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Transpacific ArticulationsStudent Migration and the Remaking of Asian America$
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Chih-Ming Wang

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824836429

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824836429.001.0001

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Leaving Asia for America

Leaving Asia for America

Yung Wing, Study Abroad, and Translated Subjectivity

(p.21) 1 Leaving Asia for America
Transpacific Articulations

Chih-Ming Wang

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter takes up the transpacific endeavor of Yung Wing—the first Chinese ever to obtain a college degree in the United States—as a point of departure to explain how study abroad reflects a structure of feeling called “leaving Asia for America,” which is created in the history of Western imperialism in Asia. The act of studying abroad is here examined as a deep-seated psychic dynamic overdetermined by a colonial modernity that was hinged specifically on the imagination of transpacific movement, in which each departure and arrival was charged with complex feelings and thoughts. Tracking his transpacific career and translated life, this chapter argues that Yung Wing represents a distinctive model of Asian American intellectual whose existence and activities have a clear orientation toward Asia.

Keywords:   transpacific movement, study abroad, studying abroad, Asian American, colonial modernity, Western imperialism, Yung Wing

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