Historical Perspectives on Racism: Anti-Chinese Racism

This is a past event

The College of Arts & Sciences presents


A Saturday Symposium Series on Racism


Free and open to the public. Registration required:


Join the College of Arts & Sciences for a Saturday Symposium program offering historical and contemporary perspectives on the important and timely issue of anti-Chinese racism.



  • Dael Norwood, History, “Anti-Chinese Racism's Rotten Roots: Slavery, Opium, and Empire.” This talk will examine the historical connections between anti-Chinese racism and white Americans' investments in slavery, opium, and empire, as well as the role anti-Chinese racists played in creating the U.S.'s border policing regime.
  • Jeanne Pfaelzer, English, “Driven Out: A History of Chinese Resistance and Resilience.” The speaker will discuss the Chinese Exclusion Act. In addition, she will examine two U.S. Supreme Court cases, raised by 19th century Chinese, the outcome of which guarantee that the 14th Amendment covers all persons, not just all citizens, and that protected birthright children of migrants.
  • Vimalin Rujivacharakul, Art History, “If These Objects Could Talk…”  In the history of American collecting, many renowned collectors have never been to China. And while several of them considered themselves Sinophiles, many openly criticized Chinese culture and its people, sometimes with explicitly racialized connotations. How could one be so enamored of material things yet despise the people who made them?   The presentation discusses this baffling disconnection through a conversation about the historical and socioeconomic factors that have long enabled collectors to isolate material objects from cultural engagement, things from people, and past from present.  From known cases in historical records and the arguments behind each case, we will then conclude with a brief introduction to new approaches in the art world that will hopefully narrow down the racialized divide.   
  • Yuanchong Wang, History, “Consuming the Imagined Chinas in the US." The talk looks at the overall change of "Chinas" in the West (including the US). Examines the history of Sino-US relations and how the 19th-century anti-Chinese racism found a new reincarnation in the 20th/21st-century context. 

The program will provide ample opportunity for questions and answers with the panel after the presentations.



Next in the series:

  • Historical Perspectives on Racism: Anti-Black Racism on October 17, 2 p.m.
  •  Historical Perspectives on Racism: Anti-Latinx Racism (early 2021 date to be determined).

Questions? or 302-831-6075.

Dial-In Information

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Saturday, October 3, 2020 at 2:00pm to 3:30pm

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Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Community, Students, Lectures & Programs, Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Employee Equity & Inclusion, Lectures and Programs, Special Events, Civic Engagement, Grad Students & Postdocs



Art History, Arts & Sciences, English, History, Office of Equity and Inclusion


Free and open to the public

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Tara Kee

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