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Racial minorities in the U.S. are often tormented by the tension between the corporeal and the ontological, with the former experienced as confining and the latter expansive. Such ambivalence often expresses itself in one's relationship with food. Here I propose to illustrate how Jacques Lacan's psychoanalytical theory on desire can assist us in understanding ethnicity as a bodily performance, which I venture to call an embodied ontology, applying this concept to Bich Minh Nguyen's Stealing Buddha's Dinner (2007).


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