Yutian Wong: “Purity and Proficiency: Staging Asian American Respectability”


February 14, 2017

Students enrolled in Dance Program courses may be able to use this event as an Engagement Activity required by their courses:

  • 10:05 – 11:20, West Duke 106. Lecture: “Purity and Proficiency: Staging Asian American Respectability”

Bio: Yutian Wong is an Associate Professor in the School of Theater and Dance at San Francisco State University. She is the author of Choreographing Asian America (Wesleyan 2010) and editor of Contemporary Directions in Asian American Dance (Wisconsin 2016). Other recent publications include essays in Worlding Dance edited by Susan Leigh Foster, Short Film Studies, RELAY: Theories in Motion edited by Thomas De Frantz and Philippa Rothfield, the special edition on Randy Martin in Dance Research Journal and a forthcoming anthology on Dance and Competition edited by Sherril Dodds. Wong is co-editing the 3rd edition of the Routledge Dance Studies Reader with Jens Richard Giersdorf and writing a book on early modern dance titled  A Ghostlight for Race: Asian American Dance Historiography.
Title: “Purity and Proficiency: Staging Asian American Respectability”
Abstract: “Purity and Proficiency: Staging Asian American Respectability” looks at the establishment of modern dance as a high art concert dance form alongside the emergence of Asian American respectability politics. This essay considers the careers of Asian American dance artists such as Michio Ito, Sono Osato, and Yuriko Kikuchi to understand the how the compulsion to make pure (virtuous) Asian American proficiency (virtuosity) is often a function of normalizing certain virtuoso (model minority) behaviors.

Sponsored by: Duke Dance Program, FHI Humanities Futures, SLIPPAGE, AAAS.