Coastal Perspectives Lecture – Apr 5, 2022

book cover for Cargo RebellionCARGO – Connecticut’s Coolie History in Graphic Media and Public School Curriculum

Jason Oliver Chang, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History and Asian American Studies and Director of the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute at the University of Connecticut

Alexis Dudden, Ph.D., Professor of History at the University of Connecticut


The trade in indentured Asian workers accelerated in the wake of formal emancipation of enslaved Africans in the colonial world mid-nineteenth century. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese and South Asian laborers became replacements for slaves. Connecticut mariners and captains were involved in this trade and one poignant case, the mutiny aboard the Robert Bowne in 1852, became a crucial benchmark for international discourse on human rights at sea in the age of indenture. The research on this history has been transformed into a comic book and middle-school curriculum to deliver cutting-edge Asian American studies lessons to public school audiences.

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portrait photo of Jason Oliver ChangJason Oliver Chang is Associate Professor of History and Asian American Studies at the University of Connecticut where he also serves as the Director of the Asian and Asian American Studies Institute. As a public servant he sits on the Board of Education for West Hartford Public Schools, the Governor’s Hate Crimes Advisory Council, and the State Historical Records and Archives Board. He is the co-founder of Make Us Visible a grassroots organization advocating for Asian American and Pacific Islander studies education reform in K-12 public schools and is the Director of the Connecticut Chapter. When he’s not teaching or holding meetings, he can be found near large bodies of water.






portrait photo of Alexis DuddenAlexis Dudden is professor of history at the University of Connecticut, where she teaches modern Japanese, Korean, and international history. She received her BA from Columbia and PhD from the University of Chicago and has spent extended periods of time in Japan and Korea. Dr. Dudden publishes regularly in print and online media and lives with her family in Noank. She is currently a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.






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