Based on empirical material from Danish exhibitions of so-called exotic people in which people of color were exhibited as mass entertainment at the turn of the twentieth century, the article aims at nuancing established scholarly understandings of interracial relationships and Asian masculinity. As the analysis of the empirical material does not follow the expected path of racial, gender and sexuality constructions established by post-colonial scholars, the article discusses if we as researchers have become blind towards alternative versions of interracial engagements. Based on Spivak’s famous question ‘Can the subaltern speak?’, the article asks, ‘Can the non-subaltern researcher listen?’ The article tries to provide alternative ways of listening by supplementing written sources by photographs. Using these sources, the article explores how interracial relationships between white women and Asian men were not necessarily condemned, as generally argued, as well as how Asian men, also contrary to general scholarly belief, were constructed as hyper masculine and sexually attractive to white heterosexual women.
Critical Race and Whiteness Studies, 2013, Vol 9, Issue 2
Interracial relationships, sexuality, gender, theory, history.