Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month
Welcome to our digital exhibit celebrating Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. This page is a companion to the physical display in the Harvard Kennedy School Library, available through May 2023. Harvard affiliates can request books via HOLLIS, for pick-up at the library of your choice.
In this book display, you'll find literary nonfiction, novels, memoirs, and poetry about AAPI identities and experiences, as well as books on AAPI history, politics, and activism.
More on Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month from the HKS Office of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging:
"Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month recognizes and honors the contributions and achievements Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have and continue to make in the United States. First observed as 'Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week' in 1979, it was later expanded to a month-long celebration in 1990 (Asian Pacific American Heritage Month). The month of May was chosen as the observance month to commemorate the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States (May 7, 1843) and to mark the completion of the transcontinental railroad (May 10, 1869), which was completed with significant contributions from Chinese workers (Public Law 102-450).
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have contributed significantly to American life and yet many Americans are unaware of both their achievements and the marginalization they have experienced throughout history due to xenophobia, and institutional and structural racism. More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has fueled a spike in anti-Asian hate and violence, much of it against women. As a community, we must continue to work to combat racism, gender-based violence, White supremacy, and other injustices that impact Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. We encourage the HKS community to learn more about AAPI histories, identities, and experiences, and to reflect on what we can do as allies to address these injustices in our communities."
Harvard Library Research Guides
Asian Americans and Asians
by Jennifer Fauxsmith Last Updated Mar 24, 2023 270 views this year
Asian and Asian American Student Life at Harvard, ca. 1900 forward
by Timothy Driscoll Last Updated Jul 23, 2020 116 views this year
East Asian Art
by Nanni Deng Last Updated Jun 1, 2023 1000 views this year
Harvard-Yenching Library Archival Materials
by Chiun Chau Last Updated Mar 7, 2022 403 views this year
Library Research Guide for South Asian Studies
by Ramona Crawford Last Updated May 11, 2023 636 views this year
Research Guide for Chinese Studies
by Xiao-He Ma Last Updated May 25, 2023 32657 views this year
Research Guide for Early Modern Japanese History: SW 43 Samurai Revolution
by Kuniko McVey Last Updated Jan 20, 2023 196 views this year
Research Guide for East Asian Studies
by Reed Lowrie Last Updated May 15, 2023 469 views this year
Research Guide for Japanese Studies
by Kuniko McVey Last Updated May 11, 2023 2713 views this year
Research Guide for Korean Studies
by Mikyung Kang Last Updated Feb 17, 2023 1391 views this year
Groups & Initiatives around HKS & Harvard
- In Focus: Asian & Pacific American Heritage Month - curated resources from across Harvard including institutional history, media, people, campus groups, and more.
- Rajwali Foundation Institute for Asia - HKS research program that "advances research and teaching about policy challenges both within the region and Asia's place in the global community." Part of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.
- Harvard University Asia Center - research center "committed to facilitating the cross-cultural study of Asia at Harvard University."
- Opposing Racism and Discrimination through Public Policy and Leadership - recent scholarship from HKS faculty members and other experts on race, justice, protest, and policing.
- Gender, Race & Identity - HKS Policy Topic centered on the question of how gender, race, class and other aspects of identity affect the policymaking process.
- Asian American Policy Review - HKS student journal "dedicated to analyzing public policy issues facing the Asian American and Pacific Islander community." Explore archived issues of the journal.
- Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus - HKS student organization devoted to "building a community that celebrates and promotes our diverse histories, our intersectional identities, and our shared political identity."
- Bangladesh Caucus - HKS student organization that "brings together students from and interested in Bangladesh to discuss wide-ranging topics related to the country and to celebrate Bangladeshi culture and traditions."
- Casteless Caucus - HKS student organization that "aims to advance caste justice via outreach, education, and dialogue to challenge the caste paradigm existing in South Asia and in the South Asian diasporas."
- Eastern Europe and Central Asia Caucus - HKS student organization that "serves as a meeting place for students interested in Eastern Europe and Central Asia to explore policy and culture related to the region."
- Greater China Society - HKS student organization that "brings together any students from or interested in China to discuss a wide range of topics related to China, and to celebrate Chinese culture and traditions."
- India Caucus - HKS student organization that "brings together students from or interested in India to discuss a wide range of topics related to the country and to celebrate Indian culture and traditions."
- Indonesia Caucus - HKS student organization that "gathers students who are interested in all aspects of Indonesia and Southeast Asia and wish to be engaged in Indonesia both professionally and personally."
- Japan Caucus - HKS student organization that "convenes students who are interested in the politics, economy, and culture of Japan."
- Korea Caucus - HKS student organization that "is a community for HKS students and their families who have personal and/or professional connections to Korea or are simply passionate about learning more about anything Korean."
- Mongol Caucus - HKS student organization that "acts as a bridge between the country and the HKS community."
- North Korea Study Group - HKS student organization that seeks "to promote interdisciplinary research on North Korea and cultivate a greater awareness of the complexities of the human rights, security, economic, and societal issues in the country."
- Pakistan Caucus - HKS student organization that "seeks to highlight Pakistani culture, heritage, research, and innovation, as well as this emerging country's role within the broader international community."
- Philippine Caucus - HKS student organization that "seeks to be a forum for Filipino students at the Kennedy School to strengthen their links, be the point of connection for other Filipino students."
- South Asia Caucus - HKS student organization that "provides a platform for student from or interested in the region to discuss a range of topics including policy, culture, and politics."
- Southeast Asia Caucus - HKS student organization that "brings together students from or interested in the region to discuss a wide range of topics and to celebrate its cultures and traditions."
- Taiwan Caucus - HKS student organization that "creates spaces of dialogue and awareness around Taiwanese politics, public policy, culture, and identity among the HKS community."
- Association of Harvard Asian and Asian American Faculty and Staff (AHAAAFS) - Harvard Employee Resource Group that provides "opportunities for networking, career development, awareness, and support for Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander faculty and staff."
- AAPI Resources & Support - collection of resources curated by Counseling and Mental Health Services at Harvard.
Community Resource Spotlight: In Our Own Words
AHAAAFS and the Pan Asian Coalition for Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education - supported by a grant from the Culture Lab Innovation Fund - have created "In Our Own Words": a series of projects to raise awareness of AAPI history and amplify the voices of AAPI staff, faculty and graduate students at Harvard.
The first project was a live storytelling event held as part of the 2022 ARTS FIRST Festival. You can watch a recording of the event on YouTube.
Event description: "'Where are you from?' is a familiar question to most Asian Americans. This seemingly innocuous question dangerously stereotypes Asian Americans as the perennial other - a stereotype that has been lethal to Asians all throughout history and fuels the rise of anti-Asian hate in recent years. To counter the harm, 'In Our Own Words' elevates the lived experiences of the Harvard Asian diaspora through the power of narratives."
The second was hu_aapi, an Instagram campaign to share collective stories of Asian and Asian American students, alumni, staff, and faculty at Harvard.
Event image above designed by Kiyoko Nakamura-Koyama.
Topic Spotlight: B.R. Ambedkar
Bhimrao Ramji (B.R.) Ambedkar was an Indian social reformer and political leader who led the drafting of India's constitution following the country's independence in 1947. The constitution protects a wide range of civil liberties and formally abolishes untouchability under the caste system, though prejudice against Dalits still occurs today. Throughout his life, Ambedkar advocated for Dalit rights and against the caste system, including in upper levels of government.
In India and throughout the world, Ambedkar Jayanti (also known as Equality Day) is celebrated on Ambedkar's birthday (April 14). The celebration was first observed by the United Nations in 2016.
In collaboration with Manisha Bangar, MC/MPA 2023 and Edward S. Mason Fellow, we are pleased to highlight select writings by Ambedkar and contemporary writers on the caste system.
- The Annihilation of Caste by The Annihilation of Caste is one of the most important - and still the most controversial - works of Indian political writing. Completed in 1936, the book is an audacious denunciation of Hinduism and the caste system that infuriated Gandhi, yet has remained a rallying cry for 60 years. In her lengthy introduction Roy looks at how caste has continued through modern Indian history, and why the words of Ambedkar are necessary today more than ever. In startling and urgent writing she shows that caste is the most urgent question if India is to become a world-leading nation.ISBN: 9781781688311Publication Date: 2014
- Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched, and beautifully written narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people's lives and behavior and the nation's fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people--including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball's Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others--she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their outcasting of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity. Original and revealing, Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents is an eye-opening story of people and history, and a reexamination of what lies under the surface of ordinary lives and of American life today.ISBN: 9780593230251Publication Date: 2020
- Caste Matters by In this explosive book, Suraj Yengde, a first-generation Dalit scholar educated across continents, challenges deep-seated beliefs about caste and unpacks its many layers. He describes his gut-wrenching experiences of growing up in a Dalit basti, the multiple humiliations suffered by Dalits on a daily basis, and their incredible resilience enabled by love and humour. As he brings to light the immovable glass ceiling that exists for Dalits even in politics, bureaucracy and judiciary, Yengde provides an unflinchingly honest account of divisions within the Dalit community itself-from their internal caste divisions to the conduct of elite Dalits and their tokenized forms of modern-day untouchability-all operating under the inescapable influences of Brahminical doctrines. This path-breaking book reveals how caste crushes human creativity and is disturbingly similar to other forms of oppression, such as race, class and gender. At once a reflection on inequality and a call to arms, Caste Matters argues that until Dalits lay claim to power and Brahmins join hands against Brahminism to effect real transformation, caste will continue to matter.ISBN: 9780670091225Publication Date: 2019
- The Doctor and the Saint: Caste, Race, and the Annihilation of Caste by To best understand and address the inequality in India today, Arundhati Roy insists we must examine both the political development and influence of M. K. Gandhi and why B. R. Ambedkar's brilliant challenge to his near-divine status was suppressed by India's elite. In Roy's analysis, we see that Ambedkar's fight for justice was systematically sidelined in favor of policies that reinforced caste, resulting in the current nation of India: independent of British rule, globally powerful, and marked to this day by the caste system. This book situates Ambedkar's arguments in their vital historical context-- namely, as an extended public political debate with Mohandas Gandhi. "For more than half a century--throughout his adult life--[Gandhi's] pronouncements on the inherent qualities of black Africans, untouchables and the laboring classes remained consistently insulting," writes Roy. "His refusal to allow working-class people and untouchables to create their own political organizations and elect their own representatives remained consistent too." In The Doctor and the Saint, Roy exposes some uncomfortable, controversial, and even surprising truths about the political thought and career of India's most famous and most revered figure. In doing so she makes the case for why Ambedkar's revolutionary intellectual achievements must be resurrected, not only in India but throughout the world.ISBN: 9781608467976Publication Date: 2017
Display Books: Novels, Poetry & Memoirs
Click on the circular "i" icons to view book descriptions. Click on the Harvard shield icons to access ebooks (Harvard Key required). Some of these books are available for in-library use only, as specified in HOLLIS. To read them you will need to visit the Library where they're held.
- Afterland: Poems by Afterland is a powerful, essential collection of poetry that recounts with devastating detail the Hmong exodus from Laos and the fate of thousands of refugees seeking asylum. Mai Der Vang is telling the story of her own family, and by doing so, she also provides an essential history of the Hmong culture's ongoing resilience in exile. Many of these poems are written in the voices of those fleeing unbearable violence after U.S. forces recruited Hmong fighters in Laos in the Secret War against communism, only to abandon them after that war went awry. That history is little known or understood, but the three hundred thousand Hmong now living in the United States are living proof of its aftermath. With poems of extraordinary force and grace, Afterland holds an original place in American poetry and lands with a sense of humanity saved, of outrage, of a deep tradition broken by war and ocean but still intact, remembered, and lived.ISBN: 9781555977702Publication Date: 2017
- All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir by Nicole Chung was born severely premature, placed for adoption by her Korean parents, and raised by a white family in a sheltered Oregon town. From childhood, she heard the story of her adoption as a comforting, prepackaged myth. She believed that her biological parents had made the ultimate sacrifice in the hope of giving her a better life, that forever feeling slightly out of place was her fate as a transracial adoptee. But as Nicole grew up-facing prejudice her adoptive family couldn't see, finding her identity as an Asian American and as a writer, becoming ever more curious about where she came from-she wondered if the story she'd been told was the whole truth. With warmth, candor, and startling insight, Nicole Chung tells of her search for the people who gave her up, which coincided with the birth of her own child. All You Can Ever Know is a profound, moving chronicle of surprising connections and the repercussions of unearthing painful family secrets-vital reading for anyone who has ever struggled to figure out where they belong.ISBN: 9781936787975Publication Date: 2018
- Bestiary: A Novel by One evening, Mother tells Daughter a story about a tiger spirit who lived in a woman's body. She was called Hu Gu Po, and she hungered to eat children, especially their toes. Soon afterward, Daughter awakes with a tiger tail. And more mysterious events follow: Holes in the backyard spit up letters penned by her grandmother; a visiting aunt arrives with snakes in her belly; a brother tests the possibility of flight. All the while, Daughter is falling for Ben, a neighborhood girl with strange powers of her own. As the two young lovers translate the grandmother's letters, Daughter begins to understand that each woman in her family embodies a myth--and that she will have to bring her family's secrets to light in order to change their destiny. With a poetic voice of crackling electricity, K-Ming Chang is an explosive young writer who combines the wit and fabulism of Helen Oyeyemi with the subversive storytelling of Maxine Hong Kingston. Tracing one family's history from Taiwan to America, from Arkansas to California, Bestiary is a novel of migration, queer lineages, and girlhood.ISBN: 9780593132609Publication Date: 2020
- The Best We Could Do by This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family's daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves. At the heart of Bui's story is a universal struggle: While adjusting to life as a first-time mother, she ultimately discovers what it means to be a parent - the endless sacrifices, the unnoticed gestures, and the depths of unspoken love. Despite how impossible it seems to take on the simultaneous roles of both parent and child, Bui pushes through. With haunting, poetic writing and breathtaking art, she examines the strength of family, the importance of identity, and the meaning of home.ISBN: 9781419718779Publication Date: 2017
- Go Home! by Asian diasporic writers imagine "home" in the twenty-first century through an array of fiction, memoir, and poetry. Both urgent and meditative, this anthology moves beyond the model-minority myth and showcases the singular intimacies of individuals figuring out what it means to belong.ISBN: 9781936932016Publication Date: 2018
- Homeland Elegies: A Novel by A deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, Homeland Elegies blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel, at its heart it is the story of a father, a son, and the country they both call home. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ayad Akhtar forges a new narrative voice to capture a country in which debt has ruined countless lives and the gods of finance rule, where immigrants live in fear, and where the nation's unhealed wounds wreak havoc around the world. Akhtar attempts to make sense of it all through the lens of a story about one family, from a heartland town in America to palatial suites in Central Europe to guerrilla lookouts in the mountains of Afghanistan, and spares no one--least of all himself--in the process.ISBN: 9780316496421Publication Date: 2020
- If They Come for Us: Poems by From a co-creator of the Emmy-nominated web series Brown Girls comes an imaginative, soulful debut poetry that collection captures the experiences of being a young Pakistani Muslim woman in contemporary America. Orphaned as a child, Fatimah Asghar grapples with coming of age and navigating questions of sexuality and race without the guidance of a mother or father. These poems at once bear anguish, joy, vulnerability, and compassion, while also exploring the many facets of violence: how it persists within us, how it is inherited across generations, and how it manifests itself in our relationships. In experimental forms and language both lyrical and raw, Asghar seamlessly braids together marginalized people's histories with her own understanding of identity, place, and belonging.ISBN: 9780525509783Publication Date: 2018
- Insurrecto by Two women, a Filipino translator and an American filmmaker, go on a road trip in Duterte's Philippines, collaborating and clashing in the writing of a film script about a massacre during the Philippine-American War. Chiara is working on a film about an incident in Balangiga, Samar, in 1901, when Filipino revolutionaries attacked an American garrison, and in retaliation American soldiers created "a howling wilderness" of the surrounding countryside. Magsalin reads Chiara's film script and writes her own version. Insurrecto contains within its dramatic action two rival scripts from the filmmaker and the translator--one about a white photographer, the other about a Filipino schoolteacher. Within the spiraling voices and narrative layers of Insurrecto are stories of women--artists, lovers, revolutionaries, daughters--finding their way to their own truths and histories. Using interlocking voices and a kaleidoscopic structure, the novel is startlingly innovative, meditative, and playful. Insurrecto masterfully questions and twists narrative in the manner of Italo Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, Julio Cortázar's Hopscotch, and Nabokov's Pale Fire. Apostol pushes up against the limits of fiction in order to recover the atrocity in Balangiga, and in so doing, she shows us the dark heart of an untold and forgotten war that would shape the next century of Philippine and American history.ISBN: 9781616959449Publication Date: 2018
- The Leavers: A Novel by One morning, Deming Guo's mother, Polly, an undocumented Chinese immigrant, goes to her job at a nail salon--and never comes home. No one can find any trace of her. With his mother gone, eleven-year-old Deming is left mystified and bereft. Eventually adopted by a pair of well-meaning white professors, Deming is moved from the Bronx to a small town upstate and renamed Daniel Wilkinson. But far from all he's ever known, Daniel struggles to reconcile his adoptive parents' desire that he assimilate with his memories of his mother and the community he left behind. Told from the perspective of both Daniel--as he grows into a directionless young man--and Polly, Ko's novel gives us one of fiction's most singular mothers. Loving and selfish, determined and frightened, Polly is forced to make one heartwrenching choice after another. Set in New York and China, The Leavers is a vivid examination of borders and belonging. It's a moving story of how a boy comes into his own when everything he loves is taken away, and how a mother learns to live with the mistakes of the past.ISBN: 9781616206888Publication Date: 2017
- Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong fearlessly and provocatively blends memoir, cultural criticism, and history to expose fresh truths about racialized consciousness in America. Part memoir and part cultural criticism, this collection is vulnerable, humorous, and provocative--and its relentless and riveting pursuit of vital questions around family and friendship, art and politics, identity and individuality, will change the way you think about our world. Binding these essays together is Hong's theory of "minor feelings." As the daughter of Korean immigrants, Cathy Park Hong grew up steeped in shame, suspicion, and melancholy. She would later understand that these "minor feelings" occur when American optimism contradicts your own reality--when you believe the lies you're told about your own racial identity. Minor feelings are not small, they're dissonant--and in their tension Hong finds the key to the questions that haunt her. With sly humor and a poet's searching mind, Hong uses her own story as a portal into a deeper examination of racial consciousness in America today. This intimate and devastating book traces her relationship to the English language, to shame and depression, to poetry and female friendship. A radically honest work of art, Minor Feelings forms a portrait of one Asian American psyche--and of a writer's search to both uncover and speak the truth.ISBN: 9781984820365Publication Date: 2020
- Monstress: Stories by A luminous collection of heartbreaking, vivid, startling, and gloriously unique stories set amongst the Filipino-American communities of California and the Philippines, Monstress heralds the arrival of a breathtaking new talent on the literary scene: Lysley Tenorio. Already the worthy recipient of a Pushcart Prize, a Whiting Writer's Award, and a Stegner Fellowship, Tenorio brilliantly explores the need to find connections, the melancholy of isolation, and the sometimes suffocating ties of family in tales that range from a California army base to a steamy moviehouse in Manilla, to the dangerous false glitter of Hollywood.ISBN: 9780062059567Publication Date: 2012
- New Waves: A Novel by Lucas and Margo are fed up. Margo is a brilliant programmer tired of being talked over as the company's sole black employee, and while Lucas is one of many Asians at the firm, he's nearly invisible as a low-paid customer service rep. Together, they decide to steal their tech start-up's user database in an attempt at revenge. The heist takes a sudden turn when Margo dies in a car accident, and Lucas is left reeling, wondering what to do with their secret--and wondering whether her death really was an accident. When Lucas hacks into Margo's computer looking for answers, he is drawn into her secret online life and realizes just how little he knew about his best friend. With a fresh voice, biting humor, and piercing observations about human nature, Kevin Nguyen brings an insider's knowledge of the tech industry to this imaginative novel. A pitch-perfect exploration of race and start-up culture, secrecy and surveillance, social media and friendship, New Waves asks- How well do we really know each other? And how do we form true intimacy and connection in a tech-obsessed world?ISBN: 9781984855237Publication Date: 2020
- No-No Boy by The first Japanese American novel- a powerful, radical testament to the experiences of Japanese American draft resisters in the wake of World War II A Penguin Classic After their forcible relocation to internment camps during World War II, Japanese Americans were expected to go on with their lives as though nothing had happened, assimilating as well as they could in a changed America. But some men resisted. They became known as "no-no boys," for twice having answered no on a compulsory government survey asking whether they were willing to serve in the U.S. armed forces and to swear allegiance to the United States. No-No Boy tells the story of one such draft resister, Ichiro Yamada, whose refusal to comply with the U.S. government earns him two years in prison and the disapproval of his family and community in Seattle. A touchstone of the immigrant experience in America, it dispels the "model minority" myth and asks pointed questions about assimilation, identity, and loyalty.ISBN: 9780143134015Publication Date: 2019
- Not Quite Not White: Losing and Finding Race in America by At the age of 12, Sharmila Sen emigrated from India to the U.S. The year was 1982, and everywhere she turned, she was asked to self-report her race - on INS forms, at the doctor's office, in middle school. Never identifying with a race in the India of her childhood, she rejects her new "not quite" designation - not quite white, not quite black, not quite Asian -- and spends much of her life attempting to blend into American whiteness. But after her teen years trying to assimilate--watching shows like General Hospital and The Jeffersons, dancing to Duran Duran and Prince, and perfecting the art of Jell-O no-bake desserts--she is forced to reckon with the hard questions- What does it mean to be white, why does whiteness retain the magic cloak of invisibility while other colors are made hypervisible, and how much does whiteness figure into Americanness? Part memoir, part manifesto, Not Quite Not White is a searing appraisal of race and a path forward for the next not quite not white generation --a witty and sharply honest story of discovering that not-whiteness can be the very thing that makes us American.ISBN: 9780143131380Publication Date: 2018
- On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family's history that began before he was born -- a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam -- and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one's own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard. With stunning urgency and grace, Ocean Vuong writes of people caught between disparate worlds, and asks how we heal and rescue one another without forsaking who we are. The question of how to survive, and how to make of it a kind of joy, powers the most important debut novel of many years.ISBN: 9780525562023Publication Date: 2019
- Quarantine by Reminiscent of Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies and the work of Michael Cunningham, Rahul Mehta's debut short story collection is an emotionally arresting exploration of the lives of Indian-American gay men and their families. With buoyant humor and incisive, cunning prose, Mehta sets off into uncharted literary territory. The characters in Quarantine are Westernized in some ways, with cosmopolitan views on friendship and sex, while struggling to maintain relationships with their families and cultural traditions. Grappling with the issues that concern all gay men--social acceptance, the right to pursue happiness, and the heavy toll of listening to their hearts and bodies--they confront an elder generation's attachment to old-country ways. Estranged from their cultural in-group and still set apart from larger society, the young men in these lyrical, provocative, emotionally wrenching, yet frequently funny stories find themselves quarantined.ISBN: 9780062020451Publication Date: 2011
- A Tale for the Time Being by In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there's only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates' bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who's lived more than a century. A diary is Nao's only solace--and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox--possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao's drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future. Full of Ozeki's signature humor and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.ISBN: 9780143124870Publication Date: 2013
- This Is Paradise by In a stunning collection that announces the arrival of an incredible talent, Kristiana Kahakauwila travels the islands of Hawai'i, making the fabled place her own. Exploring the deep tensions between local and tourist, tradition and expectation, façade and authentic self, This Is Paradise provides an unforgettable portrait of life as it's truly being lived on Maui, Oahu, Kaua'i and the Big Island. In the gut-punch of "Wanle," a beautiful and tough young woman wants nothing more than to follow in her father's footsteps as a legendary cockfighter. With striking versatility, the title story employs a chorus of voices--the women of Waikiki--to tell the tale of a young tourist drawn to the darker side of the city's nightlife. "The Old Paniolo Way" limns the difficult nature of legacy and inheritance when a patriarch tries to settle the affairs of his farm before his death. Exquisitely written and bursting with sharply observed detail, Kahakauwila's stories remind us of the powerful desire to belong, to put down roots, and to have a place to call home.ISBN: 9780770436254Publication Date: 2013
Display Books: Politics & History
Click on the circular "i" icons to view book descriptions. Click on the Harvard shield icons to access ebooks (Harvard Key required). Some of these books are available for in-library use only, as specified in HOLLIS. To read them you will need to visit the Library where they're held.
- Asian American Politics:Law, Participation, and Policy by Asian Americans are emerging as a political force and yet their politics have not been systematically studied by either social scientists or politicians. Asian American politics transcend simple questions of voting behavior and elective office, going all the way back to early immigration laws and all the way forward to ethnic targeting. For the first time, this book brings together original sources on key topics influencing Asian American politics, knit together by expert scholars who introduce each subject and place it in context with political events and the greater emerging literature. Court cases, legislation, demographics, and key pieces on topics ranging from gender to Japanese American redress to the Los Angeles riots to Wen Ho Lee round out this innovative reader on a politically active group likely to grow in number and electoral impact.ISBN: 9780742518506Publication Date: 2002
- Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America by In the final years of the nineteenth century, small groups of Muslim peddlers arrived at Ellis Island every summer, bags heavy with embroidered silks from their home villages in Bengal. The American demand for Oriental goods took these migrants on a curious path, from New Jersey beach boardwalks into the heart of the segregated South. Two decades later, hundreds of Indian Muslim seamen began jumping ship in New York and Baltimore, escaping the engine rooms of British steamers to find less brutal work onshore. As factory owners sought their labor and anti-Asian immigration laws closed in around them, these men built clandestine networks that stretched from the northeastern waterfront across the industrial Midwest. The stories of these early working-class migrants vividly contrast with our typical understanding of immigration. Vivek Bald's meticulous reconstruction reveals a lost history of South Asian sojourning and life-making in the United States. At a time when Asian immigrants were vilified and criminalized, Bengali Muslims quietly became part of some of America's most iconic neighborhoods of color, from Tremae in New Orleans to Detroit's Black Bottom, from West Baltimore to Harlem. Many started families with Creole, Puerto Rican, and African American women. As steel and auto workers in the Midwest, as traders in the South, and as halal hot dog vendors on 125th Street, these immigrants created lives as remarkable as they are unknown. Their stories of ingenuity and intermixture challenge assumptions about assimilation and reveal cross-racial affinities beneath the surface of early twentieth-century America.ISBN: 9780674066663Publication Date: 2013
- Chains of Babylon: The Rise of Asian America by In Chains of Babylon, Daryl J. Maeda presents a cultural history of Asian American activism in the late 1960s and early 1970s, showing how the movement created the category of "Asian American" to join Asians of many ethnicities in racial solidarity. Drawing on the Black Power and antiwar movements, Asian American radicals argued that all Asians in the United States should resist assimilation and band together to oppose racism within the country and imperialism abroad. As revealed in Maeda's in-depth work, the Asian American movement contended that people of all Asian ethnicities in the United States shared a common relationship to oppression and exploitation with each other and with other nonwhite peoples. In the early stages of the civil rights era, the possibility of assimilation was held out to Asian Americans under a model minority myth. Maeda insists that it was only in the disruption of that myth for both African Americans and Asian Americans in the 1960s and 1970s that the full Asian American culture and movement he describes could emerge. Maeda challenges accounts of the post-1968 era as hopelessly divisive by examining how racial and cultural identity enabled Asian Americans to see eye-to-eye with and support other groups of color in their campaigns for social justice. Asian American opposition to the war in Vietnam, unlike that of the broader antiwar movement, was predicated on understanding it as a racial, specifically anti-Asian genocide. Throughout he argues that cultural critiques of racism and imperialism, the twin "chains of Babylon" of the title, informed the construction of a multiethnic Asian American identity committed to interracial and transnational solidarity.ISBN: 9780816648900Publication Date: 2009
- The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority by The Color of Success tells of the astonishing transformation of Asians in the United States from the "yellow peril" to "model minorities"--peoples distinct from the white majority but lauded as well-assimilated, upwardly mobile, and exemplars of traditional family values--in the middle decades of the twentieth century. As Ellen Wu shows, liberals argued for the acceptance of these immigrant communities into the national fold, charging that the failure of America to live in accordance with its democratic ideals endangered the country's aspirations to world leadership. Weaving together myriad perspectives, Wu provides an unprecedented view of racial reform and the contradictions of national belonging in the civil rights era. She highlights the contests for power and authority within Japanese and Chinese America alongside the designs of those external to these populations, including government officials, social scientists, journalists, and others. And she demonstrates that the invention of the model minority took place in multiple arenas, such as battles over zoot suiters leaving wartime internment camps, the juvenile delinquency panic of the 1950s, Hawaii statehood, and the African American freedom movement. Together, these illuminate the impact of foreign relations on the domestic racial order and how the nation accepted Asians as legitimate citizens while continuing to perceive them as indelible outsiders. By charting the emergence of the model minority stereotype, The Color of Success reveals that this far-reaching, politically charged process continues to have profound implications for how Americans understand race, opportunity, and nationhood.ISBN: 9781400848874Publication Date: 2013
- The Good Immigrant: 26 Writers Reflect on America by From Trump's proposed border wall and travel ban to the marching of white supremacists in Charlottesville, America is consumed by tensions over immigration and the question of which bodies are welcome. In this much-anticipated follow-up to the bestselling UK edition, hailed by Zadie Smith as "lively and vital," editors Nikesh Shukla and Chimene Suleyman hand the microphone to an incredible range of writers whose humanity and right to be here is under attack. Chigozie Obioma unpacks an Igbo proverb that helped him navigate his journey to America from Nigeria. Jenny Zhang analyzes cultural appropriation in 90s fashion, recalling her own pain and confusion as a teenager trying to fit in. Fatimah Asghar describes the flood of memory and emotion triggered by an encounter with an Uber driver from Kashmir. Alexander Chee writes of a visit to Korea that changed his relationship to his heritage. These writers, and the many others in this urgent collection, share powerful personal stories of living between cultures and languages while struggling to figure out who they are and where they belong.ISBN: 9780316524285Publication Date: 2019
- Historical Thinking in South Asia: A Handbook of Sources from Colonial Times to the Present by This is a sourcebook of historical culture in Modern South Asia, an extremely relevant work in the context of the ongoing debate on history writing. It informs about the many ways of dealing with the past as expressed in the works of prominent figures from different regional, religious, and social backgrounds and with divergent political orientation and ideological outlook.ISBN: 9780195662177Publication Date: 2003-09-25
- India Since 1947: The Independent Years by This definitive guide to independent India takes us through the events and personalities that have shaped India in the seventy years since 1947. Starting with Independence Day, it covers the decades in which the subcontinent saw the rise of democracy, its metamorphosis from an economy driven by selfsufficiency to one propelled by the economic reforms of the 1990s, and the concurrent liberalization, privatization and globalization that boosted India's growth rate. It also marks the transition from the era of single-party dominance to that of coalition politics and to identity-based politics.ISBN: 9780143102748Publication Date: 2007
- The Making of Asian America through Political Participation by Asian Americans are widely believed to be passive and compliant participants in the U.S. political process--if they participate at all. In this ground-breaking book, Pei-te Lien maps the actions and strategies of Asian Americans as they negotiate a space in the American political arena.Professor Lien looks at political participation by Asian Americans prior to 1965 and then examines, at both organizational and mass politics levels, how race, ethnicity, and transnationalism help to construct a complex American electorate. She looks not only at rates of participation among Asian Americans as compared with blacks, Latinos, American Indians, and non-Hispanic whites, but also among specific groups of Asian Americans--Chinese, Japanese, Filipinos, Koreans, Asian Indians, and Vietnamese. She also discusses how gender, socioeconomic class, and place of birth affect political participation.With documentation ranging from historical narrative to opinion survey data, Professor Lien creates a picture of a diverse group of politically active people who are intent on carving out a place for themselves in American political life.ISBN: 9781566398947Publication Date: 2001
- The Oxford Handbook of Asian American History by After emerging from the tumult of social movements of the 1960s and 1970s, the field of Asian American studies has enjoyed rapid and extraordinary growth. Nonetheless, many aspects of Asian American history still remain open to debate. The Oxford Handbook of Asian American History offers the first comprehensive commentary on the state of the field, simultaneously assessing where Asian American studies came from and what the future holds.In this volume, thirty leading scholars offer original essays on a wide range of topics. The chapters trace Asian American history from the beginning of the migration flows toward the Pacific Islands and the American continent to Japanese American incarceration and Asian American participation in World War II, from the experience of exclusion, violence, and racism to the social and political activism of the late twentieth century. The authors explore many of the key aspects of the Asian American experience, including politics, economy, intellectual life, the arts, education, religion, labor,gender, family, urban development, and legal history.The Oxford Handbook of Asian American History demonstrates how the roots of Asian American history are linked to visions of a nation marked by justice and equity and to a deep effort to participate in a global project aimed at liberation. The contributors to this volume attest to the ongoing importance of these ideals, showing how the mass politics, creative expressions, and the imagination that emerged during the 1960s are still relevant today. It is an unprecedentedly detailed portrait of Asian Americans and how they have helped change the face of the United States.ISBN: 9780199860463Publication Date: 2016
- The Partition of India by The British divided and quit India in 1947. The partition of India and the creation of Pakistan uprooted entire communities and left unspeakable violence in its trail. This volume tells the story of partition through the events that led up to it, the terrors that accompanied it, to migration and resettlement. In a new shift in the understanding of this seminal moment, the book also explores the legacies of partition which continue to resonate today in the fractured lives of individuals and communities, and more broadly in the relationship between India and Pakistan and the ongoing conflict over contested sites. In conclusion, the book reflects on the general implications of partition as a political solution to ethnic and religious conflict. The book, which is accompanied by photographs, maps and a chronology of major events, is intended for students as a portal into the history and politics of the Asian region.ISBN: 9780521856614Publication Date: 2009
- Retelling Time: Alternative Temporalities from Premodern South Asia by Retelling Time challenges the hegemony of colonial modernity over academic disciplines and over ways in which we think about something as fundamental as time. It reclaims a bouquet of alternative practices of time from premodern South Asia, which stem from worldviews that have been marginalized. Retelling Time questions the modern Eurocentric belief in an empty, homogenous, abbreviated, secular and irreversible time. It proposes instead that that premodern South Asia invested time with cultural function and value, which ranged from the contingent to the transcendent, the quotidian to the cosmic, the fleeting to the eternal, and the social to the spiritual. Accordingly, time was reworked --- stretched, melded, collapsed, recursed, rolled over, and even extinguished. Sacred, social, aesthetic, scientific, fictional, historical, and performative South Asian traditions are seen here in conversation with one other, mediated by an ethical paradigm. Their collective challenge is to decolonize our ways of knowing and being. This book will be of interest to scholars of South Asian history, philosophy of history, anthropology, literature, Sanskrit, post colonial studies, cultural studies, studies of temporality and of the Global South.ISBN: 9781003202783Publication Date: 2021
- Serve the People: Making Asian America in the Long Sixties by Until the political ferment of the Long Sixties, there were no Asian Americans. There were only isolated communities of mostly Chinese, Japanese, and Filipinos lumped together as "Orientals." Serve the People tells the story of the social and cultural movement that knit these disparate communities into a political identity, the history of how--and why--the double consciousness of Asian America came to be. At the same time, Karen Ishizuka's vivid narrative reveals the personal epiphanies and intimate stories of insurgent movers and shakers and ground-level activists alike. Drawing on more than 120 interviews and illustrated with striking images from guerrilla movement publications, the book evokes the feeling of growing up alien in a society rendered in black and white, and recalls the intricate memories and meanings of the Asian American movement. Serve the People paints a panoramic landscape of a radical time, and is destined to become the definitive history of the making of Asian America.ISBN: 9781781688625Publication Date: 2016
- We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multicultural Future by In We Too Sing America, nationally renowned activist Deepa Iyer catalogs recent racial flashpoints, from the 2012 massacre at the Sikh gurdwara in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, to the violent opposition to the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and to the Park 51 Community Center in Lower Manhattan. Iyer asks whether hate crimes should be considered domestic terrorism and explores the role of the state in perpetuating racism through detentions, national registration programs, police profiling, and constant surveillance.ISBN: 9781620970140Publication Date: 2015
- Yellow: Race in American Beyond Black and White by In the tradition of W. E. B. Du Bois, Cornel West, and other public intellectuals who confronted the "color line" of the twentieth century, journalist, law professor, and activist Frank H. Wu offers a unique perspective on how changing ideas of racial identity will affect race relations in the new century.Often provocative and always thoughtful, this book addresses some of the most controversial contemporary issues: discrimination, immigration, diversity, globalization, and the mixed-race movement, introducing the example of Asian Americans to shed new light on the current debates. Combining personal anecdotes, social-science research, legal cases, history, and original journalistic reporting, Wu discusses damaging Asian American stereotypes such as "the model minority" and "the perpetual foreigner." By offering new ways of thinking about race in American society, Wu's work challenges us to make good on our great democratic experiment.ISBN: 9780465006397Publication Date: 2001
- Yellow Peril!: An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear by From invading hordes to enemy agents, a great fear haunts the West! The "yellow peril" is one of the oldest and most pervasive racist ideas in Western culture--dating back to the birth of European colonialism during the Enlightenment. Yet while Fu Manchu looks almost quaint today, the prejudices that gave him life persist in modern culture. Yellow Peril! is the first comprehensive repository of anti-Asian images and writing, and it surveys the extent of this iniquitous form of paranoia. Written by two dedicated scholars and replete with paintings, photographs, and images drawn from pulp novels, posters, comics, theatrical productions, movies, propagandistic and pseudo-scholarly literature, and a varied world of pop culture ephemera, this is both a unique and fascinating archive and a modern analysis of this crucial historical formation.ISBN: 9781781681237Publication Date: 2014