Onoto Watanna’s Cattle at 100: Indomitable Women in the West During the Chinese Exclusion Era
July 27-30, 2023
University of Calgary and Calgary Chinese Cultural Centre
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Welcome to “Onoto Watanna’s Cattle at 100: Indomitable Women in the West During the Chinese Exclusion Era,” the 2023 conference gathering and series of public events organized by the Winnifred Eaton Archive at the University of Calgary, AB.
Winnifred Eaton was a popular early Asian North American author, journalist, screenwriter and playwright whose best known works were published under the pen-name “Onoto Watanna,” a controversial persona that she assumed for over two decades. She was also the sister of Edith Eaton (“Sui Sin Far”).
This gathering seeks to explore Eaton’s transnational and multi-genre career beyond her Japanese phase, particularly in response to newly recovered and digitized works by her, and to newly situate her within contexts including the Canadian west, Canadian literature, middlebrow fiction, film, and Indigenous studies.
2023 is also the centenary of the passage of Canada’s Chinese Immigration Act, sometimes referred to as Canada’s Chinese Exclusion Act. We invite presenters and attendees to consider Eaton’s controversial masquerade and complex representations of race in her work against the backdrop of over a century of anti-Asian racism and violence in North America and within a history of the Chinese diaspora.
Diana Birchall, Biographer
Winnifred Eaton’s granddaughter and author of Onoto Watanna: The Story of Winnifred Eaton
Nancy Rao, Professor, Rutgers University
Author of Chinatown Opera Theater in North America
Spencer Tricker, Assistant Professor, Clark University
Author of the forthcoming Imminent Communities: Liberal Cosmopolitanism and Empire in Transpacific Literature (1849-1924)
Lily Cho, Associate Professor, York University
Tweet using #OWCattle100 before and during the conference. We’ll be tweeting from @WEatonArchive. Join us in the conversation!