JewAsian: Race, Religion, and Identity for America’s Newest Jews

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Religion, United States on 2016-07-10 20:40Z by Steven

JewAsian: Race, Religion, and Identity for America’s Newest Jews

University of Nebraska Press
July 2016
198 pages
6 tables, 1 appendix
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8032-8565-1

Helen Kiyong Kim, Associate Professor of Sociology
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington

Noah Samuel Leavitt, Associate Dean of Students
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington

In 2010 approximately 15 percent of all new marriages in the United States were between spouses of different racial, ethnic, or religious backgrounds, raising increasingly relevant questions regarding the multicultural identities of new spouses and their offspring. But while new census categories and a growing body of statistics provide data, they tell us little about the inner workings of day-to-day life for such couples and their children.

JewAsian is a qualitative examination of the intersection of race, religion, and ethnicity in the increasing number of households that are Jewish American and Asian American. Helen Kiyong Kim and Noah Samuel Leavitt’s book explores the larger social dimensions of intermarriages to explain how these particular unions reflect not only the identity of married individuals but also the communities to which they belong. Using in-depth interviews with couples and the children of Jewish American and Asian American marriages, Kim and Leavitt’s research sheds much-needed light on the everyday lives of these partnerships and how their children negotiate their own identities in the twenty-first century.

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Prize-winning Hong Kong-born poet Sarah Howe makes verse of city’s Basic Law

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Biography, Media Archive on 2016-07-08 01:55Z by Steven

Prize-winning Hong Kong-born poet Sarah Howe makes verse of city’s Basic Law

South China Morning Post
2016-07-07

Clare Tyrrell-Morin

Having played down her Chinese side while growing up and studying in the UK, Howe, now at Harvard, has turned to it again as she makes an ‘erasure poem’ out of Hong Kong’s mini-constitution

We meet in a small office on the second floor of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, overlooking a tranquil garden unseen from Harvard University’s main thoroughfares. It’s freezing outside, but the view is spectacular: the bare branches of an ancient tree, contemplated by scholars for generations, silhouetted against a wintry sky. It’s a good view for a poet.

The office belongs to a Radcliffe Fellow, Sarah Howe, who is spending the year here with 50 other artists and scholars. You may not know her name yet, but Howe could become one of Hong Kong’s most celebrated writers.

In December, the 32-year-old won the Sunday Times/Peters Fraser & Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award for authors under the age of 35. The previous month, scientist Stephen Hawking read out a poem, titled “Relativity”, that she had written for him for Britain’s National Poetry Day. And, in January, Howe was presented with the £20,000 (HK$204,000) T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry at a lavish ceremony at the Victoria and Albert Museum, in London.

Her winning collection was “Loop of Jade”, which weaves around her identity as a British-Chinese poet born in Hong Kong. The dualistic, hybrid work dances between the search for her mother’s Chinese roots and subjects as varied as censorship, 14th-century Flemish paintings, evenings in Arizona and the rain in London. The book captures a quest for identity, dislocation and the crossing of waters – themes familiar to many a Hongkonger – yet, equally, it is an exploration of the Western literary canon and the impact Chinese poetry has had on it…

Read the entire article here.

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Racial Ambiguity in Asian American Culture by Jennifer Ann Ho (review)

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, United States on 2016-07-04 18:13Z by Steven

Racial Ambiguity in Asian American Culture by Jennifer Ann Ho (review)

American Studies
Volume 55, Number 1, 2016
pages 165-166
DOI: 10.1353/ams.2016.006

Jeehyun Lim, Assistant Professor of English
Denison University, Granville, Ohio

Racial Ambiguity in Asian American Culture. By Jennifer Ann Ho. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. 2015.

Jennifer Ho’s Racial Ambiguity in Asian American Culture raises timely questions about the category of Asian American at a time when reexaminations of identity categories are being actively carried out in what the feminist theorist Robyn Wiegman calls fields invested in identity knowledges. As Ho explains in her introduction, questioning the definition of Asian American in and of itself is not a new project. The category of Asian American, while rooted in grassroots social movements of the 1960s and meant to counter the demeaning signification of “Oriental,” has been scrutinized, if not solely then most forcefully, by poststructural critiques such as Kandice Chuh’s Imagine Otherwise. Yet Ho’s project differs from existing critiques in at least two regards. First, it consistently illuminates the concept of racial ambiguity—mostly through mixed-race identities and identifications but also through other norm-defying and transgressive identities and identifications emerging variously from transracial adoptees to the definitions of Asian American texts—as the method of exposing and critiquing the multiple exclusions that arise in the vexed project of Asian American self-determination. Secondly, as much as it is invested in bringing into high relief the impossibility of a rigid and exclusionary definition of Asian American, it is likewise equally invested in reestablishing the category as an important site of knowledge production and of social and cultural engagement…

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Mixed-race in Oregon

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, History, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-26 19:18Z by Steven

Mixed-race in Oregon

The Asian Reporter
Portland, Oregon
Volume 26, Number 12 (2016-06-20)
ISSN: 1094-9453
page 6, columns 2-3

Dmae Roberts, Writer, Producer, Media and Theatre Artist

I received some exciting news this month. I was selected as one of the speakers for the Oregon Humanities Conversation Project, a program that brings people together to talk about current issues and ideas.

Participating in the program wasn’t something I was eager to do at first, since I’ve always seen myself as a bit shy. Although as an actor I’ve performed Shakespeare on Portland stages, typically I’m more of a wallflower. As I’ve gotten older, however, I found it wasn’t that I didn’t like talking to people. Instead, I realized I only enjoy talking when there’s an intriguing subject.

During the past decade, I’ve gravitated toward discussing the meaning of my mixed-race identity. While growing up in rural Oregon, there were few people of color. In my small school in the 1970s, I suspected I had mixed-race classmates, but it was a taboo subject, so it was not talked about. Students who could not pass as white, like my younger brother, endured racism. I, on the other hand, who appeared white to others, felt like a secret Asian girl. In my 40-plus years of adulthood, I’ve experienced shifts in the understanding of and attitude around multiracial identity and also witnessed the transformation in terminology for race and ethnicity from derogatory slurs to an expanding list of proud names…

Read the entire article here.

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These 2 Ads Might Say Everything About How Global Racism Really Is

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive on 2016-06-26 18:13Z by Steven

These 2 Ads Might Say Everything About How Global Racism Really Is

Multiracial Asian Families: thinking about race, families, children, and the intersection of mixed ID/Asian
2016-06-26

Sharon H. Chang

sigh.

SIGH.

Siiiiiiiiigh.

Alright that’s done. I want (pause) — well I don’t want, but feel like I need to show you two TV ads recently posted to YouTube literally within days of each other. Both are out of east Asia, Japan and China respectively. The first is a Toyota commercial out of Japan. It portrays a shiny techno-future funneled through the nostalgic eyes of a white father and happy memories of his mixed race Japanese family/children:

Not super hard to read the messaging here right? Japan is changing. Got it. Changing for the better. Got it. Symbolized by this mixed race family. Got it. And importantly, symbolized by this mixed race family with a white father. Got it. Now let me pause and give nod to something super important here. It is rare to see mixed families portrayed at all in Japan, a nation with an impressive history of racial-ethnic purity rhetoric, xenophobia, violent discrimination and practice. So yes I completely get that this Toyota commercial is a step forward.

At the same time it isn’t.

Now, check out this second commercial for Qiaobi laundry detergent out of China which has been airing at least since April…

Read the entire article here.

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Interview: Shawna Yang Ryan

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive on 2016-06-21 20:24Z by Steven

Interview: Shawna Yang Ryan

New Bloom: Radical perspectives on Taiwan and the Asia Pacific
2016-06-20

Brian Hioe, Editor


Photo credit: Anna Wu Photography

On May 6th, New Bloom editor Brian Hioe interviewed Shawna Yang Ryan through Skype. Ryan is most recently the author of Green Island, which depicts Taiwan’s White Terror and authoritarian era. Ryan currently teaches in the Creative Writing program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Brian Hioe: The first question I wanted to ask was, for people who might not know you, can you briefly introduce yourself and your background?

Shawna Yang Ryan: Sure. I grew up in California to parents who had met in Taiwan. My mother is from Taiwan and my father is American but his mother is German, and he was actually born in Germany. I grew up in Northern California. I went to UC Berkeley for my undergraduate degree and then to UC Davis for my MA in Creative Writing. I also wrote a book about a Chinese community set in the Sacramento Delta. That was my first book, Water Ghosts. Now I have my second book, which is about Taiwan…

Read the entire interview here.

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Merle Dandridge on “Blasian” Identity and Oprah Winfrey Network’s new summer original series “Greenleaf”

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Identity Development/Psychology, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-21 19:57Z by Steven

Merle Dandridge on “Blasian” Identity and Oprah Winfrey Network’s new summer original series “Greenleaf”

CAAM: Center of Asian American Media
2016-06-20

Mitzi Uehara Carter

Merle Dandridge started her career on Broadway with leading roles in Spamalot, Aida, Rent, Tarzan, and Jesus Christ Superstar. Not only does she have singing chops, she shines on screen. Dandridge has been cast in recurring roles on television shows including The Night Shift, CSI: Miami and Stalker.

Dandridge has also broken into a field that is gaining more serious attention from actors — video games. Female actors can often find well developed, complex characters in narrative-led gaming roles. This year, she won BAFTA’ best performer for her role in the popular post-apocalyptic Playstation game, “Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture.”

I spoke with Dandridge about her starring role in the upcoming original drama series, Greenleaf, on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), which debuts June 21, 2016. This is her first lead role on a television series. Dandridge talked to me via phone from Los Angeles about this new summer drama that is chock-full of award-winning actors and writers. We also squealed about being Black and Asian and she hinted at a possible “Kimchi and Collards” project…

Ok, Merle. I’m Black and Asian and I have to tell you I did a little happy dance when I learned your mother is Asian and your dad is Black American right? And you were born in Okinawa where my mom is from. Seriously now. I’m so psyched you’re Black Asian. Can you tell me a little about growing up with this very particular mixed background?

Your kidding me? I don’t know others of that mix. How interesting! My mother is half Japanese and Korean. And I have older siblings who are mostly Korean, 1/4 Japanese, because of my mom’s first marriage to a Korean man. I was born in Okinawa but most of my time in Asia was in Seoul. My mother belongs to two cultures that didn’t really accept her 100 percent. So she had this understanding of rejection based on her own experiences. She would look at me and say, “You are of different ethnicities and you might not always be accepted so go into the world knowing that and know that you are more than that. You are beautiful.” And in many ways she instilled a sense of who I was and gave me ways to encounter fears of not being fully accepted. And in Nebraska as one of the only ones [mixed Asians], I think it was a good exercise in becoming a good person because I think I had to be above the confusion, the potential rejections…

Read the entire interview here.

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Negotiating National Identity: Immigrants, Minorities, and the Struggle for Ethnicity in Brazil

Posted in Anthropology, Asian Diaspora, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Monographs on 2016-06-18 23:21Z by Steven

Negotiating National Identity: Immigrants, Minorities, and the Struggle for Ethnicity in Brazil

Duke University Press
1999
304 pages
11 b&w photographs, 4 tables
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2260-3
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8223-2292-4

Jeffrey Lesser, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of History
Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

Winner, Brazil in Comparative Perspective section of Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Best Book Award

Despite great ethnic and racial diversity, ethnicity in Brazil is often portrayed as a matter of black or white, a distinction reinforced by the ruling elite’s efforts to craft the nation’s identity in its own image—white, Christian, and European. In Negotiating National Identity Jeffrey Lesser explores the crucial role ethnic minorities from China, Japan, North Africa, and the Middle East have played in constructing Brazil’s national identity, thereby challenging dominant notions of nationality and citizenship.

Employing a cross-cultural approach, Lesser examines a variety of acculturating responses by minority groups, from insisting on their own whiteness to becoming ultra-nationalists and even entering secret societies that insisted Japan had won World War II. He discusses how various minority groups engaged in similar, and successful, strategies of integration even as they faced immense discrimination and prejudice. Some believed that their ethnic heritage was too high a price to pay for the “privilege” of being white and created alternative categories for themselves, such as Syrian-Lebanese, Japanese-Brazilian, and so on. By giving voice to the role ethnic minorities have played in weaving a broader definition of national identity, this book challenges the notion that elite discourse is hegemonic and provides the first comprehensive look at Brazilian worlds often ignored by scholars.

Based on extensive research, Negotiating National Identity will be valuable to scholars and students in Brazilian and Latin American studies, as well as those in the fields of immigrant history, ethnic studies, and race relations.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Abbreviations
  • The Hidden Hyphen
  • Chinese Labor and the Debate over Ethnic Integration
  • Constructing Ethnic Space
  • Searching for a Hyphen
  • Negotiations and New Identities
  • Turning Japanese
  • A Suggestive Epilogue
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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‘The Eurasian Question’: The postcolonial dilemmas of three colonial mixed-ancestry groups

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Forthcoming Media on 2016-06-17 17:02Z by Steven

‘The Eurasian Question’: The postcolonial dilemmas of three colonial mixed-ancestry groups compared

Leiden University
Leiden, Netherlands
Duration 2013-2017

Liesbeth Rosen Jacobson

Eurasians were privileged groups of mixed ancestry in Asian colonial societies. They were the result of unions between European males and indigenous women. They neither belonged to the colonizers, nor to the colonized. When colonization came to an end, the Eurasians found themselves in a difficult position. The European rulers, on which their status was based, were gone. The new indigenous rulers usually perceived them suspiciously as colonial remnants and sometimes even as traitors. In this chaotic, sometimes violent situation, they were forced to make a choice, albeit a preliminary one, between staying in the former colony or leaving, usually for the European metropolis. This was a serious dilemma since they only knew the metropolis from stories and lessons at school. The point of departure of this research is formed by the Eurasian group of the former Dutch Indies: the Indo-Europeans. However, I compare the decision making process of this group with those of similar groups from two other Asian colonies, the Anglo-Indians from the British Indies and the Métis people from French Indochina

Read the entire article about the project here.

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Visible and Invisible Hapa Exhibit at Japanese American Museum San Jose

Posted in Articles, Arts, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-15 20:06Z by Steven

Visible and Invisible Hapa Exhibit at Japanese American Museum San Jose

Hapa Mama: Asian Fusion Family and Food
2016-05-20

Grace Hwang Lynch

Bay Area people… there’s an exhibit about the history of hapa Japanese Americans at the Japanese American Museum in San Jose.

Titled Visible and Invisible, it’s similar to the exhibit of the same name at LA’s Japanese American National Museum, but this collection is unique and has many ties to the local area.

Curated by historical sociologist Cindy Nakashima and art professor Fred Liang, the small but significant collection shows the history of mixed-race Japanese Americans from the 1860s to the current day, when the majority of Japanese Americans are projected to be mixed-race by 2020. “The first Nisei was a hapa, for heaven’s sake!” says Nakashima, who also curated the 2013 Los Angeles exhibit with Lily Anne Yumi Welty and Duncan Ryuken Williams.

Read the entire article here.

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