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Asian American Studies: History
Selected resources for doing background research on Asian American studies, history and finding literary criticism about specific authors.
[above: political cartoon from 1882; Library of Congress]
Read this for a short summary: "Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882." Encyclopedia of American Immigration. Ed. Carl L. Bankston, III. Vol. 1. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 2010. 190-193. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 3 Oct. 2013.
This is a good encyclopedia article covering Asian immigration issues in the US: Wilson, Lonnie. "Asian Immigration Law." Encyclopedia of Immigration and Migration in the American West. Ed. Gordon Morris Bakken and Alexandra Kindell. Vol. 1. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Reference, 2006. 32-36. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 3 Oct. 2013.
Model Minority Myth
[img: Marcela McGreal, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons]
Articles referred to in a 2021 presentation on the history of the Asian American model minority myth, from Joyce Moy, executive director of CUNY's Asian American & Asian Research. Institute:
[Brand, David, et al. “COVER STORY The New Whiz Kids Why Asian Americans Are Doing so Well, and What It Costs Them.” TIME Magazine, vol. 130, no. 9, Aug. 1987, p. 42.] See the cover image and follow-up critique of the presentation of Asian Americans here: https://time.com/3475962/asian-american-diversity/
A library resource guide to support classes such as HUP 121 - Eastern Philosophy and Religion.
Keywords/themes to explore: gender, sexuality, women, girls, infanticide, women's rights, feminism, masculinity, India, class, caste system, diaspora, immigration, family, globalization, history and politics of different cultures.
There are tons of excellent overviews and reports here on issues relating to social movements, immigrant groups and histories. Annotated bibliographies and links are provides so this is a good starting point and a way to familiarize yourself with a topic.
Online reference e-books that provide excellent brief overviews on issues (such as immigration law) and histories of different parts of the world, notable people, etc. Another good first place to start familiarizing yourself with the issues.
"This provocative study uses the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act to explore two critical strands in American Studies: policy conversations on legal and illegal immigration, which too often include no engagement with the actual histories of these categories, and social and educational conversations on diversity and multiculturalism, which tend to misconstrue multi-national diversity as a late 20th and early 21st century phenomenon...it highlights stories - such as that of Yung Wing, the first documented Chinese American immigrant, and the 120 students at his Chinese Educational Mission - that give a hopeful and instructive perspective on the challenges of today."--Amazon
"The Opium Debate examines how the spread of opium-smoking fueled racism and created demands for the removal of the Chinese from American life. This study of the nineteenth-century drug-abuse crisis reveals the ways moral crusaders linked their antiopium rhetoric to already active demands for Chinese exclusion."--Amazon
"Bringing together essays by thirteen scholars from the humanities and social sciences, Displacements and Diasporas explores this genuinely transnational Asian American experience-one that crosses the Pacific and traverses the Americas from Canada to Brazil, from New York to the Caribbean."--Amazon
"This book traces the origins of the "illegal alien" in American law and society, explaining why and how illegal migration became the central problem in U.S. immigration policy--a process that profoundly shaped ideas and practices about citizenship, race, and state authority in the twentieth century."--Amazon
Call Number: EBOOK [click on title to view online]
Publication Date: 2003-05-19
"At America's Gates is the first book devoted entirely to both Chinese immigrants and the American immigration officials who sought to keep them out. Erika Lee explores how Chinese exclusion laws not only transformed Chinese American lives, immigration patterns, identities, and families but also recast the United States into a "gatekeeping nation." Immigrant identification, border enforcement, surveillance, and deportation policies were extended far beyond any controls that had existed in the United States before."--Amazon
"This is the first iconographic history of the Chinese in New York. The history of immigrants who left scant records of their struggle to survive in a society in which the Chinese were reviled as angerous, opium soaked, and unassimilable is recounted. Includes 180 illustrations."--Amazon
"In this rich blend of history, biography, and travel, noted author Lynn Pan recounts why emigrants have left China; how their dispersal has been shaped and stimulated by imperialist Western powers; and how the all-male frontier groups were transformed into complex communities organized by clan, dialect, and secret society. "--Amazon
From the Library of Congress, American Memory collection: about nineteenth and early twentieth century Chinese immigration to California including about 8,000 images and pages of primary source materials.
"By examining the artistic project of some fifty Asian North American writers who deploy their childhood narratives in the representation of the individual processes of self-identification and negotiation of cultural and national affiliation, this work provides a comprehensive overview of Asian North American autobiographies of childhood published over the last century. Importantly, it also attends to new ways of writing autobiographies, employing comics, blending verse, prose, diaries, and life writing for children, and using relational approaches to self-identification, among others."--Amazon
Looking into Asian American female stereotypes? "...Lim highlights the cultural activities of young, predominantly unmarried Asian American women from 1930 to 1960...Lim traces the diverse ways in which these young women sought claim to cultural citizenship, exploring such topics as the nation's first Asian American sorority, Chi Alpha Delta; the cultural work of Chinese American actress Anna May Wong; Asian American youth culture and beauty pageants; and the achievement of fame of three foreign-born Asian women in the late 1950s."--Google Books
"Grace Chang's book is highly readable and relevant to anyone wanting to better understand the reality of the lives of low-wage women workers in the U.S. and the policies that maintain this workforce."--Review, Linda Delp, Labor Studies Journal 28.2 (2003).
"Brian Hayashi reevaluates the three-year ordeal of interred Japanese Americans. Using previously undiscovered documents, he examines the forces behind the U.S. government's decision to establish internment camps. His conclusion: the motives of government officials and top military brass likely transcended the standard explanations of racism, wartime hysteria, and leadership failure. Among the other surprising factors that played into the decision, Hayashi writes, were land development in the American West and plans for the American occupation of Japan."--publisher
"Six interpretive essays examine key aspects of the event and provide new interpretations based on the most recent scholarship. Essays include:
- A short narrative history of the Japanese in America before World War II; The evacuation; Life within barbed wire-the assembly and relocation centers; The question of loyalty-Japanese Americans in the military and draft resisters; Legal challenges to the evacuation and internment; After the war-resettlement and redress.
A chronology of events, 26 biographical profiles of important figures, the text of 10 key primary documents--from Executive Order 9066, which authorized the internment camps, to first-person accounts of the internment experience--a glossary of terms, and an annotative bibliography of recommended print sources and web sites..."--Amazon
Mary Matsuda Gruenewald was 80 years old when her first book was published in April 2005. With her memoir, "Looking Like the Enemy," Gruenewald has broken her silence as a Nisei (second generation Japanese American) who was imprisoned in Japanese-American internment camps during World War II.
"Strawberry Days tells the vivid and moving tale of the creation and destruction of a Japanese immigrant community. Before World War II, Bellevue, the now-booming "edge city" on the outskirts of Seattle, was a prosperous farm town renowned for its strawberries...David Neiwert combines compelling story-telling with first-hand interviews and newly uncovered documents to weave together the history of this community and the racist schemes that prevented the immigrants from reclaiming their land after the war."--Amazon