This is an excerpt of an interview with Alexa Alice Joubin about her intellectual journey, the idea of “foreignness,” and her perspective on invisible and visible racial identities. She examines Shakespearean adaptation across the globe in small and in large ways.
Growing up in Taiwan as someone belonging to the dominant ethnic group and speaking the dominant local languages, Alexa did not have a marked, or remarkable, identity until she immigrated to the US, where she did not pass through and could not pass by. She became noticeable, racialized, and gendered.
Drawing on her research and life experience, Alexa argues that there may be critical advantages to taking up a position on the periphery. In some cases, the notion of home is overrated, because it stifles critical conversations that are needed. She cautions that we have to avoid the “Oppression Olympics” of privileging only the most “marginalized” communities in the classroom and in research.
The interview was conducted by Professor Thomas Dabbs of Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo, Japan, as part of the Japanese Ministry of Education’s “Speaking of Shakespeare” series.
This is an excerpt of a longer interview with Joubin on global Shakespeare, pedagogies, social reparation, transgender theory, and representing disability in film.