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 United States, where the masses have been fed a diet of xenophobic, anti-Asian propaganda inculcating an “us” versus “them” mentality. This article analyzes 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. The author illustrates this transnational feminist critique with a documentary used in Women’s Studies classes, Deborah Gee’s landmark film Slaying the Dragon (1988).

You do not currently have access to this content.