About Face: Performing Race in Fashion and Theater

by Dorinne Kondo

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From the runways of Paris to the casting controversies over Miss Saigon, from a local demonstration at the Claremont Colleges in California to the gender-blending of M. Butterfly, About Face examines representations of Asia and their reverberations in both Asia and Asian American lives. Japanese high fashion and Asian American theater become points of entry into the politics of pleasure, the performance of racial identities, and the possibility of political intervention in commodity capitalism. Based on Kondo’s fieldwork, this interdisciplinary work brings together essays, interviews with designer Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons and playwright David Henry Hwang, and “personal” vignettes in its exploration of counter-Orientalisms.

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