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Traversing Boundaries: Bridging Asian and Asian American Studies through Critical Mixed Race

Traversing Boundaries: Bridging Asian and Asian American Studies through Critical Mixed Race

Taiwan Studies Lecture by Emma Teng, MIT

Tuesday, May 10, 2016
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
243 Royce Hall

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In the second half of the nineteenth century, trade, imperial expansion, global labor migration, and overseas study brought China and the US in closer contact than ever before. Out of the cross-cultural encounters engendered by these intersecting transnational movements emerged mixed families – some forming in the US, some in China, and countless others in the British colony of Hong Kong. Yet their stories remain largely unknown. How did mixed families negotiate their identities within these diverse contexts, in societies where monoracial identity was the norm and interracial marriage often regarded with suspicion, if not outright hostility? This talk will address the hidden histories of Chinese Eurasian families through an examination of case studies of transnational and/or mixed families who lived in the US, China, and Hong Kong during the Chinese Treaty Port Era. It will discuss the dynamic tension between the range of ideas that shaped beliefs concerning so-called racial crossing on both sides of the Pacific, and the claims set forth by individual Eurasians concerning their own identities. Finally, grounded in the critical perspective of Mixed-Race Studies, this talk will consider the implications of comparative or transnational research that crosses the boundaries between Asian and Asian American studies.

The UCLA Taiwan Studies Lectureship is a joint program of the UCLA Asia Institute and the Dean of Humanities and is made possible with funding from the Department of International and Cross-Strait Education, Ministry of Education, Taiwan, represented by the Education Division, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles.

Sponsor(s): Center for Chinese Studies, Asia Pacific Center, UCLA Dean of Humanities, Taipei Economic and Cultural Organization in Los Angeles