Theater Studies Faculty Database
Theater Studies
Arts & Sciences
Duke University

 HOME > Arts & Sciences > Theater Studies > Faculty    Search Help Login pdf version printable version 

Sean Metzger, Assistant Professor of English and Theater Studies

Office Location:  321 Allen Building
Office Phone:  (919) 684-3132
Email Address:   send me a message
Web Page:  

Research Interests:

Sean Metzger works at the intersections of Asian American, Chinese, film, performance, and sexuality studies. His book, Looks Chinese: Fashioning Asian/American Spectatorship (forthcoming), investigates the continually shifting US-China interface during the long twentieth century: from the Opium Wars in the mid-1800s to the recent Beijing Olympics. The analysis focuses on articles of clothing in theatrical and cinematic performance (the “looks” of the title) that shift emphasis from skin to the skein of race. He argues that particular forms of dress help us think anew about gender and modernity in pivotal historical moments when American views of China change. The book’s span covers a vast terrain from early yellowface performance to contemporary theater, Westerns to Chinese art house cinema, Anna May Wong to Jackie Chan. Metzger has also co-edited three collections of essays: with Gina Masequesmay, Embodying Asian/American Sexualities (Lexington, 2009); with Olivia Khoo, Futures of Chinese Cinema: Technologies and Temporalities in Chinese Screen Cultures (Intellect, 2009); with Michaeline Crichlow, Race, Space, Place: the Making and Unmaking of Freedoms in the Atlantic World (a special issue of Cultural Dynamics, Nov 2009). At Duke, Metzger holds a primary appointment in English with secondary appointments in Theater Studies and Asian & Middle Eastern Studies. He is also affiliated with Arts of the Moving Image, the Asian/Pacific Studies Institute, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Sexualities Studies, and Women’s Studies. Recently the inaugural Fulbright Research Chair in North American Society and Culture at Concordia University in Montreal, he has also been adjunct faculty at Antioch University, Loyola Marymount University and the USC School of Theatre. In addition to his academic work, he spent three years in social services at the LA Gay & Lesbian Center and as an independent consultant to school districts and other non-profit institutions. A closeted actor and director, Metzger occasionally creeps on or behind stage.


PhDUniversity of California at Davis2005
MAUniversity of Southern California1998
BA Summa Cum LaudeUniversity of Colorado at Boulder1995

Dramatic Literature
Literary & Cultural Criticism
Theater History

Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. with Olivia Khoo, Futures of Chinese Cinema: Technologies and Temporalities in Chinese Screen Cultures (2009), Intellect [available here] .
  2. with Michaeline Crichlow, Race, Space, Place: Making and Unmaking Freedoms in the Atlantic World, Cultural Dynamics, vol. 21 no. 3 (2009) .
  3. with Gina Masequesmay, Embodying Asian/American Sexualities (2009), Lexington Books [CATALOG.db&eqSKUdata=0739129031] .
  4. S. Metzger. "At the Vanishing Point: Theatre and Asian/American Critique." American Quarterly 63:2 (2011): 277-300.
  5. S. Metzger. "Le Rugissement du Lion: Mapping and Memory in Montreal’s Chinese/Canadian Street Theater." New Essays in Canadian Theatre Vol. 1: Asian Canadian Theatre  (2011). [html]
  6. "Ripples in the Seascape: The Cuba Commission Report and the Idea of Freedom." Afro-Hispanic Review 27:1 (Spring, 2008): 105-121.
  7. S. Metzger. "The Little (Chinese) Mermaid: Importing "Western" Femininity in Lou Ye's Suzhou he (Suzhou River)." How East Asian Films Are Reshaping National Identities: Essays on the Cinemas of China, Japan, South Korea, and Hong Kong  (2007): 135-154.
  8. "Patterns of Resistance?: Anna May Wong and the Fabrication of China in American Cinema of the late 30s." Quarterly Review of Film and Video 23:1 (2006): 1-11.


Home | Duke Home | A&S Home | Contact | Search

Duke University * Arts & Sciences * Theater Studies * Faculty * Staff * ThOps * Reload * Login