Welcome to Celebrating Diversity, a library newsletter series showcasing books and resources that tell the stories of the many cultural and ethnic groups that call Queens home. Whether you are preparing an academic assignment or looking for your next great read, we hope you find inspiration in the history and culture of our colleagues, friends, and neighbors in “The World’s Borough.”
May is both Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month and Jewish American Heritage Month. Professors Q. Joan Xu and Izabella Taler, our expert subject librarians in these areas, are kicking off this series with featured ebooks and other resources from their Research Guides.
Access to ebooks and most other featured resources requires a valid QCard: please contact us if you have any issues logging in.
Asian/Pacific American and Jewish American Heritage Month
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month was first declared in 1978. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants (https://asianpacificheritage.gov/).
Jewish American Heritage Month’s history is more recent, as it was declared by President George W. Bush in 2006.
Two ebooks examine the intersections of Asian American and Jewish American experiences and are highly recommended:
Modeling Citizenship: Jewish and Asian American Writing, by Cathy Schlund-Vials
Temple University Press, 2011
JewAsian : Race, Religion, and Identity for America’s Newest Jews, by H.K. Kim and N.S. Leavitt
University of Nebraska Press, 2016
Asian/pacific american heritage Resources
Professor Xu’s Asian Studies Research Guide has a comprehensive array of ebooks and websites. Here are some highlights:
Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month: this guide, produced by the National Park Service, Library of Congress, and other federal partners, has extensive history and heritage information, and a special portal for educators.
APA Heritage: San Francisco’s official celebration site lets you virtually explore Asian food, literature, films, museums, and performances.
The Color of Success, by Ellen D. Wu
Princeton University Press, 2013
The Color of Success tells of the astonishing transformation of Asians in the United States from the “yellow peril” to “model minorities”–peoples distinct from the white majority but lauded as well-assimilated, upwardly mobile, and exemplars of traditional family values–in the middle decades of the twentieth century.
Negotiating Tradition, Becoming American, by
LFB Scholarly Publishing LLC, 2013
Salam examines how second generation South Asian Americans assimilate by analyzing their family experiences, their structural circumstances and their adult life choice through the lens of arranged marriage.
Scent of Apples, edited by
University of Washington Press, 2015
This collection of sixteen stories brings the work of a distinguished Filipino writer to an American audience.
Jewish American heritage Resources
Research Services Librarian Izabella Taler, liaison for Jewish Studies, presents highlights from the Jewish Studies Research Guide.
Featured E-Resources and Websites
The Association of Jewish Libraries leads one to extensive information related to Jewish Americans.
Jewish Review of Books includes much more than just reviews. It also offers articles about “religion, literature, culture, and politics, as well as fiction, poetry, and the arts.”
Ethnic NewsWatch is another great resource-you will find articles published in journals and newspapers including American Jewish History, Jerusalem Post, Jewish Chronicle, and Jewish Film & New Media.
American Jewish History, edited by Gary Phillip Zola and Marc Dollinger
Brandeis University Press, 2014.
Recommended for an overview of the American Jewish historical experience, and for students looking for primary source materials.
New York’s Yiddish Theater: From the Bowery to Broadway, edited by Edna Nahshon
Columbia University Press, 2016
Explore the historic role of American Jews in the entertainment industry. An excellent source for students interested in performing arts, New York City history, and the evolution of theater.
Typically Jewish, by Nancy Kalikow Maxwell
The Jewish Publication Society, 2019
A humorous romp through Jewish American culture and history, organized into chapters like “Worrying,” “Kvelling,” “Dying,” and “Noshing.”