Chinese Borderlands

In Fall 2020, Drs. Allyson Brantley (University of La Verne), Alice Baumgartner (University of Southern California), and Andrew Offenburger (Miami University) collaborated with their students to track the reception of Chinese Americans in the U.S.-Mexican borderlands during the era of Chinese Exclusion. Their students searched digitized newspapers in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, from 1882-1905, to analyze historically topics like race, class, and nationality.

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More About This Project

In the fall of 2020, students at the University of Southern California, Miami University, and the University of La Verne participated in a collaborative primary source research project on the era of Chinese exclusion in the US-Mexico borderlands. All told, over sixty undergraduates at these three universities engaged in research in newspapers from California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas from 1880 to 1905, collectively producing an archive of over one thousand unique research notes.

After producing the materials, students then relied on the entire data set to write original research papers. Three standout submissions were:

Carla Espinosa (La Verne), “Understanding the Human Cost of Chinese Exclusion: Arizona Territory, 1889-1891”

Jordan Fields (USC), “Opposition to the Chinese Exclusion Act in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands”

Liam Walker (Miami), “The Chinese Six Companies: The Chinese Economic, Political, and Community Authority in San Francisco’s Chinatown”

These papers -- and the results of the overall project -- were presented at the Western History Association’s 2021 annual conference.

Dr. Alice Baumgartner
University of Southern California

Dr. Allyson Brantley
University of La Verne

Dr. Andrew Offenburger
Miami University