The views and opinions expressed on this site and blog posts (excluding comments on blog posts left by others) are entirely my own and do not represent those of any employer or organization with whom I am currently or previously have been associated.
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.
I recently received the following email from a family that is seeking help to identify an Amerasian from Viet Nam. Feel free to circulate among your friends and networks and to contact them directly (email address is at the end of the post) if you can provide any information or assistance.
Good Afternoon Professor Le,
My purpose in contacting you is due to my direct involvement in the support of my husband, who is a Vietnam War veteran, who has recently embarked upon a search to learn if he had fathered a child during his time in Vietnam. Larry Gentz was stationed in Vietnam from December 1969 through December 1970.
He and I are in contact with a number of the Amerasian communities on Facebook, who have been very gracious and supportive in allowing us to post Larry’s military service time and locations, along with his photos upon their Facebook pages. In addition, Larry recently completed his DNA test and we are awaiting those results. It is my desire that we are able to connect with all of the appropriate Amerasian support groups in an effort to broaden our chances of success in learning the answer to his question regarding did he leave a child or children in Vietnam.
Shortly after we embarked upon our search, I came upon a photo taken in March of 1988 of a group of Amerasian youth (below), which had been taken at Dai Lo Park in Saigon. One of the youth in the photo bears a striking resemblance to my husband. In talking with my husband of the possibility that the young man (who would now be in his mid-forties) could possibly be his son, Larry identified that he had been stationed 15 miles from where the young man was then living when his photo was taken. I learned that the park became know as Amerasian Park due to the Amerasians coming to the park and living there in order to be in close proximity to the American Consulate Office.
I realize that I’ve given you a ton of information, assuming on my part that you would know where to direct me in my continued search of trying to locate a man based solely upon a picture taken 27 years ago. I’m posting the photo of the young man, who is identified by the asterisk on his shirt, along with a photo of my husband Larry taken in 1970 in Vietnam, which shows the strong resemblance between the two. This photo has been used extensively in various articles regarding the plight of the children who were left behind following the departure of their military personnel fathers.
The photographer of the photo, Robert Mulder, has given me permission to use his photo in the search for this young man. As Mr. Mulder shared with me, when he took the photo of the youth, they were anxious to have their picture taken in the hope that their fathers would see them, and then search for them. In the case of my husband’s search, this has happened in seeing the resemblance of the one young man to my husband.
Wife of Larry Gentz, a Vietnam War veteran
Today, April 30, 2015, is the 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, the day when the North Vietnamese officially overthrew the South Vietnamese government and ended the Viet Nam War. As summarized in more detail in my article “A Modern Day Exodus,” most immediately, the Fall of Saigon led to a series of events that resulted in the hurried departure of over 125,000 Vietnamese out of the country to be eventually resettled into western nations such as the U.S. For a detailed historical summary of the Fall of Saigon, I highly recommend the documentary being shown this week on PBS stations all across the U.S., the Last Days in Viet Nam.
My family was among those who left Viet Nam in this first wave of refugees in the days immediately after the Fall of Saigon. I would like to share a few memories and reflections on this occasion and relate it my life in the U.S. now, and what my life likely would have been if I had stayed in Viet Nam.
The Journey Out
I was only five years old around this time. People frequently ask me what it was like back then and back there, and I always tell them the same thing — I had no idea a war was going on. The few memories that I have of that time were all very happy and normal ones — I remember going to the zoo with my parents, traveling into the countryside to take pictures with my dad and his friends on the weekends, and riding around with my dad on his motorcycle (to the right is a portrait of me, my little sister, mom, and dad from 1973). Fortunately or unfortunately, I have no memories of our departure out of the country, so what I am about to describe is what my parents have told me through the years about our exit from Viet Nam.
Both of my parents had worked for the South Vietnamese military, and in close conjunction with the U.S. military up until the Fall of Saigon. After finishing his education as a Structural Engineer, my father enlisted in the South Vietnamese Army Corps of Engineers and several of his first projects involved working closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. After five years, his tour of service was complete and he left the army and eventually opened his own engineering firm in Saigon. My mother started working for the South Vietnamese government and U.S. military as an office clerk (her brother Trang, also an engineer, worked with my father and eventually introduced them to each other).
After a few years, she eventually was promoted to writing radio propaganda programs (the “Voice of Freedom” program, eventually renamed the “Voice of Mother Viet Nam”) for South Viet Nam that were broadcast throughout the country. She was still working at this job right up to the Fall of Saigon. In these capacities, both of my parents would have been obvious targets for retaliation and punishment by the North Vietnamese had they stayed in the country. Fortunately, her South Vietnamese and U.S. employers arranged for our family’s exit out of the country by first evacuating us to the island of Phu Quoc, located off the southwestern coast of Viet Nam and about 100 miles west of Saigon, a week before the Fall of Saigon.
The North Vietnamese forces officially toppled the South Vietnamese government and took over the country on April 30, 1975. They issued a public announcement that said all U.S. personnel and their South Vietnamese allies had 24 hours to leave the country. After this announcement, panic and chaos ensued as our family and the hundreds of other Vietnamese families on Phu Quoc with us tried to arrange passage off the island and onto any U.S. vessel that would take us out of the country. Later that night, a cargo ship was dispatched to pick us and all the other evacuees up from Phu Quoc island. But we needed a way to reach that cargo ship located in the Gulf of Thailand. Eventually, we and other evacuees were able to board a small fishing boat and set off toward the cargo ship.
My uncle Trang’s family (my mother’s brother, who introduced my mom and dad to each other) were also with us on Phu Quoc, since he had worked for the South Vietnamese government as well. The plan was for all of us to stay together and to leave the country together. However, in the confusion of the moment, my uncle decided that he needed to try to secure some food for everyone before we boarded the cargo ship, so he kept his most of his family behind while he got a loaf of bread from one of the local villagers. Unfortunately, after he returned to the beach, all of the fishing boats had left. He and his family were now stuck and left behind on Phu Quoc.
My grandmother (my mom’s mother) did leave with my family on one of the fishing boats. Once our fishing boat neared the cargo ship, there was a “traffic jam” of dozens of other fishing boats and hundreds of other Vietnamese who were also trying to board the ship. The only way to get closer to the cargo ship was to jump from boat to boat. In the process of doing so (also remembering that this was in the middle of the night), our family got separated from our grandmother. Our grandmother was not physically mobile enough to jump from boat to boat, especially after the boats began drifting away from each other. Unfortunately, she was also left behind after everyone left and no one was around to help her.
Although my family had successfully boarded the cargo ship and were now on our way to the Philippines to eventually be resettled in the U.S., both of my parents were in shock and traumatized over losing first, their homeland, the country of their ancestors. Second, they (especially my mother) were traumatized that many of our loved ones, including her mother, brother, and brother’s family, did not make it out of the country and were left behind and in my brother’s case, would ultimately be singled out for punishment and sent to one of the notorious “reeducation” camps.
Connecting the Past and the Present
It would be more than 20 before my parents were able to return to Viet Nam and to see their relatives again. Unfortunately my mom’s mother had passed away in the meantime and my mom was never able to see her again. Nonetheless, in the intervening years, we did everything we could to send money to my uncle’s family, support them to achieve a comfortable, middle class standard of living, and sponsor them to immigrate to the U.S. One of my dad’s brothers received a visa and immigrated to the U.S. about 10 years ago. But for various reasons, no one in my uncle’s family has been able to immigrate to the U.S.
In our case, because both of my parents were relatively well-educated and proficient in English, they were able to get relatively good jobs soon after we were resettled in southern California. After just two and a half years, we were able to save and borrow enough money to buy a house in the suburbs and take a big step toward achieving the American dream. As I reflect on the past 40 years, I am very thankful to have gotten out of Viet Nam, to become an American, and to have access to the kinds of social and economic opportunities that billions of people around the world can only dream about.
One of those billions is my cousin Bao, the only son of my uncle Trang (the one who made the fateful decision to get a loaf of bread at Phu Quoc). He and I were born only six months apart and growing up in Viet Nam, we were basically brothers. Bao is now married with three young children. With his parents, he has been able to achieve a comfortable middle class lifestyle. He’s even been able to buy two cars in recent years. Nonetheless, he has been, and continues to be, desperate to leave Viet Nam in order to give his children a chance at a better life.
As I compare my life with his on this 40th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, I can’t help but think that I easily could have been in his place. I easily could have been the one left behind while he was successful in boarding the ship to leave the country. I easily could have been the one to have suffered and been punished by the North Vietnamese. I easily could have been the one thinking that I and my family have no future as long as we stay in Viet Nam. I know that there are plenty of injustices and inequalities that I and others like me face in the U.S., but I cannot escape the fact that, compared to my cousin Bao, I am a very fortunate person to be where I am.
My cousin Bao recently told me that he is making one last ditch effort to leave Viet Nam by paying a labor recruiter to get him a job in the U.S. doing manual labor at a meat processing plant somewhere in the Midwest. If this employer is able to obtain a Labor Certificate for him (in which the employer can document that there are very few American workers available and willing to work in this job), supposedly Bao would be able to take his entire family to the U.S. while he works for at least one year at this meat processing plant and in the meantime, apply for permanent residency (i.e., a “green card”) for him and family to ultimately stay in the U.S. permanently. If everything goes according to plan, Bao will have to pay the labor recruiter around $40,000 by the end of this whole process.
Personally, I am a little skeptical at the legitimacy of this arrangement and have my suspicions that it may be a scam. I recently spoke to an immigration attorney who said that while the fees that this labor recruiter is charging are very high, this labor certification process is legitimate and if my cousin Bao is able to obtain such a certification, it could be a successful method for him and his family to immigrate to the U.S. But there are a lot of “ifs” along the way and many points within this plan where everything could fall apart and Bao would have basically no recourse whatsoever.
Nonetheless, I certainly cannot fault Bao for trying everything he can to leave Viet Nam. He too is aware of the multitude of barriers that he and his family would face if and when they come to the U.S. But his desire to leave Viet Nam is so strong that he is willing to endure all of these challenges so that his children can have a chance at a better life.
So on this anniversary of the Fall of Saigon and as I reflect on my life in the intervening years, I am reminded of the events and emotions that took place 40 years ago — the desperation and resilience of so many Vietnamese to leave for a better life for themselves and their families — and I see that these emotions and desires are still as strong today as they were back then. I also see that life can change in a split second and can lead to such dramatically different outcomes.
Within all of this, I am also very happy for being both Vietnamese and being able to draw on this history and community of strength and resilience, and to also be American and being in a nation that, despite its ample problems and shortcomings, is still the destination of choice for billions of people all around the world.
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: Korean American Studies, U.C. Riverside
The Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside, announces a tenured Associate or Full Professor position in Korean American Studies, beginning July 1, 2013. Advanced degree in field related to theories and principles of Korean American Studies is required. The candidate should be a scholar with demonstrated record of commitment to research, grant writing, fundraising, teaching excellence, and community service.
UCR is a research institution with high expectations for scholarly productivity and excellence in teaching. Position supports the Young Oak Kim Center for Korean American Studies at UC Riverside with research and inquiry to facilitate effective Center planning, decision making and mission fulfillment. Salary will be commensurate with education and experience.
Interested candidates should send electronic applications of their curriculum vitae, a cover letter describing their interest in and fit for the position, research and teaching statements, and 2-3 sample essays; journal articles, book chapters, or other works-in-progress (if available) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, arrange to have at least three letters of recommendation sent to email@example.com.
All application materials should be sent as email attachments in a PDF format and addressed to: Edward T. Chang, Recruitment Committee Chair, Ethnic Studies Department. Review of applications will commence on February 1, 2013. We will continue to accept applications until this position is filled.
Position: Sociology/Globalization, Christopher Newport Univ.
The Department of Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology at Christopher Newport University invites applications for a non-tenure appointment as Lecturer or Instructor of Sociology/Social Work to begin August 19, 2013. This is a one-year appointment, with potential for renewal depending upon the incumbent’s performance and University need. The teaching load is 4-4. The position requires a Ph.D. granted, or nearly completed, in Sociology or Social Work, or a closely related field. Candidates with a MSW from a CSWE-accredited program and a minimum of two years post-MSW practice experience are strongly encouraged to apply.
A hired candidate with a Ph.D. in hand by August 19, 2013 can anticipate an initial appointment of Lecturer. A hired candidate with a Ph.D. nearly completed can anticipate an initial appointment of Instructor. We seek creative, effective teachers who are committed to excellence in undergraduate teaching in the context of liberal learning. Expertise and/or willingness to teach in one or more of the following areas is strongly preferred: Globalization; Race, Class and Gender; Macro-Practice or Field Instruction.
To apply, send a letter of interest, statement of teaching philosophy, graduate transcripts (photocopies acceptable for initial screening), and three letters of reference to:
Director of Equal Opportunity and Faculty Recruitment
Sociology/Social Work (Lecturer/Instructor) Faculty Search
Christopher Newport University
1 Avenue of the Arts
Newport News, VA 23606-3072
Review of applications begins February 25, 2013. Applications received after February 25, 2013, will be accepted but considered only if needed. Search finalists are required to complete a CNU sponsored background check.
Position: Immigration & Diaspora, Pratt Institute
The Department of Social Science and Cultural Studies in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Pratt Institute invites applications for the position of Assistant Professor with expertise in the study and teaching of immigration and diaspora. Areas of specialization might include, but are not limited to, Memory, Trauma, Genocide, War Crimes, Stateless Peoples and Human Rights. This is a full-time, tenure-track faculty position available August 2013.
Pratt is an internationally recognized school of architecture, art, design, information science, writing, and critical and visual studies. Its strong programs in architecture, film, video, photography, computer graphics and other areas of art and design draw students from diverse cultural and geographical backgrounds. The Department of Social Science and Cultural Studies contributes to the students’ core education and also has its own major in Critical and Visual Studies. The Institute is located on a 25 acre campus in the historic Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn.
Teach six courses per year to students from a range of disciplines
Contribute to either the department’s World History program and/or the Minor in Psychology
Develop curriculum in Social Science and Cultural Studies
Serve on department, School and Institute committees
Provide outreach to other departments in the Institute
Complete individual research projects
Perform all other related activities as required
Salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.
The successful candidate will have a Ph.D in a core area of the social sciences, history, psychology or philosophy. ABD will be considered only for otherwise exceptionally accomplished applicants. While disciplinary field is open, preference will be given to candidates who can contribute to the Department’s World History program or to building a departmental Minor in Psychology. Candidates must have at least one (preferably two) year’s college level teaching experience in an institution other than the one in which terminal degree was earned. Strong evidence of future scholarly productivity is essential.
Please submit only your cover letter, resume/CV, and the names and contact information for three professional references. Review of application will begin on February 25, 2013 and continue until the position is filled.
Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics (LEAP) 2013 Leadership In Action Program
Developing emerging young leaders
Bridging self and community
Taking learning beyond the classroom
Approaching its 16th year, LEAP’s eight-week Leadership In Action (LIA) Summer Internship Program offers a unique opportunity for personal leadership development with hands-on training and exploration of the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) nonprofit sector. Interns will be placed at a nonprofit organization four days a week and will receive leadership training with LEAP once a week.
The 2013 program will be held in Los Angeles from June 17 – August 9, 2013. (Applicants must be able to commit to the entire program). The intern will be paid $2,500 for the eight-week internship.
Applicants will be evaluated based on demonstration of leadership, community service, interpersonal skills, written and verbal communication skills, maturity and professional demeanor, and grade point average.
Applicants must have completed two years of college by June 18, 2013
Applicants must be either currently enrolled in college or a recent graduate
Interested applicants must submit all application materials by Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Conference: Latino Communities
Latino Communities in Old and New Destinations: Multi-Disciplinary Approaches to Assessing the Impact of Legal Reforms
University of South Florida
University of South Florida System Internal Awards Program
Department of Sociology, USF
College of Arts & Sciences, USF
Citizenship Initiative, USF
Institute for the Study of Latin America and the Caribbean (ISLAC), USF
Dates and Location: November 8, 2013, Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, St. Petersburg, FL.
Theme: Latinos/as in the United States are increasingly diverse with regards to their countries of origin, race, social class and immigrant status. Long-standing Latino communities in traditional ‘gateway’ cities are diversifying as they are receiving new Latin American immigrants at the same time that immigrant Latinos/as are establishing thriving communities in new destinations.
As Latinos in these communities incorporate into the United States, they encounter federal, state and local laws that are often in tension with one another. Homeland Security programs continue to result in detentions and deportations of undocumented immigrants and state laws modeled after Arizona’s S.B. 1070 continue to be proposed and passed; at the same time, recent federal initiatives are providing temporary legal status to select populations and new laws are expanding the social safety net for Latino/a citizens through reforms such as the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Moreover, immigration laws are often intertwined with policies that affect other realms of social life, such as education and social welfare. Unclear is how these recently enacted laws and initiatives are currently affecting and will continue to shape the various dimensions of Latino/a lives in both old and new destinations.
This conference seeks to bring together leading scholars who are researching a variety of social, economic and political issues confronting Latino communities in both old and new destinations to answer the question of how these laws, including current efforts at immigration reform, are affecting the lived experiences of Latinos/as—both recent arrivals as well as those who have been in the United States for generations. This will be the common theme uniting the conference panels.
Specific topics of interest include: how recently enacted laws and policies affect the educational prospects of Latinos/as? What are the consequences and implications of legal uncertainties and the contradicting realities dictated by federal, state and local laws for the psychological states of immigrants and their children, including their health and family well-being? How are proposals for immigration reform being received by Latinos/as (both immigrant and U.S. born) in old and new destinations, particularly how they affect civic engagement and political attitudes?
Consideration also will be given to papers that focus on more general issues of critical importance to all Latinos/as regardless of destination (e.g., health, crime, politics, inter-ethnic relations, gender, etc.). Preference will be given to works in which empirically and theoretically meaningful comparisons may be drawn between Latinos/as in old and new destinations, and in which the impact of federal reforms and state and local laws on Latino populations is assessed.
To bring together a group of social scientists from across the country involved in cutting-edge research on issues of importance to Latino/a populations
To learn how recent changes in federal, state and local laws and current legislative attempts are shaping the lived experiences of Latinos/as around the country
To identify areas of future research within Latino Studies and their policy implications by collectively proposing an agenda for future work in this field that would advance our knowledge of Latino communities across the country
The inter-disciplinary journal, American Behavioral Scientist, has committed to publishing a select group of manuscripts for a special issue on the general themes of the conference. Laura Lawrie, Managing Editor for the journal, will attend the one-day conference as well as the second-day workshop centered on preparing the selected manuscripts for publication.
Please submit an extended abstract (1-2 pages single spaced) of your paper in which you identify a research question, theoretical framework, data source and methodology by March 31, 2013 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put in the subject line of the email: Latino/a Conference Submission. Papers will be due by September 1, 2013. Conference funds will be used to pay for two nights of lodging at the Vinoy and meals for the day of the conference for the author of each manuscript that is accepted for presentation and completed by the due date. A workshop will be held the day after the conference for those authors whose completed papers will be part of the special issue of ABS. Questions should be directed to Elizabeth Aranda (email address above).
Call for Applications: 2013 East of California Junior Faculty Retreat
Location: University of Illinois at Chicago
July 25-27, 2013
Application Deadline: April 1, 2013
This July, East of California and University of Illinois at Chicago will host a junior faculty development workshop for early-career Asian Americanists. The workshop reflects EOC’s historical commitment to mentoring junior faculty and providing support to those working to increase the disciplinary and curricular visibility of Asian American Studies in higher education. Specifically, the workshop will help professionalize junior faculty by focusing on how to:
Create extra-institutional networks of support
Identify meaningful research projects and develop vocabularies for how to talk about such projects with a variety of audiences (department chairs, audiences outside of Asian American Studies, potential editors)
Confront pedagogical challenges
Establish effective collegial relationships
Navigate the tenure process successfully
To accomplish these goals, the workshop will feature panel discussions, breakout sessions, and work-in-progress workshops. The workshop will begin on Thursday (7/25) and conclude on Saturday (7/27). We will provide lodging for two nights (Thurs-Fri) and some meals (depending on funding). Participants will be expected to cover their own travel.
Please note that space will be limited to ensure a high level of interaction among all participants. Interested scholars should submit:
Brief letter of application outlining what the applicant hopes to gain by attending the workshop
Draft or excerpt of approximately 7-15 pages of the article or book chapter being proposed for workshop development (only work that has not yet been published is eligible)
Please send materials (and questions) to Mark Chiang (email@example.com) and Sue J. Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This event is funded by the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Connecticut Asian American Studies Program, Northwestern University, DePaul University and UMass Lowell.
Food and Immigrant Life: The Role of Food in Forced Migration, Migrant Labor, and Recreating Home
The 29th Conference in the Social Research Series
Presented By The Center For Public Scholarship At The New School
April 18-19, 2013, NYC
The conference will examine the complex relationships between food and migration. Food scarcity is not only at the root of much human displacement and migration-the food industry also offers immigrants an entry point into the U.S. economic system and it, simultaneously, confines migrants to low wages and poor, if not unsafe, work conditions. In addition, food allows immigrants to maintain their cultural identity. The conference places issues of immigration and food service work in the context of a broader social justice agenda and explores the cultural role food plays in expressing cultural heritage.
The keynote address will be given by Dolores Huerta, co-founder and first Vice President Emeritus of United Farm Workers of America, on Thursday, April 18 at 6:00pm.
Conference participants include Aurora Almendral, Sean Basinski, Yong Chen, Alexandra Délano, Hasia Diner, Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, James C. Hathaway, Saru Jayaraman, Ellen Ernst Kossek, Marie Myung-Ok Lee, Arup Maharatna, Fabio Parasecoli, Jeffrey Pilcher, Dwaine Plaza, Krishnendu Ray, Monique Truong, Koko Warner, and Tiphanie Yanique. The complete conference program and speakers’ bios are available online.
The New School’s Center for Public Scholarship and the Food Studies Program presents this conference in collaboration with the Writing Program, India China Institute, Vera List Center for Art and Politics, Center for New York City Affairs, Global Studies Program, Gender Studies Program, and International Center for Migration, Ethnicity, and Citizenship (ICMEC).
$45 Full Conference + Proceedings
$15 per Session + Proceedings
Free for all Students, New School Alumni, Staff (Eligible to Buy Proceedings For $9)
We Petition the Obama Administration to:
Work with Congress to Establish a National “Immigrants Day” Holiday
There are currently 11 federal holidays many of which recognize landmark moments and people that quintessentially shaped America. These include Independence Day, Veterans Day, Labor Day, and MLK Day.
America is a nation founded by immigrants and still composed largely of first-generation immigrants and their families, all of whom share a common dedication to the American Dream. Further, the landmark passage of the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act fundamentally changed American demographics and remains a model of immigration legislation worldwide.
This petition proposes that the White House work with Congress to establish October 3, the day the 1965 Immigration Act was signed by Pres. Johnson, as national ‘mmigrants Day to celebrate immigrants and remember our history of immigration. Please consider signing the online petition.
Call for Participants: Vietnamese
I am currently engaged on a research project for the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, examining that often-neglected period in the Vietnam War from the moment the last U.S. ground combat unit left country to President Ford’s official declaration that the conflict was at an end. I am particularly interested in the experiences of the Southern Vietnamese people when faced with the increasing encroachments of the NLF and PVA. I wonder if any of those reading this might have memories of this time or heard stories from their parents. I would be most grateful for any help in this quarter. Please contact me at the email below.
Research in the Sociology of Work is accepting manuscripts for Volume 26, focusing on “Immigration and Work” (Expected publication early 2015).
We invite manuscripts that address issues of immigration and work broadly defined, such as entrepreneurship, labor markets, low-wage and high-wage work, technology, globalization, equity and discrimination, and racial/ethnic relations in the workforce. Submissions may be quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods. We welcome submissions from all fields. The deadline for submission of manuscripts is February 1, 2014.
Submit manuscripts/inquiries/abstracts to Jody Agius Vallejo (Editor, Volume 26), University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Department of Sociology. Electronic submissions to email@example.com preferred.
Here are some more announcements, links, and job postings about academic-related jobs, fellowships, and other related opportunities for those interested in racial/ethnic/diversity issues. As always, the announcements and links are provided for informational purposes and do not necessarily imply an endorsement of the organization or college involved.
Call for Participants: BBC Documentary on Viet Nam War
I am a BBC journalist writing from London. I work on a history programme called “Witness”, which focuses on significant events in the recent past. The hundreds of subjects that we have looked at have included the trial of Nelson Mandela, the bombing of Hiroshima and the beginnings of the civil rights movement in America — to name just a few. Our programme is broadcast to a large audience around the world.
And in the weeks ahead we very much hope to focus on the stories of those who fled Vietnam by boat at the end of the war there in the 1970s. We are simply looking for interviewees who might be willing to tell us — in quite strong English — what they went through. I realise that, for some, remembering such traumatic events this will not be at all easy. But we would like to be able to remind our listeners around the world what the Vietnamese boat people endured. We want to record their story for our archive.
Would you, I wonder, be able to put me in touch figures in the Vietnamese refugee community who might be able to help in our search for interviewees? They can contact me through my email below.
The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) is kicking off its Scholarship Program for the 2011 academic year. At the national level, JACL offers over 30 awards, with an annual total of over $60,000 in scholarships.
JACL Membership, which is required for applications, is open to anyone of any ethnic group. Membership dues can be paid online or with the application. The 2011 National JACL Scholarship Program informational brochure and applications are posted on the JACL website.
JACL Scholarship applications for Undergraduate, Graduate, Law, Creative & Performing Arts, and Financial Aid. The deadline for these applications is April 1, 2011. These are to be sent directly by the applicants to: National JACL Scholarship Program, c/o Portland JACL, P.O. Box 86310, Portland, OR 97286.
For additional information regarding the JACL National Scholarship Program, please contact Patty Wada at (415) 345-1075 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youth Justice Leadership Institute Seeks Applicants for 2011-2012 Program Year
The National Juvenile Justice Network seeks applicants for the pilot year of its Youth Justice Leadership Institute. The Institute’s mission is to create the foundation for a more effective juvenile justice reform movement by developing a strong base of well prepared and well trained advocates and organizers who reflect the communities most affected by juvenile justice system practices and policies.
The Institute’s inaugural year will focus on cultivating and supporting professionals of color. The Institute is a robust, year long program that includes leadership development, training in juvenile justice system policies and practices, and advocacy skills development. The Institute will bring fellows together twice during the year, attach each fellow to a mentor and envelope fellows within the larger juvenile justice reform community.
If you are a professional of color and are interested in applying for the Institute, please visit our web site to download our application packet or contact the Institute’s Coordinator, Diana Onley-Campbell, at email@example.com. Applications are due on April 26, 2011.
The “Chinese shop” in all its manifestations (laundry, bakery, restaurant, general store, etc.) has been integrally connected to Chinese migration and the experience of overseas Chinese. Indeed, the Chinese shop has been both a site of economic and symbolic exchange – a complex locus of power and performative societal tensions and identifications. As such, the consideration of Chinese shop space provides an intriguing staring point from which to investigate many key socio-political issues for Chinese diasporic communities.
Hosted at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, this conference aims to bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to investigate how the space and place of the Chinese shop (broadly defined) has been conceived of and experienced for overseas Chinese. In particular, it seeks to explore the transformative socio-cultural, economic and political processes that create the space and place of the Chinese shop both within Chinese diasporic communities and in terms of encounters between the Chinese and their host societies.
We encourage panels and papers with diverse disciplinary approaches to this theme, including those that consider the Chinese shop within transnational, hemispheric and/or comparative contexts. Topics might include, but are not limited to the following:
The representation and imagination of shop space
The political contestations and designations of shop space
Theoretical deliberations on the spatial dimensions of the Chinese shop
The shop as gendered space
The shop as racialized space
The historical, social and economic implications of the Chinese shop
The impact of nationalism, globalization, colonialism, and/or imperialism on Chinese shop space
The deadline for abstracts is Friday, April 29th, 2011. Abstracts and CVs can be submitted online by clicking on the “Submit Abstracts” link in the menu on the right-hand side of the page. Additional questions can be addressed to Dr. Anne-Marie Lee-Loy at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A scholarship fund has been established in honor of Warren E. Miller for participation in the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) 2011 Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research. Professor Miller was not only one of the most prominent figures in modern social science research. He was also the founder of both ICPSR and the ICPSR Summer Program.
The Warren E. Miller Scholarship Fund will provide financial support to outstanding pre-tenure scholars (assistant professors and advanced graduate students) in the social and behavioral sciences so they may attend one or both of the four-week sessions in the 2011 ICPSR Summer Program. Recipients of the Miller Scholarship will receive a fee waiver to cover Program enrollment and a stipend to help with expenses while staying in Ann Arbor. Applicants to the Warren E. Miller Scholarship should have professional interests in one or more of the following areas of research (or in related fields):
Developing a common approach to understanding electoral behavior within or across nations
Understanding the process of democratization in electoral systems
Understanding the link between global politics and local electoral behavior
Understanding how context influences political behavior
Understanding how globalization causes change in political behavior
Application materials for the Miller Scholarship should be submitted electronically, through the ICPSR Summer Program’s online Portal on the Summer Program’s website. Applicants should register for the 2011 Summer Program using the online form and select classes in one or both of the four-week sessions. Note that course selections may be modified and changed later. But, the Miller Scholarship Committee may use an applicant’s preferred courses as a criterion in the selection process for the scholarship. Along with a completed registration, an application must include:
A current vita
A cover letter from the student, explaining how participation in the ICPSR Summer Program will contribute toward completion of the Ph.D.
Two letters of recommendation. For applicants who are faculty members, one of these letters should come from his or her Department Chair. For graduate student applicants, one of the letters should come from his or her faculty advisor or dissertation chairperson. Letters of recommendation should be e-mailed directly to email@example.com. Letter writers should include “MILLER SCHOLARSHIP RECOMMENDATION” and the applicant’s name in the subject line of the e-mail message.
The application deadline for the Warren E. Miller Scholarship is April 29, 2011. Further information about the ICPSR Summer Program, including course descriptions and the 2011 schedule, is available on the Program website. Also, you should feel free to contact the ICPSR Summer Program by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by telephone (734-763-7400) if you have any questions.
Call for Papers: Critical Refugee Studies
Conference on Critical Refugee Studies
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
November 3-4, 2011
Displacement of populations affects the uprooted as well as communities that receive them. Recognized by international proxy after World War II, the identity category of refugee has a history as long as the incidence of warfare and other crises that result in displacement. This conference uses the 20th century invention of the category of refugee as a means to compare the experiences of displaced persons across time and space.
We invite papers that chronicle and reflect on the experiences and representations of refugee populations. In particular, we are interested in work that expands the idea of the refugee to create comparisons and parallels with the experiences of other groups. Papers that define the term refugee broadly and creatively are most welcome. Among the questions we invite:
How do refugee identities compare to those of other migrants?
As local and global political contexts change, how do refugees conceptualize notions of citizenship and home?
How are refugee identities in dialogue with concepts of place/displacement?
What is the role of memory and the creation of refugee texts?
How is the refugee experience mediated/mass mediated?
Abstracts by May 15, 2011 to: email@example.com.
Michael Rios, Director, Sacramento Diasporas Project, University of California-Davis
Romola Sanyal, Lecturer in Global Urbanism, Newcastle University
Ghita Schwarz, New York Legal Aid, Author, Displaced Persons
Shirley Tang, Asian American/American Studies University of Massachusetts, Boston
Dinaw Mengestu, Author, The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears; How to Read the Air (To Be Confirmed)
Call for Papers: Disability in Asian America
Amerasia Journal Special Issue Call for Papers: The State of Illness and Disability in Asian America
Guest Editors: Professor Jennifer Ho (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) and Professor James Kyung-Jin Lee (University of California, Irvine)
We seek critical essays and articles as well as creative non-fiction and first-person accounts that engage with the intersections of Asian American discourse and illness/disability studies, for a special issue of Amerasia Journal, scheduled for publication in 2012.
Since, as scholar Michael Berube observes, “the definition of disability, like the definition of illness, is inevitably a matter of social debate and social construction,” we are interested in how these social constructions of disability and illness coincide, collide, and converge with those of ethnicity and race, along with other axes of intersectionality such as gender, sexuality, class, region, religion, age, and education.
Critiquing the narrow perspective of the discipline, scholar Chris Bell has noted “the failure of Disability Studies to engage issues of race and ethnicity in a substantive capacity, thereby entrenching whiteness as its constitutive underpinning.” One goal of this special issue is to provide another forum in which to challenge entrenched whiteness within Disability and Illness Studies as well as to bring to the foreground the state of illness and disability within the Asian American community. Contributors to this special issue may consider the following questions:
What is the role of illness and disability within Asian American narratives—be they in fiction, non-fiction, or cinematic form—and/or how is the ill or disabled Asian American body represented within these narratives?
How are illness and disability regarded within Asian American communities and cultural productions?
What are the special needs of Asian Americans who face life threatening and chronic illnesses?
What kinds of accommodations do Asian Americans with disabilities find most challenging in light of their ethnic and cultural backgrounds and/or as a result of their racialization as non-white Americans?
How might Asian American experiences of disability and/or illness invite a reimagination of what constitutes a “good” life practice or way of living, and what kinds of social transformations would be necessary to make this so?
Submission Guidelines and Deadlines:
Due Date for one-page abstracts: June 15, 2011. Due Date for solicited final papers: January 2012. Publication Date: Fall 2012. The editorial procedure involves a three-step process: The guest editors, in consultation with the Amerasia Journal editors and peer reviewers, make decisions on the final essays:
1. Approval of abstracts
2. Submission of papers solicited from accepted abstracts
3. Revision of accepted peer-reviewed papers and final submission
Please send correspondence regarding the special issue on illness and disabilities studies in Asian American Studies to the following addresses. All correspondence should refer to “Amerasia Journal Disabilities Studies Issue” in the subject line.
Professor Jennifer Ho: firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor James Kyung-Jin Lee: email@example.com
Arnold Pan, Amerasia Journal: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call for Papers: Mixed-Status Immigrant Families
“In Between the Shadows of Citizenship: Mixed Status Families”
Guest Editors: Mary Romero, Professor, Arizona State University, Justice and Social Inquiry and Jodie Lawston, Assistant Professor, California State University San Marcos, Women’s Studies
Despite the fact that immigration stories are increasingly featured in U.S. popular media discourse and an immigrant justice movement continues to strengthen, little scholarship has focused on the experiences of immigrants and their families, and especially, families who are mixed status in that they are comprised of both citizens and noncitizens. This edited volume aims to examine the experiences of immigrants and mixed status families in terms of work and education, raids, deportations, and detention, and resistance toward anti-immigrant sentiment. We welcome and encourage work that examines not just the experiences of immigrants in the U.S., but the experiences of immigrants around the globe.
The questions we are interested in exploring include but are not restricted to the following: What forms of work do immigrant women engage in to support their families? What are the struggles of undocumented students? How do raids, deportations, and detention affect families? How do such phenomena affect mixed status families? What are the experiences of immigrants, particularly women and children, in detention? How have changes in laws affected undocumented immigrants and their children? What strategies have justice movements used to protect undocumented men, women, and children? How are countries around the world approaching immigration and undocumented immigration, and how does that compare to U.S. policies? We seek explorations and answers to these questions that engage notions of gender, race and ethnicity, place, and culture as well as documentation and analysis of leadership and activism.
The following topical areas broadly outline the subject matter that we see as most relevant to this volume. These can be used as starting points for papers, but authors are not restricted to them:
The effects of detention on immigrant families, particularly in separating those families
The impact of family reunification
The intersection of work and immigration status
The effects of immigration status on students
The effects of raids and/or deportations on families
Changes in laws and resulting effects on immigrants’ lives
Immigrant justice work
Comparative studies of issues related to immigration in different parts of the world
The intersections of race, class, gender, and with immigration status
We are interested in both academic papers and testimonies from immigrant women on the above topics.
Submission Process: Proposals for academic papers or testimonies, no longer than three pages, should be emailed to Jodie Lawston at email@example.com by Wed. June 15, 2011. Author(s) must include all identifying information on the proposal, including name, title, institutional affiliation, address, phone numbers, and email. After the deadline, we will review proposals and contact authors as to which manuscripts we are interested in reviewing for the book. Proposals must include the subject matter of the paper, methods used for your analysis, and the argument you plan to make based on your data.
I’ve been a little remiss in mentioning that this year marks the 35th anniversary of the end of the Viet Nam War and the start of the eventual exodus of several million Vietnamese out of Viet Nam since South Viet Nam’s capital of Saigon fell to the communists on April 30, 1975. Around this time 35 years ago, my family and I were temporarily living in Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, one of the four major housing centers set up by the U.S. government to process and eventually resettle the first wave of Vietnamese refugees arriving from Viet Nam.
After living in Ft. Chaffee for a couple of months, we moved to Camp Pendleton, CA to take custody of my cousin who had been separated from her parents in the chaos of trying to leave Viet Nam (her parents never made it out) and she was eventually “adopted” into our family. From there, we were resettled into the Los Angeles area and began our lives as Vietnamese Americans.
For me and many Vietnamese Americans in general, this annual reflection on the end of the Viet Nam War is a bittersweet moment. On the one hand, this occasion is a time of sadness as many of us mourn the devastation of the war, how many of our friends, relatives, and family members suffered and even died as a result, and how we had to make the difficult choice to leave our homeland behind, perhaps forever.
On the other hand, this occasion is also a time of thankfulness as many of us reflect on being able to escape to the U.S. where we had the chance to begin a new, and in many ways a better life for ourselves and our successive generations. We reflect on our gratitude of living in a country where our material lives are undoubtedly better but just as important, where we have individual freedoms that our counterparts back in Viet Nam can only dream of.
As a reflection of the two sides of this anniversary of the fall of Saigon and end of the Viet Nam War, two sets of stories capture both the anguish and the elation of this occasion. The first two links present a visual montage of the chaos, suffering, and sadness of the war’s end (some of the photos are rather graphic and may not be suitable for children). The first photo collection is from the Boston Globe.
The second photo collection comes from the Denver Post.
Reflecting the other side of this occasion, two stories represent how Vietnamese Americans have built their lives in the U.S. in the decades since while at the same time while still keeping in touch with the legacy of the Viet Nam War. The first article is by Andrew Lam and he profiles “Viet Kieu” (overseas Vietnamese) who have returned to the land they left and how they’re helping rebuild the country:
Nguyen Qui Duc, a Vietnamese refugee who became an American radio host and the author of the memoir Where the Ashes Are, has found yet another incarnation in his mid-50s: Bar owner and art curator in Hanoi, Vietnam. Why would he come back to the country from which he once fled? “Home is where there’s a sense of connection, of family, of community,” he said after struggling to find a single answer. “And I found it here.”
Duc is one of nearly 500,000 Viet Kieu — Vietnamese living overseas — who return to Vietnam yearly, many only to visit relatives, but others increasingly to work, invest and retire. The majority of the people who return are from the United States, where the largest Vietnamese population overseas resides. Indeed, 35 years after the Vietnam War ended, the Vietnamese diaspora is now falling slowly, but surely, back into Vietnam’s orbit. . . .
Vietnamese overseas are playing an important role in Vietnam’s economic life. According to Vietnam’s Chamber of Commerce, in 2008, despite the slowdown in the world economy, Vietnam received overseas aid of more than $7.4 billion. The Vietnamese government said that the diaspora is reducing poverty and spurring economic development. Official development assistance pledged to Vietnam in 2008 by international donors was $5 billion; the overseas population contributed $2.4 billion more.
The second article from the Denton Record Chronicle (TX) highlights similar experiences of “coming home” from the perspective of Vietnamese orphans who fled their country decades ago and are now looking to reconnect in a very personal way:
Thirty-five years ago, Ho and Cope left South Vietnam with the entire Cam Ranh City Christian Orphanage, a war-forced evacuation that would bring them all, improbably, to Buckner Children’s Home in Dallas.
Last week, Thomas Ho and Ty Cope each made their first trip back to Vietnam as part of a reunion of the Cam Ranh/Buckner orphans. Now, suddenly, they were in an identity drama, trying to determine whether a Vietnamese man who had been in touch via the Internet really might be Cope’s dad. Ho talked to the man in Vietnamese for a moment, then pulled away to translate. “He said, ‘I’m very happy. My son! My son!’ ” . . .
Life can take momentous turns, and no one knows that better than the Cam Ranh/Buckner orphans, who were together again last week in their homeland. There were 69 originally, and two dozen came to the reunion, nearly all traveling thousands of miles from Dallas or elsewhere in the United States.
They’re middle-aged now, and middle-class. Most have college degrees, and their professions include architect, banker, computer programmer, nurse, teacher and social worker. They represent a spectrum of assimilation. Many of the younger children were adopted out of Buckner and soon lost their language. The older kids would stick it out, attending Skyline High and speaking Vietnamese among themselves. But they all retained – and still do – a deep bond. . . .
They’ve been having reunions every five years in Dallas, but at the last one, they committed to going back to Vietnam. They raised money, created a website, established an archive of photographs from the Cam Ranh and Buckner days, and ordered reunion T-shirts and ball caps with the slogan “Get Love, Share Love.” After all the planning, the reunion got under way Wednesday, with a big contingent boarding a bus in Ho Chi Minh City (still popularly known as Saigon) heading north toward Nha Trang and Cam Ranh.
Thirty-five years ago, they were orphans on the run, headed the other way.
These two sets of stories and image illustrate not just the sadness and joy that many Vietnamese Americans experience as the reflect on their lives both in Viet Nam and the U.S., but they also represent the “duality” and transnational nature of our identities as Vietnamese Americans. That is, it does not have to be a contradiction to assert our identities as both Vietnamese and as American. As particularly exemplified in the two articles about Vietnamese Americans returning to their land of birth, our two sets of experiences actually complement each other.
In other words, Vietnamese Americans have benefited greatly from the generous opportunities available to us here in the U.S. to rebuild our lives and to enjoy freedoms that we otherwise would not have back in Viet Nam. Despite the past and ongoing struggles, our successes as Vietnamese Americans reinforces the best of what the U.S. can be — the “land of opportunity” for millions of people around the world. It is with these experiences as Americans that we can put our knowledge, skills, and resources to good use back in Viet Nam and around the world.
At the same time, our Vietnamese heritage has also enriched American society in many ways — culturally, as we share our food, traditions, and experiences with our neighbors and economically, as our “Little Saigon” and “Versailles” communities have revitalized urban areas to the benefit of residents from all backgrounds.
As Americans from all backgrounds reflect on this 35th anniversary of the end of the Viet Nam War, I think it’s important to acknowledge what has been lost, but also the many things that all of us have gained in the years since as well.
Here are some more announcements and links out that have come my way relating to Asians or Asian Americans. As always, links to other sites are provided for informational purposes and do not necessarily imply an endorsement of their contents:
A Legislative Summit is an opportunity to set goals/identify and prioritize legislative issues that are most pressing to the Asian communities so collectively we can create an action plan to influence future executive and legislative government activities and decisions that are favorable to our communities.
To Increase awareness of today’s and future Asian American generations’ issues and needs such as economic development, immigration, language access, voting rights, and discrimination.
To improve cooperation and mutual understanding by bringing diverse ethnic Asian American communities together.
To raise the visibility of the Asian community and later to present its concerns to the two (2) gubernatorial candidates and members of the General Assembly.
To gather and disseminate data about Asian American communities.
To bring the energy and vision of different Asian community members from all social, educational, age, and business sectors background together so that collectively we can create real and productive change.
To identify new Asian community leaders to effectively build issues-based community coalitions.
To make the case for Asian American inclusion in public contracting programs and to advance the participation of Asian Americans in minority contracting programs in the private sector.
To help empower Asian families to understand their rights and responsibilities with regard to their student’s enrollment at local public schools.
To create opportunity for creating bills that represent long-term solution to foster respect for Asian American & Pacific Islanders’ vast contributions to the nation.
Wednesday, August 5th, 2009
5:30 PM -8:00 PM
Ukrops Headquarters Office
2001 Maywill Str., Suite 100, Richmond, VA 23230
Registration required: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 804-798-3975 PDF Event Flier
Call for Entries: 2010 San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival
The San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF) is pleased to announce its open call for entries for its 28th edition, scheduled for March 11-21, 2010. The SFIAAFF accepts films of all genres and lengths, and is looking for exceptional films made by or about Asians and Asian Americans.
Early — September 4, 2009
Late — October 2, 2009
Attention All Filmmakers:
The San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF) is now accepting submissions for the 2010 Festival. A presentation of the Center for Asian American Media (formerly NAATA), the SFIAAFF is the largest event in the nation dedicated to screening Asian American and Asian films. The Festival accepts films and videos of all lengths and genres that are made by and/or about Asian Americans and Asians of any nationality. To submit online or for more information, visit www.asianamericanmedia.org.
87 Minute documentary on the Vietnam War. Shows how the U.S. government killed more than 3 million Vietnamese in their War of Independence. Starts with the history of the conflict from WWII, the defeat of the French, how the American people were lied into the conflict in the Gulf of Tonkin. Then shows how the killing was done. Includes testimony from soldiers and Vietnamese. Narrated by Martin Sheen. Written, produced and directed by Clay Claiborne.
This year, State Farm’s Youth Advisory Board expanded its disaster preparedness issue area to include grants addressing societal disasters like nutrition, exercise, bullying, abuse and diversity.
Applicants may request any amount from $25,000 to $100,000 based on a required budget which outlines project expenses. Request for Proposals (RFP) must be submitted online by Oct. 2. Complete details and contact information is available at www.statefarmyab.com.
The five issues that grant requests must focus on are:
Natural and Societal disaster preparedness
Accessing higher education/closing the achievement gap
To be eligible to receive a grant from the Board, applicants should be either an educator who currently teaches in a public K-12, charter, or higher education institution, or a school-based service-learning coordinator whose primary role is to coordinate service-learning projects in a public, charter, or higher education institution. Non-profit organizations are also eligible if they are able to demonstrate how they plan to actively engage students in public K-12 schools in meaningful service-learning programs.
The number of grants awarded will depend on the number and quality of requests received. Grant amounts will vary according to the nature of the proposal and availability of funds. At least one service-learning project will be funded in each of the 13 State Farm zones. As of June 2009, four years after the initial launch of the YAB, the board has awarded more than $12 million in grants to organizations in the U.S. and Canada and touched about 1.8 million lives.
Thirty high school and college aged youth oversee the granting of $5 million for student-led service-learning projects in the United States and in the Alberta, New Brunswick and Ontario provinces of Canada. The process is unique in the responsibility and resource decisions that the youth are given. It is the Board who come together to research issues they would like to solve, review grant applications, and ultimately decide the grant winners.