Eng Beng Lim Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies

Eng-Beng Lim is Undergraduate Director of Performance Studies, and a faculty affiliate of American Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, East Asian Studies, and Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America. He teaches critical and performance theory, queer and intercultural theater, postcolonial and Anglophone drama, and Asian/American performance. He is part of the editorial collective of Social Text, Theatre Research International, and has lectured widely at universities in the U.S., U.K., and Asia. His published work can be found in Theatre Journal, Asian Theatre Journal, Modern Drama, Theatre Survey, TDR, and Social Text.

His book, Brown Boys and Rice Queens: Spellbinding Performance in the Asias, part of the "Sexual Cultures" series of NYU Press is the recipient of the 2013 CLAGS Fellowship Award for outstanding first book project.

scholarly work

Brown Boys and Rice Queens: Spellbinding Performance in the Asias: https://nyupress.org/search.aspx?keyword=brown%20boys

The Epistemology of the Minor-Native in Transcolonial Borderzones

Queer Suicide: A Teach-in

Glocalqueer Pink Activism

Introduction: Queering Singapore

No Kid Play

The Performance and Pedagogy of Neoliberal Affect with Lisa Duggan and José E Muñoz

Introduction to the Teach-in (Queer Suicide)

Performing the Global University


Glocalqueering in New Asia: The Politics of Performing Gay in Singapore

The Mardi Gras Boys of Singapore's English-language Theatre

research overview

Eng-Beng Lim studies transnational Asian, American performance, literary and visual cultures that negotiate the boundaries of postcolonial, intercultural and diasporic stages. Some of his objects include global Anglophone drama, Southeast Asian dance-drama and Asian American performance. He has also written on the role of the arts, or the neoliberal cultural politics of the global university, particularly U.S satellite campuses in Asia and the Middle East.

research statement

I am currently interested in how transnational performance is produced, staged, documented and crafted in the past century. I spend some time thinking if it is a genre or a way of describing contemporary global artistic encounters involving "Asia". My main focus is on how and why transnational performance can illuminate the stakes of intercultural encounters, histories of migration, the effects of neoliberal capitalism, diasporic predicaments and colonial afterlives in the Asias. Much of my research reconfigures conventional readings of Asian theater and performance by uncovering queer histories or placing them in comparative frameworks, what i call "transcolonial borderzones", that articulate particular conditions of displacement/belonging and racialized identity/identifications in performance. This often necessitates new modes of analysis that stretch beyond the discrete geographies of nation-states outlined by area studies, absolutist binaries such as East/West, First World/Third World, and/or disciplinary fields. My first book _Brown Boys and Rice Queens_ looks at the queer erotics of colonial encounters using various iterations of the white man/native boy dyad as a primary critical navigator and trope of "Asian performance."