Talk/ Beyond Dragon Ladies and Butterflies: Anna May Wong’s Stardom

Despite being faced with discriminatory casting, “yellowfacing” practices and the Hays Code of anti-miscegenation rules, Chinese American actress Anna May Wong became an international star during the 1930s. This talk explores the history of Asian American representations in Hollywood cinema, and considers the successes and failures of Wong’s career in their historical contexts, discussing films such as The Thief of Bagdad (1924) from the silent era, Piccadilly (1929) from her time in Europe, Shanghai Express (1932) from the early sound era, and the controversy around the casting of The Good Earth (1937).

Led by Mina Suder, PhD student at the Research Institute for Cosmopolitan Cultures (RICC) and the School of Arts, Histories and Cultures, University of Manchester.