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

Youtube Star of the Day

Since the rise of Youtube, Asian Americans artists have been using it as a channel for broadcasting their talent, and become (wildly!) successful young celebrities on this video-sharing platform. Check out this interview with Jennifer Chung, whose first debut album is being released soon.

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.

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.

Annie Le Case Sheds Light on Lives of Asian American Women

Submitted by Lisa Wang ’12

Though it’s been awhile, this is a very interesting take on the Annie Le case…

It really touches on some of the nuances of Asian American female life at Yale

Brief passage from article:

“Perhaps one reason Annie can be so readily turned into an abstraction and her situation so readily made to stand in for workplace violence has to do with this:

The silence of Asian-American women in the workplace, and the Asian-American minority in general.

Annie was Asian-American. Asian-Americans are Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese and Cambodian, Thai, other Southeast Asians, Indians, other East Asians, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus.

Have I forgotten anyone?

We are a large group fragmented by language, culture and class without a unified political presence.

Often we are hampered by our own self-definition.