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

As the year 2014 comes to an end all we want is to just breathe. My first semester as director, as expected, has come with challenges but also with some unexpected pleasures. The best part has been my monthly luncheon meetings with our majors, affirming for me why we continue to do the work we do at the Center. A shout-out to all our terrific majors! I hope to continue what becomes a tradition at the Center of meeting regularly over lunch. My monthly meetings with Center faculty too have been invigorating. As new director I couldn’t ask for more than what my fabulous colleagues have given to me in terms of their time, ideas and overall collegiality— Professors North Cooc, Rowena Fong, Heather Hindman, Rob Oppenheim, Snehal Shingavi, Nancy Stalker, and Eric Tang— thank you. My hope is that we will continue to build in 2015 what we’ve begun this year.
Gracias, all, for a terrific Fall 2014. I’d love to see all of you. Please stop by at Burdine 476 when time allows.
Sharmila Rudrappa
Director, Center for Asian American Studies
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology


Special Thanks to our Donors

We thank our donors for their continued generous support of the Center. In particular we'd like to thank The Honorable Martha J. Wong, Kai-Man Chang, Elena Blake, and Euhwa Tran for their support over Fall 2014.

To support CAAS during this season of giving please click here.  To qualify for a 2014 tax deduction, make your gift online by 11:30 pm CST on December 31, 2014.


Fall 2014 Programming


Book Talk with Vivek Bald: Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America

In September Vivek Bald, associate professor of writing and digital media at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, talked about his recent book Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America (Harvard University Press, 2013). Explore the book, articles, reviews and stories at The book won the 2014 Saloutos Book Award and Bald is currently working on a documentary In Search of Bengali Harlem. This event was made possible with generous support from Institute for Historical Studies, British Studies and the South Asia Institute.

Film Screening Mutiny: Asians Storm British Music  

CAAS also hosted a screening of Mutiny: Asians Storm British Music with director Vivek Bald during his visit in September. Bald is the director of three documentary films: Taxi-vala/Auto-biography, Mutiny: Asians Storm British Music, and In Search of Bengali Harlem (forthcoming). Combining music documentary and social documentary, Mutiny: Asians Storm British Music charts the meteoric rise of Asian music in 1990s Britain, as well as the decades of cultural cross-pollination and political struggle that led up to that historic moment. Shot independently on digital video over the course of seven years, Mutiny features Asian Dub Foundation, Talvin Singh, Fun^Da^Mental and a host of other British musicians of Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi descent, presenting these artists and their music at extreme close range. Many thanks to our co-sponsors British Studies, Institute for Historical Studies, Radio, Television and Film Department, and the South Asia Institute



Film Screening Awesome Asian Bad Guys

CAAS hosted a screening of Awesome Asian Bad Guys at the Texas Union Theater followed by a panel discussion with writer/producer Milton Liu, RTF assistant professor PJ Raval, filmmaker Yen Tan, festival director at Center for Asian American Media Masashi Niwano, and moderated by CAAS assistant instructor Alex Cho. This event was part of the Austin Asian American Film Festival.



Community News


CAAS Partners with StoryCorps

CAAS has partnered with StoryCorps, a nonprofit whose mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Stories are uploaded to its website, preserved in the Library of Congress, and a select few are played on NPR’s Morning Edition. CAAS is recruiting people in the Asian American community to share their story with StoryCorps in Austin from January 5th- 30th. Please contact us if you are interested or would like more information. Don't miss this opportunity to preserve and share your story!

 ACE Foundation Awards Student Scholarships

ACE Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is to ensure the growth and success of Austin’s Asian-American community through education and financial support, awarded three UT Asian American Studies majors each a $500 scholarship. Students Riki Tsuji, Siqi Jiang, and Marlon Hedrick received their awards at the Asian American Resource Center Gala, pictured here with ACE Foundation board chair, Nahid Khataw. Photo courtesy of Casey Chapman Ross Photography.

The Return of the Austin Asian American Film Festival 

CAAS was proud to be a partner and sponsor of the 7th annual Austin Asian American Film Festival. The festival included feature films, documentaries and shorts including Revenge of the Green Dragons, Happiness, Cart and so much more. Women filmmakers won all five awards this year. Like AAAFF's Facebook page to stay up-to-date on next year's festival.



People at CAAS


Asian American Studies Graduates

Congratulations to Asian American Studies majors Jessica Chan, Marlon Hedrick and Riki Tsuji on graduating this December from UT!

Core Faculty Madeline Hsu Publishes Articles and Book

Dr. Madeline Hsu, associate professor in history and Asian American studies published the article titled “Refugees as Resources in Aid Refugee Chinese Intellectuals, Inc. (ARCI) Programs to Support Nationalist Taiwan, 1952-1956,” for “Global Displacements and Emplacement: The Forced Exile and Resettlement Experiences of Ethnic Chinese Refugees,” a special issue of the Journal of Chinese Overseas (2014) 10:2. She also published “Chinese and American Collaborations through Educational Exchange during the Era of Exclusion, 1872-1955,” in Pacific Historical Review, co-editor of special issue titled “Conversations on Transpacific,” 83:2 (May 2014): 314-332. Her forthcoming book, The Good Immigrants: How the Yellow Peril Became the Model Minority, is now available for pre-order from Princeton University Press.

Faculty Affiliate Beili Liu Upcoming Exhibit

Beili Liu, associate professor in art and art history and faculty affiliate with Asian American studies, has an upcoming solo exhibition at the Grace Museum in Abilene, TX. Stratus is a site-specific installation that will be on view between January 22-March 11, 2015. Liu describes the work as "...a closer, more intimate, and perhaps more poetic look at the crisis of water that we are facing in the greater state of Texas. The ongoing drought in Texas has killed millions of trees in our cities and ranches alike." Read more here.

CAAS Lecturer Susan Mays Fellow at Peking University

Dr. Susan Mays is named a Globex Faculty Fellow at Peking University (PKU) for 2015.  This fellowship entails research related to business and entrepreneurship in China and teaching a course called "Economy and Business in China."  The course will be part of a PKU program for international students in summer of 2015.

Core Faculty Kamala Visweswaran Fellow at Stanford's Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Kamala Visweswaran, associate professor in anthropology and Asian American studies, is currently a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Standford University. The residential fellowship program is for scientists and scholars from this country and abroad. Read more about Dr. Visweswaran's work and research 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

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