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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Happy Holidays from CAAS!


Fall 2015 Programming

Photo Credit: Matt Robertson | Daily Texan StaffAsian American Studies Faculty Research Series

This fall semester we continued the faculty research talks to highlight the critical Asian American studies scholarship Center faculty research. Dr. Madeline Hsu, former CAAS director and associate professor in history, presented in September on the topic of “Family History as National History.” Her second monograph, The Good Immigrants: How the Yellow Peril Became the Model Minority, was published earlier this year. Dr. Eric Tang, core faculty and assistant professor in African and African diaspora studies, spoke about his new book, Unsettled: Cambodian Refugees in the New York City Hyperghetto and the current refugee crisis. Read The Daily Texan coverage of the event here. The final talk of the semester was with Dr. Madhavi Mallapragada, core faculty and associate professor in radio-television-film, discussing her new research on “Asian Americans and Multiculturalism in Contemporary US Media.” The Daily Texan wrote about the event here. Many thanks, to the Multicultural Engagement Center for hosting these talks. Follow CAAS’ Facebook page, Twitter or weekly digest to find out when next semester’s talks are scheduled. Photo Credit: Matt Robertson | Daily Texan Staff

The State and Sexual Politics

CAAS and the Department of Sociology hosted a talk and discussion on “The State and Sexual Politics” with Dr. Chaitanya Lakkimsetti from Texas A&M and Dr. Hae Yeon Choo from University of Toronot Mississauga. Dr. Lakkimsetti discussed her article “”HIV is Our Friend”: Prostitution, Biopower, and the State in Postcolonial India” with anthropology PhD student Aniruddhan Vasudevan as the discussant. Dr. Choo spoke about her article, “Intimacy at the Crossroads: Regulating Love between American GIs and Filipina Migrant Hostesses in the Camptown Clubs in South Korea” with sociology PhD student Erika Grajeda as the discussant.

Film Screening & Discussion: A Village Called Versailles

The Center partnered with the Austin Asian American Film Festival to screen the powerful documentary A Village Called Versailles about the Vietnamese American community in a New Orleans neighborhood that organized to rebuild their community after Hurricane Katrina. A Q&A followed the screening with film director S. Leo Chiang via Skype. Special thanks, to CAAS lecturers Drs. Alex Cho and Curran Nault for leading the discussion.

CAAS Graduate Student Group

This semester CAAS reached out to UT graduate students interested in Asian American studies to create a space to collaborate and discuss similar research interests. The Center held its first event, a grad student meet-and-greet, in November. If you are an interested graduate student wanting to get involved, email us. We plan on hosting more events in the spring semester.


Community News

Asian American Voices

CAAS partnered with UT Counseling and Mental Health Center to offer a weekly discussion group to talk about the experiences of being an Asian American student at UT. The goal of the group is to provide Asian American students a space to explore topics that affect day-to-day life and to support one another. Dr. Mona Ghosheh and Chandni Shah from the Counseling and Mental Health Center led the weekly discussion group.  Read The Daily Texan’s coverage of the Voices group here. The group will return at the beginning of the spring semester, every Wednesday from noon-1:30pm at BUR 560. Photo Credit: Jack DuFon | Daily Texan Staff

ACE Foundation Awards Student Scholarships

The Asian Community & Education Foundation, a local nonprofit whose mission is to ensure the growth and success of Austin’s Asian American community through education and financial support, awarded three Asian American studies majors each a $500 scholarship. This year’s student recipients were Shenwei Chang, Rachel Dady, and Irlee Nguyen. These students were presented their award at the Asian American Resource Center Gala in November.

KLRU’s Civic Summit: Austin’s Asian American Community

Core faculty member Dr. Snehal Shingavi and CAAS advisory committee member Richard Jung were panelists on KLRU’s in studio civic summit discussing the challenges Asian Americans face and common misconceptions about this community. Asian American Resource Center nonprofit executive director Esther Chung Martin moderated the discussion. View the full taping here.


People at CAAS

CAAS Core Faculty Promotions

Congratulations to Drs. Eric Tang, Madeline Hsu, and Sharmila Rudrappa on their promotions, effective September 1, 2016. Hsu and Rudrappa have been promoted to full professor. Tang has been promoted to associate professor with tenure. View a full list of the Center’s core faculty, affiliated faculty and teaching affiliates here.

CAAS Graduate

Congratulations to Asian American Studies major Irlee Nguyen on graduating from UT Austin this December. Nguyen also majored in English and is a McNair Scholar. She plans on applying to graduate schools to further her research interests in literature and Asian American studies. Interested in being an Asian American Studies major? Learn more here.

New Student Staff

Undergraduate student Ashley Park started working at the Center in August as the new student associate. Park is a double major in International Relations and Global Studies (IRG) and Asian Studies. She helps with student outreach and general office duties at the Center. Madiha Haque is the new graduate student assistant hired to help with graduate student programming. Haque is a master’s student in Asian Studies focusing on modern South Asia and Urdu language. CAAS is lucky to have both on board!

Core Faculty Updates

The University of Texas at Austin and the South Asia Institute will host the fourth Himalayan Studies Conference (HSC IV) on February 25-28, 2016. The conference is organized by the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies (ANHS) and convened by Dr. Heather Hindman, CAAS core faculty and associate professor in Asian studies. For more information on the conference and registration, visit:

NYU Press published CAAS director Dr. Sharmila Rudrappa’s second book Discounted Life: The Price of Global Surrogacy in India. Rudrappa discussed her research on Office Hours, a podcast that talks with top social scientists about their research and the social world, and The Brian Lehrer Show.

Dr. Nancy Stalker, associate professor in the departments of Asian studies, history, and Asian American studies and core faculty member at the Center for Women’s & Gender Studies received a UT Faculty Research Award Fellowship in Spring 2015.   In June, she participated in the Smithsonian’s travel program as Japan faculty expert.  She continues to work on her monograph on the 20th century globalization of ikebana, the art of flower arrangement, and on Devouring Japan, a volume she is editing on Japanese cuisine based on a conference she organized at UT, which will be published by Oxford University Press in 2016.     

Dr. Eric Tang was named one of TRIBEZA’s people of the year 2015. Temple University recently published his first book Unsettled: Cambodian Refugees in the New York City Hyperghetto. A percent of all book sales in 2015 will be donated to support the work of Mekong NYC. Tang visited the Asian American Writers’ Workshop to talk about why he wrote the book. Read more about his visit 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

Book Talk with Deepa Iyer
noon / Feb 19, 2016
Location: TBD



Support CAAS by making an online gift donation today. Donations are used to support programming, education, and outreach efforts.


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