Date of Press Release: March 5, 2014
Pacific Peoples – Translocal Identities and Cultural Connections
Pacific Peoples: Translocal Identities & Cultural Connections is the theme of the University of Alaska Southeast Spring Honors Symposium with presentations by New York based Ma-Yi Theater Artistic Director and playwright Ralph Peña, University of Washington Anthropology Professor and author Miriam Khan and Rutgers University Honors college dean and author Matt Masuda. March 5th, 7th and 10th at UAS in Juneau. Presentations are free and open to the public.
This year’s forum focuses on the experiences of Filipino and Pacific Islander communities in the Pacific, the United States, Alaska, Juneau, and at UAS. Asians constitute the fastest growing immigrant population in North America today, surpassing rates of Hispanic immigration for the first time in 2009. In Alaska, the combined Filipino and Pacific Islander communities constitute the third largest ethnic demographic. Yet in Alaska, as across the United States, media coverage and public awareness of Asian and Pacific communities is minimal, and it tends to draw from legacies of stereotypes and cross-cultural misunderstandings. At the same time, the vitality of America as an immigrant and multicultural nation in the near future, particularly for Alaska as well, will be coming from Asia and the Pacific.
The UAS Honors Reading Seminar and Spring Forum is on the forefront of this shift by exploring the historical and contemporary experiences of Filipino and Pacific Islander communities. What have those experiences been? What are they now? And what does it mean to each of us, as individuals and socially from our own ethnic and cultural backgrounds, to build a truly inclusive and multicultural community? This is the academic and ethical agenda of the symposium.
Wednesday, March 5, 7:00 p.m., UAS REC Center
“Asian Americans On Stage: Are We There Yet?” Presentation by Ralph Peña, Artistic Director of the Ma-Yi Theater Company, New York. Dramatic reading of selected passages from the play Flipzoids (2011) by Ralph B. Peña.
Friday, March 7, 7:00 p.m., Egan 112 Lecture Hall
“Illusion and Reality in Tahiti’s Tourist Cocoons.” Presentation by Miriam Khan, Professor of Anthropology, University of Washington. Author of Tahiti Beyond the Postcard: Power, Place, and Everyday Life (University of Washington Press, 2011)
Monday, March 10, 7:00 p.m., Egan 112 Lecture Hall
“Oceans Connect: Pacific Peoples and Global Histories.” Presentation by Matt Matsuda, Professor of History and Dean of the Honors College, Rutgers University. Author of Pacific Worlds: A History of Seas, Peoples, and Cultures (Cambridge University Press, 2012) and Empire of Love: Histories of France and the Pacific, Oxford University Press, 2005).
Wednesday, March 12, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Filipino Community Center (251 S. Franklin Street)
End of the Symposium Celebration! Filipino dinner with seminar members and UAS students, and the Filipino Community! Free admission: Ticket required (Contacts: Robin Walz, Sol Neely, Kim Stewart Greinier, Student Activities, Student Exchange Office, Filipino Community Inc.)
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