Thursday, July 8, 2021
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FEATURED PLENARY 9:00-10:30a PT
T1. Community Based Organizations and Building Solidarities Across Difference (access link)
Chai Moua (she/her/hers)
Zon Moua (she/her/hers)
Philip Nguyen (he/him/his)
Atkinson Tran (he/him/his)
Vietnamese American Roundtable
Asian Health Services
Oakland Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce
CONCURRENT SESSIONS 10:45-12:15p PT
T2. Author Spotlight – The Refugee Aesthetic: Reimagining Southeast Asian America (Register for full access)
Author: Timothy K. August (he/him/his), Stony Brook University
Critic: Y-Dang Troeung (she/her/hers), University of British Columbia
This talk will engage Timothy K. August’s first book, The Refugee Aesthetic: Reimagining Southeast Asian America (Temple University Press 2020), which investigates why a number of Southeast Asian American authors have recently embraced the refugee identity as a transformative position. Arguing that aesthetics should be central to the conceptualization of critical refugee studies, he shows how the refugee image can galvanize or marginalize refugees, depending upon how refugee aesthetics are used and circulated.
T3. Community Workshop – Amplifying History, Amplifying Self: Learning How To Tell Our Stories with Narrative Podcasts (Register for full access)
Facilitator: Quincy Surasmith (he/him/his), Asian Americana
Southeast Asian American histories, memories, and experiences are too often presented with a focus on institutional documentation instead of accessibility. Scholars in the space may feel pressured to justify those histories with academic language and framework – but at the cost of most people never getting to experience their work. Meanwhile, podcast and audio storytelling is accessible to audiences (there’s a whole free distribution network) and to creators (production costs and time in audio are a fraction of those in documentary film). It allows us to focus on stories and intend them for both wide and specific community audiences. It gives us the freedom to share our histories and selves because we are worth sharing instead of having to be “important.” Most crucially, it forces both storyteller and audience to listen. Without visuals or written text, listeners engage with the most intimate and empathetic medium: voice – the literal voice of our communities.
I will lead a workshop about how to use the medium of audio – specifically, how to combine sound with narrative podcast structure – to more widely share our stories. Participants will listen to sample pieces, develop their own story ideas into the foundation of an audio story with a tight narrative focus, and learn to engage audiences with intimacy, immersion, and empathy – strengths of the medium.
To prepare for this workshop, please click here.
T4. Film Screening – SEAA Creations and Expressions with Azalia Primadita Muchransyah (Register for full access)
Presenter: Azalia Primadita Muchransyah (she/her/hers), SUNY Buffalo
Films: “Big Durian Big Apple” and “Tamu (The Guests)”
T5. Roundtable/Dialogue – SEAASE-ing Opportunities to Sustain and Unify Communities During the Pandemic (Register for full access)
*Andrew Nguyen (they/them/their/he/him/his), Evergreen Valley College
*Trang Nguyen (she/her/hers), Evergreen Valley College
*Michelle Tran (she/her/hers), Evergreen Valley College
*Brandon Yanari (he/him/his), Evergreen Valley College
Silicon Valley is the home of many Southeast Asian Americans who are immigrants that may have minimal proficiency in English or are the first generation in their families to go to college. The SEAASE program at Evergreen Valley College supports this community by offering academic resources and career workshops to assist and prepare all types of students for their future careers. Meanwhile, the SEAASE club, formed under the SEEASE program at EVC, has created a place where students can find solidarity, acceptance, and a community through social and academic events. Even during COVID-19, we have hosted around 10 online events through Zoom with almost 50+ attendees this academic year. Our events include Thanksgiving, Moon Festival, Tet Lunar New Year, a workshop on “How to Be an Ally for Asian Americans”, etc. We believe that creating such events can help Southeast Asian students from different backgrounds either to connect or adapt to the new environment, as many of our students are immigrants in the country. Most importantly, it empowers students to attend college, graduate, and pursue their careers.
T6. Roundtable/Dialogue – Engaging Memory and Knowledge Transmission through 1960s Pop and Rock Music in the Cambodian American Community (Register for full access)
*Chummeng Soun (he/him/his), Angkor Dance Troupe Organization
*Joan Chun (she/her/hers), Cambodian American Literary Arts Association
*Stephanie Khoury (she/her/hers), Tufts University
Over the Summer of 2020, The Angkor Dance Troupe Organization (ADT), a Cambodian American performing arts association based in Lowell, MA, and the Music Department at Tufts University launched a collaborative research and education program based on 1960s and 70s Cambodian pop and rock music. We were later joined by the Cambodian American Literary Arts Association (CALAA), a Lowell-based grassroots organization. This program, “Memory and knowledge of 1960s-70s Cambodian pop and rock music”, aims to bring together different generations of Cambodian Americans to engage in conversations about a music genre that is both widely enjoyed and about which relatively little is known, as many artists and much documentation disappeared under the Khmer Rouge regime. The goal of the program is double: On the one hand, using oral history methods, it aims to assess how much knowledge can be gathered from the collective memory of the older members of the Cambodian American community. On the other hand, it aims to foster intergenerational conversations about pre- genocide music and the life at that time for the elder relatives. In this roundtable, the different partners of the program will discuss the collaborative implementation of participatory action research methods by and for Cambodian American community members and how such an approach supports restorative justice initiatives within the community. Additionally, we will address the challenges and outcomes of this ongoing program at both personal and community levels to discuss the active role of musical heritage as a tool for intergenerational community building and knowledge transmission. Because pre-genocide pop and rock music is a cultural form that was targeted for erasure by the Khmer Rouge regime, the coming together of refugees and their descendants to co-create knowledge about how this music was experienced and lived is in and of itself an important area for restorative justice. In doing so, this program also looks at the formative role of pre-genocide music in collectively memorializing the past and in (re)imagining the homeland while positioning oneself in a US environment.
T7. Paper Panel – Culturally Competent Practices: Engaging with Community Needs (Register for full access)
*Can’t bear it! Employing Culturally Sensitive Initiatives to Reduce Bear Bile Demand in Northern Vietnam | Alicia Ngo (she/her/hers), Harvey Mudd College
*Evidence in Support of Cross Ethnic-Racial Identity Scale-Adult Scores in Filipino American Adults | Edwin Carlos (he/him/his), University of California, Berkeley
*Uncertainty in Filipino Caregivers’ Work and Lives: Fear, Isolation and Anxiety under COVID-19 | Elaika Janin Celemen (she/her/hers), San Francisco State University; Valerie Francisco-Menchavez (she/her/hers), San Francisco State University; Chloe Janelle Punsalan (she/her/hers), University of California, Berkeley
T8. Paper Panel – Building Communities of Care: The Fight Against Deportations (Register for full access)
*The Educational Experiences of Lao Americans Impacted by Deportation | Monica Bourommavong (they/they/their/she/her/hers/he/him/his), Independent
*Rethinking “Home” for Cambodian Americans | Rebecca Chhay (she/her/hers), UCLA
*When We Fight, We Win: Abolition and Restorative Care | Thaomi Michelle Dinh (she/her/hers), University of Washington
FEATURED PLENARY 12:30-2:00p PT
T9. Ethnic Studies: Fighting the Ivory Tower (access link)
Tracy Buenavista (she/her/hers)
New Breath Foundation
William Overfelt High School
CONCURRENT SESSIONS 2:15-3:45p PT
T10. Community Workshop – Exploring Intergenerational Trauma and Healing through Collage (Register for full access)
Facilitator: Mindy Tran (she/her/hers), Independent
My name is Mindy Tran, a second-generation Vietnamese-Chinese-American woman, the daughter of Vietnamese refugees, and I currently work as an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist in California that focuses on body-based techniques to address intergenerational and race-based trauma. My work is centered on exploring the ways that 1.5 and 2nd generation children of immigrants/refugees like myself have experienced intergenerational trauma, and how to identify its impact on our mental health and physical well-being. I come from a family that rarely talks about feelings, especially feelings or emotions that were perceived to be negative. As a result of my culture’s reluctance of storytelling around the lived experiences of our elders, our stories and voices are becoming lost. The fear of reliving past traumas may be too overwhelming for some of our family members, and when the trauma goes unprocessed, it may leave some kind of emotional “residue” within our bodies that can be passed on throughout generations. This “residue” might feel like anxiety, fear, shame, anger, or some other emotions that might feel like a lot to manage (because in a lot of ways, it’s not quite our own emotions).
A way to begin exploring our intergenerational traumas is to become more familiar with it. Getting to know how intergenerational trauma shows up in the body can be a challenging task, especially since the emotional “residue” may be decontextualized due to how much time has passed since the traumatic event occurred. For instance, a 2nd generation Vietnamese-American teenager who has a strong visceral emotional reaction when moving to another city may not consider how their emotions and body sensations may be connected to the past when their ancestors were pushed out of their homeland due to colonization or war. When we give ourselves permission to feel into our bodies and to strengthen our intuition, we may begin to better understand and work with what is stored within us.
Through the use of collage, we are able to offer the body an opportunity to intiutively connect to a variety of imagery that can offer more insight into our embodied experiences. The collage activity invites the maker to select imagery that evokes feelings or sensations for them, whether it be from the colors, image, background, or whatever else calls to them. Collaging offers permission for the subconscious and intuition to come to the forefront. Once finished, the maker will have a tangible finished product that also serves as a tool to further explore their emotional processing. The collage-making process may be able to evoke feelings, sensations, and reflections that may not be immediately accessible to the neocortex (the “thinking” part of the brain), therefore the process of unpacking emotions becomes more accessible to those who may not have language or the felt-sense of comfort to dialogue about their emotions.
There will be an option to make the collage digitally or to do a traditional collage on paper. If participants want to make a paper collage, they could have some paper (8×11.5″ or larger), scissors, glue, and magazines available to use during session. All participants will be invited to create a comfortable space for themselves to engage in collage, so they are welcome to have a journal, any food/drinks, comfort items such as blankets/pillows/plushies/etc, sacred items such as candles or crystals, and anything else that would set the tone for them to engage in this creative activity.
T11. Paper Panel – Activisms, Resistance, and Community Formations (Register for full access)
*Refusing Resilience | Simi Kang (she/her/hers), UC Santa Barbara
*Asian American Media Activism Gone Global: Twitter, The Foreigner, and Globally Layered Media Activism | Tony Tran (he/him/his), Boston College
*The Missing Piece Project: A Collective Intervention at the Wall in DC | Kim Tran (she/her/hers), UCLA
*Makibaka, Huwag Matakot: Struggle and Revolutionary Nationalism Among Filipinx-American Activists in the National Democratic Movement | Ethan Zachary Chua (they/them/their, she/her/hers, he/him/his) Stanford University
T12. Paper Panel – Troubling Gender, Masculinities, and Femininities (Register for full access)
*Intergenerational Trauma and Masculinity amongst Second-Generation Southeast Asian Men | An Huynh (he/him/his), University of San Francisco; Christine Yeh, University of San Francisco
*Does Deepa Mehta Address “Western Eyes” in Funny Boy? | Ying Ma (she/her/hers), University of Texas at Dallas
*The Position of Hmong Leaders on Hmong Intimate Partner Homicide-Suicide | Pa Thor (she/her/hers), New York University
T13. Paper Panel – Critical SEAA Studies: Working with and through the Lens of Cultural Studies (Register for full access)
*Refugee Poetics in Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous | David Pham (he/him/his), UC Berkeley
*The Camera in America: Critical Refugee Studies and Dao Strom’s Grass Roof, Tin Roof | Michele Janette (she/her/hers), Kansas State University
*The Radical Possibilities of Asexual Critique in Filipino American Literature | MT Vallarta (they/them/their), Dartmouth College
T14. Paper Panel – Navigating Education: Pushing Against Eurocentrism in the Curriculum (Register for full access)
*Creating Spaces of Visibility: Reflections on Teaching Southeast Asian Narratives at a Rural PWI | Diane Nititham (she/her/hers), Murray State University; Danielle Muzina (she/her/hers), Murray State University
*The “Feeling Seen” Syllabus: How to Teach Asian American Studies in Meaningful Ways to First-Generation Southeast Asian American College Students | Winnie Hung (she/her/hers), California State University, Sacramento
*Storying refugee education: An exploration into de/colonial teaching and learning through story | Amrit Cojocaru (she/her/hers), Simon Fraser University
T15. Community Workshop – Illuminated Recipes: Cravings, Customs, & Comforts (Register for full access)
Facilitator: Kary Tran (she/her/hers), Vietnamese American Arts & Letters Association
What is your first memory of food? Whether in necessity or nourishment, food connects us with people, places, and traditions. Food allows us to form memories, share stories, and develop personal and collective history. Food often reflects our cravings (What do we crave when we think of home?), customs (What do we pass from one generation to the next?), and comforts (What do we honor in our family history and recipes?). Through Vietnamese American Arts and Letters Association (VAALA) Gallery Beyond Walls program, with support from the Critical Refugees Studies Collective Grant, “Illuminated Recipes” elucidated the power of food to develop intergenerational connections across cultures and communities.
The beginning of our three-month project began by collecting our family recipes. A seemingly simple assignment that fostered conversation and interaction between myself and my parents, ultimately reconnected my identity to our ethnic and cultural upbringing and refugee experience. It took a question about phở bò, for my father to finally recall his life back in Vietnam. It took a photo about jook, for my mother to slowly reveal her exhaustion in sacrifice. It took a discussion about childhood meals, for me to clearly understand the impact of our food insecurity and hunger. With mentorship and training from expert instructors in oral history, photography, and mixed media, I, along with eleven participants, transcribed memories, translated recipes, and transformed ideas into art.
Recipe by recipe, story after story, photo upon photo, I learned new technical and creative skills that allowed me to feel the ripples of colonialism, U.S. militarism, and displacement across the Pacific for a country my parents fled. What was once foreign became familiar. These revelatory reconciliations of food as home allowed me to diversify the Vietnamese American refugee experience. With posterity, “Illuminated Recipes” has contributed to the larger American immigrant narrative.
T16. Roundtable/Dialogue – The Futurity of Southeast Asian Women Poetics (session cancelled)
Monica Sok (she/her/hers), Stanford University
Barbara Jane Reyes, Independent
Mai Der Vang (she/her/hers), CSU Fresno
Khaty Xiong (she/her/hers), Independent
Đỗ Nguyên Mai (they/them/their), UC Riverside
T17. Paper Panel – Vietnamese/American Spaces: Social Anchoring in CyberSpace, Saigon, Little Saigon and the Transpacific Vietnamese Language Sphere (Register for full access)
*Return of the Vietnamese Westerners: (Re)acculturation and belonging in the digital age | Dan Le (he/him/his), Kanazawa University, Japan
*The Park and the Ring Road: Motorbike YouTubers and Diasporic Vietnamese Memories of Cold War Sài Gòn | Alvin Bui (he/him/his), University of Washington, Seattle
*Imagining Little Saigon: The Creation of the “Capital of the Vietnamese Refugees” | Vincent Tran (he/him/his), VietRISE, Garden Grove
*Becoming Vietnamese: Language Reform in the Vietnamese American Diaspora as a Path to Legacy Building | John Tran (he/him/his) University of Washington, Seattle
Vietnamese spaces past and present are being created and remembered in the Vietnamese American diaspora through “return” migrations, YouTube videos, ethnic enclaves and language reform policy. This panel brings together scholars who dive into the relationship between history and memory in the making of Vietnamese/American spaces. Dan Le considers how online interactions shape the identities and sense of belonging of 2nd generation ethnic return migrants in Saigon. Alvin Bui looks to motorbike YouTube videos of Saigon to analyze how the Cold War is re-formed through contemporary development projects and continuously re-encountered in the Vietnamese diaspora’s memory of the city. Vincent Tran explores the 1988 creation of Little Saigon through the establishment of the Little Saigon Development Committee, their leaders’ projects, and their imagining of an ethnic enclave. Finally, John Tran compares efforts in the Vietnamese American diaspora to purify the Vietnamese language and argues that this process is driven by an anti-imperialist ideology rooted in Vietnam’s long historical quest for independence from outside influences. Together, these papers show how Vietnamese/American spaces are irrevocably informed by their genealogical pasts as well as the politics of the present.
FEATURED PLENARY 4:00-5:30p PT
T18. Arts and Expression: The Next Generation (access link)
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