A Webquest is a moderated, curated, or
guided research assignment. In a Webquest such as this one you will go
through my website and use it to gather informal research information
the book we are reading. This webquest allows us to gather external
at our own pace, much like a research assignment, yet less formal, as
well as to gain a much richer understanding of the book. To complete
this webquest you will need to download the questions for it as a MS
or PDF file
. Then, use the Webquest and its resources to answer
the questions on the worksheet.
Professor Vibert with Gene Luen Yang, the author of American Born Chinese
Section One - Introduction to American Born Chinese
1. Please visit this website
to learn what a graphic novel is.
2. Please download and read this handout
that I made for information on how to read a graphic novel.
3. Click here
for information about who the Monkey King is. This is from Gene Luen Yang's own website.
4. Visit this youtube video
to gather information about themes and characters in American Born Chinese.
That marks the end of section one. You may wish to take a break before you move onto section two.
Section Two - Chinatown and the sense of ethnic community
, Jin moves out to the
California suburbs from Chinatown, in San Francisco. It is a section of
San Francisco that is mostly made up of Chinese immigrants and their
descendants, as well as others of Chinese descent. It is the largest
Chinese community outside of Asia
1 - Visit Wikipedia
to learn what a chinatown is and what "Chinatown" itself refers to.
2 - Check out this video from about.com
that takes us inside San Francisco's Chinatown.
That marks the end of section two. You may wish to take a break before you move onto section three.
Section Three - Stereotypes
First, some definitions. A stereotype is an oversimplified, but often
widely held view of what a whole group of people is like, or a
characteristic that they have. A stereotype is a view or image that is
very simplified so that it paints broad strokes and doesn't make
important distinctions. Stereotypes often play on or use outdated and
and offensive conceptions of what a group of people are like.
Stereotypes can often be hurtful because of these reasons. What
we say then is that stereotypes are often prejudical– prejudice
is a preconceived opinion that is not based on actual experience or is
based on limited experience.
Stereotypes are often racial or racist and effect nearly every gender
and ethnic and racial group. We will talk about stereotyping in general
in class, especially as it relates to and effects us. For this
assignment though we will be talking about American Born Chinese and
Asian-American stereotypes. To this end I and we will be prominently
talking about Jeremy Lin, the Chinese-American point guard for the New
York Knicks professional basketball team.
1- Check out this
lighthearted look at Asian stereotypes on Youtube.
2- Check out this article
by NBC news about Jeremy Lin and "Linsanity"
3- Check out this article by USA today
about Jeremy Lin and Asian stereotypes.
That marks the end of section three. You may wish to take a break before you move onto section four.
Section Four - Stereotypes Part Two
American Born Chinese deals prominently with Asian stereotyping in
popular culture. Many Asian stereotyopes, like other racist
stereotypes, originated in the 1800s based on the the simple fact that
east Asian cultures appeared vastly different to westerners. East Asian
was seen as a place of great strangeness and described as "the Orient"
and figured (set up in popular perceptions/literature etc.) as a
fantastical, strange place. That has now changed and many older
preconceptions and stereotypes have disappeared into the mists of time.
Some, however, have stuck around. And, arguably, racist stereotypes
about Asians and Asian Americans are one of the last few acceptable
forms of prejudice. You'll see that in our first video.
Stereotypes, especially prejudicial ones can be extremely hurtful, even
as jokes. American Born Chinese attempts to examine some of these
stereotypes, to see how've they still stick around today, and how
dealing with them and transcending them is often part of being an
Asian-American. ABC also looks at how hurtful these stereotypes can be,
and how individuals can transcend these stereotypes.
1- Watch this video from Saturday Night Live.
It's hosted on Deadspins site and if it doesn't work just google "Saturday Night Live" and "Linsanity."
2. One of the oldest Asian stereotypes involves the form of dress worn
by poor Chinese farmers and laborers in the 1800's. For example, this
is a Chinese farmer in traditional 1800s garb:
3. These are immigrant Chinese workers working on the San Francisco Railroad in the 1800s:
4. This is a racist cartoon from the 1800s that exaggerates the
physical features and dress of rural Chinese workers for political and
4. Check out this political cartoon from 2001 that traffics in the same racist stereotypes:
That marks the end of section four. You may wish to take a break before you move onto section five.
Section Five – Chin-Kee and Popular Culture
Asian Stereotypes didn't die off in the 1800s. Chin-Kee visually and
physically embodies several stereotypes from recent popular culture as
well as the past.
1 - Check out some footage from blockbuster 1980's film "Sixteen
Candles" featuring an outrageous Asian stereotype, Long Duk Dong.
• Video 1 - "What's Happening Hot Stuff."
Notice the gong sound and how aggressively sexual Long Duk Dong is.
• Video 2 - "Long Duk Dong in Tree"
. Notice how he is potrayed as "a Chinaman" and so odd.
2 - Check out this comic by Adrian Tomine
, an Asian-American artist and cartoonist. It is about his anger about Long Duk Dong.
That's it, we're done!