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.

Tags: , , , , ,

From White to Yellow: The Japanese in European Racial Thought, 1300-1735

Posted in Books, Europe, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2016-08-22 23:44Z by Steven

From White to Yellow: The Japanese in European Racial Thought, 1300-1735

McGill-Queen’s University Press
November 2014
712 Pages, 6 x 9
32 b&w photos
ISBN: 9780773544550

Rotem Kowner, Professor
Department of Asian Studies
University of Haifa, Mount Carmel, Haifa, Israel

An examination of the evolution of European racial views of the Japanese.

When Europeans first landed in Japan they encountered people they perceived as white-skinned and highly civilized, but these impressions did not endure. Gradually the Europeans’ positive impressions faded away and Japanese were seen as yellow-skinned and relatively inferior.

Accounting for this dramatic transformation, From White to Yellow is a groundbreaking study of the evolution of European interpretations of the Japanese and the emergence of discourses about race in early modern Europe. Transcending the conventional focus on Africans and Jews within the rise of modern racism, Rotem Kowner demonstrates that the invention of race did not emerge in a vacuum in eighteenth-century Europe, but rather was a direct product of earlier discourses of the “Other.” This compelling study indicates that the racial discourse on the Japanese, alongside the Chinese, played a major role in the rise of the modern concept of race. While challenging Europe’s self-possession and sense of centrality, the discourse delayed the eventual consolidation of a hierarchical worldview in which Europeans stood immutably at the apex.

Drawing from a vast array of primary sources, From White to Yellow traces the racial roots of the modern clash between Japan and the West.

Table of Contents

  • Figures
  • Note on Translations and Conventions
  • Acknowledgments
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • PHASE ONE SPECULATION: Pre-Encounter Knowledge of the Japanese (1300-1543)
    • 1 The Emergence of “Cipangu” and Its Precursory Ethnography
    • 2 The “Cipanguese” at the Opening of the Age of Discovery
  • PHASE TWO OBSERVATION: A Burgeoning Discourse of Initial Encounters (1543-1640)
    • 3 Initial Observations of the Japanese
    • 4 The Japanese Position in Contemporary Hierarchies
    • 5 Concrete Mirrors of a New Human Order
    • 6 “Race” and Its Cognitive Limits during the Phase of Observation
  • PHASE THREE RECONSIDERATION: Antecedents of a Mature Discourse (1640-1735)
    • 7 Dutch Reappraisal of the Japanese Body and Origins
    • 8 Power, Status, and the Japanese Position in the Global Order
    • 9 In Search of a New Taxonomy: Botany, Medicine, and the Japanese
    • 10 “Race” and Its Perceptual Limits during the Phase of Reconsideration
  • Conclusion: The Discourse of Race in Early Modern Europe and the Japanese Case
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
Tags: , ,

Marion: The Story of an Artist’s Model

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Canada, Media Archive, Novels, Passing, Women on 2012-04-04 02:10Z by Steven

Marion: The Story of an Artist’s Model

McGill-Queen’s University Press
410 pages
21 b&w photos
6 x 9
Paper (077353962X) 9780773539624

Winnifred Eaton (1875-1954)

Introduction by:

Karen E. H. Skinazi, Lecturer
Princeton Writing Program
Princeton University

The daughter of an English merchant father and Chinese mother, Winnifred Eaton (1875-1954) was a wildly popular fiction writer in her time. Born in Montreal, Eaton lived in Jamaica and several places in the United States before settling in Alberta. Her books, many of them published under the Japanese pseudonym Onoto Watanna, encompass the experiences of marginalized women in Canada, Jamaica, the United States, and a romantic, imagined Japan. Marion: The Story of an Artist’s Model is Eaton’s only book that explicitly deals with being “foreign” in Canada.

The novel follows the life of “half-foreign” Marion Ascough—a character based on Eaton’s own sister—while never identifying her “foreignness.” Escaping the unrelenting racial discrimination her family endures in Quebec, Marion follows her dream of being an artist by moving to New York, where she becomes “Canadian” instead of ethnic – a more palatable foreignness. Having successfully stripped herself of her ethnicity, Marion continues to experience discrimination and objectification as a woman, failing as an artist and becoming an artist’s model. Karen Skinazi’s introduction to Eaton’s fascinating narrative draws attention to the fact that although the novel uses many of the conventions of the “race secret” story, this time the secret is never revealed.

This new edition of Marion: The Story of An Artist’s Model brings back into print a compelling and sophisticated treasure of Asian Canadian/American fiction that offers a rare perspective on ethnicity, gender, and identity.

Tags: , , , ,

Labeling People: French Scholars on Society, Race, and Empire, 1815-1848

Posted in Books, Europe, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science on 2009-11-18 18:58Z by Steven

Labeling People: French Scholars on Society, Race, and Empire, 1815-1848

McGill-Queen’s University Press
264 pages
6 x 9
15 drawings
Cloth ISBN: (0773525807) 9780773525801

Martin S. Staum, Professor of History
University of Calgary

An examination of techniques used by scholarly societies to classify people that constructed the image of an inferior “Other” to promote social stability at home and a relationship of domination or paternalism with non-Europeans abroad.

Nineteenth-century French scholars, during a turbulent era of revolution and industrialization, ranked intelligence and character according to facial profile, skin colour, and head shape. They believed that such indicators could determine whether individuals were educable and peoples perfectible. In Labeling People Martin Staum examines the Paris societies of phrenology (reading intelligence and character by head shapes), geography, and ethnology and their techniques for classifying people. He shows how the work of these social scientists gave credence to the arrangement of “races” in a hierarchy, the domination of non-European peoples, and the limitation of opportunities for ill-favored individuals within France.

While previous studies have contrasted the relative optimism of middle-class social scientists before 1848 with a later period of concern for national decline and racial degeneration, Staum demonstrates that the earlier learned societies were also fearful of turmoil at home and interested in adventure abroad. Both geographers and ethnologists created concepts of fundamental “racial” inequality that prefigured the imperialist “associationist” discourse of the Third Republic, believing that European tutelage would guide “civilizable” peoples, and providing an open invitation to dominate and exploit the “uncivilizable.”

Tags: , , ,

Situating “Race” And Racisms In Space, Time, And Theory: Critical Essays for Activists and Scholars

Posted in Anthologies, Anthropology, Books, Media Archive, Social Science on 2009-11-18 03:28Z by Steven

Situating “Race” And Racisms In Space, Time, And Theory: Critical Essays for Activists and Scholars

McGill-Queen’s University Press
256 pages
6 x 9
Paper: (0773528873) 9780773528871
Cloth: (0773528865) 9780773528864

Edited by

Jo-Anne Lee, Associate Professor of Women’s Studies
University of Victoria

John Sutton Lutz, Associate Professor of History
University of Victoria

A resource for anti-racist scholars and activists.

Grounded in real life and theoretically charged, the nine essays in this interdisciplinary collection explore how race, racisms, and racialization are changing and suggest strategies for reading their emerging forms and discourses. Race has historically been defined by visible difference, but the slippery nature and malleability of racisms and racialising processes challenge scholars and activists to remain vigilant, responsive, and critical in their analyses and actions.

This collection explores the strengths and weaknesses of postmodern social theory in the struggle against racism. Recognizing diversity as a conduit for resilience, endurance, and strength, the editors have tried to encourage coalition building by bringing together historians, sociologists, cultural theorists, and literary scholars in dialogue with artists and activists. Topics considered include nation formation, racialized states, cultural racism, multiculturalism, hyphenated and mixed-race identities, media and representation, and shifting identities.

Contributors include Jeannette Armstrong, director of the En’owkin International School of Writing in Penticton, Canada; Frances Henry, professor emirita at York University; Yasmin Jiwani, assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University; Paul Maylam, chair of the Department of History at Rhodes University, South Africa; Minelle Mahtani, assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Planning, and the Program in Journalism, University of Toronto; Roy Miki, professor of contemporary literature in the English Department at Simon Fraser University; Roxana Ng, professor in the Department of Adult Education, Community Development and Counselling Psychology at the Ontario Institute of Secondary Education/University of Toronto; Ali Rattansi, retired professor of sociology at City University London; Ann Stoler, distinguished professor and chair, Department of Anthropology, New School University in New York; and Carol Tator, course coordinator in the Department of Anthropology, York University.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Toward a Critical Literacy of Racisms, Anti-Racisms?
and Racialization

Jo-Anne Lee and John Lutz

Deconstructing Race? Deconstructing Racism (with Postscript 2004)
A Conversation Between Jeannette Armstrong and Roxana Ng

On Being and not Being Brown/Black-British: Racism, Class, Sexuality?
and Ethnicity in Post-Imperial Britain (with Postscript 2004: The Politics of Longing and (Un)Belonging, Fear? and Loathing)

Ali Rattansi

Mixed Metaphors: Positioning ?Mixed Race? Identity
Minelle Mahtani

Turning In, Turning Out: The Shifting Formations of ?Japanese Canadian? from Uprooting to Redress
Roy Miki

Racist Visions for the Twenty-First Century: On the Banal Force of the French Radical Right
Ann Laura Stoler

Unravelling South Africa?s Racial Order: The Historiography of Racism, Segregation? and Apartheid
Paul Maylam

A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Globe and Mail Editorials on Employment Equity
Frances Henry and Carol Tator

Orientalizing ?War Talk?: Representations of the Gendered Muslim Body Post-9/11 in The Montreal Gazette
Yasmin Jiwani


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,