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Chapter 8 - Re/collecting Asian American Performance

from Part II - Politics, Art, and Activism

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 June 2021

Asha Nadkarni
Affiliation:
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Cathy J. Schlund-Vials
Affiliation:
University of Texas, Austin
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Summary

This chapter thinks through the presence and absence of drama and performance within Asian American literary studies. It highlights disciplinary intersections between Asian American literary studies and theater and performance studies by attending to the ways in which Asian American performance has been strategically collected as archives, from anthologies to repositories housed in universities, libraries, and theater companies. Such attention to the dramatic archive foregrounds a retrospective analysis of Asian American plays and performance, and, in its singular vision, is incomplete. In considering these archives, the chapter foregrounds the remains of Asian American performance to hold together both archive and repertoire, through its inter(in)animation, as sites of knowledge making, transmission, and Asian American subject formation. The chapter traces the performance and publication histories of plays collected in three canonical anthologies and ends with a close reading of Genny Lim’s Paper Angels. To recollect Asian American performance is to look again and against the collection of Asian American performance.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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