For centuries, Asian immigrants have been making vital contributions to the cultures of North and South America. Yet in many of these countries, Asians are commonly viewed as undifferentiated racial “others,” lumped together as chinos regardless of whether they have Chinese ancestry. How might this struggle for recognition in their adopted homelands affect the ways that Asians in the Americas imagine community and cultural identity?
The essays in Imagining Asia in the Americas investigate the myriad ways that Asians throughout the Americas use language, literature, religion, commerce, and other cultural practices to establish a sense of community, commemorate their countries of origin, and anticipate the possibilities presented by life in a new land. Focusing on a variety of locations across South America, Central America, the Caribbean, and the United States, the book’s contributors reveal the rich diversity of Asian American identities. Yet taken together, they provide an illuminating portrait of how immigrants negotiate between their native and adopted cultures.
Drawing from a rich array of source materials, including texts in Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Gujarati that have never before been translated into English, this collection represents a groundbreaking work of scholarship. Through its unique comparative approach, Imagining Asia in the Americas opens up a conversation between various Asian communities within the Americas and beyond.
About the Author
ZELIDETH MARÍA RIVAS is an assistant professor of Japanese at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.
DEBBIE LEE-DiSTEFANO is a professor of Spanish at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau. She is the author of Three Asian-Hispanic Writers from Perú and is coeditor of the Journal of Asians in the Americas and the book series Historical and Cultural Interconnections between Latin America and Asia.
Table of Contents
Part I: Encounters: Moving Past Encounters: People of Asian Descent in the Americas
Chapter 1: Yellow Blindness in a Black-and-White Ethnoscape: Chinese Influence and Heritage in Afro-Cuban Religiosity
Martin A. Tsang
Chapter 2: Disrupting the “White Myth”: Korean Immigration to Buenos Aires and National Imaginaries
Junyoung Verónica Kim
Chapter 3: Harnessing the Dragon: Overseas Chinese Entrepreneurs in Mexico and Cuba
Adrian H. Hearn
Part II: Historicities: Interlude
Chapter 4: Caught between Crime and Disease: Chinese Exclusion and Immigration Restrictions in Early Twentieth-Century Cuba
Chapter 5: The Politics of the Pipe: Opium Regulation and Protocolonial Governance in Nineteenth-Century Hawai’i
Part III: Lives / Representations: Interlude
Chapter 6: Musings on Identity and Transgenerational Experiences
Chapter 7: Intersecting Words: Haiku in Gujarati
Chapter 8: Cultural Celebration, Historical Memory, and Claim to Place in Júlio Miyazawa’s Yawara! A Travessia Nihondin-Brasil and Uma Rosa para Yumi
Notes on Contributors