Asian American Pacific Research Cluster Spring Speaker Series

Prof. Allen Chun
The Disciplinary Divide: Is There a Bottom Line in Cultural Studies?

Monday, May 12
4 pm, Oakes Mural Room

Allen Chun is a Research Fellow in the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. He is the author of Unstructuring Chinese Society: The Fictions of Colonial Practice and the Changing Realities of ‘Land’ in the New Territories of Hong Kong (Harwood Academic Press, 2000) and articles in numerous journals. He has most recently edited a special issue in Cultural Studies 14(3-4) entitled “(Post)Colonialism and Its Discontents” as well as a special issue in Communal/Plural: Journal of Transnational & Crosscultural Studies 9(1) on “The Postnation, or Violence and the Norm.” His thematic interests cover the fields of socio-cultural theory, historical anthropology, cultural sociology of the state as well as colonial and post-colonial societies. His talk addresses the concern of a widening gap in current uses and definitions of culture in “cultural studies”, as practiced not only in its explicit institutionalized manifestations but also in disciplines as varied as anthropology, sociology, literature, media and mass communications, etc. It goes without saying that there is perhaps no holistic field of study called cultural studies, despite the eminence of some schools of thought, insofar as it has diverse interdisciplinary roots and theoretical influences. While these diverse theoretical roots have engendered the general rise of cultural studies, few people have focused on the institutional parameters that have conditioned acceptance of these same paradigms, which can serve on the other hand as sources of friction across disciplines.


Gary Pak
Reading from Asia/Pacific: Gary’s Pak’s Korean/Hawai’ian American Voice
Tuesday, May 13
4pm, Oakes Mural Room

Gary Pak is assistant professor of English at University of Hawai’i at Manoa. He is the author of various publications: A Ricepaper Airplane (novel), The Watcher of Waipuna (short story collection), and Beyond the Falls (children’s play), along with other essays and stories in contribution to literary magazines and anthologies. He got his Ph.D from University of Hawai`i at Manoa, and is now teaching creative writing, literatures of Hawai`i and the Pacific, Asian American literature, Korean American literature, modern Korean literature in translation, etc. In year 2002, he received a Fulbright grant to be a visiting professor in Korea. He will be doing a reading of his recent fictional work in the talk.

Prof. Colleen Lye
Form and History in Asian American Literature
Thursday, May 15
4 pm, Oakes Mural Room

Colleen Lye, assistant professor of English at UC Berkeley, is the author of several articles on Asian American literature and cultural studies, and serves on the editorial collective of Movements: Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, a new Routledge journal forthcoming in Spring 2000 assistant professor in the Department of English at UC Berkeley. Her book, America’s Asia: Racial Form and American Literature, 1882-1945, is forthcoming from Princeton University Press in 2004. Her talk considers the contemporary grounds for approaching “Asian American literature” and asks us to think about the following questions: What would it mean to practice ethnic literary inquiry today, if not to take authorial ethnicity for granted as a way of classifying literary texts? How might we go about historicizing the formation of Asian American literatures such that it would be possible to atttribute variations in modes and genres to specific historical conditions of immigrant experience and racialization? And to what extent does our apprehension of ethnic identity itself reflect the properties of its textual history?