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Reinventing Butterfly: Contesting Colonial Discourse in David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly and Shirley Lim’s Joss and Gold

Man Yin Chiu 1

1University of Macau

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly and Shirley Lim’s Joss and Gold, two Asian-American texts exploring the relationship between America and Asia, the classic Orientalist motif of the infinitely submissive oriental female is reworked to articulate an Asian response to American hegemony. Both works mobilize the Asian female as a figure of contestation to destabilize and reconceptualize the patriarchal and Orientalist strategies of Western cultural and political domination. This paper explores the tactically different though strategically similar counter-discursive moves adopted in the two works to suggest a broader cultural realignment in Asian-American relations.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.