Synopses & Reviews
A transnational study of Asian performance shaped by the homoerotics of orientalism, Brown Boys and Rice Queens focuses on the relationship between the white man and the native boy. Eng-Beng Lim unpacks this as the central trope for understanding colonial and cultural encounters in 20th and 21st century Asia and its diaspora. Using the native boy as a critical guide, Lim formulates alternative readings of a traditional Balinese ritual, postcolonial Anglophone theatre in Singapore, and performance art in Asian America.
Tracing the transnational formation of the native boy as racial fetish object across the last century, Lim follows this figure as he is passed from the hands of the colonial empire to the postcolonial nation-state to neoliberal globalization. Read through such figurations, the traffic in native boys among white men serves as an allegory of an infantilized and emasculated Asia, subordinate before colonial whiteness and modernity. Pushing further, Lim addresses the critical paradox of this entrenched relationship that resides even within queer theory itself by formulating critical interventions around “Asian performance.”
"Through fresh and compelling analyses, Eng-Beng Lim repeatedly shifts the lens through which we view our queerly postcolonial journey. Lims writing is always witty, sometimes hilarious, making this provocative new work of scholarship a pleasure and a revelation."-Lisa Duggan,New York University
"Brown Boys and Rice Queens skillfully exfoliates the layers of erotic, political, and cultural investments in inter-racial queer intimacies between the Western desiring male subject and the nubile Oriental boy figure brought about by colonial and diasporic encounters between Asia and the West. Lim elegantly dissects the spell-binding cultural effects of this dyad and conjures new critical perspectives about race, sexuality, and performance. A finely crafted, meticulously analyzed, and intensely provocative multi-sited research, Brown Boys and Rice Queens will be a touchstone for future works and debates in queer and performance studies."-Martin F. Manalansan IV,University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
About the Author
Eng-Beng Lim is Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies at Brown University, and a faculty affiliate of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, Department of East Asian Studies, and Department of American Studies. He is also a Gender and Sexuality Studies board member at the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women.