Wednesday, September 3, 2014

September 3, 2014: Fall Forward: Toronto Talks

[As I did a couple years back, I wanted to start the fall semester by highlighting a few of the things I’m working on and looking forward to this fall. I’d love to hear about what you’ve got going on for the final few months of 2014 as well!]
On a pair of book talks that should push my AmericanStudying in important new directions.
My year of book talks for The Chinese Exclusion Act, about which you’ve heard plenty in this space, has mostly wound down, and I’m certainly focusing a lot of my scholarly attention on my next couple of book projects (about which I’m sure you’ll hear plenty more too!). But right at the end of October I’ll have the opportunity to deliver two more talks in Canada, and both present challenging but great opportunities for me to think about the book and my ongoing work in new ways:
1)      The first talk will be on Monday 10/27, at the University of Toronto’s Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library. The same pressure I felt to do right by Chinese American histories and communities at the San Francisco Public Library’s Chinatown branch certainly applies to this talk, in a space located quite close to Toronto’s own sizeable and longstanding Chinatown. But while there are parallels between those Chinese American and Chinese Canadian histories, including a Canadian Chinese Exclusion Act, there are also of course distinctions to be made—and I’ll be very glad to have the chance to think through such transnational comparisons and contrasts. If you’re in the Toronto area, keep an eye out for the talk’s exact time, and I’d love to see you there!
2)      The following morning, Tuesday 10/28, I’ll travel down to Waterloo to share my thoughts with Professor Debra Nash-Chambers’ course on North American Transborder Regions, part of Wilfrid Laurier University’s revamped North American Studies program (a connection I owe to Professor Kevin Spooner.) In many ways the two talks will parallel and complement each other, allowing (forcing) me to think in a theoretical as well as a practical way about such transnational comparisons and analyses. But with this talk and setting I’m even more interested to hear what scholars like Nash-Chambers and Spooner, as well as their students, have to say in response to my thoughts—it’s fair to say that all of them will have perspectives and knowledge that I don’t, and that I can’t imagine yet all the ways they’ll push and shift my thinking. I’ll keep you posted!
Next fall plan tomorrow,

PS. What’s on your autumn agenda?


  1. When you get to Toronto go to the Canadian Walk of Fame (it's a real thing) and get your picture taken with Capt. Kirk's star!