News & announcements
2013 Book Award for Literary Studies
The Association for Asian American Studies has selected Professor erin K Ninh's monograph, Ingratitude: The Debt-Bound Daughter in Asian American Literature, for its Literary Studies Book Award. The award was presented in April 2013 at the association's annual conference in Seattle.
Recent faculty promotion
The Department is proud to announce the promotion of Professor Diane Fujino to Full Professor. Fujino is Chair of the department, and a scholar of Asian American social movements, Japanese American radicalism, Afro-Asian solidarities, race and gender studies, and biography and oral history. Her books include: Samurai Among Panthers on Richard Aoki, Heartbeat of Struggle on Yuri Kochiyama, and Wicked Theory, Naked Practice on Fred Ho.
Recent faculty promotion
The Department is proud to announce the promotion of Professor Celine Parrenas-Shimizu to Full Professor. Shimizu is a film scholar and filmmaker. Her sole-authored books include Straitjacket Sexualities: Unbinding Asian American Manhoods in the Movies (Stanford, 2012) and The Hypersexuality of Race: Performing Asian/American Women on Screen and Scene (Duke, 2007), winner of the 2009 Best Book Prize in Cultural Studies from the Association for Asian American Studies. Her most recent film, Birthright (2009), was named winner of Best Feature Documentary at the Big Mini DV Festival in 2009.
Newly tenured faculty
The Department is proud to announce the recent tenure of Professor erin Khue Ninh. Ninh is a literary critic and author of Ingratitude: The Debt-Bound Daughter in Asian American Literature. She teaches courses in literary and cultural studies in the department, and is affiliated with the departments of Feminist Studies and Comparative Literature.
Professor Lalaie Ameeriar, with Ph.D. in anthropology from Stanford University, brings to the Department expertise on globalization, ethnography, and South Asian women, warm collegiality, and an enthusiasm for teaching. Her book project draws on ethnographic data collected in Pakistan and Canada to examine the labor migration of Pakistani Muslim women and to critique state policies of multiculturalism and labor. This year, she will be teaching Globalization and Asian America, South Asian Women in Diaspora, and Ethnographies of Asian America.
2011 Getman/Villa Service Award goes to Prof. John Park
Professor John Park of the Department of Asian American Studies received one of UCSB's 2011 Margaret T. Getman and William J. Villa Service to Student Awards. The award recognizes extraordinary commitment to students and to the quality of student life. Professor Park was honored for his inspiring teaching in the classroom and his dedicated mentoring of students throughout their college years and towards graduate studies.
Upcoming events Join us on Facebook!
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
It is Spring again and Playsia 23, "Now and Then," looks at the past and present in Asian American Theatre.
Author of the celebrated graphic novel
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
From filmmaker Keshni Kashyap comes the story of a high school heroine--funny, wise, and reminiscent of Persepolis's Marjane Satrapi--negotiating an existentially trying spring semester at her Southern California prep school.
Ph.D./ M.A. GRADUATE STUDENT WORK IN ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES AT UCSB
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
"All is Fair in Love and Modernity: Circulation of skin lightening products in South Asia and an analysis of women as symbols of globalization and the nation in Indian cosmetic advertisements
Hareem Khan 12pm-1:30pm
MA/PhD Graduate Student, Department of Anthropology, UCSB
"Visualizing Topographies of Race and Public Space: the work of Asian American Artists in California, 1970-2000"
Julianne P. Gavino 12pm-1:30pm
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of the History of Art and Architecture, UCSB
"Merchants, Laborers, and Citizens: Reading Chinese Immigration Files at the National Archives"
Ph.D. Candidate, Department of History, UCSB
"Analyzing Cultural Reimaginations in the CCTV's The Legend of Bruce Lee"
Melissa M. Chan
Graduate Student in East Asian Language and Cultural Studies, UCSB Incoming PhD student, East Asian Language and Cultural Studies, USC
"We Stay on THIS side: Grotesque Stereotypes in Young Jean Lee's The Shipment"
Ph.D. student, Department of Theatre and Dance, UCSB
"They Left For 'Personal' Reasons: Emotional Labor Politics in Filipino Community Organizing"
MA/PhD Student, Department of Feminist Studies, UCSB
Light lunch will be served.
For more information, please contact (805) 893. 8039
The Department of Asian American Studies is proud to share Prof. Sameer Pandya's keynote address to our graduates, at the department ceremony in spring 2012. Best wishes, and congratulations!
On Getting Lucky
First of all, I would like to thank the graduating class of Asian American Studies for inviting me to address you this evening. I can’t impress upon you enough how touched and honored I am.
You have accomplished something great and wonderful by graduating. A hearty congratulations. Soak up the adulation from your friends and family. Have a big meal tonight. Order two desserts instead of none. Allow yourself to really enjoy your accomplishment. Big moments like this do not come along very often, and you have to savor them. Go ahead: pat yourselves on the back, brush the dirt off your shoulders.
You have laid down the ground work to have great success in the years to come.
But be aware that there is going to be disappointment along the way. Lots of it.
You will not get the job you deserve. You will not make the money you think you are worth. You will not get the boy or the girl you have been eyeing. You have spent four years getting to the top of the totem pole, now get ready to be demoted to the bottom. That soreness in your back, get used to it. You will experience failure. And you will weep like a baby for how unfair the world feels in its distribution of the good and bad.
I know all this sounds horrible. It is. But at the same time, it doesn’t have to be. These disappointments are the things that will make you who you are and who you will become. It’s easy to be good and kind and generous when things are going well. It’s not so easy when things are going poorly. I genuinely believe that we are not the sum of our accomplishments, but who we become in light of our disappointments.
The dance critic Joan Acocella, writing about all the different artists she has written on, writes something that I return to with some regularity: “But my view of things is more Grundy-esque: that what allows genius to flower is not neurosis, but its opposite, ‘ego-strength,’ meaning (among other things) ordinary, Sunday-school virtues such as tenacity and above all the ability to survive disappointment. Of course, luck plays its part too.”
You have to figure out how to work hard in the face of disappointment.
But luck? That’s a different issue entirely. If I knew the secret of getting lucky, I might be a very wealthy man. And I might not share the secret with you. Or perhaps I would. I would like to think I would.
Today, I want to take a few minutes to think about what might help you to get lucky, what might help all of us to get lucky.
1) Find your voice.
When I first became aware that I liked writing, and that someday I may want to be a writer myself, there were particular voices that rung in my inner ear. There was of course Hemingway. And then Raymond Carver. Even as I was reading this, thinking I was smart and cool for reading it, I knew these weren’t my voices, or the voices of anyone I knew.
And then I went off to college and things got a little more colorful. Woolf’s dinner parties; Marquez’s Columbian villages; Ellison’s invisibility; Rushdie’s midnights; Murakami, Kingston, Ishiguro. And while these were all important voices and sounds, none of them were mine either.
Figuring out your voice—learning the particular beats and rhythms of how you sound, your default settings, how you look at the world, how the world looks at you—is no simple matter. And here of course I am talking not only about finding your writing voice, but your voice in life.
This question of voice has been, in many ways, a central part of your Asian American Studies education. Asian Americans, on one hand, speak in a million different mutinous voices. There is no united Asian American community. But at the same time, we understand that we are jointly shaped by forces of history, race, gender, and class.
If you have taken my classes, you have heard me wax poetic about the African American novelist Ralph Ellison. Ellison was a greater lover of jazz, not only for its pleasures and aesthetic qualities, but for what it said about the importance of democracy. The trumpet, the saxophone, the piano, the drums all have different sounds and voices, their own individual qualities, just like you have your own qualities, and it is their capacity to work together that makes a tune sound good.
For Ellison, and perhaps for us all, finding voice is about a dynamic movement between hearing one instrument and then all of them together.
2) Be Bold
You are young. Be bold in the choices you make. There are, contrary to what Fitzgerald might think, second acts in American life. Many of your parents, even some of you, are first generation immigrants. Immigration is an act of courage and boldness. Think about that. They picked up, or were forced to pick up, and started all over in a new place. It is your job to match that boldness. I am not suggesting you move to another country. But rather I am asking that you think hard about what it is that you want from your life, and go straight toward it.
3) Buy Books
Buy books. Lots of them. They may not keep you warm. But they will make you less lonely. Which is important. If you walk into the home of prospective mate and there is no bookshelf, walk out. No, run out. And don’t look back. It is in this digital age where physical books become more and more important. They will tell you where you have been and where you are going. Spend one summer reading only one author. Make this your Melville summer. Next, your summer of the poet Li Young Li. And read obituaries. They will help you see the arc of other people’s lives, which will help you then imagine your own.
4) Stop checking your smart phones. It has made me dumb. It is making you dumb. There are no answers there. None at all.
5) Finally, be generous. With yourself, in your help to others, in your compassion, in your criticism.
Being lucky is a subjective, complicated idea. But I can say without hesitation that I have been greatly fortunate in having many of you as my students. You have helped me find my voice, you have helped me to be bold, you have taught me to be generous. And for that, as a I stand here, I consider myself very lucky.
* * *
Lunar New Year Celebration
Come and meet with your instructors, staff, fellow students, and friends of Asian American Studies.
Light lunch provided. Games, prizes, and lots of surprises!!
Subject: AS AM student meeting, Tues, Feb 12, 5-6 pm
Dear AS AM Majors, Minors, and All Interested Students:
The AS AM Peer Advisors, in conjunction with the Chair of the Department of Asian American Studies, invite you to attend an important meeting. Every five to ten years, departments are reviewed by UCSB committees as well as an External Review Committee (ERC). Last Spring, you generously completed the Student Survey as part of the Program Review process.
The Department Chair and Peer Advisors will host a meeting on Tuesday, February 12, 5-6 PM, HSSB 5024, with our AS AM majors, minors, and all interested students to: (a) share the results of the Student Survey and (b) discuss the Program Review and ERC visit. The ERC meeting with our AS AM Majors will be on Thursday, February 21, 4-5 PM, HSSB 5024. Please save the date.
We hope to see you at the February 12 meeting. We'll get to discuss the Student Survey and want to hear your ideas and hopes for the department.
Diane Fujino -- Chair, Department of Asian American Studies
Danny Khuu and Brian Nguyen -- Peer Advisors, Department of Asian American Studies
Among the top 100 YouTube channels, a stunningly high number of YouTube celebrities are not who you might expect them to be: Asian American. What makes on-line environments, both in terms of production and consumption, a distinctly different realm for racial discourse? It is no coincidence that alternative media forms and more directly, counter-hegemonic perspectives, are being created, fed, circulated, grown by performers of color via the Internet. At the same time, how is the border between margin and center not "crossed" but rather dis/integrated by producer-artists who manage their on-line status, forging a different – and successful – system of fandom and stardom? In what ways can on-line self-production enable new terms for race and racial representation?
L.S. Kim is a Visiting Associate Professor from the Department of Film and Digital Media at UC Santa Cruz. The Department is very pleased to welcome her to our faculty for the Fall 2012 quarter. Her book, Maid for Television: Race, Class, and Gender on the Small Screen is being published by NYU Press in 2013.
Richard Aoki, Asian American Activism, and the Black Panther Party
Tuesday, October 16, 6:30 pm
Diane Fujino discusses her new book on Richard Aoki, the most prominent non-Black in the Black Panther Party and a leader of the Third World strike and Asian American Movement of the 1960s. Professors Douglas Daniels and George Lipsitz provide commentary.
Evelyn Lau has published ten books, spanning works of non-fiction, short story collections, five volumes of poetry, and a novel. Her first book, Runaway: Diary of a Street Kid, published when she was 18, was an bestselling autobiographical account of her life on the streets as a teenager. Made into a CBC TV movie, it starred Sandra Oh in her first major role. Evelyn's work has been translated into a dozen languages worldwide; her poetry has received the Milton Acorn Award, a National Magazine Award, and has been included in the Best American Poetry and Best Canadian Poetry anthologies. Her most recent poetry collection, Living Under Plastic, won the Pat Lowther Award for best book of poetry by a woman in Canada.
Her reading will be followed by a Q&A with Prof. erin K. Ninh of Asian American Studies.
Presented by the Department of Asian American Studies; cosponsored by the College of Creative Studies and the Department of Feminist Studies