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Palgrave Macmillan

Performance, Identity, and Immigration Law

A Theatre of Undocumentedness

ISBN 9781137412485
Publication Date July 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

The topic of US immigration law provokes passionate conversations. This book engages directly with these pressing debates and begins with a straightforward question: How has contemporary American theatre presented so-called undocumented immigrants? Juxtaposing the work of artists such as Josefina López, Genny Lim, Arthur Miller, Ntare Mwine, Octavio Solis, and Culture Clash, Guterman highlights how an express attention to legal labels enriches our studies of identity. Placing theatre artists and their work within a context of on-going debate, he shows how theatre fills an essential role in a critical conversation by exploring the powerful ways in which legal labels affect and change us.

Gad Guterman is Assistant Professor and Head of the Theatre Studies and Dramaturgy Program in the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University, USA. His essays have appeared in Theatre Survey, Theatre Journal, Journal of American Drama and Theatre, and Contemporary Theatre Review.

1. Act § 237(a)(1)(B): Present in Violation of Law
2. Act § 275(a): Improper Entry by Alien
3. Act § 274A: Unlawful Employment of Aliens
4. Act § 212(a)(9)(B)(iii)(III): Family Unity
5. Act § 331: Alien Enemies
6. Act § 505: Appeals


"Gad Guterman's book is a unique analysis of plays by or about undocumented people from a variety of cultures living tenuously in the United States. His analysis is based on a thorough knowledge of theatrical praxis as well as an enlightening assessment of the legal policies underlying the impetus for the plays and performances he discusses through this new lens. This excellent study brings into conversation the multiple aesthetic and political ramifications of staged and un-staged performances of citizenship." - Jorge A. Huerta, Chancellor's Associates Professor of Theatre Emeritus, University of California, San Diego, USA
"The plays Guterman focuses on are provocative and accessible, which is a boon for studying and teaching this important archive of American drama. His analyses are penetrating, balanced, and sharp. Guterman shows us the important role theatre can play in troubling our 'legal consciousness,' bringing undocumentedness out of the shadows and into the light, and fostering deeper dialogues about the tense gap between 'I don't belong here' and 'I want to be here.'" - Tamara Underiner, Director, Theatre and Performance of the Americas Program, Arizona State University, USA
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