellows, the Singapore father-state and partying gay boys, ...
3. G.A.P. Drama, or The Gay Asian Princess Goes to the United States
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The acronym G.A.P., which stands variously for Gay Asian Princess, Gay Asian Pacific, or Gay Asian Performance, is a mock assemblage of puns, wayward Asian identifications, and queer acts on improper routes and cartographies. Neither a fixed genre of theater nor an identity marker of Asians writ large, G.A.P. is a set of performative cruisings made by the ...
Conclusion: Toward a Minor-Native Epistemology in Transcolonial Borderzones
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In her now classic essay “Where Have All the Natives Gone?,” Rey Chow likens modernity’s preoccupation with nativizing cultures to a colonial visual technology in which the native becomes useful and falsely knowable to her onlooker. Using photography as her key exam-ple, Chow argues that the reproduction of the native as the visual other ...
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About the Author
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Eng-Beng Lim is Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies at Brown University, where he is on the Gender and Sexuality Studies Board at the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, and a faculty affiliate of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, the Department of East Asian Studies, and the ...
Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2013