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Eurasian Book Talk

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Eurasian Book Talk


Mixed Identities in the United States, China and Hong Kong,



“Beautifully written and thoughtfully crafted, Teng’s Eurasian is a pleasure to read. The author has written a nuanced, multisided account of mixed families and Eurasian identities that will be important reading for students in U.S. and Chinese history and in Asian, Asian American, and Ethnic Studies.”

Kornel Chang, author of Pacific Connections: The Making of the U.S.-Canadian Borderlands

“By examining Eurasian identities from Chines and Ameri- can perspectives, Emma Teng offers a truly transnational and multicultural intellectual project.”

Evelyn Hu-DeHart, editor of Across the Pacific: Asian Americans and Globalization

In the second half of the nineteenth century, global labor migration, trade and overseas study brought China and the United States into close contract, leading to new cross-cultural encounters that brought mixed-race families into being. Yet the stories of these families remain largely unknown. How did interracial families negotiate their identities within these societies when mixed-race marriage was taboo and “Eurasian” often a derisive term?

In Eurasian, Emma Jinhua Teng compares Chinese-Western mixed-race families in the United States, China, and Hong Kong, examining both the range of ideas that shaped the formation of Eurasian identities in these diverse context, and the claims set forth by individual Eurasians concerning their own identities.

Teng argues that Eurasian were not universally marginalized during this ear, as is often asserted. Rather, Eurasians often found themselves facing contradiction between exclusionary and inclusive ideologies of race and nationality, and between overt racism and more subtle forms of prejudice that were counterbal- anced by partial acceptance and privilege.

Emma Jinghua Teng is a MacVicar Faculty Fellow and the T.T. and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Asian Civilization and Associ- ate Professor of Chinese Studies at MIT and the author of Taiwan’s Imagined Geography: Chinese Colonial Travel Writing and Pictures, 1683-1895 ( Harvard, 2004)

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