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Beyond the Discourse of Sexualization

An Inquiry into the Adultification of Tween Girls’ Dressing in Singapore

Bernice Loh

ABSTRACT

In order to explore the adultification of tween girls in Singapore through the way they dress, I begin this article by taking stock of the arguments in the discourse of sexualization. In further elucidating the cultural specificities of girlhood, I point out how tween girls’ fashioning of themselves after adults in Singapore presents some challenges to the ways that the adultification of tween girls’ dressing has been commonly theorized. I show that although the adultification of tween girls’ dressing forms a large part of the debate in the discourse of sexualization, tween girls’ fashioning of themselves after adults should not be assumed to be an exclusive outcome and process of improper and premature sexualization in culturally-specific contexts like Singapore. This article, therefore, explores a different way of thinking about tween girls who are dressing up in more adult-like ways, and suggests the need to be careful about extrapolating from arguments made in the (Western) discourse of sexualisation about this phenomenon.

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Introduction

Beyond Orientalism; Texting the Victorian East

Julia Kuehn and Tamara S. Wagner

Thirty years after its publication in 1978, a reconsideration of Edward Said’s Orientalism invites a shift from contextual and colonial discourse analysis towards a renewed attention to ambiguities of form and structure. The central point of interest of this special issue, ‘Re-Imagining the Victorian Orient’, hinges upon close readings of canonical and noncanonical texts, side by side, in order to highlight the complexities of Victorian literary culture that earlier readings often threatened to deny. The analyses comprise discussions of travel writing as well as of fiction from the 1830s up to the 1920s, covering what is commonly considered the height of imperialism. What brings the essays in this special issue together is the project of opening up the question of the Victorian Orient as a concept and a literary topos, based upon, but also beyond the critical tenets of Orientalism. While this project is rooted in literary history and the history of representation, its main emphasis firmly rests on a ‘texting’ of the Victorian East: an emphasis on genre, aesthetics, and structural metaphors. This collection is held together by the places it foregrounds as much as by this critical redirection towards textual analysis. Divided into two parts, it reads women’s travelogues covering the Middle East, South, and South East Asia, comparing and contrasting them with the ‘notorious’ colonial novels of Dickens, Conrad, Kipling, and Forster.

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Editorial

Comics and Transnational Exchanges

Lawrence Grove, Anne Magnussen, and Ann Miller

The title of our journal implies there is such a thing as European comic art, even if in practice it is intended to indicate we focus on work produced (outside the United States) in European languages, leaving the fields of South East Asian and US

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Making Friends of the Nations

Australian Interwar Magazines and Middlebrow Orientalism in the Pacific

Victoria Kuttainen and Sarah Galletly

, [and] Professor Elkin, No.1 authority on the Aborigine” (May 1938: 71) drew, by its very scope and title, articles on the Torres Strait, Papua, New Guinea, South East Asia, China, and Japan into an orbit that included National Geographic -styled

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“SpiritS Follow the words”

Stories as Spirit Traces among the Khmu of Northern Laos

Rosalie Stolz

among the Phunoy in Northern Laos .” South East Asia Research 14 ( 3 ): 431 – 443 . Brenneis , Donald . 1987 . “ Talk and Transformation .” Man 22 ( 3 ): 499 – 510 . Brison , Karen J . 1992 . Just Talk: Gossip, Meetings, and Power in a

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China’s New Silk Road

Autocracy Promotion in the New Asian Order?

Octavia Bryant and Mark Chou

from this small canal, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia—ports along the Malacca Straits—stand to lose. Seen in geopolitical terms, this infrastructure project could have long-lasting effects, dividing South-East Asia into a zone of democracy and a zone

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Ghost Mothers

Kinship Relationships in Thai Spirit Cults

Andrew Alan Johnson

Spirit of Thai Capitalism: The Cult of Luang Phor Khoon and the Postmodernisation of Thai Buddhism .” South East Asia Research 7 , no. 1 : 5 – 60 . Jackson , Peter . 2004 . “ The Thai Regime of Images .” Sojourn: Journal of Social Issues in

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Erick White

. J. Marchand , Mark Nuttall , Cris Shore , Veronica Strang , and Richard A. Wilson , 121 – 137 . Los Angeles : Sage . Formoso , Bernard . 2016 . “ Thai Buddhism as the Promoter of Spirit Cults .” South East Asia Research 24 ( 1

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Holistic Houses and a Sense of Place

Contextualizing the Bishop Museum Hale Pili Exhibit through Archaeological Analyses

Jennifer G. Kahn

Scripts: Staging Authenticity in China’s Ethno-Tourism Industry .” Urban Anthropology 41 ( 2–4 ): 419 – 455 . Waterson , Roxanna . 1990 . The Living House: An Anthropology of Architecture in South East Asia . New York : Watson-Gutpill . Weisler

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Editorial

Situating Screen Bodies

Brian Bergen-Aurand

, rereadings of science journal illustrations, and tactical video art metatexts that strive to subvert the internet’s open-context feedback loop. It will also feature reports from two South East Asian film festivals and an East Asian video installation as