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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.

November 28, 2011

Written by C.N.

Academic Research: Diversity & Multiculturalism in East Asia

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. 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.

The latest issue of the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies focuses on issues and dynamics of racial/ethnic diversity and multiculturalism in East Asian countries. As I’m sure you know, countries such as Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan tend to be rather racially/ethnically/culturally homogeneous. At the same, as a reflection of the ongoing evolution of globalization around the world, these societies have also become more multicultural in recent decades. In recognition of this, these articles looks at the political, economic, and cultural consequences of such societal changes.

Street scene © Atlantide Phototravel/Corbis

Salazar Parreñas, Rhacel and Joon K. Kim. 2011. “Multicultural East Asia: An Introduction.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 37:10:1555-1561.

  • Abstract: This introduction to the special issue of JEMS on multicultural East Asia underscores the nexus between national identity and multiculturalism in Korea, Japan and Taiwan. Demographic and structural changes are assumed to serve as levers of change toward multiculturalism. However, the articles in this issue demonstrate the cultural and social challenges engendered by multiculturalism, and the salience of race, gender, ethnicity and class in the structuring of immigration policies and the social integration of international migrants.

Kim, Hyuk-Rae and Ingyu Oh. 2011. “Migration and Multicultural Contention in East Asia.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 37:10:1563-1581.

  • Abstract: Japan, Korea and Taiwan have experienced rapid and dramatic demographic changes during the last three decades. In all three countries, changes of fertility decline, aging and sex imbalances preceded massive increases in international marriages and labor migration. In this article, we analyze how these demographic and social transformations affect policies of migration and integration in this region. Demographics are changing with the integration of foreign brides and professional migrants and with declining fertility rates. Despite this, the magnitude and speed of change within the policy provisions for migration and integration are still very limited and slow—Japan, Korea and Taiwan, for instance, all maintain ‘assimilationist’ or ‘passive multicultural’ migration and integration policies.

Kim, Joon. 2011. “The Politics of Culture in Multicultural Korea.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 37:10:1583-1604.

  • Abstract: The South Korean government has demonstrated a strong commitment towards the social integration of international brides and the children of mixed ethnic heritage by establishing 100 ‘multicultural family support centres’ throughout the country. Given its record of opposing the long-term settlement of foreigners in Korea, this recent government announcement signals a very significant change in its policies concerning international migrants. Consequently, the proliferation of migrant support programs bearing the title ‘multiculturalism’ unwittingly suggests that Korean society is receptive toward the internationalization of families.

    In this article I show that the establishment of these support centers represents a governmental response to the accumulated societal pressure from below that sought to improve the precarious social conditions of international migrants and to embrace multiculturalism as an inevitable, but positive, social force. Despite their impressive scope and resource allocation, the contents and approaches of the newly emerging multicultural programs reproduce, rather than minimize, the cultural hierarchy between Koreans and non-Koreans. I utilize the concepts of ‘cultural paternalism’ and ‘cultural fetishism’ in order to capture the manner in which the dominant members of Korean society define the terms of and approaches to dealing with cultural diversity, reduce the complex issues of social equality to cultural differences, and treat culture as a fetish by uniformly emphasizing the expressive dimensions of culture.

Ishiwata, Eric. 2011. “‘Probably Impossible’: Multiculturalism and Pluralisation in Present-Day Japan.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 37:10:1605-1626.

  • Abstract: This article offers a critical engagement with multiculturalism and pluralisation in Japan. While recent efforts to introduce multicultural policies such as ‘domestic internationalisation’ policies and the textbook reform movement are encouraging, I suggest that they are limited as they fail to address notions of exclusivity—those founded on the ideology of nihonjinron—that shape Japanese identity. Moreover, mere recognition of minority populations works to entrench rather than undermine ethno-cultural hierarchies. That is, if official engagements with the ethno-cultural ‘Other’ simply reinscribe notions of exclusivity, exceptionality and even superiority, the hierarchalised distinctions drawn between inside/outside and ‘Japanese’/foreigner will continue to persist and minority populations will be relegated permanently to a second-class citizenry.

    Therefore, this contribution turns to the recently opened Kyushu National Museum as a means of addressing multiculturalism and pluralisation in Japan. Themed ‘Ocean Ways, Asian Paths’, the Kyushu National Museum is actually a transnational museum as it focuses not on artefacts specific to Japanese identity, but instead on the variegated ways in which Japan is inextricably connected with and indebted to its Asian neighbours. Thus, by exhibiting the miscegenated character of Japan’s national origins, the Kyushu National Museum stands as a concrete example whereby notions of exclusivity are refashioned into a more accommodating, and perhaps ethical, engagement with alterity.

Cheng, Sealing. 2011. “Sexual Protection, Citizenship and Nationhood: Prostituted Women and Migrant Wives in South Korea.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 37:10:1627-1648.

  • Abstract: This article examines the making of two distinct groups of women—‘prostituted women’ and migrant wives—into citizen-subjects in South Korea at the turn of the twenty-first century. Though the lives of these women barely intersect, they become visible in the public sphere as victims of sexual violence and therefore in urgent need of state protection. Defined as such, prostitutes and migrant wives come under the gaze of the state and civil society through anti-prostitution policy and multiculturalism policy respectively.

    I suggest that, through the language of protection, the South Korean state and civil society seek to redefine moral order and national borders through the regulation of a woman’s body and sexuality. For prostituted women, leaving prostitution restores them to the embrace of the nation as good Korean daughters. For immigrant wives, reproduction is their gendered path to citizenship as good Korean mothers. Through an analysis of the gender ideals reproduced in these policies, and their repercussions on the lives of women, I tease out the gendering of citizenship and nationhood and its tensions with the universalist ideals of gender equality and human rights in the modernising project in South Korea.

Kim, Denis. 2011. “Catalysers in the Promotion of Migrants’ Rights: Church-Based NGOs in South Korea.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 37:10:1649-1667.

  • Abstract: The scholarship on Korean migration indicates that pro-immigrant NGOs are significant social actors who have influenced the formation and transformation of Korean immigration policy. Nevertheless, it has neglected the conspicuous impact of both church-based NGOs and the leadership of activist-clergy upon the promotion of immigrant rights and status. This article explores the origins of advocacy, its contribution and the unintended consequences. It argues that both the transnational characteristics of the church and the historical experience of church-based activism for democratisation have stimulated activist-clergy into spearheading the immigrant advocacy effort. Korea offers an exemplary case in which transnational religion has played a profound role in enhancing the social and political inclusion of immigrants.

Lan, Pei-Chia. 2011. “White Privilege, Language Capital and Cultural Ghettoisation: Western High-Skilled Migrants in Taiwan.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 37:10:1669-1693.

  • Abstract: Drawing on the case of Taiwan, this article looks at high-skilled migration from the West to Asia. I explore how Western high-skilled migrants exert agency to negotiate their positions as non-citizens, privileged others and professional workers. I have coined the term ‘flexible cultural capital conversion’ to describe how English-speaking Westerners convert their native-language skills, as a form of global linguistic capital, into economic, social and symbolic capitals.

    Their privileged positions are nevertheless mediated and constrained by their class, nationality, race/ethnicity and gender. In the global context, whiteness is marked as a visible identity and the ‘superior other’. Such cultural essentialism functions as a double-edged sword that places white foreigners in privileged yet segregated job niches. Their flexibility in capital conversion and transnational mobility is territory-bound. Many experience the predicament of ‘cultural ghettoisation’ in the global South, and they often face grim job prospects on returning home to the North.

November 23, 2011

Written by C.N.

Links, Jobs, & Announcements #55

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: Ethnic Studies, Chinese Diaspora, Univ. of Hawai’i Manoa

University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Department of Ethnic Studies, Chinese Diaspora Specialist, Assistant Professor (Pos. #084819).

Duties: Teach courses and conduct research on Chinese immigrant communities in Hawai’i and the United States, and/or other parts of the world. Teach introductory course in ethnic studies and upper division courses in Asian American studies. Advise and
supervise undergraduate students; seek extramural funding; participate actively in local communities. The successful applicant should maintain an active program of research and scholarly publication that integrates innovative theoretical analyses with empirical work, and furthers the University’s excellence in Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific studies.

Minimum Qualifications: PhD in Ethnic Studies, related interdisciplinary studies, social sciences field, or history from an accredited college at the time of the appointment, August 1, 2012 (ABD will be considered). ABD candidates must submit a letter from their committee chairs attesting that dissertation and all degree requirements will be completed by the date of hire. Demonstrated ability to teach and conduct research on Chinese diasporic communities, which incorporates theories of race, ethnicity, gender, and class; and strong record of research, teaching, and community service.

Desirable Qualifications: Evidence of research and university-level teaching about Asian American or Pacific Islander Studies; ability to teach courses on immigration, and/or ethnic/race relations; ability to contribute to the College of Social Sciences Public Policy Center; a record of peer-reviewed publications; commitment to innovative educational strategies, and to working with students with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

To Apply: Please visit this website: Include cover letter, curriculum vitae, and writing sample (not to exceed
9000 words). Send three letters of recommendation to: Ibrahim G. Aoudé, Department of Ethnic Studies, University of Hawai”i at Mānoa, George Hall 301, 2560 Campus Road, Honolulu, HI 96822.

Inquiries: Ibrahim G. Aoudé (808) 956-8086, E: Closing Date: Review of applications will begin November 18, 2011 and will continue until position is filled. Applications received by that date will be given priority.

Call for Papers: The American University Meets the Pacific Century

Workshop: The American University Meets the Pacific Century (AUPC)
Date: March 9-10, 2012
Location: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)

Deadline: December 1, 2011
Notification: December 15, 2011

Award: Limited funds to support room and board at Workshop and partial travel vouchers will be available.

What to submit: A 1-2 page abstract of a circa 20-25 page paper that you will prepare for discussion at the Workshop.

How to submit: Please submit your materials electronically to Kelley Frazier,

Inquiries: Inquiries about the conference should be directed to: Nancy Abelmann,; Soo Ah Kwon,; Tim Liao,; Adrienne Lo,

Workshop Information
This Workshop will be hosted in association with the American University Meets the Pacific Century Project (AUPC, 2010-), an interdisciplinary team of social scientists who are currently researching the internationalization of the undergraduate student body at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The project is principally interested in the American university as a contact zone in which record levels of international undergraduates, largely from Asia, meet American students whose futures are increasingly impacted by global transformations, the economic and scientific rise of Asia among them.

Participants will present papers (circa 20-25 pages) broadly related to the study abroad of degree-seeking undergraduate students from China and South Korea, relevant developments in those countries, and all aspects of the U.S. as a contact zone.

Below please find a brief synopsis of our own research project; we are,however, open to proposals of all variety.

The American University Meets the Pacific Century Project

Broadly, the AUPC project is examining how the escalating numbers of international undergraduates are transforming the American university. Many American universities, like top-tier universities throughout the world, are increasingly becoming global institutions, no longer held exclusively to national interests.

This larger context occasions several broad research questions. First, a number of scholars, anthropologist Aihwa Ong and geographer Katharyne Mitchell foremost among them, have alerted us to a veritable cultural warfare as Asian elites find their way to North American schooling. They ask whether the liberal democratic ideals of the American university, including multiculturalism’s commitment to an integrated national community, are foundationally shaken by international students who pass through the American university to accrue the technical skills for flexible citizenship elsewhere. We are thus interested in what American students assume about these new international students and their place in American higher education.

Second, we ask how this trend is shaping American undergraduates’ vision of their futures as global citizens in the broader context of the global economy, and in what some have called “the Pacific Century.” With the widely decried slippage in the U.S. global hegemony in scientific and technological fields and the particular attention to the “Rise of China,” these questions are particularly pressing. Also of note is that while U.S. international student numbers are up, we are in fact enjoying less of the pie of total global student mobility (slipping from 2001 to 2008 from 25% to 21%; while China grew from under 2% to 6%).

Third, we examine the impact of this internationalization on the racial realities of the American university. As globalization accelerates the mobility of people, ideas, and media, one perhaps unexpected consequence has been the rise of what sociologist Karen Pyke calls “intraethnic othering” or the heightened salience of divisions within what might be considered one
ethnic/racial group. Preliminary work by the AUPC project has already documented the tense relations between those Asian Americans who find that they are becoming the minority of Asians on their campus, and those international undergraduates, who sometimes see themselves as wealthy, cosmopolitan elites with little in common with local Asian Americans.

Finally, we are interested in what has motivated international students to come to the United States and the reality of their study abroad experience. We consider these students’ future goals, ones that of course are impacted upon by the study abroad experience itself. With these contexts and processes in mind, we focus on the following research questions:

  • What are the motivations and expectations of these Chinese and South Korean international undergraduate students? Are they interested in the liberal and multicultural commitments of the American university? How do their goals change over time as they experience the realities of the American university?
  • How do American students understand and respond to this new student body? Do they think of these international students as in any way detrimental to American multiculturalism and liberalism?
  • Do Asian American students experience these demographic changes in particular ways? Are they inclined to distance themselves from these newly-arrived Asian students?
  • What is the nature and extent of the interactions between domestic students and these international students?
  • Do domestic students who aspire to become engineers and business professionals feel threatened by the significant number of students from precisely those countries that represent the greatest scientific and economic challenge to the United States? Are they worried about their professional futures?
  • How are university professionals, including faculty, responding to and managing this new student body?

Position: Asian American Studies, UCLA

The UCLA Asian American Studies Center invites applications for a tenured full-time faculty position (Tracking Number 2060-1112-01) beginning July 1, 2012. The selected candidate is expected to be
appointed to the UCLA Alumni and Friends of Japanese American Ancestry Endowed Chair. The rank is to be at the Associate or Full Professor level, with the primary appointment and teaching responsibilities in the Department of Asian American Studies.

Distinguished scholars of Japanese American studies are encouraged to apply, and this position provides an opportunity to strengthen Center and Department commitments to areas such as preservation/archives, community-based documentation in the visual arts, transnational studies, and community-oriented research, education, and activism.

The generosity of alumni and friends led to the establishment of this endowed chair in Japanese American Studies to further the research prominence of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, which was founded in 1969. Currently, the Center’s faculty number over fifty members representing nearly every division and school at UCLA, including the Department of Asian American Studies in the College of Letters and Science. The Department of Asian American Studies, established in 2004, oversees dynamic undergraduate and graduate programs.

Applications and nominations should be submitted electronically with1) a letter of application, 2) current curriculum vitae/resumé 3) one representative journal article or book chapter, and 4) names and contact information for three academic referees. Please send all materials to:

Although applications will be accepted until the position is filled, all materials should be submitted by December 9, 2011 to be guaranteed full consideration. UCLA offers an attractive salary and benefits package, including a housing assistance program for new faculty members. Salary is commensurate with education and experience.

Position: Sociology & Puerto Rican/Latino Studies, Univ. of Connecticut

The Sociology Department at the University of Connecticut invites applications for a tenure track position to begin August 23, 2012. The successful candidate will be jointly appointed with the Latino/a Studies program. The successful candidate will pursue rigorous research programs, contribute to graduate and undergraduate teaching, provide service to the university and the profession, and seek external funds to support their scholarly activities. The typical course load is two courses per semester. We prefer candidates for the assistant professor rank, but appointments at the associate professor rank for exceptionally well qualified candidates who can advance the diversity of our teaching and research
mission may be considered.


Minimum Qualifications: Doctorate in sociology; research that focuses on Latino populations in the United States; ability to teach qualitative research methods; and substantive research interests in at least one of the following areas of specialization: health and health care organization; gender and sexuality, labor, family. Equivalent foreign degrees are acceptable.

Preferred Qualifications: The ability to contribute to research, teaching and/or public engagement to the diversity and excellence of the learning experience.

To Apply: Applicants please upload their curriculum vitae, a statement describing their research plan and teaching interests,
selected scholarly publications, and three letters of reference via Husky hire Search 2012289. Applications submitted by January 6, 2012 will be given fullest consideration.

Position: Development Coordinator, Asian American Justice Center

Organization Description
Founded in 1991, the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) works to advance the human and civil rights of Asian Americans, and build and promote a fair and equitable society for all. AAJC is nationally recognized as a leading expert on issues of particular importance to the Asian American community including affirmative action, anti-Asian violence prevention, broadband and telecommunications policy, census, immigration and immigrant rights, media diversity and voting rights.

In 2010, AAJC deepened its alliance with the Asian Law Caucus (ALC), the Asian American Institute (AAI) and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) by coming together as the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice). Under the common name, we hope to build a more powerful and unified voice for Asian Americans who are deeply committed to the cause of civil and human rights. Based in Washington, DC, AAJC has a budget of approximately $5 million and a staff of 18.

Position Description
Title: Development Associate
Location: Washington, DC
Compensation: Competitive salary, depending on level of skills and experience. Full health benefits, flexible spending plan and generous vacation and sick leave.

Summary: The role of the Development Associate is to assist the Director of Development in undertaking a proactive campaign to secure funds to carry out the organization’s mission and vision and to implement its strategic and tactical plans. Requirements include: good management, planning and coordinating skills; excellent attention to detail and follow-through; experience in using and maintaining a database.


  • Serve as lead coordinator to ensure the success of the organization’s primary special event fundraiser, the annual American Courage Awards reception.
  • Provide support (planning, correspondence, etc.) required to implement all fundraising events and meetings.
  • Create, manage and maintain corporate and law firm partnerships to enhance fundraising and in-kind donations.
  • Conduct prospect research on potential funding sources including corporations and law firms.
  • Coordinate sponsorship agreements with partner organizations.
  • Assist in maintaining the integrity of the department’s Raiser’s Edge fundraising database through conducting data entry and reporting.
  • Produce quality written documents as it relates to primary functional areas, such as: solicitations for the American Courage Awards and acknowledgements.
  • Schedule and prepare background materials for meetings for Director of Development and Executive Director with current corporate donors and prospects.
  • Contribute to the department’s marketing functions by serving as a liaison for annual report production, Web updates and other collateral, as needed.
  • Assist the Director of Development in setting organizational income goals. Assist with the preparation of periodic income reports and projections as needed.
  • Perform other development tasks and duties as assigned by the Director of Development.
  • Supervisory responsibilities: Assist in supervising development intern.

Knowledge, skills and abilities: Must be detail-oriented and extremely organized. Must have excellent interpersonal and writing skills that indicate an ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of audiences. Must be able to coordinate multiple tasks concurrently while being thorough and comprehensive. Must have initiative and the ability to exercise good judgment. Flexible, independent team player.

Bachelor’s degree and at least one year of development experience. Proficiency in Raiser’s Edge strongly preferred. Event planning and experience in the nonprofit sector a plus.

Application deadline: December 2, 2011

Send resume with references, writing sample and a cover letter to:
Hannah Stone, Director of Development, at or AAJC; 1140 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 1200; Washington, DC 20036.

Internship: Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. Through advocacy and outreach to targeted constituencies, The Leadership Conference works toward the goal of a more open and just society – an America as good as its ideals. The Leadership Conference Education Fund builds public will for federal policies that promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. The Education Fund’s campaigns empower and mobilize advocates around the country to push for progressive change in the United States.

The Leadership Conference and The Education Fund offer a substantive, fast-paced internship program designed to give undergraduate students interested in civil and human rights, public service, advocacy, journalism and online communications, real-world work experience in the policy arena. The program provides interns the chance to increase their knowledge and awareness of civil and human rights issues, enhance their understanding of coalition politics, and observe the legislative process of our federal government. Interns are fully integrated into staff activities and involved in field operations, development work, web content, and communications work.

Leadership Conference/Education Fund interns work out of our office in downtown Washington, D.C., easily accessible by metro or several bus lines. Internships are for a length of one school semester. Start and end dates are flexible to accommodate your school’s schedule, and we require a 24 hour minimum weekly commitment.

  • Summer interns: Internship May 30 to Sept. 1; Application Deadline April 15, 2012
  • Fall interns: Internship Sept. 1 to Dec. 15; Application Deadline August 5, 2012
  • Spring interns: Internship Jan. 15 to May 15; Application Deadline December 4, 2011

Core Intern Responsibilities

  • Writing articles for the website
  • Tracking legislation and litigation related to key issues
  • Monitoring media coverage of policy issues
  • Attending steering committee and task force meetings as assigned
  • Helping to coordinate grassroots and media events
  • Attending congressional hearings and briefings
  • Conducting on- and off-line research to support Leadership Conference/Education Fund staff
  • Occasional administrative work

Applicants should have strong writing skills, a desire and ability to work with diverse groups of people, ability to work collaboratively, the ability to multitask, and a strong commitment to social justice issues.

The internship is unpaid. Need-based scholarships are available during the summer – applicants interested in financial aid should submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form and a letter detailing their financial need with their application. Sensitive information such as Social Security Numbers can be withheld by the applicant.

How to Apply

Interested individuals should email a cover letter detailing their interest in The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, resume, and short writing sample (no longer than three pages) to:

Avril Lighty
Intern Coordinator
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights/The Leadership Conference Education Fund

Or send by mail to:

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights/The Leadership Conference Education Fund
Attn: Avril Lighty
1629 K Street, NW, 10th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20006

Please note: we are unable to handle phone inquiries.

Call for Papers: Asian American Expressive Culture

Changing Boundaries and Reshaping Itineraries:
An International Conference on Asian American Expressive Culture

Co-sponsored by Chinese American Literature Research Center, and Information Center for Worldwide Asia Research, Beijing Foreign Studies University, China & Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies Program, University of California at Berkeley, USA.

The extensive geopolitical realignments and movements of peoples and capital that continue to mark our present moment have significantly reshaped our understanding of the functions and effects of national boundaries, and have turned concepts such as “transnationalism” and “globalization” into staples of academic discussion. In this moment of unsettling boundaries, how then are we to understand or locate Asian American literature (or, more broadly, Asian American Studies), which at least nominally continues to reside under the sign of the U.S. nation-state? How has this unsettling of boundaries contributed, for example, to rethinking the relation between Asian America and Asia?

Have these changed conditions introduced a set of new concerns, themes, or formal strategies for Asian American writers? How does the experience of reading Asian American literature in the U.S. differ from that of reading the literature in Beijing or Manila, Seoul or Singapore? How have scholars and critics of Asian American literature (and other forms of expressive culture) grappled with the theoretical and/or methodological challenges of engaging with these reconfigured national and transnational frameworks?

With this range of pressing questions forming a critical backdrop, the Chinese American Literature Research Center and the Information Center for Worldwide Asia Research at Beijing Foreign Studies University are joining with the Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies Program at the University of California at Berkeley to invite submissions of original papers on the theme of “changing boundaries” and “unsettling itineraries” to be presented at an international conference on Asian American literature to be held in Beijing from May 25-28, 2012.

Topics for the conference will include but are not limited to the following areas: New directions in Asian American Studies and Asian American criticism Asian American literature or film in a transnational frame Memories without borders in Asian American literature Re-aligning Asian American Studies and Asian Studies Sino-US relations and Chinese American literature Resituating Asian America in relation to East Asia, South Asia, or Southeast Asia

To submit a proposal from China’s mainland, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, please send your proposals (300-400 words) and brief biographies (c. 200 words) to Dr. Liu Kuilan at; and from North America, Europe, and other countries, please send your proposals to Prof. Elaine Kim at by December 15, 2011.

Internships: Center for American Progress

The Center for American Progress is dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through progressive ideas and action. Building on the achievements of progressive pioneers such as Teddy Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, our work addresses 21st-century challenges such as energy, national security, economic growth and opportunity, immigration, education, and health care. We develop new policy ideas, critique the policy that stems from conservative values, challenge the media to cover the issues that truly matter, and shape the national debate.

One very important goal of American Progress is to inspire and educate the next generation of progressive Americans. American Progress offers full and part-time internships each summer and academic semester. All undergraduate and masters-level students and J.D. and Ph.D. candidates are eligible to apply. Successful applicants will be bright, highly motivated scholars with strong academic records and an interest and aptitude for public policy and/or political communication. Interns will be directly engaged with the Center’s policy experts and participate in a variety of activities including research, writing, and web-based projects. They will also assist staff with administrative tasks and help organize the Center’s many conferences and events.

American Progress offers a monetary stipend as well as a transportation subsidy for interns. Intern applicants can apply for placement in the following department:

Race Policy / Progress 2050

American Progress is seeking an intern to work with Progress 2050, an American Progress project that develops new ideas for an increasingly diverse America. Its work uses current and future U.S. demographic trends as a foundation for progressive policies that advance racial equity.

The Progress 2050 intern’s primary responsibilities will include researching the relationship between race and public policy, census data evaluation, and media tracking. The intern’s additional duties include assisting in public and private events, independent research/writing, and day-to-day tasks as assigned.

Candidates must possess excellent oral and written communications skills. He or she must be open to a broad array of assignments and have strong oral and written communications skills. Some qualitative research experience preferred. No specific academic background is required, but the ideal intern ought to have a general understanding of racial and ethnic communities, U.S. history, and key domestic affairs.

Eligibility: All undergraduate and masters-level students and J.D. and Ph.D. candidates as well as recent graduates are eligible to apply. International students must have INS authorization to work in the United States.

Application Process: In order to apply for a Center for American Progress Internship, please submit the following:

  1. Internship Application
  2. Cover Letter and Resume
  3. Writing Sample of approximately 3 pages (your own words, unedited)
  4. College or University Transcript (unofficial is acceptable)
  5. 2-3 References (please provide both the phone and email contact information, and include a professor or other individual familiar with your work)

Please note that only those individuals whose qualifications match the current needs of the organization will be considered applicants and receive responses from American Progress.

Suggested Deadlines:
Winter/Spring: November 15
Summer: February 1

Summer: June – August
Fall: September – December
Winter: January – March
Spring: January – May

*starting dates are flexible

Please send completed application materials via email only Before emailing your materials please put your name and the term for which you are applying in the subject line. Ex.: John Doe-Summer 2010. No phone calls, please.

November 21, 2011

Written by C.N.

Recent Trends in Asian American Interracial Marriage Patterns

One of the most popular and controversial articles on my site is the one on Interracial Dating and Marriage. This is a topic that has provoked much discussion and debate among Asian Americans through the years and continues to do so today. Within the larger range of opinions on interracial dating and marriage, many Asian Americans and non-Asians alike consider dating and marrying someone outside of your racial/ethnic group as a natural progression of Asian Americans becoming more integrated into the mainstream, while others see it as renouncing one’s Asian identity.

As the saying goes, you are entitled to your opinion, but not your facts. In that context, as a sociologist, I try to make an empirically-sound and objective contribution to this debate by presenting updated data and statistics from the 2010 U.S. Census American Community Survey (ACS) on the racial/ethnic marriage patterns of Asian Americans for both men and women and the six largest Asian ethnic groups. The full tables are presented in my Interracial Dating and Marriage page, but below is a summary of recent trends and changes from 2006, the last time I updated these statistics:

© Trinette Reed/Corbis
  • Consistently, rates of marriages involving Asian Americans and Whites have declined. Specifically, among those marriages in which both spouses are U.S.-raised (either born in the U.S. or immigrated before age 13, and thereby socialized within the U.S. racial/ethnic landscape), for five of the six Asian American ethnic groups, the rates of having a White spouse for both men and women declined from 2006 to 2010. Among men/husbands, the largest decline involved Asian Indians and Koreans. For women/wives, the largest decline was for Filipinos and Koreans.
  • The only exceptions to this trend of declining rates of White-Asian marriages were for Asian Indian women/wives (whose rate slightly increased from 2006 to 2010) and for both Vietnamese men/husbands and women/wives. For Vietnamese men, their rates of having a White wife increased from 15.0% to 21.9% while for Vietnamese women, their rate for having a White husband jumped from 28.3% to 41.3%.
  • Strangely, the population sizes for U.S.-raised married Vietnamese American men and women declined from 2006 to 2010. For example, in 2006, there were about 40,500 and 45,200 U.S.-raised Vietnamese men and women respectively who were married. In 2010, those numbers declined to 26,795 and 34,998. Some possible explanations are that many who were married in 2006 got divorced, U.S.-raised Vietnamese men and women are delaying getting married, and/or many U.S.-raised Vietnamese have changed their ethnic identity to some other ethnic group, such as Chinese or Hmong.
  • In contrast to the declining rates of Asian-White marriages, the rates for Pan-Asian/Other Asian marriages have increased notably from 2006 to 2010 (having a spouse of a different Asian ethnicity). This increase was almost universal across all the six ethnic groups and for both genders (the only exception was for Filipino women). Among U.S.-raised men/husbands, Vietnamese Americans experienced the biggest increases in having a pan-Asian spouse — from 5.8% in 2006 to 13.7% in 2010 for men and from 7.8% to 12.2% for women/wives.

November 14, 2011

Written by C.N.

New Books: Whiteness and Racial/Ethnic Change in the U.S.

The following new books highlight how demographic, political, economic, and cultural changes taking place in U.S. society are transforming racial/ethnic dynamics as well. In the process, the traditional relationship of being White and being American — and the larger dynamics of Whiteness — are also evolving. As always, a book’s inclusion is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily mean a full endorsement of its contents.

The Myth of Post-Racial America: Searching for Equality in the Age of Materialism, by Roy H. Kaplan (R&L Education)

'The Myth of Post-Racial America' by Roy Kaplan

The Myth of Post-Racial America provides a history of race and racism in the United States. These concepts became integral parts of American society through social, psychological, and political decisions, which are documented so readers can learn about the origin of myths and stereotypes that have created schisms in our society from its founding to the present day. This information is essential reading for students and teachers so they can become more effective in their work and value cultural differences, modes of expression, and learning styles.

White Male Privilege: A Study of Racism in America 50 Years After Voting Rights Act, by Mark Rosenkranz (Law Dog Books)

'White Male Privilege' by Mark Rosenkranz

Discrimination and racism has existed in America since the very early days of colonization. In the Declaration of Independence, our founding fathers declared “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” and yet, it would be another 189 years before Americans would be equal by law. It has been suggested that with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, America had finally overcame its ugly past of racism and discrimination. As we entered into the new millennium, the author wondered if America had really set aside its biases and discriminatory practices.

The author interviewed eight people as he developed the foundations for this book. One of the people he was honored to interview was Brian Swann, the brother of famous footballer Lynn Swann. Brian shared his story of a racially motivated encounter that he and his brother’s had experienced in the 1970’s in San Francisco, California, at the hands of the San Francisco Police Department. Each of the eight people interviewed for this book brought with them a different experience and viewpoint as it relates to discrimination and racism in America, and more specifically, white male privilege in America. The author brought these eight individual viewpoints together, and told their story as they relate to American history, from the early days of colonization through the present day.

Seeing White: An Introduction to White Privilege and Race, by Jean Halley, Amy Eshleman, and Ramya Mahadevan Vijaya (Rowman & Littlefield)

'Seeing White' by Halley, Eshleman, and Vijaya

This interdisciplinary textbook challenges students to see race as everyone’s issue. Drawing on sociology, psychology, history, and economics, Seeing White introduces students to the concepts of white privilege and social power. Seeing White is designed to help break down some of the resistance students feel in discussing race. Each chapter opens with compelling concrete examples to help students approach issues from a range of perspectives.

The early chapters build a solid understanding of privilege and power, leading to a critical exploration of discrimination. Key theoretical perspectives include cultural materialism, critical race theory, and the social construction of race. Each chapter includes discussion questions to help students evaluate institutions and policies that perpetuate or counter forces of privilege and discrimination.

Everyday Forms of Whiteness: Understanding Race in a ‘Post-Racial’ World, by Melanie E. L. Bush (Rowman & Littlefield)

'Everyday Forms of Whiteness' by Melanie Bush

The second edition of Melanie Bush’s acclaimed Everyday Forms of Whiteness looks at the often-unseen ways racism impacts our lives. The author has interviewed and surveyed hundreds of college students and reveals that even though we talk as though we live in a ‘post-racial’ world after the election of Barack Obama, racism is still very much a factor in everyday life. The second edition incorporates new data and interviews to show how the everyday thinking of ordinary people contributes to the perpetuation of systemic racialized inequality. The book introduces key terms for the study for race and ethnicity, reveals the mechanisms that support the racial hierarchy in U.S. society, then outlines ways we can challenge long-standing patterns of racial inequality.

The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency, by Randall Kennedy (Pantheon)

'The Persistence of the Color Line' by Randall Kennedy

Timely—as the 2012 presidential election nears—and controversial, here is the first book by a major African-American public intellectual on racial politics and the Obama presidency. Renowned for his cool reason vis-à-vis the pitfalls and clichés of racial discourse, Randall Kennedy—Harvard professor of law and author of the New York Times best seller Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word—gives us a keen and shrewd analysis of the complex relationship between the first black president and his African-American constituency.

Kennedy tackles such hot-button issues as the nature of racial opposition to Obama, whether Obama has a singular responsibility to African Americans, electoral politics and cultural chauvinism, black patriotism, the differences in Obama’s presentation of himself to blacks and to whites, the challenges posed by the dream of a postracial society, and the far-from-simple symbolism of Obama as a leader of the Joshua generation in a country that has elected only three black senators and two black governors in its entire history. Eschewing the critical excesses of both the left and the right, Kennedy offers a gimlet-eyed view of Obama’s triumphs and travails, his strengths and weaknesses, as they pertain to the troubled history of race in America.

State of White Supremacy: Racism, Governance, and the United States, edited by Moon-Kie Jung, Joao Costa Vargas, Eduardo Bonilla-Silva (Stanford University Press)

'State of White Supremacy' edited by Jung, Vargas, and Bonilla-Silva

The deeply entrenched patterns of racial inequality in the United States simply do not square with the liberal notion of a nation-state of equal citizens. Uncovering the false promise of liberalism, State of White Supremacy reveals race to be a fundamental, if flexible, ruling logic that perpetually generates and legitimates racial hierarchy and privilege.

Racial domination and violence in the United States are indelibly marked by its origin and ongoing development as an empire-state. The widespread misrecognition of the United States as a liberal nation-state hinges on the twin conditions of its approximation for the white majority and its impossibility for their racial others. The essays in this book incisively probe and critique the U.S. racial state through a broad range of topics, including citizenship, education, empire, gender, genocide, geography, incarceration, Islamophobia, migration and border enforcement, violence, and welfare.

Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority, by Tim Wise (City Lights Publishers)

'Dear White America' by Tim Wise

White Americans have long been comfortable in the assumption that they are the cultural norm. Now that notion is being challenged, as white people wrestle with what it means to be part of a fast-changing, truly multicultural nation. Facing chronic economic insecurity, a popular culture that reflects the nation’s diverse cultural reality, a future in which they will no longer constitute the majority of the population, and with a black president in the White House, whites are growing anxious.

This anxiety has helped to create the Tea Party movement, with its call to “take our country back.” By means of a racialized nostalgia for a mythological past, the Right is enlisting fearful whites into its campaign for reactionary social and economic policies. In urgent response, Tim Wise has penned his most pointed and provocative work to date. Employing the form of direct personal address, he points a finger at whites’ race-based self-delusion, explaining how such an agenda will only do harm to the nation’s people, including most whites. In no uncertain terms, he argues that the hope for survival of American democracy lies in the embrace of our multicultural past, present and future.

November 10, 2011

Written by C.N.

Top 10 Herman Cain Pick-Up Lines

As I’m sure you’ve heard, Republican presidential nominee candidate Herman Cain is dealing with a bit of a scandal at the moment, as he tries to deal with allegations that he sexually harassed multiple women in his past. In true comedic style that had me LMAO, David Letterman commemorates Cain’s situation with his “Top Ten Herman Cain Pick-Up Lines“:

  1. You’re like a Godfather’s pizza: a little doughy, but still hot
  2. May I stuff your crust?
  3. You put the ‘ass’ in National Restaurant Association
  4. Can I buy you a glass of whatever Rick Perry is drinking?
  5. Would you describe yourself as the litigious type?
  6. (Video: Newt Gingrich having sex with a vending machine)
  7. Baby, you’re worth the forty grand in hush money
  8. You don’t know Gloria Allred, do you?
  9. My tax plan is 9-9-9, but you’re a 10-10-10

November 7, 2011

Written by C.N.

Academic Research: Articles on Race/Ethnicity & Immigration #6

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.

Schlund-Vials, Cathy J. 2011. “Re-Seeing Race in a Post-Obama age: Asian American Studies, Comparative Ethnic Studies, and Intersectional Pedagogies.” New Directions for Teaching & Learning 125:101-109.

  • Abstract: Focused on comparative ethnic studies and intersectionality, the author commences with a discussion about Barack Obama’s historic inauguration and the Asian American literature classroom. Such historical and educational frames foreground a deeper discussion about the possibilities and challenges associated with cross-cultural, cross-racial pedagogies within Asian American studies and ethnic studies.
© Lisa Zador and

DuongTran, Paul. 2011. “Coping Resources among Southeast Asian-American Adolescents.” Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment 21(2):196-208.

  • Abstract: This study examines the relationships of gender and ethnic differences in the experiences of stressful life events, coping-specific responses, and self-reported depression. Seventy high-school aged respondents, 40 boys and 30 girls, responded to a self-reported questionnaire that asked questions on the perceived distress of related life events (i.e., person, family, peer, acculturation events), coping-specific responses, and depression. The findings provide important data on gender and ethnic variations in the ways Southeast Asian-American adolescents deal with life stress and depression. These findings have important implications for social work practice and future research on the psychosocial adjustment with both immigrant and ethnic children and adolescents.

Borrero, Noah E. and Christine J. Yeh. 2011. “The Multidimensionality of Ethnic Identity Among Urban High School Youth.” Identity: An International Journal of Theory and Research 11(2):114-135.

  • Abstract: This study was designed to explore the associations of ethnic identity dimensions with collective self-esteem membership, school interest, student interest in learning, and community engagement among 406 ethnically diverse (Asian American, Black, Latino, Pacific Islander, and multiracial) high school students. Using the Ethnic Identity Scale, this article presents the relationships between school and community variables with students’ perceptions of ethnic identity exploration, resolution, and affirmation.

    Correlational analyses and post hoc t tests using Steiger’s modified z statistic show strong positive correlations between most school and community variables and students’ ethnic identity exploration and resolution. They also reveal a strong negative correlation between students’ school interest and ethnic identity affirmation. Results are discussed in terms of the emergent distinctions between student interest in learning and school interest as they relate to ethnic identity dimensions and collective self-esteem membership.

Okamura, Jonathan Y. 2011. “Barack Obama as the Post-Racial Candidate for a Post-Racial America: Perspectives from Asian America and Hawai’i.” Patterns of Prejudice 45(1 & 2):133-153.

  • Abstract: Okamura reviews the 2008 US presidential campaign and the election of Barack Obama as a ‘post-racial candidate’ in terms of two different meanings of ‘post-racialism’, namely, colour blindness and multiculturalism. He also discusses his campaign and election from the perspective of Asian America and Hawai’i given that Obama has been claimed as ‘the first Asian American president’ and as a ‘local’ person from Hawai’i where he was born and spent most of his youth.

    In both cases, Obama has been accorded these racialized identities primarily because of particular cultural values he espouses and cultural practices he engages in that facilitate his seeming transcendence of racial boundaries and categories generally demarcated by phenotype and ancestry. Okamura contends that proclaiming Obama as an honorary Asian American and as a local from Hawai’i inadvertently lends support to the post-racial America thesis and its false assertion of the declining significance of race: first, by reinforcing the ‘model minority’ stereotype of Asian Americans and, second, by affirming the widespread view of Hawai’i as a model of multiculturalism.

Shin, Hyoung-jin. 2011. “Intermarriage Patterns among the Children of Hispanic Immigrants.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 37(9):1385-1402.

  • Abstract: Utilizing data from the 2005–07 American Community Survey Public Use Micro Sample (ACS-PUMS), this study investigates the intermarriage patterns of Mexican, Cuban and Dominican Americans who were born in the United States or came to the country as immigrant children. Using intermarriage patterns as an indicator of social relations, I examine how cultural and structural assimilation factors affect the marital assimilation process among the children of Hispanic immigrants.

    One of the major contributions of this study is the examination of diversity within the US census categorization of ‘Hispanic’. Results from multinomial logistic regression analyses suggest that the marital assimilation process of Mexicans, Cubans and Dominicans varies across and within the groups according to their different individual characteristics and metropolitan context. My study is novel because it recognizes that broad-sweep analyses of intermarriage patterns are overly simplistic renderings of racial/ethnic assimilation because they fail to reveal distinctive and noteworthy within-group diversity.

Jain, Sonali. 2011. “The Rights of ‘Return’: Ethnic Identities in the Workplace among Second-Generation Indian-American Professionals in the Parental Homeland.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 37(9):1313-1330.

  • Abstract: This article explores the salience of ethnicity for second-generation Indian-American professionals who ‘return’ from the US to their parental homeland, India. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 48 second-generation Indian-Americans in India, it examines when and how they adopt ethnic identities in the workplace. My findings suggest that, bolstered by their transnational experiences and backgrounds, returnees construct ethnic identities and utilize ethnic options that reflect the cultural and economic environments of their adopted homeland.

    At the same time, and often contemporaneously, work relationships, experiences and personal interactions with those they encounter in the parental homeland factor into their transnational identity constructions. Also proposed is a preliminary framework within which to explore the conditions that facilitate the construction and assertion of returnees’ ethnic identities in the workplace in India.