Marian Miner Cook

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Beauty and Plunder: Landscape and Historical Memory in a Public Garden

Wed, October 13, 2021
Dinner Program
Wendy Cheng

How do the stories that are told about places we love matter? How can we learn to tell different stories in order to create a more just present and future? Wendy Cheng, associate professor of American Studies at Scripps College, delves into the history of a Los Angeles public garden, whose world-famous camellia garden was built upon purchases made as a result of the World War II Internment of Japanese Americans, and current efforts to transform how that history is told and experienced.


An associate professor of American Studies, Wendy Cheng received her A.B.from Harvard University in English and American language and literature, her geography from U.C. Berkeley, and her Ph.D. in American studies and ethnicity from the University of Southern California.

A geographer and scholar of ethnic and American studies, her research focuses on race and ethnicity, comparative racialization, critical geography, urban and suburban studies, and diaspora. Her book, The Changs Next Door to the Díazes: Remapping Race in Suburban California, develops a theory of regional racial formation through the experiences and perspectives of residents of majority non-white, multiracial suburbs, and won the 2014 Book Award from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Asia and Asian America. Her co-authored book, A People’s Guide to Los Angeles, for which she was also the photographer, is a guide to sites of alternative histories and struggles over power in Los Angeles County. Her current research focuses on the political activism of Taiwanese student migrants to the U.S.

Adapted from

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