“A new American comes ‘home’”: Race, nation, and the immigration of Korean War adoptees, “GI babies,” and brides

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Dissertations, Media Archive, United States on 2011-09-29 00:45Z by Steven

“A new American comes ‘home’”: Race, nation, and the immigration of Korean War adoptees, “GI babies,” and brides

Yale University
May 2010
355 pages
Publication Number: AAT 3395980
ISBN: 9781109588873

Susie Woo

A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Yale University
in Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

Between 1950 and 1965, an estimated 2000 Korean children, 3500 mixed-race “GI babies,” and 7700 military brides entered the United States as the sons, daughters and wives of predominantly white, middle-class families. Together, they signaled the corporeal return of U.S. neocolonial endeavors in South Korea stateside, and embodied the possibilities and limits of Cold War liberalism. Through analysis of U.S. and South Korean government records, archival documents, mainstream and minority press, and interviews with Korean wartime orphanage employees, this dissertation focuses on the living legacies of a “forgotten war.” It traces the roots and routes of Korean and mixed-race adoptee and war bride immigration that were intimately shaped by ordinary Americans at work in South Korea between 1950 and 1965, and the complex political, social, and legal effects that this gendered and raced immigrant group had upon both countries.

This dissertation argues that the U.S. servicemen, missionaries, social workers, and voluntary aid workers, the latter three that flooded South Korea to spearhead the postwar recovery campaign, advocated for the legal and binding formation of mixed Korean/American families and brought empire home. Ironically, by adhering to its government’s cultural policy of integration intended to bolster U.S. expansionist and Cold War efforts, enthusiastic internationalist citizens tethered Americans at home to South Koreans in sentimental, material, and, eventually, familial ways that unraveled the government’s ability to contain its neocolonial objectives “over there.” Thus, by being American, U.S. citizens profoundly affected both sides of the Pacific—they forever changed the lives of thousands of Korean women and children, permanently shaped South Korea’s child welfare system, and unexpectedly forced openings in U.S. national and familial borders subsequently challenging Americans at home to broaden their conceptions of race, kinship, gender, sexuality, and national belonging during the tumultuous Cold War/civil rights era.

Table of Contents

  • INTRODUCTION: On Being American
  • CHAPTER ONE: Wartime Sentiment: American GI’s and the Militarization of Korean Women and Children
  • CHAPTER TWO: Picturing the Korean “Waif: American Campaigns of Rescue
  • CHAPTER THREE: Private Matters of Public Concern: U.S. Social and Legal Management of Korean Adoptee Immigrants
  • CHAPTER FOUR: A “Pre”-History of Korean War Adoptions: Racial and Institutional Legacies of Neocolonial Care in South Korea
  • CHAPTER FIVE: Model Minority or Miscegenation Threat?: The Cultural Domestication of Korean War Immigrants
  • CONCLUSION: Mixed Kin: U.S. Neocolonial Legacies at Home and Abroad

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Professor Michele Elam to be Featured Guest on Mixed Chicks Chat

Posted in Audio, Interviews, Live Events, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2011-09-29 00:01Z by Steven

Professor Michelle Elam to be Featured Guest on Mixed Chicks Chat

Mixed Chicks Chat (The only live weekly show about being racially and culturally mixed. Also, founders of the Mixed Roots Film & Literary Festival) Hosted by Fanshen Cox, Heidi W. Durrow and Jennifer Frappier
Website: TalkShoe™ (Keywords: Mixed Chicks)
Episode: #227 – Professor Michele Elam
When: Wednesday, 2011-09-28, 21:00Z (17:00 EDT, 14:00 PDT)

Michele Elam, Martin Luther King, Jr. Centennial Professor of English and Olivier Nomellini Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education
Stanford University

Mixed Chicks Chat will be talking with Michele Elam about her work on mixed-race identity and her new book, The Souls of Mixed Folks: Race, Aesthetics & Politics in the New Millenium which examines representations of mixed race in literature and the arts that redefine new millennial aesthetics and politics. Focusing on black-white mixes, Elam analyzes expressive works—novels, drama, graphic narrative, late-night television, art installations—as artistic rejoinders to the perception that post-Civil Rights politics are bereft and post-Black art is apolitical. Reorienting attention to the cultural invention of mixed race from the social sciences to the humanities, Elam considers the creative work of Lezley Saar, Aaron McGruder, Nate Creekmore, Danzy Senna, Colson Whitehead, Emily Raboteau, Carl Hancock Rux, and Dave Chappelle. All these writers and artists address mixed race as both an aesthetic challenge and a social concern, and together, they gesture toward a poetics of social justice for the “mulatto millennium.”

Listen to the episode here.  Download the episode here.

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The Politics of Mothering in a “Mixed” Family: An Autoethnographic Exploration

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Family/Parenting, Judaism, Media Archive, Religion on 2011-09-28 00:34Z by Steven

The Politics of Mothering in a “Mixed” Family: An Autoethnographic Exploration

Volume 12, Issue 4, 2005
pages 479-503
DOI: 10.1080/10702890500332642

Nora Lester Murad, Founder and Executive Director
Dalia Association

Interweaving excerpts from her personal journal with research and literature about mixed race, interfaith, and bicultural experience, Nora Lester Murad uses autoethnographic methods to explore the experience of mothering in an American–Jewish and Palestinian–Muslim family. She pushes theoretical discussion beyond the experiences of “mixed” people to consider how the identity of otherwise monoracial/ monocultural parents may be transformed through the experience of parenting across socially/politically significant differences, particularly, national origin, culture, and faith. She also extends theoretical discussion beyond the confines of identity to consider parenting as a political process with an impact within and beyond families.

Perhaps there is a place I have not yet imagined where exiles and strangers gather, racial hybrids of consciousness which can run as thick as blood, who out of necessity make the effort to rename what it means to belong (Lazarre 1996: 51).

Family politics

My eldest daughter. Serene, met her grandparents on her father’s side for the first time in 1997, when she was one year old. It was her first trip outside of the United States to visit my husband Hani’s village in the Arab sector of Northern Israel. It was her first time being surrounded by Palestinian Muslims.

I vividly remember watching my little angel standing on the balcony off the sitting room. She was so focused, so grounded, so totally at home as she stared toward the olive-tree-covered mountain behind the house. I remember my own amazement—and fear—as I realized that this is…

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Brown Bag: Mixed-race tension in early America

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2011-09-27 20:45Z by Steven

Brown Bag: Mixed-race tension in early America

The Daily Campus: The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915
Dallas, Texas

Logan May

The struggle of mixed race families in Southwest America was a daunting issue in the early 19th century.

As part of the Brown Bag Lecture Series of the Southwest, SMU Director of Southwest Studies Andrew Graybill shared a detailed account of a mixed White-Native American family from Montana who faced an exponential amount of racial discrimination.

In the Texana Room of DeGolyer Library Wednesday afternoon, listeners gathered and silently snacked on their lunches as Graybill spoke of the Clarke family.

“To walk in two worlds was impossible,” Graybill said, “whites looked at mixed blood with repulsion.”

His book, entitled A Mixture of So Many Bloods, recalled the life of Helen Clarke and the backlash she received for being the daughter of a white man and a Native American woman. At this time in the early 1800s, marriage within the two races was common, and children served as brokers between the two groups. Helen’s father had a prominent role as a fur trader; therefore, the family was often the talk of the town…

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Genetic Counseling: For children of mixed racial ancestry

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, United States on 2011-09-27 04:55Z by Steven

Genetic Counseling: For children of mixed racial ancestry

Biodemography and Social Biology
Volume 8, Issue 3, 1961
pages 157-163
DOI: 10.1080/19485565.1961.9987478

Sheldon C. Reed, Director
Dight Institute for Human Genetics
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Esther B. Nordlie
Dight Institute for Human Genetics
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis


The editors of this journal have been interested in genetic counseling because it is a major practical application of the results of research in human genetics. It is reasonable to assume that genetic counseling may also have some relationship to eugenics, though there is nothing known as to exactly what this relationship may be.

Genetic counseling should be helpful to those who ask for it. The understanding of any problem is the first step toward its solution. Understanding of the problem removes some of the attendant anxiety, even if the solution is unpleasant. There should be less anxiety after genetic counseling than before it has occurred, and the clients indicate in many ways that it is useful to them. The relationship between genetic counseling and eugenics is certainly ambiguous. It is my impression that the relief of anxiety concerning the likelihood of a repetition of an abnormality results in increased reproduction of the parents of the affected children. If this is true, the frequency of any genes responsible for the abnormality would be increased, though slightly, in the population, which would be a dysgenic process. The increased reproduction of the parents of the anomalous children should also increase the frequency of any genes related to the attributes of responsible parenthood which should have positive eugenic benefits. It is not clear to me whether the net result of these opposing tendencies is eugenic or dysgenic. The dysgenic effect is to increase slightly the pool of rare genes for abnormalities which are infrequent, while the slight increase in the supply of genes related to responsible parenthood would be less significant percentage-wise because such genes arc presumed to be more frequent in the population. If genes related to responsible parenthood do not exist, one can only conclude that genetic counseling may well be dysgenic Genetic counseling at present would seem to be liable to the suspicion that it is dysgenic. This effect may be too trivial to warrant consideration. Hopefully, the obvious benefits to the parents who come for counseling outweigh the possible dysgenic costs to society as a whole. The only alternative to genetic counseling is the refusal to impart whatever information research in human genetics has discovered; such a philosophy would be deplorable. Genetic counseling has a function and is here to stay. It is the intention of the editors to present articles by other genetic counselors from time to time. Presumably these articles will cover particular areas of counseling with which they have had extensive experience.


Wc have had considerable experience at the Dight Institute in working with adoption agencies in the placement of children of mixed racial ancestry. Mrs. Esther Nordlie (1961) and I have just completed a follow-up of the results of the placement of such children and will summarize the results here, as this is the first study of its kind. It is probable that genetic counselors will be increasingly occupied with this topic as interracial unions are likely to continue in the United States. The casual unions often result in children who become available for adoption. . . .

The problem of placing “pure” Negro, Indian or Mexican children is difficult only because few families of these minority groups request children for adoption. Ordinarily, no attempt would be made to place these babies in Caucasian families as the child or the adoptive parents would probably find social adjustment too difficult. However, children of mixed racial origin may “pass for white” or resemble the Caucasian adoptive parents sufficiently so that placement in a white family is feasible. Such placement is desirable for the child as the socioeconomic environment is assumed to be more favorable there. This would be true only if the racial appearance of the child would permit acceptance in the white community. Many white couples are desperately anxious to adopt children. Some are sufficiently free from racial prejudices to be able to adopt children of mixed racial ancestry, if a reasonable “match” between child and adoptive parents can be made. The critical prediction rests with the geneticist (or anthropologist) who must project the appearance of a small baby ahead to the child of five or six when entering school…

One would suppose that predicting the chances for a child to “pass for white” would be quite simple. Such, however, is not the case. The main difficulty is that these traits, when present in the racial hybrid, may not be apparent in an infant but develop over the years. Hair texture and skin color are the most important traits and at the same time the most difficult to predict. The baby may have no hair; it is well known that babies with considerable Negro ancestry may look quite light at birth and darken considerably during childhood. The geneticist is thus vulnerable to mistakes in his predictions as to the future appearance of the baby. One could take the attitude that unless the geneticist can make his prediction with certainty he should not enter the picture at all. Such reasoning is absurd. The baby is in the custody of the adoption agency and the agency must make some provision for this child.

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Women of Mixed Racial Heritage Wanted for Research Study

Posted in United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers, Women on 2011-09-27 03:00Z by Steven

I am a third-year doctoral student in counseling psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University and I am currently working on a study exploring the experiences of biracial and multiracial women. I am looking for women who are 18 years old or older and of mixed racial heritage to participate in a one hour confidential interview. Please contact me if you interested in participating in my study.

For more information, contact Susan Mao at susanemao@gmail.com.

Supremacy by Law: The One Man One Woman Marriage Requirement and Antimiscegenation Law

Posted in Articles, Gay & Lesbian, Law, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2011-09-27 02:13Z by Steven

Supremacy by Law: The One Man One Woman Marriage Requirement and Antimiscegenation Law

Journal of Bisexuality
Volume 7, Issue 3-4, 2008
pages 145-169
DOI: 10.1080/15299710802170771

Jacqueline Battalora, Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice
Saint Xavier University, Orland Park, Illinois

This article is concerned with epistemology and the assertion of supremacy. Focusing on the resources deployed to make marriage restrictions logical, this article investigates their descriptive and structural underpinnings. I juxtapose support for the Defense of Marriage Act and Federal Marriage Amendment with antimiscegenation case law and examine descriptions of fact, the patterns they shape, and the underlying structure that holds them together. These laws are an arena of contestation not only over policy choices but over God and nature, and ultimately difference. I pay attention to the ways in which constructions of difference work to exclude and erase and I argue that these laws share a common structure of supremacy. Dualistic constructions of difference work to erase those whose bodies threaten the clear lines that justify exclusion by law. Those who are multiracial, where whiteness is a contributor, and those who are bisexual represent such a threat to racial marriage bans on the one hand and same sex marriage bans on the other. The formula of difference-making, erasure, and supremacy in law has important implications not only for challenging marriage restrictions today but to measure future law and policy.

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Training for assimilation: Cecil cook and the ‘half‐caste’ apprentice regulations

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Oceania, Politics/Public Policy on 2011-09-27 01:45Z by Steven

Training for assimilation: Cecil cook and the ‘half‐caste’ apprentice regulations

Melbourne Studies in Education (Currently known as Critical Studies in Education)
Volume 29, Issue 1 (1987)
pages 128-141
DOI: 10.1080/17508488709556226

Tony Austin
Darwin Institute of Technology

One of the most significant consequences of the colonisation of Aboriginal Australia was a fast growing population of people of mixed Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal descent, known as ‘Half-castes’. As the increase in numbers became pronounced. Half-castes were vilified more vehemently even than other Aborigines. However, popular contempt was tinged with shame that children, fathered by Europeans and so with a mix of White blood, were left to be brought up as ‘savages’ in the bush or on the fringes of settlement. Hence legislation for the protection and control of Aborigines included special provision for Half-castes: they were to be given an improved chance to assimilate to White Australia.

This paper describes one attempt in the Northern Territory during the 1930s to prepare young people for assimilation—an apprenticeship scheme for Half-caste pastoral workers. The scheme is viewed in the context of Commonwealth Government policy for Half-castes and prevailing views about the intellectual capacity of Aborigines and Half-castes.

Social Darwinism and Aboriginal Intelligence

From the earliest days of Commonwealth control of the Northern Territory progressive officials with anthropological interests, like Chief Protectors Herbert Basedow and Baldwin Spencer had included in their policy proposals education and training for Aborigines and especially for Half-castes who were considered to be intellectually superior to other Aborigines. But these proposals were barely acted upon. In addition to general Commonwealth neglect of Aborigines and intermittent military and financial crises, the reason is to be found in Australian views about Aborigines’ intelligence.

Basedow and Spencer, in ascribing intellectual prowess (however limited) to Aborigines, were out of step with anthropological opinion. Late nineteenth century British, American and Australian anthropologists disseminated the belief that the Scale of Nature had become rigid, making progress for certain peoples impossible and so consigning them to a permanent place of inferiority in the struggle for survival. Such theories of evolutionary arrest, coupled with A.R. Wallace’s contention that moral and mental evolution had largely replaced physical evolution made the link between ‘savages’ and the apes, or at best with Neanderthal and Engis humans, conventional anthropological wisdom.

In Australia, ethnocentric Europeans reasoned that cessation of cultural evolution was demonstrated by Aborigines’ lack of recognisable institutions, rulers, morality, religion, parental pride, sense of humour or responsible treatment of the ‘fair sex’. Cultural discontinuity, it was argued, was a clear indication of intellectual inferiority. As [Charles] C. Staniland Wake put it, Aborigines ‘represent the childhood of humanity itself, revealing to us the condition of mankind, if not in primeval times, yet when the original potentialities of man’s being had been slightly developed by the struggle for existence’ Scientific substance for this view was provided by craniologists who alleged that Aboriginal brains were primitive and incapable of matching the power of those of the ‘higher races’. Features of Aboriginal brains were said to show an ‘infantile character… a type of anomaly which is referable to persistence of an immature (even a foetal) condition’.

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A Review of “Mixed Race Hollywood”

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, United States on 2011-09-26 22:48Z by Steven

A Review of “Mixed Race Hollywood”

Quarterly Review of Film and Video
Volume 28, Issue 5 (2011)
pages 428-433
DOI: 10.1080/10509200902820589

Delia Konzett, Associate Professor of English
University of New Hampshire

Mixed Race Hollywood, edited by Mary Beltrán and Camilla Fojas. New York: New York University Press, 2008

The problem of the 20th century, W. E. B. Dubois would famously write in 1903, is that of the color line. Over 100 years later, we can unfortunately still say the problem of the 21st century is the color line, particularly our inability to move beyond entrenched binary conceptions of race (white/black or white/nonwhite) and acknowledge the new multiracial contexts that inform our present global, multicultural, and multimedia era. Mixed Race Hollywood is a timely and extremely valuable collection of essays that explores the various facets of the history of mixed race representation in mainstream American film and media.

Such representation has a long and complex tradition in Hollywood, ranging from the notorious depiction of the treacherous mulatto in Birth of a Nation (D. W. Griffith, 1915) and the non-threatening interracial pairing of Shirley Temple and Bojangles Robinson in The Little Colonel (David Butler, 1935) and The Littlest Rebel (David Butler, 1935) to the mixed race love affair in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (Stanley Kramer, 1967) that symbolically announced the arrival proper of civil rights. Since the mid 1990s, as the anthology’s editors Mary Beltrán and Camilla Fojas note, there has been a significant cultural shift in mixed race representation as seen in the “veritable explosion of multiracial imagery in…

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I’m Biracial—Not Black: Brooklyn Savvy Takes on Race

Posted in Barack Obama, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Videos, Women on 2011-09-26 22:14Z by Steven

I’m Biracial—Not Black: Brooklyn Savvy Takes on Race

Brooklyn Savvy

Toni Williams, Host and Co-Executive Producer

Brooklyn Savvy takes on the complex topic of being “Biracial in America” with Juliette Fairley, actress and playwright of the “Mulatto Saga.” Join this riveting, candid discussion of Juliette’s journey as she discovers, and grapples with her mixed race identity. We discuss the changing social construct and President Barack Obama’s impact on the socio-political landscape for biracial people in America. The Savvy panel takes a hard look at what has changed.
And, a special note to our viewers, please let us know what you think of the show-this is not ordinary television. Join Host Toni Williams, and panelists, Karen Auster, Lisa Bing and Ellen Salpeter as we deal with an issue that is seldom discussed with this degree of authenticity!

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