Judy Tzu-Chun Wu is a professor of History and Asian American Studies at the University of California, Irvine. She also is associate dean of research, faculty development, and public engagement in the School of Humanities, the director of the Humanities Center, and the director of the Center for Liberation, Anti-Racism, and Belonging (C-LAB). She specializes in Asian American, immigration, comparative racialization, women's, gender, and sexuality histories. Wu received her Ph.D. in U.S. History from Stanford University and previously taught at Ohio State University. She authored Dr. Mom Chung of the Fair-Haired Bastards: the Life of a Wartime Celebrity (2005) and Radicals on the Road: Internationalism, Orientalism, and Feminism during the Vietnam Era (2013). Her book, Fierce and Fearless: Patsy Takemoto Mink, First Woman of Color in Congress (2022), is a collaboration with political scientist Gwendolyn Mink. Wu is currently working on a book that focuses on Asian American and Pacific Islander Women who attended the 1977 National Women’s Conference and co-editing Unequal Sisters, 5th edition and Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000. She also serves on the editorial committee for the University of California Press and as a series editor for the U.S. in the World Series with Cornell University Press. She is the co-president of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians.
NEW in 2022: Fierce and Fearless: Patsy Takemoto Mink, First Woman of Color in Congress (NYU Press)
During World War II, Mom Chung’s was the place to be in San Francisco. Soldiers, movie stars, and politicians gathered at her home to socialize, to affirm their dedication to the Allied cause, and to express their affection for their adopted mother, Dr. Margaret Chung. Born in 1889 in Santa Barbara, California, Chung would become the first known American-born Chinese female physician when she graduated from the University of Southern California in 1916. She established one of the first western medical clinics in San Francisco Chinatown in the 1920s before achieving celebrity status during the international conflicts of the 1930s and 1940s. This talk examines Chung’s interracial surrogate family and her own orientalized motherly persona as symbols of the selectively expanded American nation during World War II. It also traces Chung’s use of maternalist strategies for racialized female empowerment to the complex legacies of white female missionary reform movements among Chinese and Chinese American peoples during the late Victorian era.