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The Spectacle of Japanese American TraumaRacial Performativity and World War II$
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Emily Roxworthy

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832209

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832209.001.0001

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Transnational Theatre at the Tule Lake Segregation Center

Transnational Theatre at the Tule Lake Segregation Center

(p.148) Chapter 5 Transnational Theatre at the Tule Lake Segregation Center
The Spectacle of Japanese American Trauma

Emily Roxworthy

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter uncovers the transnational performing arts (theatre, dance, and music) of internees at the “other” California relocation center, Tule Lake, which served from 1943 to 1946 as a segregation center for Japanese Americans deemed especially “disloyal” to the United States and loyal to Japan. Manzanar and Tule Lake are generally understood to have very different, even diametrically opposed, histories of internee compliance and resistance, but closer examination of the performance histories of Manzanar and Tule Lake reveal the nuanced and similar ways that internees “talked back” to theatricalized stereotypes about Japanese culture, the spectacularization of Asian American assimilation, and the scrutinization of Japanese American loyalty. Significantly, these transnational performing artists rejected the myth of performative citizenship outright by denying that the enactment of either Japanese or American culture necessarily correlated with their loyalty to either nation.

Keywords:   Japanese Americans, internment, internees, transnational performing arts, performative citizenship

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