China Review International: Vol. 14, No. 2, Fall 2007 Claire Conceison. Significant Other: Staging the American in China. Honolulu: University of Hawai`i Press, 2004. xi, 297 pp. 15 illus. Hardcover $55.00, Isbn 0824826531. Popular historian Jonathan Spence's observation of Western fascination with China that "has remained primed over the centuries" applies equally well to ongoing twentieth-century Chinese engagement with all things Western in a wide range of sentiments: fascination, resistance, ambivalent love, and hate.1 With China's post-1990 reemergence in world economies and its attendant anxieties, a host of "China" questions return in multifaceted forms to scholarly inquiries, including one of the most important questions that Significant Other addresses: how are China's self-image and knowledge of China's cultural Others produced, authorized, and circulated in the People's Republic? Asian cultural production has frequently been used as an example to sustain or dispute claims about globalization, Orientalism, and Occidentalism. Claire Conceison's study of contemporary theater in China reframes this debate by problematizing modes of intercultural encounters--in both theatrical representations and academic endeavors to study them. Itself a pathbreaking project, as evidenced by its theoretical framework and selection of a group of understudied plays, Significant Other builds upon and engages such pioneering
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Nov 28, 2008
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