In this course, we will examine theatrical works and the social and political contexts of Asian American theater-makers in the US. Weaving in mediums such as film, poetry, fiction, visual art, and scholarship, we will look at issues of race and gender as social constructs that Asian Americans are not only subject to, but also continuously challenge through cultural production. This is a dramaturgy course that requires students to engage with the theatrical texts within various artistic and theoretical frameworks. Grounded in post-colonial and transnational feminist theories, we define ?theater? in this course as a vital cultural weapon with which historically disenfranchised communities in the U.S. have inserted themselves into the cultural narrative that often silences and erases them.
We will closely examine the gendering of Asian bodies as a form of colonization. Though the focus of the course is the Asian American experience, we must acknowledge that Asian Americans have always been ?alien bodies? or threats to the United States despite legal recognition or other legal indicators of nationality and citizenship. Asian Americans must negotiate their subjectivity, identity, and belonging within the separate yet intertwining frameworks of the United States and Asia.