Anna May Wong

Performing the Modern

Shirley Jennifer Lim
Book Cover

PB: $29.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1834-0
Publication: Apr 19

HC: $99.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-1833-3
Publication: Apr 19

Ebook: $29.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1835-7
Publication: Apr 19

262 pages
6 x 9
26 halftones

How Anna May Wong’s work shaped racial modernity and made her one of the most significant actresses of the twentieth century

Description

Pioneering Chinese American actress Anna May Wong made more than sixty films, headlined theater and vaudeville productions, and even starred in her own television show. Her work helped shape racial modernity as she embodied the dominant image of Chinese and, more generally, “Oriental” women between 1925 and 1940.

In Anna May Wong, Shirley Jennifer Lim re-evaluates Wong’s life and work as a consummate artist by mining an historical archive of her efforts outside of Hollywood cinema. From her pan-European films and her self-made My China Film to her encounters with artists such as Josephine Baker, Carl Van Vechten, and Walter Benjamin, Lim scrutinizes Wong’s cultural production and self-fashioning. By considering the salient moments of Wong’s career and cultural output, Lim’s analysis explores the deeper meanings, and positions the actress as an historical and cultural entrepreneur who rewrote categories of representation.

Anna May Wong provides a new understanding of the actress’s career as an ingenious creative artist.

About the Author(s)

Shirley Jennifer Lim is an Associate Professor of History at SUNY Stony Brook and the author of A Feeling of Belonging: Asian American Women's Public Culture, 1930–1960.


Subjects

In the Series

  • Asian American History and Culture edited by Cathy Schlund-Vials, Rick Bonus, and Shelley Sang-Hee Lee

    Founded by Sucheng Chan in 1991, the Asian American History and Culture series has sponsored innovative scholarship that has redefined, expanded, and advanced the field of Asian American studies while strengthening its links to related areas of scholarly inquiry and engaged critique. Like the field from which it emerged, the series remains rooted in the social sciences and humanities, encompassing multiple regions, formations, communities, and identities. Extending the vision of founding editor Sucheng Chan and emeriti editor Michael Omi, David Palumbo-Liu, K. Scott Wong and Linda Trinh Vú, series editors Cathy Schlund-Vials, Rick Bonus, and Shelley Sang-Hee Lee continue to develop a foundational collection that embodies a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to Asian American studies.