From Gold Mountain to Silicon Valley: A Long Journey of Asian Immigrants

Abstract

Dr. Cong's lecture takes us through waves of Asian immigrants, starting with the first wave of Chinese immigrants during the Gold Rush Years in the middle 19th century. A Chinese name for San Francisco means Old Gold Mountain, which symbolizes opportunities and wealth. The next wave of immigrants is focused on the Japanese movement to Hawaii in the late 19th century. The best-told story of the "Picture Brides" helps our understanding of the culture of the time. The journey continues into the 20th century, exploring the very different experiences of Chinese Americans and Japanese Americans during the Second World War. The movement continues. After 1965, more and more Asian immigrants were allowed to come to America. The PC Revolution in the 1980s and the Internet Revolution in the 1990s provided a great magnet for Asian immigrants, with Silicon Valley becoming another symbol of opportunity and wealth. The last 30 years, there has been a great contribution of Asian immigrants to the economic and technological developments of the United States, including Indian immigrants and Chinese immigrants. Other histories included in this lecture journey include Iranian immigrants, Korean immigrants, Pilipino immigrants, and Vietnamese immigrants. Countering the many and impressive successes of Asian immigrants, Asian American have vulnerabilities and areas needing improvement are disability awareness, eldercare, and poverty.

Dr. Dachang Cong

Dr. Dachang Cong

Dachang Cong received his Ph.D. from Yale University in Cultural Anthropology in 1991. Since that time, he has been at UT Dallas, having served as Assistant Professor of American Studies, Chinese and Asian Studies, in addition to Cultural Anthropology. Currently he is Associate Dean of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, Director of the American Studies program, in addition to Senior Lecturer. He teaches courses on American cultures, Chinese/East Asian cultures, and globalization. Additionally, he teaches computer ethics for the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. His current research focuses on how the shockwaves of global digital revolution have reshaped the economies and cultures of the US, China, and Japan. In addition, he studies Chinatowns in New York City and San Francisco.