Saturday, September 14, 2013
September 14-15, 2013: Public AmericanStudying Update
[Some thanks, some thoughts, and a hello at the end of my first week of book talks!]
This week I had the wonderful opportunity to talk about my book, and many other related histories, stories, and ideas, at Suffolk University and Wellesley College. So here are three follow ups to these first of many talks in what should be the most active and exciting year of my professional life:
1) First, I have to say thanks to my very hospitable and generous hosts at each institution. At Suffolk, my talks were co-sponsored by the Asian Studies program, the American Studies program, and the Rosenberg Institute for East Asian Studies; I owe particular thanks to Da Zheng, Ron Suleski, Pat Reeve, Allan Tow, and Yong Xue. At Wellesley, I was the guest of Yoon Sun Lee, and of the many programs (English, American Studies, Asian American Studies) in which she works. And throughout both days, I benefited greatly from the questions, responses, and ideas of numerous other faculty members and students at both institutions.
2) If I was excited about this year of book talks before this week, I’m infinitely more so now—for many reasons, but perhaps especially because of how much I could feel my ideas shifting and growing throughout the talks, classes, and conversations. For example, it was during my main talk at Suffolk that I articulated for the first time my sense of why we need to remember the 1921 and 1924 Quota Acts just as fully as the Exclusion Act—because those broader, more encompassing acts were just as exclusionary, in fact just extended the CEA’s purpose to many more nationalities and communities; which means that American immigration law itself developed, for its first century of existence (until the 1965 Immigration Act), based on principles of unfairness and inequity. That seems well worth our remembering.
3) Finally, I just wanted to say hello to anybody who attended those talks and is visiting the blog for the first time! The Monthly Recaps, under that Label at the right, are a good place to get an overall sense of my posts over this blog’s nearly three years of existence; so too are these three birthday special posts. I’ve got upcoming weekly series on American stories connected to Gloucester (MA), race and justice in American history, and cultural images of the fall (seasonal and symbolic), among others. I’m also always looking for both suggestions for other topics and focal points and ideas for Guest Posts, so feel free to leave those in the comments or email them to me directly. Welcome!
Next series starts Monday,
PS. If you’re new to the blog, please say hi and let me know what you’d be interested in seeing here! Thanks!