Chinese American Education and Culture in Boston During the Exclusion Era, 1870s to 1950s

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Summer 2006

Project Description/Abstract

This research project seeks to examine the contested meanings of Chinese American culture in New England during the Exclusion Era from the earliest settlement in Boston Chinatown in the 1870s to the Repeal of the Exclusion Act in the 1940s. Building on previous studies of trade, education, labor, and anti-Asian movement in other communities, this study analyzes the construction of Chinese American identities in the formation of Boston’s Chinatown. It debunks stereotypes of Chinatown as an exotic ethnic enclave and examines the role of education, community institutions, commercial culture, and vibrant social life of the Chinese diaspora. The short-term goal of my research is to finish an article about changing culture and identities of Boston’s Chinatown for an upcoming volume about Asian Americans in New England. A more long-term project is the completion of a manuscript about the life of early Chinese Americans in Boston.

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