By Joshua Takano Chambers-Letson
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Extra resources for A Race So Different: Performance and Law in Asian America
Althusser is situated in a long tradition of Marxist criticism that relies on metaphors of performance. ”57 But Althusser does more than introduction / 17 simply invoke a rhetoric of theatricality to explain subject production; he shows us how subjection is itself a dramatic ritual. Elsewhere he even suggests that theatrical spectatorship can be a means for the making of a revolutionary, class-conscious form of subjectivity. ” The language of theatricality in the process of subjection conjures a similar image, as one is made a subject for the law by performing in response and accordance to its hail.
Nguyen appealed his case, arguing that the differential burden violated both fathers’ and sons’ equal protection rights. ) Justice Anthony Kennedy’s Supreme Court opinion in Nguyen v. ”1 In a 2009 New York Times interview, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (who was among the dissenting Justices) described Nguyen (and a similar case, Miller v. Albright) in terms that directly associated it with the legacy of US imperialism in Asia. In a surprise move, she did so by suggesting that the majority’s ruling was written under the sign of a popular Orientalist opera: “They [the majority] were held back by a way of looking at the world in which a man who wasn’t married simply was not responsible.
Indeed, media outlets turned to the rhetoric and narrative form of dramatic melodrama to report on the case, demonstrating the powerful role that aesthetic conventions play in mediating legal knowledge about Asian immigrants. The New York Times, writing about Chae Chan Ping’s deportation in 1889, described him thus: “The name of Chae Chan Ping is now familiar to American ears. ”35 Demonstrating the ways in which legal spectacles take on the conventions of fictional narrative forms, his legal battle is framed with 40 / “that may be japanese law, but not in my cou ntry” the language of literary or theatrical melodrama.