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Global FamiliesA History of Asian International Adoption in America$
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Catherine Ceniza Choy

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814717226

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814717226.001.0001

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To Make Historical Their Own Stories

To Make Historical Their Own Stories

Adoptee Narratives as Asian American History

(p.131) 5 To Make Historical Their Own Stories
Global Families

Catherine Ceniza Choy

NYU Press

This chapter examines the role of adoptees in the history of Asian international adoption in the United States. Focusing on the socio-historical as well as aesthetic contributions by Asian American adult adoptees, it challenges the notion that international adoption is a “quiet migration.” The chapter analyzes two documentary films by Deann Borshay Liem, First Person Plural and In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee, in relation to two experimental films: Marlon Fuentes's Bontoc Eulogy and Rea Tajiri's History and Memory. It links the works of Borshay Liem, Fuentes, and Tajiri to what literary scholar Lisa Lowe calls “national memory” as it relates to the conception of Asian Americans as immigrants, as “foreigners-within,” in America. It argues that artistic works by and about Asian American adoptees are important to Asian American history.

Keywords:   documentary films, Asian international adoption, Deann Borshay Liem, experimental films, Marlon Fuentes, Rea Tajiri, national memory, Asian Americans, Asian American adoptees, Asian American history

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