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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.

February 27, 2014

Written by C.N.

Links, Jobs, & Announcements #77

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, with a particular focus on Asian Americans. As always, the announcements and links are provided for informational purposes and do not necessarily imply an endorsement of the organization or college involved.

Visiting Position: Asian American Studies, CUNY

© Corbis

Job Title: Dr. Thomas Tam Visiting Professorship, Asian-American Studies (Visiting Job ID: Associate or Full Professor)

Faculty Vacancy Announcement
The City University of New York is hiring a Visiting Professor at the senior faculty level of full or associate professor for the Dr. Thomas Tam Visiting Professorship in Asian-American Studies. Performs teaching, research, and guidance duties in area(s) of expertise as noted below. Shares responsibility for committee and department assignments, performing administrative, supervisory, and other functions as assigned.

The Dr. Thomas Tam Visiting Professor will be based at one of the four CUNY campuses participating in the search, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, Queens College or the Graduate Center. He or she will teach one class a semester at that campus and will engage with students and faculty members during the appointment. The Dr. Thomas Tam Visiting Professor will participate in public events designed to raise the visibility of scholarship in Asian American studies. This will include working closely with CUNY’s Asian American/Asian Research Institute (AAARI), a University-wide institute that promotes undergraduate and graduate education in Asian-American studies and educates civic, business, academic leaders, and the general public, on issues of concern to the Asian American community.

This distinctive position presents an opportunity for a leading scholar to work in New York City¿s diverse and dynamic environment while also working with AAARI and CUNY faculty to develop and enrich the CUNY research agenda in Asian American studies. The search committee contains representatives of the four CUNY colleges involved in the search, with appointment to a particular college dependent on the candidate’s fit with that college’s goals and academic priorities. Visiting faculty are individuals with a primary commitment to another accredited college or university who possess advanced scholarship or professional achievement.

Qualifications For Associate or Full Professor
Ph.D. degree in area(s) of experience or equivalent. Also required are the ability to teach successfully, demonstrated scholarship or achievement, and ability to cooperate with others for the good of the institution. Substantial research experience, expertise and publications on the Asian American experience are required. Areas of focus may include: trends and evolution of Asian American communities, civic and political engagement, entrepreneurship and economic development, religious and ethnic identity, gender and sexuality, intergenerational relations, critical race theory, diaspora and transnational experiences and communities and others.

Compensation
CUNY offers faculty a competitive compensation and benefits package covering health insurance, pension and retirement benefits, paid parental leave, and savings programs. We also provide mentoring and support for research, scholarship, and publication as part of our commitment to ongoing faculty professional development.

How to Apply
For full consideration, please submit a CV, letter of intent, and contact information for at least three professional references by the closing date. The direct link to the job opening from external sources is:

https://home.cunyfirst.cuny.edu/psp/cnyepprd/GUEST/HRMS/c/HRS_HRAM.HRS_CE.GBL?Page=HRS_CE_JOB_DTL&Action=A&JobOpeningId=10168&SiteId=1&PostingSeq=1

Closing Date
February 28, 2014

Position: Sociology, Bryan Mawr College

The Department of Sociology at Bryn Mawr College invites applications for a full-time, one-year Lecturer position to begin August 1, 2014. We seek a sociologist who specializes in immigration and/or gender, with additional areas in medical/health, social psychology, law, organizations, qualitative methods, Asian-American, Latino, or global sociology. A candidate whose work focuses on the Global South would be especially attractive. The teaching load is 3/3.

A Ph.D. in hand by the start of the position is required. To apply, please send a detailed cover letter that addresses your teaching and research interests, curriculum vitae, a list of courses you would be interested in teaching, sample syllabi (at least two), and names and contact information of three references (including email contacts). Send materials in a single PDF file (electronic submissions only, subject line should read “Sociology Search”) to: Karen Sulpizio, ksulpizi@brynmawr.edu. Review of applications will begin on March 3, 2014.

Located in suburban Philadelphia, Bryn Mawr College is a highly selective liberal arts college for women who share an intense commitment to intellectual inquiry, an independent and purposeful vision of their lives, and a desire to make meaningful contributions to the world. Bryn Mawr comprises an undergraduate college with 1,300 students, as well as coeducational graduate programs in social work, and in some humanities and sciences. The College promotes faculty excellence in both research and teaching, and participates in consortial programs with Haverford College, Swarthmore College, and the University of Pennsylvania.

Summer Workshop: Asian America Leadership, NYC

Are you in New York City this summer and looking for something fun and meaningful to do? Apply to be a Summer Leadership Institute facilitator!

Chinatown Youth Initiative’s Summer Leadership Institute (SLI) consists of a series of weekly workshops engaging high school youth in exploratory activities and discussions. These workshops aim to facilitate identity and leadership development, as well as to enhance awareness of social issues affecting underrepresented communities.

Responsibilities include:

  • Facilitating youth workshops around sociopolitical issues
  • Serving as a positive role model and mentor to youth participants
  • Maintaining consistent communication with participants in assigned small group
  • Working with facilitation team to develop curricula and workshop materials
  • Maintaining active and consistent communication with the team to ensure that participants have a safe and enriching experience
  • Attending all staff meetings and trainings, in addition to workshops and special events

If interested, please complete the application form, which can be found here: http://bit.ly/1bbK7Nq and e-mail your resume to apply@cyinyc.org. Applications are due Monday, March 3rd, 2014 at 11:59PM! For more information, please feel free to e-mail matthew.lim@cyinyc.org.

Summer Internship: Leadership in Action, SoCal

Leadership in Action (LIA) is an eight-week paid summer internship program designed to develop emerging young leaders by providing college students with practical leadership skills and the opportunity to work hands-on in the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) community in Southern California.

Approaching its 17th year, the program takes learning beyond the classroom, and places them in selected community-based organizations in Southern California, where they are expected to work 4 full days per week under an assigned staff supervisor. The fifth day will be devoted to leadership development training or issue discussions and group project work. Nationally recognized trainers will deliver workshops in critical skill areas. Issue discussions are on local or timely topics of interest and are facilitated by local community leaders/activists and LEAP trainers.

Program Length and Stipend
The eight-week program runs from June 16 through August 8, 2014. Interns will receive compensation in the amount of $2,500 for successful completion of the program and are responsible for their own housing, transportation, and insurance.

Who Should Apply?
College students or recent graduates with…

  • Prior experience in API communities
  • A passion for learning and growing leadership skills
  • An interest in gaining work experience in an API community-based nonprofit organization

Deadline
Applications available online at: http://bit.ly/1dbWXYA. All application materials must be received by Monday, March 10, 2014.

About LEAP
Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics (LEAP) is a national, non-profit, community-based organization with a mission to achieve full participation and equality for Asian and Pacific Islanders through leadership, empowerment and policy.

Workshop: Race in Multiracial America

Call for Student Participants for Upcoming Workshop:
Measuring the Diverging Components of Race in Multiracial America

We are seeking applications from sociology graduate students seeking a PhD who are interested in attending a workshop focused on cutting-edge research on the measurement of race and ethnicity. A description of the workshop is below. Students who are interested in doing research on the topic are invited to submit a 1-2 page description of their interests and the benefit they would receive from attending the workshop, as well as a CV (which should include a brief description of the student’s progress in their graduate program).

We would like to include students from a range of experience levels, so it is not required that the application include work that the student has already done. Student participants will not be expected to present a paper, but will participate in all discussions. Applications should be submitted to Wendy Roth at wendy.roth@ubc.ca by March 8, 2014.

The workshop will be held June 26-27 at Texas A&M University, in College Station, Texas. This workshop is funded by the ASA Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline, the Texas A&M University Sociology Department, the Race and Ethnic Studies Institute (RESI) at Texas A&M, the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University, and the Program for the Study of Ethnicity, Race and Culture at Rice University. We will be able to pay travel expenses within North America, and accommodation and meals during the workshop for the students selected to participate. Students of any citizenship are welcome to apply.

This workshop will be organized around the central questions of how “race” and “ethnicity” are measured, lived, and experienced in today’s evolving racial landscape. In the last few decades, research on how racial categories are experienced has become much more sophisticated, as researchers acknowledge the importance of self-identification for the creation of identity, meaning and community, identification by others for the effects of discrimination and differences in treatment, and the importance of both individual- and group-level shifts in the construction of these categories. Immigration, interracial families, and changing ideas about racial categorization have all combined to create an evolving landscape for the lived experiences of “race,” both in the United States and around the world.

Central Questions:

  • Given the growth of groups that complicate racial boundaries such as multiracial populations, interracial families and immigrants, how are the various components of race lived, experienced, and measured today?
  • How should we think theoretically about the multiple aspects that contribute to how a person experiences race, such as how they are seen racially by others (observed race), how they subjectively identify (internal race), how they identify themselves to others and on questionnaires (expressed race), how they believe they are seen by others (reflected race), their biology and both known and unknown ancestry, and the various aspects of their appearance or phenotype?
  • What are the highest-quality measures available for each of these aspects of “race”? Do we need new measures of race and ethnicity, or can the old measures be employed in new ways?
  • What is the quality of the measures available for these aspects of race in public data holdings available to survey researchers? For example, the U.S. Census is considering revamping their approach to collecting racial/ethnic data in order to increase quality, and has tested revisions to the census questions covering race and ethnicity. For researchers, what are the considerations in identifying and using an ever evolving array of race measures?

The workshop will involve presentations of cutting-edge research on the measurement of race and ethnicity, discussion of key existing resources on measuring diverse components of race, and discussion of what measurements and survey question formats are needed in future data collection and research.

Conference: Reimagining Indonesia

Reimagining Indonesia: Ideals, Actions, and Challenges
April 11-12 2014, Yale University
Hosted by the Yale Indonesia Forum with the Cornell Indonesian Association

Call for Papers

http://www.yale.edu/seas/YIFConf2014.htm

2014 will witness the emergence of a new national leader from the upcoming Presidential election in Indonesia. Once again, the question of development has been bought to the fore, upon which hope of national progress rests. Recognizing the impor­tance of a visionary and systematic transformation, the Indonesian people look forward to seeing better management of national resources, which should be liberated from the grip of elite interests and dedicated instead toward the greater good of public sovereignty.

Rising above the excitement of the national elections, the 2014 Yale Indonesian Forum Spring Dialogue seeks to revitalize discussions on how local and regional cultures could invigorate considerations on the development policies of the new regime. What are the viable alternatives for future development in Indonesia? What has been missing from the discussions of the new leadership in Indonesia and the future of the nation and how the nation is re-imagined?

What might be other modes of thinking, inquiry, knowledge, practices, and spaces of explorations, development, and potentials available in local and regional areas in Indonesia that will enable us to reimagine Indonesia? How can the new visions of Indonesia be realized? How can the new visions mobilize and unite the diverse cultures and interests across the archipelago? What are the challenges lying in the broad spectrum of cultural, social, political and ecological variability?

Endowed with rich resources and cultural diversity, Indonesia does not face a paucity of ideas to tackle the challenges arising from resource mismanagement. The effort to re-imagine a vibrant and sustainable Indonesia will depend on a deep grasp of existing problems, the quality of the vision and the commitment of substantive implementation.

In alignment with this aim and theme, the Yale Indonesian Forum (YIF) and Cor­nell Indonesian Association (CIA) invite paper submissions for their 11th Northeastern Con­ference on Indonesia. We welcome submissions from graduate and undergraduate stu­dents from any discipline at any stage engaged in original research on Indonesia related to the themes highlighted above. While these themes will certainly be highlighted in the program, proposals not directly related to the themes above are also explicitly encouraged.

The program will begin on Friday, April 11th, 2014 at Yale University, New Haven, CT with an interactive 2014 yif spring dialogue featuring 3 invited scholars with various areas of expertise, who have researched and written extensively about Indonesia. Attendees are encouraged to join the dialogue. There will be a moderator assisting the dialogue.

On Saturday, April 12th, 2014, the discussion continues through the 11th northeastern yif-cia conference on indonesia with a keynote ad­dress by Professor R. William Liddle, Ohio State University, and paper presentations by students.

Proposal Submission
Please contact organizers at yifconference2014@gmail.com if you have any question(s) regarding the dialogue and the conference. The par­ticipants are encouraged to seek fund­ing from their home institutions. The conference committee will provide ac­commodation for selected contributors.

Please submit your proposal in .doc or .docx file only. The proposal is lim­ited to 350 words. Please include in your proposal the description of your project, the research questions, per­spective(s) or theoretical framework, methods, substantiated conclusions/tentative key findings, and the signifi­cance of the work. In addition to your proposal, please provide a short refer­ence (at the end of your proposal), situ­ating your work.

Please send your proposal to yifconference2014@gmail.com and provide the following with nth body of the e-mail:
-name (and co-pre­senters (if any))
-institutional affilia­tion(s)
-status (undergraduate or grad­uate)
-title of the paper/presentation
-email address
-phone number

Proposal Submission Deadline:
March 14, 2014 at 12 a.m. est

Notification of Acceptance:
by March 22, 2014 (via email)

Volunteer Summer Program: Asian American Organizing

The National Fellowship Program for Asian American Organizing develops the leadership of a new generation of activists and organizers who are deeply invested in building the power of and improving the lives of working-class Asian immigrant communities. During ten weeks of intensive training, ground work and reflection, Fellows will learn about and support struggles at one of their host sites:

Boston: Chinese Progressive Association
Long Beach: Khmer Girls in Action
Los Angeles: Chinatown Community for Equitable Development
New York: CAAAV – Organizing Asian Communities
San Francisco: Filipino Community Center and Chinese Progressive Association

This is an intensive full-time, volunteer program for the summer. Applicants are also encouraged to seek additional and alternative funding sources (include campus work-study programs, scholarships and stipends). All cost (including travel to host site cities and housing) will the responsibility of each Fellow. A limited number of scholarships ranging from $500 – $2000 are available.

Applications are due March 10, 2014 at 5 pm PST.


February 24, 2014

Written by C.N.

New Books: Contemporary Immigration to the U.S.

I am teaching my “Sociology of Immigration” course again this semester and to reflect the importance of this issue within the public and political realms of U.S. society at the moment, below are some recently-released books that highlight the multidimensional and interrelated aspects of immigration to the U.S. these days. As always, a book’s inclusion is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily mean a full endorsement of its contents.

Arizona Firestorm: Global Immigration Realities, National Media, and Provincial Politics, edited by Otto Santa Ana and Celeste González de Bustamante (Rowman & Littlefield)

'Arizona Firestorm' by Santa Ana and Gonzalez de Bustamente

In 2010, the governor of Arizona signed a controversial immigration bill (SB 1070) that led to a news media frenzy, copycat bills in twenty-two states, and a U.S. Supreme Court battle that put Arizona at the cross-hairs of the immigration debate. Arizona Firestorm brings together well-respected experts from across the political spectrum to examine and contextualize the political, economic, historical, and legal issues prompted by this and other anti-Latino and anti-immigrant legislation and state actions. It also addresses the news media’s role in shaping immigration discourse in Arizona and around the globe. Arizona is a case study of the roots and impact of the 21st century immigration challenge. Arizona Firestorm will be of interest to scholars and students in communication, public policy, state politics, federalism, and anyone interested in immigration policy or Latino politics.

Education and Immigration, by Grace Kao, Elizabeth Vaquera, and Kimberly Goyette (Polity Press)

'Education and Immigration' by Kao, Vaquera, and Goyette

Education is a crucially important social institution, closely correlated with wealth, occupational prestige, psychological well-being, and health outcomes. Moreover, for children of immigrants – who account for almost one in four school-aged children in the U.S. – it is the primary means through which they become incorporated into American society. This insightful new book explores the educational outcomes of post-1965 immigrants and their children.

Tracing the historical context and key contemporary scholarship on immigration, the authors examine issues such as structural versus cultural theories of education stratification, the overlap of immigrant status with race and ethnicity, and the role of language in educational outcomes. Throughout, the authors pay attention to the great diversity among immigrants: some arrive with PhDs to work as research professors, while others arrive with a primary school education and no English skills to work as migrant laborers. As immigrants come from an ever-increasing array of races, ethnicities, and national origins, immigrant assimilation is more complex than ever before, and education is central to their adaptation to American society.

Sacrificing Families: Navigating Laws, Labor, and Love Across Borders, by Leisy Abrego (Stanford University Press)

'Sacrificing Families' by Abrego

Widening global inequalities make it difficult for parents in developing nations to provide for their children, and both mothers and fathers often find that migration in search of higher wages is their only hope. Their dreams are straightforward: with more money, they can improve their children’s lives. But the reality of their experiences is often harsh, and structural barriers—particularly those rooted in immigration policies and gender inequities—prevent many from reaching their economic goals.

Sacrificing Families offers a first-hand look at Salvadoran transnational families, how the parents fare in the United States, and the experiences of the children back home. It captures the tragedy of these families’ daily living arrangements, but also delves deeper to expose the structural context that creates and sustains patterns of inequality in their well-being. What prevents these parents from migrating with their children? What are these families’ experiences with long-term separation? And why do some ultimately fare better than others?

As free trade agreements expand and nation-states open doors widely for products and profits while closing them tightly for refugees and migrants, these transnational families are not only becoming more common, but they are living through lengthier separations. Leisy Abrego gives voice to these immigrants and their families and documents the inequalities across their experiences.

Immigration, Poverty, and Socioeconomic Inequality, edited by David Card and Steven Raphael (Russell Sage Foundation)

'Immigration, Poverty, and Socioeconomic Inequality' by Card and Raphael

The rapid rise in the proportion of foreign-born residents in the U.S. since the mid-1960s is one of the most important demographic events of the past fifty years. The increase in immigration, especially among the less-skilled and less-educated, has prompted fears that the newcomers may have depressed the wages and employment of the native-born, burdened state and local budgets, and slowed the U.S. economy as a whole.

Would the poverty rate be lower in the absence of immigration? How does the undocumented status of an increasing segment of the foreign-born population impact wages in the U.S.? In Immigration, Poverty and Socioeconomic Inequality, noted labor economists David Card and Steven Raphael and an interdisciplinary team of scholars provide a comprehensive assessment of the costs and benefits of the latest era of immigration to the U.S. Immigration, Poverty and Socioeconomic Inequality rigorously explores shifts in population trends, labor market competition, and socioeconomic segregation to investigate how the recent rise in immigration affects economic disadvantage in the U.S.

Race and Immigration, by Nazli Kibria, Cara Bowman, and Megan O’Leary (Polity Press)

'Race and Immigration' by Kibria, Bowman, and O'Leary

Immigration has long shaped US society in fundamental ways. With Latinos recently surpassing African Americans as the largest minority group in the U.S., attention has been focused on the important implications of immigration for the character and role of race in U.S. life, including patterns of racial inequality and racial identity.

This insightful new book offers a fresh perspective on immigration and its part in shaping the racial landscape of the US today. Moving away from one-dimensional views of this relationship, it emphasizes the dynamic and mutually formative interactions of race and immigration. Drawing on a wide range of studies, it explores key aspects of the immigrant experience, such as the history of immigration laws, the formation of immigrant occupational niches, and developments of immigrant identity and community. Specific topics covered include: the perceived crisis of unauthorized immigration; the growth of an immigrant rights movement; the role of immigrant labor in the elder care industry; the racial strategies of professional immigrants; and the formation of pan-ethnic Latino identities.

Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal, by Aviva Chomsky (Beacon Press)

'Undocumented' by Chomsky

Immigrant rights activist Aviva Chomsky shows how “illegality” and “undocumentedness” are concepts that were created to exclude and exploit. With a focus on US policy, she probes how and why people, especially Mexican and Central Americans, have been assigned this status—and to what ends. Blending history with human drama, Chomsky explores what it means to be undocumented in a legal, social, economic, and historical context. She also unmasks how undocumented people live—how they work, what social services they’re eligible for, and how being undocumented affects the lives of children and families. Undocumented turns a fresh lens onto one of today’s most pressing debates.


January 13, 2014

Written by C.N.

Links, Jobs, & Announcements #76

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, with a particular focus on Asian Americans. As always, the announcements and links are provided for informational purposes and do not necessarily imply an endorsement of the organization or college involved.

Post-Doc Fellowship: Cornell Population Center

© Corbis

The Cornell Population Center (CPC) invites applicants for the Frank H.T. Rhodes Post-doctoral Fellowship. The start date for the position will be August 15, 2014 and will be funded for 2 years, subject to a satisfactory first year evaluation. Selection will be based on scholarly potential, ability to work in multidisciplinary settings, and the support of a faculty mentor and CPC affiliate at Cornell who will work closely with the post-doctoral associate.

Preference will be given to fellows with research interests in areas broadly related to the CPC’s four main foci: families & children; health behaviors & disparities; poverty & inequality; and immigration & diversity. Especially encouraged are applications from candidates whose research has significance for those countries on which the fellowship’s funder focuses – the United States, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Vietnam, South Africa, and Bermuda.

The Frank H. T. Rhodes Fellowships stand as a testament to the profound difference Frank Rhodes has made at Cornell by furthering scholarship and research in areas related to poverty alleviation, support for the elderly and disadvantaged children and youth, public health, and human rights. The postdoctoral program is designed to provide support through collaborations with faculty and to assist new scholars in launching their own programs of research. Postdoctoral Associates devote most of their time to independent research, but are expected to be involved in CPC institution building activities, as well.

The postdoctoral associate will have access to the full range of university resources and receive an annual salary of $50,000 plus benefits and a modest research/travel account.

Applications must include: (a) letter of application, (b) curriculum vita, (c) a statement proposing both an individual research project and how the candidate will engage with a CPC faculty affiliate’s on-going research, (d) examples of written work, (e) a letter from a CPC faculty affiliate agreeing to mentor the candidate, and (d) three letters of recommendation. These materials must be submitted online by clicking here. For questions, contact Erin Oates.

Qualifications
Applicants must have a Ph.D. in economics, sociology, public health, public policy, or another related social science discipline by August 15, 2014. Screening of applications begins February 1, 2014, and will continue until the position is filled.

Research Fellowship: Institute of American Cultures, UCLA

The UCLA Institute of American Cultures (IAC), in cooperation with UCLA’s four Ethnic Studies Research Centers (American Indian Studies Center, Asian American Studies Center, Bunche Center for African American Studies, Chicano Studies Research Center) offers fellowships to visiting scholars and researchers to support research on African Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans, and Chicanas/os.

Eligibility/Funding: Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents and hold a Ph.D. from an accredited college or university at the time of appointment. UCLA faculty, staff, and currently enrolled students are not eligible to apply.

Two types of awards will be offered: 1) Visiting Scholar appointments for persons who currently hold permanent academic appointments and 2) Visiting Researcher for newly degreed scholars. In 2014-2015, IAC Visiting Scholars/Researchers will receive funding for one or more quarters, with a maximum stipend of $32,000 to $35,000 for three quarters (contingent upon rank, experience, and date of completion of their terminal degree) and will receive health benefits.

For Visiting Scholars, these funds can be used to supplement sabbatical support for a total that does not exceed the candidate’s current institutional salary. Visiting Scholars will be paid through their home institutions and will be expected to continue their health benefits through that source as well; Visiting Researchers will be paid directly by UCLA. Awardees may receive up to $4,000 in research support (through reimbursements of research expenses), $1,000 of which may be applied toward relocation expenses.

Deasline: Applications must be received no later than 5:00pm, Wednesday, February 5th, 2014, at the Asian American Studies Center, 3230 Campbell Hall or via email. Awards will be announced in April.

Application forms and additional information are available On-Line:

http://www.iac.ucla.edu/docs/2014-2015VisitingScholarsApplication.pdf

Fellowship Period: October 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015.

Pre-Doc Fellowship: Asian American Studies, UConn

Pre-Doctoral In-Residence Fellowship: Asian American Studies Institute

The University of Connecticut is pleased to announce a call for applications for the Pre-doctoral In-Residence Fellowship to advance diversity in higher education. The program will support scholars from other universities while they complete their dissertation or post-MFA study for the term of an academic year. Fellows will have access to outstanding resources, faculty expertise, mentoring and other professional development opportunities.

The Asian American Studies Institute, Institute for African American Studies, Institute of Latina/o, Caribbean and Latin American Studies, and the Women’s, Gender and Sexualities Program will each host one fellow in-residence per year, for a total of four fellowships awarded annually. The faculty in the host institutes currently hold joint-appointments in three different schools at the University: The Neag School of Education, School of Fine Arts, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. All fellows will be appointed jointly between an institute and one of these Schools and College.

Applicants for this opening will be considered for the fellowship hosted by the Asian American Studies Institute. Founded in 1993, the Asian American Studies Institute is a leading East Coast multidisciplinary research and teaching program that reflects the heterogeneity of both Asian American Studies and Asian America. Although the primary focus of the Institute is upon experiences of people of Asian ancestry in America, attention is also given to the study of Asia, since Asian informs the Asian American experience.

This transnational orientation is reflected through the Institute’s research initiatives, teaching, and community outreach. The Institute encourages students to explore the ways in which race, gender, and class are shaped by immigration histories, social inequalities, changing global dynamics and shifting border politics.

Minimum Qualifications: 1.) Be enrolled in a PhD program or be within one year post-MFA in the liberal arts and sciences, fine arts, or education field at schools other than UConn, 2.) Have passed a PhD qualifying examination and be in either the research or writing phase of an approved dissertation or in the case of post-MFA have a project to be completed within the term of a year, 3.) Be conducting research in an area that can contribute to Asian American Studies, and 4.) Have a demonstrated commitment to the advancement of diversity and to increasing opportunities for underrepresented or disadvantaged groups

The program will provide a stipend of $27,000, medical and dental benefits, office space, library privileges, and computer access. A research/travel budget of $3,000 is also included. As part of the program terms, the fellows must be at the University of Connecticut for the duration of the fellowship and will be expected to teach one class and share their work in a public forum.

Applications are accepted via UConn’s Husky Hire website. Applications must include a cover letter, full curriculum vitae, a two-page teaching statement, PhD project description outlining the scope of the project, its larger significance, methodology, and timetable for completion, appropriate example of recent work not to exceed 20 pages, and three confidential letters of recommendation, one of which is from the academic advisor, sent directly in electronic form from the referees to Courtney.Wiley@uconn.edu with the applicant’s name in the subject line.

Post MFA applicants should include an appropriate project description:

  • Choreographers/Dances: documentation of performance
  • Film and Video: links to works
  • Musicians: complete list of works or significant performances
  • Theatre Artists: sample of design portfolio
  • Visual Artists: 20 images
  • Writers: 2-3 short stories, 10-15 poems, or novel passages not to exceed 50 pages

Applicants who apply to this opening will be considered for a pre-doctoral fellowship hosted by the Asian American Studies Institute. If you wish to apply to a fellowship(s) hosted by another Institute, you will need to submit an application directly to that opening. The fellowship hosted by the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program is opening # 2014259, the Institute for African American Studies is opening # 2014263, and the Institute of Latina/O, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies is opening # 2014264. To apply, visit http://jobs.uconn.edu/ and click “Staff Openings,” where you can insert the search number for the position. Application deadline is February 17, 2014.

Summer Internship: Asian American Advocates

OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, a national membership – driven organization dedicated to advancing the political, social, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs), announces the 25th Year Anniversary and open application of the 2014 Summer Internship program.

OCA invites student advocates from all across the nation to apply for the opportunity to be involved in the political process through a national organization. The Internship has successfully led former participants to become more active on their college campus and significantly increased the level of APA civic engagement in local, state, and national public policy issues. A number of OCA alums have pursued careers in public service, advocacy, and as appointed officials as well as non-public sector positions.

“The program is an excellent opportunity for students to be in the dynamic atmosphere of Washington, DC and to continue to discover their self-identities and how to use those identities effectively for our APA community and our country,” said Stan Lou, Vice President on Culture and Education.

Candidates are selected from both two- year and four-year institutions. Typically, the participants are rising juniors, seniors, or recent graduates. The interns are placed in a full-time position in a variety of organizations in the Washington, D.C. area and provided a living stipend. The program exposes participants to public policy and advocacy efforts while gaining invaluable work experience. Placements of the interns are based on individual background, interest, and skill level. Interns are assigned to federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, congressional offices, and public affairs unit of corporations. Moreover, summer interns are also integrated in many OCA programs and activities which include the OCA National Convention in Los Angeles, California.

For more information on the OCA Summer Internship as well as the application, visit OCA’s website at www.ocanational.org and click ‘Internship’ tab under ‘Programs’ Section. Click here to directly access the on-line application. Applications and support materials must be submitted by Monday March 3, 2014; 11:00PM PST.


September 10, 2013

Written by Jerry Z. Park

Cultivating Ethnic and Religious Identities for Chinese Americans

Posted on Black, White and Gray

This past summer I continued my readings in social scientific and popular renderings of ethnicity, race, and religion. In one popular reading I was introduced to early 20th century Chinese history through the perspectives of nationalists and Christian converts. More than a work of history, it is an invitation into Chinese mythology and the sense of the spiritual that animates the minds of many young people.

Noted author and artist Gene Luen Yang, a second-generation Chinese American, recently published a two-volume series called Boxers and Saints. Told from two different perspectives, it revisits the Boxer Rebellion of the early 1900s as seen from two young Chinese people, a man and a woman. Boxers, the larger of the two works sets the stage for the events that are retold in Saints. It’s reminiscent of the two-part film series by Clint Eastwood chronicling the Battle of Iwo Jima from the perspective of US forces (Flags of Our Fathers) and Japanese forces (Letters From Iwo Jima). For film fans, both Eastwood and Yang’s works are preceded by the classic film Rashomon directed by Akira Kurosawa.

For those wanting to know more about the Boxer Rebellion, Boxers and Saints is an easy introduction into this pivotal moment in world history. I say “world history” because while it takes place in China, it is very much the story of western imperialism and evangelicalism which prompted these events in the first place. Yang, an educator at heart, ends both volumes with a list of readings that helped shape his understanding of the events he chronicled. My focus in this post is on the work’s significance for Asian Americans, particularly those with a religious background.

Boxers invites us into a world filled with Chinese gods and demigods who inspire and empower young peasant men to resist what they see as an encroaching Western presence in their homeland. Westerners and their foreign religion of Christianity are cast as devils that must be purged from the land, and only the power of China’s old gods can resist them. Saints similarly imagines a world visited by Catholic saints from the perspective of a young peasant woman who is introduced to this religion by foreign missionaries from the west and converts she meets along the way. She is empowered by Saint Joan of Arc to side with the religious Westerners, Catholic and Protestant missionaries and new Chinese converts. Interestingly, from the perspective of the Christians, the Boxers’ violence is not spiritualized as demonic but rather remain an earthly violent force set on killing them. The turn to the saints is for physical protection.

What struck me was the introduction of this spiritual dimension which plays a significant part for both the participants in the Boxer movement as much as the Christians. In typical readings of these moments, the spiritual is irrelevant apart from a few sidebars of the folklore that ran through local villages who encountered the Boxers or the Christians. But for Yang, the spiritual is very much a part of lived reality and whether it is “real” in some scientific sense may be less important than the notion that spiritual characters motivate people to act in heroic, compassionate and violent ways. Such is the power of belief whether Chinese mythology or Western Christianity, at least during this period.

Boxers and Saints accomplishes more than presenting two sides of an event. For readers who are second-generation Chinese American (or know someone who is) and searching for a sense of rootedness, this work highlights a part of the history that they likely have not heard in any course they have taken in school or college. And perhaps it is not told by their family members who are often working long hours to make ends meet. In the contemporary context, without available resources to help young Chinese Americans take hold of their Chinese roots, their ethnicity might signify little if anything. Boxers and Saints becomes an important means by which ethnicity can be socialized for young people. Sociologists note that ethnicity and religion are both social constructions; understanding Chinese identity and Christian identity require materials that describe the origins and meanings for the group’s existence, along with rituals, and relationships with others who help reinforce what one is learning. In this wayBoxers and Saints, geared at a younger audience, is one such material resource to help inculcate a sense of being a part of the folk religious Chinese people and Christian Chinese people.

Given the fairly strong presence of Christianity within Chinese American circles (about 30 percent based on last year’s Pew Research Center survey on Asian Americans), the second book, Saints, serves a similar function as Boxers by conveying a sense of rootedness with a faith that perhaps seems distal to their Chinese heritage. Reading Boxers and Saints still conveys a sense that Christianity is not Chinese culturally; it is imported by white Westerners. But it does remind readers that Chinese Christians have been around for more than a century. Wrestling with this reality, and coming to terms with it is an important exercise, and perhaps one that could be done in community for these young men and women.

Boxers and Saints extends beyond the Chinese American community as well; second-generation Asian Americans have fairly diverse networks relative to whites and blacks. For those who have friends in the Asian American community, this work can help introduce a perspective that is altogether new as well. It invites non-Asian Americans to consider what it might mean to be both Chinese and American (read: Western). In particular it asks us to think about what it means to be rooted in a culture that is animated by a pantheon of gods rather than one God? With that in mind, what might it mean to encounter the god of foreigners particularly in the midst of geopolitical turmoil involving exploitation? As Chinese immigration continues steadily through the 21stcentury, successive waves of second-generation Chinese Americans will continue to face these same questions of identity be it religious, ethnic or both. Boxers and Saintscould prove a useful tool in helping individuals and groups understand their place in the world, and their place in history.


June 28, 2013

Written by C.N.

Links, Jobs, & Announcements #75

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, with a particular focus on Asian Americans. As always, the announcements and links are provided for informational purposes and do not necessarily imply an endorsement of the organization or college involved.

Fellowship: Center for Asian American Media

© Corbis

Armed With a Camera Fellowship

In its twelfth season, the successful Armed With a Camera (AWC) Fellowship for Emerging Media Artists nurtures the next generation of Asian Pacific American media artists to capture their world, surroundings and outlook on life. Visual Communications works with the Fellows for seven months and provides special training, mentoring and networking opportunities, access to facilities and equipment, plus a cash and rental stipend to create four to five-minute digital shorts that premiere at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and other venues nationwide.

The 2013-2014 Armed With A Camera Fellowship is accepting submissions May 15 – August 2, 2013. Up to 10 artists will be selected for the Fellowship. We will announce the new class of Fellows in September.

Visual Communications (VC) seeks to cultivate a new generation of Asian Pacific American media artists committed to preserving the legacy and vision of VC. The Armed With A Camera Fellowship will award up to ten fellows $1,000 in cash and $1,000 in equipment rental to complete a four to five-minute digital video. Through the Armed With A Camera Fellowship, emerging media artists will capture their world, surroundings and outlook on life as a part of a new generation of Asian Pacific Americans.

Final projects must be shot in digital video format and completed by March 21, 2014. A special program will showcase all completed projects at various VC exhibitions across the city of Los Angeles, including the 2014 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and other venues nationwide. VC will co-own the productions and will also package and distribute completed works. Distribution income will aid in the continuation of the Armed with a Camera Fellowship.

Applicant Eligibility
Eligible applicants must be of Asian Pacific descent and residents of Southern California. If accepted, Fellows must be able to attend mandatory meetings and workshops in Los Angeles. Women, South Asian and Southeast Asian filmmakers are highly encouraged to apply to the AWC Fellowship. If you’re not sure of your eligibility, please contact Visual Communications.

For more details on how to apply for the Armed With A Camera Fellowship, visit the Visual Communications website.

Online Survey: Asian American LGB

My name is Brianna Werner, and I am a research assistant to Dr. Frances Shen, a faculty member at the University of Illinois Springfield. We are in need of university student participants to complete a survey on the impact of discrimination on Asian American LGB persons.

We are seeking individuals who (1) identify as Asian American, (2) identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual, and (3) are at least 18 years of age to complete a confidential web-based survey that will ask you about the impact of discrimination on Asian American LGB persons.

The entire study should take approximately 30-40 minutes. The answers you provide will be kept completely confidential. You will not be asked to provide your name on the inventory. This research has been reviewed and approved by the UIS Human Subjects Review Officer, Dr. Lynn Pardie. Dr. Pardie can be reached at 217-206-7230 to answer any questions about your rights as a volunteer participant in this study.

As a thank you, participants who complete the survey can enter into a lottery drawing to win one of four $25 gift certificates or one of four $50 gift certificates.

For more information about the study, and to participate, please go to https://illinois.edu/sb/sec/4852751.

Sincerely,
Brianna Werner
Dr. Frances Shen

Online Survey: Interracial Relationships

You are invited to participate in a study exploring relationships among People of Color. The requirements are as follows: you must be 18 years of age or older; a Person of Color, and be involved in an interracial relationship for a minimum of one year. Participation in this study is voluntary and anonymous and you will not be compensated.

If you would like to participate or have any questions please contact Magie S. Maekawa at magiemaekawa@gmail.com or click on the following hyperlink: https://csulapsychology.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_ebQFLDRt1n30oHX.

Thank you very much,
Magie S. Maekawa

Call for Submissions: Race & Social Problems Journal

Call for Papers: Submit your manuscript for publication in Race and Social Problems.

We welcome manuscripts that explore, but are not limited to, such topics as criminal justice, economic conditions, education, the elderly, families, health disparities, mental health, race relations, and youth.

To submit a manuscript, please visit www.crsp.pitt.edu/publications/CallForPapers.pdf. Articles in the journal are available for free online at http://link.springer.com/journal/12552. In 2014, there will be a special issue on Asian Americans. You may submit your manuscript to www.crsp.pitt.edu/publications/SpecialIssueCallforPapers2013-2.pdf.

Expected future special issues of Race and Social Problems include the following:

  • Women of Color, 2015
    Race and Religiosity, 2016
    Race and Education, 2017
    Race and Aging, 2018

June 14, 2013

Written by Jerry Z. Park

Hmong, Indian, What’s the Difference?

(Article cross-posted from BlackWhiteandGray)

Recent news on the higher education scene has turned attention to the Asian American case, or cases we should say. A team of education researchers led by Dr. Robert Teranishi used data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey and the University of California higher education system to make the case that Asian American ethnic groups are not all performing in the “model minority” way. As some readers know, Asian Americans tend to be grouped together as if they were a racial equivalent to “white” “black” and sometimes “Hispanic.”

When this kind of grouping occurs, scholars and interested citizens look for similarities and differences between racial groups on outcomes like educational attainment, household income, poverty levels, health etc. From this classification approach Asian Americans tend to appear exemplary on a number of outcomes. Take for example, last year’s Pew report on Asian Americans. Using the American Community Survey, Pew shows an aggregate figure for bachelor’s degree attainment and median household income in 2010 for Asian Americans. As the title of their figure states “Asian Americans Lead Others in Education, Income.”

Teranishi and colleagues’ report disaggregates, that is, splits into smaller groups, the Asian American classification using the same data, and this is what they find. In this first graph we see bachelor’s degree attainment across multiple Asian American groups and we find surprising differences across the board. At the one end, Taiwanese and Asian Indian Americans report over 71% within each group with a bachelor’s degree. At the other end, about 12% of Laotian and 15% of Hmong Americans claim the same educational attainment. So while it is the case that Asian Americans as a group appear to have a lot of education, the reality is that only certain groups are showing this level attainment.

Now let’s look at household income. Using the median household income ($66,000 according to the Pew report) for all Asian Americans, Teranishi et al. disaggregate that figure and show the following.

As you can see, at one extreme, Asian Indian Americans exceed the Asian American household income mean by over $21,000 on average. Hmong Americans are below that same mean by almost the same amount. In fact 9 out of the 15 groups are below the Asian American mean. And 7 of these groups are lower than the white American average.

What this suggests is that Asian Americans are highly diverse socioeconomically. To the extent that the model minority myth is applied to this collection of SES-diverse groups, it masks the evident differences among them. Read the full report here to find out more about the benefits of disaggregation especially in higher education within the University of California system. Similar kinds of analyses were conducted by Dr. Paul Ong and associates who disaggregated homeownership and cash public assistance rates across Asian ethnic groups in several different areas of the US.

The slide show report on some of their findings is here, and the regional reports are here. Like Teranishi et al.’s report, disaggregation of Asian American homeownership, other assets and public assistance shows that the rates of these socioeconomic patterns vary a lot by Asian ethnic group.

Some might ask: then why is the overall Asian American average so high to begin with. The answer is a matter of population size. Look back at the disaggregated figures. Pick out these groups: Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese. These groups take up 83% of all Asian Americans. Statistically, the other groups are not numerically large enough to alter the educational attainment or household income average of the largest six groups since they take up a greater share of the population. We should remember too, sizable numbers of Asian Americans in the larger groups do not share in the picture of “success” that their same-ethnic peers experience.

In our racialized society, we like our groups to be simple; we prefer to ignore the diverse realities within the groupings we create. By using “Asian American” as shorthand for “the successful minority” we mask major differences in the outcomes that presumably all Asian Americans share. Notably, our social programs often utilize this assumption and give next to nothing for vulnerable Asian Americans. This in turn makes Asian American inequalities invisible.

Hopefully more leaders and concerned citizens will grow aware of the problem we create when we use the stereotype of “the high –achieving, hard-working minority.” Reports and studies, like the one produced by Dr. Teranishi that disaggregate the Asian American data story expand our own understanding that this story is not just diverse culturally, but socioeconomically as well.


Written by C.N.

Introducing Jerry Z. Park, Another New Contributing Author

As another contributing author to the Asian-Nation team, I would like to introduce Jerry Z. Park.

Jerry Z. Park is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Baylor University. His research interests are in American race relations, religion, social identities, culture and civic engagement, with a focus on Asian Americans. He has published peer-reviewed articles in journals such as Social Forces, The Sociological Quarterly, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Sociological Perspectives, and Journal of Asian American Studies.

He has participated in obtaining the Asian American oversample of the Portraits of American Life Survey Wave I (2006) and has been a regular contributor of the Baylor Religion Surveys (2005-2013). In 2012, he served as an advisory panel member of the Pew Asian American Survey and is currently studying the religious influences in workplace outcomes and in entrepreneurial enterprises through a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Since 2012 he is a feature blogger on “Black, White and Gray: Where Christianity and Sociology Meet” on Patheos.com, and looks forward to joining the team at Asian-Nation. Address: One Bear Place #97326, Baylor University, Waco, TX 76798.

Welcome aboard, Jerry. It’s great to have you be a part of the expanding Asian-Nation team and I and my readers look forward to reading your posts!


Written by C.N.

Links, Jobs, & Announcements #74

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, with a particular focus on Asian Americans. 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: Asian American Studies, CUNY

© Corbis

The Asian American Studies Program at CUNY unexpectedly needs to find an instructor to teach our introductory survey course, Asians in the U.S. (ASIAN 210) for this fall. The course is already scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:00 – 8:15pm; students have registered, so there is unfortunately no leeway in terms of rescheduling.

The ideal candidate is someone from an interdisciplinary (preferably social science) background who can present a knowledgeable and enthusiastic introduction to the field – key texts, concepts, etc. – while also illustrating the relevance of AAS in a contemporary context (e.g. post-9/11 detention and deportation, DACA, Fisher v. UT Austin, etc.).

Very briefly, ASIAN 210 examines historical and contemporary Asian American experience in the context of American historical racial, labor and foreign policy developments and the impact of the current rapid expansion of Asian American communities on America’s social and political order. Here is an example of one instructor’s course description:

In Asian 210, we will read about and discuss the historical and contemporary experiences of Asian Americans living in the United States, looking at the historical origins of what it means to be ‘Asian American,’ as well as the social, political, cultural, and economic implications of this term. Students will learn about concepts having to do with the social construction of race, ideology, class-consciousness, gender, sexuality, pan-Asian solidarity, media representations, political activism, as well as the history and future of the field of Asian American Studies.

In our readings and conversations, we will focus our attention on three different areas: Asian American history (as seen in Ronald Takaki’s Strangers from a Different Shore), theoretical foundations within Asian American Studies (in Wu and Song’s Asian American Studies: A Reader), as well as a wide range of literary works (presented in Hagedorn’s anthology Charlie Chan is Dead 2). In addition, we will screen a number of film- and video-based pieces (documentary, experimental, and feature-length) that expand on issues in the class.

Interested candidates should contact me via email and include their CVs and a cover letter that includes a brief pedagogical statement.

Many thanks,

Jennifer Hayashida, Director
Asian American Studies Program
Hunter College, CUNY
695 Park Avenue, Rm 1338 West
New York, NY 10065
212.772.5660
jennifer.hayashida@hunter.cuny.edu
www.hunter.cuny.edu/aasp

Position: Director of APIA Affairs, Univ. of Florida

My name is Kayla Tran and I serve as the University of Florida’s Asian American Student Union President. UF has been on the search for our next APIA Director since March, and would greatly appreciate assistance in spreading the word about this job opening.

As you may already know, the southeastern U.S. is a region that has yet to fully access AA resources and expertise, so you can imagine the growing amount of diversity opportunities at our flagship university. The individual to fill this position will have full autonomy of programming and communication with students, faculty and staff to shape the UF APIA community and environment.

The application deadline is Monday June 23, 2013 and a full job description can be found at https://jobs.ufl.edu/postings/41708. A brief summary of the position is below:

The Director of Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) Affairs is a vital member of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs in the Division of Student Affairs. This position provides leadership, education, and services for the students regarding multicultural awareness and by creating an inclusive campus community. The Director of APIA Affairs coordinates and plans multicultural and intercultural education activities, trainings and programs for the campus community that educate and promote awareness, understanding and appreciation of diversity and multiculturalism on campus. The Director is also responsible for the support of the Asia

Please help my fellow Gators in whatever means you feel comfortable with: by passing this along to anybody who may be interested, inclusion a communications newsletter, etc.

Thank you in advance for your earnest attention and assistance to this process,
Kayla Tran

Call for Papers: New Journal in Asian & Asian American Studies

Verge: Studies in Global Asias
Senior Editors, Tina Chen and Eric Hayot

Verge: Studies in Global Asias is a new journal that includes scholarship from scholars in both Asian and Asian American Studies. These two fields have traditionally defined themselves in opposition to one another, with the former focused on an area-studies, nationally and politically oriented approach, and the latter emphasizing epistemological categories, including ethnicity and citizenship, that drew mainly on the history of the United States.

The past decade however has seen a series of rapprochements in which, for instance, categories “belonging”to Asian American Studies (ethnicity, race, diaspora) have been applied with increasing success to studies of Asia. For example Asian Studies has responded to the postnational turn in the humanities and social sciences by becoming increasingly open to rethinking its national and regional insularities, and to work that pushes, often literally, on the boundaries of Asia as both a place and a concept.

At the same time, Asian American Studies has become increasingly aware of the ongoing importance of Asia to the Asian American experience, and thus more open to work that is transnational or multilingual, as well as to forms of scholarship that challenge the US-centrism of concepts governing the Asian diaspora.

Verge showcases scholarship on “Asian” topics from across the humanities and humanistic social sciences, while recognizing that the changing scope of “Asia” as a concept and method is today an object of vital critical concern. Deeply transnational and transhistorical in scope, Verge emphasizes thematic and conceptual links among the disciplines and regional/area studies formations that address Asia in a variety of particularist (national, subnational, individual) and generalist (national, regional, global) modes.

Responding to the ways in which large-scale social, cultural, and economic concepts like the world, the globe, or the universal (not to mention East Asian cousins like tianxia or datong) are reshaping the ways we think about the present, the past and the future, the journal publishes scholarship that occupies and enlarges the proximities among disciplinary and historical fields, from the ancient to the modern periods. The journal emphasizes multidisciplinary engagement—a crossing and dialogue of the disciplines that does not erase disciplinary differences, but uses them to make possible new conversations and new models of critical thought.

Queries and Submissions should be sent to: verge@psu.edu

Issue 1: Open Issue

The history of scholarship on Asian America, when juxtaposed with the fields of Asian Studies, reminds us how much nations, national movements, and other forms of national development continue to exert powerful effects on the world in which we live. Such movements also remind us of the importance of inter-nationalism, of the kinds of networks that can spring up between states and which can work to disrupt the smooth passage of the planet into a utopian post-national future. The growing interest in the global and the transnational across disciplines thus brings the various Asia-oriented fields and disciplines—history and literature, Asia and Asian America, East and South, modern and premodern—closer together.

This inaugural issue seeks to feature work that illustrates the diverse engagements across disciplines (literature, history, sociology, art history, political science, geography) and fields (Asian Studies and Asian American Studies) that are possible once we begin thinking about the possible convergences and divergences such divisions have traditionally represented. We welcome a range of perspectives; featured contributors include Ien Ang, Dean Chan, Alexandra Chang, Catherine Ceniza Choy, Magnus Fiskejo, Pika Ghosh, Evelyn Hu-Dehart, Yunte Huang, Suk-young Kim, Joachim Kurtz, Meera Lee, Wei Li, Colleen Lye, Sucheta Mazumdar, Tak-wing Ngo, Haun Saussy, David Palumbo-Liu, Sheldon Pollack, Shuh-mei Shih, Eleanor Ty, and Jeffrey Wasserstrom.

Submission deadline: December 1, 2013

Issue 2: Asian Empires & Imperialism (edited by On-cho Ng and Erica Brindley)

The nature of Asian empires in the past, as well as the definition of imperialism in contemporary times, is a topic of ongoing discussion among scholars from a wide range of fields. In this special issue of Verge, we will explore a cluster of issues concerning the mechanics and influence of empires, imperial authority, and imperial types of influence over indigenous cultures and frontiers in Asia, as well as their diasporas abroad and in the USA.

We invite submissions that address one or some of the following questions: How did various imperial efforts interact with local concerns to shape the history of cross-cultural interactions in this region? How did imperial regimes propose to solve the issue of a multi-ethnic empire? What were the roles of specific geographic and economic spheres in Asia (such as those of nomadic, agricultural, maritime, high altitude or lowland, and far-flung/diasporic cultures) in contributing to the distinctive quality of certain empires? How do certain characteristics of imperial administration and control in Asia compare to those of imperial states in other regions of the world?

In addition to questions concerning the long history of Asian imperialism and comparisons with other empires, we also solicit submissions that speak to questions concerning contemporary Asian diasporas and their reactions to various forms of imperialism in the modern age. Questions might address such topics as “Yellow Peril” fears about Asian cultural imperialism; Japanese internment camps as a US response to Japanese imperial expansion in the Pacific; the Tibetan diaspora in South Asia and the Americas as a reaction to contemporary Chinese imperialism; Vietnamese responses to French, Chinese, or American imperialisms, and the treatment of Japanese-Americans in Hawaii in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor.

Submission deadline: April 1, 2014

Issue 3: Collections (edited by Jonathan Abel and Charlotte Eubanks)

As a construct and product of powerful institutions from empires, to nation-states, museums, to universities, Asia has long been formulated at the level of the collection. Whether through royal court poetry compilations, colonial treasure hunters, art historians, bric a brac shop keepers, or librarians of rare archives, the role of collecting and classification has been deeply connected not only to definitions of what counts as Asia and who can be considered Asian, but also to how Asia continues to be configured and re-configured today.

With this in mind, this special issue of Verge seeks to collect papers on the history, finance, psychology, politics and aesthetics of collecting Asia in Asia and beyond. This collection hopes not only to bring into relief how “Asia” has been created but also to promote new definitions of Asia. What, for instance, are the historical implications of government-sponsored poetry anthologies in Mughal India, Heian-era Japan, or 20th century North Korea? What do the contents of treasure-houses — at Angkor Wat, Yasukuni Shrine, or Vishwanath — tell us about evolving concepts of art and of the elasticity of cultural and national contours?

When did Japan become a geographical base for the collection of Asia? Who collects Chinese books? How has Indian art been defined by curatorial practices? Why did South Korea begin to collect oral histories in the 1990s? What politics lie behind the exhibition of mainland Chinese posters in Taiwan? How much money do cultural foundations spend on maintaining collections? Where are the limits of Asian collections in geographical and diasporic terms? How do constructions of these collections impact our views of the collective, whether of Tibetan exiles in Dharamsala, Japanese internment camps in Indonesia, global Chinatowns, or adherents of new Asian religions in the Americas and former Soviet Republics?

This issue is interested in the various cultures of collecting Asia and collecting Asians, in the many politics of collecting, in the odd financial restrictions on collectors, in the psychology of collecting, in the anthropology of how communities form around collected objects, and in the sociology around collective histories.

Submission deadline: November 15, 2014

Issue 4: Asian Urbanisms and Urbanizations (edited by Madhuri Desai and Shuang Shen)

In the contemporary age of globalization, the city has gained new importance and attention as a center of information industry, a node of transnational and translocal networks, and a significant site of capital, labor migration and culture (Saskia Sassen, Manuel Castells and David Harvey). While this renewed interest in the city both perpetuates and revises theories of the city as a metaphor of modernity (Walter Benjamin, Georg Simmel), it also opens up questions regarding the uniqueness and relevance of earlier cities and their experience of urbanization. When we move us away from Eurocentric understandings of modernity and time, it becomes increasingly possible to study non-European urbanisms in the past and at present with theoretical rigor and historical specificity.

For this special issue, we invite submissions (around 8000 words) that explore urbanism as a site of comparison and connection among various Asian locales and beyond. We are interested in not just studies of Asian cities and their urban experience but also how “Asia” has been imagined both historically and contemporaneously, through urbanism and urbanization, and how “Asia” as a term of travel is registered in the urban space. This special issue will draw attention to the following questions: As cities become increasingly connected and similar to each other, how do they express their distinct identities as well as articulate their unique histories?

Besides circulation, movement, and networks that have been much emphasized in contemporary studies of the city, how do borders, checkpoints, and passwords function in urban contexts? How does the city articulate connections between the local, the national, and the transnational? How does the Asian experience of urbanization and ideas surrounding Asian urbanism revise, rethink, and in some cases revive Asia’s colonial past? What does the Western perspective on some Asian cities as unprecedented and futuristic tells us about the imagination of Asia in the global context? How do migrant and ethnic communities negotiate with and redefine the public space of the city? How is the urban public shared or fragmented by co-existing ethnic and religious communities? How is the rising cosmopolitanism of these cities challenged through migration and sharply defined ethnic and religious identities? We invite submissions that address these questions within the context of Early modern, colonial and contemporary urbanisms and urbanizations.

Deadline: June 1, 2015

New Film: “Fading Away”

There are more than 3.9 million Korean War veterans and over 6.8 million American veterans who served in the Korean War. Now in their 80s, they are beginning to fade away, like their memories. As the weight of age falls heavier upon them, their voices grow quieter as they retreat into silence. With no one asking about their stories, they have no one to tell – until now.

“Fading Away” showcases a series of never before told stories from a group of unique Korean War veterans and refugees through a series of insightful interviews and the use of rare historical film footage, photos and other archival material. These veterans and survivors share their stories in their own words with their sons, daughters and grandchildren with memories of catastrophe, fear, and the pains they vividly remember.


June 5, 2013

Written by C.N.

Online Survey: Southeast Asian American Students & College Success

Below is a solicitation for respondents for an online survey about Southeast Asian American college students and recent graduates.

= = = = = = = = =

Dear Dr. Le:

We are conducting a study on the lived experiences of Southeast Asian American undergraduate students and recent graduates to understand how they navigated to and through higher education. The insights gained from this research may have implications for how faculty, administrators, and policymakers create supportive environments for and improve student success among Southeast Asian American students in Massachusetts.

We are using criterion sampling to recruit and identify participants for individual interviews. Interviews will last approximately 2 hours. If you are a Southeast Asian American college student or recent graduate, please fill out this short questionnaire to find out if you qualify to participate in the study.

Participation is totally voluntary and your responses will be kept confidential. After you have completed the questionnaire, we will let you know if you will be selected for interviews. Participants who complete the interview process will be given a $20 gift card as an honorarium. Please email us with any questions or concerns.

Please also forward this link to any Southeast Asian American undergraduates and recent graduates:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1u2tXp2GaXe9_KfuP7Ll9bGg4Yu8w2HQgb-Qosz33RrI/viewform. Thank you for your time and consideration.

All the best,

Dr. Kimberly A. Truong
Dr. Ronald E. L. Brown
Dr. Tryan L. McMickens

SEAAchievement@gmail.com
Suffolk University IRB# 458950-1

This research is being supported by the UMass Boston Asian American Student Success Program.


April 29, 2013

Written by C.N.

New Books: Challenges and Rewards of Racial/Ethnic Diversity

Below are some recently-released books that highlight the challenges and the rewards associated with racial/ethnic diversity in U.S. society. Almost all types of heterogeneity is likely to produce strain and tension, but if dealt with in certain ways, can also result in many positive changes and greater cohesion as well. These books provide some glimpses into how these dynamics are taking place as we speak. A book’s inclusion is for informational purposes only and does not necessarily mean a full endorsement of its contents.

Bridging the Diversity Divide: Globalization and Reciprocal Empowerment in Higher Education: ASHE Higher Education Report, by Edna Chun and Alvin Evans (Jossey-Bass Publishing)

'Bridging the Diversity Divide' by Chin and Evans

The sweeping forces of globalization present new challenges for higher education but also represent a clear mandate for change. Because of the unfinished business of remedying the underrepresentation of minorities and women in higher education, this book is designed to assist campus leaders and educators in the difficult process of cultural transformation in support of diversity and inclusion. The book explores the model of reciprocal empowerment as a moral framework linking the institution’s values, culture, and workplace practices to the outside world through the prism of diversity.

Bridging the Diversity Divide is a practical guide that provides concrete approaches to the creation of a genuinely inclusive campus. Its focus is on research-based strategies that will enable institutions of higher education to assess current practices, create successful action plans, and move beyond structural representation to true reciprocal empowerment. The measurement strategies, organizational learning tools, and best practices included here will assist institutions of higher education in building a flexible repertoire of institutional approaches to reciprocal empowerment and inclusion.

Only by systemic organizational change will universities bridge the diversity divide and create a campus culture that values and celebrates the contributions of all its members. This is a must-read for educators seeking to translate diversity principles into practice.

Postville: USA: Surviving Diversity in Small-Town America, by Mark A Grey, Michele Devlin, and Aaron Goldsmith (Gemma Media)

'Postville' by Grey, Delvin, and Goldsmith

Postville is an obscure meatpacking town in the northeast corner of Iowa. Here, in the most unlikely of places, unparalleled diversity drew international media. Now people declare the town’s experiment in multiculturalism dead. It was not native Iowans, or the newly-arrived Orthodox Jews, or the immigrant workers who made Postville fail.

Postville was stopped in its tracks by a massive raid by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on May 12th 2008. 20% of the population was arrested, forcing the closure of the town’s kosher meatpacking plant. The raid exposed the disastrous enforcement of immigration policy, the exploitation of Postville by activists, and disturbing questions about the packing house’s operators.

Ethnoburb: The New Ethnic Community in Urban America, by Li Wei (University of Hawai’i Press)

'Ethnoburb' by Wei

This innovative work provides a new model for the analysis of ethnic and racial settlement patterns in the United States and Canada. Ethnoburbs — suburban ethnic clusters of residential areas and business districts in large metropolitan areas — are multiracial, multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual, and often multinational communities in which one ethnic minority group has a significant concentration but does not necessarily constitute a majority. Wei Li documents the processes that have evolved with the spatial transformation of the Chinese American community of Los Angeles and that have converted the San Gabriel Valley into ethnoburbs in the latter half of the twentieth century, and she examines the opportunities and challenges that occurred as a result of these changes.

Traditional ethnic and immigrant settlements customarily take the form of either ghettos or enclaves. Thus the majority of scholarly publications and mass media covering the San Gabriel Valley has described it as a Chinatown located in Los Angeles’ suburbs. Li offers a completely different approach to understanding and analyzing this fascinating place. By conducting interviews with residents, a comparative spatial examination of census data and other statistical sources, and fieldwork—coupled with her own holistic view of the area—Li gives readers an effective and fine-tuned socio-spatial analysis of the evolution of a new type of racially defined place. The San Gabriel Valley tells a unique story, but its evolution also speaks to those experiencing a similar type of ethnic and racial conurbation. In sum, Li sheds light on processes that are shaping other present (and future) ethnically and racially diverse communities.

On Being Different: Diversity and Multiculturalism in the North American Mainstream, by Conrad Kottak and Kathryn Kozaitis (McGraw Hill)

'on Being Different' by Kottak and Kozaitis

Understanding of cultural diversity is essential to a healthy multicultural society. Fundamental to this book’s approach is the belief that a comparative, cross-cultural view of human differences and similarities enhances understanding of diversity and multiculturalism within contemporary North America.

On Being Different provides an up-to-date, comprehensive, and interdisciplinary account of diversity and multiculturalism in the United States and Canada. Conrad Kottak and Kathryn Kozaitis clarify essential issues, themes, and topics in the study of diversity, including ethnicity, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. The book also presents an original theory of multiculturalism, showing how human agency and culture work to organize and change society. The authors use rich and varied ethnographic examples, from North America and abroad, to help students apply the material to their own lives, and thus gain a better understanding of diversity and multiculturalism.

The Imperative of Integration, edited by Elizabeth Anderson (Princeton University Press)

'The Imperative of Integration' by Anderson

More than forty years have passed since Congress, in response to the Civil Rights Movement, enacted sweeping antidiscrimination laws in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968. As a signal achievement of that legacy, in 2008, Americans elected their first African American president. Some would argue that we have finally arrived at a postracial America, but The Imperative of Integration indicates otherwise.

Elizabeth Anderson demonstrates that, despite progress toward racial equality, African Americans remain disadvantaged on virtually all measures of well-being. Segregation remains a key cause of these problems, and Anderson skillfully shows why racial integration is needed to address these issues. Weaving together extensive social science findings–in economics, sociology, and psychology–with political theory, this book provides a compelling argument for reviving the ideal of racial integration to overcome injustice and inequality, and to build a better democracy.

Considering the effects of segregation and integration across multiple social arenas, Anderson exposes the deficiencies of racial views on both the right and the left. She reveals the limitations of conservative explanations for black disadvantage in terms of cultural pathology within the black community and explains why color blindness is morally misguided. Multicultural celebrations of group differences are also not enough to solve our racial problems. Anderson provides a distinctive rationale for affirmative action as a tool for promoting integration, and explores how integration can be practiced beyond affirmative action.

Offering an expansive model for practicing political philosophy in close collaboration with the social sciences, this book is a trenchant examination of how racial integration can lead to a more robust and responsive democracy.

Alien Neighbors, Foreign Friends: Asian Americans, Housing, and the Transformation of Urban California, by Charlotte Brooks (University of Chicago Press)

'Alien Neighbors, Foreign Friends' by Brooks

Between the early 1900s and the late 1950s, the attitudes of white Californians toward their Asian American neighbors evolved from outright hostility to relative acceptance. Charlotte Brooks examines this transformation through the lens of California’s urban housing markets, arguing that the perceived foreignness of Asian Americans, which initially stranded them in segregated areas, eventually facilitated their integration into neighborhoods that rejected other minorities.

Against the backdrop of cold war efforts to win Asian hearts and minds, whites who saw little difference between Asians and Asian Americans increasingly advocated the latter group’s access to middle-class life and the residential areas that went with it. But as they transformed Asian Americans into a “model minority,” whites purposefully ignored the long backstory of Chinese and Japanese Americans’ early and largely failed attempts to participate in public and private housing programs.

As Brooks tells this multifaceted story, she draws on a broad range of sources in multiple languages, giving voice to an array of community leaders, journalists, activists, and homeowners—and insightfully conveying the complexity of racialized housing in a multiracial society.

Dangerous or Endangered?: Race and the Politics of Youth in Urban America, by Jennifer Tilton (New York University Press)

'Dangerous or Endangered' by Tilton

How do you tell the difference between a “good kid” and a “potential thug”? In Dangerous or Endangered?, Jennifer Tilton considers the ways in which children are increasingly viewed as dangerous and yet, simultaneously, as endangered and in need of protection by the state.

Tilton draws on three years of ethnographic research in Oakland, California, one of the nation’s most racially diverse cities, to examine how debates over the nature and needs of young people have fundamentally reshaped politics, transforming ideas of citizenship and the state in contemporary America. As parents and neighborhood activists have worked to save and discipline young people, they have often inadvertently reinforced privatized models of childhood and urban space, clearing the streets of children, who are encouraged to stay at home or in supervised after-school programs. Youth activists protest these attempts, demanding a right to the city and expanded rights of citizenship.

Dangerous or Endangered? pays careful attention to the intricate connections between fears of other people’s kids and fears for our own kids in order to explore the complex racial, class, and gender divides in contemporary American cities.


April 24, 2013

Written by C.N.

The Homogenization of Asian ‘Beauty’

Miss Korea 2013 Contestants

I was doing my daily browsing of Reddit, the popular online news, humor, and information aggregation site, and came across this submission that caused me to do a double-take: Korea’s Plastic Surgery Mayhem is Finally Converging on the Same Face: Miss Korea 2013 Contestants. The picture on the right shows the 21 contestants of the Miss Korea 2013 beauty pageant.

Although there are differences in hairstyle and dress, at least when it comes to the contestants’ faces, I have to say that I agree with the page’s consensus that all the women look virtually the same.

Physical Homogeneity and the Yellow Peril

As such, this brings up a few different implications. The first, as mentioned in several of the Reddit comments, is that it seems to reinforce the unfortunate stereotype that all Asians look the same. On the one hand, there tends to be a certain degree of visual conformity and homogeneity in beauty pageants in general, but as many Asian Americans can attest to, this particularly stereotype about all Asians looking the same unfortunately feeds into the image of us as the Yellow Peril — the depiction of Asians as a faceless and almost sub-human mass bent on attacking, taking over, and/or destroying U.S. society, its economy, and culture.

This imagery of Asians as the Yellow Peril can be seen in the graphic below from the 1800s, which is actually a magazine advertisement for soap (that’s what Uncle Same is holding in his left hand). The image’s main focus however, is on him kicking out the Chinese out of the country toward the squinty-eyed sun in the horizon. Just as important is the imagery of physically indistinguishable Chinese scurrying into the background, the Yellow Peril vanquished by American might and superiority. As described elsewhere on this blog, this stereotype that all Asians are the same has also led to many tragic instances of blatant bigotry, discrimination such as racial profiling, and even violence.

Anti-Chinese image from 1800s

Conformity to Western Beauty Standards

Secondly, the image of the Miss Korea 2013 contestants brings up the question of whether Asians and Asian Americans are implicitly or explicitly conforming to dominant western standards of physical beauty. Within the Asian American community, this question has taken the form of the debate about the cultural implications of Asian Americans getting cosmetic surgery and in particular, whether procedures such as double-eyelid surgery, breast augmentation, and using products to whiten one’s skin represent conforming to western standards of beauty. This question is highlighted in a segment from ABC’s NightLine from a couple of years age:

Of course, there are passionate opinions on both sides of this debate about these particular cosmetic procedures represent conforming to western standards of beauty, but more generally, I would venture to say that most people, Asian American and otherwise, would agree that westerns ideals of beauty are still a dominant force in the media and fashion industries in industrialized nations around the world and do indeed exert an influence on how young Asian American women judge themselves and their physical appearance.

The downside to such pressures can often be disastrous for Asian American women and take such forms as eating disorders, depression, and when combined with other pressures to conform to the model minority image, even suicide.

The Ironies of Multiculturalism

The irony in all of this is that, in the context of globalization, multiculturalism, and increased racial/ethnic diversity in U.S. society, our society has generally been more open and likely to recognize and celebrate more diverse forms of cultural representation. But one area in which this does not seem to be the case is standards of physical beauty where western and White images and idealizations still predominate. Even in the ABC NightLine video segment above, while the overall trend is toward greater inclusion of Asian and Asian American models in the fashion industry, the reality of their portrayals have included an underlying profit motive to tap into the burgeoning Asian consumer market and (inadvertently?) homogenizing the models.

Going back to the contestants of the Miss Korea 2013 pageant, like most people, I would certainly concur that the young women are all attractive just based on their physical appearance. Nonetheless, I hope that Korean and western societies in general will eventually acknowledge and appreciate that beauty can take many diverse forms and can wear more than just one face.


I am very pleased to report that this post is the 1,000th post published on the Asian-Nation blog. Thank you for helping to keep Asian-Nation going strong since 2001 and here’s to the next 1,000 posts and beyond!


April 16, 2013

Written by Calvin N. Ho

Sociological Images Course Guide: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

I have compiled and organized a course guide about Asians, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders for the public sociology blog Sociological Images. The guide contains links to Sociological Images posts, organized by theme. Hopefully it will be useful for instructors teaching courses in sociology, anthropology, ethnic studies, and related fields. I will be updating it periodically as new posts on the topic get published.

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