Institutional Scholarship

Taking Up the Dragon: A Case Study of Chinese-White Intermarriage in the Early 20th Century

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dc.contributor.advisor Smith, Paul J., 1947-
dc.contributor.advisor Kitroeff, Alexander Lozada, Patrick 2011-05-20T13:57:08Z 2011-05-20T13:57:08Z 2011
dc.description.abstract The late 19th and early 20th century was a period characterized by intense xenophobia against Chinese immigrants that was manifested through a host of anti-Chinese laws and extralegal actions. These attitudes were created and maintained through a pervasive discourse of a great "Yellow Peril" that was poised to physically invade America, take American jobs, and most importantly take advantage of American women. Despite the enormous cultural prejudices that painted Chinese men as dangerous and sexually deviant, some women decided to marry Chinese men and create families. My thesis addresses these women and the identities and prejudices that were inscribed onto them. I argue that these women occupied a racially 'queer' discursive space in which they were imagined, in some measure, to be Chinese. This identity was created through discourses surrounding Chinese sexuality and white female purity, and propagated by a number of institutions, especially the law and print media. I examine these mediums and the lives of three women: Mae Franking, Emma Fong Kuno, and Ella May Clemens Wong as a case study. Instead of defiantly proclaiming their 'own' identities in the face of a discourse that sought to marginalize them, they adopted and performed Chinese identity. Understanding the discourses surrounding identity, race, and sex and how they affected lived experience is a key element in understanding the social landscape of Yellow Peril America.
dc.description.sponsorship CPGC: Student Research
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of History
dc.language.iso eng
dc.subject.lcsh Interracial marriage -- United States -- 19th century
dc.subject.lcsh Married women -- United States -- Nationality -- History
dc.subject.lcsh Chinese -- United States -- History -- 19th century
dc.title Taking Up the Dragon: A Case Study of Chinese-White Intermarriage in the Early 20th Century
dc.type Thesis
dc.rights.access Open Access

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