Dismantling Gendered Nationalism in Kee Thuan Chye’s <i>We Could **** You, Mr. Birch<i>

Authors

  • Susan Philip, University of Malaya, Malaysia

Abstract

This article analyses the representation of gender in Kee Thuan Chye’s play We Could **** You, Mr. Birch (1994), examining how the characters are used to undermine patriarchal concepts of nation. Kee uses historical characters and events, situating them within a modern-day frame which takes a critical stance towards the common portrayal of both imperialism and nationalism as male-centred domains. The events of this play highlight the masculinising discourse of imperialism and, subsequently, nationalism; this discourse is then viewed through a modern lens which interrupts it through the presence of “unruly woman whose refusal to comply with gender expectations unsettles various power relations on which the stability of the… society depends (Gilbert 153), as well as men who cannot live up to the expectations of the nationalist constructions of male power. He thus critiques the “maleness†of the nation while proffering alternative possibi lities for nation- construction through the recovery of (fictional) female histories. 

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Author Biography

Susan Philip, University of Malaya, Malaysia

Susan Philip is a Senior Lecturer in the English Department at University of Malaya. Her research focus is on the English-language theatres of Malaysia and Singapore. She has published articles in Asian Theatre Journal,World Literature Written in English, Australasian Drama Studies, Southeast Asian Review of English and Tirai Panggung, and the edited volume Complicities: Connections and Divisions

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Published

2008-06-15

How to Cite

Philip, University of Malaya, Malaysia, S. (2008). Dismantling Gendered Nationalism in Kee Thuan Chye’s &lt;i&gt;We Could **** You, Mr. Birch&lt;i&gt;. Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature, 2(1), 83–96. Retrieved from https://journals.iium.edu.my/asiatic/index.php/ajell/article/view/37

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