Tuesday, December 27, 2011

"Has Asian American Studies Failed?"

Timothy Yu asks this interesting question, "Has Asian American Studies Failed?"  on his blog. It's an important question, and one that others are asking in many other sectors, such as Hyphen Magazine's provocative post on "Jean Quan and the Death of Asian America."

I addressed the Hyphen post over at Little Laos On the Prairie and what it could mean for many Lao, but many of the issues also apply to Asian American Studies. Failure and death are pretty final words to be using.

Optimistically, I would consider them only setbacks, rather than defeats and the death of certain dreams. But we cannot be complacent, either. Or take each other for granted. I think leadership at the Association for Asian American Studies and others do need to consider Tim's proposals, especially in regards to bringing the field truly back to the people. We need to connect it more concretely to our abilities to succeed and thrive not only within academia but beyond it. To survive, it cannot be a liability to our youth or their families. To survive, we must see not only what has been, but what can be.

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