Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2014

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Health and Sport Studies

First Advisor

Catriona M. Parratt

First Committee Member

Susan Birrell

Second Committee Member

Tom Oates

Third Committee Member

Travis Vogan

Fourth Committee Member

Horace Porter


The purpose of this study is to explore the cultural meanings of Asian/American and Asian female skaters through an examination of the US media narratives of them from a period beginning in the early 1980s and ending in the late 2000s. Main subjects are Tiffany Chin (Taiwanese American), Kristi Yamaguchi (Japanese American), Michele Kwan (Chinese American), and a group of Asians such as Japanese skaters (Midori Ito, Yuka Sato, Shizuka Arakawa and Asada Mao), Chinese skaters (Chen Lu), and Korean skater (Yu-Na Kim). Drawing on Reading Sport Project as a methodological tool and the Sporting Black Atlantic as a theoretical tool, I deploy what I call the Sporting Yellow Pacific as a theoretical reading frame for this project. It refers to a genealogical space that is geographically transnational and historically neo colonial, in which the difference of Asian females is epistemologically subjected as ‘Other’ in the ontological space of American white national imagination. With this frame, I attempt to conceptualize the skaters as what I call the yellow female skater, a racialized and gendered sporting icon, which signifies a number of sets of complex and sometimes ambivalent images: nationally American but racially Asian; culturally favored as a model minority but also perilous and foreign as yellow peril; naturally primitive and/or childish but also hyper-sexual and exotic; and, biologically talented or superior but aesthetically underdeveloped. Through an analysis of these images in relation to representation, discourse, and power, I eventually write this dissertation as a genealogy that traces a historical trajectory of the yellow female skater.


Postcolonialism, Reading Sport Project, Sporting Black Atlantic, Sporting Yellow Pacific, Transnationalism, Yellow Female Skater


vi, 188 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 162-188).


Copyright © 2014 Jae Chul Seo