Anne Anlin Cheng, “Monsters, Cyborgs, and Vases: Apparitions of the Yellow Woman”

Photograph of a bulbous sculpture on a white platform in a white-walled room, with brown wood flooring.

“Translated Vase TVW1” (2015) by Yeesookyung, Courtesy of the Princeton University Art Museum

Registration Information
The GSD’s Fall 2021 Public Programs are all virtual and require registration.

Click here to register for Anne Anlin Cheng, “Monsters, Cyborgs, and Vases: Apparitions of the Yellow Woman”.

The event will also be live streamed to the Harvard GSD YouTube page. Only viewers who are attending the lecture via Zoom will be able to submit questions for the Q+A. If you would like to submit questions for the speaker in advance of the event, please click here.

Live captioning will be provided during this event.

Event Description

What does it mean to be a human ornament, to be a subject who survives as or through crushing objecthood? What is beauty for the unbeautiful?

This talk takes a series of humanoid objects – monsters, cyborgs, and standing vases – as fulcrums through which to explore how racialized gender, specifically the specter of the yellow woman, animates the designs of futurity and enables the slippage between the human and the inhuman so fundamental to the dream of modernity.


Headshot of Anne Anlin Cheng, who wears a white collared shirt and has chin-length brown hair. She sits in front of a window.Anne Anlin Cheng is Professor of English, and affiliated faculty in the Program in American Studies, the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, and the Committee on Film Studies at Princeton University. She is the author of The Melancholy of Race: Psychoanalysis, Assimilation, and Hidden GriefSecond Skin: Josephine Baker and the Modern Surface; and, most recently, Ornamentalism. Her work has appeared in journals such as Critical InquiryRepresentationsPMLACamera ObscuraDifferences, among others. She is also a contributor to New York TimesThe AtlanticLos Angeles Review of Books, and Huffington Post. 

Anyone requiring accessibility accommodations should contact the Public Programs Office at (617) 496-2414 or [email protected].