How do we survive our family, stay bound to our community, and keep from losing ourselves? In All That Work and Still No Boys, Kathryn Ma exposes the deepest fears and longings that we mask in family life and observes the long shadows cast by history and displacement.
Here are ten stories that wound and satisfy in equal measure. Ma probes the immigrant experience, most particularly among northern California’s Chinese Americans, illuminating for us the confounding nature of duty, transformation, and loss. A boy exposed to racial hatred finds out the true difference between his mother and his father. Two old rivals briefly lay down their weapons, but loneliness and despair won’t let them forget the past. A young Beijing tour guide with a terrible family secret must take an adopted Chinese girl and her American family to visit an orphanage. And in the prize-winning title story, a mother refuses to let her son save her life, insisting instead on a sacrifice by her daughter.
Intimate in detail and universal in theme, these stories give us the compelling voice of an exciting new author whose intelligence, insight, and wit impart a sense of grace to the bitter resentments and enduring ties that comprise family love. Even through the tensions Ma creates so deftly, the peace and security that come from building and belonging to one’s own community shine forth.
This vivid first-person account addresses significant themes in Asian American history through the lens of Wong's personal stories. Wong served in one of the all-Chinese units of the 14th Air Force in China during World War II and he discusses the impact of race and segregation on his experience. After the war he found a wife in Taishan, brought her to the US, and became involved in the government's infamous Confession program (an amnesty program for immigrants). Wong eventually became a successful real estate entrepreneur in Wichita. Rich with poignant insights into the realities of life as part of a very small Chinese American population in a Midwestern town, this memoir provides an important new view of the Asian American experience away from the West Coast. Benson Tong adds a scholarly introduction and useful annotations.
World War II was a watershed event for many of America's minorities, but its impact on Chinese Americans has been largely ignored. Utilizing extensive archival research as well as oral histories and letters from over one hundred informants, K. Scott Wong explores how Chinese Americans carved a newly respected and secure place for themselves in American society during the war years.Long the victims of racial prejudice and discriminatory immigration practices, Chinese Americans struggled to transform their image in the nation's eyes. As Americans racialized the Japanese enemy abroad and interned Japanese Americans at home, Chinese citizens sought to distinguish themselves by venturing beyond the confines of Chinatown to join the military and various defense industries in record numbers. Wong offers the first in-depth account of Chinese Americans in the American military, tracing the history of the 14th Air Service Group, a segregated unit comprising over 1,200 men, and examining how their war service contributed to their social mobility and the shaping of their ethnic identity.Americans First pays tribute to a generation of young men and women who, torn between loyalties to their parents' traditions and their growing identification with America and tormented by the pervasive racism of wartime America, served their country with patriotism and courage. Consciously developing their image as a "model minority," often at the expense of the Japanese and Japanese Americans, Chinese Americans created the pervasive image of Asian Americans that still resonates today.
The 1911 revolution in China sparked debates that politicized and divided Chinese communities in the United States. People in these communities affirmed traditional Chinese values and expressed their visions of a modern China, while nationalist feelings emboldened them to stand up for their rights as an integral part of American society. When Japan threatened the China's young republic, the Chinese response in the United States revealed the limits of Chinese nationalism and the emergence of a Chinese American identity.
Shehong Chen investigates how Chinese immigrants to the United States transformed themselves into Chinese Americans during the crucial period between 1911 and 1927. Chen focuses on four essential elements of a distinct Chinese American identity: support for republicanism over the restoration of monarchy; a wish to preserve Confucianism and traditional Chinese culture; support for Christianity, despite a strong anti-Christian movement in China; and opposition to the Nationalist party's alliance with the Soviet Union and cooperation with the Chinese Communist Party.
Sensitive and enlightening, Being Chinese, Becoming Chinese American documents how Chinese immigrants survived exclusion and discrimination, envisioned and maintained Chineseness, and adapted to American society.
Lin Yutang (1895–1976), author of more than thirty-five books, was arguably the most distinguished Chinese American writer of the twentieth century. In Chinatown Family, he brings humor and wisdom to issues of culture, race, and religion as he tells the engrossing and heart-warming story of an immigrant, working-class Chinese American family that settled in New York City during the 1930s and 1940s. Tracing their sometimes troubled and sometimes rewarding journey, Lin paints a vivid portrait of the wonder and the woe of settling into a new land. In an era when interracial marriages were frowned upon and it was forbidden for working-class Chinese men to bring their families to America, this story shows how one family struggled to become new Americans by applying their Taoist philosophy to resist peacefully the discriminatory laws and racism they encountered.
Beyond the quest for acceptance and economic success, Chinatown Family also probes deep into the heart of the immigration experience by presenting the perils of assimilation. The burgeoning tensionbetween the desire for material wealth and the traditional Chinese belief in the primary importance of family poses the question: Is it possible to attain the American dream without damaging these primary ties? For each family member, the answer to this question turns out to be different. Through the varied paths that each character takes, the novel dramatizes the ways that Chinese immigrants have negotiated between the competing interests of economic opportunity and traditional values.
Min Zhou examines how an ethnic enclave works to direct its members into American society, while at the same time shielding them from it. Focusing specifically on New York's Chinatown, a community established more than a century ago, Zhou offers a thorough and modern treatment of the enclave as a socioeconomic system, distinct form, but intrinsically linked with, the larger society.
Zhou's central theme is that Chinatown does not keep immigrant Chinese from assimilating into mainstream society, but instead provides an alternative means of incorporation into society that does not conflict with cultural distinctiveness. Concentrating on the past two decades, Zhou maintains that community networks and social capital are important resources for reaching socioeconomic goals and social positions in the United States; in Chinatown, ethnic employers use family ties and ethnic resources to advance socially. Relying on her family's networks in New York's Chinatown and her fluency in both Cantonese and Mandarin, the author, who was born in the People's Republic of China, makes extensive use of personal interviews to present a rich picture of the daily work life in the community. She demonstrates that for many immigrants, low-paid menial jobs provide by the enclave are expected as a part of the time-honored path to upward social mobility of the family.
The writings of immigrants from China and their descendants in the United States reflect the changes and continuity in the Chinese American experience. Xiao-huang Yin combines literary and historical scholarship to trace the origins and development of this extensive, neglected body of literature.
Chinese American Literature since the 1850s covers representative works from the 1850s to the present. Selections include journalism and autobiography by nineteenth-century Chinese authors; writings on the walls of Angel Island, the main Asian immigrant arrival point on the West Coast; writings of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century "cultivated Chinese," students and scholars who came to America to advance their educations; important writing by immigrants such as Chen Ruoxi, Yu Lihua, and Zhang Xiguo; and the works of more recent authors like Sui Sin Far, Jade Snow Wong, Frank Chin, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Amy Tan.
An essential introduction and guide to the field, Chinese American Literature since the 1850s enlarges the available body of literature and provides new insights into the Chinese American immigrant experience and the writing inspired by it.
Born and raised in San Francisco, Lai was trained as an engineer but blazed a trail in the field of Asian American studies. Long before the field had any academic standing, he amassed an unparalleled body of source material on Chinese America and drew on his own transnational heritage and Chinese patriotism to explore the global Chinese experience.
In Chinese American Transnational Politics, Lai traces the shadowy history of Chinese leftism and the role of the Kuomintang of China in influencing affairs in America. With precision and insight, Lai penetrates the overly politicized portrayals of a history shaped by global alliances and enmities and the hard intolerance of the Cold War era. The result is a nuanced and singular account of how Chinese politics, migration to the United States, and Sino-U.S. relations were shaped by Chinese and Chinese American groups and organizations.
Lai revised and expanded his writings over more than thirty years as changing political climates allowed for greater acceptance of leftist activities and access to previously confidential documents. Drawing on Chinese- and English-language sources and echoing the strong loyalties and mobility of the activists and idealists he depicts, Lai delivers the most comprehensive treatment of Chinese transnational politics to date.
Sucheng Chan introduces this valuable new anthology with a commanding discussion of the field of Chinese American studies, in which she examines its history and points the way ahead. Here she and Madeline Y. Hsu have brought together leading-edge scholarship from a new generation of thinkers, as useful for scholars as it is for undergraduate readers.
The contributors address a broad range of issues, from the activism of left-wing and Communist Chinese immigrants to the U.S. in the 1920s and early 1930s and humanitarian relief during the Sino-Japanese War to the construction of new Chinese regional identities in New York.
The “Chinese question” and the “Negro problem” were bound up with one another in nineteenth-century America. Indeed, the negative stereotypes, exclusionary laws, and incendiary rhetoric employed against both populations bore striking similarities.
Najia Aarim-Heriot forcefully demonstrates that the anti-Chinese sentiment behind the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 is inseparable from the racial double standards applied by mainstream white society toward white and nonwhite groups during the same period. Aarim-Heriot argues that previous studies on American Sinophobia have overemphasized the resentment labor organizations felt toward incoming Chinese workers. As a result, scholars have overlooked the broader ways in which the growing nation sought to define and unify itself through the exclusion and oppression of nonwhite peoples.
A challenge to traditional approaches to Chinese American history, Chinese immigrants, African Americans, and Racial Anxiety in the United States, 1848–82 offers a holistic examination of American Sinophobia and the racialization of national immigration policies.
Louie focuses on “In Search of Roots,” a program that takes young Chinese American adults of Cantonese descent to visit their ancestral villages in China’s Guangdong province. Through ethnographic interviews and observation, Louie examines the experiences of Chinese Americans both during village visits in China and following their participation in the program, which she herself took part in as an intern and researcher. She presents a vivid portrait of two populations who, though connected through family ties generations back, are meeting for the first time in the context of a rapidly changing contemporary China. Louie situates the participants’ and hosts’ shifting understandings of China and Chineseness within the context of transnational flows of people, media, goods, and money; China’s political and economic policies; and the racial and cultural politics of the United States.
Contemporary Chinese America is the most comprehensive sociological investigation of the experiences of Chinese immigrants to the United States—and of their offspring—in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. The author, Min Zhou, is a well-known sociologist of the Chinese American experience. In this volume she collects her original research on a range of subjects, including the causes and consequences of emigration from China, demographic trends of Chinese Americans, patterns of residential mobility in the U.S., Chinese American “ethnoburbs,” immigrant entrepreneurship, ethnic enclave economies, gender and work, Chinese language media, Chinese schools, and intergenerational relations. The concluding chapter, “Rethinking Assimilation,” ponders the future for Chinese Americans. Also included are an extensive bibliography and a list of recommended documentary films.
While the book is particularly well-suited for college courses in Chinese American studies, ethnic studies, Asian studies, and immigration studies, it will interest anyone who wants to more fully understand the lived experience of contemporary Chinese Americans.
Diaspora philanthropy is not a new phenomenon. But in an era of accelerated globalization, the relationship between diaspora philanthropy and the economic and social development of many countries is increasingly relevant. Modern diasporas are diverse and continually shifting; more people are moving more rapidly, more easily, and over greater distances than ever before. This is certainly true of recent migrants from China and India to the United States. In Silicon Valley, Asian Americans are estimated to constitute over 30 percent of the highly paid scientific and engineering workforce and represent one-third of the region's millionaires. As their wealth has grown, so too has their charitable giving—both to their old as well as to their new countries of residence.This volume aims to advance understanding of diaspora philanthropy in the Chinese American and Indian American communities, especially the implications for development of the world's two most populous countries.
Amy Sueyoshi draws on everything from newspapers to felony case files to oral histories in order to examine how whites' pursuit of gender and sexual fulfillment gave rise to racial caricatures. As she reveals, white reporters, writers, artists, and others conflated Chinese and Japanese, previously seen as two races, into one. There emerged the Oriental—a single pan-Asian American stereotype weighted with sexual and gender meaning. Sueyoshi bridges feminist, queer, and ethnic studies to show how the white quest to forge new frontiers in gender and sexual freedom reinforced—and spawned—racial inequality through the ever evolving Oriental.
Informed and fascinating, Discriminating Sex reconsiders the origins and expression of racial stereotyping in an American city.
Monterey Park, California, only eight miles east of downtown Los Angeles, was dubbed by the media as the "First Suburban Chinatown." The city was a predominantly white middle-class bedroom community in the 1970s when large numbers of Chinese immigrants transformed it into a bustling international boomtown. It is now the only city in the United States with a majority Asian American population. Timothy P. Fong examines the demographic, economic, social, and cultural changes taking place there, and the political reactions to the change.
Fong, a former journalist, reports on how pervasive anti-Asian sentiment fueled a series of initiatives intended to strengthen "community control," including a movement to make English the official language. Recounting the internal strife and the beginnings of recovery, Fong explores how race and ethnicity issues are used as political organizing tools and weapons.
In the mid-1960s, Winberg Chai, a young academic and the son of Chinese immigrants, married an Irish-American artist. In Hapa Girl ("hapa" is Hawaiian for "mixed") their daughter tells the story of this loving family as they moved from Southern California to New York to a South Dakota farm by the 1980s. In their new Midwestern home, the family finds itself the object of unwelcome attention, which swiftly escalates to violence. The Chais are suddenly socially isolated and barely able to cope with the tension that arises from daily incidents of racial animosity, including random acts of cruelty.
May-lee Chai's memoir ends in China, where she arrives just in time to witness a riot and demonstrations. Here she realizes that the rural Americans' "fears of change, of economic uncertainty, of racial anxiety, of the unknowable future compared to the known past were the same as China's. And I realized finally that it had not been my fault."
Both a history of an overlooked community and a well-rounded reassessment of prevailing assumptions about Chinese miners in the American West, In Pursuit of Gold brings to life in rich detail the world of turn-of-the-century mining towns in the Northwest. Sue Fawn Chung meticulously recreates the lives of Chinese immigrants, miners, merchants, and others who populated these towns and interacted amicably with their white and Native American neighbors, defying the common perception of nineteenth-century Chinese communities as insular enclaves subject to increasing prejudice and violence.
While most research has focused on Chinese miners in California, this book is the first extensive study of Chinese experiences in the towns of John Day in Oregon and Tuscarora, Island Mountain, and Gold Creek in Nevada. Chung illustrates the relationships between miners and merchants within the communities and in the larger context of immigration, arguing that the leaders of the Chinese and non-Chinese communities worked together to create economic interdependence and to short-circuit many of the hostilities and tensions that plagued other mining towns.
Peppered with fascinating details about these communities from the intricacies of Chinese gambling games to the techniques of hydraulic mining, In Pursuit of Gold draws on a wealth of historical materials, including immigration records, census manuscripts, legal documents, newspapers, memoirs, and manuscript collections. Chung supplements this historical research with invaluable first-hand observations of artifacts that she experienced in archaeological digs and restoration efforts at several of the sites of the former booming mining towns.
In clear, analytical prose, Chung expertly characterizes the movement of Chinese miners into Oregon and Nevada, the heyday of their mining efforts in the region, and the decline of the communities due to changes in the mining industry. Highlighting the positive experiences and friendships many of the immigrants had in these relatively isolated mining communities, In Pursuit of Gold also suggests comparisons with the Chinese diaspora in other locations such as British Columbia and South Africa.
Japanese and Chinese immigrants in the United States have traditionally been characterized as hard workers who are hesitant to involve themselves in labor disputes or radical activism. How then does one explain the labor and Communist organizations in the Asian immigrant communities that existed from coast to coast between 1919 and 1933? Their organizers and members have been, until now, largely absent from the history of the American Communist movement. In Japanese and Chinese Immigrant Activists, Josephine Fowler brings us the first in-depth account of Japanese and Chinese immigrant radicalism inside the United States and across the Pacific.
Drawing on multilingual correspondence between left-wing and party members and other primary sources, such as records from branches of the Japanese Workers Association and the Chinese Nationalist Party, Fowler shows how pressures from the Comintern for various sub-groups of the party to unite as an “American” working class were met with resistance. The book also challenges longstanding stereotypes about the relationships among the Communist Party in the United States, the Comintern, and the Soviet Party.
In 1887, more than 30 Chinese gold miners were massacred on the Oregon side of Hells Canyon, the deepest canyon in North America. Massacred for Gold, the first authoritative account of the unsolved crime—one of the worst of the many crimes committed by whites against Chinese laborers in the American West—unearths the evidence that points to an improbable gang of rustlers and schoolboys, one only 15, as the killers.
The crime was discovered weeks after it happened, but no charges were brought for nearly a year, when gang member Frank Vaughan, son of a well-known settler family, confessed and turned state’s evidence. Six men and boys, all from northeastern Oregon’s remote Wallowa country, were charged—but three fled, and the others were found innocent by a jury that a witness admitted had little interest in convicting anyone. A cover-up followed, and the crime was all but forgotten for the next 100 years, until a county clerk found hidden records in an unused safe.
In bringing this story out of the shadows, Nokes examines the once-substantial presence of Chinese laborers in the interior Pacific Northwest, describing why they came, how their efforts contributed to the region’s development, and how too often mistreatment and abuse were their only reward.
In this detailed and comprehensive study of contemporary Chinese America, Xiaojian Zhao uses class analysis to illuminate the difficulties of everyday survival for poor and undocumented immigrants and analyzes the process through which social mobility occurs. Through ethnic ties, Chinese Americans have built an economy of their own in which entrepreneurs can maintain a competitive edge given their access to low-cost labor; workers who are shut out of the mainstream job market can find work and make a living; and consumers can enjoy high quality services at a great bargain. While the growth of the ethnic economy enhances ethnic bonds by increasing mutual dependencies among different groups of Chinese Americans, it also determines the limits of possibility for various individuals depending on their socioeconomic and immigration status.
"We were as American as can be," states Jadin Wong in recalling the days when she used to dance at a San Francisco nightclub during the 1940s. Wong belonged to an all-Chinese chorus line at a time when all East Asians were called "Orientals." In this context, then, what did it mean for Wong, an American-born Chinese, to say that she thought of herself as an "American"? Of Orphans and Warriors explores the social and cultural history of largely urban, American-born Chinese from the 1930s through the 1990s, focusing primarily on those living in California. Chun thus opens a window onto the ways in which these Americans born of Chinese ancestry negotiated their identity over a half century.
Past scholarship has portrayed these individuals as desiring to assimilate into mainstream American culture, but being prevented from doing so by the immigrant parent generation. Taking a new approach, Chun uses memoirs, autobiographies, and fictional writings to unravel complex issues of ethnic identity as both culturally defined and individually negotiated. She concludes that, while indeed many Chinese Americans were caught between the lures of mainstream American culture and their parents' old-world values, this liminal position offered them unprecedented opportunities to carve out new identities for themselves from a position of strength.
Both playful and serious, this audacious riff on ethnic and sexual identity by Hawaiian-Hakka Chinese-American writer Carolyn Lei-lanilau revolves around the persona she calls “Ono Ono Girl,” an icon that interweaves and transcends Lucille Ball, Little Lulu, Tina Turner, and Spottie Dottie. Challenging assumptions about genre and gender, and acting out the notion that language is a function of the body, these essays are transforming soundbytes of Ono Ono Girl inventing herself.
“Just when you thought American literature was canonized and commodified beyond saving, Carolyn Lei-lanilau’s intertextual, irreverent work, Ono Ono Girl’s Hula, brings language and philosophy back to the table. Her book is a miracle delivery: a rebirth of poetry, Third World Spam, and love wrapped around the hybrid vigor of Hawaiian, Hakka, French, Latin, and English. Soulful, powerful, and wise.”—Russell Leong, editor of Amerasia Journal
“A book enjoyable equally for its fun as for its profundity, Carolyn Lei-lanilau’s Ono Ono Girl’s Hula is irresistible must reading for feminists, anthropologists, contemporary culture buffs, and anyone who wants a refreshing take on some of our more vexing current disputes. Down-to-earth and poetic, serious and hilarious at once, her unconventional voice invites the reader to understand the paradoxes of identity—sexual and ethnic—in new ways.”—Robin Lakoff, author of Talking Power
This fascinating book reveals that Chinese Americans began “shooting hoops” nearly a century before Chinese superstar Yao Ming turned pro. Drawing on interviews with players and coaches, Outside the Paint takes readers back to San Francisco in the 1930s and 1940s, when young Chinese American men and women developed a new approach to the game—with fast breaks, intricate passing and aggressive defense—that was ahead of its time.
Every chapter tells a surprising story: the Chinese Playground, the only public outdoor space in Chinatown; the Hong Wah Kues, a professional barnstorming men’s basketball team; the Mei Wahs, a championship women’s amateur team; Woo Wong, the first Chinese athlete to play in Madison Square Garden; and the extraordinarily talented Helen Wong, whom Kathleen Yep compares to Babe Didrikson.
Outside the Paint chronicles the efforts of these highly accomplished athletes who developed a unique playing style that capitalized on their physical attributes, challenged the prevailing racial hierarchy, and enabled them, for a time, to leave the confines of their segregated world. They learned to dribble, shoot, and steal.
Drawing on these documents as well as immigration case files, legislative materials, and transcripts of interviews and court proceedings, Lau reveals immigration as an interactive process. Chinese immigrants and their U.S. families were subject to regulation and surveillance, but they also manipulated and thwarted those regulations, forcing the U.S. government to adapt its practices and policies. Lau points out that the Exclusion Acts and the pseudo-familial structures that emerged in response have had lasting effects on Chinese American identity. She concludes with a look at exclusion’s legacy, including the Confession Program of the 1960s that coerced people into divulging the names of paper family members and efforts made by Chinese American communities to recover their lost family histories.
Advertised in Asia as "The Chinese Beverly Hills," this small city minutes east of downtown Los Angeles, became by the late 1970s a regional springboard for a new type of Chinese immigration—suburban and middle class with a diversified and globally-oriented economy. Freed from the isolation of old Chinatowns, new immigrants now confronted resistance from more established Anglo, Asian American, and Latino neighbors, whose opposition took the form of interconnected "English Only" and slow-growth movements.
In The Politics of Diversity, a multiethnic team of researches employ ethnography, interviewing, and exit polls to capture the process of change as newcomers and established residents come to terms with the meaning of diversity and identity in their everyday lives. The result is an engaging grass-roots account of immigration and change: the decline of the loyal old-boy Anglo network; the rise of women, minorities, and immigrants in the political scene; and a transformation of ethnic and American identities.
LuMing Mao offers an important discussion of the rhetoric of Chinese American speakers, which has wide implications for the teaching of writing in English and for our understanding of cross-cultural influences in discourse.
Recent scholarship tends to explain such influences as contributing to language hybridity---an advance over the traditional "deficit model." But Mao suggests that the "hybridity" approach is perhaps too arid or sanitized, missing rich nuances of mutual exchange, resistance, or even subversion. Working from Ang's concept of "togetherness in difference," Mao suggests that speakers of hybrid discourse may not be attempting the standard (and failing), but instead may be deliberately importing cultural material to create a distance between themselves and the standard. This practice, over time, becomes a process that transforms English, enriching and enlarging it through the infusion of non-Western discourse features, subverting power structures, and even providing unique humorous touches.
Of interest to scholars in composition, cultural studies, and linguistics as well, Reading Chinese Fortune Cookie leads in an important new direction for both our understanding and our teaching of English.
In Remaking Chinese America, Xiaojian Zhao explores the myriad forces that changed and unified Chinese Americans during a key period in American history. Prior to 1940, this immigrant community was predominantly male, but between 1940 and 1965 it was transformed into a family-centered American ethnic community. Zhao pays special attention to forces both inside and outside of the country in order to explain these changing demographics. She scrutinizes the repealed exclusion laws and the immigration laws enacted after 1940. Careful attention is also paid to evolving gender roles, since women constituted the majority of newcomers, significantly changing the sex ratio of the Chinese American population.
As members of a minority sharing a common cultural heritage as well as pressures from the larger society, Chinese Americans networked and struggled to gain equal rights during the cold war period. In defining the political circumstances that brought the Chinese together as a cohesive political body, Zhao also delves into the complexities they faced when questioning their personal national allegiances. Remaking Chinese America uses a wealth of primary sources, including oral histories, newspapers, genealogical documents, and immigration files to illuminate what it was like to be Chinese living in the United States during a period that—until now—has been little studied.
The biography of Dr. Hwa-Wei Lee, who was awarded the highly prestigious Melvil Dewey Medal by the American Library Association in 2015, will be welcomed by readers interested in knowing not only more about Lee’s personal achievements and contributions in librarianship but also about the rapid changes in the library profession in general. The biography, written by Ms. Yang Yang of China Central Television in Beijing, was first published in Chinese in China in 2011. It was republished in Taiwan with added information in 2014. This English edition, translated by Dr. Ying Zhang of the Universityof California in Irvine, was updated by Lee.
Throughout his childhood and youth, Lee experienced tremendous hardship during the brutal Sino-Japanese War and then the Chinese civil war, described in the first three chapters. After arriving in the United States as a graduate student from Taiwan in 1957, he struggled to realize the American dream by studying hard and working diligently in the field of librarianship for nearly half a century.
The biography explores Lee’s career at major academic libraries, beginning at the University of Pittsburgh to his retirement from Ohio University, including his seven years of library directorship at the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand, under the sponsorship of the U.S. Agency for International Development. After his first retirement, Lee was invited by OCLC to become a Visiting Distinguished Scholar. From there he was appointed Chief of the Asian Division at the Library of Congress and retired for the second time in 2008.
The biography also highlights Lee’s contributions in international librarianship, especially in the promotion of library cooperation between the United States and China.
In the 1800s, when California was captivated by gold fever, a small group of Chinese immigrants recognized the fortune to be made from the untapped resources along the state’s coast, particularly from harvesting the black abalone of southern and Baja California. These immigrants, with skills from humble beginnings in a traditional Chinese fishing province, founded California’s commercial abalone industry, and led its growth and expansion for several decades. By the turn of the twentieth century, however, their successful livelihood was stolen from them through targeted legislation of the U.S. and California governments.
Today, the physical evidence of historical Chinese abalone fishing on the mainland has been erased by development. On California’s Channel Islands, however, remnants of temporary abalone collecting and processing camps lie scattered along the coastlines. These sites hold a treasure trove of information, stories, lifeways, and history. Braje has excavated many of these sites and uses them to explore the history of Chinese abalone fishing, presenting a microcosm of the broader history of Chinese immigrants in America—their struggles, their successes, the institutionalized racism they faced, and the unique ways in which they helped to shape the identity of the United States.
Family and home are one word—jia—in the Chinese language. Family can be separated and home may be relocated, but jia remains intact. It signifies a system of mutual obligation, lasting responsibility, and cultural values. This strong yet flexible sense of kinship has enabled many Chinese immigrant families to endure long physical separation and accommodate continuities and discontinuities in the process of social mobility.
Based on an analysis of over three thousand family letters and other primary sources, including recently released immigration files from the National Archives and Records Administration, Haiming Liu presents a remarkable transnational history of a Chinese family from the late nineteenth century to the 1970s. For three generations, the family lived between the two worlds. While the immigrant generation worked hard in an herbalist business and asparagus farming, the younger generation crossed back and forth between China and America, pursuing proper education, good careers, and a meaningful life during a difficult period of time for Chinese Americans. When social instability in China and hostile racial environment in America prevented the family from being rooted in either side of the Pacific, transnational family life became a focal point of their social existence.
This well-documented and illustrated family history makes it clear that, for many Chinese immigrant families, migration does not mean a break from the past but the beginning of a new life that incorporates and transcends dual national boundaries. It convincingly shows how transnationalism has become a way of life for Chinese American families.
Who Am I? is the bittersweet memoir of a Chinese American who came to this country as a twenty-year-old graduate student and stayed to become one of America’s most innovative intellectuals, whose work has explored the aesthetic and moral dimensions of human relations with landscape, nature, and environment. This unusually introspective autobiography mixes Yi-Fu Tuan’s reflections on a life filled with recognition, accolades, and affection with what he deems moral failings, his lack of courage—including the courage to be open about his homosexuality.
Music and performance provide a unique window into the ways that cultural information is circulated and perceptions are constructed. Because they both require listening, are inherently ephemeral, and most often involve collaboration between disparate groups, they inform cultural perceptions differently from literary or visual art forms, which tend to be more tangible and stable.
In Yellowface, Krystyn R. Moon explores the contributions of writers, performers, producers, and consumers in order to demonstrate how popular music and performance has played an important role in constructing Chinese and Chinese American stereotypes. The book brings to life the rich musical period of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. During this time, Chinese and Chinese American musicians and performers appeared in a variety of venues, including museums, community theaters, and world’s fairs, where they displayed their cultural heritage and contested anti-Chinese attitudes. A smaller number crossed over into vaudeville and performed non-Chinese materials. Moon shows how these performers carefully navigated between racist attitudes and their own artistic desires.
While many scholars have studied both African American music and blackface minstrelsy, little attention has been given to Chinese and Chinese American music. This book provides a rare look at the way that immigrants actively participated in the creation, circulation, and, at times, subversion of Chinese stereotypes through their musical and performance work.
Browse our collection.
See BiblioVault's publisher services.
Files for college accessibility offices.
UChicago Accessibility Resources
BiblioVault ® 2001 - 2023
The University of Chicago Press