The Chinese in Latin America and the Caribbean

Posted in Anthologies, Asian Diaspora, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Mexico on 2013-12-28 22:43Z by Steven

The Chinese in Latin America and the Caribbean

256 pages
Paperback ISBN13: 9789004182134
E-ISBN: 9789004193345

Edited by:

Walton Look Lai, Professor of Anthropology
Chinese University of Hong Kong

Chee-Beng Tan, former Lecturer in History
University of the West Indies, Trinidad & Tobago

The Chinese migration to the Latin America/Caribbean region is an understudied dimension of the Asian American experience. There are three distinct periods in the history of this migration: the early colonial period (pre-19th century), when the profitable three-century trade connection between Manila and Acapulco led to the first Asian migrations to Mexico and Peru; the classic migration period (19th to early twentieth centuries), marked by the coolie trade known to Chinese diaspora studies; and the renewed immigration of the late 20th century to the present. Written by specialists on the Chinese in Latin America and the Caribbean, this book tells the story of Asian migration to the Americas and contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of the Chinese in this important part of the world.


  • Introduction: The Chinese in Latin America and the Caribbean / Walton Look Lai
    • Chapter One Sinifying New Spain: Cathay’s Influence on Colonial Mexico via the Nao de China / Edward R. Slack, Jr.
    • Chapter Two Asian Diasporas and Tropical Migration in the Age of Empire: A Comparative Overview / Walton Look Lai
    • Chapter Three Indispensable Enemy or Convenient Scapegoat? A Critical Examination of Sinophobia in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1870s to 1930s / Evelyn Hu-DeHart
    • Chapter Four The Chinese of Central America: Diverse Beginnings, Common Achievements / St. John Robinson
    • Chapter Five Report: Archives of Biography and History in the God of Luck: A Conversation with Ruthanne Lum McCunn / Lisa Yun
    • Chapter Six Tusans (tusheng) and the Changing Chinese Community in Peru / Isabelle Lausent-Herrera
    • Chapter Seven Old Migrants, New Immigration and Anti-Chinese Discourse in Suriname / Paul B. Tjon Sie Fat
    • Chapter Eight The Revitalization of Havana’s Chinatown: Invoking Chinese Cuban History / Kathleen López
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La China Poblana and Other Constructions of Asian Latinos/as

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Asian Diaspora, Caribbean/Latin America, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Mexico on 2010-08-28 19:43Z by Steven

La China Poblana and Other Constructions of Asian Latinos/as

Clave: Counterdisciplinary Notes on Race, Power & the State
A Project of LatCrit Inc. and Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico
Summer 2006
22 pages

Evelyn Hu-DeHart, Professor of History, and Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America
Brown University

She is the same image that moves and captivates us in all the national celebrations, the same one who in foreign lands has inspired waves of enthusiasm, the same one who has made tears of intense emotion stream from our eyes, seeing her in North America or in Europe in festivals or in theaters marvelously execute the steps to the jarabe tapatío [Mexican Hat Dance] in her silk slippers conclude by finishing her typical dance with the ingenious steps of “El Palomo,” under the proud wing of the braid-trimmed sombrero of her charro [her male counterpart].

She is la china poblana (the Chinese woman of Puebla), “the national archtype for Mexican women,” a legend whose creation began in the twilight years of the nineteenth entury, accelerated during the 1920s in the immediate aftermath of the Mexican Revolution, quickly became institutionalized and even memorialized by a national monument in 1941. She is now widely recognized throughout Mexico and wherever Mexican people and commerce have ventured in the diaspora. How the national emblem of Mexican womanhood was linked to a china (read Chinese woman for now) is a question that begs to be asked. And when asked, most Mexicans can summon something about an Oriental princess who embroidered and wore the colorful blouses worn by their iconic symbol. Few seem aware, however, that the legend can be traced back to a seventeenth century immigrant/exile/expatriate (she could fit any of these categories of “outsider”) from Asia, a unique flesh-and-bone historical personality known as Catarina de San Juan. Although this figure from Asia had lived in New Spain during the early colonial period, and centuries later informed the construction of Mexico’s post-Revolutionary female national symbol, her place in the Mexican imagination has not led to general recognition of the Asian Latina as a cultural or social formation in Mexico. We shall return to this story and explain this strange paradox…

Read the entire article here.

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