Year of Graduation


Level of Access

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period


Department or Program

Asian Studies

First Advisor

Belinda Kong


In this project I work to recover influential yet often erased Asian American female immigrant chefs and food authors from the mid-twentieth century to the present, situating their contributions in a deep-rooted tradition of diasporic women who used cooking as a means of communal agency and care. Immigrant Asian cookbook authors and chefs have long faced internal criticisms from their own diasporic communities of either inauthenticity or engaging in “food pornography,” to use writer Frank Chin’s term—a line of criticism that Lisa Lau has elaborated on as “re-Orientalism.”Though these criticisms should not eclipse the works themselves, I discuss and counter them in my project because they reflect broader challenges faced particularly by Asian female diasporic authors even today. , I seek to address a broader scholarly gap through my project. Presently, much important work exists on the legacies of historical trauma and violence on marginalized communities, work that highlights the insidious ways violence manifests in academia, pop culture, and everyday lives. This project is a personal pursuit to focus on the healing and beautiful aspects of diasporic community and identity, an ode to the parts of us that are not defined by the pain and suffering but that seek self-affirmation beyond them.