The Center for Asian American Studies at The University of Texas at Austin's E-newsletter
Red Threads, Center for Asian American Newsletter

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Message from the Director

Dear Friends and Supporters of CAAS,
During the Spring 2014 semester, CAAS was pleased to welcome to UT several emerging scholars whose work will define the field of Asian American Studies.  All have attained the associate professor level and represent a range of fields: Professor Cathy Schlund-Vials in English (and a proud graduate of UT) works on Cambodian American culture and diaspora; Professor Rick Baldoz in Sociology works on Filipino Americans and immigration reform; and Professor Shelley Lee in History works on Korean and Japanese Americans and has authored the most recent, authoritative general textbook, A New History of Asian America (Routledge, 2013).
Last but not least, I am proud to announce that CAAS has worked successfully with the Department of Special Education in the College of Education to recruit Dr. North Cooc (Harvard 2014) to UT.  Through a line allocated by the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, CAAS was able to fill this long-standing gap in our curriculum and add to our ranks in the area of the applied social sciences.
I know that he will greatly enrich the educational experiences of our students when he begins teaching this fall. 
Madeline Y. Hsu
Director, Center for Asian American Studies
Associate Professor, Department of History

Spring 2014 Programming


War, Genocide, and Justice: Cambodian American Work

CAAS hosted a talk in early March with Dr. Cathy Schlund-Vials, associate professor of English and Asian American studies at the University of Connecticut where she is also the director of the Asian American Studies Institute. She is the author of two monographs:  Modeling Citizenship:  Jewish and Asian American Writing (Temple University Press, 2011) and War, Genocide, and Justice:  Cambodian American Memory Work (University of Minnesota Press, 2012). Schlund-Vials talk examined Cambodian American cultural production (film, memoir, and music) as memory work. Listen to the audio recording of her talk, view photos, and/or read a summary here. The event was co-sponsored with the Department of English and Department of American Studies.

The Strange Career of the Filipino 'National': Race, Immigration, and the Bordering of U.S. Empire

Dr. Rick Baldoz, assistant professor in sociology at Oberlin College delivered a talk exploring the incorporation of Filipino immigrants in the United States during the first half of the twentieth century, focusing on the interplay of colonialism, racial boundaries and citizenship policy. He is the author of the award winning book, The Third Asiatic Invasion: Empire and Migration in Filipino America, 1898-1946 (NYU Press). He is currently working on a book project about the 1965 Hart-Celler Immigration Act, examining this historical legislation against the backdrop of Cold War politics, anti-colonial upheaval, and domestic civil rights mobilization.

Gateway to the Orient: Seattle’s Nikkei and West Coast Urban History

Dr. Shelley Lee is an associate professor of history and comparative American studies at Oberlin College. CAAS with the support from the Institute for Historical Studies hosted a talk with Lee end of March. Through the case of Japanese Americans in Seattle, Washington before World War II, her talk explored the significance of U.S. Pacific expansion and Japanese migration for West Coast urban development, and how, in turn, the Pacific port’s pursuit of status as a “gateway to the Orient” shaped the lives of its Asian residents. Lee is the author of two books, Claiming the Oriental Gateway: Prewar Seattle and Japanese America (Temple UP, 2011) and A New History of Asian America (Routledge, 2013). She is currently working on a project about post-1965 Korean immigration and urban politics in Los Angeles.

The Texas Film Premiere of "Maria the Korean Bride: 50 Weddings/ 50 Husbands"

CAAS and Korean Student Association organized a film screening and Q&A with filmmaker Maria Yoon. Yoon is a first generation Korean-American performance artist based in New York City. Like many single women of a certain age, Maria felt a growing pressure to wed. So she took matrimony to the next level. Calling herself 'the voice of the unmarried Asian-American woman' she became Maria the Korean Bride, a woman to get married in all fifty states. Yoon’s film explores the institution of marriage and how marriage is seen in other cultures. Check out the film website.

Angry Asian Man Visits UT Austin

The Asian Desi Pacific Islander Collective (APAC), Campus Events + Entertainment Asian American Culture and the Center for Asian American Studies hosted an event with Phil Yu, founder and editor of the blog Angry Asian Man. Yu spoke about the importance of taking Asian American Studies courses as an undergrad at Northwestern and influencing the creation of his popular cultural commentary blog. The event was part of APAC’s Asian American Heritage Week in April.



Community News


Battling the Khmer Rouge: Cambodian American Hip Hop

Leading scholar of Cambodian American culture and diaspora, Dr. Cathy Schlund-Vials delivered a public lecture at the Asian American Resource Center about popular culture drawing from her book War, Genocide, and Justice: Cambodian American Memory Work. This was a collaborative event with the Center for Asian American Studies at UT Austin and the Asian American Resource Center at the City of Austin. Austin Asian American Film Festival Returns

CAAS is proud to be a sponsor and partner of the Austin Asian American Film Festival. After a brief hiatus the festival returns to showcase the best Asian and Asian American films and supports Asian American and Asian artist. The festival is scheduled this November and more information can be found on their website. The call for submissions is now open and the early submission deadline is June 1, 2014. Read more here.

People at CAAS

Asian American Studies (AAS) Graduates

Congratulations to seven Asian American Studies majors that graduated this academic year: Diane Le Tram, Tu-Uyen Ngoc Nguyen, Khai Duy Pham, William Taylor Pichette, Kristine Marie Staggs, Sarah B. Williams, and Angie Chu Yang Zhou. View photos from CAAS' graduation dinner honoring these students.

AAS Major Receives Martha J. Wong, Ed.D. Scholarship Petro On

The University of Texas at Austin, Center for Asian American Studies announces the selection of Petro On as the first recipient of the Honorable Martha J. Wong, Ed.D. Scholarship. Petro On is a junior majoring in Asian American Studies and receives this award in recognition of his academic attainment and social justice leadership in the arenas of discrimination against Asian Americans and workplace exploitation. Read more about the scholarship here.

AAS Major Awarded Honorable Mention for 2014 Dean’s Distinguished Graduates

Tu-Uyen Nguyen will receive an Honorable Mention certificate for the 2014 Dean’s Distinguished Graduates. Liberal Arts students nominated for the award work hard in the classroom, lead in extracurricular activities, and show a devotion to both the university and community.

CAAS Core Faculty Dr. Madhavi Mallapragada Publishes Book

Madhavi Mallapragada publishes her book Virtual Homelands: Indian Immigrants and Online Cultures in the United States (University of Illinois Press 2014). Mallapragada analyzes home pages and other online communities organized by diasporic and immigrant Indians from the late 1990s through the social media period. Engaging the shifting aspects of belonging, immigrant politics, and cultural citizenship by linking the home page, household, and homeland as key sites, Mallapragada illuminates the contours of belonging and reveals how Indian American struggles over it trace back to the web's active mediation in representing, negotiating, and reimagining "home." Mallapragada is an assistant professor in the department of radio-television-film and Asian American studies.

CAAS Core Faculty Dr. Snehal Shingavi Publishes Translation

Snehal Shingavi edited and translated into English, Angaaray, the 1932 Urdu short-story collection that was banned by the British in India. First published in 1932, this slim volume of short stories created a firestorm of public outrage for its bold attack on the hypocrisy of conservative Islam. Inspired by the works of James Joyce and Virginia Woolf, the young writers who penned this collection--Sajjad Zaheer, Ahmed Ali, Rashid Jahan and Mahmud uz-Zafar--were eager to revolutionize Urdu literature. Instead, they invited the wrath of the establishment; the collection was burned in popular protests and banned by the British authorities within a year. Nevertheless, Angaaray spawned a new generation of Urdu writers and led to the formation of the Progressive Writers' Association, whose members included, among others, stalwarts like Ismat Chughtai, Manto, Premchand, and Faiz.

CAAS Faculty Affiliated Dr. Mia Carter Voted The 2014 Texas 10

The Texas Exes asked UT Austin alumni to nominate the 10 most talented and inspiring professors ever to walk the Forty Acres. Dr. Mia Carter associate professor in English and faculty affiliate with Asian American studies was selected as one of the 2014 Texas 10. Read more here.

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

"Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America"
12pm / Sep 26, 2014
GAR 4.100



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