This essay starts from the idea that the correlation between Asian American subjectivity and exemplarity is an instance of race relations in the American context. The model minority myth represents Asian Americans as an example of successful assimilation into American society and simultaneously signals their exclusion from mainstream norms and ideals. In this essay, I explore issues of representation, representativity, and access to narratives of identity choice by reading Yellow Face, the 2007 play written by David Henry Hwang. I first consider Hwang’s parody of identity politics and his staging of the racialization of bodies in contemporary “postracial” American society. Next, I discuss how dynamics of envy (Ngai 2005) enable a series of disidentificatory and antiproprietory practices, which ultimately disavow the iteration of a preestablished model subjectivity. Finally, I focus on the melancholic condition” (Eng e Han 2000) as a political strategy of building and preserving communities within and beyond racial, class, and national boundaries.

Representability and Relationality: Yellow Face and the exemplarity of a model

Fulvia Sarnelli
2022

Abstract

This essay starts from the idea that the correlation between Asian American subjectivity and exemplarity is an instance of race relations in the American context. The model minority myth represents Asian Americans as an example of successful assimilation into American society and simultaneously signals their exclusion from mainstream norms and ideals. In this essay, I explore issues of representation, representativity, and access to narratives of identity choice by reading Yellow Face, the 2007 play written by David Henry Hwang. I first consider Hwang’s parody of identity politics and his staging of the racialization of bodies in contemporary “postracial” American society. Next, I discuss how dynamics of envy (Ngai 2005) enable a series of disidentificatory and antiproprietory practices, which ultimately disavow the iteration of a preestablished model subjectivity. Finally, I focus on the melancholic condition” (Eng e Han 2000) as a political strategy of building and preserving communities within and beyond racial, class, and national boundaries.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11570/3238488
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