Chinese Women of America, 1848-1982

August 20 – October 15, 1983

“Chinese Women of America, 1848-1982,” a pioneering research project sponsored by the Chinese Culture Foundation with·funding provided by the Women’s Educational Equity Act Program of the United States Department of Education, is now underway. Under Project Director Judy Yung and Project Investigators Genny Lim and Vincente Tang, a thorough study of the Chinese women of America — their lives, struggles and achievements — from their earliest arrival to the present day will be conducted through archival materials, interviews, as well as secondary sources.

The study will examine the effects of immigration and exclusionary laws on Chinese women during the so-called Exclusion period from 1882 to 1943. It will explore the subsequent improved status of Chinese American women from 1965 to 1982, made possible by increased educational and employment opportunities. Ultimately, it hopes to shed light on the achievements of Chinese American women and the significant role they played in the development of Chinese American history.

The two-year project will culminate in a traveling exhibit and accompanying catalogue tracing the historical and contemporary role of Chinese women of America. It follows in the wake of the successful exhibition, “The Chinese of America: 1785-1980,” presented by the Chinese Culture Center last fall, now on a national tour.

Judy Yung and Genny Lim are co-authors of the book, Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, 1910-1940 with Him Mark Lai. Vincente Tang served as a consultant to the “Chinese of America: 1785-1980” exhibition project and as a coordinator for the Second National Conference on Chinese American Studies held at the Center last year.

The project welcomes artifacts, memorabilia, photographs and articles of interest relating to Chinese women through the years. Project staff is also seeking to interview a representative, national sampling of women who arrived in the U.S. in the early 1900’s, second and third generation Chinese American women, recent women immigrants since the 1960’s, and outstanding Chinese American women in different fields of work. Contact the “Chinese Women of America Project,” Chinese Culture Center, 750 Kearny Street, San Francisco, Ca. 94108, (415) 986-1822.