“Virtues do not all belong to the whites”: The Portrayals of Americanization and Miscegenation in Sui Sin Far’s Mrs. Spring Fragrance

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Papers/Presentations, United States on 2016-05-02 23:23Z by Steven

“Virtues do not all belong to the whites”: The Portrayals of Americanization and Miscegenation in Sui Sin Far’s Mrs. Spring Fragrance

SEGue: Symposium for English Graduate Students
The College at Brockport, State University of New York
18 pages

Jennifer Bradley
Villanova University

The works of Sui Sin Far, who is widely recognized as the first Asian-American writer, revolve around questions of identity that capture the dissenting voices surrounding Asian-American immigration. A biracial woman of Chinese and English descent, Sui Sin Far writes from a variety of perspectives in order to paint a picture of race relations between Chinese and Americans during a time of intense Sinophobia in the United States. This paper will consider how several of the stories in her collection Mrs. Spring Fragrance showcase central dilemmas of immigration and assimilation. Critics have examined Sui Sin Far’s portrayal of assimilation, but not through the comparative lenses of Americanization and miscegenation. Americanization entails the sharing and appreciation of American values, customs, and culture while miscegenation is characterized by the mixing and interbreeding of different races. In Mrs. Spring Fragrance, white characters tend to view Americanization favorably but regard miscegenation with horror and disgust. Moreover, biracial children of both Chinese and white descent are regarded with confusion and even repulsion. Through miscegenation, white identity mixes with, rather than dominates, Chinese identity. In Mrs. Spring Fragrance, Americanization is often encouraged by whites because it entails an effacement of Chinese heritage, but miscegenation is discouraged because it instead implies an equality of this same Chinese heritage. This paper will turn to the stories of “Mrs. Spring Fragrance,” “The Story of One White Woman Who Married a Chinese,” and “Her Chinese Husband” to examine the contrasting portrayals of Americanization and miscegenation and their implications in forming American culture and society.

Read the entire paper here.

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Anglo-Indians and Minority Politics in South Asia: Race, Boundary Making and Communal Nationalism

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy on 2016-05-01 18:35Z by Steven

Anglo-Indians and Minority Politics in South Asia: Race, Boundary Making and Communal Nationalism

256 pages
Hardback ISBN: 9781138847224

Uther Charlton-Stevens, Associate Professor
Institute of World Economy and Finance
Volgograd State University, Russia

Anglo-Indians are a mixed-race, Christian and Anglophone minority community which arose in India during the long period of European colonialism. An often neglected part of the British ‘Raj’, their presence complicates the traditional binary through which British imperialism in South Asia is viewed – of ruler and ruled, coloniser and colonised. This book looks at how Anglo-Indians illuminate the history of minority politics in the transition from British colonial rule in South Asia to independence.

The book analyses how the provisions in the Indian Constitution relating to Anglo-Indian cultural, linguistic and religious autonomy were implemented in the years following 1950. It discusses how effective the measures designed to protect Anglo-Indian employment by the state and Anglo-Indian educational institutions under the pressures of Indian national politics were. Presenting an in-depth account of this minority community in South Asia, this book will be of interest to those studying South Asian History, Colonial History and South Asian Politics.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. East Indians
  • 2. The ‘Eurasian Problem’
  • 3. Becoming Anglo-Indians
  • 4. Making a Minority
  • 5. Escapisms of Empire
  • 6. Constituting the Nation
  • 7. Conclusion
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The Digital Afterlife of Lost Family Photos

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, United States on 2016-05-01 17:18Z by Steven

The Digital Afterlife of Lost Family Photos

On Photography
The New York Times Magazine

Teju Cole

The backs of found photos from the writer’s “Mrs. X” collection. Credit Jens Mortensen for The New York Times

The photographs were Polaroids, taken between the 1970s and the 2000s. Zun Lee bought them at flea markets, at garage sales or on eBay. Most of them depicted African-Americans: people wearing stylish clothes, relaxing in the yard, celebrating birthdays. A few depicted people in prison uniforms. All the photographs had somehow been separated from their original owners and had become what Lee calls “orphaned Polaroids.”

Found photographs have long been important to artists like Lee. Photos taken by amateurs can sometimes acquire new value on account of their uniqueness, their age or simply the knowledge that they were once meaningful to a stranger. As part of a group, they can evoke a collector’s sensibility or tell us something about a historical period in a way professional photographs might not. For Lee, collecting found photographs of African-­Americans — a project he called “Fade Resistance” — had an additional and deeply personal meaning.

Lee was raised in Germany by Korean parents. In his 30s, his mother told him that the man who raised him was not his biological father. But because her relationship with that man, who was black, had been fleeting, she refused to tell her son more about him. This revelation, at once momentous and limited, changed Lee’s life. To make sense of his personal loss, and to explore his connectedness to black America, he took up photography. I became friends with Lee around the time he began making pictures of black fathers and their children in the Bronx and elsewhere; that project led to a book, “Father Figure,” for which I wrote a preface. Later, Lee began to collect the Polaroids — thousands of them — that ended up in “Fade Resistance.”…

Read the entire article here.

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The Life and Work of Doctor-Turned-Photographer Zun Lee

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Videos on 2016-05-01 01:08Z by Steven

The Life and Work of Doctor-Turned-Photographer Zun Lee


Michael Zhang, Founder & Co-Editor

By day, Zun Lee is a doctor in Toronto, Canada. When he’s not working, he’s often unwinding from stress with a camera in hand. As a self-taught photographer, his documentary and street projects have caught the eye of The New York Times, The New Yorker, Magnum, and more.

The 8-minute video above by Format’s InFrame is an inspiring look at Lee’s life and work.

Lee first got into photography in 2009 after a colleague gifted him with a camera…

Read the entire article here.

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Raising mixed race kids

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Oceania on 2016-05-01 00:13Z by Steven

Raising mixed race kids

Special Broadcasting Service Corporation
Melbourne, Australia

Ian Rose

The prospect of a family holiday has Ian Rose reflecting on the pleasures of bringing up mixed-race children, and the responsibility to keep them in touch with both cultures.

Let’s get this out there straight away. I am a pom. An unreconstructed, unapologetic, dyed-in-the-wool Englishman. I take tea in the morning, consider any code of football using a non-round ball to be knuckle-headed frippery, and I will automatically apologise if you stand on my foot.

Eight years and counting down-under has not made the slightest dent in my pomminess.

I was brought here by the love of an endlessly patient Vietnamese-Australian woman, a love that has borne hybrid fruit in the form of two children, now aged an exhausting five and six. They’re Aussie. But they’re English, too. And Vietnamese.

So this year, to connect them with that side of their heritage, we’ve decided to take a family holiday to Vietnam.

“Hey, kids,” I announce at the dinner table, partly to distract the boy from his greens.

“Guess where we’re going on holiday? To Vietnam! Yaaaaay!”

My daughter’s face falls into a gurn of displeasure.

“Awww,” she laments, “why can’t we go to England?”…

Read the entire article here.

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“Diversity” Won’t Challenge Jewry’s Role in White Supremacy

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Religion, United States on 2016-04-28 19:36Z by Steven

“Diversity” Won’t Challenge Jewry’s Role in White Supremacy

Jewschool: Progressive Jews & Views

Mark Tseng Putterman
New York, New York

In addition to my own mother, “Linda” was the only other Asian American woman at the Reform synagogue I grew up attending. It was a friendly, liberal, and white Jewish space in our affluent New England suburb, a space where I often felt welcome while always, at some level, aware that I could count the number of people of color in our synagogue on one hand. That didn’t stop my indomitable mother from becoming more and more invested in our Jewish community. But amidst her drive and commitment to her adopted community was a twinge of cynicism: when she became our temple’s president, she joked that she only did it so that people would finally stop confusing her with Linda.

I wonder — would our temple peers have been better able to decipher my mother’s “foreign” face  if there were simply more of us? Would a more diverse congregation have prepared our white, liberal, and colorblind community to address the realities of racism for Jewish youth of color like myself? To prepare my youth leader to unpack why El Al security singled me out for questioning during my 9th grade trip to Israel? Or to provide my white Jewish peer with the language with which to challenge the Hasidic man who questioned her of my presence on our flight there?…

Read the entire article here.

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Multiracial families socially excluded

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Science on 2016-04-26 20:28Z by Steven

Multiracial families socially excluded

The Korean Times

Kim Bo-eun

Multiracial family members in Korea have become more stabilized but continue to feel isolated due to obstacles in building relationships with locals, a survey shows.

According to a Statistics Korea’s survey of 17,849 multiracial households here, more immigrant brides and naturalized Koreans have trouble befriending Koreans than in 2012, when the last survey was conducted.

More than 30 percent of the respondents said they lacked social ties — they did not have anyone with whom they could discuss problems they need help with, or enjoy pastimes and spend their leisure time with.

More respondents said they felt lonely. And perhaps due to the lack of acquaintances and friends around them with whom they could share information, they also were found to have greater problems in raising their children here.

Trouble with relationships was not only limited to mothers with foreign backgrounds — the children were also found to have trouble finding close friends…

Read the entire article here.

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“Passing” “Presenting” & the Troubled Language of Mixed Race

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-04-21 19:48Z by Steven

“Passing” “Presenting” & the Troubled Language of Mixed Race

Multiracial Asian Families: thinking about race, families, children, and the intersection of mixed ID/Asian

Sharon H. Chang

I’m a light-skinned mixed race Asian/white woman. I don’t deny it. On my lightest day, in the deep of winter, under cover of endless Seattle clouds, I could definitely hold my arm next to some white people and almost match (though the tinting never seems quite right). Because I’m non-Black and light-skinned I am not vulnerable to police brutality, housing discrimination, hate crimes, excessive surveillance, racial bullying and assault, and the many, many forms of violent oppression acted upon visibly Brown and Black peoples every day. This is undoubtedly a privilege, one that I actively acknowledge and try to hold in constant consciousness and conscientiousness as I write about race and am involved in social justice work. My main responsibility is often going to be de-centering myself to make room for the voices of others most impacted; to listen, not lead; support and even sometimes leave spaces entirely because my presence may interrupt safety and sacredness.

And yet, these are the things that have been said to me recently by whites and people of color (POC), men and women, young and old:

What are you? Because if you had said you were white – I would’ve believed you.

Man! How do you people do that international thing??

Excuse me, I’m sorry, but can I ask what your mix is?

There is no pure Asian anymore.

You Asian? I need help with my gardening.

So what do you do?

Are you a flight attendant, stewardess?

While I always need to be aware of my light-skinned privileges, I also have to hold being read by others as “definitely not white” a lot of the time. That matters. I, like everyone else, am a racialized body in a racialized/racist place. I am not Brown or Black and it’s incumbent upon me to be eternally thoughtful about this. But I am not often seen as white either. Could I describe myself as white? I could try. But does that reflect who I am? Or how the world sees me? Or, more importantly, does it prepare me to deal with the racial-boundary policing I butt up against? Absolutely not.

So why am I starting to see so many mixed race peoples foreground their whiteness as more significant than their color – when the world around them doesn’t actually allow that?…

Read the entire article here.

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Mexican-Punjabis relation through dance

Posted in Arts, Asian Diaspora, History, Media Archive, United States on 2016-04-20 22:12Z by Steven

Mexican-Punjabis relation through dance


Megha Sharma

the performance held on 10th and 11th april credits: kalw.org

Mexican-Punjabi is a vanishing tribe

The United States had always been an open land to possibilities. It is visited by a huge number of immigrants every year. California which is not only a land of renowned universities, it consists of various fertile farmlands which gave opportunity to numerous Indians who wanted to have a hand in the agricultural field.

It is recorded that through Canada many people from Punjabi communities came here to grow peach and plums. However, restrictive immigration stratagem didn’t allow these outsiders to find a wife in their countries. As a result, what came out were interracial marriages of these refugees and the native Mexican women who used to work in the farms.

This gave rise to cultural amalgamation and this intermixing is now at the end of its league as the generations of this sub-culture are reaching the end of their lives. To overcome such a drastic loss a new dance series “Half and Halves” has been organised…

Read the entire article here.

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Negotiating Identities: Mixed Race Individuals in China, Japan, and Korea

Posted in Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, History, Live Events, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2016-04-14 02:11Z by Steven

Negotiating Identities: Mixed Race Individuals in China, Japan, and Korea

University of San Francisco
McLaren Complex – MC 250
2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, California 94117-1080
2016-04-14 through 2016-04-15

The University of San Francisco Center for Asia Pacific Studies is pleased to announce its spring symposium Negotiating Identities: Mixed-Race Individuals in China, Japan, and Korea, a conference to be held at the University of San Francisco on Thursday and Friday, April 14-15, 2016.

The highlight of the conference will be a keynote address by Emma Teng, Professor of History and Asian Civilizations, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

With this conference, the Center plans to provide a forum for academic discussions and the sharing of the latest research on the history and life experiences of mixed-race individuals in China, Japan, and Korea. The conference is designed to promote greater understanding of the cross-cultural encounters that led to the creation of interracial families and encourage research that examines how mixed-race individuals living in East Asia have negotiated their identities…

For more information and to register, click here.

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