The Chinese in America

Overview

Cassel's volume traces the history of the experience of Chinese immigrants to America. The recent extraordinary tragedy of Wen Ho Lee regarding accusations at the nuclear facility at Los Alamos point to an ongoing systemic and institutionalized racism in American society. The contributors to this volume review how the Chinese in America have alternately been courted as "model workers" by American business but also perceived as perpetual foreigners. These two opposing threads are examined in this collection, from ...
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Overview

Cassel's volume traces the history of the experience of Chinese immigrants to America. The recent extraordinary tragedy of Wen Ho Lee regarding accusations at the nuclear facility at Los Alamos point to an ongoing systemic and institutionalized racism in American society. The contributors to this volume review how the Chinese in America have alternately been courted as "model workers" by American business but also perceived as perpetual foreigners. These two opposing threads are examined in this collection, from a variety of disciplinary fields, to contribute to our understanding of the themes and issues that have shaped Chinese American studies, beginning with the arrival of Chinese gold miners in 1849 to the present. As we embark upon the "Pacific Century" with an increasingly large presence of Asians in America—in the United States, Canada, and Mexico—the authors trace the changes, heterogeneity and tenacity of immigrants who continue to live in a world in which a pervasive and simultaneous politics of polarity has come to define the Chinese experience on this continent. "The Chinese in America" is published in cooperation with the Chinese Historical Society of Greater San Diego and Baja California.The book should be a valuable text in Chinese American studies, Asian American history, immigration studies, and American history.

Author Biography: Susie Lan Cassel teaches Literature and Writing Studies at California State University, San Marcos, specializing in Asian American and Multicultural American literature.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of The West
Considering the growing Asian presence in the Americas in the 21st century, this accessible and well-written volume is a timely addition to Chinese American studies, ethnic studies, immigration studies, Asian American history, as well as United States history, particularly historical studies of the West.
— G. Reginald Daniel
Booknews
Cassel (ethnic studies, California State U. at San Marcos) presents 24 essays that were selected from the Chinese Historical Society of San Diego and Baja California's Sixth Chinese American Conference (July, 1999). Contributors from the humanities explore issues of identity, adaptation, discrimination, exclusion, nationalism, and cultural exchange in discussions of Chinese immigrants to the United States from the earliest arrivals to current times. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Journal Of The West
Considering the growing Asian presence in the Americas in the 21st century, this accessible and well-written volume is a timely addition to Chinese American studies, ethnic studies, immigration studies, Asian American history, as well as United States history, particularly historical studies of the West.
— G. Reginald Daniel
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Susie Lan Cassel teaches Literature and Writing Studies at California State University, San Marcos, specializing in Asian American and Multicultural American literature.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction: One Hundred and Fifty Years of Chinese in America: The Politics of Polarity 1
1 The Social Origins of Early Chinese Immigrants: A Revisionist Perspective 21
2 Chinese Placer Mining in the United States: An Example from American Canyon, Nevada 37
3 To Inscribe the Self Daily: The Discovery of the Ah Quin Diary 54
4 Exploring New Frontiers in Chinese American History: The Anti-Chinese Riot in Milwaukee, 1889 77
5 Riot in Unionville, Nevada: A Turning Point 91
6 Telling Their Own Stories: Chinese Canadian Biography as a Historical Genre 106
7 The Recurrent Image of the Coolie: Representations of Chinese American Labor in American Periodicals, 1900-1924 124
8 The Rise and Fall of the Chinese Fisheries in California 140
9 The Seaweed Gatherers on the Central Coast of California 156
10 The Five Eras of Chinese Medicine in California 174
11 The Chinese Empire Reform Association (Baohuanghui) and the 1905 Anti-American Boycott: The Power of a Voluntary Association 195
12 Between Two Worlds: The Zhigongtang and Chinese American Funerary Rituals 217
13 Family and Culture in the Control of the Delinquent Chinese Boy in America 239
14 Unbound Feet: A Metaphor for the Transformation of the Chinese Immigrant Female in Chinese American Literature 260
15 Nationalism, Orientalism, and an Unequal Treatise of Ethnography: The Making of The Good Earth 274
16 The "In Search of Roots" Program: Constructing Identity through Family History Research and a Journey to the Ancestral Land 293
17 Ah Quin: One of San Diego's Founding Fathers 308
18 Contesting Identities: Youth Rebellion in San Francisco's Chinese New Year Festivals, 1953-1969 329
19 Mothers' "China Narrative": Recollection and Translation in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God's Wife 351
20 Finding the Right Gesture: Becoming Chinese American in Fae Myenne Ng's Bone 365
21 Archaeological Investigations of Life within the Woolen Mills Chinatown, San Jose 381
22 The Chinese Immigrants in Baja California: From the Cotton Fields to the City, 1920-1940 399
23 The Urban Pattern of Portland, Oregon's First Chinatown 416
24 The Diverse Nature of San Diego's Chinese American Communities 434
Index 449
About the Contributors 457
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