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In "The Hypersexuality of Race", Celine Parrenas Shimizu draws on her own experiences as a Filapina American filmmaker and as a spectator to urge a shift in thinking about sexualized depictions of Asian/American women in film, video, and theatrical productions. Shimizu advocates moving beyond denunciations of sexualized representations of Asian/American women as necessarily demeaning or negative. Arguing for a more nuanced approach to the mysterious mix of pleasure, pain, and power in performances of sexuality, she advances a theory of 'productive perversity', a theory which allows Asian/American women - and by extension other women of colour - to lay claim to their own sexuality and desires as actors, producers, critics, and spectators.Shimizu combines theoretical and textual analysis, her own experiences, and interviews - conducted by herself and others - with artists involved in various productions. She complicates understanding of the controversial portrayal of Asian female sexuality in the popular Broadway play "Miss Saigon" by considering her own reactions to the play as well as the thoughts of some of the actresses in it.She looks at how three Hollywood Asian/American femme fatales - Anna May Wong, Nancy Kwan, and Lucy Liu - negotiate representations of their sexuality; analyzes 1920s and 1930s hardcore yellowface stag films in which white women perform as sexualized Asian women; and, considers Asian/American women's performances in films ranging from the stag pornography of the 1940s to the Internet and video porn of the 1990s. She also reflects on two movies depicting Southeast Asian prostitutes and sex tourism, "The Good Woman of Bangkok" and "101 Asian Debutantes". Examining films and videos made by Asian/American feminists, she describes how female characters in their works reject normative definitions of race, gender, and sexuality through performances of aberrant sexualities.
Duke University Press
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