Racial Performativity and World War II


In The Spectacle of Japanese American Trauma: Racial Performativity and World War II, Emily Roxworthy contests the notion that the U.S. government’s internment policies during World War II had little impact on the postwar lives of most Japanese Americans. After the curtain was lowered on the war following the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, many Americans behaved as if the “theatre of war” had ended and life could return to normal. Roxworthy demonstrates that this theatrical logic of segregating the real from the staged, the authentic experience from the political display, grew out of the manner in which internment was agitated for and instituted by the U.S. government and media. During the war, Japanese Americans struggled to define themselves within the web of this theatrical logic, and they continue to reenact this trauma in public and private to this day.

July 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3220-9 / $35.00 (CLOTH)

“This is an original and well-written analysis, contributing much to the literature on internment and, thereby, re-energizing the ideological stages of internment discourse.” —Caroline Chung Simpson, University of Washington

Beijing Opera Costumes

Beijing Opera Costumes: The Visual Communication of Character and Culture, by Alexandra B. Bonds, is the first in-depth English-language book focused exclusively on the costumes of Jingju, the highest form of stage arts in China. This comprehensive volume provides both theory and analysis of the costumes and the method of their selection for the roles as well as technical information on embroidery, patterns, and construction. Extensive descriptions illuminate the use of colors and surface images derived from historical dress and modified for the stage. Details on makeup, hairstyles, and dressing techniques present a complete view of the Jingju performer from head to toe.

“This book is a very detailed and thorough examination of costuming (including make-up) in traditional Beijing opera as practiced today. The author has combined her expertise in costume design in general with extensive fieldwork and consultation in China. Because of the highly developed role-type system in Beijing opera and the premium put on visually distinguishing these role types on stage, costuming and make-up in Beijing opera are simultaneously very complicated, very full of meaning, and very worth paying attention to. This book, with its ample illustrations and clear structure, is an excellent guide to the symbolic systems used to differentiate characters on the Beijing opera stage, and, given the comparative lack in Beijing opera of scenery on the one hand and emphasis on the actor on the other, it could also be said to represent a guide to the visual world of Beijing opera in general. It is the only book of its kind in English, and it is very hard to conceive of it being surpassed any time soon.” —David Rolston, University of Michigan

April 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-2956-8 / $50.00 (CLOTH)