About this Event
A discussion of Rena Heinrich's new book, Race and Role: The Mixed-Race Asian Experience in American Drama (Rutgers University Press, 2023). The author will be joined in conversation by SanSan Kwan (UC Berkeley) and Rebecca Chiyoko King-O'Riain (Maynooth University), moderated by Evelyn Alsultany (USC). Registration is required. REGISTER HERE
About the Book: Mixed-race Asian American plays are often overlooked for their failure to fit smoothly into static racial categories, rendering mixed-race drama inconsequential in conversations about race and performance. Since the nineteenth century, however, these plays have long advocated for the social significance of multiracial Asian people.
Race and Role: The Mixed-Race Experience in American Drama traces the shifting identities of multiracial Asian figures in theater from the late-nineteenth century to the present day and explores the ways that mixed-race Asian identity transforms our understanding of race. Mixed-Asian playwrights harness theater’s generative power to enact performances of “double liminality” and expose the absurd tenacity with which society clings to a tenuous racial scaffolding.
About the Author: Rena Heinrich is an associate professor of theatre practice in critical studies at the USC School of Dramatic Arts and an affiliated professor of East Asian studies in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. She is a contributor to Shape Shifters: Journeys across Terrains of Race and Identity (University of Nebraska Press, 2020) and The Beiging of America: Personal Narratives about Being Mixed Race in the 21st Century (2Leaf Press, 2017). Her next book (co-authored with Francisco Beltrán) examines American immigration mythology and its pervasive circulation through cultural artifacts within the United States.
Open to attendants outside of USC. An excerpt of the book will be made available to registered attendants. Registration before the event is required.
This event is part of the Levan Institute for the Humanities' “Book Chats” series, conversations about new books published by USC scholars in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. To see more events in this series, including recordings of past events, visit https://dornsife.usc.edu/levan-institute/book-chats/.