Patricia Park talks about her Korean American spin on Jane Eyre

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Book/Video Reviews, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2016-12-26 17:58Z by Steven

Patricia Park talks about her Korean American spin on Jane Eyre

The Los Angeles Times
2015-05-12

Steph Cha


Patricia Park, author of “Re Jane” (Allana Taranto/Viking)

What if Jane Eyre was a Korean American girl and Rochester was a English professor? Patricia Park on ‘Re Jane

Patricia Park’s debut novel, “Re Jane” (Pamela Dorman/Viking: 340 pp., $27.95), is a retelling of everyone’s favorite Gothic Victorian Brontë romance, “Jane Eyre,” transferred to New York and South Korea in the early 2000s. Her heroine, Jane Re, is a half-Korean orphan raised by her uncle’s family in Flushing, Queens, a neighborhood that feels “all Korean, all the time.” When a prestigious post-college job offer falls through thanks to the dot-com crash, Jane takes a job as an au pair in Brooklyn in order to escape Queens and her uncle’s grocery store.

Her employers are Ed Farley and Beth Mazer, two Brooklyn English professors with an adopted Chinese daughter. Ed, as you may have guessed, is brooding and manly, with a strong jawline and a Brooklyn accent—pure Kryptonite for our wide-eyed, 22-year-old Jane. He lives in the shadow of his older, more accomplished wife, an eccentric feminist scholar with an attic office, who takes it upon herself to educate their sheltered au pair.

With her mixed blood and her torn loyalties, Jane embodies the confusion of both young adulthood and the hyphenated American experience. Impressionable and accommodating at the start of the novel, she struggles to find her own identity as the places and people in her life try to claim her. Her journey is a pleasure to follow, immensely rewarding and speckled with humor and romance…

Read the entire interview here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Winners of 1st Korea Multicultural Youth Awards

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Social Work on 2013-07-05 23:13Z by Steven

Winners of 1st Korea Multicultural Youth Awards

The Korea Times
2012-12-12

Jun Ji-hye

Habitus, a student volunteer group at Yongmoon High School in Seoul, has worked for vulnerable members of society such as the disabled, senior citizens and multiracial children.

Among their good works, running the study room for elementary school students from multiracial families ought to be highly commended.

Seven students who are in the second grade of the school are in the group. They set themselves up as mentors for such young children and have guided their study from Monday to Friday for a year.

They also became company for them to talk together with, thus giving them the needed emotional support.

“It takes 20 minutes for them to get to the study room from the school. After doing the volunteer work for an hour, they have to go back to school to do their own study till 11 p.m. But they always do such works with a glad heart,” said Choi Nak-won, a guidance teacher of the group.

Choi said, “Seven students have been enthusiastic about understanding multiracial families and always warm-heartedly treating young students from such families. I believe this will help them grow up as leading figures in the future society.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

[Daniel Fiedler] Segregating children is wrong

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, New Media, Politics/Public Policy on 2012-03-13 17:39Z by Steven

[Daniel Fiedler] Segregating children is wrong

The Korea Herald
2012-03-13

Daniel Fiedler, Professor of Law
Wonkwang University

This year under the guidance of the Seoul Office of Education a new elementary school and a new high school were opened in the Seoul area. While generally the opening of new schools would not be cause for comment, in this case the new schools are specifically for children who come from “multicultural” backgrounds. The high school is designed to educate “multicultural” teenagers who have dropped out of regular public high schools, while the elementary school will operate as a regular school but with special emphasis on teaching Korean culture and language. The Seoul Office of Education argues that this is a necessary and progressive approach to assist in the education of these children; however, segregating these students from their Korean peers is neither appropriate nor desirable for the future of South Korea. And the use of the term “multicultural” to describe these children is a thinly disguised euphemism for mixed-race or mixed-descent, a concept that has no place in 21st century discourse.

For a comparison one only has to look to the failed experience of the United States in segregating the races during the first half of the 20th century. In the United States the euphemism used was “separate but equal” and the idea was to have schools only for black children and schools only for white children. The United States then extended it to separate cars on trains, to separate public bathrooms and even to separate drinking fountains and soda shops. However, after almost 60 years it became apparent that the “separate but equal” approach was an abject failure and, in 1954 the United States Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional. Since that time integration and equality have been driving forces behind affirmative action programs in education, employment and everyday life in the United States. Nonetheless, the United States still struggles with the impact of that half century of segregation as reflected in the racist attitudes that still exist among the less educated and provincial members of American society…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,