Survival and Loss: A Joint Discussion of Los Angeles and San Francisco Chinatowns


Thursday, January 31, 2019 6:00PM

Survival and Loss: A Joint Discussion of Los Angeles and San Francisco Chinatowns





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Survival and Loss: A Joint Discussion of Los Angeles and San Francisco Chinatowns


Where: California Historical Society Headquarters, 678 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

Cost: $10 General Admission, Free for CHS Members, plus one guest per membership.

Please reserve your tickets in advance. Seating is limited.

Inspired by our Los Angeles and San Francisco Chinatown photographs, which envision, describe, and share a particular idea of what Los Angeles and San Francisco Chinatowns were, we invite our guests to a stirring discussion that focuses on the art, histories and legacies of these two landmark spaces. How did they arise? What challenges have they faced and how have they survived? These are just some of the questions that will arise and be discussed by our panel, moderated by U. C. Berkeley Professor Harvey Dong.

About our Moderator:

Harvey Dong is interested in research and writing about the evolution of Asian American and Third World social movement activism on campus and in the communities. He was also involved in the I-Hotel History Committee to write a timeline history of struggle. He teaches Asian American Studies at UC Berkeley and was awarded the 2016 American Cultures Ronald Takaki Teaching Award. He uses his community work experience to bring life to his Asian American history, Chinese American history and Contemporary Issues course. Many of his students have gone on to work in social justice causes.

About our Speakers:

Jenny Cho is the author of Chinatown in Los Angeles, Chinese in Hollywood, and Chinatown and China City in Los Angeles, published by Arcadia Publishing. As a filmmaker, she directed "Revisiting East Adams", a documentary about the first Chinese American suburb in Los Angeles. She is currently a television editor, post producer, and associate producer with credits on National Geographic Television, Velocity Channel, DIY Network and more. She holds degrees from the University of Southern California, UCLA, and Georgetown University. In the non-profit sector, she served as a board member of the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California and the Organization of Chinese Americans Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter for several years.

Lenore Chinn, a native San Franciscan who graduated from San Francisco State College with a B.A. in Sociology, is a painter, photographer, and cultural activist who works to create structures of personal and institutional support that will both sustain critical artistic production and advance movements for social justice. Her current street photography chronicles a rapidly changing socio-political landscape. She was an original member of Lesbians in the Visual Arts, is a co-founder of the Queer Cultural Center and has been active in the Asian American Women Artists Association since the group was founded. From 1988 to 1992, she served on the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.

William Gow is a San Francisco-based community historian and educator. Currently a Lecturer of American Studies at Stanford University, he completed his PhD in Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley in 2018. A proud graduate of San Francisco public schools, William double majored in Cinema Studies and History at New York University before receiving his master’s degree in Asian American Studies from UCLA. Prior to entering his doctoral program, William served for eight years as a public historian with the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California, where he oversaw the Chinatown Remembered project paring college-age interns with community elders to document the history of the Chinese American community in Los Angeles in the early to mid-twentieth century. He is currently working on a book tentatively entitled, Performing Chinatown, which examines the history of Los Angeles Chinatown and its relationship to Hollywood film in the 1930s and 1940s.

Eddie Wong was one of the founders of Visual Communications where he directed the documentary films Wong Sinsaang, Pieces of a Dream, and Chinatown Two-Step. He served as Executive Director of NAATA/Center for Asian American Media from 1996 to 2006 and was the Executive Producer of Kelly Loves Tony and the series Searching for Asian America for PBS. He later became the Executive Director of the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) and produced several short video profiles of immigrants who were detained at Angel Island.

In 2014, he served as Guest Curator for the Smithsonian Institution’s Asian Pacific American Center’s “A Day in the Life of Asian Pacific America,” an online photo and video exhibition. His article “Broken Blossoms – Four Chinese Women and Their Journey from Slavery to Freedom” was published as the cover story in Prologue, the magazine of the National Archives, in Spring 2016. He is currently co-curating “At First Light: The Dawn of Asian Pacific America,” a retrospective of Visual Communications first 20 years of documentary work in still photography, film, and video. The exhibit will be on display at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles from May 25, 2019 to October 20, 2019.

Judy Tzu-Chun Wu is a professor and chair of the Department of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Irvine. She received her Ph.D. in U.S. History from Stanford University and previously taught for seventeen years at Ohio State University. She authored Dr. Mom Chung of the Fair-Haired Bastards: the Life of a Wartime Celebrity (University of California Press, 2005) and Radicals on the Road: Internationalism, Orientalism, and Feminism during the Vietnam Era (Cornell University Press, 2013). Her current book project, a collaboration with political scientist Gwendolyn Mink, explores the political career of Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first woman of color U.S. congressional representative and the co-sponsor of Title IX. Wu also co-edited Women’s America: Refocusing the Past, 8th Edition (Oxford 2015), Gendering the Trans-Pacific World (Brill 2017), and Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies (2012-2017). She also co-edits Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000 (Alexander Street Press).


Photo Citation: A corner in Chinatown, San Francisco, CHS2017_2259

In Partnership with Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA)


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