Photographs played a key role in sorting out the madness of cultural encounter at the beginning of the 20th century, when immigrants and migrants found themselves together in American port cities. This talk follows the tracks of one such photograph and the tense and sometimes comic encounter between Chinese and Mexicans in San Francisco. In a larger sense, it asks how the history of photography, border studies, and critical race studies might be put into productive dialogue and how photographs can be thought of as deposits of social relations.
Note: This lecture is the first in the series “Visual Representations of the Chinese Diasporas” organized by Boreth Ly (History of Art and Visual Culture) with the assistance of Hrishekesh Kashyap. It is made possible by the Arts Dean’s Research Initiative Fund and co-sponsored by the HAVC Department and Merrill College.