Fang He recently received her PhD in History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Fang specializes in transnational histories of gender, Chinese America, and U.S. immigration. Her research centers on the roles of visuality and the racialized body to understand American inclusion, exclusion, and empire-building. She published a book chapter “‘Golden Lilies’ Across the Pacific: Footbinding and the American Enforcement of Chinese Exclusion Laws” in Gendering the Trans-Pacific World (Brill, 2017). Fang is working on a book manuscript titled “Golden Lilies” Across the Pacific: Bodies, Empire and Paradoxes of Inclusion in U.S. Enforcement of Chinese Exclusion Laws. She will be joining in NYU Shanghai’s “Global Perspectives on Society” Program as a postdoctoral fellow in Fall 2019.
「 Admissibility Inside Out: Contested Bodies and U.S. Administration of Chinese Exclusion Laws 」
Utilizing Chinese-and-English-language sources, this essay addresses the “official and bureaucratic gaze” of U.S. immigration administration posed upon the racialized Chinese bodies especially female foot and Chinese responses during the Chinese exclusion era from a trans-Pacific perspective. It foregrounds the body as an important analytic tool to examine how the U.S. enforcement of Chinese exclusion laws complicated the social significance of Chinese foot binding, and how the construction of U.S. national identity and boundaries was articulated through Chinese bodies. It explains how and why bound foot acquired a remarkable role for both the immigrants and the immigration officials to establish Chinese admissibility in comparison with other “physical peculiarities.” It demonstrates that the immigrant body was a contested terrain in which both countries’ race, gender, class, and body ideologies collided, overlapped and renegotiated. Accordingly, the lines between inclusion and exclusion, modernity and tradition, and globalization and nationalism were rearticulated, redrawn and obscured.