Eurasian : Mixed Identities in the United States, China, and Hong Kong, 1842-1943

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In the second half of the nineteenth century, global labor migration, trade, and overseas study brought China and the United States into close contact, leading to new cross-cultural encounters that brought mixed-race families into being. Yet the stories of these families remain largely unknown. How did interracial families negotiate their identities within these societies when mixed-race marriage was taboo and "Eurasian" often a derisive term? In Eurasian, Emma Jinhua Teng compares Chinese-Western mixed-race families in the United States, China, and Hong Kong, examining both the range of ideas that shaped the formation of Eurasian identities in these diverse contexts and the claims set forth by individual Eurasians concerning their own identities. Teng argues that Eurasians were not universally marginalized during this era, as is often asserted. Rather, Eurasians often found themselves facing contradictions between exclusionary and inclusive ideologies of race and nationality, and between overt racism and more subtle forms of prejudice that were counterbalanced by partial acceptance and privilege.
By tracing the stories of mixed and transnational families during an earlier era of globalization, Eurasian also demonstrates to students, faculty, scholars, and researchers how changes in interracial ideology have allowed the descendants of some of these families to reclaim their dual heritage with pride.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 23mm | 499g
  • Berkerley, United States
  • English
  • 21 b-w photographs
  • 0520276272
  • 9780520276277
  • 449,598

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"Beautifully written and thoughtfully crafted, Teng's Eurasian is a pleasure to read. The author has written a nuanced, multisited account of mixed families and Eurasian identities that will be important reading for students in U.S. and Chinese history and in Asian, Asian American, and Ethnic Studies. The author tells these wonderful life stories and adeptly uses them to track larger historical processes and phenomena." --Kornel Chang, author of Pacific Connections: The Making of the U.S.-Canadian Borderlands

"By examining Eurasian identities from Chinese and American perspectives, Emma Teng offers a truly transnational and multicultural intellectual project that few works which appear to be such can actually claim, for she uses with facility and depth materials in English and Chinese, and goes beyond the obvious duality of American/British on the one hand, and Chinese on the other, to introduce a third element, that of the Asian American, examining not just the distinct viewpoints separately, but, more interestingly, the intersections between and among them." --Evelyn Hu-DeHart, editor of Across the Pacific: Asian Americans and Globalization

"Emma Teng's rich and compelling narrative captures within one elegant volume a profoundly complex story about diaspora, citizenship, empire, nation, taxonomy, identity, capital, race, labor, class, gender, intimacy, and the body, all the while avoiding the twin pitfalls of transnational abstraction and dislocated particulars that threaten any work of such scope and ambition. It is an analysis of the highest quality, delivering an argument that is empathetic, but which not for a moment relaxes either the critical tension between the author and her subject, nor attempts to resolve in any simplistic fashion the tensions and anxieties of her characters or the time period in question. In this work, Teng is at once master instrument maker, and master musician." --Thomas S. Mullaney, author of Coming to Terms with the Nation: Ethnic Classification in Modern China
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Table of contents

List of Illustrations A Note on Romanization Acknowledgments Prelude Introduction Part One 1. A Canton Mandarin Weds a Connecticut Yankee: Chinese-Western Intermarriage Becomes a "Problem" 2. Mae Watkins Becomes a "Real Chinese Wife": Marital Expatriation, Migration, and Transracial Hybridity Part Two 3. "A Problem for Which There Is No Solution": The New Hybrid Brood and the Specter of Degeneration in New York's Chinatown 4. "Productive of Good to Both Sides": The Eurasian as Solution in Chinese Utopian Visions of Racial Harmony 5. Reversing the Sociological Lens: Putting Sino-American "Mixed Bloods" on the Miscegenation Map Part Three 6. The "Peculiar Cast": Navigating the American Color Line in the Era of Chinese Exclusion 7. On Not Looking Chinese: Chineseness as Consent or Descent? 8. "No Gulf between a Chan and a Smith amongst Us": Charles Graham Anderson's Manifesto for Eurasian Unity in Interwar Hong Kong Coda: Elsie Jane Comes Home to Rest Epilogue Chinese Character Glossary Notes Bibliography Index
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About Emma Jinhua Teng

Emma Jinhua Teng is a MacVicar Faculty Fellow and the T.T. and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Asian Civilizations and Associate Professor of Chinese Studies at MIT and the author of Taiwan's Imagined Geography: Chinese Colonial Travel Writing and Pictures, 1683-1895 (Harvard, 2004).
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Rating details

24 ratings
4.25 out of 5 stars
5 50% (12)
4 33% (8)
3 8% (2)
2 8% (2)
1 0% (0)
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