The Chinese Atlantic

Seascapes and the Theatricality of Globalization
Sean Metzger
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 05/01/2020
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-04736-6
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In The Chinese Atlantic, Sean Metzger breaks new ground in the study of the global exchange of culture across the Atlantic, exploring how the seascape is portrayed in theater, film, and installation art that explores the Chinese experience of migration. Metzger traces the flow of money, art, and culture through traditional trade routes and shows how Chinese migrants’ arrival by boat influenced the communities they met and the communities they formed. With a particular focus on the Caribbean, Metzger demonstrates how this flow had a direct impact on the artistic culture of the communities which found themselves as the recipients of these waves of Chinese migrants and entrepreneurs. He interrogates central issues in the study of similar migrations from Africa and Ireland and encourages us to see that the Chinese played a similarly significant part in the shaping of globalization as we experience it today. Analyzing art that interacts directly with the sites in which it is located, Metzger explores how Chinese migrant laborers did the same to shape—both physically and culturally—the new communities in which they found themselves. In this way, Metzger encourages us to see the artistic representation of memories of migration as a new way of framing the global.

Author Bio

Sean Metzger is Professor in the School of Theater, Film and Television at University of California at Los Angeles. He is author of Chinese Looks: Fashion, Performance, Race and coeditor of Awkward Stages: Plays about Growing up Gay, Embodying Asian-American Sexualities, and Futures of Chinese Cinema: Technologies and Temporalities in Chinese Screen Cultures.

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Table of Contents



1. Reeling

2. Incorporating

3. Flowing

4. Ebbing

5. Eddying