Hollywood Asian: Philip Ahn and the Politics of Cross-ethnic Performance

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Temple University Press, 2006 - 255 pages
From silent films to television programs, Hollywood has employed actors of various ethnicities to represent "Oriental"characters, from Caucasian stars like Loretta Young made up in yellow-face to Korean American pioneer Philip Ahn, whose more than 200 screen performances included roles as sadistic Japanese military officers in World War II movies and a wronged Chinese merchant in the TV show Bonanza. The first book-length study of Korean identities in American cinema and television, Hollywood Asian investigates the career of Ahn (1905-1978), a pioneering Asian American screen icon and son of celebrated Korean nationalist An Ch'ang-ho. In this groundbreaking scholarly study, Hye Seung Chung examines Ahn's career to suggest new theoretical paradigms for addressing cross-ethnic performance and Asian American spectatorship. Incorporating original material from a wide range of sources, including U.S. government and Hollywood screen archives, Chung's work offers a provocative and original contribution to cinema studies, cultural studies, and Asian American as well as Korean history.
 

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Hollywood Asian: Philip Ahn and the politics of cross-ethnic performance

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The son of Korean nationalist An Ch'ang-Ho, Asian American actor Philip Ahn (1905-78) is a familiar name in his home country and a cultural screen icon in the United States. A serious study of his ... Read full review

Contents

PORTRAIT OF A PATRIOTS SON Philip Ahn and Korean Diasporic Identities in Hollywood
5
THE AUDIENCE WHO KNEW TOO MUCH Oriental Masquerade and Ethnic Recognition among Asian Americans
35
Oriental Genres 1930s to 1950s
59
BETWEEN YELLOWPHILIA AND YELLOWPHOBIA Asian American Romance in Oriental Detective Films
61
STATE INTERVENTION IN THE IMAGINING OF ORIENTALS IN CHINA FILMS OF THE 1930s AND 1940s
89
HOLLYWOOD GOES TO KOREA War Melodrama and the Biopic Politics of Battle Hymn
122
Becoming Father Becoming Asian American
171
NOTES
193
PHILIP AHN FILMOGRAPHY
215
BIBLIOGRAPHY
217
INDEX
227
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Hye Seung Chung is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Michigan. Her writing has appeared in Cinema Journal, Film Quarterly, and other journals as well as in anthologies such as New Korean Cinema.

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