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Voicing Back: The Poetics and Politics of Ping Chong's Ethno-Historiographic Fables

Choi, Jae-Oh (2005) Voicing Back: The Poetics and Politics of Ping Chong's Ethno-Historiographic Fables. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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In spite of Ping Chong¡¯s reputation in the American theatre scene, little has been done to explore his artistic works from a fully theorized perspective. In this dissertation, I propose a category of ¡°cultural narrative texts¡± to investigate cultural and historical themes of ¡°culture and the other¡± in Chong¡¯s fascinating ethno-historiographic fables. The poetics and politics of Chong¡¯s narrative texts are the subject of this dissertation. The frames of myth and narratology in their constructive aspects (how the mythic narratives are expressed) provide the poetics part. I adopt the literary approaches of Northrop Frye and Kenneth Burke for their intense studies on image (narrative unit), rhetoric (narrative signification), and emplotment (narrative sequence). In a connective linkage from poetics, the politics part engages the cultural and historical thematics through which I read what is expressed in Chong¡¯s (counter-) myths on people, cultures, and histories. For this complex thematic part, I construe a theoretical bricolage of a broad range of disciplines and methodologies, from psychoanalysis, cognitive science, anthropology, historiography, sociology, to poststructuralism, postcolonialism, and feminism.This dissertation deals with Chong¡¯s ethno-historiographic fables throughout his theatrical career over three decades, examining how his deconstructive myth-making wrestles with the problematic notion of ¡°the other¡± in both local (national) and global aspects. Borrowing Julia Kristeva¡¯s socially informed psychoanalysis, I approach Chong¡¯s concept of ¡°the other¡± as ¡°social abject¡± inhibiting at the margins. I argue that through Chong¡¯s (counter-) myth-making which destabilizes the authority of hegemonic narratives of the incompatible split between the self and the other, multiple voices of the marginalized return, and the monologue of the hegemonic culture is interrupted. In this dissertation, I demonstrate how the performance of Chong¡¯s (counter-) narratives, what I call ¡°voicing back,¡± resist the silence, enabling the marginalized abject to become the subjects of their own desires and histories. This ¡°voicing back¡± in its shared political languages of respect, equality, and justice (toward the others) prepares for the performance of a democracy which is based on the complete modes of speech acts, speaking and listening.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairFavorini, Attiliobucfav@pitt.eduBUCFAV
Committee MemberMcConachie, Bruce Abamcco@pitt.eduBAMCCO
Committee MemberRimer, J. Thomasrimer@pitt.eduRIMER
Committee MemberMcDonald, Keiko Ikeiko@pitt.eduKEIKO
Date: 31 January 2005
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 17 August 2004
Approval Date: 31 January 2005
Submission Date: 26 August 2004
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Theater Arts
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Globalization and Multiculturalism; Historiography and Ethnography; Performance and Theatre; Identity and Difference; Narrative and Myth; Ping Chong
Other ID:, etd-08262004-013035
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:01
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:49


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