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Introduction to Anglophone Cultural Studies


... miniature Chinas ? Segregated ghettos? ... culture and literature that denounces simplistic nation-state categorization Refer to: Mayer, Ruth. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Introduction to Anglophone Cultural Studies

Introduction to Anglophone Cultural Studies
Session 2 Chinatowns, Diaspora, Post-Colonialism
Chinatown, London
Chinatown, New York
Chinatown, San Francisco
Outline of todays lecture
  • Organizational Things Again
  • Part I Chinatowns
  • Part II The Term Diaspora
  • Part III Postcolonial Theory and Criticism

Organizational Things...
  • Books/ background reading material
  • Paul S. Boyer, The Enduring Vision
  • Concise 4th edition (2001) 0-618-10198-5
    (approx. 33 Euros)
  • Concise 5th edition (2006) 0-618-47382-3
    (approx. 70 Euros)
  • Hardcover new edition (2007) 0-618-80159-6
    (approx. 53 Euros)
  • PPPs
  • Handouts
  • Stinshoff/Schwarzkopf again
  • Refer to the Email sent around by Olaf Simons
  • Anything else?

Exercise What is mediated here?
The theater in Chinatown was crowded to the
doors. Every night actors brought from Canton
played and sang the old Chinese operas. If Billy
Pan, the manager, announced a deficit at the end
of the end of the lunar year, businessmen
contributed money to cover it. The theater was a
bulwark of home to them. Their children went to
American schools, spoke the American language,
acted like American children. The fathers and
mothers were not highly educated people, and they
could not express to the children what China was,
except that it was their own country, which must
not be forgotten. But in the theater the children
could see for themselves what China was. (Pearl
S. Buck, Kinfolk) bulwark barricade sth.
serving as a defense or safeguard
  • Immigrants did not cut their ties to China
  • Difficult adaptation processes characterized by
  • cultural change and social conflict,
  • integration and pluralism
  • Where do I belong problem of rootedness? And
    what are the consequences?
  • The consequences of refugee and/or immigration
    experience the difficulty to craft an identity
    out of the unusual hybrid experience and
    upbringing of children
  • The difficulty of transmitting an idea of China
    to their children they want their children to
    know about their origin aligned to that is
    the problem, then, what China can be conceived of
    as authentic? The Chinese Opera?

  • How would you define Chinatowns?
  • Section within an urban area (e.g. New York City)
    with a large number of Chinese living outside of
  • What are Chinatowns?
  • Ethnic urban enclave miniature Chinas?
  • Segregated ghettos?
  • Immigrant settlements (e.g. Little Italy?)
  • Chinatown in San Francisco first to be
    established outside Asia
  • The term Chinatown
  • Chinatowns came to represent Chineseness
  • Then and now different conceptions?!

  • center for commercialism, consumption, tourist
    attraction, food, venues for, e.g. Hollywood
  • 1990s Las Vegas Chinatown, Chinatown Plaza
  • http//

  • Chinese immigration
  • first period 1848/9-1882
  • second period 1882-1965
  • third period 1965 to the present
  • the gold rush of the 1840s and 1850s
  • 1862 Congress authorized the construction of a
    transcontinental railroad
  • completed in 1869
  • Last Spike, 1869
  • Job positions
  • e.g. on the Transcontinental Railroad
  • mine workers

What do the cartoons suggest about public
sentiment towards Chinese immigrants?
Discriminatory Laws
  • Hall vs. People (1856)
  • special taxes on "foreign" miners and Chinese
  • 1870 The Naturalization Act
  • Excludes Chinese from citizenship
  • prohibits the wives of Chinese laborers from
    entering the United States
  • 1875 The Page Law
  • forbids the entry of Chinese, Mongolian, and
    Japanese contract laborers, prostitutes, and
  • Exclusion Act (1882-1943)
  • 1892 The Geary Act

The Chinese Exclusion Act
  • United States Government passed the Chinese
    Exlusion Act in 1882
  • the first immigration restriction law aimed at a
    single ethnic group.
  • The Act prohibits the entry of Chinese laborers
    into the United States
  • Economic consequences
  • into small import-export businesses
  • into labor-intensive manufacturing and
  • into service industries (laundry, domestic work,
    and restaurants)
  • into agriculture in rural communities in
  • The Geary Act (1892)
  • All Chinese in the United States are required to
    carry registration certificate

20th Century
  • The Exclusion Act repealed during WWII
  • The Magnuson Acts sets a quota of 105 Chinese
    immigrants a year.
  • The repeal allowed Chinese-American veterans to
    bring their families
  • During the 1960s
  • 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act many
    of the basic rights denied Chinese Americans were
  • The end of the Vietnam War brought a wave of
    Vietnamese refugees of Chinese descent, who put
    their own stamp on San Francisco Chinatown

Chinatowns, summarized
  • Complex urban phenomena shaped by, e.g.
  • immigration politics,
  • colonial history
  • trade relations,
  • commercial exchanges,
  • exploitation, and nowadays in particular by
  • tourism
  • Chinatowns differ (depending on location)
  • What are Chinatowns?
  • Chinatowns diasporic phenomena?

Part II The Term Diaspora
  • Diasporic?
  • Diaspora?
  • Etymol. Greek
  • dispersion, from diaspeirein, to spread about
  • dia- apart
  • dia- speirein, to sow, scatter (of seeds)
  • the dispersion or spreading of something that was
    originally localized

(Simplistic) Definition The term diaspora
describes an ethnic community that because of
expulsion (Ausweisung/Vertreibung) or emigration
has spread from an original center to at
least two peripheral places.
Dinh Q. Lê Vietnamese-American Artist
Personal Memories, 2003
Born in 1968,  Hà-Tiên,  Viêt Nam In 1978 his
family emigrated to Los Angeles Major theme real
and imagined memories of the Vietnam War
Persistence of memory no.8, 2001
Historical Context
  • Vietnamese-American the difficulty to craft an
    identity out of an unusual hybrid experience
  • 1975 1990 more than 2 million refugees left
    Viêt Nam, Laos, and Cambodia (figure 1)
  • about 1.5 million resettled in Australia, Western
    Europe, and North America.
  • Viêt Nam, Laos, Cambodia former French colony of
  • refugee crisis owing to the cold war

South East Asia
  • Laos and Cambodia under French colonial rule
    until 1953
  • Viêt Nam until 1954 (Fall of Dien Bien Phu)
  • American intervention in Viêt Nam
  • Domino theory US foreign policy prevent
  • 1961 the U.S. signs a treaty with Saigon to help
    the South in Viêt Nam
  • 1965 first combat troops land in Danang
  • 1973 last American troops leave Viêt Nam
  • 1975 Fall of Saigon (North wins)

  • official reunification as the Socialist Republic
    of Vietnam (1976)
  • all other political parties are banned,
  • reeducation camps
  • estimated 1 million people were imprisoned
    without formal charges or trials
  • boat people
  • Viêt Kieu (Vietnamese-American)
  • Vietnamese Diaspora

  • To repeat The term diaspora describes an ethnic
    community that because of expulsion or
    emigration has spread from an original center
    to at least two peripheral places
  • Diasporic identity/ies
  • Diaspora term gained importance in social
    science, cultural studies and literary studies

Part III Postcolonial Theory Criticism
  • Diaspora and Postcolonial Studies
  • 1980s and 1990 central discourse in Cultural
  • Key topics/issues/areas of concern
  • (Im)-Migration zones of contact and contestation
  • Imperialism
  • Economic, political cultural legacies/inequities
    caused by colonialism
  • Theorists/critics/writers (selective) Edward
    Said, Arif Dirlik, Benedict Anderson, Homi K.
    Bhabha Gayatri Spivak, Robert Young, Robin
    Cohen, Bill Ashcroft, Helen Tiffin, Salman
    Rushdie, and many more!

Terms explained
  • 1) Colonialism
  • expansion
  • recurrent feature of human history
  • conquest and control of other peoples land and
  • 2) Imperialism
  • OED imperialism pertaining to Empire
    (defined as political system)
  • defined as economic system system of penetration
    and control of markets
  • processes that lead to domination and control
  • Imperial country the center
  • Colony the place which the center penetrates
    and controls

What is the post?
  • Post in a temporal sense after
  • By 1930s, colonies and ex-colonies covered
    approx. 85 of the land surface of the globe.
  • Only parts of Arabia, Persia, Afghanistan,
    Mongolia, Tibet, China, Siam and Japan had never
    been under formal European government
    (Fieldhouse, 1989)
  • So post after colonialism?
  • Post-colonial used to cover cultures affected by
    the imperial process from the moment of
    colonization to the present day

Post ...
  • Post-colonial theory involves discussions about
    experience of various kinds
  • migration,
  • slavery, suppression, resistance,
  • representation,
  • difference,
  • race, gender, place,
  • Post-colonial theory responses to the influential
    master discourses of imperial Europe
  • None of these is essentially post-colonial, but
    together they form the complex fabric of the
    field. (Ashcroft/Griffiths/Tiffin)

What do postcolonial critics do?
  • Post-colonial literature is writing by members
    of marginalized groups writers who are
    struggling to find voices in which to express the
    world view of their groups, who are struggling to
    be heard and to be understood, who are struggling
    against cultural hegemony and assimilation and
  • Postcolonial critics analyze these writings
  • Lets be more precise here

  • radically question expansionist imperialism of
    colonizing powers,
  • critically reflect on the relationship between
    colonizer and colonized
  • study the effects of cultural displacement that
    followed colonial conquest,
  • explore consequences for personal and communal
  • examine ways of resistance and defense
  • analyze the role of literature in the production
    of cultural representation
  • foreground questions of cultural difference and

Some terms found/used/elaborated on
  • Ethnicities
  • Hybridity cross-overs
  • Identity
  • Binary oppositions
  • Self and Other(ness)
  • Colonization and de-colonization
  • Exoticism Orientalism
  • Nationality nation-state citizenship
  • Power
  • See, for example Loomba, Ania.
    Colonialism/Postcolonialism. 2nd ed. London New
    York Routledge, 2005.

Stop think
  • Developments in the field of postcolonial studies
  • New approaches in postcolonial studies
  • why?
  • Global changes and processes of migration
  • old terminology no longer suffices
  • Diasporas from negative connotation to
  • a term that allows for an approach to global
    phenomena in society, culture and literature that
    denounces simplistic nation-state categorization
  • Refer to Mayer, Ruth. Diaspora Eine kritische
    Begriffsbestimmung. Cultural Studies 14. Ed.
    Rainer Winter. Bielefeld transcript, 2005.