British Women Writers and the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1785-1835

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs, United Kingdom, Women on 2015-11-29 21:20Z by Steven

British Women Writers and the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1785-1835

Ashgate Publishing
November 2014
160 pages
234 x 156 mm
Hardback ISBN: 978-1-4724-3088-5
eBook PDF ISBN: 978-1-4724-3089-2
eBook ePUB ISBN: 978-1-4724-3090-8

Kathryn S. Freeman, Associate Professor of English
University of Miami, Miami, Florida

In her study of newly recovered works by British women, Kathryn Freeman traces the literary relationship between women writers and the Asiatic Society of Bengal, otherwise known as the Orientalists. Distinct from their male counterparts of the Romantic period, who tended to mirror the Orientalist distortions of India, women writers like Phebe Gibbes, Elizabeth Hamilton, Sydney Owenson, Mariana Starke, Eliza Fay, Anna Jones, and Maria Jane Jewsbury interrogated these distortions from the foundation of gender. Freeman takes a three-pronged approach, arguing first that in spite of their marked differences, female authors shared a common resistance to the Orientalists’ intellectual genealogy that allowed them to represent Vedic non-dualism as an alternative subjectivity to the masculine model of European materialist philosophy. She also examines the relationship between gender and epistemology, showing that women’s texts not only shift authority to a feminized subjectivity, but also challenge the recurring Orientalist denigration of Hindu masculinity as effeminate. Finally, Freeman contrasts the shared concern about miscegenation between Orientalists and women writers, contending that the first group betrays anxiety about intermarriage between East Indian Company men and indigenous women while the varying portrayals of intermarriage by women show them poised to dissolve the racial and social boundaries. Her study invites us to rethink the Romantic paradigm of canonical writers as replicators of Orientalists’ cultural imperialism in favor of a more complicated stance that accommodates the differences between male and female authors with respect to India.


  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction: British women writers and late Enlightenment Anglo-India: the paradoxical binary of Vedic nondualism and the Western sublime
  • 1. The Asiatic Society of Bengal: “beyond the stretch of labouring thought sublime”
  • 2. “Out of that narrow and contracted path”: creativity and authority in Elizabeth Hamilton’s Translations of the Letters of a Hindoo Rajah
  • 3. Confronting sacrifice, resisting the sentimental: Phebe Gibbes, Sidney Owenson, and the Anglo-Indian novel
  • 4. Female authorship in the Anglo-Indian meta-drama of Mariana Starke’s The Sword of Peace (1788) and The Widow of Malabar (1791)
  • Epilogue: lost and found in translation: re-orienting British revolutionary literature through women writers in early Anglo-India
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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The Possible South: Documentary Film and the Limitations of Biraciality

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Communications/Media Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2015-11-29 01:39Z by Steven

The Possible South: Documentary Film and the Limitations of Biraciality

University Press of Mississippi
288 pages
6 x 9 inches
38 b&w illustrations, bibliography, index
Hardcover ISBN: 9781496804082

R. Bruce Brasell
Birmingham, Alabama

Using cultural theory, author R. Bruce Brasell investigates issues surrounding the discursive presentation of the American South as biracial and explores its manifestation in documentary films, including such works as Tell about the South, bro•ken/ground, and Family Name. After considering the emergence of the region’s biraciality through a consideration of the concepts of racial citizenry and racial performativity, Brasell examines two problems associated with this framework. First, the framework assumes racial purity, and, second, it assumes that two races exist. In other words, biraciality enacts two denials, first, the existence of miscegenation in the region and, second, the existence of other races and ethnicities.

Brasell considers bodily miscegenation, discussing the racial closet and the southeastern expatriate road film. Then he examines cultural miscegenation through the lens of racial poaching and 1970s southeastern documentaries that use redemptive ethnography. In the subsequent chapters, using specific documentary films, he considers the racial in-betweenness of Spanish-speaking ethnicities (Mosquitoes and High Water, Living in America, and Nuestra Communidad), probes issues related to the process of racial negotiation experienced by Asian Americans as they seek a racial position beyond the black and white binary (Mississippi Triangle), and engages the problem of racial legitimacy confronted by federally non-recognized Native groups as they attempt the same feat (Real Indian).

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Identity Does Not Define Experiences

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Campus Life, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2015-11-28 21:25Z by Steven

Identity Does Not Define Experiences

The Oberlin Review
Oberlin, Ohio

Taiyo Scanlon-Kimura, College senior

To the Editors:

My name is Taiyo Scanlon-Kimura. I take he, him and his. I am a mixed-race Japanese American. I am cisgender and heterosexual; I am from Ohio and a strictly middle-class background. (I received a federal Pell Grant one year and not others because my family is right on the cusp of certain federal guidelines.) My father is an immigrant with no college degree, while my mother has a Master’s degree. (You might be surprised at who makes more money.) I am the oldest and only son of four children. I am graduating in May and have gained tremendously from my Oberlin education.

This introduction is meant to highlight both my social privileges and challenges. (These are in fact relative terms, which means some elements of my identity have simultaneously advantaged me and been used to discriminate against me.) Asian Americans (particularly Midwestern ones and Ohio students in general) make up a fraction of Oberlin’s student body, while students of Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Indian descents are disproportionately represented, relative to their national populations, in American college campuses. In this country, people generally refer to me as part Asian, whereas in Japan I am overwhelmingly thought of as White. I will graduate from Oberlin with roughly $35,000 in loans (higher than the national average), yet statistics indicate I am better positioned to find a good job and start a family than my peers on this campus who come from low-income backgrounds.

There are many layers to my life story. I straddle the boundary between majority and minority, sometimes enjoying the benefits of one while enduring the hardships of the other…

Read the entire letter here.

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Hapa-Palooza 2015 | Talking Hapa With Canadian Broadcaster Margaret Gallager

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Canada, Interviews, Media Archive on 2015-11-28 16:39Z by Steven

Hapa-Palooza 2015 | Talking Hapa With Canadian Broadcaster Margaret Gallager

Schema Magazine

Marissa Willcox

Hapa-palooza is here! Celebrating what Vancouver does best: mixed-heritage and blended cultural identities. Drawing from the Hawaiian origin of the word “hapa” (used by many people in Canada and U.S. who identify as being of mixed-heritage) Vancouver is a perfect venue this year’s diverse array of speakers, workshops and family events.

This festival spans over four days and features many mixed-heritage voices, including Vancouver’s much-loved broadcaster Margaret Gallager. An award winning CBC radio host, she joins Lawrence Hill on September 17th for a much-anticipated evening of stimulating conversation at the GoldCorp Centre for the Arts. Marissa Willcox had a chance to ask her a few questions about her cultural identity and work in Canada’s public broadcaster.

Marissa Willcox: As a broadcaster and community member of mixed-heritage, to what extent is Vancouver’s ethnic and cultural diversity an aspect of the stories you cover?

Margaret Gallager: As someone who works for the public broadcaster, it’s part of my job (and privilege) to reflect Canadian society through the stories I bring to air. And diversity is a huge part of who we are, especially in Vancouver. So, if you’re doing your job right, some of those stories are naturally going to come from diverse communities.

I’d say that cultural diversity is better reflected in the media these days than it was when I was growing up, whether that is in the stories that are told, or the people who are presenting them. And I think that change came about in part through a conscious effort that has taken years…

Read the entire interview here.

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Virtual release party for ‘Raising Mixed Race’ – December 11th, 2015

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Forthcoming Media, Live Events on 2015-11-27 02:22Z by Steven

Virtual release party for ‘Raising Mixed Race’ – December 11th, 2015

Facebook Release Party
2015-12-11, 17:30-21:30Z (09:30-13:30 PST)

Join us for giveaways, Q&A, discussion, and much more as we celebrate the launch of Raising Mixed Race.

Publishing in December 2015, Raising Mixed Race by Sharon Chang is the first book to examine the complex task of supporting young children who are “two or more races” and Asian. To celebrate, the author has organized a virtual release party complete with over 20 giveaways.

For more information, click here.

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Between Two Worlds: Racial Identity in Alice Perrin’s The Stronger Claim

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive on 2015-11-27 01:55Z by Steven

Between Two Worlds: Racial Identity in Alice Perrin’s The Stronger Claim

Victorian Literature and Culture
Volume 42, Special Issue 3, September 2014
pages 491-508
DOI: 10.1017/S1060150314000114

Melissa Edmundson Makala
University of South Carolina

Like many Anglo-Indian novelists of her generation, Alice Perrin (1867–1934) gained fame through the publication and popular reception of several domestic novels based in India and England. However, within the traditional Anglo-Indian romance plot, Perrin often incorporated subversive social messages highlighting racial and cultural problems prevalent in India during the British Raj. Instead of relying solely on one-dimensional, sentimental British heroes and heroines, Perrin frequently chose non-British protagonists who reminded her contemporary readers of very real Anglo-Indian racial inequalities they might wish to forget. In The Stronger Claim (1903), Perrin creates a main character who has a mixed-race background, but who, contrary to prevailing public opinion of the time, is a multi-dimensional, complex, and perhaps most importantly, sympathetic character positioned between two worlds. Even as Victorian India was coming to an end, many of the problems that had plagued the British Raj intensified in the early decades of the twentieth century. Perrin’s novel is one of the earliest attempts to present a sympathetic and heroic mixed-race protagonist, one whose presence asked readers to question the lasting negative effects of race relations and racial identity in both India and England.

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Dolly Fernandez: Growing up in a love-filled, mixed-race family in the anti-miscegenation era

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Media Archive, United States on 2015-11-26 16:32Z by Steven

Dolly Fernandez: Growing up in a love-filled, mixed-race family in the anti-miscegenation era

The FilAm: A Magazine for Filipino Americans in New York

Cristina DC Pastor, Founding Editor

“It was a scandal, but it was also a happy marriage. They just had so much fun together.”

Dolores ‘Dolly’ Fernandez, the daughter of a Filipino valet and a Norwegian hat check girl, traveled back in time and shared fond memories of her parents’ stirring romance amid anti-miscegenation laws which criminalized interracial marriages in the 1930s to the ‘60s.

The statute was applied mostly on ‘Negro-white’ marriages, but hanged over the heads of Filipino pioneers – or ‘manongs’ — in California, who worked in plantations farms. Some of them married outside the U.S. yet they could not be seen in public with their wives because of fear of the law – which was repealed in 1967– and fear of public humiliation. By that time, the seeds of racial prejudice had been planted on the Filipino consciousness.

Dolly recalled growing up in a mixed-race family in New York City during this era where the prevailing attitude around the country was to frown on any union of different races. Filipinos were referred to as Malays. Her father, Pio Fernandez of Baybay, Leyte, and mother, Agnes Olsen, got married, made a home in Astoria, Queens and filled it with love, music, and laughter…

Read the entire article here.

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Call for Papers: Negotiating Identities: Mixed-Race Individuals in China, Japan, and Korea

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Forthcoming Media, History, Identity Development/Psychology, United States, Wanted/Research Requests/Call for Papers on 2015-11-26 02:49Z by Steven

Call for Papers: Negotiating Identities: Mixed-Race Individuals in China, Japan, and Korea

University of San Francisco Center for Asia Pacific Studies
2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, California

Negotiating Identities: Mixed-Race Individuals in China, Japan, and Korea, April 14-15, 2016

The University of San Francisco Center for Asia Pacific Studies is pleased to announce the call for papers for “Negotiating Identities: Mixed-Race Individuals in China, Japan, and Korea” a conference to be held at the University of San Francisco on Thursday and Friday, April 14-15, 2016.

The highlight of the conference will be a keynote address by Emma Teng, Professor of History and Asian Civilizations, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

With this conference, the Center plans to provide a forum for academic discussions and the sharing of the latest research on the history and life experiences of mixed-race individuals in China, Japan, and Korea. The conference is designed to promote greater understanding of the cross-cultural encounters that led to the creation of interracial families and encourage research that examines how mixed-race individuals living in East Asia have negotiated their identities. Scholars working on the contemporary period are also welcome to apply.

All participants will be expected to provide a draft of their paper approximately 4 weeks before the conference to allow discussants adequate time to prepare their comments before the conference.

Participants will be invited to submit their original research for consideration in the Center’s peer-reviewed journal, Asia Pacific Perspectives.

Interested applicants should e-mail (by September 15, 2015) the following to, subject line, “Multiracial Identities in Asia”:

  • 300 word (maximum) abstract
  • Curriculum Vitae

Please share this call with any scholars that may be interested.

Contact for Questions:

Melissa S. Dale, Ph.D.
Executive Director & Assistant Professor
University of San Francisco Center for Asia Pacific Studies

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Census Bureau Statement on Classifying Filipinos

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, United States on 2015-11-23 02:14Z by Steven

Census Bureau Statement on Classifying Filipinos

United States Census Bureau
Release Number: CB15-RTQ.26

Public Information Office: 301-763-3030

NOV. 9, 2015 — The Census Bureau has no current plans to classify Filipinos outside of the Asian race category. Filipinos are classified as Asian on Census Bureau forms based on the Office of Management and Budget’s definition, which specifically states that people whose origins are from the Philippine Islands are part of the category Asian.

According to OMB, Asian refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand and Vietnam.

At this time, the Census Bureau is conducting the 2015 National Content Test and is testing the design of the race question for the 2020 Census. This test will frame the recommendations for the 2020 Census race question, which has Filipino as an example under the Asian category.

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The East-West House: Noguchi’s Childhood in Japan

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs on 2015-11-19 02:04Z by Steven

The East-West House: Noguchi’s Childhood in Japan

Lee & Low Books
28 pages
11.1 x 8.7 x 0.4 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9781600603631

Christy Hale, Author, Illustrator

Isamu was a boy of the East and the West. Born in the United States to a Japanese father and Scotch-Irish American mother, Isamu grew up in Japan. From his earliest years he felt the tug of his biracial heritage, never quite fitting in or thinking he belonged. Pleasure came, however, from the natural world. Color, light, and shadow. Earth, wood, and stone. Working with these forms of nature, Isamu found a way to blend his cultural divide. It was an exploration that became the cornerstone and spirit of his lifelong creative journey.

With lyrical text and luminous artwork, Christy Hale tells the story of the boy who grew up to be the multifaceted artist Isamu Noguchi. Guided by his desire to enrich everyday life with art while bringing together Eastern and Western influences, Noguchi created a vast array of innovative sculptures, stage sets, furniture, and public spaces. The East-West House is a tribute to the artistic beginnings of this pioneering modern sculptor and designer.

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