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Yellowface: Creating the Chinese in American Popular Music and Performance, 1850s-1920s Paperback – November 3, 2004
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This text must be a celebration of tenure, because I can't imagine a graduate student being able to pick up so much for a dissertation. Further, this tenure is well-deserved: it must have taken a lot to be a professor in Georgia and pull up so much historical evidence from San Francisco and New York City. Sometimes the text is repetitive, but the reader can still notice that it took a lot of hard work to pull together and analyze all this material.
This book does not treat "white" and "yellow" exclusively; Native Americans, African-Americans, and even Eurasians are brought up. Still, at one point Dr. Moon mentions a Black vaudevillian who take on the name Ding-a-Ling. She totally fails to recognize the racialized phallocentricity here.
Dr. Moon is great at not seeing things as absolutes. The time periods of the chapters overlap, as history actually doesn't have sharp beginnings and endings. English Americans first dismiss Chinese music as "noise" but by comparing it to Scottish music, they recognize its musicality, at least somewhat.Read more ›