- Editor's Preface
Immigration has been a significant part of Asian American experiences. As the 2000 census data indicated, 68.9 percent of the Asian American population are foreign-born. This issue weaves studies on Asian immigration theories as well as Asian American experiences through individual and collective memories, fiction, and contemporary American listeners' perceptions of "foreignness" among nonnative speakers.
Philip Q. Yang presents a critical review of contesting theories of international migration, examines existing explanations of Asian immigration to the United States, and formulates a synthetic theory to explain Asian immigration. Vincent K. Her and Mary Louise Buley-Meissner study transitions and changes occurring in the Hmong American community. Utilizing Bamboo Among the Oaks: Contemporary Writing by Hmong Americans, they explore the significance of memory in the development of individual and collective identities, and highlight the perspectives of young Hmong Americans who are boldly speaking out about their hopes, fears, and aspirations. Aaron Castelán Cargile, Eriko Maeda, Jose Rodriguez, and Marc Rich explore the perceived foreignness of speakers with accents corresponding to six of the most populous immigrant groups in the United States. Their study suggests that the long-standing U.S. American habit of attributing different degrees of belonging is manifested in contemporary evaluations of speech. Jolie A. Sheffer explores the work of Onoto Watanna (pen name of Winnifred Eaton), which contains a provocative, unstudied [End Page v] through-line—incest—and suggests "incest threatens as a result of economic and social inequalities between white American men and Japanese women, but it also offers a path to recognition for mixed-race citizens." [End Page vi]