Assignment 4:  
Sentiment Concerning the Chinese: Illustrations from Periodicals

"Though often overtly distorted or opinionated, these documents tell us the history of what
immigrants faced coming to the American West and the inter-ethnic tensions that were present."

Now let's bring our investigation of the conditions that resulted in a long and now controversial period of Chinese exclusion to a climax by focusing on the powerful role that images played.  "Like insects trapped in amber," Gray Breeching has said of San Francisco's The Wasp, "the magazine left behind images that give historians vital clues to the tenor of a bygone era."   Let's see what these "specimens" tell us!

  • Re-read the essay on “Sentiment Concerning the Chinese: Illustrations from Periodicals," and re-browse the gallery in the “Topical Overview: Essays and Galleries” section.
  • Go to the Theme Index, and see the numbered list of the images in the gallery of the "Sentiment Concerning the Chinese: Illustrations from Periodicals" section.
  • Whether you access them through the gallery or through the Theme Index, explore a large range of images.
  • Specifically, ultimately find and focus on one or more images from the periodicals The Wasp, The Wave, and New York's Harper's Weekly and Monthly as the subjects for your blog in the “Periodicals” section of the discussion board.  
  • Please identify the specific locations of the selected items by item number or by direct link so that others may easily view them.
  • In your blog consider such questions as: 
    • What do these images "say"?  
    • How do these images represent the Chinese or some aspect of the debate on Chinese immigration?  
    • Are there differences in the representations of the Chinese in the three magazines?  
    • What are the respective roles of image and text in establishing the conditions for legislating exclusion?  
    • Did the images add anything to your reading of mostly textual material in the previous assignment?
    • Did you feel differently about the issue as a result of the images?  
  • Conclude today's blog with some sort of appropriate wrap up for this week exploring the Chinese in California: 1850-1925 web site:  
    • What have you learned that you didn't know before?  
    • Is there something that you feel differently about?  
    • As you look back on the visit to the site, is there some person, some issue, some document, some image that stands out?  
    • As you look back on the blogs of others you've read, is there some comment or cluster of comments that stand out?
    • What are your feelings about the archive itself?  Did it allow for complete study of the issue?  Was it constructed efficiently?
  • Read other blogs as time permits, but reply thoughtfully to the blog of at least one other person (if at all possible, reply to a person you haven't replied to before and who hasn't received a reply).
  • Consider an addendum to your blog as a result of reading others.
"Often what is depicted in the periodicals reflects a complicated history of relations and
reactions that the Chinese experienced in coming to the American West."