Pacific Historical Review is delighted to share the news that its articles have recently been honored with awards from the Urban History Association and the Western Association of Women HIstorians.

Hannah Kim’s “Death in Philadelphia, 1958: The Murder of In-Ho Oh and the Politics of Cold War America” was a co-winner of the Arnold Hirsch Award for Best Urban History Article in a Scholarly Journal from the Urban History Association (UHA).

In conferring the award, the UHA commented,

“Can the murder of a South Korean student in 1958 teach us something about the racialized ideology of Cold War America? In her excellent essay Hannah Kim, current Associate Professor of History and Co-Coordinator of Social Studies Education at the University of Delaware, tells the story of In-Ho Oh, a South Korean graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, who was killed in an attack in Philadelphia in April 1958. Using a broad spectrum of sources from media reports to countless letters to the editor, photos from church events and the reaction of the Oh family, Kim examines the complex constellations in which the personae Oh was constructed and how his murder was used to create a “model“ minority during the era of Cold War. Kim powerfully demonstrates how this construction of Oh as a promising exchange student and devout Christian illuminates America’s self-perception about racial equality and exceptionalism during the height of the Cold War. Her essay is a fascinating read and an impressive example of how historians can look at very specific urban events to uncover deep socio-cultural structures in a much larger transnational context. In addition to being a must-read for urban historians, this essay also holds great potential as a classroom resource for educators teaching students how to analyze primary source material.”

You can learn more about the Urban History Association’s awards on the UHA’s website and can watch Kim’s acceptance speech, in which she talks about the importance of her work in light of last year’s increased violence and racism against Asian Americans, in the short video below.

We invite you to read Hannah Kim’s award-winning article, “Death in Philadelphia, 1958: The Murder of In-Ho Oh and the Politics of Cold War America,” for free online for a limited time.

Celeste R. Menchaca

Celeste R. Menchaca’s “Staging Crossings: Policing Intimacy and Performing Respectability at the U.S.-Mexico Border, 1907–1917” has been awarded the Barbara “Penny” Kanner Award from the Western Association of Women HIstorians.

The Barbara “Penny” Kanner Award is an annual award given to honor a book, book chapter, article, or electronic media that has been verifiably published or posted in the two years prior to the award year and which illustrates the use of a specific set of primary sources (diaries, letters, interviews etc).

Menchaca’s article examines the dynamic interactions between Mexican women who sought to circumvent their sexual regulation at the U.S.-Mexico border, and U.S. immigration officials who enforced these regulations and policed these women’s bodies in the early twentieth century. Using the transcripts of the board of special inquiry (BSI)—a panel that deliberated over the admission of excludable immigrants and oversaw accompanying interrogations—Menchaca contends that, while the BSI operated to encode corporeally Mexican female immigrants as sexually deviant, it simultaneously served as a stage for them to respond with their own performances of crossing. In the interrogation room, women performed a slew of admissible identities, including the devoted mother, aggrieved woman, and hard-working laborer. When those attempts to cross failed, women did not simply return home. Instead, many re-crossed until they reached their intended destination. Thus, the BSI served as a site for Mexican female border crossers to both uphold and challenge the production of heteropatriarchal notions of marriage. The article contributes to the growing literature on U.S. border enforcement in the early twentieth century and uncovers the (dis)order of a growing U.S. bureaucratic infrastructure based on sexual and gendered regulation.

We invite you to read Celeste R. Menchaca’s award-winning article, “Staging Crossings: Policing Intimacy and Performing Respectability at the U.S.-Mexico Border, 1907–1917,” for free online for a limited time.