In the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, international and transracial adoption have become more prominent than ever before. Celebrity culture and mainstream television and film—for example, Angelina Jolie's adoption of a Cambodian boy, an Ethiopian girl, and most recently a Vietnamese boy, and the adoption of a Chinese baby girl by Kristin Davis's character Charlotte York at the conclusion of the iconic HBO sitcom “Sex and the City”—have reflected as well as disseminated new racial sensibilities regarding family formation to the general public. But these sensibilities are not as new as they seem. They have a history. This essay challenges the popular notion that international adoption is an unprecedented facet of current American multiculturalism by connecting it to the international adoption by families in the United States during the Cold War 1950s and 1960s of mixed-race children of Asian women and U.S. servicemen. While histories of adoption have located the origins of Asian international adoption in the post–World War II and post–Korean War periods,2 the original contribution of this essay is to emphasize and to critically explore how the analytical category of race is fundamental to understanding the demographics, discourses, and institutions of earlier Asian international adoption history.
This innovative book series explores the gendered nature of the Pacific World by focusing on three phenomena: Diaspora, Empire, and Race. It features how people have dispersed across the Pacific for trade, labor, migration, cultural exchange, and military engagement. These migrations rarely occur in gendered balanced ways, resulting in “bachelor” societies in the receiving country and “stranded” women in the sending country. At other times, female migrants have been in the forefront of migration. The Pacific has also been the site of multiple empires – Asian, European, and American. These colonial powers were invested in managing the gender and sexual relations among and between “natives” and “colonizers.” Finally, the phenomenon of migration and political expansion coincided with racializing processes that established social hierarchies based on naturalized assumptions of biological difference. Here again, gender was essential to these efforts. Gendering the Trans-Pacific World seeks scholarship that offers original approaches to understanding these complex power relations. It welcomes social and cultural history and biography as well as interdisciplinary works that examine art, photography, film, and literature.
Manuscripts should be at least 90,000 words in length (including footnotes and bibliography). Manuscripts may also include illustrations and other visual material. The editors will consider proposals for original monographs, edited collections, translations, and critical primary source editions.
Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals and/or full manuscripts by email to the publisher Jason Prevost. Please direct all other correspondence to Associate Editor Debbie de Wit.
*A paperback edition of select titles in the series, for individual purchase only, will be released approximately 12 months after publication of the hardcover edition.