Grounded in critical ethnographic work, Dorinne Kondo’s latest book Worldmaking: Race, Performance and the Work of Creativity theorizes racialized labor, aesthetics, affect, genre, and structural inequality in contemporary theater. The text upends genre, interleaving analysis with vignettes and her full-length play Seamless, a drama about the afterlife of the historical trauma of Japanese American incarceration. The book theorizes and performs the ways the arts can remake worlds, from theater worlds to inner, psychic worlds to worldmaking visions for social transformation.

Kondo will discuss the theoretical/ political stakes of the book and its discursive chapters, followed by a reading, with our own faculty and students, of several scenes from Seamless.

Dorinne Kondo is Professor of American Studies and Anthropology at the University of Southern California. Her latest book Worldmaking: Race, Performance and the Work of Creativity (Duke University Press, 2018) analyzes race and power in the theater industry and includes her play Seamless, about the emotional afterlife of Japanese American incarceration. Her comedy But Can He Dance? was produced at Asian American Repertory Theatre in San Diego. Kondo served as dramaturg for three plays by Anna Deavere Smith, including Twilight: Los Angeles, about the 1992 uprisings.

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