Courses regarding race, gender, and representation are not easy to teach under any circumstances, but even more so in predominantly white classrooms in the post 9/11 U.S. where the masses have been fed a diet of xenophobic, anti-Asian propaganda inculcating an “us” versus “them” mentality. I analyze the discourse of empire, a metaphor that has been used time after time to construct a mythical and menacing Other. In contrast, the portrait of Asian women in cinema and television news as traditional, veiled, and inhabiting a separate sphere adds to this representation of Asian cultures as premodern and irrevocably opposed to the West, much as portrayed in Samuel Huntington's “clash of civilizations” theory (Huntington 1996). I illustrate this transnational feminist critique with a documentary used in Women's Studies classes: Deborah Gee's landmark film Slaying the Dragon (1988).

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