Articles in the Essays Category
76 Results

Hong Kong vs. Goliath

By Elaine Yu and Jeffrey Wasserstrom | July 2, 2016 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

With Canto-pop star Denise Ho and bookseller-turned-whistleblower Lam Wing-Kee, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement is putting the old tactic of boycotts to new use

The Vanishing Point: Writers Speak to Kim Hyesoon’s Poetry in Translation

By Joyelle McSweeney and Johannes Göransson | June 23, 2016 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

“It seems that reading Kim Hyesoon in English and from the United States entails a radical re-positioning of one’s reading perspective, from imperial center to the vanishing point.”

China in the American Imagination: A Survey of Ephemera

By Hua Hsu | June 7, 2016 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

From Pearl Buck’s “The Good Earth” to the FBI files of HT Tsiang, a journey into the archives with Hua Hsu

Why I Will Never Celebrate Indian Arrival Day

By Rajiv Mohabir | June 2, 2016 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Indentured labor in the Caribbean marked the beginning of disease, dependencies, prejudices, and ills that continue to plague Indo-Caribbean communities

Islamophobia in the Bible Belt

By Deepa Iyer | May 4, 2016 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

As immigrant communities reshape Tennessee’s racial landscape, how the state has become a breeding ground for anti-Muslim sentiment

Benedict Anderson in Search of Tjamboek Berdoeri

By Benedict Anderson | April 29, 2016 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Solving the mystery behind a Chinese Indonesian writer’s forgotten account of the final years of Dutch colonial rule through Indonesia’s armed revolution

We’re in the Room, Calvin Trillin

By AAWW | April 11, 2016 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Writers respond to Trillin’s doggerel “Have They Run Out of Provinces Yet?”

Matt Huynh Inks Stories of an Inherited War

By Michelle Chen | March 11, 2016 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The artist’s interactive graphic novel adaptation of Nam Le’s “The Boat” is an entry point to a conversation about refugees today

Another Kind of Death

By Lillian Kalish | January 28, 2016 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

It was just the right and wrong moment to leave, to go to China, to live in a country where the weight of blackness might not hinder your breathing. And yet, there were things you were afraid of losing.

Digging a Hole to China

By Michelle Chen | January 15, 2016 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

In Huan Hsu’s The Porcelain Thief, the search for a family treasure unearths the spell of nostalgia

Five Boroughs, Seven Killings

By Rishi Nath | December 28, 2015 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

New York City through Marlon James’ Booker Prize-winning novel

Why I Set My Novel in an Unnamed Country

By Chaitali Sen | November 12, 2015 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

An imaginary setting gave me, a child of immigrants, the authority to write about belonging unquestionably to one’s surroundings

Setting a Place

By Rohan Kamicheril | October 28, 2015 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Sustainable eating can often feel like the privilege of a well-heeled elite, but how do the appetites and labor of New York City’s immigrant communities fit into the picture?

Getting to Know You: Broadway Meets Heart Mountain

By Hana C. Maruyama | October 15, 2015 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

As George Takei’s Allegiance makes its way to Broadway, a look back at how choreographer and dancer Michiko Iseri went from the Heart Mountain incarceration camp to the first production of The King and I in 1951

Samira en Moses: A Story of [the] Lesser Pilgrimage

By Mariam Bazeed

Illustrations by Mariah Scee

| September 29, 2015 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

‘My father had seen us wrestle the men, had seen our bodies thrown into the sea of their desires, had seen my mother part the waves: Samira en Moses, minus divine intervention.’

Why I Wrote a Novel About Indonesian Political Exiles

By Leila S. Chudori | September 24, 2015 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

‘For me, who grew up and became an adult during the New Order period, I was conscious of a historical and political absurdity. I began to feel that there were some Indonesians who had become invisible.’

After Yi-Fen Chou: A Forum

By AAWW | September 15, 2015 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

19 writers respond to Michael Derrick Hudson’s yellowface

Good Girls Don’t Say Such Things

By Chaya Babu | September 10, 2015 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

‘We saw innocence and wisdom in the dark, leather-faced fishermen in Colaba, their broken down canoes resting ashore amidst tin shanties with colorful blankets bleached by the sun and salt of the Arabian Sea’

Awake After Midnight

By Arnav Adhikari | September 1, 2015 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Modern Indian artists looked westward after Partition, away from the nation. An exhibit of two periods of avant-garde Indian art juxtaposes their work with contemporary artists, who ask how India can awake as a nation.

Authenticity Obsession, or Conceptualism as Minstrel Show

By Ken Chen | June 11, 2015 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

What recent race scandals by avant-garde poets Kenneth Goldsmith and Vanessa Place have to do with sunglasses, the invention of the fingerprint, and the atom bomb.

The Limits of Diversity

By Jennifer Pan | March 12, 2015 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

How the feel-good politics of multiculturalism have blinded the literary world to the roots of racial inequality

Lost Footage from a Dual Pilgrimage Home

By Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan | January 27, 2015 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Amarnath Ravva’s American Canyon gravitates between Northern California and South India as he reenacts rituals and shares histories of both his homes.

Being Watched

By Adnan Khan | November 25, 2014 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

With alluring and peculiar prose and a playfully erratic approach to structure, Ghalib Islam’s debut novel mirrors the anxiety of buckling under the burden of surveillance.

Fred Ho’s Radical Imagination

By Diane Fujino | October 17, 2014 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

“I fear that we’ll remember Fred’s evocative style, but forget his penetrating political substance.” On remembering what not to forget.

A Hundred Flowers of Revolutionary Hope

By Bill V. Mullen | August 10, 2014 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

“Fred Ho flooded my ears with essential facts about the history of Afro-Asian political and cultural struggle”

The Ghosts They Carried

By Kitana Ananda | August 6, 2014 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Shyam Selvadurai’s latest novel reckons with the violence that haunts the lives of many in post-war Sri Lanka.

(Un)American, (Un)Cool

By Kavita Das | August 4, 2014 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

What the marginalization of Asian Americans in an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery says about the appropriation of “cool.”

Reading Kazim Ali’s Fasting for Ramadan

By Nadia Q. Ahmad | July 25, 2014 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

“It’s always easier to fast with another person. We feed each other our hunger.”

ABCD: Who Are You Calling Confused?

By Kishwer Vikaas | July 24, 2014 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

A look back at the history behind ‘American Born Confused Desi’ and where it’s gone since

Serve the People at the Bottom: Yuri Kochiyama

By Scott Kurashige | July 9, 2014 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Yuri’s indefatigable effort to build solidarity among all activists and oppressed people is what many will likely see as the hallmark of her legacy.

25 Years After the Tiananmen Crackdown

By Mel Chin and Bob Lee | June 2, 2014 | Asian American Writers' Workshop
Tags: ,

In response to the Tiananmen Square protests and crackdown of 1989, the Asian American Arts Centre organized a landmark exhibition of artworks. To commemorate the protest’s 25th anniversary, The Margins partnered with Creative Time Reports to interview the artists involved.

All The Colors of Life: A Celebration of Fred Ho

By Marie Incontrera | May 21, 2014 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

“…I was more apprentice than student, and he was more family than friend. Our time together bridged the waters of music and delved into politics, healing, life, and death.”

Beyond Asian American Jazz

By Fred Ho | May 19, 2014 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

In 1999, Fred Ho reflected on his political and musical evolution, from the Asian American Movement on.

From Banana to Third World Marxist

By Fred Ho | May 16, 2014 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

“Spock was good in math and science; so was I. Spock tended to suppress his emotions (his human side), and so did I.” Fred Ho on coming of age.

To Walk the Gauntlet of Fire: Remembering a Mentor

By Kanya D'Almeida | May 14, 2014 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

A former student recalls the ups-and-downs of Ho’s cult of personality.

Remembrance/Revolution: A Tribute to Fred Ho

By AAWW | May 14, 2014 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Colleagues, collaborators, and friends remember political and musical visionary Fred Ho.

Known Unknowns of the Class War

By Naeem Mohaiemen | May 2, 2014 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

A review of Zia Haider Rahman’s In the Light of What We Know

A Coolie Woman’s Work is Never Done

By Annie Paul | March 31, 2014 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Gaiutra Bahadur unearths buried stories of indenture—those of women who battled rigid patriarchy on either side of the black water.

First Days in Radical America

By Vijay Prashad | March 18, 2014 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Lessons on how life in the US was worth much more if spent in solidarity with those who suffer at its heel

Refusal=Intervention

By Eunsong K. & Don Mee Choi | March 7, 2014 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

“Asian American Poetry” is not a manageable category—it is not a list.

Yellow Peril: 19th-Century Scapegoating

By John Kuo Wei Tchen and Dylan Yeats | March 5, 2014 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

How fear of the “the mob” turned into racial exclusion. Excerpts from a recently published archive of anti-Asian fear

Fu Manchu and Lao She

By Jeffrey Wasserstrom | February 4, 2014 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Where the “Yellow Peril incarnate” meets one novelist’s depictions of China and its diaspora in the early 20th century

The World Is Full of Paper. Write to Me.

By Sejal Shah | December 8, 2013 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Remembering Agha Shahid Ali, 12 years after his passing

This Literary Lion

By Rohit Chopra | November 25, 2013 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Salman Rushdie’s multitudes, from his visionary early work to the celebrity he has become

Looking Back at Sikh Resistance

By Sonny Singh | November 7, 2013 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

100 years on, how lessons from the Ghadar movement show the limits of civil rights efforts in the US today.

Echoes of Mutiny

By J. Daniel Elam | October 25, 2013 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

On the centenntial of its founding, a short history of the Ghadr Party, and the ghosts that live on

Unquarantined

By Brian Leung | October 2, 2013 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Rahul Mehta and new pathways for the hyphenated writer

Salman Rushdie, Edward Said, and Moral Courage

By Sarah Waheed | September 26, 2013 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The legacy of an intellectual friendship in an age of Islamophobia—on the 10-year anniversary of Said’s death.

Since Tao Lin Declined

By Anelise Chen | September 24, 2013 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Notes for a hypothetical interview with the author re: Taipei, living in the present, memory, moral responsibility, technology, zen, etc.

The Authentic Outsider

By V.V. Ganeshananthan | September 19, 2013 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Bill Cheng, Anthony Marra, and the freedom to write what you don’t know.

Are We Trayvon Martin?

By I.Y. Lee | August 6, 2013 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Where Asian Americans fall in our broken criminal justice system

The Skin I’m In

By Naeem Mohaiemen | February 20, 2013 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Scholar Vivek Bald chronicles an early lost history of a time of Black-Bengali racial solidarity

Letter From a Hotel Room in Centum City

By Alex Jung | February 7, 2013 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

“I logged onto the Internet and searched for others like me. I never found them, but I invited them over to my hotel room anyway.”

The Children of 1965

By Min Song | January 24, 2013 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

In an excerpt from a forthcoming book, English professor Min Song reflects on undergraduate “Great Books” courses, the Helen Vendler-Rita Dove debate, and the first time he read a Siu Sin Far story.

I Am Your Mirror: O Zhang’s Blank, Visionary Billboards

By Gaiutra Bahadur | November 7, 2012 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Following in the footsteps of Dorothea Lange, who photographed stoic, suffering faces during the Depression, the Chinese-born artist traveled across recession-worn America, capturing a different sort of face.

Red-Cooked Meat and Table Manners: Decoding How to Cook and Eat in Chinese

By Phyllis Fong | November 7, 2012 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Buwei Yang Chao’s famed 1945 cookbook helped coined the phrase “stir-fry.” “Wrapling” and “rambling,” her words for the simple and ruffle-edged dumplings, were less successful.

A (2012) Midsummer History Lesson

By Negin Farsad | October 5, 2012 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

It’s the year 2352, and the Walrusoids are at it again, speculating over divorce, SB 1070, some tall Asian guy named Jeremy Lin, and movie theater masturbation.

Nonsense Made Sense: The Downside Up World of Stephen Chow

By La Frances Hui | August 16, 2012 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The veteran comedian, actor and director was the epitome of Hong Kong’s ’90s-era mo lei tau subculture.

Zen Fishing, or What You Catch Can Catch You, Too

By Luis H. Francia | August 14, 2012 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Poet and journalist Luis H. Francia journeys through Japan, bearing witness to the devastation wrought by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami—and to the creativity arising from these very areas.

London Olympics, 1948: Her Name Meant Double Victory

By Hana Maruyama | August 10, 2012 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Diver Vicki Manalo Draves won two gold medals in rations-enforced London. To celebrate, she ate horse.

What I Have Learned About the World from Books, and What the World Could Stand to Learn from the Shooting at the Sikh Temple

By Matthew Salesses | August 7, 2012 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Matthew Salesses on the power of words and appearances.

Hello World: How Nike Sold Tiger Woods

By Hiram Perez | August 2, 2012 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

How did a multinational corporation like Nike appeal to diverse markets without violating the principle of colorblindness that became increasingly and insidiously sacrosanct in the U.S. in the 1990s? A deconstruction of two infamous Tiger Woods ads sheds some light.

Portrait of the Artist as an Activist | Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry

By Ryan Lee Wong | July 27, 2012 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

A new documentary about the famed Chinese artist and dissident focuses on his activism more than it does his art.

Tsai Ming-Liang’s Wayward Boundaries

By Jennifer Pan | July 18, 2012 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Can a movie that explicitly demonstrates the darkest grotesqueries of pornography actually function as a refusal to condemn it? Tsai Ming-Liang’s The Wayward Cloud hints at this possibility.

Sea Salty: The Man and the Crab

By Harley Spiller | July 13, 2012 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Former Marine mess cook John Gun Pin knew how to handle a cleaver. Harley Spiller (a.k.a. Inspector Collector) remembers his old friend, and the last dish he prepared: cured crab, or ha cha.

Bands of Brothers

By Oliver Wang | July 2, 2012 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Over the course of the ’90s, Filipino American scratch crews transformed the realm of hip-hop DJing.

Timothy McVeigh and our “Buried History”

By Manan Ahmed | June 27, 2012 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

On the domestic terror of the 1990s, and avoiding cultural amnesia.

The Writing on the Shirt: Nirvana and the Politics of Selling Out

By Hua Hsu | June 19, 2012 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

A Grantland writer and Nirvana fan ponders the quintessential ’90s question.

Magic Mediation: Wu-Tang’s Kung Fu Zeal

By Sophia Chang | June 13, 2012 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

An up-close and personal take on the hip-hop group’s love of kung fu.

Nick Carter: Killmaster, Yogi, Lover.

By Anne Ishii | June 13, 2012 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Spy novels as Asian kitsch.

Stay Sassy

By Jamia Wilson | June 12, 2012 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

A love letter to the magazine that defined a generation.

Class of 1997

By Oliver Wang | June 12, 2012 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

It was a banner year for Asian American narrative films.

History Lessons, Walrusoid Style

By Negin Farsad | June 11, 2012 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

In the year 2352, they scratch their heads over Instagram, Mitt Romney, Kony, and Siri.

Born in the U.S.A.: Cornershop’s “Brimful of Asha”

By Manan Desai | June 7, 2012 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The British desi band’s kitschy, three-chord hit appeared on episodes of Friends and in a Gap commercial.

Asian Chic

By Thuy Linh Tu | June 6, 2012 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The ‘90s saw Western designers outsourcing not just manufacturing, but inspiration, to Asia.

“Where is your ‘White literature’ section?”

By Amitava Kumar | June 4, 2012 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Author, professor, and provocateur Amitava Kumar has a very specific question for New York City book clerks.

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