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Can individuals and institutions make a difference when questioning difference?
As curators, scholars, artists, and activists working in Asia, America, and in between, the following 2014 Association of Asian American Studies National conference presenters challenge national policies and the politics of community and identity.
Lan Duong (curator, editor, associate professor, Media and Cultural Studies, UC Riverside) reflects on the Little Saigon community protests and mainstream mass media (mis)representation surrounding FOB II (2009, Vietnamese Arts & Letters Association).
Professor Duong will also talk about the pioneering anthology Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora: Troubling Borders in Literature and Art (2013) and its companion exhibition.
Philip Kan Gotanda (playwright/filmmaker, professor, Department of Theater Dance and Performance Studies, UC Berkeley) reflects on his advocacy work and his pioneering cross-discplinary creative work, which has been instrumental in bringing stories of Asians in the United States to American theater as well as to Europe and Asia.
Glen Helfand (independent writer, critic, curator, adjunct professor, California College of the Arts, Mills College, San Francisco Art Institute) discusses the three-part exhibition Promimities (2013-14, Asian Art Museum), in which contemporary Bay Area artists respond to the question: What is Asia?
Helfand has curated exhibitions for the de Young Museum, San Francisco; the San Jose Museum of Art; the Pasadena Museum of California Art; Rena Bransten Gallery, San Francisco; Dust Gallery, Las Vegas; and the Mills College Art Museum, Oakland.
Masahiro Sugano (filmmaker, Studio Revolt, Phnom Penh) shares his films dealing with Cambodian deportees, including Cambodian Son (2014); My Asian Americana (2011), which was censored by the White House; and its followup, Return to Sender (2012).
Sugano is part of an artist-run media lab with Anida Yoeu Ali at Studio Revolt, based in Phnom Penh, Osaka, and Chicago.