Bringing “Home” Our Cold War’s Children: The U.S. Amerasian Immigration Acts of 1982 and 1987

18 sep 2016 kl. 15:00 - 17:00

Kulturhuset Indre By, Charlotte Ammundsens Pl. 3, 1359 København


Bringing “Home” Our Cold War’s Children: The U.S. Amerasian Immigration Acts of 1982 and 1987
Foredrag ved Taejin Hwang, historiker, Ph.d.

PROGRAM

15 - 15.10 Velkomst og introduktion

15.10 - 16 Bringing “Home” Our Cold War’s Children: The U.S. Amerasian Immigration Acts of 1982 and 1987 v/ Taejin Hwang

16 - 16.15 Pause med kaffe/the

16.15 - 17 Spørgsmål og diskussion

Om foredragsholderen: Taejin Hwang er postdoc ved Afdeling for Sinologie & Koreanistik, Eberhart Karls Universität Tübingen i Tyskland. Hun er Ph.d. og historiker fra UC Berkeley

Om foredraget:

Bringing “Home” Our Cold War’s Children: The U.S. Amerasian Immigration Acts of 1982 and 1987

Nobel laureate Pearl S. Buck described them as “Amerasians” in her writings. In South Korea, they were generally referred to as “GI babies” or ashonhyeola, literally “mixed blood child.” In Vietnam, they were often called bui doi, “dust of life.” The historical term “Amerasian” denoted persons born to American and Asian parents in Asia after the Second World War, and it also implied racial mixed-ness and popularly assumed that the American military or civilian personnel fathered a majority of Amerasians. Then in the 1980s, the United States welcomed “home” these “Amerasians” through two immigration legislations: The Amerasian Immigration Act of 1982 and the Amerasian Homecoming Act of 1987. These immigration legislations, however, did not welcome all “America's children in Asia”: the first act applied mostly to those born in Korea and the latter to Vietnamese-born, and, therefore, were largely responses to the United States' two Cold War conflicts in Asia.

These immigration openings were intended as responses to the perceived American “responsibility” for its Cold War militarism in Asia and its subsequent “byproducts.” At the same time, the rhetoric surrounding the legislations was also ensconced in the language of “humanitarian rescue”; the legislators and the popular media that supported the passage of theses immigration reforms advocated “rescuing” these “outcasts” from their marginal existence in “racist” and “communist” Asia and their integration into the “exceptional” multicultural and multiethnic United States as “our children.”The Amerasian migration issue, therefore, was constructed in the nexus of American “responsibility” and “rescue” that also offered opportunities to reassert America’s imaginary as an exceptional multicultural nation and to reshape the memories and legacies of its Cold War militarism. Through this historical focus on the discourse and policy interactions surrounding the Amerasian Acts of the 1980s, and how the Amerasian migration issue provided the metaphorical cause for America’s historical reimagining of its Cold War legacies in Asia, this study aims to enrich the discussion on the juncture between the Cold War and the American military abroad and their intrinsic ties with immigration policies and patterns of global migration flows.

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