Traditional histories of Northfield are typically peopled by European settlers and immigrants. A lesser-known chapter comes from Asian Americans. The Asia in Northfield project sought to capture the voices and stories of people of Asian heritage who make their homes in Northfield. In the summer of 2014, the project recorded video interviews with ten Northfield residents from diverse ethnic backgrounds, including Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indian-Thai, Malaysian, and Laotian, along with other long-time community members who have worked closely with Asian immigrants, families, and scholars. The Asia in Northfield website organizes and contextualizes these ethnographic oral-history recordings.
Asia in Northfield aims to not only document and present the under-explored Asian American stories to a larger audience but also raise critical questions about ethnic/cultural identities, cultural assimilations/racial interactions, heritage languages, traditional cultures, and the American Dream, among different aspects of Asian immigrant lives in an increasingly multicultural America.
The Asia in Northfield project was developed with DHH support over the summers of 2014 and 2015 by Professor Ka Wong, of the Asian Studies department, along with student researchers Jacob Caswell and Meena Wainwright, both supported by St. Olaf’s Collaborative Undergraduate Research and Inquiry (CURI) program, and Paoge Moua from the TRiO McNair Scholar Program.
Here is an example of one of the interviews.
Here is a short video about the project.