Order for Guest
Your shopping cart is empty.
Immigration History Research Center Presents

Family,Citizenship&Transnational Community: Chinese Immigration during Costa Rica's Era of Exclusion

3/21/18, 12:00 PM

About this event

Join us for "Family, Citizenship, and Transnational Community: Chinese Immigration during Costa Rica's Era of Exclusion," a Global REM talk given by Benjamin Narvaez, Assistant Professor of History and Chair of the Latin American Area Studies major, University of Minnesota, Morris.

As Chinese migrated to the Americas during the century before World War II, a small yet highly visible community formed in Costa Rica. There, as elsewhere, they confronted Sinophobia and exclusion laws. From 1897 to 1943, Costa Rica maintained one of the harshest Chinese immigration bans in the hemisphere, with no exceptions for merchants or students. Nevertheless, the community steadily grew and prospered. How was this possible? Immigration legal loopholes and family formation partially account for this growth, but many entered the country illegally with the help of Chinese inside and outside of the country. In exploring family formation and legal and illegal immigration strategies, this talk highlights the hemispheric nature of Sinophobia and the importance of Costa Rica to larger transnational Chinese networks. It also challenges the traditional depiction of Costa Rica as a white, egalitarian, and democratic nation. Chinese immigrants faced extreme discrimination and yet found ways of thriving and making Costa Rica home.  

Benjamin Narvaez is Assistant Professor of History and Chair of the Latin American Area Studies major at the University of Minnesota, Morris. He received his B.A. from Grinnell College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on the history of Chinese immigration to Latin America. He has published on the experience of Chinese indentured laborers in nineteenth-century Cuba and Peru, including forthcoming articles in the Journal of Social History and The Americas. His new project examines the history of Chinese immigration to Costa Rica.
 
Event Location
  • Elmer L. Andersen Library, Room 308
  • 222 21st Ave S
  • Minneapolis MN
  • USA