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{
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    "collection_id": "ddr-csujad-24",
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    "signature_id": "ddr-csujad-24-1-mezzanine-2d8dca93b1",
    "title": "UC Santa Barbara Frank Chin Papers",
    "description": "These materials are from box 73 and 74 of the Frank Chin Papers. The Frank Chin Papers contain personal and professional correspondence between Frank Chin and Michi Weglyn relating to particular projects on which either author was working as well as files related to the Day of Remembrance Tribute to Michi Weglyn.

See complete finding aid at: http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/c8c53jvm/", "breadcrumbs": [ { "id": "ddr-csujad-24", "url": "http://ddr.densho.org/ddr-csujad-24/", "model": "collection", "idpart": "cid", "api_url": "http://ddr.densho.org/api/0.2/ddr-csujad-24/", "label": "24" } ], "public": "1", "language": [ "eng" ], "record_created": "2018-04-24T15:25:57", "bioghist": "Frank Chin is a UCSB graduate (1965) and is widely recognized as the most influential Asian American dramatist and writer (novels, short stories, essays) in the country. He is one of a handful of top literary figures in Asian American literary and cultural communities, and he is distinguished as being the first Asian American playwright produced in New York City. He founded the Asian American Theater Workshop in San Francisco which later evolved into the Asian American Theater Company (AATC). In discussing the value of the papers, Chin remarked, \"I hope that my collection of research, letters and experimental manuscripts will stimulate a more traditional study of Asian American literature, beginning with an introduction to the Asian children's stories shared by China, Korea, and Japan since pre-historic times, and the \"vernacular novels\" developed to spread Chinese heroic tradition of the Ming, as a conscious expression of the myth of civilization throughout Asia.” “By making my papers available to the public, I hope that my efforts to treat knowledge of Asia and America as equally important will be seen and used.”

Born February 25, 1940, Frank Chin describes himself as a fifth generation Chinaman. His great-grandfather helped build the Southern Pacific Railroad and his grandmother was a steward. He worked as a brakeman for the line before he began writing. Frank Chin’s work broke new ground in the exploration of Chinese and Chinese American mythology, iconography and cultural misconception. At a time when most writers and scholars were merely examining the way that Chinese Americans experienced stereotypes, Frank Chin was confronting and destroying the perceived foundations from which those stereotypes evolved. In 1975 Frank Chin described his efforts as an activist for Chinese-American identity to Stanley Eichelbaum for the San Francisco Examiner, to fight what he described as “anti-yellow, love-em to death and extinction racism”, which he believed was still widely practiced here in the United States. “Not Chink-hating racism but a more subtle form that deprives us of identity and locks up our seven generations of history and culture in America.”

Growing up in Oakland California, Chin attended UC Berkeley and UC Santa Barbara and joined the Program in Creative Writing at the University of Iowa. He is both prolific and varied in his output, having produced documentaries, written novels, short stories, comic books, essays, plays and Hollywood scripts, as well as teaching classes in Asian American literature. Chin co-edited one of the marquee Asian American Anthologies entitled Aiiieeeee!, published in 1974, and a second volume entitled, The Big Aiiieeeee!, published in 1991. Among Frank Chin’s many contributions to Asian American literature and Asian American literature studies, is his tireless effort to fight against the emasculation of the Asian and Asian American male identity. In a letter to Margaret Chew for her term paper for Holy Family Academy, Chin clearly defines his views on his own writing and his views on cultural identity.

“My ideas on Asian America aren’t radical. What makes my ideas seem radical is that they are no longer popular. Whites wiped out the Chinese truth about China. The radical new idea is the current popular one about Chinese culture being passive, humble, docile, non assertive. That’s all bullshit. In schematic, here’s the old, the traditional, the classical vision of Chinese America.”

Chin believed, and continues to believe, that the cultural identities of the “Confucian” Chinese man or the serene and peaceful “oriental mind” are externally produced stereotypes, first introduced by white observers as a way to further dehumanize that which they could not understand. Because of his efforts, he has been criticized by many scholars as being misogynistic or homophobic, claims which Chin has boldly and outspokenly confronted in many of his writings, earning him notoriety and grudging respect. In Gunga Din Highway (1994), Chin articulates a visionary rejection of centuries of Chinese emasculation through stereotype, by presenting protagonists who identify with the warrior spirit of legendary Chinese figures such as Kwan Kung. It is no small sign of his prescience that his ideas are becoming more widely accepted in the modern American popular culture.", "extent": "68.0 linear feet 121 document boxes; including 1 oversize container", "userrestrict": "All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of the Department of Special Research Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library.", "rights": "nocc", "scopecontent": "The Frank Chin Papers contain personal and professional materials of Chins' from 1940-2001. The collection is divided into four series spanning 112 archival boxes. The bulk of the collection consists of Chin’s manuscripts, including essays, articles, novels, scripts (film and theater) and notes. Also included are several correspondence files relating to Chin’s personal life and professional projects as well as extensive correspondence with other notable contemporary writers (including but not limited to Maxine Hong Kingston, James “Jimmie” Omura, Michi Weglyn, Mei Berssenbrugge). The second largest component of the collection are the subject files, which includes numerous folders relating to specific individuals, historical events and subjects. Altogether, the collection provides critical insight into Chin’s creative, personal and professional life as a contemporary Chinaman author and playwright. (It is important to note that Frank Chin refers to himself as a Chinaman, not a Chinese American, though he was born in America of Chinese decent.) See complete finding aid at: http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/c8c53jvm/", "physloc": "Department of Special Research Collections
UC Santa Barbara Library
Santa Barbara, California 93106-9010
Phone: (805) 893-5749
URL: https://www.library.ucsb.edu/special-collections", "_fields": [ "id", "record_created", "record_lastmod", "status", "public", "title", "unitdateinclusive", "unitdatebulk", "creators", "extent", "language", "contributor", "description", "physloc", "rights", "accessrestrict", "userrestrict", "prefercite", "bioghist", "scopecontent", "relatedmaterial", "separatedmaterial", "signature_id" ], "processinfo": "Collection processed by Michelle Wilder with Alexander Hauschild June 2007; and Callie Bowdish and Paola Novo, February and March 2009, updates and conversion to EAD format by Callie Bowdish and Janet Chen in 2012.", "unitdateinclusive": "1940-2011", "record_lastmod": "2019-01-18T09:30:45", "acqinfo": "Acquired from Frank Chin, 2003 and 2009, with periodic updates.", "unitdatebulk": "1940-2011", "prefercite": "Frank Chin Papers, Special Research Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, California State University, Santa Barbara", "contributor": "Department of Special Research Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library", "status": "completed" }