Chinatowns in a Transnational World
Myths and Realities of an Urban Phenomenon
Edited by Vanessa Künnemann, Ruth Mayer
Routledge – 2011 – 244 pages
This book explores the history, the reality, and the complex fantasy of American and European Chinatowns and traces the patterns of transnational travel and traffic between China, South East Asia, Europe, and the United States which informed the development of these urban sites. Despite obvious structural or architectural similarities and overlaps, Chinatowns differ markedly depending on their location. European versions of Chinatowns can certainly not be considered mere replications of the American model. Paying close attention to regional specificities and overarching similarities, Chinatowns thus discloses the important European backdrop to a phenomenon commonly associated with North America. It starts from the assumption that the historical and modern Chinatown needs to be seen as complicatedly involved in a web of cultural memory, public and private narratives, ideologies, and political imperatives. Most of the contributors to this volume have multidisciplinary and multilingual backgrounds and are familiar with several different instances of the Chinese diasporic experience. With its triangular approach to the developments between China and the urban Chinese diasporas of North America and Europe, Chinatowns reveals connections and interlinkages which have not been addressed before.
Introduction: A "Bit of Orient Set Down in the Heart of a Western Metropolis": The Chinatown in the United States and Europe Ruth Mayer 1. New York After Chinatown: Canal Street and the "New World Order" John Kuo Wei Tchen 2. "Chinese Quarters": Maritime Labor, Chinese Migration, and Local Imagination in Rotterdam and Hamburg, 1900—1950 Lars Amenda 3. Cosmopolitan Lifestyles and "Yellow Quarters": Traces of Chinese Life in Germany, 1921—1941 Dagmar Yu-Dembski 4. Rehabilitating Chinatown at Mid-Century: Chinese Americans, Race, and US Cultural Diplomacy Mary Lui 5. "Curious Kisses": The Chinatown Fantasies of Thomas Burke Anne Witchard 6. "The Greatest Novelty of the Age": Fu-Manchu, Chinatown, and the Global City Ruth Mayer 7. The Donaldina Cameron Myth and the Rescue of America, 1910—2002 Kirsten Twelbeck 8. "Showing What It Is to Be Chinese": China/Town Authenticity and Hybridity in Pearl S. Buck’s Kinfolk Vanessa Künnemann 9. "Food Town": Chinatown and the American Journey of Chinese Food Yong Chen 10. London’s Chinatown and the Changing Shape of Chinese Diaspora Rosemary Sales with Panos Hatziprokopiou, Alessio D’Angelo and Xia Lin 11. Chinatowns in Transition: Between Ethnic Enclave and Global Emblem Flemming Christiansen
Vanessa Künnemann is Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of Hannover.
Ruth Mayer is Chair of American Studies at the University of Hannover.