Thursday, June 17, 6:00 – 7:00 pm
BEGIN AGAIN SERIES: A Talk with Dr. Andrea Louie
From Chinese Laundress to Mother of the Year: Bringing the Story of Toy Len Goon Beyond the Model Minority Myth
In 1952, Toy Len Goon, a modest widow and mother of eight, was selected as Maine Mother of the Year, and then for the national title, by the J.C. Penney Golden Rule Foundation. An immigrant from China, she came to the U.S. in 1921 as the wife of Dogan Goon, a WWI veteran and laundryman. After Dogan became disabled and unable to work, passing away in 1941, Toy and her children ran the laundry and household, located at 615 Forest Ave in Portland, ME.
However, there is much of Toy Len Goon’s story that was not told by the media coverage celebrating her honor. As one of her grandchildren, cultural anthropologist Dr. Andrea Louie places her story within a fuller context in the hopes of doing justice to Toy Len Goon’s legacy as a mother, and a woman who broke out of a number of traditional roles, while also remaining filial to relatives back in China.
About the speaker: Andrea Louie is Professor of Anthropology and founding director of the Asian Pacific American Studies Program at Michigan State University. She has conducted research exploring how ideas constructed around “Chineseness” as a racial and cultural identity have been reworked as transnational processes and bring Chinese from different parts of the world into contact with one another. She is the author of Chineseness Across Borders: Re-negotiating Chinese Identities in China and the U.S. (Duke University Press, 2004) and How Chinese Are You? Adopted Chinese Youth and their Families Negotiate Identity and Culture (New York University Press, 2015). She has conducted research with her MSU colleagues on international Chinese students at MSU, funded by a Spencer Foundation Small Grant. With funding from a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, Dr. Louie is currently working on a book focusing on her maternal grandmother’s selection as U.S. Mother of the Year in 1952, tentatively titled Chinese American Mothering Across Generations: Toy Len Goon and the Creation and Recirculation of the Model Minority Myth.
Cost: Free and open to the public, registration required.
Mandarin Chinese Roundtables
Come and partake in fun and informal conversations in Mandarin. These Roundtables are open to all interested and to all levels of Mandarin Chinese. Located at The Language Exchange, 75 Market Street, Suite 305 (3rd floor) in downtown Portland. Please note that the following meetings are now taking place via Zoom until further notice due to Covid-19.
Free of charge. No need to sign up, just come if you are available. Please email Viveca Kwan – vtkwan[at]gmail.com for Zoom details.
Dates and times of upcoming meetings:
- Wednesday June 9, 2021 – 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
- Wednesday June 23, 2021 – 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
When you rent through PMA films, you directly support the museum. Co-presented with CAFAM.
Shaken by the news of his father’s dementia, artist Maleonn creates “Papa’s Time Machine,” a wondrous time-travel adventure performed on stage with life-size mechanical puppets. Through the play’s production, he confronts his own mortality. Maleonn finds grace and unexpected joy in this moving meditation on art, the agonies of love and loss, and the circle of life.