I am a doctoral candidate in American Studies at Brown University, where I study immigration and labor history. My research interests are global migration patterns and economic strategies of migrant workers during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Currently, I am completing a dissertation on transnational Chinese restaurant workers in the United States.
Given the widespread interest in food culture today, I have found public spaces, like museums, to be rich opportunities for linking the scholarship on labor and migration experiences of food workers to the popular discussions about food. After starting he doctoral program in 2007, I have curated two exhibits on Chinese food in New England, which were exhibited at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, the Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson and Wales, and the Boston Storefront Library. I helped organized two conference on Chinese food and one yearlong colloquium for Transpacific research.
I take this interactive approach to teaching with me to the classroom. As a teacher, I use digital platforms to engage students from multiple angles. Having grown up with the internet, my students readily participate in virtual conversations on class blogs, wikis, and Blackboard. Large scale digitization projects have made historical research all the easier, and I make use of these resources by building assignments around exploring and using digitized archival collections and other historical materials.
“Consuming Labor: Migration and Mobility of Chinese Restaurant Workers, 1893-1949”
Exhibits on Chinese Restaurants
“A Life Lived for the Family: The Work and Migration Experiences of an Average Chinese Restaurant Worker in the U.S., 1920-1946,” in Eating Asian America, Robert Ji-Song Ku, Martin Manalansan, and Anita Mannur, eds. (forthcoming, New York University Press).
“What is Human Trafficking? Review of Books,” co-authored with Rhacel Salazar Parrenas and Maria Hwang, Signs vol. 37, no. 4 (Summer 2012): 1015-59.
“Selfish Consumers: Delmonico’s Restaurant and Satisfying Personal Desire,” in Food, Eating, and Culture, Lawrence Rubin, ed. (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2008).
Review of Modernity and National Identity in the United States and East Asia, 1895-1919, by Carol C. Chin, Journal of American Studies (forthcoming).