Judy Yung

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Judy Yung (born 1946 San Francisco, California) is professor emerita in American Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She specializes in oral history, women's history, and Asian American history.[1][2]


Judy Yung is the fifth daughter of six children born to immigrant parents from China. She grew up in San Francisco Chinatown, where her father worked as a janitor and her mother as a seamstress to support the family. Yung was able to acquire a bilingual education by attending both public school and Chinese language school for ten years. She received her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She also holds an M.A. in Library Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.A. in English Literature and Chinese from San Francisco State University.

Prior to entering academia, Yung worked as librarian for the Chinatown branch of the San Francisco Public Library and the Asian branch of the Oakland Public Library, pioneering the development of Asian language materials and Asian American interest collections in the public library to better serve the Asian American community. She also spent four years working as associate editor of the East West newspaper.

Upon receiving her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies, Yung was hired to establish an Asian American Studies program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she taught courses in Asian American studies, women's history, oral history, and mixed race until she retired in 2004.

She currently lives in Santa Cruz with her husband Eddie Fung and their Scottish Fold, Sparkie.


  • 2015, Immigrant Heritage Award in Education, Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation
  • 2011, Caughey Western History Association Prize (for Angel Island)
  • 2006, Lifetime Achievement Award, Association for Asian American Studies
  • 2003, Excellence Through Diversity Award, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • 1999, Excellence in Teaching Award, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • 1997, Jeanne Farr McDonnell Book Award (for Unbound Feet), Women’s Heritage Museum
  • 1996, Robert G. Athearn Book Award (for Unbound Feet), Western History Association
  • 1996, National Book Award in History (for Unbound Feet), Association for Asian American Studies
  • 1996, Distinguished Award for Culture, Chinese Culture Foundation of San Francisco
  • 1987, Outstanding Asian Women of the Year, Asian Women’s Resource Center, San Francisco
  • 1982, American Book Award (for Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, 1910-1940), Before Columbus Foundation
  • 1980, Outstanding Citizen Award, Oakland Museum



  1. ^ "Chinese American Heroines: Judy Yung". Asia Week. April 11, 2009. 
  2. ^ Rappaport, Scott (3 March 2003). "American studies professor to present slide/talk on Chinese American women's history". UC Santa Cruz Currents Online. 
  3. ^ Keough, William (5 August 1981). "Entering America: the ordeal of Chinese immigrants; Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island 1910-1940, by Him Mark Lai, Genny Lim, Judy Yung.". Christian Science Monitor. p. 17. 
  4. ^ Corr, William (15 September 1996). "How Chinese women came of age in San Francisco". The Daily Yomiuri. Judy Yung's contribution to the story of Chinese women in San Francisco took more than a decade of meticulous research and the resulting exhaustive tome was worth the effort.... It is to Yung's credit that she examines this unsavory aspect of Chinese life in the United States unflinchingly and honestly.... Yung's tale describes the strikes, lockouts and blacklistings in the garment industry that inevitably involved Chinese women on both sides of the conflict. 

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