SSEASN - Wearing memory out: Fashioning gender and embodying resistance in Southeast Asia

M 2-4:59

This graduate seminar will explore the body as a site for both the projection and performance of national, racial and gender identity, and as a vehicle for the internalization and embodiment of past experience. We will consider the role of fashion as both handmaiden to colonialism and capitalism, but also as an arena for expression and resistance. Our primary focus will be the female body as a locus of nation and the focus of racialization in the contexts of colonialism and migration. We will also examine discourses of masculinity and emasculation.  Against the notion of nation as abstraction, we will explore the embodiment of memory and identity through individual acts of performance and resistance on catwalk, stage and screen.  Our approach is multidisciplinary, combining scholarship on history, gender, literature, memory and visual culture with Southeast Asian fiction and cinema. Topics will include the censorship and silencing of the female voice and form; urban, cosmopolitan, and traveling identities.  Assessment will be by a series of short grade-pointed reflection papers and a final letter-graded, extended research essay.

Fall 2018