Latin American “Orients”: Arab, Asian, Pacific Latin Americas

Chair: Jill Lane

This work group explores different ways in which the “east” (near, middle, far), the “orient,” and/or Asia have been imagined in and through performance in Latin America. The histories and contexts we might engage include: the shared colonial history between Latin America and the Philippines; histories of Chinese labor migration to the Americas in the latter half of the 19th century, and different ways in which Chinese migrants were or were not engaged in narratives of nation and the practices of citizenship; histories of Arab and Indian migration throughout the Americas; and any other relevant historical contexts. Our goal is not to re-map the “orient” in Latin America but rather to find points of connection, comparison, or instructive difference in our approaches to this material: is there a Latin Asian America? How has, does, or could performance in Latin America engage orientalism and “Asian” racialization in the Americas?