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Filipino Americans, who experience life in the United States as immigrants, colonized nationals, and racial minorities, have been little studied, though they are one of our largest immigrant groups. Based on her in-depth interviews with more than one hundred Filipinos in San Diego, California, Yen Le Espiritu investigates how Filipino women and men are transformed through the experience of migration, and how they in turn remake the social world around them. Her sensitive analysis reveals that Filipino Americans confront U.S. domestic racism and global power structures by living transnational lives that are shaped as much by literal and symbolic ties to the Philippines as they are by social, economic, and political realities in the United States. Espiritu deftly weaves vivid first-person narratives with larger social and historical contexts as she discovers the meaning of home, community, gender, and intergenerational relations among Filipinos. Among other topics, she explores the ways that female sexuality is defined in contradistinction to American mores and shows how this process becomes a way of opposing racial subjugation in this country. She also examines how Filipinos have integrated themselves into the American workplace and looks closely at the effects of colonialism.
Body Counts: The Vietnam War and Militarized Refuge(es) examines how the Vietnam War has continued to serve as a stage for the shoring up of American imperialist adventure and for the (re)production of American and Vietnamese American identities. Focusing on the politics of war memory and commemoration, this book retheorizes the connections among history, memory, and power and refashions the fields of American studies, Asian American studies, and refugee studies not around the narratives of American exceptionalism, immigration, and transnationalism but around the crucial issues of war, race, and violence—and the history and memories that are forged in the aftermath of war. At the same time, the book moves decisively away from the "damage-centered" approach that pathologizes loss and trauma by detailing how first- and second-generation Vietnamese have created alternative memories and epistemologies that challenge the established public narratives of the Vietnam War and Vietnamese people. Explicitly interdisciplinary, Body Counts moves between the humanities and social sciences, drawing on historical, ethnographic, cultural, and virtual evidence in order to illuminate the places where Vietnamese refugees have managed to conjure up social, public, and collective remembering.
Making Home in Diasporic Communities demonstrates the global scope of the Filipino diaspora, engaging wider scholarship on globalisation and the ways in which the dynamics of nation-state institutions, labour migration and social relationships intersect for transnational communities. Based on original ethnographic work conducted in Ireland and the Philippines, the book examines how Filipina diasporans socially and symbolically create a sense of ‘home’. On one hand, Filipinas can be seen as mobile, as they have crossed geographical borders and are physically located in the destination country. Yet, on the other hand, they are constrained by immigration policies, linguistic and cultural barriers and other social and cultural institutions. Through modalities of language, rituals and religion and food, the author examines the ways in which Filipinas orient their perceptions, expectations, practices and social spaces to ‘the homeland’, thus providing insight into larger questions of inclusion and exclusion for diasporic communities. By focusing on a range of Filipina experiences, including that of nurses, international students, religious workers and personal assistants, Making Home in Diasporic Communities explores the intersectionality of gender, race, class and belonging. As such, it will appeal to scholars of sociology and anthropology as well as those with interests in gender, identity, migration, ethnic studies, and the construction of home.
Stephen M. Cherry draws upon a rich set of ethnographic and survey data, collected over a six-year period, to explore the roles that Catholicism and family play in shaping Filipino American community life. From the planning and construction of community centers, to volunteering at health fairs or protesting against abortion, this book illustrates the powerful ways these forces structure and animate not only how first-generation Filipino Americans think and feel about their community, but how they are compelled to engage it over issues deemed important to the sanctity of the family. Revealing more than intimate accounts of Filipino American lives, Cherry offers a glimpse of the often hidden but vital relationship between religion and community in the lives of new immigrants, and allows speculation on the broader impact of Filipino immigration on the nation. The Filipino American community is the second-largest immigrant community in the United States, and the Philippines is the second-largest source of Catholic immigration to this country. This ground-breaking study outlines how first-generation Filipino Americans have the potential to reshape American Catholicism and are already having an impact on American civic life through the engagement of their faith.
Asian American literature abounds with complex depictions of American cities as spaces that reinforce racial segregation and prevent interactions across boundaries of race, culture, class, and gender. However, in Cities of Others, Xiaojing Zhou uncovers a much different narrative, providing the most comprehensive examination to date of how Asian American writers - both celebrated and overlooked - depict urban settings. Zhou goes beyond examining popular portrayals of Chinatowns by paying equal attention to life in other parts of the city. Her innovative and wide-ranging approach sheds new light on the works of Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese American writers who bear witness to a variety of urban experiences and reimagine the American city as other than a segregated nation-space. Drawing on critical theories on space from urban geography, ecocriticism, and postcolonial studies, Zhou shows how spatial organization shapes identity in the works of Sui Sin Far, Bienvenido Santos, Meena Alexander, Frank Chin, Chang-rae Lee, Karen Tei Yamashita, and others. She also shows how the everyday practices of Asian American communities challenge racial segregation, reshape urban spaces, and redefine the identity of the American city. From a reimagining of the nineteenth-century flaneur figure in an Asian American context to providing a framework that allows readers to see ethnic enclaves and American cities as mutually constitutive and transformative, Zhou gives us a provocative new way to understand some of the most important works of Asian American literature.
In The Familiar Made Strange, twelve distinguished historians offer original and playful readings of American icons and artifacts that cut across rather than stop at the nation’s borders to model new interpretive approaches to studying United States history. These leading practitioners of the “transnational turn” pause to consider such famous icons as John Singleton Copley’s painting Watson and the Shark, Albert Eisenstaedt’s photograph V-J Day, 1945, Times Square, and Alfred Kinsey’s reports on sexual behavior, as well as more surprising but revealing artifacts like Josephine Baker’s banana skirt and William Howard Taft’s underpants. Together, they present a road map to the varying scales, angles and methods of transnational analysis that shed light on American politics, empire, gender, and the operation of power in everyday life. Contributors: Brooke L. Blower, Boston University; Mark Philip Bradley, University of Chicago; Nick Cullather, Indiana University; Brian DeLay, University of California–Berkeley; Matthew Pratt Guterl, Brown University; Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof, University of Michigan–Ann Arbor; Fredrik Logevall, Cornell University; Mary A. Renda, Mount Holyoke College; Daniel T. Rodgers, Princeton University; Andrew J. Rotter, Colgate University; Brian Rouleau, Texas A&M University; Naoko Shibusawa, Brown University
Born in an explosive boom and built through distinct economic networks, San Francisco has a cosmopolitan character that often masks the challenges migrants faced to create community in the city by the bay. Latin American migrants have been part of the city's story since its beginning. Charting the development of a hybrid Latino identity forged through struggle--latinidad--from the Gold Rush through the civil rights era, Tomas F. Summers Sandoval Jr. chronicles the rise of San Francisco's diverse community of Latin American migrants. This latinidad, Summers Sandoval shows, was formed and made visible on college campuses and in churches, neighborhoods, movements for change, youth groups, protests, the Spanish-language press, and business districts. Using diverse archival sources, Summers Sandoval gives readers a panoramic perspective on the transformation of a multinational, multigenerational population into a visible, cohesive, and diverse community that today is a major force for social and political activism and cultural production in California and beyond.

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