News | 5 February 2013

Karen Yamashita to Read and Lead Talk about Asian American & Ethnic Studies


Event presented by the UC Presidential Chair in Feminist Critical Race and Ethnic Studies

Karen Tei Yamashita

Karen Tei Yamashita (photo by Carolyn Lagattuta)

Award-winning author and UCSC professor of literature Karen Tei Yamashita will read excerpts from her novel, I Hotel; her forthcoming book of performances, Anime Wong; and the essay “Borges & I,” on February 21, at 4 p.m. in Humanities 1 (Room 210) on the UCSC campus.

The reading will be followed by an informal conversation between Yamashita and guest professorsAlondra Nelson (Columbia University) and Aimee Bahng(Dartmouth College).

Titled “Asian America: Triangulations about a Semisphere,” the event is designed as an opportunity to think about the past 45 years of Asian American and Ethnic Studies, with respect to both the present and future.

Admission is free and open to the public.

This marks the second event presented by the UC Presidential Chair in Feminist Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at UCSC.

Focusing on examining feminist studies through both a gender and sexuality lens, and a race and ethnicity lens, 

this new UC Presidential Chair is helping to shape the vision of a broader campus initiative in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies.

Alondra Nelson

Alondra Nelson

Yamashita—who shares the UC Presidential Chair with Feminist Studies professor Bettina Aptheker—is the author of Through the Arc of the Rain Forest, Brazil-Maru, Tropic of Orange, Circle K Cycles, and I Hotel, all published by Coffee House Press.

I Hotel was selected as a finalist for the National Book Award and received the California Book Award, the American Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association Award, and the Association for Asian American Studies Book Award.

Joining Yamashita in the discussion following the reading are:

Alondra Nelson–associate professor of sociology and gender studies at Columbia University. An interdisciplinary social scientist, she writes about the intersections of science, technology, medicine, and inequality. She is the author of Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination, and is an editor of Genetics and the Unsettled Past: The Collision of DNA, Race, and History; and TechnicolorRace, Technology, and Everyday Life. Her next book, The Social Life of DNA: Race and Reconciliation after the Genome, will be published by Beacon Press

Aimee Bahng

Aimee Bahng

Aimee Bahng–assistant professor of English at Dartmouth College with affiliations in women’s and gender studies, Asian American studies, and Asian & Middle Eastern studies. Her work on postcolonial science fiction has appeared in MELUS and Critical Studies, and she is currently working on a book examining competing narratives of the future in contemporary fiction, film, and finance.

For more information about the event, including disabled access, contact Shann Ritchie,, (831) 459-5655.
Article written by Scott Rappaport.