In 1854 Yung Wing, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Yale University, returned to a poverty-stricken China, where domestic revolt and foreign invasion were shaking the Chinese empire. Inspired by the U.S. and its liberal education, Yung believed that having more Chinese students educated there was the only way to bring reform to China. Since then, generations of students from China—and other Asian countries—have embarked on this transpacific voyage in search of modernity. What forces have shaped Asian student migration to the U.S.? What impact do foreign students have on the formation of Asian America? How do we grasp the meaning of this transpacific subject in and out of Asian American history and culture? Transpacific Articulations: Student Migration and the Remaking of Asian America, by Chih-ming Wang explores these questions in the crossings of Asian culture and American history.
“Wang’s incisive scholarship urges us to rethink the contours of ‘Asian America’ through a sophisticated analysis of ‘foreign students’ as transpacific subjects. By examining the transnational subjectivities and alliances that have been at the center of Asian America since its beginnings, Wang’s analysis helps to move beyond a dichotomous view of diasporism and nationalism. With a historian’s hand reaching deep into the archives and a literary scholar’s sophisticated eyes and ears for language, Wang presents a nuanced analysis of various forms of ‘translation’—linguistic, cultural, psychosocial, political—by foreign students that in turn shaped the ideals and struggles of the Asian American movement. —Mari Yoshihara, professor, Department of American Studies, University of Hawai`i at Mānoa
June 2013 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3642-9 / $46.00 (CLOTH)