Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Write THREE paragraphs covering THREE points of interest to you in this class. Each paragraph should be about 200 words and include at list two APA citations from one of our assigned - EssayAbode

Write THREE paragraphs covering THREE points of interest to you in this class. Each paragraph should be about 200 words and include at list two APA citations from one of our assigned

s that interested you the most in this class.  So here is the format:

1. Write THREE paragraphs covering THREE points of interest to you in this class. Each paragraph should be about 200 words and include at list two APA citations from one of our assigned articles.  This citation – whether it is a direct quote or a paraphrase, should help to back up your point. Your paragraphs can be written in first person and totally be your opinion.  You are welcome to use examples or observations from your life.  This is also a time to disagree with topics that were brought up in the class.  

2. You will note in my example below that I used THREE citations from the article I selected.  This is because I find it easier to generate more words if I have more stuff to talk about.  This assignment is about your opinions, but you need to back them up with citation.  

 3. These paragraphs are not connected.  Meaning each one stands on its own.  You don’t need to worry about transition sentences, thesis statement and making the paragraphs tie into each other.



In Search of Mirrors: An Asian Critical Race Theory Content Analysis of Asian American Picturebooks From 2007 to 2017

Grounded in Asian critical race theory, this

critical content analysis examines Asian American

representation in 21 picturebooks published

from 2007 to 2017.

ASIAN AMERICANS are nearly invisible in P–12 history curricula (An, 2016) and are underrepre- sented in children’s literature (Cooperative Children’s Book Center, n.d.). For teachers seeking to transform social studies through the inclusion of Asian American narratives, picturebooks offer opportunities to present Asian American narratives that are accessible to young learners (Rodríguez, 2017). Recent decades have witnessed a shift in multicultural children’s literature, with more offerings of historical fiction and picturebooks about Asian Americans than ever before (Cooperative Children’s Book Center, n.d.; Loh-Hagen, 2014). Social media movements like #WeNeedDiverseBooks push publishers to represent traditionally marginalized groups in both the content and production of children’s literature.

However, as slurs, stereotypes, and assumptions have historically been a part of children’s literature (Au, Brown, & Calderon, 2016; Mo & Shen, 2003), picturebooks may perpetuate dominant ideologies and, if read without critique, can serve as tools of oppression (Banfield, 1985). Unfortunately, widespread use of multicultural texts in P–12 classrooms continues to foster uncritical examina- tions through a “tourist-multiculturalism” approach (Derman-Sparks, 1993) and a focus on heroes, food, and

festivals (Kohl, 1994; National Council for the Social Studies, 2017). Multicultural picturebooks that focus on a character’s foreignness and difficulty assimilating to dominant American culture may also perpetuate stereo- types that position non-White groups as outsiders.

A limited number of studies have examined Asian American children’s literature over the last half century. While the selection and availability of this literature has increased substantially in the last two decades, many of these texts continue to perpetuate stereotypes (Morgan, 2012), such as the overachieving model minority (Loh-Hagen, 2014) and notions of Asian Americans as exotic foreigners (Pang, Colvin, Tran, & Barba, 1992; Roy, 2008), while failing to reflect the extraordinary diversity of Asian America. Most Asian American children’s literature focuses on Chinese and Japanese American experiences (Yi, 2014; Yokota, 2009), which exacerbates the conflation of East Asian Americans with Asian Americans. Bringing together the various critiques, as well as accounting for more recent publica- tions, we conducted a critical content analysis of 21 Asian American picturebooks guided by this question: How are Asian Americans represented in popular children’s litera- ture published from 2007 to 2017?

©Children’s Literature Assembly ISSN 1521-7779Journal of Children’s Literature, 44(2), pp. 17–30, 2018.




Defining Asian American Asian American, like African American, Latinx, and Native American, is a panethnic term that does not reveal the tremendous intragroup diversity of language, ethnicity, culture, religion, socioeconomic class, education, and histori- cal experiences (Espiritu, 1992; Lee, 2015). Espiritu (1992) defined a panethnic group as “a politico-cultural collectiv- ity made up of peoples of several, hitherto distinct, tribal or national origins” (p. 2) that is largely a product of racial categorization. However, as panethnicity emphasizes the experiences of people in the place where they have migrated (Spickard, 2002), the term Asian American captures the similar historical experiences and current issues faced by Asian immigrants and their children in the United States, particularly regarding the prejudice, discrimination, and racially motivated violence that hinder their full and open participation in American society (Fong, 2008). Research on panethnic Asian Americans can provide opportunities to illustrate the diversity of Asian American experiences (Hune, 1995) as well as ways to examine shared histories and immigrant experiences related to racism, discrimina- tion, and restrictions on citizenship (Lowe, 1996; Paik, Kula, Saito, Rahman, & Witenstein, 2014).

The term Asian American has a unique sociopoliti- cal history. Inspired by Black, Chicanx, and American Indian civil rights movements of the 1960s, undergradu- ate students Emma Gee and Yuji Ichioka coined the term Asian American when they cofounded the Asian American Political Alliance (AAPA) at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1968. Although some Asian American individ- uals were politically active, the AAPA was the first to organize Asian Americans as a diverse, multiethnic group united by politics aimed at ending oppression and inequal- ity in the United States (Maeda, 2012).

In spite of this history, the term is now popularly viewed as simply a racial category based on immigrant histories rather than a political-racial identity (Hollinger, 2000; Philip, 2014). As Asian Americans who received private and public educations devoid of Asian American history, we seek to reclaim the term’s political roots while simultaneously recognizing the heterogeneity, hybridity, and multiplicity (Lowe, 1996) that characterize such a diverse group of people. Consistent with the categories of the U.S. Census Bureau (Humes, Jones, & Ramirez, 2011), underneath the umbrella of Asian American we include individuals who trace their roots to countries in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent, and exclude the Middle East and former Soviet bloc, which are geographically part of the Asian continent but are consid- ered politically and culturally distinct.

We are careful to note our use of Asian American rather than terms such as Asian Pacific Islander and Asian

American Pacific Islander. The U.S. Census Bureau used Asian American Pacific Islander as a single category in the 1970s, but designated Pacific Islanders as a separate panethnic group in the 2000 census (Spickard, 2002). Pacific Islanders have their own histories and political agendas related to colonialism, land, sovereignty, and political decolonization (Hau’ofa, 1994; Kauanui, 2015) that are distinct from Asian American histories and experi- ences. Subsequently, in this study, we attend solely to Asian American identities, experiences, and histories.

The Dominant Narrative of Asian Americans The dominant narrative of U.S. history is the story commonly portrayed in textbooks and perpetuated by state institutions and popular culture. Told through the perspective of landed White men, this celebratory narrative describes a unified society engaged in continuous progress and freedom (VanSledright, 2008). Little attention is paid to America’s long history of conflict and distinctions based on race, ethnicity, class, or gender (Foster, 2006; Levstik & Barton, 2011), thereby ignoring the historical and ongoing political, social, and economic struggles faced by many Americans. In state standards (e.g., California, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington) and in school textbooks, Asian Americans are largely absent (An, 2016; Harada, 2000; Hartlep & Scott, 2016; Wolf, 1992; Zuercher, 1969) and mentioned in secondary history books only in regard to the Chinese in the 1800s and the incarceration of Japanese and Japanese Americans during World War II. In both of these historical contexts, Asian Americans are presented as pariahs who were either excluded from entry or considered to be enemies of the state (Rodríguez & Ip, 2018). More contemporary treatments of Asian Americans tend to focus on cultural differences and may perpetuate stereotypes of Asian Americans as the model minority, able to attain academic and economic success through hard work without relying on social services (Hartlep & Scott, 2016).

This dominant narrative of Asian Americans is incredibly limited and fails to recognize the contemporary Asian American experience, the extraordinary diversity beyond Chinese and Japanese Americans, and the deeply racialized histories of Asian American communities across the United States. Maeda (2009) described three main ways Asians have been racialized in the United States. First, as subjects of capitalism and imperialism, various groups of Asians migrated to the United States, where they were exploited for their labor and then had immigration restric- tions imposed upon them (e.g., the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, Immigration Act of 1924, Immigration and National- ity Act of 1952). Second, each group pursued naturalized citizenship through legal channels but was denied as the


Noreen Naseem Rodríguez & Esther June Kim In Search of Mirrors 19

courts declared Asians to be “aliens ineligible to citizenship” (Parker, 1925). Third, these Asian groups were considered socially unassimilable and undesirable. Due to this racial- ized history, it is important to consider the ways that Asians and Asian Americans are represented in P–12 curriculum, including in children’s literature that is often used to fill curricular gaps created by a lack of resources and content knowledge around Asian American history.

Asian American Children’s Literature Children’s literature offers educators an alternative resource to bring Asian American experiences and (hi)stories to the classroom, but in this realm dominant narratives exist as well. One of the earliest analyses of Asian American children’s literature, conducted by the Council on Interracial Books for Children (1976), found that the majority of books published between 1945 and 1975 were racist, sexist, and elitist and contained grossly misleading representations of Asian Americans. Moreover, 45% of the books surveyed were about Chinese Americans and 41% were about Japanese Americans. Subsequent analyses by Harada (1995) and Yoo-Lee, Fowler, Adkins, Kim, and Davis (2014) found that most Asian American children’s literature continues to focus on Chinese Americans, often features assimilationist ideology and stereotypes, and fails “to represent the full range of cultural experiences and histories, instead repeat- edly exploring the same themes” (Yoo-Lee et al., 2014, pp. 327–328), such as immigration and linguistic struggles. Yokota (2009) found that topics of generational conflict, culture clashes, and ethnic celebrations of New Year abound in Asian American children’s literature, leaving other stories untold.

Scholarship on Asian American children’s literature from the last decade reveals an abundance of historical fiction, particularly about the topic of Japanese American incarceration (Chen & Yu, 2006; Teorey, 2008; Youngs, 2012). Contemporary Asian American picturebooks also focus on the immigrant experience (Stephens & Lee, 2006; Tuon, 2014; Yi, 2014). When stories of immigration from Asia and adjusting to life in the United States are ubiquitous in these picturebooks, they present a dominant narrative of Asian Americans as immigrant newcomers rather than citizens (Tuan, 1998), which ignores the Asian American communities who have lived in the United States for generations and positions Asian Americans as decidedly more Asian than American. Such treatment neglects the hybridity of the Asian American experience, which Ching and Pataray-Ching (2003) described as the seeking of “membership with the dominant culture as it pushes the boundaries of mainstream perspectives” (p. 123)—in other words, demanding recognition as a part of American

society without being forced to erase or ignore one’s cultural or linguistic identity (Rodríguez, 2018, in press).

In this vein, Pang et al. (1992) urged educators to select Asian American children’s literature that includes themes of cultural pluralism, positively portrayed characters, strong plot and characterization, and historical accuracy, with authentic illustrations and settings in the United States. Such selection criteria, they argued, provide learners with a broader range of Asian American perspectives that disrupt stereotypes. Additionally, as Aoki (1993) argued, educators must present students with multiple points of view, both within and across Asian American cultures, and recognize that the differences within groups may be larger than the differences across them. Such approaches better attend to the diversity of Asian America while also highlight- ing the historical and contemporary legal, social, and economic experiences that led to the development of a shared Asian American identity (Iwata, 2005).

Asian Critical Race Theory Given our focus on Asian American representation in children’s literature, we utilize an Asian critical race theory (AsianCrit) framework. Drawing from the critical race theory principle that racial inequality permeates every aspect of social life (Bell, 1992; Delgado, 2013), AsianCrit centers the racialized experiences of Asian Americans over the course of U.S. history and their intersections with immigration and citizenship (Chang, 1993; Museus & Iftikar, 2014). Recogniz- ing the racialized history of Asian Americans described previously, it is important to consider how Asians and Asian Americans are represented in the P–12 curriculum. As social studies educators and scholars, we are acutely aware of Asian Americans’ absence in history textbooks, and as advocates of children’s literature to address curricular gaps, we consider Asian American representation to be a signifi- cant ongoing issue due to the persistent simplification of Asian American identities (e.g., model minority, forever foreigner, monolith) and histories (e.g., Chinese railroad workers and Japanese American incarceration).

Museus and Iftikar (2014) outlined seven tenets of AsianCrit, two of which are highlighted in this study. First, Asianization identifies the particular ways Asian Americans are racialized in the United States, from being viewed as a monolithic group to historical depictions as the yellow peril and modern-day stereotypes like the overachieving model minority (Hsu, 2015). These racial- izations and stereotypes affect the daily, lived experiences of Asian Americans. Second, strategic (anti)essentialism acknowledges that “dominant oppressive economic, politi- cal, and social forces impact the ways in which Asian Americans are racialized” (Museus & Iftikar, 2014, p. 97). Asian American researchers and activists can engage



in coalition building and (re)define racial categories to generate a better understanding of Asian American communities (Museus, 2014). Particular to this study, Cai (2002) argued that an examination of Asian American picturebooks in classrooms through critical perspec- tives can disrupt the monopoly of mainstream culture by portraying marginalized cultures and challenging texts through questions about who is represented, underrepre- sented, misrepresented, or invisible, as well as questions about how power is exercised. We recognize the transfor- mative power of children’s literature (Ching, 2005) and forefront the AsianCrit lenses of Asianization and strategic (anti)essentialism to explore Asian American representa- tion in recently published picturebooks.

Method of Study The representation of Asian Americans in children’s literature has been the subject of limited study, with few contributions in the last decade (e.g., Aoki, 1981; Cai, 1994; Chattarji, 2010; Dowd, 1992; Endo, 2009; Harada, 1995; Loh-Hagen, 2014; Yi, 2014; Yokota, 2009). To determine the state of contemporary Asian American children’s litera- ture, we conducted a critical content analysis of picture- books published between 2007 and 2017. Short (2017) broadly defined critical content analysis as the use of “a critical lens to an analysis of a text or group of texts in an effort to explore the possible underlying messages within those texts, particularly as related to issues of power” (p. 6), with particular consideration of “voice and who gets to speak, whose story is told, and in what ways” (p. 5). We use AsianCrit as our critical approach and subsequently, with the goal of transforming conditions of inequity through the identification of counter-narratives, this AsianCrit stance pervaded all aspects of our research process (Short, 2017; Willis et al., 2008). Counter-narratives, also known as counterstories, are narratives that center historically marginalized perspectives and may challenge, disrupt, and/or counteract the multiple conditions and realities of oppression found in schools and society (Rodríguez, 2018; Solorzano & Yosso, 2002; Vinson, 2006).

We selected picturebooks aligned with the following criteria drawn from recent children’s literature analyses (Crawley, 2017; Ghiso & Campano, 2013; Koss, 2015; Yoo-Lee et al., 2014): (a) human Asian or Asian American main characters, (b) set in the United States (not Asia), and (c) less than 40 pages in length. In order to ensure that the books selected were likely to be purchased by and in circulation in public schools and libraries, we initially searched notable book lists by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE); however, because there were no recommended picturebooks that met our criteria on the NCTE lists, we expanded our search to include winners of

annual awards by the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association and National Council of the Social Studies and Asian American children’s literature recommended by the San Francisco Public Library. With our focus on recently published books readily available in U.S. classrooms and libraries, we included hard-copy books published by major trade publishers and thus excluded texts not published in the United States for their first edition, e-books, unorigi- nal books with marketing tie-ins (e.g., Moana), and self-published books.

As former classroom teachers and current teacher educators, we designed our selection process to highlight books that would be most accessible to families and educators through public, school, and classroom libraries and thereby have a greater possibility of being read widely. We included only those books that were available through at least one of two major public library systems (Orange County, California, and Austin, Texas) or our institution’s substantial youth collection, resulting in the exclusion of some books that met our criteria but were unlikely to be in school and community library collections, such as Tashi and the Tibetan Flower Cure (Rose, 2011) and What Should I Make? (Nayar, 2009), which were only found on the San Francisco Public Library lists.

Ultimately, 21 books were included in the study. We first read the entire set of books independently and took notes on general themes as well as details related to language, culture, and illustrations. We then analyzed each book together; we compiled and compared our notes and revisited texts through a constant comparative and recursive process (Miles, Huberman, & Saldaña, 2013). After these analytical discussions, books were coded by theme (e.g., new schooling experience, cultural celebration), the presence of Asian American stereotypes (e.g., exoticized food, cultural and/or intergenerational clashes), and themes related to race (e.g., White savior characters, discrimina- tion) and language (e.g., linguistic assimilation, associating shame with Asian languages). The complete book list and a partial list of codes are found in Table 1.

Our approach was deeply influenced by our shared, but culturally, ethnically, and linguistically distinct, positionalities as Asian American researchers born and raised in the United States to Asian immigrant parents. Although we grew up in different areas of the United States, with dissimilar demographics (Texas and Califor- nia), as children, we both longed to see more Asian American images like us in the books we read and hoped to encounter texts that reflected our own experiences like mirrors (Bishop, 1990), unlike the sea of books with White protagonists that dominated our schools and libraries, an exclusionary phenomenon we experienced personally in the 1980s and 1990s but that continues today (Koss, 2015;


Noreen Naseem Rodríguez & Esther June Kim In Search of Mirrors 21

Book Title & Author

Ethnic Groups Genre

Asian Language Present

Author Positionality

A Different Pond, Bao Phi 2017 Vietnamese Fiction (contemporary) No Cultural insider

A Path of Stars, Anne Sibley O’Brien 2012 Cambodian Fiction (contemporary) Yes Cultural outsider

Barbed Wire Baseball, Marissa Moss 2013 Japanese American

Historical fiction No Cultural outsider

Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix, Jacqueline Briggs Martin & June Jo Lee

2017 Korean Biographical fiction* (contemporary) Yes Cultural outsider & cultural insider

Cora Cooks Pancit, Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore 2009 Filipina American

Fiction (contemporary) Yes Cultural insider

Double Happiness, Nancy Tupper Ling 2015 Chinese American

Fiction (contemporary) Yes Cultural insider

Duck for Turkey Day, Jacqueline Jules 2009 Vietnamese American

Fiction (contemporary) Yes Cultural outsider

The Favorite Daughter, Allen Say 2013 Japanese American

Fiction (contemporary) Yes Cultural insider

Fish for Jimmy, Katie Yamasaki 2013 Japanese American

Historical fiction No Cultural insider

Grandfather’s Story Cloth, Linda Gerdner & Sarah Langford

2009 Laotian Hmong

Fiction (contemporary) Yes (bilingual) Cultural outsiders

Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin, Chieri Uegaki 2014 Japanese American

Fiction (contemporary) Yes Cultural insider

Hiromi’s Hands, Lynne Barasch 2007 Japanese American

Biographical fiction (contemporary) Yes Cultural outsider

Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji, F. Zia 2011 Indian American

Fiction (contemporary) Yes Cultural insider

I’m New Here, Anne Sibley O'Brien 2015 Korean Fiction (contemporary) Yes Cultural outsider

Juna’s Jar, Jane Bahk 2015 Korean American

Fiction (contemporary) Yes Cultural insider

Landed, Milly Lee 2007 Chinese Historical fiction Yes Cultural insider

Mountain Chef: How One Man Lost His Groceries, Changed His Plans, and Helped Cook Up the National Park Service, Annette Bay Pimentel

2016 Chinese American

Historical fiction No Cultural outsider

My Dadima Wears a Sari, Kashmira Sheth 2007 Indian American

Fiction (contemporary) Yes Cultural insider

Paper Son: Lee’s Journey to America, Helen Foster James & Virginia Shin-Mui Loh

2013 Chinese Historical fiction Yes Cultural outsider & cultural insider

Sky High: The True Story of Maggie Gee, Marissa Moss

2009 Chinese American

Biographical fiction (historical) No Cultural outsider

Yoon and the Jade Bracelet, Helen Recorvits 2008 Korean American

Fiction (contemporary) No Cultural outsider

TABLE 1 Books Published Between 2007 and 2017 Selected for Analysis

*Note: Biographical fiction is used to describe fictional accounts of a real individual’s life.



Yoo-Lee et al., 2014). Our experiences with and perspec- tives on racial and cultural discrimination undeniably informed our analysis of Asian American texts, as students in any educational setting would bring their experiences and perspectives to bear on the texts they encounter (Rosenblatt, 1978).

When we encountered picturebooks that reflected our specific Asian American ethnic groups, we used our insider positionalities to assess cultural and linguistic accuracy and authenticity. Noreen identifies as Pakipina; her father was born in India and moved to Pakistan after Partition, while her mother is Filipina. Esther identifies as Korean American, and both authors were members of close-knit Asian American communities growing up. Books with which one researcher shared the same cultural/linguistic background were subjected to prolonged discussions to more deeply explore our observations as insider/outsider. Additionally, many of the books included in this study were the subject of conversations in an Asian American studies course taught by both authors. Students in this class claimed a range of Asian American identities (Vietnamese American, Chinese American, Korean American, Indian American, Laotian/White, and Japanese/White), and their comments unquestionably informed and added nuance to our understandings of cultural and linguistic authenticity beyond our respective Asian American cultural knowledge.

Morrell and Morrell (2012) insisted that multiple cultural perspectives allow individuals to read with and against the texts they encounter, and such a multi-perspec- tival approach was essential in our analysis. Importantly, our distinct ethnoracial backgrounds and professional experiences discussing the complexity of Asian American identities and cultures allowed us to take an array of Asian American sociohistorical and cultural contexts into account as we conducted our analysis.

Findings Given our focus on strategic (anti)essentialization of Asian Americans in children’s literature from the last decade, we first examined the representation of various Asian American cultural and ethnic groups as well as genre. Next, to highlight the AsianCrit tenet of Asianization, we discuss the role of cultural authenticity, language, and stereotypes.


Out of the 21 books selected for this study, 14 (67%) depicted stories of East Asian Americans. This statistic echoes content analyses from previous decades (Aoki, 1993; Council on Interracial Books for Children, 1976; Harada, 1995; Yoo-Lee et al., 2014) that found an overwhelming attention to East Asian American experiences, particularly

to Japanese American and Chinese American perspec- tives. Five of the books (24%) focused on Southeast Asian experiences. As these populations have grown in the last half century as a result of refugee resettlement policies, this shift demonstrates improved attention to current demographics. However, South Asian Americans were the subject of only two books (10%). Considering Asian Indians compose nearly 20% of the Asian American population and are the fastest growing Asian American nationality (Taylor, 2012), South Asian Americans were underrep- resented in recent children’s literature. The continued overrepresentation of East Asian Americans may perpetu- ate students’ equation of the term Asian American with East Asian American.


Six of the books in our review (29%) are historical fiction or biographies of historical figures: Barbed Wire Baseball (Moss, 2013); Fish for Jimmy (Yamasaki, 2013); Landed (Lee, 2007); Mountain Chef: How One Man Lost His Groceries, Changed His Plans and Cooked up the National Park Service (Pimentel, 2016); Paper Son: Lee’s Journey to America (James & Loh, 2013); and Sky High: The True Story of Maggie Gee (Moss, 2009). These books reflect the emphasis on Chinese and Japanese Americans mentioned previously, and Mountain Chef and Sky High follow a common trend of highlighting “first” achievements with the stories of Tie Sing, a Chinese chef, and Maggie Gee, one of the first Chinese American woman pilots.

However, in each of these books, little attention was paid to establishing the racialized context of the stories’ settings during their respective historical moments. The primary texts of Paper Son and Landed neglect to mention the Chinese Exclusio

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