Living with Difference: Asian/Latino cultural intersections by Christofer Rodelo
Over the course of this class’s investigations in Latina/o mobility and digital media, we have encountered various narratives that demonstrate how people living in California enact mobility—individually, community-wise, and nationally—to enact place in their respective environment(s). Crucial to facilitating a holistic comprehension of Latina/os in the 20th century is a historical understanding of how Latina/os existed in relation to other ethno-racial communities. Natalia Molina’s book Fit to be Citizens? Public Health and Race in Los Angeles, 1879-1939 demonstrates how the ability of public health discourse to police Mexican Americans in 20th century Southern California was dependent on synergetic relationships with how other minority groups, and in particular Chinese and Japanese migrants, were ostracized. Widening the scope of Molina’s lens, I am invested in delineating how scholarship has recognized the intertwined fates of Latina/o and Asian communities, and the comprehensiveness of these studies. As such, the focus of this literature review is to illuminate how multiple thinkers and mediums engage with Latina/o and Asia confluence, from academics to curators to the general public. Over the course of this review, I examine three sites: Wendy Cheng’s eBook The Changs Next Door to the Díazes: Remapping Race in Suburban California, the exhibit’s “Intersections as American Life: Smithsonian Asian-Latino Festival 2013” online profile, and a Wikipedia article about Korean tacos. In selecting this three sites, this digital review completes a two-pronged objective: one, to discern how the social relationship between Asians and Latinos—historically and in the contemporary moment-- is rendered in discourses of the day, and second, the extent to which the various mediums of these sites facilitate accessible knowledge.
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