Banner in New Chinatown. Copyright Los Angeles Public Library - Harry Quillen Collection. All Rights Reserved.

The Madame Chiang Project was created utilizing the community-based history method by which Asian American Studies originally emerged via the works of activist-scholars during the late 1960s and early 1970s.[1] In doing so, the Project sought to return to the roots of Chinese American History by actively engaging with the Chinatown community, as opposed to following the traditional university method of examining a community from the so-called academic “Ivory Tower.”[2]

While the professionalization of Asian American studies has undoubtedly led to great advances in its field of study, the Madame Chiang Project sought to, most importantly, provide a historical voice for the Los Angeles Chinatown community so that their perspectives could also be heard.[3]

[1] William Gow, Syllabus for Asian American 187A (Los Angeles: UCLA, 2010), 1.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.