In the early 1930s, the anthropologist Paul Radin hired Jon Lee to collect Chinese American folk narratives in Oakland’s Chinatown. These were later published as The Golden Mountain: Chinese Tales Told in California. Despite being lead fieldworker for the project, Lee’s contributions have been largely overlooked. This paper examines Lee’s important folkloristic work and opens up a wider discussion about the role that professional aspirations play in shaping the field methodologies of folklorists.

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