Brown Bag Session mit Dr. Albert Manke zu “Chinese Migration to the Americas during an Era of Racist Exclusion”

Am 1. Juni, von 11.30 bis 13 Uhr, wird der Historiker Dr. Albert Manke, der derzeit Mitarbeiter an der Professur für Neueste Geschichte und Historische Migrationsforschung an der Universität Osnabrück ist, einen Vortrag zu einem aktuellen Forschungsprojekt halten. Der Vortrag findet auf Englisch unter dem Titel “Chinese Migration to the Americas during an Era of Racist Exclusion. Secret Societies, Networks, and Coping Strategies” statt. Moderiert wird die Sitzung von Jessica Wehner.

Chinese Overseas and other migrants from the Asia-Pacific region have been confronting discriminatory and exclusionary practices in the Americas since the beginning of European expansion. In the 19th century, when significant numbers of free or liberated Chinese migrants settled in the United States, British Columbia, Cuba, Mexico, and other countries or colonies, many of them founded or joined native-place associations, guilds, and types of societies in their communities. The members of these societies benefited from mutual aid, protection, and socio-economic advantages in often hostile receiving societies. Some of these organizations were Chinese Benevolent Associations, and others were secret societies. While the first type focused on the control of transpacific trade and regional business, the latter traced their origins to Southern Chinese Hongmen societies, later known as triads. They functioned as sworn brotherhoods or fraternal organizations that in the Americas were typically open to persons who did not have access to associations reserved for the upper classes but were in search of collective protection and support. Deeply entrenched in traditions of secrecy, personal loyalty and mutual dependence, several of these societies became involved in illegal activities as a means of controlling parts of the informal economy. In many ways, they also contributed to the progress of their communities and transcended national borders global networks. Based on recent archival research, the aim of this presentation is to explore to what extent secret society networks can be interpreted as a way of coping with exclusion and discrimination in the Americas and beyond.

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