The History of the Poor is Hardly Ever Written

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Following is an excerpt:
Toward the end of May 2014, I was driving on the Taconic highway and listening to a report from India on NPR. A reporter was at a bus station in Gujarat, asking the youth selling tea there if they thought they could become Prime Minister. This was because the right-wing leader, Narendra Modi, had just led his party to a massive win in the Parliamentary elections. As a teenager, Modi had sold tea at a bus station in Vadnagar. Each one of the youth being interviewed said yes.

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

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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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An Interview with Historian Judy Yung

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Following is an excerpt
The following is an abridged version of an interview by Te-hsing Shan, which took place on August 10, 2014 in San Francisco. Video of Judy Yung’s talk at the Asian American and Asian Research Institute, of The City University of New York, on March 6, 2015, can be viewed online at www.aaari.info/15-03-06Yung.htm

I. Forging Paper Identities and Real Names
Shan: May we start with your name? Your formal English name is Judith Yung and all of your books are published under the name Judy Yung. According to Chinese newspapers in the U.S., your Chinese name is Yang Bifang (楊碧芳). But several years ago, Mrs. Laura Lai told me, right in front of Mr. Lai, that your real Chinese surname is Tan (譚). And you told me last April that your real family name is Tan, and that your real Chinese full name is Tom Bick Fong (譚碧芳). Can you say something about the story behind your name, or other people like yourself, with fluid names, in the context of Chinese American history?

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See No Evil: A Tailored Reality? A Review

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Following is an excerpt:
Global sex trade and trafficking is not a well-researched topic in a social scientific sense despite the hyperbole and sensationalism found in news coverage and public debate. Criminologists Ko-lin Chin and James O. Finckenauer launched a cross-national empirical research project on Chinese women in the global sex trade to gather hard data directly from sex workers and their facilitators. The goal of the research was two-fold: First, to depict a more nuanced picture of global sex trafficking with ideological and emotional detachment; and second, to counter the “prevailing trafficking paradigm” that focuses on smuggling, coercion, fraud, violence, enslavement, and organized crime in the trade.

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Tales from the Field: Research Methods and Approaches to Studying Community

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Following is an excerpt:
Mapping OF Asian Americans in New York (MAANY), is a CUNY-based interdisciplinary research collective, which aims to compile current knowledge, initiate collaborative projects and disseminate information about Asian American communities in New York City. Its current focus is on presenting lectures and holding seminars to start building a dynamic intellectual platform that brings together academics, artists, community activists, and advocates.

Tarry Hum (Urban Planning, Queens College/CUNY)
“What are the challenges and joys of community-based research?”
Beginning in Fall 2014, when Peter Kwong first convened the “Mapping of Asian Americans in New York,” comprised of a group of Asian Americanists from across various CUNY campuses, one of our goals has been to provide a space for us to share our research and have an opportunity to get feedback from one another. This is the final event of the semester and we are finally getting an opportunity to do that through this dialogue: Tales from the Fields (December 15, 2014).

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You Did Not Give America to Me: Two Poems

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Following is an excerpt:
You Did Not Give America to Me
You did not give America to me.
I went looking for it and found it
twisting from branches of jacaranda trees.
You did not discover America for me.
I found it in your hunger

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Linking Asian Pacific Latitudes

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IN HIS EDITORIAL DISCUSSING the “knowledge economy,” Pico Iyer states that we “overestimate how much we understand the world” in relation to historical and contemporary events. Likewise, in our understanding of Asian and Asian American Studies, we produce knowledge, but we may not always understand the complex shifts and currents of scholarship in relation to other stories and voices of the community, and what they imply. For example, in this issue, Jess Delegencia links his experience as a student at UC Berkeley with the U.S. anti-apartheid movement, the People Power Movement in the Philippines, and the Los Angeles Uprisings with the forming of his own identity in the U.S. and South Africa. New Pacific connections also reveal themselves in this issue: indigenous writer Syaman Rapongan, together with scholar Hsinya Huang, offer an oceanic perspective to challenge current global/continental ways of positioning the world.

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Traversing Syaman Rapongan’s Island Imaginaries

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Towards Trans-Pacific Indigeneity

Using Syaman Rapongan’s works as anchor texts, this essay focuses on transpacific flows and indigenous formations which traverse international boundaries. His work offers an oceanic perspective to balance continental ways of thinking, and supplements and challenges transnational approaches to imperialism, indigeneity, and globalization.

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Planting Roots: Asian American Studies in the Midwest

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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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