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Symposium on Asian American Literary Studies
(featuring Maxine Hong Kingston)
Maxine Hong KingstonThursday, Feb. 23, 2006, 1:00-6:00 PM, McCune Room, 6020 HSSB

Click here to download a symposium poster.

Schedule  | Biographies  | Books

Featuring an interview with novelist Maxine Hong Kington, this special half-day symposium includes two panel discussions on critical issues in Asian American literary and cultural studies. The symposium will conclude with a reception to celebrate the release of a new collection of essays, Transnational Asian American Literature: Sites and Transits, edited by Shirley Geok-Lin Lim, John Blair Gamber, Stephen Hong Sohn and Gina Valentino.

Welcome: Carl Gutiérrez-Jones, ACGCC Director
1:00-2:20 PM: Poetry, Protests and War
  Yunte Huang English, UCSB To Be an Asian American Poet
  James Kyung-Jin Lee Asian American Studies, UCSB Asian American Literature and the Warfare Imperative
  Karen Tei Yamashita Literature, UCSC A Reading from I Hotel: Writing the Asian American Movement
  Panel Moderator: Bishnu Ghosh (English, UCSB)
2:20-2:30 PM: Break with refreshments

2:30-3:50 PM: Pollution, Cities and Ethnic Chick Lit
  John Gamber English, UCSB "Dancing with Goblins in Plastic Jungles:" Pollution in Karen Yamashita's Through the Arc of the Rainforest
  Caroline Kyungah Hong English, UCSB "A happy ending without a wedding": Caroline Hwang's In Full Bloom as Ethnic Chick Lit
  Stephen Hong Sohn English, UCSB "Following the Bread Crumbs through the Haunted Forest:" The Racialized Female Detective and Urban Textual Recovery in Suki Kim's Interpreter.
  Panel Moderator: Carl Gutiérrez-Jones (English, UCSB)
4:00-5:00 PM: Maxine Hong Kingston with Shirley Geok-Lin Lim

5:00-6:00 PM: Reception and Book Release Celebration
Yunte Huang came to the U.S. in 1991 after graduating from Peking University with a B.A. in English. He received his Ph.D. from the Poetics Program at SUNY-Buffalo in 1999 and taught as an Assistant Professor of English at Harvard University from 1999-2003. He is the author of CRIBS (2005), Transpacific Displacement: Ethnography, Translation, and Intertextual Travel in Twentieth-Century American Literature (2002), and Shi: A Radical Reading of Chinese Poetry (1997), and the translator into Chinese of Ezra Pound's The Pisan Cantos. He is currently working on two book projects, "The Deadly Space Between": Literature and History in the Age of Transpacific Imagination and Glocal Poetics: A Thick Description.
Maxine Hong Kingston is recognized for her epic novels that detail the experiences of first-generation Chinese Americans. She graduated from the University of Califonia, Berkeley, and soon after became a high school teacher, holding a series of teaching jobs for the next ten years. Her most recognized work is also her first published, Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts (1976), and received the National Book Critic's Circle Award for nonfiction. Woman Warrior combines Chinese folk stories, myth, and her family's experience as immigrants in the United States. Her second book, China Men (1980), expanded upon Woman Warrior and was awarded the American Book Award in nonfiction. China Men reveals the work experiences and discrimination faced by the men in her family. Kingston's third book, Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book (1989), describes the experiences of Whittman Ah Sing (after Walt Whitman), an Asian American hippie in the 1960s. The book pays homage to Joyce's Ulysses in its post-modern structure and description of the narrator's unique odyssey. Her most recent work The Fifth Book of Peace (2003) considers the Vietnam War and the current war in Iraq, shaping a moving new literary form in the spirit of nonviolence.
Jim Lee is an assistant professor of Asian American Studies at UCSB, and is the author of Urban Triage: Race and the Fictions of Multiculturalism (U of Minn. P, 2004). Before coming to UCSB, he served as Associate Director of the Center for Asian American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, where he also taught in Department of English. He received his Ph.D. in English and M.A. in Asian American Studies from UCLA.
Shirley Geok-Lin Lim is a Professor in the English Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She received her Ph.D. from Brandeis University in 1973, and has also taught at internationally, at the National University of Singapore, NIE of Nanyang Technological University, and most recently as Chair Professor at the University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include Asian-American and post-colonial cultural productions and ethnic and feminist writing. She is the author of five books of poems; three books of short stories; two books of criticism: Nationalism and Literature (1993) and Writing South/East Asia in English: Against the Grain (1994); a book of memoirs, Among the White Moon Faces: An Asian-American Memoir of Homelands (1996), and two novels, Joss and Gold (2001) and Sister Swing (2006). She has served as editor/co-editor of numerous scholarly works, including The Forbidden Stich (1989), Approaches to Teaching Kingston’s The Woman Warror (1991), and Transnational Asia Pacific (1999). Professor Lim is currently at work on a study of gender and nation in Asian American representations.
Karen Tei Yamashita is a Japanese American writer from California. She lived for nine years in Brazil, the setting for her first two novels, Through the Arc of the Rain Forest, published in 1990 and awarded the American Book Award and The Janet Heidinger Kafka Award, and Brazil-Maru, named by the Village Voice as one of the 25 best books of 1992. Her third novel set in Los Angeles, Tropic of Orange published in 1997, and was a finalist for the Paterson Fiction Prize. A fourth book of mix genres in fiction and nonfiction, Circle K Cycles, is based on her research of the Brazilian community in Japan and was published in the spring of 2001 by Coffee House Press. Currently, she is Associate Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Transnational Asian American Literature: Sites and Transits  | Sister Swing

Transnational Asian American Literature coverTransnational Asian American Literature:
Sites and Transits

edited by Shirley Geok-lin Lim, John Blair Gamber, Stephen Hong Sohn and Gina Valentino
paper 1-59213-451-3 $24.95
cloth 1-59213-450-5 $74.50
320 pp 6x9 1 table

Buy This Book!

"Increasingly commonplace yet still elusive, ideas of 'transnationalism' and 'diaspora' in Asian American studies get an energetic boost from this collection of highly readable critical essays. Looking for the cross-national, cross-cultural, and cross-linguistic, and searching for global identity formations, the editors have stretched the boundaries and re-shaped Asian American literature, confirming once again that the field is dynamic and unstable."

—Evelyn Hu-DeHart, Professor of History and Ethnic Studies and Director, Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race in America, Brown University

Transnational Asian American Literature: Sites and Transits examines the diasporic and transnational aspects of Asian American literature and asserts the importance of a globalized imaginary in what has been considered an ethnic subgenre of American literature. The thirteen essays in this volume engage works of prose and poetry as aesthetic articulations of the fluid transnational identities formed by Asian American writers who move within and across national boundaries. With its emphasis on the transmigratory and flexible nature of Asian American literary production, the collection argues for an equally balanced mode of criticism that extends our readings of these works beyond the traditional limits of the American literary canon. Individual chapters feature such writers as Chang-rae Lee, Karen Tei Yamashita, Jhumpa Lahiri, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Ha Jin, with attention to such discourses as gender, space and mobility, transnationalism, identity, genre, and post-coloniality.

Sister Swing coverSister Swing
By Shirley Geok-lin Lim
paper 9812612270 $12.00

Buy This Book!

Karen Yamashita, author of Through the Arc of the Rain Forest
"... [set] against [a] wild cultural backdrop... the story unfolds to reveal the strong and intimate ties and responsibilities of sisterhood."

Shawn Wong, author of American Knees
"... a richly textured understanding of a family rooted in a rigid patriarchy ... and their new identity molded in [1980s'] America."

Richard Lim, The Straits Times
"As in her first novel "Joss and Gold", Shirley... has infused the work with her poetic sensibility. A compelling read."

Book Description
"Sister Swing" chronicles the growing up years of three sisters. It follows their transplant from a relatively sheltered life in Malaysia to the raw realities of the United States. It illuminates the complex relationships between the sisters, and gently but firmly explores the morals, values and mindsets of growing up Asian in a Western world.