May 2022: Asian American and Pacific Islander History


1) Lessons on Judicial Interpretation: How Immigrants Takao Ozawa and Yick Wo Searched the Courts for a Place in America, by Steven C. Teel (Magazine of History, 1998) 

  • A Lesson PLan for teaching Immigrant history through the Supreme Court Case Yick Wo v. Hopkins. 

2) The New Migrants from Asia: Vietnamese in the United States, by Hien Duc Do (Magazine of History, June 1996)

  • A lesson plan for teaching an overview history of the Vietnamese-American experience through the lens of Immigration History. 

3) Teaching American History in Japan, by OAH Blog Staff (Process History Blog, 2015) 

  • An interview with Yasuo Endo about the realities of teaching American history outside of the US, particularly in Japan. 

4) “Stories of Vietnam” and the Pedagogical Value of Building a Course Around a Local History Project, by David Kieran (Process History Blog, 2015) 

  • Analyzing the “Stories of Vietnam” exhibit at the New York State Military Museum, Kiernan Looks at the role of oral histories, books, local history, and museums in teaching emotionally difficult topics like the Vietnam War. 

5) What should Our Students Know About Vietnam? By George Burson (Magazine of History, 1988) 

  • An article advocating for teaching the Vietnam War within a larger context of United States Asian policies. 

6) Gulf of Tonkin, by Erich Martel (Magazine of History, 1992) 

  • A lesson plan for teaching about the Gulf of Tonkin incident. 

7) Teaching Asian American History, by Gary Y. Okihiro (Magazine of History, 1996) 

  • An article on how to teach Asian American History in the U.S. Survey when textbook coverage is problematic and ignores nuance. 

8) The Tet Offensive: The Turning Point of the Vietnam War, by Jennifer Walton (Magazine of History, 2004) 

  • A lesson plan for teaching about the Tet Offensive. 

9) The Paradoxes of the Demilitarized Zone, by Elizabeth D. Schafer (Magazine of History, 2000) 

  • A lesson plan that highlights the political, military, and diplomatic nuances of Korea’s Demilitarized Zone. 

10) Integrating Islam and Muslims into the U.S. History Survey, by Edward E. Curtis, IV (Magazine of History, 2008) 

  • Teaching strategies and alignment with National Standards for teaching about Islam and Muslims in the U.S. 

11) Limited War or a Rollback of Communism?: Truman, MacArthur, and the Korean Conflict, by Bruce Lesh (Magazine of History, 2008) 

  • Teachings strategies and alignment with National Standards for teaching about the Korean Conflict in its historical context. 

12) Teaching, Situating, and Interrogating Asian American History, by Michael Omi (Magazine of History, 1996) 

  • An essay about how to contextualize Asian American History given all of the stakes to the University, Curriculum, students, and a plurality of Asian identities. 

13) Human RIghts: By Any Means Necessary, by Andrew McEvoy Spero (Magazine of History, 2008) 

  • In this teaching strategy students create an “African American Freedom Struggle Timeline and Map” on a classroom wall and relate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) to the timeline’s events. This lesson’s purpose is to broaden the traditional understanding of the civil rights movement from a domestic movement for political rights to a global struggle for human rights. In other words, the teaching strategy connects the civil rights movement to the fight for political freedom, human dignity, and economic stability for marginalized and oppressed people around the world.

14) U.S.-China Relations, 1900-1954, by Kathleen Xidis (Magazine of History, 1992) 

  • A lesson plan to “understand the decades of confusion and civil war that wracked China during the transition from the Manchu dynasty to the triumph of the Chinese Communists until the end of the Korean War. 

15) The Korean War Homefront, Then and Now, by Elizabeth D. Schafer (Magazine of History, 2000) 

  • A lesson plan that teaches about the Korean War and its impact through varying primary sources. 

16) The Korean War: An ERIC/ChESS Sample, by Laura A. Pinhey (Magazine of History, 2000) 

  • An ERIC Resources index for Korean War source material. 

17) Teaching the Vietnam War from the Vietnamese Perspective, by Jessica Chapman (Magazine of History, 2004) 

  • A lesson plan that asks students to analyze the local context of the Vietnam War, and to consider the impact of American and French policies on the country’s struggle for independence and political unity. 

18)The Pride and Pain of Chinese Immigration: Folk Rhymes from San Francisco’s Chinatown, by Terrie Epstein (Magazine of History, 1990) 

  • A lesson plan designed to center Folk Rhymes in lessons about Chinese Immigraiton. 

19) Road to Victory: Building the Ho Chi Minh Trail, by Marianne Kenney (Magazine of History, 1993) 

  • A lesson plan to develop student awareness about the geographic and historical issues surrounding the building of the Ho CHi Minh Trail. 

20) Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Beyond Vietnam,” by Eric Cook and Stan Pesick (Magazine of History, 2005) 

  • A lesson plan to analyze the why, risks, and receptions behind Dr. King’s decision to speak out against the war in VIetnam. 

21) The 1944 Nisei Draft at Heart Mountain, Wyoming: Its Relationship to the Historical Representation of the World War II Japanese American Evacuation, by Arthur A. Hansen (Magazine of History, 1996) 

  • A lesson plan placing the Japanese AMerican Evacuation within a meaningful historical context and capitalizing the responses to the Nisei draft. 

22) The Necesity of Teaching Asian American History, by Erika Lee (The American Historian, Spring 2022)

  • This articles argues why Asian American history should be taugh in the U.S. history classroom and offers resrouces for teachers to draw from.

Lived Experiences in the U.S. 

1) Beyond Bound Feet: Relocating Asian American Women, by Sucheta Mazumdar (Magazine of History, June 1996) 

  • A history of 19th and early 20th century Asian migration to the United States centered around the experience of Asian American women. 

2) Cambodian Refugees in the NYC Hyperghetto, by OAH Blog Staff (Process History, March 2016) 

  • An interview with Eric Tang about his book on Cambodian Refugees in the Bronx.

3) Borderlands in a World at Sea: Concow Indians, Native Hawaiians, and South Chinese in Indigenous, Global, and National Spaces, by David A. Chang (Journal of American History, September 2011)

  • This article seeks to move the conception of borderlands beyond that of contact between two nation-states in a fixed geographic location. Recognizing people as indigenous in a borderlands context becomes more complex and more urgent given the fact that they often moved beyond the borders of their original homelands under compulsion (as in the case of the Concow) or were citizens of nations that, while struggling against colonialism, were still recognized as territorial sovereigns

4) “Why So Many? Filipino Nurses & the COVID Frontlines,” by Catherine Ceniza Choy, (Intervals, Aug. 18th, 2021) 

  • Catherine Ceniza Choy is professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of the book, Empire of Care: Nursing and Migration in Filipino American History (2003), which explored how and why the Philippines became the leading exporter of professional nurses to the United States.

5) The Transcontinental Railroad, by Stephen Ambrose (Talking History, Dec. 18th, 2000) 

  • A talk with historian Stephen Ambrose, author of Nothing Like It In the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad, 1863–1869.The program contains an op-ed by Gary Marks of the University of North Carolina, co-author of It Didn’t Happen Here: Why Socialism Failed in the United States.

6) Affirmative Action, by Todd Jones (Talking History, Sept. 4, 2000). 

  • A talk with Todd Jones, philosophy professor at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas and co-editor of the book Affirmative Action: Social Justice or Reverse Discriminaton? The program contains an op-ed about welfare by professor Linda Gordon. 

7) Building “Christian Fellowship”: Asian American Student Activism on the West Coast, by Stephanie Hinnershitz (Process History Blog, 2019) 

  • “Believing deeply in the message of Christian love and equality, many such students continued to embrace social justice activism through the 1950s. Although their methods came to be seen as conservative once the Civil Rights Movement became more urgent by the late 1960s, their contributions to Christian political activism were forerunners of current trends in religion, race, and social justice.”

8) Heather Lee on the History of Chinese Restaurants in America, by Heather Lee (Process History Blog, 2015) 

  • An interview with Heather Lee about their dissertation titled “Entrepreneurs in the Age of Chinese Exclusion: Transnational Capital, Migrant Labor, and Chinese Restaurants in New York City, 1850-1943.” 

9) From Vincent Chin to the “China Virus”: Connecting Anti-Asian Racism and Community Responses in Past and Present, By Melissa Borja (The American Historian, Spring 2022)

  • This article compares present-day anti-Asian racism to similar experiences of anti-Asian racism in the 1980s.

10) “The New Way”: How American Refugee Policies Changed Hmong Religious Life, by Melissa Borja (The American Historian, November 2018)

  • “Hmong refugees experienced these pressures for religious change despite sincere efforts on the part of the government to make refugee assistance a religiously neutral enterprise. The people who planned and administered the resettlement program promised to honor commitments to religious freedom and pluralism. Despite these genuine good intentions, though, the state proved unable to fully enact its own benevolence, and in resettling Hmong refugees, it ended up unsettling Hmong religious life.”

AAPI and the Law – General 

1) Asian MIgrants, Exclusionary Laws, and Transborder Migration in North America, 1880-1940, by Yukari Takai (Magazine of History, 2009) 

  • An analysis of various laws affecting Asian Migrants in North American history from 1880-1940. 

2) Votes for Colonized Women, by Laura Prieto (Process History May, 2020) 

  • An analysis of the 19th Amendment’s impact for women in the Caribbean and Pacific Territories of the UNited States. This transnational research on Women’s suffrage contextualizes U.S. history into the broader history of its empire. 

3) 1898: The Onset of America’s Troubled Asian Century, by Michael H. Hunt (Magazine of History, 1998) 

  • A history of America’s colonial past and how it shaped U.S.-Asia Relations from 1898 forward. 

4) Asian Migrants, Exclusionary Laws, and Transborder MIgration in North America, 1880-1940, by Yukari Takai (Magazine of History, 2009) 

  • This article sheds light on some of the ways in which merchants, laborers, farmers, and lumber camp workers, as well as a far smaller number of wives and prostitutes from China, Japan, and South Asia, negotiated their mobility as they moved across North America’s land border (and sometimes back again) from the 1880s to 1930s, after their voyages across the Pacific. This was a crucial time when the permeable borders were gradually transformed.

5) From Wong Kim Ark to the Japanese American Incarceration: Asian Americans and the Racial Limits of Birthright Citizenship, By Micahel R. Jin (The American Historian, Spring 2022)

  • This article examines the always tenuous nature of citizenship for U.S. born Asian Americans.

Intersectional Narratives 

1) The Black Pacific Narrative, by Etusko Taketani (Process History, Nov. 2015) 

  • An Interview with Etsuko Taketani about her book The Black Pacific Narrative: Geographic Imaginings of Race and Empire between the World Wars

2) The Baker Street Vice Ring and the Birth of the Asian American Homo, by Amy Sueyoshi (Process History Blog, 2017) 

  • “As mores of gender and sexuality expanded for middle-class whites, one might assume that they did for newer Americans as well. Yet a closer look at San Francisco reveals just how narrow and constricting the “wide open town” could be for its Chinese and Japanese communities. Middle-class whites enjoyed new freedoms, but these freedoms were predicated on gendered and sexualized stereotypes of the “Orient.” Specifically, the formation of an urban gay community depended on the fundamental presumption that Chinese and Japanese culture and people facilitated male same-sex sexuality.” 

3) Sea Gods, Brownies, and Temperamental Men: Asian Pacific Islanders in the Making of a Gay American Identity, by Amy Sueyoshi (The American Historian, May 2019)

  • “Without a doubt, Pacific Islanders and Asians centrally informed how white American men discovered their love for other men at the turn of the century. Perhaps then we can also trace the conflation of Pacific Islander and Asia, now understood as API, as having roots in the formation of a modern gay identity”

China Specific 

1) China & Taiwan, by Caleb Clark, (Talking History, 2001) 

  • A talk with professor Caleb Clark of Auburn University, co-editor of The ROC on the Threshhold of the Twenty-First Century.The program contains an op-ed by professor Arthur Waldron of the University of Pennsylvania about future prospects for a free and democratic China.

2) Tiananmen Papers, by Andrew Nathan (Talking History, June 2011) 

  • An interview with Andrew Nathan about the documents chronicling the Communist Party’s decisions during the 1989 pro-democracy rally. Nathan is the co-editor of The Tiananmen Papers: The Chinese Leadership’s Decision to Use Force Against Their Own People-In Their Own Words. Nathan is a professor of political science at Columbia University.

Vietnam Specific 

1) American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity, by Ed Linenthal and Christian G. Appy (JAH Podcast, April 2015) 

  • Ed Linenthal, executive editor of Journal of American History, speaks with Christian G. Appy, professor of history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. In this episode they discuss Professor Appy’s new book American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity.

2) Lessons of Vietnam, by Jim Willbanks, (Talking History, 2001) 

  • A look at the lessons the U.S. Army took away from its experience in Vietnam with Jim Willbanks, professor of National Security Policy at the Army’s Command and General Staff College. He is also the author of Vietnamization: Neither Peace nor Victory. This program contains an op-ed by H. Bruce Franklin on the myths surrounding the Vietnam experience. Franklin is the author of Vietnam and Other American Fantansies and a professor of American Studies at Rutgers University.

3) The Vietnam War, by H.R. McMaster, (Talking History, 1998) 

4) Vietnam, by Andrew Rotter (Talking History, 2000) 

  • A talk with Andrew Rotter, author of Light at the End of the Tunnel: A Vietnam War Anthology. Rotter is the chairman of the Department of History at Colgate University.The program contains an op-ed by conscientious objector Joe Volk, who refused to fight in Vietnam, on what Memorial Day means to him. Volk is the executive secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation.

5) AALR: “(Re)Collecting the Vietnam War, by OAH Blog Staff, (Process History Blog, 2015) 

  • An interview with Cathy J. Schlund-Vials and Sylvia Shin Huey Chong about the special issue of THe Asian American Literary Review, which commemorates the 40 year anniversary of the Fall of Saigon and examines the complexities of the Vietnam War. 

6) The Vietnam War, a Documentary, by Christian Appy (Process History Blog, 2017) 

  • An analysis of the documentary: The Vietnam War. A film review and analysis of the role of documentaries in public memory. 

7) The Cold War and Vietnam, by George C. Herring (Magazine of History, 2004) 

  • An article arguing that The Cold War and the American War in Vietnam cannot be disentangled. 

8) Vietnam in First Person: The Virtual Vietnam Archive, by Susanna Robbins (Magazine of History, 2004) 

  • A collection of internet resources for teaching about the Vietnam War through primary sources. 

India Specific 

1) From Poverty to Slavery: Abolitionists, Overseers, and the Global Struggle for Labor in India, by Christopher M. Florio (Journal of American History, March 2016)

Korea Specific 

1) Korea 50 Years Later, by Burton Kaufman (Talking History, 2000) 

  • A talk with Miami of Ohio University history Professor Burton Kaufman on his book, The Korean War: Challenges in Crises, Identity and Command.The program contains an op-ed by Bruce Cummings on the unresolved problems that remain in Korea. Dr. Cumings is a Norman and Edna Freehling Professor of International History and East Asian Political Economy at the University of Chicago and author of The Origins of the Korean War.

2) New Light on a “Forgotten War”: The Diplomacy of the Korean Conflict, by Priscilla Roberts (Magazine of History, 2000) 

  • A new look at archival materials that provide a more thorough picture of the Korean War. 

Japan Specific 

1) Atomic Bomb Cinema, by Jerome Shapiro, (Talking History, 2000) 

  • A talk with historian Jerome Shapiro on the use of the Atomic Bomb as the central theme for movies. Shapiro is the resident Cinema Studies scholar at Hiroshima University in Japan.

2) The Japanese “Internment” Cases Revisited, by Edward T. Robinson (Magazine of History, 2003) 

  • Revisiting the supreme court cases of Hirabayashi, Korematsu, and Endo because they have primarily been misdescribed by high school history and government textbooks. 

3) Further Thoughts on the Japanese American Cases, by Roger Daniels (Magazine of History, 2003) 

  • This article is in dialogue with Edward T. Robinson’s article above and gives a different view point. The two articles could be used together to facilitate debate about the cases. 

4) From Memory to History? The Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary, by Geoffrey White and Daniel Martinez (Process History Blog, 2016) 

  • An analysis of the role of anniversaries through the lens of Pearl Harbor commemorations. 

5) Obama in Hiroshima: A Mandate for Looking Back, by Susan Southard, (Process History Blog, 2016) 

  • An analysis of former President Barack Obama’s address when visting Hiroshima in May of 2016 – the first President to do since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 

6) The Industrial Revolution in the Twentieth Century, with a Focus on Japan and East Asian Followers, by Steven Ericson (Magazine of HIstory, 2000) 

  • “This essay encourages approaches to the teaching of industrialization that go beyond the usual Western chronology to address key developments, especially in non-Western settings, from around 1900. 

Pacific Islands Specific 

1) The Politics of Statehood in Hawai’i and the Urgency of Non-Statist Decolonization, by J. KĒHAULANI KAUANUI (Process, Sept 2019) 

  • Kauanui discusses Hawaiian history and the illegal taking of the Islands. Through this discussion an argument is made about what decolonization looks like in a Hawaiian context.