As anyone who has written a book can tell you, when you finally finish wrestling with it and it is confined between covers, or tucked away in e-book form, it goes on to have an afterlife, sometimes quite a complicated one, which the author may glimpse only in intermittent and fragmentary form. An original and provocative book such as Judith Butler's Gender Trouble will travel to places its author never anticipated and become embroiled in conversations the author may not overhear. A book's influence on another field far from its point of origin is not best assessed by a citation index—though Gender Trouble's numbers are massive. To take the measure of the work that Gender Trouble has done for scholars working in Asian studies (itself a constructed and constantly morphing category, like gender), we should ask how the book traveled. Which pieces were taken up by scholars of Asia, and what conversations and challenges did the book enable, not as a blueprint but as an incubator of locally grounded thinking? How has it been adapted, pruned down to one or two insights, or expanded into new domains?

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