Esme Munson

New York City’s Chinatown as Preservation of Identity: An Analysis of the Ethnic Enclave Model

Class of: 2025

Major: Illustration BFA

Medium: Essay text

Faculty: Berker Basmaci

Prompt: The prompt was to: "...relevant to one of the three areas discussed in class (Objective Memory, The Work of an Artist, or Urban Spatial Experience), write a 5 page essay with a thesis statement, an argument backed up by empirical evidence, and an annotated bibliography with proper Chicago Manual of Style citation."

For my research essay, I chose to go all the way back to the first topic we covered in class, the memory unit. It made the most impact on me because I wrote about something personal and important to me: my own experiences in New York City’s Chinatown as a Chinese-American. In my essay I chose to return to Chinatown in a more research centered way; the focus is shifted to the experiences of Chinese immigrants in Chinatown, and arguing that Chinatown facilitates the preservation of identity and community.