Chinese-American woman topic of talk

1st female American-born Chinese doctor lived locally

January 16, 2014



“Doctor Mom Chung of the Fair-Haired Bastards: The Life of a Wartime Celebrity” focuses on the first-known American-born woman of Chinese descent to obtain a medical degree in the United States.

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Jan. 16, 2014) The first American-born Chinese female physician and changing U.S. social norms of race, gender and sexuality will be the subject of a free lecture at California Lutheran University in February.

The Artists and Speakers Series will present Judy Tzu-Chun Wu in a presentation titled “Doctor Mom Chung of the Fair-Haired Bastards: Strategic Transgression and Normativity in Asian-American History” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, in the Lundring Events Center.

Wu is an associate professor at Ohio State University where she holds a joint appointment with the department of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies and coordinates the Asian American Studies Program and the Diversity and Identity Studies Collective.

Her first book, “Doctor Mom Chung of the Fair-Haired Bastards: The Life of a Wartime Celebrity,” focuses on the first-known American-born woman of Chinese descent to obtain a medical degree in the United States. “Mom Chung” graduated from the University of Southern California’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1916, a time when Chinese in California lived in a climate of widespread discrimination.

Margaret Chung was born in 1889 in Santa Barbara, the eldest of 11 children. Her parents became invalids when she was very young, and she was forced to support the family by the age of 10. She first drove a horse-drawn freight wagon and then, as a seventh-grader, worked 12-hour days in a Chinese restaurant. The family moved to Ventura, and then to Los Angeles. She put herself through college and medical school by winning scholarships, selling medical supplies and lecturing on China. Dr. Chung went on to provide medical care for American GIs during World War II and “adopted” more than 1,000 “fair-haired bastards,” as she called her American GI sons. She died in 1959.

Wu’s second book, “Radicals on the Road: Internationalism, Orientalism, and Feminism during the Vietnam Era,” was published last year. She is currently collaborating on a political biography of Rep. Patsy Takemoto Mink, co-sponsor of Title IX legislation and the first woman of color elected to Congress.

Lundring Events Center is located in the Gilbert Sports and Fitness Center at 130 Overton Court on the Thousand Oaks campus.

CLU’s history department, Alpha Xi Psi chapter of Phi Alpha Theta history honor society, Artists and Speakers Committee, Asian studies minor program, Center for Equality and Justice and President’s Diversity Council are sponsoring the event. For more information, contact David Nelson at dnelson@callutheran.edu or 805-493-3318.







Feedback Form