1st Edition

When the Moon Waxes Red Representation, Gender and Cultural Politics

By Trinh T. Minh-ha Copyright 1991
    264 Pages
    by Routledge

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    In this new collection of her provocative essays on Third World art and culture, Trinh Minh-ha offers new challenges to Western regimes of knowledge. Bringing to her subjects an acute sense of the many meanings of the marginal, she examines topics such as Asian and African texts, the theories of Barthes, questions of spectatorship, the enigmas of art, and the perils of anthropology.

    When the Moon Waxes Red is an extended argument against reductive analyses, even those that appear politically adroit. The multiply-hyphenated peoples of color are not simply placed in a duality between two cultural heritages; throughout, Trinh describes the predicament of having to live "a difference that has no name and too many names already." She argues for multicultural revision of knowledge so that a new politics can transform reality rather than merely ideologize it. By rewriting the always emerging, already distorted place of struggle, such work seeks to "beat the master at his own game."

    Introduction Yellow Sprouts; Part 1 No Master Territories; Chapter 1 Cotton and Iron; Chapter 2 The Totalizing Quest of Meaning; Chapter 3 Mechanical Eye, Electronic Ear, and the Lure of Authenticity; Chapter 4 Outside In Inside Out; Part 2 She, of the Interval; Chapter 5 All-Owning Spectatorship; Chapter 6 A Minute Too Long; Chapter 7 L'Innécriture: Un-writing/Inmost Writing; Chapter 8 Questions of Images and Politics; Part 3 The Third Scenario: No Light No Shade; Chapter 9 Bold Omissions and Minute Depictions; Chapter 10 Aminata Sow Fall and the Beggars' Gift; Chapter 11 The World as Foreign Land; Chapter 12 Holes in the Sound Wall; Chapter 13 The Plural Void: Barthes and Asia; Chapter 14 The Other Censorship;


    Trinh Minh-ha is Chancellors' Distinguished Professor in Women's Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and Associate Professor of Cinema at San Francisco State University. Among her films is Surname Viet Given Name Nam. She is the author of Women, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism and, most recently, has coedited Out There: Marginalization in Contemporary Culture.

    "Regardless of the structure in which she is writing, Trinh's language has the beauty and precision of poetry, her criticisms the clarity and focus of a well-directed film. But it is her methodology that is most unusual and innovative. As she works with theorizations of displacement and representation to develop and explain her own theses about difference and marginalization, she displaces her critical view so that it may simultaneously examine the assumptions underlying and informing those theorizations." -- L'Esprit Createur
    "A wonderful book. . ." -- Library Journal