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Romancing Human RightsGender, Intimacy, and Power between Burma and the West$
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Tamara C. Ho

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780824839253

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824839253.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Romancing Human Rights

Tamara C. Ho

University of Hawai'i Press

This book investigates how gender is exchanged and differentially valued between varying cultural ideologies, produced in relation to other contemporaneous embodied performances, through an analysis of representations written by and about Burmese women in the twentieth century. Using a queer/feminist analytic framework, the book explores repression, resistance, and articulation within the national spaces of Burma/Myanmar and the United States. It challenges Burma's overdetermination as an “exotic backwater” or a “primitive” Buddhist isolate and tracks displaced Burmese women as real and fictional author-translators in various geopolitical spaces. The Burmese women authors highlighted in this book write fictional and autobiographical narratives of gendered displacement and migration. They interrogate the politics of intimacy while maneuvering between Orientalism, imperialism, and globalization. The book also shows how Burmese women write what Ingrid Jordt calls “alternate action spheres,” privatized arenas that allow citizens to remain critical of coercive governmental power despite a delimited public sphere.

Keywords:   gender, Burmese women, Burma, women authors, gendered displacement, Orientalism, imperialism, globalization, alternate action spheres, intimacy

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