Annelise Heinz, Department of History

Annelise Heinz

Annelise Heinz

Associate Professor
Practice Areas: Histories of US Women and Gender, Sexuality and LGBTQ History, Race and Ethnicity, Consumerism, Transpacific History

Faculty bio | | Research website | (541) 346-4827

Annelise Heinz is an academic expert in sexuality and LGBTQ history, race and ethnicity, histories of US women and gender, consumerism and transpacific 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.

Recent Media:
How this classic game became the latest must-have hotel amenity (Travel+Leisure, March 2, 2024)
How new technology changed mahjong (The New York Times, Feb. 10, 2024)
Chow, Pong, and Kong: Mahjong! (Global Toy News, Aug. 4, 2022)
How Mahjong Laid Tiles for Chinese America (The Saturday Evening Post, July 11, 2022)
Turning Mah Jongg, the game, into a Broadway musical, is a labor of love (St. Louis Jewish Light, June 23, 2022)
The Roots of America’s Anti-Asian Violence (Current History, Sept. 1, 2021)
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)