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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

October 25, 2011

Written by C.N.

We’re a Culture, Not a Costume

It’s Halloween time again. Around this time every year, many people — particularly high school and college students — think it’s “all in good fun” to dress up as a member of some racial, ethnic, religious, or cultural minority group as a “costume” for Halloween. As some examples, they might dress up as a geisha, or a Muslim terrorist, or a Mexican border-crosser, or in blackface as a rap star. Unfortunately, in virtually all cases, these kinds of “costumes” end up reinforcing and perpetuating offensive imagery and racist stereotypes against such minority groups.

Inevitably, when members of that minority group protest and criticize them, the costume-wearers reply that it’s just a joke, that they don’t mean to offend people, or even that the costumes are meant to “celebrate” that particular personality or culture that they’re portraying. The problem of course, is that it may just be a joke to them, but to the minority group being portrayed in such a stereotypical manner, it is deeply offensive and does nothing more than promote the naive and misguided idea of colorblindness — that since we now have an African American president, that we’re all equal now and as such, it’s perfectly fine to make fun of minorities and not suffer any consequences from it.

Fortunately, many young Americans around the country are fighting back. Specifically, a student group at Ohio University named Students Teaching About Racism in Society has put together an awesome campaign to encourage everyone to think twice about Halloween costumes (thanks to AngryAsianMan for first mentioning it). Some of their posters are below.

Please help to circulate their message as widely as possible.

We're a Culture, Not a Costume - Students Teaching About Racism in Society
We're a Culture, Not a Costume - Students Teaching About Racism in Society
We're a Culture, Not a Costume - Students Teaching About Racism in Society
We're a Culture, Not a Costume - Students Teaching About Racism in Society
We're a Culture, Not a Costume - Students Teaching About Racism in Society

October 24, 2011

Written by C.N.

Links, Jobs, & Announcements #54

Here are some more announcements, links, and job postings about academic-related jobs, fellowships, and other opportunities for those interested in racial/ethnic/diversity issues. As always, the announcements and links are provided for informational purposes and do not necessarily imply an endorsement of the organization or college involved.

Position: Director, Pan-Asian American Community House, UPenn

The University of Pennsylvania’s Asian American Pacific Islander student resource center, the Pan-Asian American Community House (PAACH), is looking for a new Director. PAACH is the hub of AAPI activism and student life at Penn so this position is very important to us.

Reference #110931531

Duties: The Director provides collaborative leadership and administrative oversight of the Pan Asian American Community House (PAACH). The director leads the provision of co-curricular, cultural and social programs for students and student organizations with an emphasis on Asian Pacific American diasporic programming. The Director assists in programming to support the recruitment and retention of undergraduate, graduate and professional students from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. The Director collaborates with student groups affiliated with the center and other university entities to connect students to all resources relevant to their academic and leadership development and represents the office on University Committees. Position reports to the Associate Vice Provost for Equity and Access.

Qualifications: Master’s required, Ph.D. preferred; minimum of 3-5 years experience in higher education administrations, program development and management, preferably in student affairs; teaching experience desired. Strong knowledge of Asian/Pacific American community required; excellent interpersonal, organizational, technology and communication skills require


Exhibit: “Asians 2 American,” Smithsonian Institute

The National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program are collaborating on an exhibition that will be the Smithsonian’s first major showcase of contemporary Asian American portraiture. Through the groundbreaking work of seven artists from across the country, Asian American Portraits of Encounter offers provocative artistic responses to the Asian experience in America. The exhibition brings together artists including CYJO, Hye Yeon Nam, Shizu Saldamando, Roger Shimomura, Satomi Shirai, Tam Tran, and Hong Chun Zhang into one exhilarating exhibition. Their portraits of encounter offer representations against and beyond the stereotypes that have long obscured the complexity of being Asian in America.

The exhibit also includes a Portraits After 5: Asian 2 American Mingle at the Museum event on Friday, November 4 – 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Immerse yourself in an amazing evening of art, food, and music in the National Portrait Gallery, among works from one of the art world’s most exciting fields. View the exhibition Portraiture Now: Asian American Portraits of Encounter and converse with exhibit curators and Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program staff about these provocative works. Then have your own story told by one of the Corcoran College of Art + Design students on hand to draw your portrait and add it to the works from the collections being projected on the walls of the Kogod Courtyard. Then sample the delicious food and drinks as DJs Yellow Fever transform the courtyard with a soundscape of international beats.

Exhibit: “Faces of China,” Miami FL

“Faces of China” – Making Connections in the Simplest Way
Miami Photographer Tom Salyer Showcases 6 Years of Work in China

Miami based professional photographer Tom Salyer will showcase an exhibit of his work documenting his annual visits to China. The Opening Reception will be held on Saturday, November 5, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. and the exhibit will run through January 21, 2012.

The show will also feature an audio accompaniment of natural, field-recorded sound. As well as traditional commercial photography, Salyer specializes in multimedia presentations and ‘talking postcards’ that combine photographs and sound so that audiences gain a fuller, more compelling experience than any one of those elements could achieve by themselves. Images detailing the meditation routine of Tibetan Monks are preserved moments in time when complemented with the sounds of horns, cymbals, chants, conch shells, clanging tea cups, and rice being rhythmically scooped and poured over bowls and rings.

ACND Gallery of Art
Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School
4949 NE 2nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33137

November 5th – January 21st, 2012
Opening: November 5th 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Position: International/Middle East Studies, NC State

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences invites applications for a tenure-track position in International Studies at the rank of Assistant Professor with research focusing on the Middle East. The position will be a joint appointment with a commitment to teaching in the International Studies program and a commitment to teaching Middle East studies courses within a disciplinary department. Tenure when granted will be held in the disciplinary department. Personnel decisions will originate in the disciplinary department with input from the International Studies program.

Applications are welcomed from scholars in the fields of Anthropology, History, Political Science, Religious Studies, Sociology, or related fields. The College seeks scholars whose research covers the geographical area of the Middle East. In addition, the College seeks applications from scholars who are prepared to assume major but not singular responsibility for the core and capstone courses in the International Studies major. Preference for candidates with significant time living or working in the Middle East. For more information about the Middle East Studies Program visit

Qualifications: Applicants for the position must hold the PhD in an appropriate field and have some teaching experience. ABDs who plan on having their PHD completed by August 15, 2012 will be considered but preference will be given to applicants who will have a completed PHD.

To apply please visit and search for position 00101890. Applicants will be asked to submit a letter of application that speaks to their interdisciplinary and comparative/global interests and their research as it pertains to the Middle East, a copy of their current CV, syllabi, and a representative sample of teaching evaluation. In addition, please arrange for submission of three letters of recommendation to: Dr. Akram Khater, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Department of History, North Carolina State University, CB 8108, Raleigh NC 27695-8108. Review of applications will begin on November 9, 2011 and continue until the position is filled.

Two Positions: Asian American Studies, San Francisco State

The College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University invites applications for a full-time tenure-track position in the Asian American Studies Department with specialization in Chinese American Studies, to commence Fall 2012 semester (Search #12.11).

Qualifications: PhD or equivalent terminal degree by August 1, 2012. Candidates must demonstrate excellence in curricular development and student advising, ability to teach general and comparative Asian American Studies courses (both undergraduate and graduate levels), and commitment to scholarly/professional activities and community service. Open fields of specialization in the social sciences and humanities. Consideration will be given to candidates with bilingual/bicultural competency and expertise in the areas of Chinese American history, literature, writing/composition, and/or cultural studies.

Rank and Salary: Assistant Professor. Salary commensurate with rank and qualifications. Application Deadline: December 15, 2011. Submit application dossier (cover letter, cv, official transcripts, samples of published or other related professional works) and a minimum of three references to:

Asian American Studies Hiring Committee, Search #12.11
College of Ethnic Studies – EP 103
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132-4100

* * * * * * * * *

Position Two:
The College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University invites applications for a full-time tenure-track position in the Asian American Studies Department, to commence Fall 2012 semester (Search #13.11).

Description and Qualifications: PhD or equivalent terminal degree by August 1, 2012. Candidates must demonstrate excellence in curricular development and student advising, ability to teach general and comparative Asian American Studies courses (both undergraduate and graduate levels), and commitment to scholarly/professional activities and community service. Preference will be given to candidates with specialization in (1) Asian American family, gender, sexuality, and Queer studies, and/or (2) South Asian American Studies. Consideration will be given to candidates with bilingual/bicultural competency.

Rank and Salary: Assistant Professor. Salary will commensurate with experience and qualifications. Application Deadline: December 15, 2011. Submit application dossier with a cover letter, cv, official transcripts, samples of published or related professional works, and a minimum of three references to:

Asian American Studies Hiring Committee, Search #13.11
Office of the Dean, College of Ethnic Studies, EP 103
San Francisco State University
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132-4100

For further information contact, 415/338-2698

Position: Director of Africana Studies, Texas A&M

The Africana Studies Program at Texas A & M University invites applications for the position of Director. This is a faculty position with appointment at the Associate or Full Professor level. PhD required. We seek candidates who have a strong record of research, teaching, and administrative experience in Africana, Diaspora, or related Studies. A joint appointment with a department outside Africana Studies is possible. Duties include teaching Africana Studies classes. The position will begin August 1, 2012.

The program in Africana Studies is housed in the College of Liberal Arts. The interdisciplinary program offers an undergraduate minor and a graduate certificate. The Africana Studies faculty and curriculum are distinctively interdisciplinary and transnational. The program is currently composed of eight core faculty members, who hold joint appointments in our departments of Anthropology, Communication, English, Hispanic Studies, Performance Studies, and Psychology. More than twenty other faculty from an array of academic disciplines teach classes and participate in program activities as affiliated faculty members. All are engaged in exciting research that is advancing knowledge in their fields of specialty and raising the program to national prominence.

Texas A & M is a large and expanding research university located in Bryan/College Station, a growing metropolitan community with a clean environment, attractive amenities, a low cost of living, and close proximity to the large metropolitan areas of Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. It holds the unusual distinction of being a land, sea, and space grant university.

Applicants should submit a letter describing their research, teaching, and statement of their vision for advancing Africana Studies at Texas A & M; curriculum vitae, one writing sample (article or book chapter), and names of three references. Address correspondence to: Africana Search Committee, 4456 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-4456. Review of applications will begin January 2, 2012 and continue until the position is filled.

October 20, 2011

Written by C.N.

New Books: Asian Diasporas, Communities, and Transnationalism

The following new books highlight the different dimensions of globalized and transnational connections between Asia and Asian American as reflected in empirical, cultural, and literature studies of diasporas, communities, and ethnic enclaves within the U.S. and their relationship back to Asia and the rest of the world. As always, a book’s inclusion is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily mean a full endorsement of its contents.

Writing the Ghetto: Class, Authorship, and the Asian American Ethnic Enclave, by Yoonmee Chang (Rutgers University Press)

'Writing the Ghetto' by Yoonmee Chang

In the United States, perhaps no minority group is considered as “model” or successful as the Asian American community. Rather than living in ominous “ghettoes,” Asian Americans are described as residing in positive-sounding “ethnic enclaves.” Writing the Ghetto helps clarify the hidden or unspoken class inequalities faced by Asian Americans, while insightfully analyzing the effect such notions have had on their literary voices.

Yoonmee Chang examines the class structure of Chinatowns, Koreatowns, Little Tokyos, and Little Indias, arguing that ghettoization in these spaces is disguised. She maintains that Asian American literature both contributes to and challenges this masking through its marginalization by what she calls the “ethnographic imperative.” Chang discusses texts from the late nineteenth century to the present, including those of Sui Sin Far, Winnifred Eaton, Monica Sone, Fae Myenne Ng, Chang-rae Lee, S. Mitra Kalita, and Nam Le. These texts are situated in the contexts of the Chinese Exclusion Era, Japanese American internment during World War II, the globalization of Chinatown in the late twentieth century, the Vietnam War, the 1992 Los Angeles riots, and the contemporary emergence of the “ethnoburb.”

Sweating Saris: Indian Dance as Transnational Labor, by Priya Srinivasan (Temple University Press)

'Sweating Saris' by Priya Srinivasan

Combining critical dance history and ethnography to look at issues of immigration, citizenship, and ethnic identity, Priya Srinivasan’s groundbreaking book Sweating Saris considers Indian dance in the diaspora as a form of embodied, gendered labour. Chronicling the social, cultural, and political relevance of the dancers’ experiences, she raises questions of class, cultural nationalism, and Orientalism. Srinivasan presents stories of female (and male) Indian dancers who were brought to the United States between the 1880s and early 1900s to perform.

She argues that mastery of traditional Indian dance is intended to socialize young women into their role as proper Indian American women in the twenty-first century. The saris and bells that are intrinsic to the shaping of female Indian American gender identity also are produced by labouring bodies, which sweat from the physical labour of the dance and thus signifies both the material realities of the dancing body and the abstract aesthetic labour.

Srinivasan merges ethnography, history, critical race theory, performance and post-colonial studies among other disciplines to investigate the embodied experience of Indian dance. The dancers’ sweat stained and soaked saris, the aching limbs are emblematic of global circulations of labor, bodies, capital, and industrial goods. Thus the sweating sari of the dancer stands in for her unrecognized labor.

Srinivasan shifts away from the usual emphasis on Indian women dancers as culture bearers of the Indian nation. She asks us to reframe the movements of late nineteenth century transnational Nautch Indian dancers to the foremother of modern dance Ruth St. Denis in the early twentieth century to contemporary teenage dancers in Southern California, proposing a transformative theory of dance, gendered-labor, and citizenship that is far-reaching.

Melancholy Order: Asian Migration and the Globalization of Borders, by Adam M. McKeown (Columbia University Press)

'Melancholy Order' by Adam McKeown

As Adam M. McKeown demonstrates, the push for increased border control and identity documentation is the continuation of more than 150 years of globalization. Not only are modern passports and national borders inseparable from the rise of global mobility, but they are also tied to the emergence of individuals and nations as the primary sites of global power and identity.

McKeown’s detailed history traces how, rather than being a legacy of “traditional” forms of sovereignty, practices of border control historically rose from attempts to control Asian migration around the Pacific in the 1880s. New policies to control mobility had to be justified in the context of contemporary liberal ideas of freedom and mobility, generating principles that are taken for granted today, such as the belief that migration control is a sovereign right of receiving nations and that it should occur at a country’s borders.

McKeown shows how the enforcement of these border controls required migrants to be extracted from social networks of identity and reconstructed as isolated individuals within centralized filing systems. Methods for excluding Asians from full participation in the “family of civilized nations” are now the norm between all nations. These practices also helped institutionalize global cultural and economic divisions, such as East/West and First and Third World designations, which continue to shape our understanding.

The Chinese/Vietnamese Diaspora: Revisiting the Boat People, edited by Yuk Wah Chan (Routledge)

'The Chinese/Vietnamese Diaspora' by Yuk Wah Chan

Over three decades have passed since the first wave of Indochinese refugees left their homelands. These refugees, mainly the Vietnamese, fled from war and strife in search of a better life elsewhere. By investigating the Vietnamese diaspora in Asia, this book sheds new light on the Asian refugee era (1975-1991), refugee settlement and different patterns of host-guest interactions that will have implications for refugee studies elsewhere. The book provides:

  • A clearer historical understanding of the group dynamics among refugees – the ethnic Chinese ‘Vietnamese refugees’ from both the North and South as well as the northern ‘Vietnamese refugees’
  • An examination of different aspects of migration including: planning for migration, choices of migration route, and reasons for migration
  • An analysis of the ethnic and refugee politics during the refugee era, the settlement and subsequent resettlement

This book will be of interest to students and scholars of globalization, migration, ethnicities, refugee histories and politics.

Transnational Asian Identities in Pan-Pacific Cinemas: The Reel Asian Exchange, edited by Philippa Gates and Lisa Funnell (Routledge)

This collection examines the exchange of Asian identities taking place at the levels of both film production and film reception amongst pan-Pacific cinemas. The authors consider, on the one hand, texts that exhibit what Mette Hjort refers to as, “marked transnationality,” and on the other, the polysemic nature of transnational film texts by examining the release and reception of these films.

The topics explored in this collection include the innovation of Hollywood generic formulas into 1950’s and 1960’s Hong Kong and Japanese films; the examination of Thai and Japanese raced and gendered identity in Asian and American films; the reception of Hollywood films in pre-1949 China and millennial Japan; the production and performance of Asian adoptee identity and subjectivity; the political implications and interpretations of migrating Chinese female stars; and the production and reception of pan-Pacific co-productions.

Chinatowns, by Gregor Benton (Routledge)

Exploring how each Chinatown is different; Benton explains how a unique culture developed and outlines their basic cultural, social, and political features. He highlights the unique features of the different Chinatowns surveyed. For instance, in Paris, there is a Chinatown populated primarily by Chinese who are the descendants of Chinese migrants to Southeast Asia (a former French colony).

In the United States, the cloistered nature of Chinatowns stemmed from institutionalized racism. And in Australia, weaker taboos against interracial sex led to more open enclaves. Everywhere, though, Chinatowns have been stereotyped as places of exoticism and corruption, and to this day are frequently viewed through an Orientalist gaze. In this truly unique book, Gregor Benton applies his vast knowledge to cover all of these features.

October 12, 2011

Written by C.N.

Occupy Wall Street Movement: Real Deal or Just a Fad?

By now, I presume that you have heard of the Occupy Wall Street protests that began about a month ago, in which a small but fast-growing group of Americans camped outside of the large financial buildings in the Wall Street area of lower Manhattan to protest, among other things, the rising social inequality in U.S. society. The protests have since spread to numerous cities around the country (and apparently around the world) and at present, seem to be growing in popularity and media coverage.

Occupy Wall Street participant © Julie Dermansky/Corbis

One angle to look at is how the Occupy Wall Street movement may be the Left’s version of the Tea Party movement. While I have not looked into this particular aspect in detail, at first glance I think it is very interesting and even ironic that although this Occupy Wall Street movement shares much in common — at least philosophically — with the Tea Party movement, many of the latter’s prominent supporters have chosen to criticize the Occupy Wall Street movement. To my casual eye, this only highlights the hypocrisy of the Tea Party and confirms for me that is is less concerned about social change than it is about opposing President Obama and what he represents — namely the changing demographic, racial, and cultural face of U.S. society.

But beyond that, an even more interesting aspect of the Occupy Wall Street movement for me is its intentionally decentralized nature and how its most prominent informal leaders have specifically said that they do not feel that it is necessary or useful to articulate an overarching, single goal or unifying message for the movement. Below is a video clip from CBS News that discusses the movement’s reluctance to articulate a unified, central message.

Conventional sociological theory generally states that for a social movement to survive and have a realistic chance at achieving success, it needs to move beyond a single event and become more like a formal organization in terms of having a unifying message, clear leadership and personnel coordination, and well-developed administrative functions and capabilities. In other words, the early stages of a mass movement generally involve a sense of unrest or agitation, one or perhaps a series of events, a broad articulation of grievances, and an initial mobilization of collective action, media attention, and inevitably, some form of resistance or opposition.

But unless a movement can then develop strong leadership, mobilize resources, and sustain collective action, it is at this point where most social movements die. The Civil Rights Movement is often used as a model of how collective grievances eventually turned into a successful and sustained social movement through formalization, resource mobilization, organized division of labor, and political institutionalization. In fact, one of the most widely used books in the Sociology of Social Movements is Aldon Morris’ The Origins of the Civil Rights Movement that details how it evolved from collective grievances into arguably the most significant social movement in modern human history.

As applied to the Occupy Wall Street movement, conventional thinking dictates that it is eventually going to reach the point where it will either become more formalized, or it will flame out and pass into history. In this sense, the Occupy Wall Street movement’s choice to purposely remain unstructured and informal does not give me much confidence that it will be successfully sustained.

On the other hand, something also tells me that times have changed since the 1960s and that much like the rest of U.S. society, the cultural and technological landscape has evolved rather dramatically in the last 50 years or so. Obviously, back then resources such as cell phones, digital cameras, the internet, Twitter, and Facebook did not exist. Back then, communication and dissemination of information were slower, more crude, and more prone to confusion. If anything, knowing these limitations that existed 50 or so years ago makes the success of the Civil Rights Movement even more awe-inspiring.

In fact, scholars have described these types of social movements before and have called them New Social Movements (unfortunately creativity in naming things is not always a strong suit for academics). These New Social Movements tend to have decentralized leadership and organizational structures and instead relying on networks of groups that are affiliated or support their cause. They also tend to engage in nontraditional tactics — conventional protests but also TV ads, billboards, and extensive use of information technology and the internet. Some prominent examples of New Social Movements in recent history include the environmental, animal rights, anti-globalization, and peace/anti-war movements.

Today, with the widespread advent and dispersion of technological resources such as cell phones, digital imaging, and the internet, mass communication is infinitely quicker and more direct. Sociologists have started to write about just how much modern technology has affected and changed how human beings interact with each other on a daily basis. As applied to social movements, undoubtedly technology has made it much easier, quicker, and more effective to coordinate activities and disseminate all types of information.

In that sense, the Occupy Wall Street movement may not need to become formalized and organized into a hierarchy or bureaucracy in order to survive and become successful. The difference and advantage that they have today over their predecessors of 50 years ago is technology and the multitude of ways to dissemination information and to coordinate activities.

While technology itself cannot sustain a social movement, combined with the determination of participants and the fundamental importance and significance of the core issue of rising social inequality, the Occupy Wall Street movement may just be the right movement at the right time.

– – – – – – – –

Bonus: Check out this collection of some great protest posters of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

October 10, 2011

Written by C.N.

Links, Jobs, & Announcements #53

Here are some more announcements, links, and job postings about academic-related jobs, fellowships, and other opportunities for those interested in racial/ethnic/diversity issues. As always, the announcements and links are provided for informational purposes and do not necessarily imply an endorsement of the organization or college involved.

Graduate Student Conference on Immigration, CUNY

(New) Debates on Belonging:
A Graduate Student Conference on Contemporary Issues in Immigration

Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Richard Alba, Distinguished Professor of Sociology, CUNY Graduate Center

Friday, October 14, 2011
Graduate Center – City University of New York
365 Fifth Avenue (at 34th Street), New York, NY

Hosted by the CUNY Graduate Center’s Immigration Working Group (IWG). Registration is FREE. Please register for the conference. All information, including agenda, panels, and abstracts, is available at Lunch will be served.

Conference Overview:
With increasing frequency, questions of belonging have dominated the news and public debates on immigration: from the recent introduction of anti-immigrant legislation in many states to the spirited organizing around the DREAM Act and the controversy sparked by Park51’s proposal for a Muslim community center near Ground Zero. The prominence of such issues highlights both the fiercely contested nature of belonging in the United States, as well as how diverse groups – whether veteran or newly arrived, documented or undocumented, majority or minority, religious or secular – mobilize and advocate for their claims. While Congress debates and defers decisions on immigration reform on the national level, the question of belonging has distinctly regional and local manifestations. Immigrants and their children are claiming their place in American society, in its schools, workplaces and neighborhoods.

This interdisciplinary conference will bring together graduate students whose own research bear on these issues. (New) Debates on Belonging explores the many facets of immigrant belonging, incorporation and boundary drawing. Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Place/region (communities, new destinations, urban areas)
  • Policy/activism/public health
  • Cross-national and historical comparisons
  • Culture and the arts
  • Citizenship
  • Dimensions of difference: gender, race, sexuality, religion, the body
  • Social institutions: labor and the economy, education, family, the media
  • Transnationalism
  • The second generation

CUNY Immigration Studies Initiative; CUNY Middle Eastern and Middle Eastern American Center; CUNY Sociology Dept.; CUNY Sociological Students’ Association; CUNY Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies.

Position: Sociology & African Am Studies, Univ. of Virginia

The Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies and the Department of Sociology at the University of Virginia seek to fill a joint position in race and ethnicity. The position, open to applicants at the Assistant Professor (tenure-track) rank, is to begin August 25, 2012. Candidates with comparative, historical, or global approaches are particularly encouraged to apply.

Fields of specialization include but are not restricted to the following: race and the sociology of knowledge; race, immigration and labor; socioeconomic and racial/ethnic differences in health and mortality; urban ethnography, and urban inequality and poverty. The candidate’s tenure home will be the Department of Sociology, but teaching will be evenly split between the two units. Qualified applicants must hold a Ph.D. by the time of appointment.

To apply candidates must submit a Candidate Profile through Jobs@UVa (, search on posting number 0608419, and electronically attach the following: CV, cover letter, contact information for three references, statement of teaching philosophy and statement of research interest. Review of applications will begin by October 14, 2011, and applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Inquiries should be addressed to the Chair of the Search Committee: Milton Vickerman ( Questions regarding the application process in Jobs@UVa should be directed to: Brenda Tekin (

Call for Papers: Midwest Sociological Society, Immigrants in the U.S.

Midwest Sociological Society Annual Meeting
Mar 29 – April 1, 2012
Minneapolis, MN

Negotiations in Resettlement: The Immigrant in the U.S.

This panel invites 250-word abstracts of papers that explore the myriad of ways that immigrants negotiate the social, cultural, economic and political realities and often difficulties inherent in the resettlement process. What moral and material resources do immigrant individuals, families and/or groups strategically employ as mechanisms to assist them in navigating some of the obstacles present in the process of incorporation into American society? We are interested in all facets of the immigrant experience, including, but not limited to the impact of race, ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality on the choices immigrants make in terms of where they choose to resettle and how they shape what the resettlement process looks like.

Please submit your abstract by October 24, 2011 on the Midwestern Sociological Society’s website. If you have questions, contact either Tiffany Davis or Erika Busse

Position: U.S. History in the World, Oregon

The Department of History at Oregon State University invites applications for a tenure-track position in the history of the United States in the World, to begin Fall 2012. Assistant Professor preferred; Associate Professor possible. The successful candidate will have the Ph.D. in History and specialize in the United States in a global context, American international relations, and/or transnational history. Candidates should demonstrate a serious commitment to both scholarship and teaching. Teaching responsibilities include the U.S. history survey and upper-division and other appropriate courses in one or more areas of specialization.

To apply, submit letter of application and current C.V. via our application website at, and three letters of reference to:
Professor Marisa Chappell, Chair, US in the World Search Committee,
History Department, Oregon State University
306 Milam Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331

Full consideration will be given to candidates whose applications are complete by November 1, 2011.

Position: Director of Asian American Studies, Univ. of MD

The University of Maryland at College Park invites inquiries, nominations, and applications for the position of Director of the Asian American Studies Program (AAST). The ideal candidate should possess a strong record of scholarly research and publication; experience developing interdisciplinary curriculum and instructional programs in Asian-American Studies; the ability to manage budgetary and personnel matters; and skills for obtaining and managing extramural funding and development. Most importantly, we seek a dynamic individual who possesses an intellectual and programmatic vision as well as the interpersonal and consensus-building skills necessary for its realization.

The Director will administer and teach in the Asian American Studies program, an interdisciplinary undergraduate minor program that focuses on the histories, communities, and cultures of Asian Americans. Applicants should possess the ability to work with scholars and students in diverse areas in order to build intercampus collaboration, set a campus-wide agenda for innovative Asian American Studies education and research, and manage the financial and operational aspects of the program. Developing strong ties between the University of Maryland and the surrounding community will also be important.

Candidates must have an earned doctorate or other terminal degree, a substantial record of innovative scholarship, excellent teaching, and demonstrated qualities of academic leadership, with academic credentials commensurate with the appointment to the rank of associate or full professor. We are open to candidates from the humanities, history, and the social sciences. The position of Director is a full-time appointment in AAST; the Director will hold tenure in an appropriate department within the university. The Director reports to the Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean for Undergraduate Studies. Salary is negotiable, commensurate with qualifications and experience.

For best consideration, applications should be submitted by Nov. 30, 2011, but the position will remain open until filled. Contact Julie Greene, Professor of History and Chair of the Search Committee, at, with any questions about this search or to nominate individuals for the position. Apply online at (position number 111974). Please include a cover letter, cv, and list of three references with contact information. Ask references to submit letters independently to

>Preview Performance: “Chinglish” by David Henry Hwang

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) would like to invite you to a special benefit preview on Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 8pm, of David Henry Hwang’s new play on Broadway, Chinglish. David will join us for a Q&A after the performance, so you won’t want to miss this wonderful AALDEF event!

Chinglish is a romantic comedy about an American businessman who arrives in a bustling Chinese province looking to score a lucrative contact for his family’s sign-making firm. He soon finds that the complexities of such a venture far outstrip the expected differences in language, customs and manners–and calls into question even the most basic assumptions of human conduct.

David Henry Hwang, a Tony Award-winning playwright (M. Butterfly) and AALDEF’s 1989 Justice in Action award recipient, said, “Chinglish was born from the many visits I’ve made to China over the past five or six years to witness the exciting changes there. During one visit, I toured a new arts center where everything was first-rate–except for the ridiculously translated English signs. It was at that moment that I thought of writing this play.”

Chinglish, which had its world premiere at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre this past summer, got rave reviews. The Chicago Tribune called it a “shrewd, timely and razor-sharp comedy,” that is “surely Hwang’s best work since “M. Butterfly.”

Join us to catch a sneak peek of this new Broadway show before it opens on Oct. 27. We have a limited number of orchestra seats at a specially discounted price of $90 per ticket. Reserve your Chinglish tickets now by calling 212.966.5932 x212 or emailing (Reservations are final only after payment has been received.)

Thanks so much for your continued support of AALDEF, and I look forward to seeing you at our Chinglish theater event on Oct. 25!

Position: President/CEO, Japanese American Museum

Located in the Little Tokyo business district within downtown Los Angeles, the Japanese American National Museum seeks to promote understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience. It is the largest museum in the United States dedicated to sharing that unique experience as an integral part of U.S. history and to preserving the rich heritage and cultural identity of Japanese Americans. In December 2010, the Museum was awarded the National Medal from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries across the country.

Reporting to the Museum’s Board of Trustees, the President & CEO will bring critical leadership to the Museum with responsibility for the overall performance of the institution. The successful candidate will be a visionary and inspirational leader, with responsibility for enhancing both the external face of the institution and the internal operations that will allow the Museum to meet its educational and programmatic objectives in an increasingly challenging economic environment and to continue to grow and fulfill its mission.

The President & CEO participates as an ex-officio member of a national board, working with the Board in charting the course of the Museum’s response to changing audiences, donors, members, and other stakeholders throughout the United States (including Hawaii) and Japan. The Candidate will also interface with the Museum’s Board of Governors, chaired by Secretary Norman Y. Mineta (a current trustee) and formerly chaired by Senator Daniel K. Inouye; Governors serve as regional ambassadors for the Museum.

The President & CEO will supervise a staff of approximately 40 full-time equivalent employees. He/She is responsible for an approximately $7 million annual budget. A significant portion of the President & CEO’s responsibility will be leading and working closely with the Museum’s staff to maintain current and prospective relationships with donors, volunteers and stakeholders and establish new relationships with those constituencies.

Leadership, Management and Oversight

  • Lead the organization, setting the voice and tone from the top and providing vision for future growth and success
  • Serve as the key liaison between the Board of Trustees and the Museum’s staff and work with the chairs of the Board and its various committees in developing meeting agendas and materials
  • Manage and oversee all program planning, organizing, operating and staffing activities
  • Manage overall financial oversight and monitoring, including budget discipline
  • Foster and monitor the quality of the Museum’s activities to assure excellence as defined by the Board
  • Form strategic alliances and partnerships, when appropriate to achieve the Museum’s goals
  • Manage the development and review of appropriate metrics to measure the performance, impact and results of programs
  • Recommend long-range plans that support the Museum’s philosophy and strategic objectives

Financial Management, Fundraising and Community Affairs

  • Represent the Board and the Museum to the community
  • Oversee marketing and public relations programs
  • Assure the sound fiscal operation of the Museum, including timely, accurate and comprehensive preparation of an annual budget and its implementation
  • Develop and oversee a robust fundraising and development department (including joint development efforts with the Museum’s boards), and actively participate in those efforts
  • Work closely with the development team in sustaining and establishing relationships with foundations, government agencies, and private donors

Human Resources

  • Establish objectives through the selection, supervision, professional development, motivation and evaluation of personnel
  • Review personnel positions and organizational structure to ensure the efficient, timely and effective work of the organization with personnel appropriate for the position
  • Specify staff roles and responsibilities, evaluate performance regularly and hold staff accountable for results
  • Implement and maintain appropriate salary structures

Traits and Characteristics
The ideal candidate will be a charismatic, inspirational and energetic leader who takes initiative and has the ability to articulate the mission of the Museum to its various constituencies. The successful candidate will have a passion for the cultural and historical foundations of the Museum, specifically in helping communicate the lessons learned from the World War II incarceration of persons of Japanese descent. He/She will be an excellent communicator with strong interpersonal and relationship-building skills. The successful candidate will have the ability to develop and implement policies, procedures, and systems necessary to elevate the Museum’s programming, including the Museum’s National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and the Museum’s educational outreach initiatives in targeted regions, while overseeing the big picture and overall impact of the Museum on the community.

Although the successful candidate will most likely have solid leadership experience in the field of Museum management, it is also possible that the individual might come from another career background in the nonprofit, public or for-profit sectors. He/She will have a minimum of seven to ten years of management experience that demonstrates the ability to conceptualize, plan, implement, administer, evaluate, communicate, and develop resources with a strong emphasis on past results. Knowledge of the history of Japanese Americans would be helpful.

An undergraduate degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred.

Salary and benefits commensurate with qualifications and experience will be provided. Relocation assistance is negotiable.

To Apply
Please direct inquires, nominations, and applications, including resume and a compelling letter of interest in confidence to:

Karin Stellar
Morris & Berger
500 North Brand Boulevard, Suite 2150
Glendale, CA 91203
Telephone 818-507-1234 – Fax 818-507-4770

Electronic submission is encouraged

The Museum is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Personnel are chosen on the basis of ability without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, marital status or sexual orientation, in accordance with federal and state law.

Vietnamese Translators Needed

My name is Aellon Krider and I am a Linguistic Recruiter with TransPerfect Translations. I am currently recruiting English into native Vietnamese translators located in the U.S. interested in long term freelance collaboration. We are looking for candidates experienced in health care or life sciences to join our network of certified linguists.

Applicants must:

  • Be a native speaker Vietnamese
  • Have a college degree and 5 years translation experience OR advanced degree and 3 years translation experience
  • Be able to produce documented proof of educational background
  • Be located in the U.S.

We are always looking to expand our qualified linguist resources, and would be interested in collaborating. If you are able to put me in contact with any other translators as well, I would greatly appreciate the referrals.

Thank you very much,
Aellon Krider
Linguistic Resources Coordinator
t +1 212.689.5555 x1222 | skype: tpt_akride

Post-Doc: Race/Ethnicity, Duke

The Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in the Social Sciences (REGSS), an affiliate of the Social Science Research Institute at Duke University, is pleased to announce the establishment of the Samuel DuBois Cook Postdoctoral Fellowship. Cook, a political scientist, was the first black tenured professor at Duke University and served as a member of the Duke University Board of Trustees from 1981-1993 and is now a Trustee Emeritus.

REGSS seeks to provide a context where scholars interested in examining the constructs of race, ethnicity, and gender from an interdisciplinary perspective can engage each other in dialogue and collaboration. Our questions and our methodologies draw on disciplinary backgrounds that include economics, history, political science, psychology, public policy, and sociology. Scholars interested in the study of race, ethnicity, and the intersection of gender with race and ethnicity, are invited to apply for this one-year fellowship. Individuals working in the field of comparative race are also encouraged to apply. Postdoctoral fellows teach one course during the year, present their research at one of the center’s monthly research colloquia, and devote the rest of their time to research and writing.

Fields: Applications for study in any social science discipline are welcome. Please specify your home discipline and/or the discipline in which you received your Ph.D.

Stipend: $40,000 per fellowship period. Health benefits are available. Some funds are available for research expenses, including conference travel.
Fellowship Period: August 1, 2012 – May 15, 2013.

Eligibility: The primary criterion for selection is evidence of scholarship or scholarly interest in the study of race, ethnicity, or the intersection of gender with race and ethnicity. Applicants must complete all requirements for the doctoral degree by August 2012. Preference will be given to individuals who are within five years of their degree, but more senior applicants will be considered.

Application materials: Applicants must submit an application letter (including email address) in which the applicant clearly identifies the area or discipline of proposed research, curriculum vitae, sample publications and/or dissertation chapters, three letters of recommendation, a statement of research plans and a description of the course you prefer to teach. The research statement should be a separate document and not included in a cover letter. If recommendation letters accompany application materials they should be in a sealed envelope. Please indicate in application letter if you are legally authorized to work in the United States. Also, indicate whether you now, or in the future require sponsorship for employment visa status (e.g., Green Card, H-1B, TN, J-1.)

All materials should be sent to the address below and must be postmarked by January 16, 2012. Submitted material will not be returned to the applicant. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

REGSS Postdoctoral Fellowship Program
Duke University
Social Science Research Institute
Box 90420 / Erwin Mill
Durham, NC 27705
Telephone (919) 681-2702

Question should be directed to:
Professor Paula D. McClain ( or Professor Kerry L. Haynie (

October 3, 2011

Written by C.N.

Academic Research: Articles on Race/Ethnicity & Immigration #5

The following is a list of recent academic journal articles and doctoral dissertations from scholars in the social sciences and humanities that focus on race/ethnicity and/or immigration, with a particular emphasis on Asian Americans. As you can see, the diversity of research topics is a direct reflection of the dynamic and multidimensional nature of people’s lives, experiences, and issues related to race/ethnicity and immigration.

The academic journal articles are generally available in the libraries of most colleges and universities and/or through online research databases. As always, works included in this list are for informational purposes only and do not imply an endorsement of their contents.

Eckstein, Susan, and Thanh-Nghi Nguyen. 2011. “The Making and Transnationalization of an Ethnic Niche: Vietnamese Manicurists.” International Migration Review 45(3):639-674.

  • Abstract: The article addresses how Vietnamese immigrant women developed an urban employment niche in the beauty industry, in manicuring. They are shown to have done so by creating a market for professional nail care, through the transformation of nailwork into what might be called McNails, entailing inexpensive, walk-in, impersonal service, in stand-alone salons, nationwide, and by making manicures and pedicures de riguer across class and racial strata.

    Vietnamese are shown to have simultaneously gained access to institutional means to surmount professional manicure credentializing barriers, and to have developed formal and informal ethnic networks that fueled their growing monopolization of jobs in the sector, to the exclusion of non-Vietnamese. The article also elucidates conditions contributing to the Vietnamese build-up and transformation of the niche, to the nation-wide formation of the niche and, most recently, to the transnationalization of the niche. It also extrapolates from the Vietnamese manicure experience propositions concerning the development, expansion, maintenance, and transnationalization of immigrant-formed labor market niches.

© Lisa Zador and

Cort, David. 2011. “Reexamining the Ethnic Hierarchy of Locational Attainment: Evidence from Los Angeles.” Social Science Research 40(6):1521-1533.

  • Abstract: Because of a lack of data, the locational attainment literature has not incorporated documentation status into models examining group differences in neighborhood quality. I fill this void by using the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey, which permits the identification of undocumented respondents, allowing a reexamination of the ethnic structure of locational attainment in this important immigrant-receiving city.

    Results first suggest that while undocumented Latinos live in the poorest quality communities, blacks live in neighborhoods that are similar to native-born Latinos and better than foreign-born Asians and Latinos. Second, the effects of education are strongest for blacks, allowing the highly educated an opportunity to reside in communities that are of better quality than educated Latinos and Asians.

    Thus, undocumented Latinos replace blacks at the bottom of the locational attainment hierarchy, allowing educated blacks in Los Angeles to reside in better neighborhoods than blacks in the nation at large.

Emeka, Amon. 2011. “Non-Hispanics with Latin American Ancestry: Assimilation, Race, and Identity among Latin American Descendants in the U.S.” Social Science Research 40(6):1547-1563.

  • Abstract: In the 2006 American Community Survey (ACS), 6% of respondents with Latin American ancestry answered ‘no’ when asked whether they were Hispanic themselves. Conventional definitions of the Hispanic population exclude such respondents as ‘not Spanish/Hispanic/Latino’ even though they are self-identified Latin American descendants. Since their exclusion may bias our assessments of Hispanic social mobility, it is important to know more about them.

    Non-Hispanic identification is most common among Latin American descendants who (1) list both Latin American and non-Latin American ancestries, (2) speak only English, and (3) identify as White, Black, or Asian when asked about their ‘race.’ Ancestry and racial identity are considerably more influential than respondents’ education, income, place of birth, or place of residence. These findings support both traditional straight-line assimilation and a more recent “racialized assimilation” theory in explaining discrepant responses to the ethnicity and ancestry questions among Latin American descendants.

Conger, Dylan, Amy E. Schwar, and Leanna Stiefel. 2011. “The Effect of Immigrant Communities on Foreign-Born Student Achievement.” International Migration Review 45(3):675-701.

  • Abstract: This paper explores the effect of the human capital characteristics of co-ethnic immigrant communities on foreign-born students’ math achievement. We use data on New York City public school foreign-born students from 39 countries merged with census data on the characteristics of the immigrant household heads in the city from each nation of origin and estimate regressions of student achievement on co-ethnic immigrant community characteristics, controlling for student and school attributes.

    We find that the income and size of the co-ethnic immigrant community has no effect on immigrant student achievement, while the percent of college graduates may have a small positive effect. In addition, children in highly English proficient immigrant communities test slightly lower than children from less proficient communities. The results suggest that there may be some protective factors associated with immigrant community members’ education levels and use of native languages.

Lee, Sharon M., and Barry Edmonston. 2011. “Age-at-Arrival’s Effects on Asian Immigrants’ Socioeconomic Outcomes in Canada and the U.S.” International Migration Review 45(3):527–561.

  • Abstract: Age-at-arrival is a key predictor of many immigrant outcomes, but discussion continues over how to best measure and study its effects. This research replicates and extends a pioneering study by Myers, Gao, and Emeka [International Migration Review (2009) 43:205–229] on age-at-arrival effects among Mexican immigrants in the U.S. to see if similar results hold for other immigrant groups and in other countries. We examine data from the 2000 U.S. census and 2006 American Community Survey, and 1991, 2001, and 2006 Canadian censuses to assess several measures of age-at-arrival effects on Asian immigrants’ socioeconomic outcomes.

    We confirm several of Myers et al.’s key findings, including the absence of clear breakpoints in age-at-arrival effects for all outcomes and the superiority of continuous measures of age-at-arrival. Additional analysis reveals different age-at-arrival effects by gender and Asian ethnicity. We suggest guidelines, supplementing those offered by Myers et al., for measuring and studying age-at-arrival’s effects on immigrant outcomes.