Daniel Bronstein, my website contact mentioned in an earlier post, introduced my book, Southern Fried Rice, to his professor, Prof. Krystyn Moon. She encouraged me to present a talk about it at the forthcoming national conference of the Association of Asian American Studies in 2006. This organization is an academic group that includes historians, literary scholars, political scientists, psychologists, and sociologists writing and researching on issues relevant to Asian Americans. Its annual conference was held in Atlanta that year, and they were especially receptive to contributions dealing with Asian Americans in the South. This opportunity encouraged me to submit a proposal about how chain migration and networking among about 19 male descendants of my great great great grandfather led them to all operate laundries in the American South.
One of the other presenters at our session was Daniel Bronstein who spoke on his PhD research on the history of Chinese in Georgia. We had corresponded frequently over the past year after he discovered our common interests via my website. Without these fortuitous contacts with him and his mentor, I doubt I would have presented at this conference.