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Homeward Bound: Oral Histories of the Diaspora

Organizer: The W.O.W Project
Venue: Wing On Wo & Co.
26 Mott Street
New York, NY
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Add to Calendar 06/14/2018 07:00 PM 06/14/2018 09:00 PM America/New_York Homeward Bound: Oral Histories of the Diaspora More detail: https://apa.nyu.edu/event/homeward-bound-oral-histories-of-the-diaspora-oral-histories-of-the-diaspora/ Wing On Wo & Co., New York, NY
Presented by The W.O.W. Project. Co-sponsored by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU.


How do oral histories document generations past and present? How do these stories shape our future? What are the stories you have been waiting to tell? Four multimedia storytellers, scholars, and organizers share their work documenting personal, local, and global stories of the diaspora. Featuring Nyssa Chow (Lecturer, S.U.N.Y Purchase), Tao Leigh Goffe (Assistant Professor/Faculty Fellow, NYU), Diane Wong (Doctoral Candidate, Cornell University), and Huiying Bernice Chan (writer and storyteller). This program is part of “Homeward Bound: Memories, Identity, and Resilience across the Chinese Diaspora.”


“Homeward Bound: Memories, Identity, and Resilience across the Chinese Diaspora” is a series of public events that highlights everyday resilience in Chinatowns around the world. It is spearheaded by three local artists, ethnographers, and facilitators of The W.O.W. Project: Diane Wong, Mei Lum, and Huiying Bernice Chan, who have spent the past several years conducting ethnographic research and oral history interviews with the Chinese diaspora in New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Seattle, Lima, Havana, Johannesburg, Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur, and Sydney. Each of these communities have overcome extraordinary struggles due to the lasting impacts of war, violence, displacement, and dispossession. This public series is the first of its kind to preserve and build on the history of Chinatowns around the world through community-led and curated narratives from residents globally. By sharing an expanded collection of oral history interviews, photographs, and videos, we hope to build collaborative knowledge and space for community members to come together to expand our understanding of diaspora.

Nyssa Chow is a writer, new media storyteller, and educator. She is a professor at S.U.N.Y. Purchase teaching writing for film, and theories of meaning creation in narrative works. As the former Teaching Fellow at Columbia University OHMA, she worked to help students bring the practice of oral history and narrative storytelling together. In her public talks she often emphasizes the importance bringing the human experience into historical scholarship, and the importance of engaging in public facing work. She is a graduate of the Columbia University’s MFA program, and the Columbia University Oral History Masters Program. She is the 2018 Recipient of the PEN/Jean Stein Grant for Literary Oral History, won for the book project, Still.Life. The project also won the Columbia University Jeffrey H. Brodsky Oral History Award. She’s a recipient of the Hollywood Foreign Press Award, the Women in Film and Television Fellowship, the Toms Fellowship, and the Academy of Motion Pictures Foundation Award. She was the recipient of a Sloan Foundation Grant, and in 2014, she won the Zaki Gordon Award for Excellence in Screenwriting.

Born in London and raised between the UK and US, Tao Leigh Goffe is a cultural critic specializing in the narratives that emerge from histories of imperialism, migration, and globalization. Her interdisciplinary research examines the unfolding relationship between technology, the senses, memory, and nature. Goffe has held academic positions at New York University, Princeton University, and Hunter College CUNY. She received her PhD from Yale University and Bachelor’s degree from Princeton University. In 2019, she will begin a joint position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Africana Studies and the Program in Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Cornell University. She has extensive experience as a researcher and public speaker. Her strengths are in communicating complex ideas to groups with varying levels of expertise, including both specialist and non-specialist audiences. She has undertaken internships in a variety of fields at the United Nations, Merrill Lynch, and Museum of Chinese in America, in publishing, curating, and social media.
Diane Wong is a doctoral candidate at Cornell University, where she writes on race, gender, and the gentrification of Chinatowns. As a writer, educator, and multimedia storyteller, her research stems from a place of revolutionary praxis and deep love for community. Her current research explores how gentrification led displacement politically impacts the Chinese immigrant communities in New York City, San Francisco, and Boston. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Mellon Foundation, American Political Science Association, and Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, and has appeared in a variety of publications, journals, anthologies, and podcasts. Wong is currently a visiting scholar at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University where she is finishing her dissertation and working closely with The W.O.W. Project and Chinatown Art Brigade 唐人街藝術隊/ 唐人街艺术队.
Huiying Bernice Chan is a creative writer, multimedia storyteller, and aspiring healer with roots in Chinatown and the Toisanese diaspora. Huiying received the 2016-2017 Knafel Fellowship to travel solo to Chinatowns in eight countries around the world to document global migration and resilience across the diaspora. As a current Open City Fellow with the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Huiying is covering stories of intergenerational arts and activism in Chinatown. Their writing has recently been published in Culture Push’s PUSH/PULL Online Journal, The Blueshift Journal, and the Asian American Journal of Psychology. Chan is continuing to dream a life that is oceanic.