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)
Margaret Jessie Chung (1889-1959), the first American-born woman of Chinese descent to become a physician, became a war-time celebrity during World War II. She adopted over a thousand U.S. military personnel, politicians, and entertainers. This talk examines the historical significance of her life, not in terms of her accomplishments in the public realm of work and politics, but by focusing on her private choices. Chung decided not to marry or have children during a time when the social pressure for Chinese American women to do both was intense. Instead, she developed erotic relationships with white women. She also experimented with gender presentation, adopting masculine and feminine personas. This talk explores Chung's gender identities as well as her homoerotic interracial relationships, expanding the existing understanding of Asian American sexuality during the first half of the twentieth century and revealing the ways in which women of color negotiated shifting gender, sexual, and racial norms from the late Victorian through the modern eras.