Uchinanchu: The Art of Laura Kina

Posted in Arts, Asian Diaspora, Forthcoming Media, Live Events, United States on 2016-06-08 21:25Z by Steven

Uchinanchu: The Art of Laura Kina

Kwan Fong Gallery of Art and Culture
California Lutheran University
120 Memorial Parkway
Thousand Oaks, California 91360

On view: June 10–October 30, 2016
Artist’s Reception: Friday, Oct. 21, 2016 | 6 p.m. PDT

Image: Laura Kina, Hello Kitty, acrylic on canvas and denim, assorted fabrics, t-shirts from the artist’s daughter Midori Aronson, 57 x 56 inches, 2015.

Uchinanchu is the term for Okinawan immigrants and their descendants from the Japanese island living in Hawai’i. This exhibit presents patchwork and textile-based paintings by Laura Kina through moving autobiographical pieces that examine mixed race identities, indigenous communities, colonization, and globalized pop culture–all in the form of traditional craft practices. Images feature deconstructed articles of clothing, from fleeting moments and memories of specific events to time-honored symbols.

Kina explains,

“My artwork focuses on themes of distance, belonging and cultural reclamation… Taken together, the works are about islands of diaspora and explore themes of transnational family ties and heritage tourism, mixed-ness, ethnic pride and solidarity, military and colonial histories, and current geopolitical military/environment issues in Okinawa and Hawai’i.”

Kina is Vincent de Paul Professor of Art, Media, & Design at DePaul University in Chicago and co-founder of the biennial Critical Mixed Race Studies conference. She co-authored War Baby/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art (University of Washington Press, 2013) and acts as reviews editor for Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas. She is working on a forthcoming anthology Queering Contemporary Asian American Art. Her work has been widely exhibited in galleries and museums nationally and internationally, including in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and the Japanese American National Museum.

For more information, click here.

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Bridging Asian and Asian American Studies through Critical Mixed Race

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, History, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-07 00:27Z by Steven

Bridging Asian and Asian American Studies through Critical Mixed Race

UCLA International Institute
Asia Institute

Samantha Fletcher (UCLA 2016)

Professor Emma Teng of MIT recently examined mixed-race identities in the U.S., China and Hong Kong as part of the Taiwan Studies Lecture Series of the Asia Institute.

UCLA International Institute, May 25, 2016 — The most recent UCLA Taiwan Studies Lecture examined a wide range of ideas, laws and constructs that were instrumental in shaping mixed-race identities in the United States, China and Hong Kong.

On May 10, 2016, Professor Emma Teng of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology delivered the presentation, “Traversing Boundaries: Bridging Asian and Asian American Studies through Critical Mixed Race.” The event was jointly sponsored by UCLA’s Asia Institute and Dean of Humanities, with funding from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles. The Center for Chinese Studies cosponsored the event.

Professor Teng shared issues raised by critical and mixed race theory that are detailed in her recent book, “Eurasian: Mixed Identities in the United States, China and Hong Kong, 1842–1943” (University of California, 2013).

Teng’s book explores the place of mixed-race children in Chinese society by examining the stories of their families and patterns of labor migration among merchants and students between China and the United States. The endpoint of her study is 1943, when the Chinese Exclusion Act was lifted in the U.S — a time when China and the U.S. were allied against Japan in World War II

Read the entire article here.

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In Love and Struggle: The Revolutionary Lives of James and Grace Lee Boggs

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-06-03 02:24Z by Steven

In Love and Struggle: The Revolutionary Lives of James and Grace Lee Boggs

University of North Carolina Press
May 2016
Approx. 432 pages
6.125 x 9.25, bibl., index
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8078-3520-3

Stephen M. Ward, Associate Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies
University of Michigan

James Boggs (1919-1993) and Grace Lee Boggs (1915-2015) were two largely unsung but critically important figures in the black freedom struggle. James Boggs was the son of an Alabama sharecropper who came to Detroit during the Great Migration, becoming an automobile worker and a union leader. Grace Lee was a Chinese American scholar who studied Hegel, worked with Caribbean political theorist C. L. R. James, and moved to Detroit to work toward a new American revolution. As husband and wife, the couple was influential in the early stages of what would become the Black Power movement, laying the intellectual foundation for labor and urban struggles during one of the most active social movement periods in modern U.S. history.

Stephen Ward details both the personal and the political dimensions of the Boggses’ lives, highlighting the vital contributions these two figures made to black activist thinking. At once a dual biography of two crucial figures and a vivid portrait of Detroit as a center of activism, Ward’s book restores the Boggses, and the intellectual strain of black radicalism they shaped, to their rightful place in postwar American history.

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Book reading with SHARON H. CHANG: Raising Mixed Race

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Live Events, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-01 01:33Z by Steven

Book reading with SHARON H. CHANG: Raising Mixed Race

Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience
719 South King Street
Seattle, Washington 98104
Thursday, 2016-06-02, 18:00-20:00 PDT (Local Time)

Sharon H. Chang has worked with young children and families for over a decade. She is a scholar and activist who focuses on racism, social justice and the Asian American diaspora with a feminist lens.

She will read from her inaugural book, Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children In a Post-Racial World.

Her writings have appeared in BuzzFeed, Hyphen Magazine, ParentMap Magazine, Seattle Globalist and more. She is also a consultant for Families of Color Seattle and is on the planning committee for the Critical Mixed Race Conference.

Sharon will be available after the book reading to sign copies of her book. Books will be available for sale in The Wing Marketplace.

This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, click here.

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The First Strange Place: The Alchemy of Race and Sex in World War II Hawaii

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Oceania, United States on 2016-05-29 21:25Z by Steven

The First Strange Place: The Alchemy of Race and Sex in World War II Hawaii

Free Press an (imprint of Simon and Schuster)
272 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781476727523

Beth Bailey, Professor of History
Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

David Farber, Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor of History
University of Kansas

Just as World War I introduced Americans to Europe, making an indelible impression on thousands of farmboys who were changed forever “after they saw Paree,” so World War II was the beginning of America’s encounter with the East – an encounter whose effects are still being felt and absorbed. No single place was more symbolic of this initial encounter than Hawaii, the target of the first unforgettable Japanese attack on American forces, and, as the forward base and staging area for all military operations in the Pacific, the “first strange place” for close to a million soldiers, sailors, and marines on their way to the horrors of war.

But as Beth Bailey and David Farber show in this evocative and timely book, Hawaii was also the first strange place on another kind of journey, toward the new American society that began to emerge in the postwar era. Unlike the largely rigid and static social order of prewar America, this was to be a highly mobile and volatile society of mixed racial and cultural influences, one above all in which women and minorities would increasingly demand and receive equal status. With consummate skill and sensitivity, Bailey and Farber show how these unprecedented changes were tested and explored in the highly charged environment of wartime Hawaii.

Most of the hundreds of thousands of men and women whom war brought to Hawaii were expecting a Hollywood image of “paradise.” What they found instead was vastly different: a complex crucible in which radically diverse elements – social, racial, sexual – were mingled and transmuted in the heat and strain of war. Drawing on the rich and largely untapped reservoir of documents, diaries, memoirs, and interviews with men and women who were there, the authors vividly recreate the dense, lush, atmosphere of wartime Hawaii – an atmosphere that combined the familiar and exotic in a mixture that prefigured the special strangeness of American society today.

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Filipino Americans: Blending Cultures, Redefining Race

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Audio, Census/Demographics, Interviews, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-05-27 16:44Z by Steven

Filipino Americans: Blending Cultures, Redefining Race

Code Switch: Race and Identity, Remixed
National Public Radio

Renee Montagne, Host

There are over 3 million people of Filipino heritage living in the U.S., and many say they relate better to Latino Americans than other Asian American groups. In part, that can be traced to the history of the Philippines, which was ruled by Spain for more than 300 years. That colonial relationship created a cultural bond that persists to this day.

It’s the topic of the book The Latinos of Asia: How Filipino Americans Break the Rules of Race. Author Anthony Ocampo spoke about the book with Morning Edition’s Renee Montagne.

Read the interview highlights here. Read the transcript here. Download the interview here.

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Spotlight: Beneath Japan’s polite veneer lies secret codes of racial hatred aimed at minorities, foreigners

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive on 2016-05-22 21:22Z by Steven

Spotlight: Beneath Japan’s polite veneer lies secret codes of racial hatred aimed at minorities, foreigners

China.org.cn (China Internet Information Center)
State Council Information Office and the China International Publishing Group (CIPG), Beijing, China

Xinhua News Agency

Is Japan a gentle nation? For many people who have little knowledge about the island country or just take a week-long vocation here, the answer would be a resounding “yes.”

But for the ethnic minorities and some foreigners who live here for a long time, their bitter tales would tell a totally different story behind the iconic Japanese smile — a real Japan with an underground social code of inherent racial discrimination.

Japan has a long history of discriminating “burakumin,”or hamlet people as they’re known here in English. This group, brandished an”underclass”of people comprise those perceived as having impure or tainted professions such as workers in abattoirs or those in the leather industry. They were seen as “untouchable” and also known as “eta,” an ancient name for burakumin, and were “worth” one seventh the regard of an ordinary person in the Feudal era, and in some cases regarded just slightly higher than animals.

However, such discrimination was not eliminated with the Meiji Restoration, the Japanese Enlightenment in the 19th century, and still impacts people with burakumin ancestry…

…”There was a lot of bullying when I was at school, particularly when I was an elementary school student. They used to throw garbage in my face but I had no idea why,” Ariana Miyamoto, the first Afro-Asian to be crowned Miss Universe Japan, told Xinhua.

“There was this one time when a whole class of kids refused to get in the swimming pool with me, because my skin was a different color,” remembered Miyamoto, who was born in Nagasaki Prefecture but was accused of not being Japanese.

A spiteful remark on one social media after Miyamoto’s won the hard-fought competition read that “they should do blood tests before such events and if a contestants’ DNA is less than 100 percent ‘Japanese’ they should not be allowed to participate.” Another claimed that being “hafu,” which represents “half” in English used by Japanese people referring to people of mixed-race, meant that the “other” half was “less than human.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Black Lotus: A Woman’s Search for Racial Identity

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, United States on 2016-05-16 01:40Z by Steven

Black Lotus: A Woman’s Search for Racial Identity

Gallery Books (an Imprint of Simon & Schuster)
August 2016
368 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9781451688467
eBook ISBN: 9781451688481

Sil Lai Abrams

The unique and beautifully written story of one multiracial woman’s journey of acceptance and identity that tackles the fraught topic of race in America.

Sil Lai Abrams always knew she was different, with darker skin and curlier hair than her siblings. But when the man who she thought was her dad told her the truth—that her father was actually black—her whole world was turned upside down.

Raised primarily in the Caucasian community of Winter Park, Florida, Abrams was forced to re-examine who she really was and struggle with her Caucasian, African American, and Chinese identities. In her remarkable memoir, she shares this journey and how it speaks to a larger question: Why does race matter?

Black Lotus is a story of acceptance and identity but it is also a dialogue on the complex topic of race in this country by an award-winning writer and inspirational speaker.

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Playing Asian: A Review of AATP’s “Yellow Face”

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2016-05-12 00:37Z by Steven

Playing Asian: A Review of AATP’s “Yellow Face”

Standford Arts Review

Loralee Sepsey

“You don’t have to live as an Asian every day of your life.”

These words, spoken by the character David Henry Hwang (Newton Cheng) in Stanford’s Asian American Theater Project’s production of Hwang’s “unreliable memoir” Yellow Face, ring clear throughout the small, intimate space of the Elliott Program Center. Hwang has his back to the audience, head tilted upwards as he confronts the character of Marcus (Levi Jennings) over his self-proclaimed “choice” to be Asian– Siberian Jewish American, to be exact. Marcus stands upon a simple podium, lights beaming down on him like some sort of halo. In this moment, Marcus is playing savior, the beacon of whiteness coming to “save” the play’s Asian community, taking the qualities of color that benefit him while remaining free of the struggle that comes from racism. Everyone wants to be Asian, but no one actually wants to be Asian…

Read the entire review here.

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Why Is There No “Linsanity” Over LA Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson?

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-05-11 18:16Z by Steven

Why Is There No “Linsanity” Over LA Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson?

Psychology Today

E. J. R. David Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology
University of Alaska, Anchorage

Lack of hype on NBA star may reflect larger issues in Asian American community

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. May is also when the National Basketball Association (NBA) Playoffs begin to heat up. The Golden State Warriors – the defending NBA Champions and perhaps the NBA team with the largest percentage of Asian Pacific American fans – continue to be the hottest team in the league. Therefore, a significant portion of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States as well as in the diaspora are likely focused on NBA basketball right now. And when it comes to putting Asian Pacific American people and NBA basketball together, many folks will most likely think of Jeremy Lin.

Remembering “Linsanity”

Jeremy Lin – a Taiwanese American basketball player – rose to stardom in 2012 while playing for the New York Knicks. He went from being an unknown, fringe NBA player to infusing hope on a struggling NBA team. After being inserted as the starting point guard for the Knicks as a last resort – the other point guards on the roster were all injured – Lin surprisingly led his team to a decent win-loss record…

…I am just curious why the same amount of attention is not given Jordan Clarkson

Read the entire article here.

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