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“Siam’s Twins and America’s Anti-Chinese Racism”

Thursday, Apr 27, 2017 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

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Joseph Orser (University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire)


“Siam’s Twins and America’s Anti-Chinese Racism”

Chang and Eng Bunker, popularly known as the Siamese twins, were the most famous Americans of Chinese descent in the nineteenth-century United States. The lengthy careers of these conjoined brothers and their families, who put their bodies on display in performances across the country, allow scholars to compare norms of race, class, deformity, and gender across space and time. This lecture considers how the examples of Siam’s twins and their mixed-race children provide insights into a tumultuous period of anti-Asian racism punctuated by Chinese exclusion.  

Joseph Orser earned his Ph.D. in U.S. history from Ohio State University and teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Professor Orser previously worked as journalist for almost ten years, five in his native Florida and the rest in Bangkok, Thailand.

Seating is limited.  For more information, please contact Prof. J. Wu (j.wu@uci.edu) and Julia Lee (juliahl1@uci.edu). 


Additional Events featuring Professor Joseph Orser:

  • Professor Orser also will be a featured speaker for the “Thriving in Differences: Interdisciplinary Symposia on ‘Strange’ Body, Ethnicity, and Language” Symposium on April 30, 11: 30-12: 30, Contemporary Arts Center Colloquium Room (3rd floor). 
  • The symposia on April 30 and May 6 are held in conjunction with the UCI Drama Department’s production of Philip Gotanda’s I Dream of Chang and Eng (performed April 29-May 7, 8 p.m. Robert Cohen Theatre.  For tickets see:  http://www.arts.uci.edu/event/i-dream-chang-and-eng). 
  • To learn more about “Making it in the Asian American “Showbiz,” come meet Snehal Desai, artistic director of East West Players, May 4, 7-7:45 p.m., Contemporary Arts Center Outreach Room
  • For these related events, please contact Prof. Daphne Lei (dlei@uci.edu)

Co-Sponsors: Illuminations, Department of Asian American Studies, Center for Asian Studies, Department of Drama and Department of History




Thursday, Apr 27, 2017
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm