Race, Nation, and Refuge: The Rhetoric of Race in Asian American Citizenship Cases

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, History, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2017-11-09 03:16Z by Steven

Race, Nation, and Refuge: The Rhetoric of Race in Asian American Citizenship Cases

State University of New York Press
October 2017
318 pages
Hardcover ISBN13: 978-1-4384-6661-3

Doug Coulson, Assistant Professor
Department of English
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Explores the role of rhetoric and the racial classification of Asian American immigrants in the early twentieth century.

From 1870 to 1940, racial eligibility for naturalization in the United States was limited to “free white persons” and “aliens of African nativity and persons of African descent,” and many interpreted these restrictions to reflect a policy of Asian exclusion based on the conclusion that Asians were neither white nor African. Because the distinction between white and Asian was considerably unstable, however, those charged with the interpretation and implementation of the naturalization act faced difficult racial classification questions. Through archival research and a close reading of the arguments contained in the documents of the US Bureau of Naturalization, especially those documents that discussed challenges to racial eligibility for naturalization, Doug Coulson demonstrates that the strategy of foregrounding shared external threats to the nation as a means of transcending perceived racial divisions was often more important to racial classification than legal doctrine. He argues that this was due to the rapid shifts in the nation’s enmities and alliances during the early twentieth century and the close relationship between race, nation, and sovereignty.

Table of Contents

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‘The Inscrutable Alexander Fitten’

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Biography, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-11-08 03:12Z by Steven

‘The Inscrutable Alexander Fitten’

The Atlanta Journal Constitution
2017-11-03

Marc Fitten

An excerpt from ‘We Wear the Mask: 15 True Stories of Passing in America.’ By Marc Fitten

My full legal name is Marc Jeffrie Fitten, but I have always disliked it. It’s like the skin tag hanging from my neck that I keep promising myself I will do something about.

Since I was 6, I have never been comfortable with hearing it spoken or saying it out loud. I have never identified with it. Ever since I was a child, everything in my DNA rejected this name. Probably because I instinctively knew it was a fake.

My real name is lost to my family and me. Lost for many reasons, but especially because along the way an ancestor realized his name gave away an ethnicity that was more trouble than it was worth. So he changed it. Twice. A shoemaker and a migrant who traveled around the Caribbean taking odd jobs, my half-Chinese great grandfather managed to hide his identity from the people around him and from his descendants for 100 years…


Marc Fitten looks at a recently discovered photo of his great grandfather, who Marc learned was part Chinese after his 2-year-old nephew was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease, an illness prone to Asians. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

…The twist is intriguing as well. While mixed-race African-Americans were passing as white in the United States, in the Caribbean, a Chinese Jamaican wanted to hide his name and ethnicity and for his children to pass as colored.

My great-grandfather — forever after known as Mr. Fitten — even had the good sense to die early, and so he took his secrets with him…

Read the entire article here.

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Miriam Allott Series 2017-18: Sarah Howe, TIDE Writer in Residence with Colm Toibin Fellow, Anthony Joseph

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Live Events, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2017-11-05 05:22Z by Steven

Miriam Allott Series 2017-18: Sarah Howe, TIDE Writer in Residence with Colm Toibin Fellow, Anthony Joseph

Travel, Transculturality, and Identity in England, c. 1550-1700 (TIDE)
2017-10-30

Sarah Howe, TIDE Writer in Residence, and TS Eliot Prize-winning author of Loop of Jade will read with University of Liverpool’s Colm Toibin Fellow in Creative Writing, the novelist Anthony Joseph.

Tuesday 14 November 5.30 pm, School of the Arts Library, 19 Abercromby Square.

Funded by the European Research Council and in association with the Centre for New and International Writing at the University of Liverpool.

For more information, click here.

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Celeste Ng: ‘It’s a novel about race, and class and privilege’

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2017-11-05 05:11Z by Steven

Celeste Ng: ‘It’s a novel about race, and class and privilege’

The Guardian
2017-11-04

Paul Laity


Celeste Ng … ‘I have an interest in the outsider.’ Photograph: Robert Gumpert for the Guardian

The books interview: the bestselling US author on family, fitting in and giving a voice to those without power in her new book, Little Fires Everywhere

Celeste Ng’s first novel Everything I Never Told You opens with 16-year-old Lydia Lee found drowned in a lake. She was her parents’ favourite, the opposite of a troublemaker, an innocent. How did it happen, who was responsible for her death? And can the family survive?

The mystery of Lydia’s fate propels the narrative, which is tightly focused on one couple and their mixed-race children in 1970s suburban America – the secrets that have been kept, the hopes dashed, the sense of not fitting in. A page-turning literary thriller that is also a thought-provoking exploration of parenthood and family life, the novel enjoyed huge success – critics’ accolades, big sales and selection by Amazon editors as their 2014 book of the year.

Ng’s follow-up, Little Fires Everywhere, also begins memorably, with a large, elegant house on an affluent street in flames. It belongs to Elena and Bill Richardson, a picture-perfect married couple with four teenage kids. “The firemen said there were little fires everywhere,” one of the children reports: “Multiple points of origin. Possible use of accelerant. Not an accident.” Another mystery: who did it and why? On the same day, bohemian Mia Warren and her daughter Pearl, who have become closely entangled with the Richardsons, pack up and leave town…

…Ng’s husband is white; they have a biracial son, and her first novel is interested too in the idea of feeling “other” even within one’s own family – how two parents can view the same events in contrasting ways. There are occasions when Ng and her husband are still brought up short by the realisation they have “lived in two different worlds”. At moments of tension – one incident at airport security, for instance, or another while getting their son a passport – he assumes he’ll be given the benefit of the doubt, she says, whereas “my understanding is that you have to toe the line or you’ll be in trouble”…

Read the entire article here.

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Call for Essays: Shades of Prejudice: Asian American Women on Colorism in America from NYU Press, Edited by Nikki Khanna (Forthcoming 2018)

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Forthcoming Media, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers, Women on 2017-10-17 02:34Z by Steven

Call for Essays: Shades of Prejudice: Asian American Women on Colorism in America from NYU Press, Edited by Nikki Khanna (Forthcoming 2018)

Nikki Khanna, Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Vermont
Department of Sociology
31 South Prospect Street
Burlington, Vermont 05405
Telephone: (802) 656-2162

2017-07-06

DEADLINE: Manuscripts will be accepted on a rolling basis, though the final deadline is OCTOBER 31, 2017.

I am pleased to announce an open submission call for my forthcoming anthology from New York University Press, SHADES OF PREJUDICE, a collection of essays written by Asian American women about their personal experiences with colorism.

Colorism is the practice of discrimination whereby light skin is privileged over dark, and is a global issue affecting racial groups worldwide. Colorism exists is just about every part of Asia and affects Asian diasporas, including most Asian American communities—including those descended from Southeast Asia (e.g., India, Pakistan, Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia), but also those from Japan, China, and other parts of Eastern Asia.

I am looking for Asian American women (including multiracial American women with Asian ancestry) to share their personal experiences with colorismhow has your skin shade (and other “racialized” physical features like eye color, eye shape, and other facial features) influenced your life?

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES:

  • Submissions should be sent to: nkhanna@uvm.edu (in the subject heading, please type in all-caps: SHADES OF PREJUDICE SUBMISSION)
  • Please send your personal narrative as a Microsoft® Word document and label your document: “LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME.doc.”
  • Essays should be approximately 1,000-2,500 words, double-spaced, and Times New Roman font.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Nikki Khanna is an associate professor of Sociology at the University of Vermont and has written extensively on issues regarding race. You can read more about the author here: www.nikkikhanna.com and http://www.uvm.edu/sociology/faculty/faculty_bios/Khanna/.

HERE ARE SOME IDEAS OF QUESTIONS THAT YOU MAY WANT TO ADDRESS:

  • What do you consider (physically) beautiful and why? Where does your image of beauty come from? (family, friends, media, or somewhere else?)
  • What is the importance of skin shade in your Asian ethnic community and how has this affected your life? For example, has it had an effect on dating or finding a mate? Has it influenced your interactions or relationships with family members or others? Has it affected any of your life opportunities? (job, education, etc.?).
  • How did you learn that light skin was preferred over dark skin in your Asian ethnic community? Can you provide specific examples?
  • Have you personally benefitted from having light skin? If so, how so? Is there a particular experience that you can share?
  • How have your family, community, peers, friends, media or others reinforced the stereotype that light skin is somehow more desirable than dark skin?
  • Have you felt pressure to use products designed to lighten or whiten your skin? If yes, why and what types of products? What has your experiences been with these products? How do you feel about whitening products?
  • Have you tried any other means to lighten or change the shade of your skin?
  • Have you felt pressure from your ethnic community or larger American society to conform to particular beauty standards? How so? Explain.
  • Have you struggled with, resisted, or actively challenged the “light is beautiful” message? How so?
  • Have other physical/facial characteristics (those that are often related to race) had an influence on your life (e.g., your eye color, eye shape, nose shape)?
  • Have you felt pressure to surgically alter any of your physical features to conform to a particular beauty standard in your Asian ethnic community or in larger American society (e.g., eyelid surgery)? Explain.
  • Do you think light skin is seen as desirable because some people desire to look/be white, because light skin is related to social class or caste, or to something else? Why? What in your personal life has informed the way you explain why light skin is considered more desirable than dark?
  • Do you think the impact of your skin color on your life is influenced by other factors – such as your gender, social class/caste, ethnic group, generation, or other factors? For example, do you think skin color more so affects women than men? Why or why not? Do you think that your experiences are similar or different to male family members or men in your Asian ethnic community? Do you think your generation (whether you are 1st, 2nd, 3rd or later generation Asian American) has influenced the importance of skin color in your life?
  • Did growing up in America challenge or reinforce the idea that light skin is better than dark? How so? Could you share a particular example? Relatedly, how have American beauty standards affected your vision of what is considered beautiful and how does this related to beauty standards in your ethnic community? Are those standards complementary or contradictory?

For more information, click here.

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We Wear the Mask: 15 Stories about Passing in America

Posted in Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Books, Gay & Lesbian, History, Judaism, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Passing, Religion on 2017-10-17 01:52Z by Steven

We Wear the Mask: 15 Stories about Passing in America

Beacon Press
2017-10-10
224 Pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-080707898-3
Ebook ISBN 978-080707899-0
Size: 5.5 x 8.5 Inches

Edited by:

Brando Skyhorse, Associate Professor of English
Indiana University, Bloomington

Lisa Page, Acting Director of Creative Writing
George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Fifteen writers reveal their diverse experiences with passing, including racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, gender, and economic.

American history is filled with innumerable examples of “passing.” Why do people pass? The reasons are manifold: opportunity, access, safety, adventure, agency, fear, trauma, shame. Some pass to advance themselves or their loved ones to what they perceive is a better quality of life.

Edited by authors Brando Skyhorse and Lisa Page, We Wear the Mask is a groundbreaking anthology featuring fifteen essays—fourteen of them original—that examine passing in multifaceted ways. Skyhorse, a Mexican American, writes about how his mother passed him as an American Indian before he gradually learned and accepted who—and what—he really is. Page writes about her mother passing as a white woman without a black ex-husband or biracial children. The anthology also includes essays by Marc Fitten, whose grandfather, a Chinese Jamaican, wanted to hide his name and ethnicity and for his children to pass as “colored” in the Caribbean; Achy Obejas, a queer Jewish Cuban woman who discovers that in Hawaii she is considered white. There’s M. G. Lord, who passes for heterosexual after her lesbian lover is killed; Patrick Rosal, who, without meaning to, “passes” as a waiter at the National Book Awards ceremony; and Sergio Troncoso, a Latino man, who passes for white at an internship on Capitol Hill. These and other compelling essays reveal the complex reality of passing in America.

Other contributors include:

  • Teresa Wiltz, who portrays how she navigated racial ambiguity while growing up in Staten Island, NY
  • Trey Ellis, the author of “The New Black Aesthetic,” who recollects his diverse experiences with passing in school settings
  • Margo Jefferson, whose parents invite her uncle, a light-complexioned black man, to dinner after he stops passing as white
  • Dolen Perkins-Valdez, who explores how the glorification of the Confederacy in the United States is an act of “historical passing”
  • Gabrielle Bellot, who feels the disquieting truths of passing as a woman in the world after coming out as trans
  • Clarence Page, who interrogates the phenomenon of “economic passing” in the context of race
  • Susan Golomb, a Jewish woman who reflects on the dilemma of having an identity that is often invisible
  • Rafia Zakaria, a woman who hides her Muslim American identity as a strategy to avoid surveillance at the airport
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Mixed Family Life in the UK: An Ethnographic Study of Japanese-British Families

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Family/Parenting, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United Kingdom on 2017-10-17 01:52Z by Steven

Mixed Family Life in the UK: An Ethnographic Study of Japanese-British Families

Palgrave Macmillan
2017-09-08
158 Pages
Hardcover ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-3319577555
eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-57756-2
DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-57756-2

M. Nakamura Lopez, Sociologist and Freelance writer

  • Explores the challenges and rewards associated with the intergenerational transmission of culture in mixed families
  • Covers a range of topics including food, language and friendship
  • Captures mixed families’ everyday experiences

This book offers a nuanced picture of mixed family life in the UK. Specifically, the book explores how parents from different backgrounds create a place of belonging for their children, while also negotiating difference and attempting to transmit various aspects of their cultures, including religion, hobbies, language and food to their mixed children. Based on data collected from 26 months of fieldwork, the author concludes that the intergenerational transmission of culture, instead of being tied to the idea of “national culture”, is actually more organic and fluid, allowing individuals to share their “cultures”, from traditions and customs to preferences and habits, with the next generation.

As mixedness increasingly becomes the norm in our global society, the book will be of interest to students and scholars of race, ethnicity and family studies, as well as social workers, school teachers, counsellors, and parents and kin of mixed children.

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Hapa-palooza fosters cross-cultural knowledge and celebration

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Canada, Media Archive on 2017-09-21 19:03Z by Steven

Hapa-palooza fosters cross-cultural knowledge and celebration

Westender: Everything Vancouver
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
2017-09-20

Tessa Vikander


Participants dance during the family day portion of last year’s Hapa Palooza festival, celebrating mixed race backgrounds. — Contributed photo

Mixed-race artists use hybrid experience as creative spring-board

“Halfers” are one of the fastest growing population groups and their experiences are informing a fresh wave of creativity, says Jeff Chiba Stearns, co-founder of the Hapa-palooza festival.

Now in its seventh year, the annual festival celebrating people of mixed backgrounds will hit Vancouver this weekend, providing space for celebration as well as discussion on the nuances of hybrid identity.

“Don’t think of us as a special little subset of the Canadian community or demographic, but we’re actually growing – we’re one of the fastest growing demographics,” Chiba Stearns says.

Carleigh Baker

Read the entire article here.

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The Anglo Indians: A 500-year History

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2017-09-17 03:25Z by Steven

The Anglo Indians: A 500-year History

Niyogi Books
2014
228 pages
275 black and white photographs
Size: 232 x 150mm
70 gsm book printing paper
Flexiback ISBN: 978-93-81523-76-6

S. Muthiah and Harry MacLure

The Book reveals that small though it be, the Anglo Indians are a community with a great heritage. It is a story of disappointments and of hopes, of uncertainty being a part of their lives from the day they were born. It is also the story of a people who found happiness and satisfaction in the various niches they were fitted into.

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Becoming Sui Sin Far: Early Fiction, Journalism, and Travel Writing by Edith Maude Eaton

Posted in Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Books, Canada, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2017-09-06 03:43Z by Steven

Becoming Sui Sin Far: Early Fiction, Journalism, and Travel Writing by Edith Maude Eaton

McGill-Queen’s University Press
July 2016
352 pages
6 x 9
ISBN: 9780773547223

Edited by:

Mary Chapman, Professor of English
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Newly discovered works by one of the earliest Asian North American writers.

When her 1912 story collection, Mrs. Spring Fragrance, was rescued from obscurity in the 1990s, scholars were quick to celebrate Sui Sin Far as a pioneering chronicler of Asian American Chinatowns. Newly discovered works, however, reveal that Edith Eaton (1865-1914) published on a wide variety of subjects—and under numerous pseudonyms—in Canada and Jamaica for a decade before she began writing Chinatown fiction signed “Sui Sin Far” for US magazines. Born in England to a Chinese mother and a British father, and raised in Montreal, Edith Eaton is a complex transnational writer whose expanded oeuvre demands reconsideration.

Becoming Sui Sin Far collects and contextualizes seventy of Eaton’s early works, most of which have not been republished since they first appeared in turn-of-the-century periodicals. These works of fiction and journalism, in diverse styles and from a variety of perspectives, document Eaton’s early career as a short story writer, “stunt-girl” journalist, ethnographer, political commentator, and travel writer. Showcasing her playful humour, savage wit, and deep sympathy, the texts included in this volume assert a significant place for Eaton in North American literary history. Mary Chapman’s introduction provides an insightful and readable overview of Eaton’s transnational career. The volume also includes an expanded bibliography that lists over two hundred and sixty works attributed to Eaton, a detailed biographical timeline, and a newly discovered interview with Eaton from the year in which she first adopted the orientalist pseudonym for which she is best known.

Becoming Sui Sin Far significantly expands our understanding of the themes and topics that defined Eaton’s oeuvre and will interest scholars and students of Canadian, American, Asian North American, and ethnic literatures and history.

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