The University of Texas at Austin - Center for Asian American Studies Electronic Newsletter

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Message from the Director

Dear Friends of Asian American Studies at UT:
For the new year, we present an improved newsletter format designed to be more user-friendly while providing access to more information and updates about Asian American community and events on campus.  The new CAAS program coordinator, Sona Shah, deserves much of the credit for our new look.  Technology can be a wonderful tool in helping us raise awareness of issues and events concerning Asian Americans in Texas.  Through this newsletter and our other programs, CAAS aims to develop knowledge and understanding of the culture, contributions, and history of Asians in the US to foster greater awareness and integration at UT. 
Warm wishes for 2012! 
Madeline Y. Hsu
Director, Center for Asian American Studies
Associate Professor, Department of History

Fall 2011 Programming

Junaid RanaBook Talk with Dr. Junaid Rana

In September, CAAS, with the South Asia Institute and Department of Anthropology, organized a book talk with UT alumnus, Junaid Rana, associate professor of Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He discussed his book Terrifying Muslims: Race and Labor in the South Asian Diaspora, which highlights how transnational working classes from Pakistan are produced, constructed, and represented in the context of American empire and the recent global War on Terror. Read more about Rana’s book here. (Photo copyright Julia Bunch, Daily Texan Staff)

Book Reading with National Book Award Finalist, Karen Tei Yamashita

CAAS, with support from the College of Liberal Arts, The Humanities Institute, Texas Exes Asian American Alumni Network and The MFA Program in English, invited Karen Tei Yamashita to read from her acclaimed novel, I-Hotel. The novel centers on an iconic site in Asian American history -- the International Hotel -- epicenter of the Yellow Power Movement. Yamashita’s novel about the Asian American civil rights movement presents a kaleidoscope of the ideals and conflicts, experiments and personalities that characterized the emergence of Asian American identity, culture, and community in the turbulent 1960s.  View photos from the event here.

“The Beautiful Generation,” Talk by Dr. Thuy Linh N. TuThuy Linh Tu

Thuy Linh N. Tu, associate professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University, gave a talk in October about Asian Americans in the fashion industry. Tu uses interdisciplinary approaches to critique the fashion industry and the complex engagement of Asians—as designers, tropes, workers, icons—in the business and culture that emanates. The talk was cosponsored with American Studies and the School of Human Ecology. Asian American Studies alumna, Melissa Nguyen (2010), attended the event and wrote about it here (pdf).

“Of Prosthetics and Pageants,” Talk by Dr. Mimi Thi Nguyen

In November, CAAS organized a talk with Mimi Thi Nguyen, assistant professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Nguyen discussed the controversial NGO Miss Landmine pageant in Cambodia and the biopolitics of beauty. The talk was cosponsored with American Studies, Center for Women and Gender Studies, and Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice. To learn more about Nguyen's publications, zines, and blog, visit her website

Community News

Students Awarded Austin Asian American Chamber of Commerce Excellence Scholarship

The Austin Asian American Chamber of Commerce (AAACC) awarded $500 scholarships to The University of Texas undergraduate students Kim Nguyen (AAS), Amy Rattananinad (AAS), and Danny Zeng (GOV). AAACC annually awards up to three scholarships to UT students who have demonstrated academic merit, community service and leadership, and commitment to Asian Pacific American (APA) affairs and issues. The Center for Asian American Studies worked with AAACC on identifying qualified students and selecting recipients based on merit and leadership involvement on campus. The students were recognized at the Texas Business Symposium & Gala benefitting the Asian American Resource Center, on Saturday, September 10, 2011.

CAAS, VAHF, and UT Libraries

CAAS Signs MoU with the Vietnamese American Heritage Foundation and UT Libraries

The Center for Asian American Studies (CAAS), Vietnamese American Heritage Foundation (VAHF), and the Office of the Associate Dean for Research at the College of Liberal Arts, UT-Austin sign a Memo of Understanding to properly archive and make accessible 500 interviews collected by the VAHF Oral History Project. Read more here...

Austin History Center InternshipCAAS Partners with Austin History Center to Provide Internship Opportunity for Students

This fall Kim Nguyen, AAS undergraduate student, interned with the Austin History Center for course credit through a conference course offered by CAAS. Nguyen worked closely with Esther Chung, AHC’s Asian American Neighborhood Liaison. Chung trained Nguyen on conducting oral history interviews, a large component to how AHC is collecting histories on Asian Americans in Austin, TX. Read more about Nguyen’s internship here.

People at CAAS

Faculty Affiliate Awarded NICHD Grant

Dr. Su Yeong Kim was awarded a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to research “Language Brokering and Child Adjustment in Mexican American Families.” Kim is an assistant professor in the School of Human Ecology and an affiliate with Asian American Studies. She studies the intersection of family and cultural contexts in shaping adolescent development.  Her focus is in on Chinese American and Mexican American families in the United States. Read more about Kim's research here.

Julia LeeAssistant Professor Publishes Book

Dr. Julia H. Lee publishes her first book Interracial Encounters: Reciprocal Representations in African and Asian American Literatures, 1896-1937. Read more about the book here. Lee is an assistant professor of English and Asian American Studies. She received her Ph.D. in English from UCLA. Her research interests include Asian American, African American, and Twentieth-century American literatures. Her current research explores the importance of the train in American literature and considers why scenes of racial conflict and formation are often set on the railroad.

Alumni Stay Connected to CAAS

Did you graduate from The University of Texas in Asian American Studies? CAAS wants to hear from you! Please email us with your contact information on where you are and what you’re up to.

Upcoming Events

"Stranger Intimacy," talk by Nayan Shah
3:30 PM / Feb 8, 2012
GAR 1.102



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