“A strong presentation of ideas for advancing archaeological research on the challenges confronted and opportunities created by Chinese men and women who made their lives outside their homeland.”—Charles E. Orser Jr., author of The Archaeology of Race and Racialization in Historic America
“This volume is the future of archaeological research on North America’s Chinese diaspora. The chapters brilliantly expand our knowledge of this dynamic and heterogeneous community by weaving together new evidence and theoretical perspectives. The result is a template for deepening our understanding of migrant communities across time and space.”—Edward González-Tennant, author of The Rosewood Massacre: An Archaeology and History of Intersectional Violence
“Admirable for the quality of scholars assembled, this book pushes the field of Chinese diaspora archaeology in new directions.”—Mark S. Warner, author of Eating in the Side Room: Food, Archaeology, and African American Identity
Archaeologists are becoming increasingly interested in studying the experiences of Chinese immigrants, yet this area of research is mired in long-standing interpretive models that essentialize race and identity. Showcasing the enormous amount of data available on the lives of Chinese people who migrated to the United States and Canada in the nineteenth century, this volume charts new directions by providing fresh, more nuanced approaches to interpreting immigrant life.
In these chapters, leading scholars first tackle broad questions of how best to position and understand these populations. They then delve into a variety of site-based and topical case studies, providing new approaches to themes like Chinese immigrant foodways and highlighting understudied topics including entrepreneurialism, cross-cultural interactions, and conditions in the Jim Crow South. Pushing back against old colonial-based tropes, contributors call for an awareness of the transnational relationships created through migration, engagement with broader archaeological and anthropological debates, and the expansion of research into new contexts and topics. Chelsea Rose is research faculty at Southern Oregon University. J. Ryan Kennedy is adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of New Orleans.