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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Naming the Subject: Recovering “Euro-Asian” History

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2010-12-20 23:11Z by Steven

Naming the Subject: Recovering “Euro-Asian” History

Journal of Women’s History
Volume 22, Number 4, Winter 2010
pages 257-262
E-ISSN: 1527-2036, Print ISSN: 1042-7961

Emma J. Teng, T.T. and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Asian Civilizations; Associate Professor of Chinese Studies
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The historic election of Barack Obama as America’s first biracial president has drawn attention once again to a phenomenon that has been gathering momentum since the 1990s: that is, the movement among so-called “multiracial” or “mixed-race” people for recognition, both political and cultural. Although the American media has mostly focused on the multiracial movement in the US, this push for recognition actually has global dimensions. Kumari Jayawardena’s Erasure of the Euro-Asian: Recovering Early Radicalism and Feminism in South Asia is among the latest in a spate of books published in Asia that seeks to restore those of Asian/European ancestry to the historical record, including Michael Roberts, et al., People Inbetween: The Burghers and the Middle Class in the Transformation within Sri Lanka (1989), Myrna Braga-Blake’s Singapore Eurasians—Memories and Hopes (1992), and Vicki Lee’s Being Eurasian: Memories across Racial Divides (2004).  In fact, if Paul Spickard identified a “biracial biography boom” in the US during the 1990s, we seem to be currently in the midst of a “Eurasian publishing boom” that spans the globe from Asia, to Australia, Europe, and the US.  This publishing trend includes not only academic books like Jayawardena’s, but also memoirs, family biographies/genealogies, dictionaries, musical CDs, and even cookbooks.  It further includes projects such as the Anglo Indian Heritage Books series, which reprints classic works such as H.A. Stark’s Hostages to India (1926) and Cedric Dover’s Cimmerii?: or Eurasians and Their Future (1929).

What does Jayawardena’s book add to the mix? Although South Asian studies is beyond my own field, I can say…

Read or purchase the article here.

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Being Eurasian: Memories across Racial Divides by Vicky Lee [Book Review]

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive on 2010-12-20 22:34Z by Steven

Being Eurasian: Memories across Racial Divides by Vicky Lee [Book Review]

The Asian Review of Books

John Walsh, Assistant Professor of Marketing and Communications
School of Management, Shinawatra International University, Bangkok

The creation of Empires inevitably entails contact between coloniser and colonised at many different levels. Owing to the prominence of men in empire creation, it is inevitable that at least some of those connections involve establishing one or more relationships with local women, in the absence of women from the home country. A reasonable amount of attention has been placed on these relationships. Rather less attention has been focused on the results of those unions. The children that resulted from the relationships between British and Chinese in Hong Kong are one subset of the whole range of intercultural births and they share some distinctive characteristics. Unlike the Portuguese, who tended enthusiastically to children into the fold as a means of expanding their overseas holdings, the British of course have always rather looked down on those who cavort with the locals and, since we rather dislike even our own children, certainly have little truck with any others who have a reason to be looked down upon.

Being Eurasian: Memories across Racial Divides by Vicky Lee explores some of the experiences and feelings of a small section of the British-Chinese Hong Kong people, especially during the first part of the 20th century. Her book, which has been developed from a PhD thesis, is in the main clearly and appropriately written, although it does suffer a little from the problems of the multidisciplinary approach, which tends to lack the rigor imposed by any single discipline. However, the one or two false notes may be forgiven for the sake of the histories told, which are of great interest…

Read the entire review here.

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Being Eurasian: Memories Across Racial Divides

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Biography, Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs on 2010-12-20 22:17Z by Steven

Being Eurasian: Memories Across Racial Divides

University of Washington Press
296 pages
6″ x 9″
Paperback (9789622096714)
Hardcover (9789622096707)

Vicky Lee
Hong Kong Baptist University

What was it like being a Eurasian in colonial Hong Kong? How is the notion of Eurasianness remembered in some Hong Kong memoirs? Being Eurasian is a description and analysis of the lives of three famous Hong Kong Eurasian memoirists, Joyce Symons, Irene Cheng and Jean Gittins, and explores their very different ways of constructing and looking at their own ethnic identity.

‘Eurasian’ is a term that could have many different connotations, during different periods in colonial Hong Kong, and in different spaces within the European and Chinese communities. Eurasianness could mean privilege, but also marginality, adulteration and even betrayal. Eurasians from different socio-economic sectors had very different perceptions of their own ethnicity, which did not always agree with their externally prescribed identity. Being Eurasian explores the ethnic choices faced by Hong Kong Eurasians of the pre-war generation, as they dealt with the very fluidity of their ethnic identity.

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