Welcome to the A|P|A Histories web site!
This site is a public site for and about Asian Pacific American history. Produced by the Asian Pacific American History Collective, the site presents Asian Pacific American history as it is currently conceived and understood by scholars and others working on the subject. It contains many materials including interpretative essays, historical episodes, original documents and objects (in electronic form), and supplemental resources such as chronologies, bibliographies, teaching lessons, and links to other web sites.
There is no single way to approach the information and knowledge presented here since the purpose is to allow visitors to explore the site in their own fashion and at their own pace. However, the site is organized into different sections that reflect the kinds of historical information presented: histories, episodes, materials, resources, and comments (with a
final section for credits). For visitors who prefer the broad sweep of history and arguments that stimulate, we suggest one of four interpretative histories on: Empire, the Body, Culture, and Borders/Boundaries.
And for those visitors who prefer suggestions, here is the beginning of one of our historical episodes . . .
Between Two Empires: Japanese Americans before the Pacific War
In historical studies of Asian Pacific Americans, using the paradigm of the American empire has been a notable trend in the recent years. This new development has been all beneficial for our re-conceptualization of Asian Pacific American history and trans-Pacific migration experiences. Not only does it demystify the notion of American žexceptionalismÓ and the time-honored žimmigrant paradigmÓ of United States history, but it also helps us see matters of racial formation, identity politics, and community making beyond the confines of the North American continent. This is not to say that emergent žempireÓ perspectives are without flaws or weakness, however, since they tend to hold the United States as the focus or the reference point. In other words, although the visions of empire-based studies extend beyond the pale of formal national or hemispheric boundaries, žAmericaÓ still occupies the pivotal place in their problematization, inquiries, and analyses, thereby keeping such studies peculiarly žnationalistic,Ó or at least nation-centered. Albeit tied to the new theoretical development of žtransnationalism,Ó the concept of empire in American studies, U.S. history, and Asian Pacific American history therefore may not necessarily be free from the national(ist) discourses that it aspires to resist.
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