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Gastrodiplomacy: Book Talk with Heather R. Lee

Presented by the New York Center for Global Asia. Co-sponsored by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU and NYU Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies.


Heather Ruth Lee’s Gastrodiplomacy: Chinese Exclusion and the Ascent of Chinese Restaurants in New York, 1870-1949 (forthcoming) shows that a handful of Chinese immigrant men in New York changed the way a white majoritarian society ate. At a moment of intense anti-Chinese racism, the Chinese protagonists channeled their political activism through the Chinese restaurant. They presented ideas of China in the décor, restaurant ephemera, and food to renegotiate Chinese and white interracial relations and the status of Chinese people in the US. For Chinese immigrants, the most important dividends were the financial windfall from the popularity of Chinese food, as well as the more lenient application of Chinese Exclusion to Chinese restaurant owners. Their efforts to stay connected to China produced a transpacific circuit of people, capital, and ideas, making New York into the North American terminus of a transpacific corridor.

This discussion will feature Lee, Jeffrey M. Pilcher (University of Toronto), Madeline Y. Hsu (University of Texas at Austin), and Tyler Anbinder (Emeritus, George Washington University).

Accessibility note: This event will be hosted virtually on Zoom. A Zoom account, internet access, and a smartphone or computer is required. Please contact gs156@nyu.edu with any questions or access needs.



Image: George P. Hall and Sons, Manhattan: 14-18 Mott Street, Chinatown, undated, New-York Historical Society, Prints and Photographs Division, PR 0024.

Organizer: A/P/A Institute at NYU
Venue: Online event
Add to Calendar 09/30/2022 09:00 AM 09/30/2022 10:30 AM America/New_York Gastrodiplomacy: Book Talk with Heather R. Lee More detail: https://apa.nyu.edu/event/gastrodiplomacy-by-heather-r-lee/