MOCATalks with author Anne Cheng: Ornamentalism

Thu, Aug 22, 2019 @ 6:30pm - 7:30pm



Tickets are $15 and include wine and Museum admission. Members receive complimentary tickets. Not a Member? Join today!


Join us to meet and talk with Anne Anlin Cheng about her new book Ornamentalism, a stunning critical-historical unpacking of the figure of the “Asiatic yellow woman” as object-person, she/it. Through the use of legal, cinematic, and art case studies, Anne argues that “ornamentality,” rather than Orientalism, provides a better explanation for the representation of Asian women in the West from the 19th through 21st centuries. By illustrating the link between Asiatic femininity and a history of synthetic personhood in America that is at once aesthetic, legal, and technological, Anne provides an entirely new approach to the problems of racial and sexual commodification and objectification. Anne then extends her study to its implications for other women of color.


Anne Anlin Cheng is Professor of English and Director for American Studies at Princeton University. An interdisciplinary scholar working at the intersection of literature, law, aesthetics, and psychoanalysis, she is the author of The Melancholy of Race: Assimilation, Psychoanalysis, and Hidden Grief (Oxford University Press); Second Skin: Josephine Baker and the Modern Surface (Oxford University); and, most recently, Ornamentalism (Oxford University Press). Anne received her B.A. in English and Creative Writing at Princeton, her Masters in English and Creative Writing from Stanford University, and her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from University of California at Berkeley.