Mahjong in America

Study Groups
Cover of Mahjong: A Chinese Game and the Making of Modern American Culture

Mahjong in America

Annelise Heinz
January 21, 2022
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Pacific Time
Zoom Webinar
$15 per person Society members; $20 per person non-members. Advance registration must be received by the SAA by Jan. 14, 2022.

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Mahjong, a game based on a set of 144 tiles, originated in China. In the twentieth century, it traveled across the Pacific to the United States and caught on with Hollywood starlets, high society, middle-class housewives, and immigrants alike, creating waves of popularity and becoming a quintessentially American game.

Mahjong: A Chinese Game and the Making of Modern American Culture by Annelise Heinz narrates the history of this game and how it has created a variety of meanings, among them American modernity, Chinese American heritage, and Jewish American women's culture. The spaces between tiles and the moments between games have fostered distinct social cultures in the United States.

Annelise Heinz, an Assistant Professor at the University of Oregon, is a historian of modern America. Her research focuses on the intersections of gender, race/ethnicity, and sexuality. Her work has been featured by National Public Radio, South China Morning Post, The Wall Street Journal, and international Chinese television, among others. She has lived and played mahjong in the United States and Southwestern China.

A Zoom confirmation email with information on how to join the webinar will be sent to all registered attendees a few days before the event. Even though it is not required by Zoom, we recommend that you download and install Zoom on your computer or mobile device in advance, and set yourself up with a free account. Attendees will have a chance to participate in the Q&A with a text chat function.


Registration Policies

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