Title

Salem Pioneer Cemetery Chinese Shrine Project: Preserving Community Histories of the Chinese Community in Salem, Oregon.

Date

5-31-2018 1:00 PM

End Time

31-5-2018 1:30 PM

Location

WUC Willamette Room

Session Chair

Robin Smith

Session Chair

Kate Miller

Session Title

Anthropology Symposium

Presentation Type

Presentation

Faculty Sponsor(s)

Kate Miller

Abstract

In September 2017, a Chinese shrine was uncovered in Salem Pioneer Cemetery. Due to the historical erasure of Chinese immigrant presence in Salem, exemplified by the city council order to burn Chinatown to the ground in 1903, the shrine is an invaluable artifact for preserving and re-exploring Chinese histories in Salem. This proposed project seeks to explore what the forgotten Chinese shrine can tell us about the historical presence, impacts, and experiences of Chinese immigrants in Salem. How did Salem City Council’s decision to burn down Chinatown in 1903 affect the Chinese community in Salem? Is there any evidence that supports the claim that the event was a racially motivated purge? What are the personal histories of the Chinese Americans who lived in Salem during this time, and what memories were carried on through their relatives who remained in the area? With this in mind, I hope to frame my research as a Community Memory Project. This would form a collection of institutional histories in addition to local memories and personal recollections of descendants and current Chinese American residents in Salem.

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May 31st, 1:00 PM May 31st, 1:30 PM

Salem Pioneer Cemetery Chinese Shrine Project: Preserving Community Histories of the Chinese Community in Salem, Oregon.

WUC Willamette Room

In September 2017, a Chinese shrine was uncovered in Salem Pioneer Cemetery. Due to the historical erasure of Chinese immigrant presence in Salem, exemplified by the city council order to burn Chinatown to the ground in 1903, the shrine is an invaluable artifact for preserving and re-exploring Chinese histories in Salem. This proposed project seeks to explore what the forgotten Chinese shrine can tell us about the historical presence, impacts, and experiences of Chinese immigrants in Salem. How did Salem City Council’s decision to burn down Chinatown in 1903 affect the Chinese community in Salem? Is there any evidence that supports the claim that the event was a racially motivated purge? What are the personal histories of the Chinese Americans who lived in Salem during this time, and what memories were carried on through their relatives who remained in the area? With this in mind, I hope to frame my research as a Community Memory Project. This would form a collection of institutional histories in addition to local memories and personal recollections of descendants and current Chinese American residents in Salem.