Annelise Heinz, Department of History
Annelise Heinz is an academic expert in sexuality and LGBTQ history, race and ethnicity, histories of U.S. women and gender, consumerism and transpacific history. At the University of Oregon, she is an assistant professor of history. As an historian of modern America, her research focuses on the intersections of gender, race/ethnicity, and sexuality. In examining the development of racial ideologies, her work is also in conversation with the growing field of transpacific history, examining the flows of people, goods, and ideas between the United States and China from the late nineteenth century through the twentieth century.
Heinz’s first book project, "Mahjong: A Chinese Game and the Making of Modern American Culture," explores the American history of the Chinese parlor game mahjong in the first half of the twentieth century. This book follows the history of one game to think about how, in their daily lives, individuals create and experience cultural change. Understanding the complex history of mahjong provides crucial insights into the formation of American ethnic identities, the role of women in transnational consumerism, and the significance of leisure as a source of cultural meaning and identity.
Her current project turns to LGBTQ history and examines the history of domestic space and queer economies in lesbian feminist communities of the late twentieth century.
Game changer: How mahjong helped Jewish and Asian Americans overcome racism (The Washington Post, July 13, 2021)
The Jewish History of Mah Jongg is Complicated (Kveller, July 1, 2021)
Review | How did mahjong become so popular in the US? The game’s Chinese origins and American adaptations examined in historian Annelise Heinz’s book (South China Morning Post, June 10, 2021)
A ‘Ton’ Of Fun: How Mahjong Became A U.S. Phenomenon (NPR 1A, May 12, 2021)
How Mahjong Became American (The Wall Street Journal, May 6, 2021)
What the Surprising History of Mah-jongg Can Teach Us About America (TIME, May 4, 2021)
Dallas company apologizes after criticism for redesigning Chinese mahjong tiles (NBC News, Jan. 5, 2021)
Mahjong still bringing people together across communities at Houston area tournament (Houston Chronicle, April 7, 2021)