Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I'm Back! (really, I am...or I intend to be)

Readers of Mixed Race America, I apologize, once again, for falling off the radar. Of course, I'm hoping you are still out there. And if not, then it will be up to me to keep writing and to gain back readers. I sometimes think that blogging is like exercising--you know you should do it, but finding the time to sit down and blog or making excuses that you need a big chunk of time or something interesting to say...that's what usually prevents me from exercising (although interestingly enough, I have been exercising--perhaps I can only do one and not the other? Blog but not exercise, exercise but not blog?)

Anyway, it's a new year (albeit 10 days in) and a new set of goals and hopes--such as blogging at least once a week (if not more). I feel like I missed out on a lot of opportunities for commentary--I may go back and try to re-trace them over the next few weeks.

What I will say is that I do still have things to say about race in America and about issues of mixed race/multiraciality.

This is going to be a short post--it's the first week of classes at Southern U. and I've got to make sure I've got everything ready for my first day this afternoon. I'm teaching two back-to-back classes, one on Asian American Women's Writing and a brand new class called The Place of Asian American Literature in the U.S. South. That's right--I'm teaching a class about Asian Americans in the South! I figured since I'm living it I should be teaching it. When I tell people what I'm teaching this semester, they always get a quizzical look in their eyes when I mention the Asian American South class and the number one question they have is: is there enough material? To which I say "just barely"--but increasingly there are writers of Asian descent writing about the South. And of course if we include non-Asian descent writers, like Robert Olen Butler, who write about Asian American characters in U.S. Southern locations, then there are a few more to consider.

But in case anyone is wondering, here are the list of primary narratives that I'm including:

*Wooden Fish Songs -- Ruthann Lum McCunn
*The Foreign Student -- Susan Choi
*My Own Country -- Abraham Verghese
*Bitter in the Mouth -- Monique Truong

McCunn is a mixed-race Asian-white author and I'm also including an essay by Paisley Rekdal, a poet and essayist who is Chinese-Scandinavian. And no class on the South can stop from talking about inter-raciality (otherwise known as miscegenation back in the bad old days) since so much of Southern fears of racial mixing fueled the upholding of de jure and de facto segregation in the years leading up to the modern civil rights movement (and lets face it, policing of inter-racial coupling still goes on since it was only a few years ago that a principal in Alabama prevented an inter-racial high school couple from attending prom together).

The last thing I'm going to leave you with is a plug for a colleague of mine, Orin Starn, whose book, The Passion of Tiger Woods, is just out. I haven't read it yet, but I did hear an excellent interview with Starn on a local NPR station. And check out this article, in which Starn talks about race and Tiger Woods, which is what his book is about.


Dianne said...

I did a double take at my blog list when I saw your post! I was starting to wonder what happened and I'm happy to hear it was just an exercise vs. blog dilemma and not that you had tired of the subject of mixed race in America. We can't stop talking about it until there is no need to, and I don't see that happening soon (or maybe ever, at least in my lifetime).

The GOP primary is rife with interesting things to write about, so I look forward to your posts.

Loyal reader and fellow blogger,


skim666 said...

hi i'm here! you're at the top of my Google homepage. Good to see you posting again! :)