Are you interested in meeting a Yalie in the Asian American community? Do you want to have an exhilarating chat over a cup of coffee? Do you love froyo, mochi, and everything in between? The AACC wants to give you the opportunity to meet new people over a delightful snack!

Email aacc.luck.of.the.draw@gmail.com with your name, email address, college, and year, and we’ll pair you randomly for a chat with another student. You will receive an email in the next couple of weeks about the person you have been paired with for AACC Serendipity. Once you have set up a time to meet, you will contact the AACC, and additional information will be provided on how to claim your free gift certificate.

AACC Serendipity will be happening throughout the semester, so anytime you want to meet a new face, all you have to do is send your contact info!

Annual Eid Banquet

Join the MSA and the Chaplain’s Office to commemorate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. The keynote speaker for the event is Mona Eltahawy, an award-winning columnist and international public speaker on Arab and Muslim issues, most recently on the “Arab Spring” dignity revolutions in the Middle East.

The banquet will take place at Commons Dining Hall on Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 at 5:30 pm.

The event is free with a meal swipe, and will be $10 for those without a meal swipe. Formal or cultural attire is requested; please RSVP using this form.


Master’s Tea with Lisa Lee

Yesterday, Lisa Lee came to talk to Yale students about her work with both the magazine Hyphen and the newly launched website “Thick Dumpling Skin.”

As an Asian American woman, Lee’s work really speaks to me. Hearing her speak in person made me feel proud to identify myself with such an empowered women. Although Lee clearly has impressive credentials and influence, she never for one moment talked down to her audience. Her natural, down-to-earth manner made me feel especially receptive to the issues she raised and the points she brought up during the tea.

Lee emphasized that both Hyphen and “Thick Dumpling Skin” are resources which first and foremost serve the communities they cater to. The goals of both are to break stereotypes and to give Asian Americans a place where they can feel like they belong.

Cleverly using a quote from everyone’s favorite Spiderman series, the thing Lee said which struck me the most was “With great power comes great responsibility.” To break Asian American stereotypes, Asian Americans themselves must first stop perpetuating them. In the YouTube world, leaders like KevJumba and Wongfu have enormous support and with that they also have enormous influence. Lee hopes that all Asian American leaders can be aware of their actions and this has inspired me to be more conscious of what I do on a daily basis.

There is a long way to go before all Asian American women can shake the need to fit the mold of intelligent, thin, and submissive, but with leaders like Lisa Lee, they can start finding their own identities.

Post by guest contributor Mendy Yang, CC ’15

Bulldog Buzz week of 8/31 — Shopping Period Edition

Got an extra spot on your schedule? Interested in Asian-American topics or just looking for a fun class? Check out these gems on OCS:

HIST 183: Asian American History, 1800 to the Present
A new perspective. Taught by Professor Mary Lui, this class introduces some of the key topics in Asian-American history that were probably skimmed over in your other more “mainstream” American history classes. A variety of Asian cultures are covered, for a rich and eye-opening course.

HIST 166J: Asian American Women and Gender, 1830 to the Present
Not just for Asian women. Also taught my Lui, this junior history seminar (sorry non-majors!) explores the challenges and accomplishments of Asian American women, providing a cultural and sociological perspective on a little-discussed topic.

AMST 322: Gender, Family and Cultural Identity in Asia and the United States
Bridge the culture gap. WGSS department lecturer and international feminism expert Geetanjali Chanda teaches this class on identity formation in different Asian countries and U.S. perceptions of Asian culture. It will change the way you think.

ENGL 339: American Literary Nationalisms
The bookish type. With African American Studies Professor GerShun Avilez, read works that highlight the influence of nationalist frameworks on modern American literature. Includes not just Asian American nationalism but also the Black Arts Movement and feminist and queer organizing, among others.

AMST 695: Craft in Colonial and Independent India
Trip to the museum. This graduate-level seminar looks at South Indian craft-making, from textiles to metalwork. Professor of American Decorative Arts Edward Cooke introduces both historical and contemporary contexts for the craftsmen’s work, and relates them to prominent cultural issues in India.

A Day in the Life…

Calling all Prefrosh! My name is Matthew Tran and I am a freshman in Davenport, which is obviously the best residential college on campus. YDN says so. Even look at freshman Olympics last weekend. What better way to end Freshman Olympics than to OWN EVERY OTHER COLLEGE AND TO TOTALLY HUMILIATE PIERSON BY STEALING THEIR FLAG (we got DQed, but that’s I could go on). Oh I’m sorry you wanted to know about my life? Sorry I thought it was time for FACTS. Davenport greatness aside let me welcome you child-ren into a(n) (a)typical day of a Yalie.

7:00 A.M. Waking up in the morning… I go back to sleep

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Dearest Yale Prefrosh of 2015

Dearest Yale Pre-frosh of the class of 2015,

As you walk around Yale’s campus today and meet some of the undergraduates who define campus-life here, you should find solace in the fact that we were all in your shoes once.

Many of us struggled to figure out whether Yale was right for us, whether the experiences that this campus offered would enable us to mature and grow over the next four, crucial years. We thought about the residential college system, the professors, the majors, the alumni, the support-network and the risks associated with New Haven. Although I was in your shoes exactly four years ago, which seems like forever-ago, I am sure that these same issues are floating around in your mind today.

This blog post is my attempt to help you make that college decision, but it has little to do with Yale, except for my one digression about the risks associated with New Haven. If this New Haven’s crime rate issue is an important factor to you, then your decision has already been made. If you are too scared to live in a city that mind you, is like most cities in America, where you are required to take precaution against street crimes—then New Haven is not for you and neither is Yale.

For those who are still considering Yale despite its location, I hope to offer some general advice.

There is this general wisdom of “following your heart” that has probably reached your ears by now. This wisdom probably told you that these issues like student life, academics, and networks are not going to help you decide. The logic goes, if you are unsure of whether to go to Yale or another school, then you are probably facing a choice between two schools of equally high quality, schools that can boast equally great statistics and anecdotes on student life, academics, and networks. As a result, if you want to decide on your college, you just have to wait for that quintessential moment of clarity when a school just “feels right.” That is when you will know.

This is nonsense.

You should be approaching this college decision with strategic questions and honesty, instead of waiting for an A-ha moment to hit you. This is the time to be honest with yourself about who you are, what is important to you and what your interests are. You should be asking yourself a lot of questions. What kind of weather and culture do you thrive in? What kind of social circles do you prefer? What kind of people can you just not stand? Most important of all, seek out those upperclassmen, professors, advisors, and programs that are related to your interests and judge them. Visit each campus. Seek out the communities on those campuses that are the hubs of your interests. You will spend the next four years incubating in these hubs. Their quality and fit should be the tipping point of your college decision.

You can find solace in the fact that we have all survived the decision you are about to make, but I am not going to lie to you: the pressure’s on. I just hope you will find your hubs at Yale. =)


Doors of Old Campus

In the conference room where my lab has our weekly meetings (Mason 321 what up), there’s a poster called “Doors of Yale” with pictures of a dozen or so different doors, gates, and entryways, showcasing the rich variety of architecture on campus. It’s not the most well-designed poster, but I really liked the concept. So this morning, I decided to go out and do a little photo shoot of my own, focusing specifically on Old Campus, since it is home to 83% of Yale freshmen.

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Blog Contest Winner–Bad Romance

Congratulations to anonymous submitter Aaron X! Here’s an excerpt from her blog, Vanity

I’ve been having a terrible week.
Let’s just say I made my IMTHESHIT playlist.
It’s been playing on repeat.


Aside from the Oscars, co-hosted by James Franco (wouldn’t you hate to be working with that guy on a big project due on Monday?) and “that annoying girl” Anne Hathaway (my mother’s words; I’m rather fond of her), Yale also had the honor of playing host to renowned Japanese filmmaker Koreeda Hirokazu. I had been a fan of his ever since I saw the critically acclaimed 誰も知らない or Nobody Knows (2004), which a friend had recommended to me as being the most depressing movie she’s ever seen. And indeed, it was heartbreaking, but it was also a beautiful piece of work, subtle and poignant as a lot of the best in Japanese cinema can be.

I wasn’t able to attend the two workshops that were held over the weekend, but I did manage to catch a screening of Koreeda’s latest? work, Still Walking (2008). A narration over the course of roughly a day, the film is an in-depth portrait of a middle-class Japanese family, coming together in a clash of personalities while sharing an in an important common bond. Through the voice of older son, Koreeda tries to convey that family life is to be cherished and nourished. Beautiful and moving, the film certainly succeeded in invoking these sentiments.* I don’t think anything that I can write could do it justice, so maybe you should just check it out for yourself.

I could go on and on about East Asian/Southeast Asian cinema (Bollywood is a different genre altogether), but perhaps I’ll just leave you with this: Yes, there’s been a lot of film screenings this year—I don’t know when all the organizations started popping up/why they all decided to let us watch free movies—but I’m certainly not complaining. They’re really worth checking out if you can spare 2 hours of your regularly scheduled Hulu-watching. And I’m always open to movie (and drama!) recommendations, so drop a line if you’ve got something that everyone needs to see.**

* Actually, I was reminded of Tokyo Sonata (2008), another Japanese film that I had watched recently that also explores the Japanese family but with a slightly higher focus on the struggle of individual personalities to shine through in Japan’s familial structure and roles. It actually made me really angry for a good three-quarters of the film, but the mood it manages evokes modern-day Japanese society so poignantly that it’s hard not to look back on it fondly. Also worth a watch.

** Despite the content of this post humor is actually preferred! Not that I really understand absurdist Japanese humor (but so many puns ♥)…

Tomorrow — The Future of Afghan Feminism

Monday, 2/28 @ 4:30 pm: A talk with the co-founder of Women for Afghani Women in WLH 116. Sponsored by the Yale Afghanistan Forum, Women’s Center, Asian American Cultural Center, Reach Out, ISO, Muslim Students Association, and South Asian Studies Council. Read more about the Yale Afghanistan Forum at their blog.