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The Exquisite Corpse of Asian AmericaBiopolitics, Biosociality, and Posthuman Ecologies$
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Rachel C. Lee

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479817719

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479817719.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

A Sideways Approach to Mental Disabilities

A Sideways Approach to Mental Disabilities

Incarceration, Kinesthetics, Affect, and Ethics

(p.161) 5 A Sideways Approach to Mental Disabilities
The Exquisite Corpse of Asian America

Rachel C. Lee

NYU Press

This chapter explores the “body art” performances of theater artist Denise Uyehara. Like Ghosh's novel The Calcutta Chromosome (1995), Uyehara's performances underscore the entanglement of biopolitically divided populations—here the able-minded and differently abled. While Ghosh posits the caretaking of the young as preparatory training for an embodied knowledge regarding humans' hosting of and coassemblage with parasitic and commensal “alien” microorganisms, Uyehara choreographs a local, highly contingent ethical “doing” in relation to the aged and mentally impaired. In contrast to Ghosh's broad recognition of the chimeric fusions at the core of humanity, Uyehara's concerns are more traditionally (i.e., anthropocentrically) humanist. Through an examination of two of Uyehara's works, Maps of City and Body (1999) and Big Head (2003), this chapter reflects on central debates within performance studies and intersectional analyses of women of color, queers of color, and crips of color regarding the form and social obligations of memory.

Keywords:   body art, Denise Uyehara, biopolitically divided populations, mentally impaired, humanist, performance studies, women of color, queers of color

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