The articles in this issue reflect the diverse topics of the conference. Hon-ming Yip's article "Institutionalizing Charity: Hong Kong and the Homebound Burial of Chinese Americans, 1900-1949," is a study of Chinese migration from a very peculiar perspective of the history of death and diasporic charity. With the return of coffins/bones of Chinese Americans as the case in point, the present work is on the condition in the half century from 1900 to 1949 when Chinese diasporic charity in terms of hometown burial became gradually institutionalized. While the Tung Wah Hospital in Hong Kong played a key role in the process of institutionalization, its Tung Wah Coffin Home established in 1900 figured as an institution of repatriation of remains of overseas Chinese from all over the world, including the United States, back to China, especially Guangdong, the origin of most Chinese migrants to the new world from the gold rush period until the establishment of the Peoples Republic of China when the embargo problem affected communication between China and the world outside.
In "Transpacific Subjectivities: 'Chinese-Latin American Literature after Empire," Puo-An Wu Fu explores the articulation of the postmigration "Chinese"-Latin American experience in the works of two contemporary authors: Selfa Chew's Mudas las garzas (Silent the Herons) and Louie Kin-sheun's [phrase omitted] (So Far Away in Cuba). In both publi cations, the second-generation Mexican and Hong Kong authors, respectively, use literary elements to come to terms with an inherited "Chineseness" that has been transplanted from Asia across the Pacific to Latin America. Reading these articulations through the lens of translation as a concept and practice allows for an emphasis on the particularities of the "Chinese"-Latin American voice.
Acclaimed historian Sue Fawn Chung authors "Chinese Exclusion, the First Bureau of Immigration, and the 1905 Special Chinese Census." Chung investigates the Bureau of Immigration's harsh measures against the Chinese that were led by two staunch opponents to Chinese immigrants and loyal supporters of unionism. The 1892 Chinese Exclusion Act triggered plans for the Bureau of Immigrations counting of Chinese in the United States in a special census that ended in 1905. It also motivated the Chinese in China to call for a boycott of American goods in an effort to protest the mistreatment of Chinese in the United States.
Shawn M. Higgins's article "Orientalist Soundscapes, Barred Zones, and Irving Berlin's China" takes a close reading of Irving Berlins 1917 tune "From Here to Shanghai." Higgins examines the xenophobic power dynamics of cultural nationalism as embedded in the 1917 Asiatic Barred Zone Act. Weaving together theoretical approaches found in sound studies and Asian American studies, Higgins homes in on the tactical deployment of racialized sounds and exposes the gatekeeping directives of the Tin Pan Alley era.
In "A Forgotten Woman: The Pioneer Chinese American Acupuncturist Shui Wan Wu (1927-1983)," Jianye He and Benjamin King-Fai Yeung narrate the history of Dr. Wu, the first licensed female Chinese acupuncturist in Oregon State in 1973. She was not only an acupuncture practitioner and an experienced medical researcher but also an active participant for the legalization of Chinese acupuncture in the United States. Yet this is the first time her story and contributions have been told!
Noel C. Cilker's article "A Little China Leader, a Brothel Owner, and Their Clashing American Dreams in Gold Rush San Francisco" studies two immigrants in gold rush San Francisco: Ah Toy, a brothel madam, and Norman Ah-Sing, a Little China association leader, and their battle with each other to achieve their versions of the American Dream. Using a narrative style to tell the story of the two rivals, Cilker demonstrates that, although the dream is as unique as the person who pursues it, they committed a critical mistake: by forcing each other into a pigeonholed American experience, they contributed to the other's downfall and deprived their community of unity at a time when it most required a strong foundation of leadership.
Chris Lowmans article "Artifacts Spark Stories: Archaeology and Oral History at Stanford's Arboretum Chinese Quarters" looks at the way tangible remains of past actions and events--objects recovered in the course of archaeological excavations--are valuable components of oral history, prompting memories based on physical phenomena rather than on documents or conversation alone. This is valuable in community-collaborative archaeological projects, such as the excavation of the Arboretum Chinese Quarters at Stanford University. Artifacts recovered during previous limited excavations served as the basis for multiple interviews with descendants and other stakeholders, including direct descendants, the families of other Chinese immigrants to the area during the nineteenth century, and Stanford alumni. These interviews influenced the process and focus of research. This article explores two community-generated topics of interest: the importance of the chrysanthemum growing industry for Chinese employees at Stanford, and the community ties that bound Stanford into the larger social and familial networks between Chinatowns in the Bay Area and with home villages in the Pearl River Delta.
Anthropologist Margaret B. Bodemer's article "Using Personal Narratives to Reposition and Reimagine 'the Chinese American Experience' in American History and Culture" is about using firsthand narratives in teaching about Asia and Asian American experiences in order to decolonize the ways in which we learn about Asia. By putting the focus on Asian and Asian American experiences and using these firsthand accounts, she argues that instructors can deconstruct harmful stereotypes and misunderstandings--which is more important now than ever with the hateful rhetoric about immigrants and communities of color that is polluting our social discourse. Additionally the article talks about using auto/biographies to understand the complexity of the Chinese American experience.
In "Hakka American Associations and Their Online Discourses: A Case Study of the Taiwan Council Global Website," Ann Shu-ju Chiu and Wei-An Chang explore the intersections of Hakka Chinese identities, global Internet connections, and virtual communities. They suggest that most of the Hakka Chinese Americans established their organizations in the 1990s with the development of the Internet, which allowed an emergent terrain of online communication. To identify' the characteristics of these Hakka American associations, the authors study how the Taiwan Council of Hakka Affairs built its Global Website to connect and interact with its coethnic counterparts in the United States, in both real and imagined ways.
Local community activist and resident Grant Din documents the life of Dr. Rolland Lowe and his lifetime of pioneering service to the Chinese and broader community in San Francisco and the Bay Area. Din explores Dr. Lowe's lifetime of community service in Chinese organizations and pioneering work in mainstream institutions, as well as his parents' extraordinary activism.
In the last article Frank H. Wu develops his critical keynote address from CHSA's "This Land Is Our Land" conference in "The New Chinese Diaspora: Embracing the Model Minority and Perpetual Foreigner?" In this essay Wu describes the newest community of Chinese immigrants. Unlike the immediately preceding wave, with Taiwan and Hong Kong origins, the latest arrivals are predominantly from mainland China. They come at a time when Asia is ascendant and China has emerged as a global power, and when technology enables transnational communities to be maintained with greater ease than ever before. He considers their self-identity as diaspora, with many of them expressing political sentiments different than their native-born counterparts, in part due to heavy use of social media.
We invite our readers to share Chinese America' History & Perspectives with family, friends, and colleagues. We also wish to extend an invitation to our readers to visit the Chinese Historical Society of America Museum. CHSA'smuseum is the oldest organization in the country dedicated to the interpretation, promotion, and preservation of the social, cultural, and political history and contributions of the Chinese in America. We invite everyone to become members of CHSA by visiting http://chsa.org/support/mcmbership/. Your participation is essential in keeping CHSA vibrant as membership dollars are used for developing and presenting our programs and preserving our collection. Your sup port allows us to promote the history, culture, and legacy of Chinese Americans for generations to come! Become a member today by visiting http://chsa.org/support/mcmhership/.
Jonathan H. X. Lee
Editor-in-Chief, Chinese America: History & Perspectives
Associate Professor of Asian American Studies, San Francisco State University
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Author:||Lee, Jonathan H.X.|
|Publication:||Chinese America: History and Perspectives|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2018|
|Previous Article:||Marriage and Family Life Among Maine's Earliest Chinese Residents.|
|Next Article:||Institutionalizing Charity: Hong Kong and the Homebound Burial of Chinese Americans, 1900-1949.|