Transnational Asia: Swansea academic explores cultural and artistic exchanges through new book

Dr Amanda Rogers, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Geography, is the author of a new interdisciplinary text that explores the global networks of theatre that link Asia, America and Europe, using a variety of policy, practice and political examples.

Performing Asian TransnationalismsTheatre, identity and the geographies of performance primarily explores the relationships between Asian American, British East Asian and South East Asian theatres. It investigates how transnational flows of people and culture can create new careers, identities and artistic works, but also attends to the constraints placed upon individuals and communities.

Dr Rogers said: “We’ve heard a lot in the news recently about the operation of diversity in the arts through organisations such as Act for Change and British East Asian Artists. This book contextualises these debates internationally. The migration of practitioners provides insights into how individuals navigate social exclusion, how they create working opportunities abroad, the personal and political trade-offs that result, and how institutional frameworks can enable or prevent such activity.”

This argument is developed through ethnographic and interview data that examines the transnational migrations, imaginations and collaborations that are produced through theatre making, drawing upon an analysis of rehearsals, performances, festivals, and individual careers. Topics covered in the book include the international protests surrounding the Royal Shakespeare Company’s casting of The Orphan of Zhao, British Council relationships between Scotland and Singapore, and the production of multiculturalism for British East Asians.

Performing Asian Transnationalisms: Theatre, Identity, and the Geographies of Performance by Amanda Rogers is published by Routledge and is available now.

Story by Mari Hooson