Abstract

Abstract:

For decades, Theatre Journal has deeply engaged with different aspects of Asian American theatre and performance. This essay surveys a range of Theatre Journal articles published from the 1990s in order to map out this distinctive area of theatre and performance studies. Key articles by James Moy, Karen Shimakawa, and Daphne Lei grapple with the legacy of racial stereotypes and the aesthetics and reception of contemporary Asian American performance. Essays by Angela Pao, Celine Parreñas Shimizu, Sean Metzger, and Ju Yon Kim emphasize the racialized bodies of actors and the history of yellowface and brownface acting, while Christopher Eng, Christine Mok, Megan Shea, and Dan Bacalzo emphasize the intersectional and transnational dimensions of Asian American expression. These and other scholars of Asian American theatre and performance continue to engage with new aspects of immigrant and refugee performance as well as gender and sexuality in Asian American theatre. At a time of changing demographics and cultural visibility, this essay helps us see how scholars have addressed the enormous diversity of Asian American experiences and perspectives as well as common preoccupations about visibility and representation, the persistence of orientalist typecasting, and the dynamic and complicated nature of Asian American identity.

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