Chinese-American Men at the Turn of the Century – ??I confess that David Eng’s Racial Castration is a little dense and full of references from Freud to Fanon. On top of that, many of you may not be
familiar with the popular cultural references that Eng refers to, including M. Butterfly or the literature of Maxine Hong Kingston. In order to help you wade through Eng’s theoretical analyses of
popular culture, I’ve composed a fw simple questions for you to respond to:
1. In general, Eng seeks to explain the processes by which Asian American men are “feminized.” He treats this feminization as a form of %60castration.%60 What does Henry Hwang’s 1988 play M.
Butterfly tell us about the relationship between racial and sexual fantasies? What is the primary moment of %60castration%60 that occurs in the play? What does the white diplomat refuse to see in
the Asian object of his desire and why does he refuse to see it???
2. Discuss the process of occupational and legal %60feminization%60 faced by Asian immigrants at the turn of the 20th century. How did available forms of labor and racist legislation enforce a
racial castration for Asian men???
3. Eng writes, “Kingston not only questions the truth of the pose in personal photographs that are consciously manipulated to achieve a certain affect. She also notes how larger social differences
-racial and sexual- often over-determine the ways in which we are given-to-be-seen.%60 What is your understanding of the racial manipulation of the Chinese Wild Man and the Black Wild Man from
Kingston’s The Wild Man of the Green Swamp. What is manipulated and what truths are obscured???4. How does Frank Chin accomplish the reconfiguration of the Walt Disney icon Donald Duck in order to
accommodate a positive racial vision of a Chinese American boy? Choose one strategy elaborated by Eng. You may consider EITHER of the two history lessons OR the dreaming of Donald Duk.