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Michael Jin, University of Illinois at Chicago

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Chandler’s Dolls: Race, Gender, and Orientalism in Post-World War II U.S.-Japan Relations, Michael Jin

This paper examines the Orientalist ideologies of gender, race, and maturity in Western perceptions of Asian bodies that shaped the U.S. Cold War empire’s geopolitical exigencies in post-World War II Japan and its impact on the relationships among ordinary peoples from both sides of the Pacific. Analyzing a collection of cultural artifacts, textual sources, and oral histories as a unique portal to the intense postwar period that forged an unexpected relationship between South Texas and Fukuoka, Japan, the paper explores a white Texan woman’s transformation into a powerful cultural broker in Japan during the decades following the war.