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Yi-Jen Yu

Fourth-year PhD Student


Yi-Jen Yu is a fourth-year PhD student who was born and raised in Taiwan. She received her BA in Chinese Literature and an MA in Theatre Studies from National Taiwan University. Her previous experiences focused on two types of contemporary Japanese theater experiments - one is the intercultural collaboration of butoh practice in Taiwan as an effort of social intervention and recuperation of erased colonial history; the other is the robot theater production of Hirata Oriza. Both projects inspired in her an interest to look at the bodies produced as non-normative Others and the possibility of resistance in these proclaimed incongruities. Her current research continues, exploring the “lost” or oppressed experiences of bodies with materials from representational cultures (literature, photography, videos, etc.) in Taiwan and Japan. She considers the way in which non-normative bodies (mostly gendered) survive and/or resist oppression through performance. Her recent projects include discovering the power dynamics and masochistic pleasure in the classic genre caizi-jiaren (the scholar-beauty story) in Chinese narrative tradition through analysis of trauma writing in the novel Fang Si-qi’s First Love Paradise, and a compared reading of the music video “Izuwa” (by indigenous Taiwanese singer Aljenljeng) and the American queer ball culture in the 1980s. Her short-term goal in the future is to enhance her theoretical tools in gender studies, visual culture, colonialism, and orientalism, with abjection, mimetic desire, non-normative bodies, and politics of looking as keywords. She thinks about home at the sight of the Pacific Ocean (she is Taiwanese). 


BA in Chinese Literature from National Taiwan University

MA in Drama and Theatre from National Taiwan University