Asian American Literature: Discourses & Pedagogies, Vol 1 (2010)

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Deconstructing the “Butterfly”: Teaching David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly in Cultural and Socio-political contexts

Eileen Chia Ching Fung


This essay intends to explore critical angles and offer pedagogical suggestions for Hwang’s play.  The first part offers an exploration of the historical and cultural contextualization that has initiated and motivated the production of M. Butterfly, followed by a critical discussion on the play’s negotiations of race, gender, sexualities, and ethnicity that aims to offer pedagogical paradigms for teaching this play.

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