UPDATE: This event, originally a 2-day conference entitled “Remapping Fear: The Politics and Poetics of Scapegoating and Denial,” will now be a one-evening program. Please see below for details.
“A uniquely satisfying work, Yellow Peril! is smart, funny, comprehensive, and theoretically astute. It sees as well as thinks anti-Asian xenophobia through riveting images that literally demonstrate class conflict that has been racialized and sexualized. This is theory + praxis at its best.” –Nell Irvin Painter, The History of White People, Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita, Princeton University.
From Genghis Khan to Fu Manchu, death rays to Islamophobia, Guantanamo to Tea Party xenophobia, the national security state to immigration policies…. Linking and bringing together fragmented visuals, documents, and essays, Yellow Peril! An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear (Verso Press, 2014) is both a call to decolonize US and Western civilizational studies and an indispensable briefing contextualizing contemporary wars, politics, and global conflicts.
On Friday, March 7, a gathering of performers and guest speakers will discuss some of today’s urgent issues, linking them back to divisive and corrosive stereotypes, policies, and practices.
Featuring new commissioned works by Suheir Hammad, Jason Kao Hwang, and Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai, and Yellow Peril! contributors Bruce Franklin, Matt Jacobson, Urmila Seshagiri, John Kuo Wei Tchen, and Dylan Yeats.
RSVP by Wednesday, March 5 using the form below.
Yellow Peril! is a labor of love co-edited by Jack Tchen (A/P/A Institute at NYU) and Dylan Yeats (NYU History Department). The project emerged from the Yoshio Kishi and Irene Yah-Ling Sun Collection, and more recently the Jack G. Shaheen Collection.
Co-sponsored by the Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program, Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at NYU, and Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at NYU.
Jack Tchen is the founding director of the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU and the Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program at NYU. He co-founded the Museum of Chinese in America in 1979-80, where he continues to serve as senior historian. He is the author of New York before Chinatown: Orientalism and the Shaping of American Culture, 1776-1882 and Genthe’s Photographs of San Francisco’s Old Chinatown, 1895-1905.
His research interests include the present, past, and future of New York City; identity formations; trans-local cross cultural communications; archives and epistemologies; progressive pedagogy; decolonizing Eurocentric ideas, theories, and practices; and making cultural organizations and institutions more representative and democratic. He is co-principal investigator of Imagining America’s Community Knowledge Collaboratory.
Dylan Yeats is a doctoral candidate in History at New York University. His dissertation traces the often unacknowledged (and sometimes unintentional) role of the US Federal Government in promoting and shaping a national culture before World War I. Yeats has worked as a tour guide, curator, archivist, and community documentation project consultant. Yeats believes that historical inquiry (as an analytical approach and as a set of research tools) can help us understand, enrich, and empower ourselves and our various communities.
One of our leading cultural historians, H. Bruce Franklin has published 19 books and hundreds of articles on American history and culture. His book, War Stars: The Superweapon and the American Imagination, traces the role of the Yellow Peril in American future war literature and film from the Civil War to today’s forever wars. He is currently the John Cotton Dana Professor of English and American Studies at Rutgers University in Newark.
Suheir Hammad is a Palestinian American poet, author and political activist who was born on October 1973 in Amman, Jordan to Palestinian refugee parents and immigrated with her family to Brooklyn, New York City when she was five years old. She is the author of breaking poems, recipient of a 2009 American Book Award, and the Arab American Book award for Poetry 2009. Her other books are ZaatarDiva, Born Palestinian, Born Black, and Drops of This Story. Her work has been widely anthologized and her produced plays include “Blood Trinity” and “breaking letter(s),” as well as the libretto for the multimedia “Re-Orientalism.” An original writer and performer in the TONY award winning Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, Suheir appears in the 2008 Cannes Film Festival Official Selection, Salt of This Sea.
In 2011, he released Symphony of Souls (Mulatta), performed by his string orchestra Spontaneous River, and Crossroads Unseen (Eunonymus), the third CD of his quartet EDGE. In 2010, the NYC Jazz Record selected Commitment, The Complete Recordings, 1981-1983, from a collective quartet that was Hwang’s first band, as one of the “Reissued Recordings of the Year” by the NYC Jazz Record. Hwang has received support from US Artists International, Meet the Composer, the NEA, and others. As violinist, Hwang has worked with Pauline Oliveros, William Parker, Anthony Braxton, Butch Morris, and many others.
Matthew Frye Jacobson received his Ph.D. in American Civilization from Brown University in 1992, and is the author of What Have They Built You to Do?: The Manchurian Candidate and Cold War America (with Gaspar Gonzalex, 2006); Roots Too: White Ethnic Revival in Post-Civil Rights America (2005); Barbarian Virtues: The United States Encounters Foreign Peoples at Home and Abroad, 1876-1917 (2000); Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race (1998); and Special Sorrows: The Diasporic Imagination of Irish, Polish, and Jewish Immigrants in the United States (1995). He is currently at work on Odetta’s Voice and other Weapons: The Civil Rights Era as Cultural History.
Urmila Seshagiri is Associate Professor of English at the University of Tennessee and the author of Race and the Modernist Imagination (Cornell UP, 2010). Her work has appeared in several journals and edited collections, including PMLA, Contemporary Literature, Modernism/modernity, Cultural Critique, Modern Fiction Studies, Woolf Studies Annual, and The Los Angeles Review of Books.
Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai is a Brooklyn-based artist, whose work as a performance poet has been featured at over 600 venues worldwide including the White House, HBO, and MTV Iggy. Her work as a filmmaker has been screened at film festivals both in the US and abroad and won recognition at Media That Matters & UrbanWorld VIBE. Her work as a multidisciplinary performance artist has been developed and presented at New York Live Arts, Ars Nova, and the Culture Project. Her current work spans screen, print, live performance, and new media. Her solo show, “Formosa,” which explores Barbie and beauty myth in pop and hip hop culture will be presented at the 2014 Downtown Urban Theater Festival at HERE in NYC on April 11, 2014. For more info: yellowgurl.com, @