Amerasia Journal announces the publication of “Asian American Folklore:  Passages and Practices,” its first issue devoted exclusively to Asian American folklore atudies.

This project is undertaken by two of the leading scholars in this area of study, Jonathan H. X. Lee (San Francisco State University) and Kathleen Nadeau (CSU San Bernardino).

“Asian American Folklore: Passages and Practices” (Issue 39:2) explores how Asian American studies and folklore studies converge. One of the most important insights Lee and Nadeau offer is that Asian American folk practices are living, breathing, and constantly transforming, not simply vestiges of immigrant pasts, as evidenced by articles examining topics that range from Asian American graphic narratives to origami, from Chinese American children’s folk literature to Chinatown architecture. 

In particular, Lee and Nadeau make a claim for a uniquely Asian American folklore that has its roots in Asian America, with ties to diasporic and transnational cultures that link Asian Americans to Asia from the past to the present.

“Asian American Folklore: Passages and Practices” includes Cathy Schlund-Vials’ incisive study of the first Asian American graphic narrative collection, “Secret Identities,” as she argues that the comic book form provides Asian Americans a venue to imagine alternate histories and futures. 

Art historian Winston Kyan excavates over a century of Chinatown architecture to show how it has reflected the changing perceptions of U.S.-China relations, while Lorraine Dong offers a comprehensive catalog of Chinese American children’s folktales written for an American audience.

Brett Esaki presents truly novel research into Japanese American origami practices, focusing on how the work of Bay Area origami designer Linda Mihara embodies the social interactions and history of the Japanese American community.

The issue also features a roundtable on the controversial charges that the late Richard Aoki, a high-ranking member of the Black Panther Party in Oakland, was an FBI informant. Organized by long-time UCLA Asian American Studies Center publications coordinator and Asian American movement veteran Mary Uyematsu Kao, the forum on this complex affair brings together insights from Aoki’s old and new compatriots Douglas Daniels, Harvey Dong, and Wayie Ly.

Published by UCLA’s Asian American Studies Center since 1971, Amerasia Journal is regarded as the core journal in the field of Asian American studies.

Copies of the issue can be ordered via phone, email, or mail. Each issue of Amerasia Journal costs $15 plus shipping/handling and applicable sales tax. Contact the Center Press for detailed ordering information.

UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press

3230 Campbell Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1546

Phone: (310) 825-2968




Amerasia Journal is published three times a year: spring, summer/fall, and winter. Annual subscriptions are $99.99 for individuals and $445 for libraries and other institutions. Instructors interested in this issue for classroom use should contact the above email address to request a review copy.

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