For my latest installment of Chinese-American history, I take a look at the Chinese soldiers who fought in the Civil War — on both sides.
I absolutely adore historical dramas, the more baroque, the better. I want fancy costumes and beautiful houses and people charging around on horses while they affect ridiculous accents. And I’m also well aware that they are rife with painful anachronisms and a great number of my historian friends routinely throw things at the screen when they watch […]
My interest in Asian-American history is primarily focused on California — the state where I grew up and live, and one with a really fascinating history of Asian cultural involvement. But, of course, California isn’t the only state with a high concentration of people of Asian descent as well as recent immigrants, or the only […]
The 20th century — and into the 21st — was one of continual exodus and diaspora thanks to wars, border changes, and political shifts. Jewish people fled Europe in the Second World War, desperately seeking refuge from the Nazis. Survivors of the Vietnam war scattered after the fall of Saigon. Residents of the Balkans were […]
Here is what we know about the past: It provides instructive lessons for the present. Here is what we know about the past: The United States appears fixated on avoiding it. This is a country that so desperately runs from its past, sometimes it seems to surge forward into the future, rather than staying anchored […]
You may not have heard of Evelyn Bond Granville, who turned 90 last year, but you should know about her. Because she’s a fascinating woman with a fascinating history, and not just because she developed programming for trajectory analysis that was used in multiple space missions that changed the future of science and culture in […]
There’s a situation in Berlin that I’ve been following with some fascination, because I have a strange sense of personal attachment to it, about which more in a moment. You see, a development firm wanted to build some flats, only something was in the way: a section of the Berlin Wall left up as a […]
We appear beset of late on television with an overload of nostalgia for bygone eras; perhaps I’m wrong and the numbers of nostalgic shows aren’t any higher than they used to be, but it feels like we have a lot more period dramas with ornate costuming and whiffs of longing for the past than we […]
In 1968, a group of students at San Francisco State decided they were tired of not seeing their history represented, and of being generally erased from higher education altogether. In an era when social justice movements were agitating for change across the country, and many of these students were active members of such groups, they […]
1877’s anti-Chinese riot in San Francisco’s Chinatown was a dark period in the city’s history, and it was far from the only incident of anti-Chinese violence in the nascent state, falling into a larger framework of anti-Asian racism.