We acknowledge that we live and work on unceded Indigenous territories and we thank the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations for their hospitality.

Single Issue

BC Studies no. 156-157 Winter-Spring 2007-2008

Refracting Pacific Canada

For 150 years, migrants from Asia have had a strong presence in Canadian life. Along with First Nations peoples, migrants from Asia have helped create a Pacific Canada that is very different from versions of Canadian history that emphasize trans-Atlantic migration. By engaging with both First Nations communities and European migrants and by connecting to a larger Pacific world, trans-pacific migrants helped forge a unique society in Canada.  Discover a way of understanding our common history that goes beyond the West and transcends region. “Refracting Pacific Canada” seeks to examine the long history of migration and exchange between British Columbia and the Asian Pacific world. In doing so it aims to give fuller recognition, from a Chinese or Japanese perspective, to the role of East Asians in the development of British Columbia.

To read the full issue online, visit our OJS site.

Add to Cart - $20.00 View in OJS

The Front

The Front

Refracting Pacific Canada: Seeing Our Uncommon Past

By https://ojs.library.ubc.ca/index.php/bcstudies/article/view/606/649


Book Reviews

Book Review

Chinese Servants in the West: Florence Baillie-Grohman’s “The Yellow and White Agony”

W.A. Baillie-Grohman is known to British Columbians for his aborted plan to build a canal in the East Kootenay and his stories of big game hunting, notably Fifteen Years’ Sport and Life in the Hunting...

By Patrica Roy

Book Review

River of Memory: The Everlasting Columbia

River of Memory is a snapshot of the Columbia River prior to the massive human manipulation of the region. Layman argues that, when we understand the river in its natural state prior to 1933, we...

By Bruce Shelvey

Book Review

The Comox Valley: Courtnay, Comox, Cumberland, and Area

In the publisher’s promotional sheet, this attractive book is described as “an intimate portrait of an incredibly beautiful and special place.” This sense of affection for the region comes across strongly in the course of...

By Jamie Morton

Book Review

Harbour City: Nanaimo in Transition, 1920-1967

Nanaimo is a perplexing place for a historian. The city’s elected officials and first Nations leaders often disregard and frequently disdain historical structures. Recently, two buildings that had been listed on the city’s heritage register...

By Patrick Dunae

Book Review

Native Seattle: Histories from the Crossing-Over Place

Coll Thrush’s book lies at the intersection of two bodies of scholarship that usually run parallel to each other. Urban history and Indian history meet in Native Seattle with panache and authority. Thrush tracks the...

By Jean Barman

Book Review

The Mapmaker’s Eye: Douglas Thompson on the Columbia Plateau

More than an exhibition catalogue but every bit that as well, Jack Nisbet’s Mapmaker’s Eye takes its reader farther into Anglo-Welsh-Canadian explorer David Thompson’s five years (1808-12) on the Pacific Slope than has any previous...

By I.S. MacLaren

Book Review

Sharks of the Pacific Northwest: Including Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska

Humans have instigated the generalized obliteration of large predators for centuries. The severe, routinely fatal penalty that sharks have paid appears to result in large part from social perspectives founded in fear and ignorance. From...

By Anna Hall

Book Review

Athapaskan Migration: The Archaeology of Eagle Lake, British Columbia

Migration is one mechanism that archaeologists have put forward to explain significant change in cultural materials through time. However, due to its linear and rather simplistic explanation of human activity (i.e. material change = wholesale...

By Chris Springer

Book Review

Blue Valley: An Ecological Memoir

Luanne Armstrong is a walker. Walking the land where her ancestors farmed and where she has lived, walking the cities where she and her children have spent time, walking by rivers and lakes and mountains...

By Anne Edwards

Book Review

National Visions, National Blindness: Canadian Art and Identities in the 1920s

Leslie Dawn makes an ambitious contribution to a hotly debated topic of Canadian cultural history – the role of the visual arts in the formation of the image of a modern Canadian nation. The title’s...

By Gerta Moray



Andrea Geiger is an assistant professor of history at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC. Her dissertation, Cross-Pacific Dimensions of Race, Caste and Class: Meiji-era Immigrants in the North American West, 1885-1928, was completed at the University of Washington in Seattle in 2006 and awarded the Institute for Pacific Northwest Studies Dissertation Prize in 2007.

Lisa Rose Mar is an assistant professor jointly appointed in the Department of History and in the Asian American Studies Program at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her research explores immigration history in Canada, America, and the Chinese Diaspora. She is currently completing a book about transformations in Chinese Canadians’ relations with their neighbours between the 1880s and the 1940s.

Dr. Renisa Mawani is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at The University of British Columbia. She has published in the areas of moral regulation; (post)colonialism, law, and space; histories of Chinese migration to British Columbia; and on colonial histories of Aboriginal peoples. Her publications have appeared in journals including Law/Text/Culture, Social and Legal Studies, Canadian Journal of Law and Society, and Social Identities. She has just completed her first book, Cartographies of Colonialism: Crossracial Contacts, Juridical Truths, and Biopolitical Futures in Historical British Columbia (under review). Her second monograph (in progress) is a transnational history of the Komagata Maru and its place in the British Empire.

John Price is associate professor of history at the University of Victoria, BC, Canada where he has taught on Japan, East Asia and Asia-Canada relations for the past 10 years. His recent manuscript, Orienting Canada: Race, Empires and the TransPacific, 1937-1956 (forthcoming) examines Canada-Asia relations in the context of wars in the Pacific, Korea, and Vietnam.

Timothy J. Stanley is Vice-Dean (Academic Programs) of the Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa where he teaches antiracism education and educational foundations. The history of anti-Chinese racism in British Columbia is his principal area of research interest. Recent publications include a chapter on racisms and Canadian nationalist grand narratives in Ruth Sandwell (ed.), Teaching History in Troubled Times: Public Memory, Citizenship and History Education in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006).

Yuen-fong Woon is a sociologist trained at UBC. She is currently teaching in the Department of Pacific and Asian Studies, University of Victoria. She is the author of two books and twenty-two articles, most of which are based on numerous rounds of field work in the Pearl River Delta region, South China, as well as oral history projects on early Chinese men and women in Vancouver and Victoria.