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Last Boat Out of Shanghai: Helen Zia, Laurence Coderre, and Pacharee Sudhinaraset

Organizer: A/P/A Institute at NYU
Venue: NYU Silver Center, Jurow Hall & Silverstein Lounge
31 Washington Place, 1st Floor
New York, NY 10003 United States
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Add to Calendar 02/07/2019 06:00 PM 02/07/2019 08:00 PM America/New_York Last Boat Out of Shanghai: Helen Zia, Laurence Coderre, and Pacharee Sudhinaraset More detail: https://apa.nyu.edu/event/last-boat-out-of-shanghai-helen-zia-laurence-coderre-and-pacharee-sudhinaraset/ NYU Silver Center, Jurow Hall & Silverstein Lounge, New York, NY, 10003

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Coinciding with the seventieth anniversary of the Chinese Communist Revolution, activist and former A/P/A Institute at NYU Writer-in-Residence Helen Zia launches her new book, Last Boat Out of Shanghai: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Fled Mao’s Revolution (Ballantine Books, 2019). Through the stories of four young people, Zia chronicles the historic exodus in the wake of the fall of the Nationalist government. “With captivating detail, the author reconstructs the tense ‘panic to flee’ that engulfed the nation. An absorbing history of a refugee crisis that mirrors current events,” writes Kirkus Reviews. Zia discusses the project with Laurence Coderre (NYU Department of East Asian Studies) and Pacharee Sudhinaraset (NYU Department of English). A book signing follows.


Helen Zia is an activist, author, and former journalist. In 2000, her first book Asian American Dreams: The Emergence of an American People was a finalist for the prestigious Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize. She has been active in many non-profit organizations, including Equality Now, Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), and KQED. Her groundbreaking articles, essays, and reviews have appeared in many publications, books, and anthologies, receiving numerous awards. The daughter of immigrants from China, Zia has been outspoken on issues ranging from human rights and peace to women’s rights and countering hate violence and homophobia. Zia received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the Law School of the City University of New York for bringing important matters of law and civil rights into public view. She is a Fulbright Scholar and a graduate of Princeton University’s first coeducational class. Zia’s latest book is Last Boat Out of Shanghai: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Fled Mao’s Revolution (Ballantine Books, 2019). It traces the lives of emigrants and refugees from another cataclysmic time in history that has striking parallels to the difficulties facing migrants today.

Laurence Coderre is Assistant Professor of Modern China in the Department of East Asian Studies at NYU. She received her PhD in Chinese from UC Berkeley in 2015. Prior to moving to NYU, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan. Coderre’s work, which focuses on Chinese socialist and post-socialist cultural production, has appeared in Comparative Studies of Society and History, Journal of Material Culture, Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, and Journal of Chinese Cinemas, among other publications. She has just completed a book manuscript, entitled Newborn Socialist Things: Materiality in Maoist China (under review), and is now beginning a new project about the material manifestations of Third Worldism in the late Mao era.

Pacharee Sudhinaraset is Assistant Professor of English at NYU. Her research and teaching interests focus on women of color feminisms, utopia, visuality, and comparative racialization. Her current book project explores how Asian American, African American, Chicana, and Indigenous women’s intellectual and cultural labors offer alternative genealogies of urban insurgency in the post-1960s period. This critical optic, she argues, links the cultural and political life-worlds in the aftermath of the Cold War and the 1960s urban insurrections to questions of utopia, racial capitalism, the urban/rural divide, migration, ecological extraction, and regimes of perception. Her work has been published in American Quarterly and The Black Scholar.


Notes on accessibility: The NYU Silver Center, Jurow Hall & Silverstein Lounge is on the first floor and is accessible for wheelchair users via the 31 Washington Place entrance. Restrooms (which are gender-segregated) are accessible via elevator. If you have any questions or need any accommodations, please email apa.rsvp@nyu.edu.