By Joshua Takano Chambers-Letson
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Extra info for A Race So Different: Performance and Law in Asian America
Chapter 5 studies the performance practices of Cambodian/ American band Dengue Fever in order to trace the precarious position constructed for Cambodian refugees of the Vietnam War in US law. Studying Dengue Fever’s centralization of the figure of the “illegal immigrant” in its performances, I argue that the band draws attention to and interrupts the vulnerable position of Cambodian immigrants and Cambodian Americans who are subject to new forms of state violence in the era of the GWOT. In conclusion, I offer a brief meditation on racial profiling within the GWOT and on Hasan Elahi’s digital performance project Tracking Transience.
Eventually Pinkerton abandons his Japanese child-bride, who remains steadfast in the belief that he will return. In his absence, she raises their son, curiously named Trouble. Importantly, “that may be japanese law, but not in my cou ntry” / 33 Trouble was born after Pinkerton’s departure and without his knowledge. Pinkerton’s friend Sharpless, a US consular officer, remains concerned for the young woman and her son and attempts to convince the girl to remarry. She declines, believing that her marriage is protected by the laws governing marriage in the United States and that she will be able to press her case in a US court, if necessary.
My interest in the problem of law does not offer an alternative to critical investigations of race, gender, and empire in Madame Butterfly so much as it builds on this body of scholarship in order to offer a robust example of the ways in which these phenomena are produced at the intersection of law and performance in the narrative. It should be observed that one of the notable exceptions to the paucity of scholarship about law and Madame Butterfly is an article written by family law scholar Rebecca Bailey-Harris.
A Race So Different: Performance and Law in Asian America by Joshua Takano Chambers-Letson