Indians in the US have felt animosity for 100 years, now a feeling of déjà vu creeps in

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From News India Times: If the Indian community feels increasingly vulnerable and targeted by the Trump Administration, on the immigration front, it’s nothing new in the United States. Animosity towards Indians has been brewing for more than a century, points out Prema Kurien, Professor of Sociology at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, in the recently published book ‘Asian American Matters – A New York Anthology’ (Asian American / Asian Research Institute of City University of New York; 256 pages; $25).

The Indian community was viewed as a ‘bigger threat than other Asiatic groups,’ in the beginning of the 20th century. In 1910, a Senate Immigration Commission declared that Indians (then called ‘Hindus’) were “universally regarded as the least desirable race of immigrants thus far admitted to the United States”, Kurien, the author of ‘A Place at the Table: Multiculturalism and the Development of an American Hinduism,’ says in a commentary piece in ‘Asian American Matters’.

‘Asian American Matters’ has several other thought provoking essays, with one by Erik Love, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, and the author of ‘Islamophobia and Racism in America’, highlighting the perpetuation of the xenophobia angle in the brutal murder of Balbir Singh Sodhi, a turbaned Sikh American killed on September 15, 2001, the first post 9/11 hate crime victim.

Allan Punzalan Isaac, Chair of American Studies, at Rutgers University, in his essay, delves into the subject of how the Trump era is empowering Whites, while demeaning minorities…. Isaac analyzes the vexatious H-1B visa issue, saying it “threatens the space and place of whiteness,” and “changes the naturalized trajectory of whiteness.”

Full article: http://www.newsindiatimes.com/indians-in-the-us-have-felt-animosity-for-100-years-now-a-feeling-of-deja-vu-creeps-in/32855

Envisioning the Next Revolutions: How Today’s Asian American Movements Connect to Worldwide Activism

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Following is an excerpt:
In the early 1990s, I ended my article, “The Four Prisons and the Movements of Liberation,” about the state of Asian American activism with a series of questions: Will we fight only for ourselves, or will we embrace the concerns of all oppressed people? Will we overcome our own oppression and help to create a new society, or will we become a new exploiter group in the present American hierarchy of inequality? Will we define our empowerment solely in terms of individual advancement for a few, or as the collective liberation for all people?

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Forty-Five Years of Asian American Studies at Yale University

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Following is an excerpt:
I. Forty-Fifth Anniversary of Asian American Studies at Yale

It is a great honor and pleasure to be invited back to Yale and to participate in this important conference.

This gathering has historic significance. It was forty-five years ago during the Spring semester of 1970 when the first class in Asian American Studies was offered at Yale. It was the first Asian American Studies class offered by any Ivy League college and, along with the first class offered at City College of New York,1 one of the first two that was taught east of the West Coast.

Full PDF article download: 2015 CUNY FORUM – Don T. Nakaniski

Freedom from the Four Prisons: Evolution of a Course and a Teacher

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Following is an excerpt:
Introduction
Twenty years ago, Glenn Omatsu published “The Four Prisons and the Movements of Liberation,” as a chapter in Karin Aguilar-San Juan’s 1994 book, The State of Asian America: Activism and Resistance in the 1990s.  Building on the work of Iranian philosopher Ali Shariati, Prof. Omatsu helped me to understand the origins of Asian Pacific American (APA) Studies in the 1960s and 70s, and chart a way forward into the 90s and beyond. The Omatsu/Shariati analysis combined history, politics, science, and psychology to define four “prisons” that hold us back from full liberation as individuals and as a society.

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Planting Roots: Asian American Studies in the Midwest

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Following is an excerpt:
I am grateful that editor Russell Leong has invited me to share my reflections about Asian American studies from the Midwest perspective and to be sharing this stage, so to speak, with colleagues whom I am sure have served and led their respective institutions for far longer than I have. After obtaining my masters in Asian American Studies (AAS) and my doctorate in History at UCLA, I moved to America’s “heartland.” For the last thirteen years, I have been affiliated with Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In the last three years, I have been in positions of leadership in the Department of Asian American Studies, starting as Associate Director and then as head of the department. So what I have to say about Asian American Studies comes from this midwestern Big-10 perspective. In what follows, I offer an account of my current research project on hispanismo, a kind of interdisciplinary study that has been made possible by my positioning in the Midwest. I also offer a view of the current opportunities and challenges being at the University provides for Asian American Studies and a perspective for moving it forward in the future.

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Steps Along the Curved Road

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Following is an excerpt:
In October 1986, an invited gaggle of fifty faculty and students convened at Cornell University for a historic East Coast Asian American Scholars Conference to lay the initial groundwork for an Asian American Studies network “East of California.” Resolutions unanimously passed by participants included statements of support for institutionalizing an Asian American Studies program at UMass Boston and an Inter-College Research Institute in Asian American Studies at the City University of New York, along with a call to reconvene in the future to assess the progress of East Coast Asian American Studies programs.1 Russell Leong, then editor of UCLA’s Amerasia Journal, was one of two non-East Coast participants. We greatly appreciate Russell’s fresh invitation from CUNY FORUM after all these years.

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Second Generation Asian America: Inheriting the Movement

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Following is an excerpt:
Each generation of Asian Americans faces its unique set of alienations: invidious stereotypes resulting in a unique double-consciousness. Such “two-ness” was akin to the conflicted feelings of generations of African Americans whose worth was earlier measured through the eyes of others, as W.E.B. Du Bois points out.

For Asian Americans, such stereotypes included that of the perpetual foreigner, model minority, job-stealer, and alien, which have recurred during generations and waves of immigration. Other names — entitled, whitewashed, ghetto, terrorist — are newer. These perceptions made by others had also created a sensation of “double-consciousness” among Asian Americans.

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The University of Pennsylvania’s Asian American Studies Program: Reflections

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Following is an excerpt:
Eiichiro Azuma

In March of 2013, the University of Pennsylvania’s Asian American Studies (ASAM) celebrated its fifteenth-year anniversary. We are a small but vibrant ethnic studies program that not only mirrors the traditional ethnic studies vision of uniting scholarship, student activism and community service, but also endeavors to constantly adapt to the shifting intellectual needs of UPenn’s undergraduate student body. Our inception was inseparable from student activism and community support back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Currently, ASAM consists of four standing faculty members with a full-time Associate Director. All faculty are tenured — Grace Kao in Sociology, David Eng and Josephine Park in English, and myself in History. We belong to our respective home departments, as ASAM does not have its own faculty line. Dr. Fariha Khan, a specialist in South Asian American folklore, has a dedicated role as Associate Director, and also teaches core courses for the program. ASAM offers a minor in Asian American Studies, and we have contributed to the diversification of undergraduate curriculum in UPenn’s School of Arts and Sciences. Comprised of those who pursue the minor, our Undergraduate Advisory Board takes the initiative in organizing student-led conferences, lectures, and other events while advising faculty from the student perspective. ASAM has a close partnership with the Pan-Asian American Community House, a student service division that is a part of the Vice Provost for University Life.

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Asian American Studies

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Following is an excerpt:
When I read Timothy Yu’s article, “Has Asian American Studies Failed?” in the October 2012 issue of the Journal of Asian American Studies, I was taken aback. After all, I was the one who initiated Asian American Studies at City College of New York in 1970. That was the first time Asian American Studies had ever been offered at an institution of higher learning east of California, and it was only preceded by one year in California.

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The Challenge for New Immigrant Students at Baruch College/CUNY

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Following is an excerpt:
I have been working very closely with new immigrant students for the past five years as their college counselor with the Baruch College SEEK Program. SEEK stands for Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge, which is an opportunity program for educationally-challenged students from low-income families.

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