MADE IN CHINA? Trinidad and the Case for a Hemispheric Asian American Studies

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 6pm in the Austin Stern Lounge

Sponsored by Asian / Asian American Studies Institute in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Sean Metzger, Associate Professor at the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television, will make the case for a hemispheric Asian American studies via the work of several artists from Trinidad by examining the ways Chineseness has shaped and continues to shape this Caribbean island nation.

Moving from the Society of Trinidad Independents through the Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago to the more contemporary work of Christopher Cozier, Metzger’s talk will probe the ways in which Chinese investment (financially and culturally) has molded this small island and how such investment shifts understandings of local and national cultures. This talk builds on earlier work as a Framing the Global fellow with Indiana University and Indiana University Press for which he is working on a second book, tentatively called The Chinese Atlantic.

Metzger works at the intersections of Asian American, Caribbean, Chinese, film, performance and sexuality studies. His first book, Chinese Looks: Fashion, Performance, Race (Indiana UP, 2014) examined articles of clothing and modes of adornment as a window on how American views of China have changed in the past 150 years, from yellow-face performance in the 19th century to Jackie Chan in the 21st century. He has co-edited several collections of essays, including the most recent Islands, Images, Imaginaries (Social Text). In addition to his academic work, he spent three years in social services at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center and as an independent consultant to school districts and other non-profit institutions. He continues consulting work on an ad-hoc basis.

For more information, contact Cathy Schlund-Vials at