Melville Library Author Series Shirley Lim to Discuss “A Feeling of Belonging: Asian American Women’s Popular Culture, 1930-1960”

Wednesday, April 11 at 7 p.m. – Javits Room, Melville Library (second floor)

In A Feeling of Belonging, Shirley Lim highlights the cultural activities of young, predominantly unmarried Asian American women from 1930 to 1960. This period marks a crucial generation—the first in which American-born Asians formed a critical mass and began to make their presence felt in the United States. Dr. Lim traces the diverse ways in which these young women sought claim to cultural citizenship, exploring such topics as the nation’s first Asian American sorority, Chi Alpha Delta; the cultural work of Chinese American actress Anna May Wong; Asian American youth culture and beauty pageants; and the achievement of fame of three foreign-born Asian women in the late 1950s. By wearing poodle skirts, going to the beach, and producing magazines, she argues, they asserted not just their American-ness, but their humanity: a feeling of belonging.

Shirley Lim is Assistant Professor of History at Stony Brook University.

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