Wednesday, May 25, 2011

APA shout out!

Just got sent this video link to a music video made by Magnetic North & Taiyo Na, featuring among many artists, Jin.

The video was made, in the words of the artists:

"In celebration of APIA Heritage Month we wanted to make this video a dedication to all the amazing people in our community. We reached out to entertainers, activists, teachers, students, actors, designers, dancers, writers, poets, bloggers, community organizers... anyone and everyone who gives our community strength, depth, beauty."

It's a veritible "Who's Who" of Asian American artists, activists, and academics. But probably my favorite shout out was from Yuri Kochiyama because she is a pioneering Asian American BAD ASS ACTIVIST!

Monday, May 16, 2011

It's May which means it's Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!

So out of the 3 resolutions I made for myself back on January 1, 2011, only one remains achievable (the draft of my manuscript)--I failed to blog every week and to train for the 4 mile run I signed up for. Or more specifically, I realized that it was overly optimistic for me to think that my fatigue issues post-chemo and post-surgery would be resolved to the point where I could run a race.

[Note: here is where I have to invoke the advice of my uncle "N" who warned me NOT to try to do something foolish like train for a race until a full year after my bi-lateral mastectomy surgery since my body is in repair mode for a full year post-chemo/post-surgery. I, of course, ignored him and he, of course, was right]

I start off this way to say that I KNOW over two weeks since my last post (sigh).

OK, apologies and beating myself up over--this post is really about:


OK, not really.

But it is Asian Pacific American Heritage month. I have blogged about this month before (click here), so in honor of this year's APA heritage month, I wanted to highlight some things that you may find of interest.

First, big props to my friend and colleague Stephen Sohn of Stanford University, who guest curates a post on the Lantern Review blog--a journal devoted to Asian American poetry. Stephen talks about "food pornography" and shares his own creative writing on the blog (which I think is AWESOME)--here's the link. I hope anyone who reads his post will be inspired to write their own food-pornography inspired poem!

Second, this week in New Orleans, May 18-22 the Association for Asian American Studies holds its annual meeting--and this year the theme is: FOOD! Actually, more broadly, the theme is "Consumption" as in "Consuming Asian America." For anyone in the New Orleans area, please check out the conference--you can find the conference program in pdf format on the AAAS website. There's a great line-up of presentations and roundtables and literary readings--I'm VERY EXCITED to be going to the Big Easy where I'll hang out with friends, get invigorated and intellectually stimulated in all things Asian American, and eat REALLY GREAT FOOD, like at The Palace Cafe, which is right across the street from the conference hotel. What's more appropriate than eating good food at an Asian American conference where the theme is consumption??!!

Finally, for anyone who is interested in issues related to illness/disability studies, let me direct you to the Call For Papers of Amerasia Journal--a special issue, co-guest edited by yours truly and my friend-colleague, James Lee (UC Irvine) -- the topic is "The State of Illness and Disability in Asian America" and we are very excited to be working in the intersection of two important and emergent fields of study. You can find the details of the CFP here--the deadline for abstracts is June 1 (I know, only 2 weeks away). But it's only a 1-page abstract and we are hoping to get not just scholarly essays but works of creative writing (fiction and non-fiction, poetry) that engages in the themes of illness/disability and Asian America.

Happy Asian American Heritage Month everyone! And while I don't recommend walking up to Asian American strangers, if there is an Asian American loved one in your life, hugs are always appreciated this month and every other month!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

post-Brown, post-Lawrence, post-hate?

I was going to blog about the ridiculousness that is known as Donald Trump and the inherent racism of the Birther phenomenon. But if you are reading this blog, chances are you understand this all, very well, and do not need me or Bob Schieffer to draw your attention to the subtle (or not so subtle) racism of the Birther movement and of Trump's latest attempts to question President Obama's credentials by wondering how he got into Harvard Law because he heard that he wasn't a "good student."

[By the way, if you want to see Seth Meyers at the recent White House Correspondent's Dinner, click here for the link--Meyers did a great job and had some great zingers, particularly about "The Donald."]

However, rather than giving more airspace to the obvious (Trump is a narcissistic opportunist) I thought I'd instead link to this article in The New York Times, "A Tipping Point for Gay Marriage?" that discusses what may be considered a watershed moment in gay rights activism--namely that we are living in a time when for a segment of the population--the "elites" as the NY Times piece calls them/us (I guess I am one of these elites--I am a liberal university professor who blogs)--espousing any attitude that is not at least tolerant of a queer lifestyle is unacceptable--which is why the prestigious Atlanta firm of King & Spaulding refused to defend the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (or DOMA)--essentially, they are refusing to defend a law that would uphold marriage as defined as being between a man and a woman. They are refusing to uphold a law that discriminates against gay and lesbian couples.

The article talks about how there is a discrepancy between the "elites" and the masses--that people in legal professions or academia are more likely to see attitudes against gay marriage as discriminatory and prejudiced. And as Yale Law School professor William N. Eskridge says:

"We’re in the post-Brown era,” he said, “which for me is post-Lawrence. After Lawrence, there has been a social revolution in America."

I think that this analogy is telling. This blog is called Mixed Race America--but the idea of ending racial oppression is never only about ending racial oppression--because one is never simply reducible to a race--and because in the intersections of our many identities, sexuality and specifically the rights of queer people as being on a similar trajectory to those who fought for racial equality is instructive for us to remember. That equality against one oppression means equality against all oppressions.