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May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month – a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. A rather broad term, Asian/Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).
[I]n 1992, Congress...designated May as Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.
This information was taken from https://asianpacificheritage.gov/about/, a collaborative project of the Library of Congress and the National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Have you ever noticed how most Asian Americans are slightly brain-damaged from having grown up with Asian parents?” begins the Korean American protagonist of Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven, the singular work of Young Jean Lee, whose plays are like nothing you have ever seen or read. This is the first collection by the downtown writer-director, whose explorations of stereotypes of race, gender, and religion are unflinching—and seat-squirming funny.
Ocean Vuong's first full-length collection aims straight for the perennial “big”—and very human—subjects of romance, family, memory, grief, war, and melancholia. None of these he allows to overwhelm his spirit or his poems, which demonstrate, through breath and cadence and unrepentant enthrallment, that a gentle palm on a chest can calm the fiercest hungers.
Yokohama, California, originally released in 1949, is the first published collection of short stories by a Japanese American. Set in a fictional community, these linked stories are alive with the people, gossip, humor, and legends of Japanese America in the 1930s and 1940s.
Asian American literature abounds in culinary metaphors and references, but few scholars have made sense of them in a meaningful way. Most literary critics perceive alimentary references as narrative strategies or part of the background; Xu takes food as the central site of cultural and political struggles waged in the seemingly private domain of desire in the lives of Asian Americans.
“The notion of home has always been elusive. But as evidenced in these stories, poems, and testaments, perhaps home is not so much a place, but a feeling one embodies. I read this book and see my people—see us—and feel, in our collective outsiderhood, at home.” —Ocean Vuong, New York Times-bestselling author of On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous
Winner of the 2012 Outstanding Book Award in Cultural Studies, Association for Asian American Studies Puro Arte explores the emergence of Filipino American theater and performance from the early 20th century to the present. Puro arte, translated from Spanish into English, simply means “pure art.” In Filipino, puro arte however performs a much more ironic function, gesturing rather to the labor of over-acting, histrionics, playfulness, and purely over-the-top dramatics.
This collection of sixteen stories bring the work of a distinguished Filipino writer to an American audience. Scent of Apples contains work from the 1940s to the 1970s. Although many of Santos's writings have been published in the Philippines, Scent of Apples is his only book published in the United States.
Providing a cultural history and ethnography, Asian American Media Activism assesses everything from grassroots collectives in the 1970s up to contemporary engagements by fan groups, advertising agencies, and users on YouTube and Twitter. In linking these different forms of activism, Lori Kido Lopez investigates how Asian American media activism takes place and evaluates what kinds of interventions are most effective. Ultimately, Lopez finds that activists must be understood as fighting for cultural citizenship, a deeper sense of belonging and acceptance within a nation that has long rejected them.
Exploring a variety of subjects and cultural artifacts, Ho reveals how Asian American subjects evince a deep racial ambiguity that unmoors the concept of race from any fixed or finite understanding...Jennifer Ho demonstrates in Racial Ambiguity in Asian American Culture that seeing race as ambiguous puts us one step closer to a potential antidote to racism.
Killing the Model Minority Stereotype comprehensively explores the complex permutations of the Asian model minority myth, exposing the ways in which stereotypes of Asian/Americans operate in the service of racism. Chapters include counter-narratives, critical analyses, and transnational perspectives.
Red and Yellow, Black and Brown gathers together life stories and analysis by twelve contributors who express and seek to understand the often very different dynamics that exist for mixed race people who are not part white.
From the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 to Japanese American internment during World War II, the US has a long history of anti-Asian policies. But Lon Kurashige demonstrates that despite widespread racism, Asian exclusion was not the product of an ongoing national consensus, it was a subject of fierce debate.
The American West erupted in anti-Chinese violence in 1885. Following the massacre of Chinese miners in Wyoming Territory, communities throughout California and the Pacific Northwest harassed, assaulted, and expelled thousands of Chinese immigrants. Beth Lew-Williams shows how American immigration policies incited this violence and how the violence, in turn, provoked new exclusionary policies.
Emerging Voices fills this gap with its unique and compelling discussion of underrepresented groups, including Burmese, Indonesian, Mong, Hmong, Nepalese, Romani, Tibetan, and Thai Americans. Unlike the earlier and larger groups of Asian immigrants to America, many of whom made the choice to emigrate to seek better economic opportunities, many of the groups discussed in this volume fled war or political persecution in their homeland.
South Asian American men are not usually depicted as ideal American men. They struggle against popular representations as either threatening terrorists or geeky, effeminate computer geniuses. To combat such stereotypes, some use sports as a means of performing a distinctly American masculinity.
Immigrant Chinese women scientists and engineers who study and work in the United States constitute a rapidly growing yet understudied group. These women’s lived experiences and reflections can tell us a great deal about the current state of immigrant women scientists in the United States, how universities can help these women succeed, and about China’s emergence as a global scientific and technological superpower.
A toolkit for understanding how Asian Americans influence, consume and are reflected by mainstream media. Asian Americans have long been the subject and object of popular culture in the U.S. The rapid circulation of cultural flashpoints—such as the American obsession with K-pop sensations, Bollywood dance moves, and sriracha hot sauce—have opened up new ways of understanding how the categories of “Asian” and “Asian American” are counterbalanced within global popular culture.
A survey of U.S. history from its beginnings to the present, American History Unbound reveals our past through the lens of Asian American and Pacific Islander history. In so doing, it is a work of both history and anti-history, a narrative that fundamentally transforms and deepens our understanding of the United States.
What does it mean to belong? How are twenty-first-century diasporic subjects fashioning identities and communities that bind them together? Aspiring to Home examines these questions with a focus on immigrants from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
First published in 1946, this autobiography of the well-known Filipino poet describes his boyhood in the Philippines, his voyage to America, and his years of hardship and despair as an itinerant laborer following the harvest trail in the rural West. Bulosan does not spare the reader any of the horrors that accompanied the migrant's life, but his quiet, stoic voice is the most convincing witness to the terrible events he witnessed.
These autobiographies challenge familial and cultural expectations and values that have traditionally forced queer Asian/Pacific Americans into silent shame because of their sexual orientation and/or ethnicity. Authors share not only their experiences growing up but also how those experiences led them to become social activists, speaking out against oppression.
In a series of letters to his mixed-race Koyukon Athabascan family, E. J. R. David shares his struggles, insecurities, and anxieties as a Filipino American immigrant man, husband, and father living in the lands dominated by his family's colonizer.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, everything changed for Yoshiko Uchida. Desert Exile is her autobiographical account of life before and during World War II. The book does more than relate the day-to-day experience of living in stalls at the Tanforan Racetrack, the assembly center just south of San Francisco, and in the Topaz, Utah, internment camp. It tells the story of the courage and strength displayed by those who were interned.
In the linked essays that make up her debut collection, This Is One Way to Dance, Sejal Shah explores culture, language, family, and place. Throughout the collection, Shah reflects on what it means to make oneself visible and legible through writing in a country that struggles with race and maps her identity as an American, South Asian American, writer of color, and feminist.
Mary Paik Lee left her native country in 1905, traveling with her parents as a political refugee after Japan imposed control over Korea. This award-winning book provides a compelling firsthand account of early Korean American history and continues to be an essential work in Asian American studies.