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Yellow Peril Redux: Reflections & Actions

Updated: Dec 12, 2021

May is ushering in the Asian-Pacific Heritage Month, which commemorates the contribution of Asian-Americans to American society.

CHEER is sponsoring an important event hosted by The Society of Heart's Delight, a Chinese immigrant community, with many of our active members transplanted from China since adulthood. We are professionals, writers, business owners, lawyers, researchers, teachers, programmers, artists, influencers and community builders. We are located throughout Silicon Valley, where 35% of residents are Asian Americans. We are your good neighbors, parents in schools. Nurtured by Chinese culture, we actively participate in improving the communities of which we call home.

Recently we found ourselves caught in between two world views and an escalating rivalry of two giants. More than ever, Chinese Americans are seeking and securing our foothold during this tumultuous time.

The Society of Heart’s Delight is honoring this year’s Asian-Pacific Heritage Month by inviting Prof. Dan Shao, Matthew Brown and their team to have a conversation with our own Dr. Irene Haiyun Zhang, an educator and history enthusiast.

An associate professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures, as well as gender and women's studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Dan Shao collaborated with Dr. Matthew Brown,assistant professor in the Department of Accounting, Economics, and Finance at the University of Illinois Springfield to design and implement the "Yellow Peril Redux" curriculum at University of Illinois, to discuss the relationship between the United States and Asia over the past 100 years, and to provide an anchor of online materials for researchers and collaborators.

Our Dialogue will follow the axes of time, geopolitics and ethnicities to cover areas of concern for people of both sides of the Pacific. Audiences are welcome to post their own questions before and during the conversation.

Project leader Dr. Dan Shao has a wide range of academic interests, including legal history, nationality law, cultures of law, gender studies, gender and law, medical history of ethics and law, borderland studies, ethnic groups in China, U.S.-East Asia relationship and Sino-Japanese relationship.

Dr. Matthew Brown is an assistant professor in the Department of Accounting, Economics, and Finance at the University of Illinois Springfield. His long-term interest and study of American reactions to Japanese (and later Chinese) economic imports and growth began after reading former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca’s autobiography when he was in middle school in the 1980s, and he has continued to study and follow those relationships with regard to Japan and China ever since. Professor Brown is an avid consumer of and student of American popular culture and has written on Broadway, literature, and movies. He is an active promoter and philanthropic supporter of Drum Corps International, and music education generally, and is a travel enthusiast having visited 51 countries and 49 states (and is always looking for an excuse to finally visit Vermont).

Dr. Mark E. Frank is the Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer in the Environmental Humanities of East Asia at Yale University. He earned his PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is currently developing a book on the environmental history of the frontier in modern China. Mark has spent five years in various parts of China, including Beijing, Qingdao, Chengdu, and Shanghai."

Natalya Rodriguez is a graduate student in East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She specializes in anthropology of Japan with a focus on traditional dress in contemporary transnational contexts. Before joining the graduate program at the University of Illinois, she worked in U.S.-Japan grassroots diplomacy and cultural exchange in Japan and Chicago.

Dr. Irene Haiyun Zhang is the founder of Enspire School. She has had extensive experiences in teaching math and science curriculums for competitions as well as improving the fundamentals. Her educational focus has always been to establish a strong math and physics foundation in students, so that they can combine their logical deduction powers, quantitative analysis abilities and emotional intelligence to spark imagination and creativity in their minds.

Article Credit: Dr. Haiyun Zhang

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