Friendly reminder that I will be giving a public talk tomorrow from noon to 1:30 PM at 223 Moses Hall (Institute for International Studies).
The talk is based on research I’m currently doing for a chapter of my dissertation.
Hope to see you there!
On July 26, 1924, a young nursemaid named Janet Smith was found dead in front of an ironing board in the basement of her master’s residence located in the affluent neighborhood of Shaughnessy Heights in Vancouver. Six years later, matronly socialite and amateur actress Rosetta Baker would be found dead in her luxurious downtown San Francisco apartment on December 8, 1930 with two broken ribs, damage to her chest and throat, and a bed sheet tied around her neck. In both cases, a Chinese “houseboy” stood trial as the primary suspect, with Wong Foon Sing being accused of murdering Smith and Liu Fook for allegedly murdering Baker.
Drawing upon these cases, I ask: in what ways are transformations to the domestic sphere and the Oriental Question connected? As frontier and gateway societies, how were Vancouver and San Francisco troubled and shaped by the emergence of an idealized white womanhood on one hand, and the total success of the anti-Oriental movement on the other?