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ETHN 250: Introduction to Asian American Studies

Publication Date

Fall 2020


Asian American Studies | Ethnic Studies

Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement

This zine allowed us to confront the ways in which colonization and its historical implications play into modern race relations. This is especially evident in the ways bodies are valued and devalued based on social location, birthplace, and racial appearance. Our weekly zines confronted the direct interactions between colonial violence and individuals, as well as their communities. We also worked to intentionally contrast this to the western construction of whiteness, and pulled from historical and modern examples of how whiteness has been weaponized against Asian communities in order to further marginalize them. Adjacency to whiteness, however, has also been used as a method of mobility. These race relations are used as a platform for other racist rhetoric and actions (especially anti-Blackness). This zine intends to bring to light the diverse range of lived experiences and histories in Asian studies, as well as the pervasiveness of colonialism throughout history. In addition to analyzing the continued effects of colonization on the framework of the Asian American experience, we also wanted to show the implications during the pandemic. Providing modern examples in each of the following zines allowed us to highlight the fact that forced assimilation consistently places those who don’t identify with the U.S. patriarchy at a significant disadvantage. The themes presented in the historical texts align with modern characteristics of pop culture, the news media, current health care systems, as well as gender and societal norms. Throughout the zine, we looked at the intersections of race, gender and sexuality. We found that intersectionality takes into account the multiple human identities and experiences required to understand why some communities have been marginalized and discriminated against. Intersectionality recognizes that all identities exist together rather than independentl. The best way to focus on this is reading from another perspective. For example, we recognize that as white women we are not be able to understand an Asian women’s point of view. As we worked on our zines we found that the best way to be aware of discrimination was to keep reading from a point of view that we do not share.

Introduction to Asian American Studies: Final Zine Project (5)