Wednesday, May 26, 2021
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM (Pacific Time)
Registration Required

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Juxtaposing short stories, poetry, painting, and photographs, Troubling Borders showcases the creative work of women of Vietnamese, Cambodian, Lao, Thai, and Filipino ancestry. This thematically arranged collection interrupts borders of categorization and gender, in what preface author Shirley Geok-Lin Lim describes as a “leap over the barbed fences that have kept these women apart in these, our United States of America.”

The sixty-two contributors have been shaped by colonization, wars, globalization, and militarization. For some of these women on the margins of the margin, crafting and showing their work is a bold act in itself. Their provocative and accessible creations tell unique stories, provide sharp contrasts to familiar stereotypes—Southeast Asian women as exotic sex symbols, dragon ladies, prostitutes, or “bar girls”—and serve as entry points for broader discussions about questions of history, memory, and identity.

Join the editors of Troubling Borders as they engage in a discussion on the origins of their project and its relevance to our contemporary moment. In particular, this panel will focus on the themes of resistance and community that resonate throughout the various cultural works featured in this anthology. Tying in pieces that personally resonate with each editor, this discussion will bridge the personal with the political in order to explore the lived realities and haunted afterlives of war and empire for Southeast Asian women in the diaspora.

About the Editors

Isabelle Thuy Pelaud is professor of Asian American studies at San Francisco State University. Lan Duong is associate professor of cinema and media studies at the University of Southern California. Mariam B. Lam is associate professor of comparative literature and Southeast Asian studies, and vice chancellor and chief diversity officer at the University of California, Riverside. Kathy L. Nguyen is a writer and editor in San Francisco.


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Sponsor(s): Center for Southeast Asian Studies, UCLA Vietnamese Student Union