Week of 4/9 – Asian Immigration, Migration, and Nation

by Prof. Hangen - April 7th, 2018

“Asia” is not a country but a region of the world, and “Asian Americans” is a complex concept, embracing people of very diverse language, religious, geographic and cultural backgrounds. For Mon 4/9 we’ll read two contrasting histories about two groups of Asian Americans in the 1930s/1940s time period: Ngai, “Impossible Subjects: Filipino Migration” and Goldstein-Shirley, “Strangers in their Own Land” (both as PDFs on Blackboard).

For Wed 4/11 you’ll be assigned one of these links for a discussion day about race and immigration.

Rojas, “Who Was Wong Kim Ark?”
Densho Encyclopedia “Alien Land Law,” see also California Alien Land Law of 1913
State Department, The Johnson-Reed Act
Johnson, “The Coming Immigration Law” and Cable, The Plan Before Congress”
Clancy, “An Un-American Bill”
Smith, “Shut the Door”
Kennedy, “A Nation of Immigrants”
Johnson, “Remarks on Signing Immigration Bill”

Discussion Questions: Use your assigned link to address these questions — how did prevailing ideas about race inform immigration policy in Congress and the courts? What assumptions and values can you identify in the time period covered by your article? In your view, what were some of the longterm effects of immigration restriction?

Friday 4/13 is Professor For a Day, with Andrew, Sam and Erin.

Suggestions –

Provide background and overview of anti-Chinese racism by labor unions in Butte, Montana in 1884 or the Rock Springs Massacre in Wyoming in 1885

Explore the Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive (JARDA) and share some of its highlights.

Or… learn about Fred Korematsu, his court case, and why he was eventually awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Or… explore the DPLA online exhibition about life in World War II internment camps

Or… showcase what we can learn from Ansel Adams’ photographs from Manzanar (California) internment camp

Or… learn about life in Hawaii [not yet then a state, remember] for Japanese-Americans during World War II and how it differed from the American mainland. For example: here, here, here, or here.

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