Topic | colonialism

Vijay Iyer on “Complicity with Excess”

Jazz pianist Vijay Iyer performs in the Soundcheck studio.

If you haven’t seen musician Vijay Iyer‘s speech concerning “complicity with excess” that was delivered to the Yale Asian alumni, you should check out this article on the Asian American Writers’ Workshop site. It is, in a word, fantastic. Here’s a preview, I’ve found myself right in the middle of conversations about race for most […]

India Criminalizes Gay Sex: A Response to Misplaced Outrage

india lgbt

In a shockingly poor decision, the Indian Supreme Court has reversed the July 2009 ruling of the Delhi High Court decriminalizing gay sex between consenting adults. In doing so, India’s Supreme Court has recriminalized gay sex in India, rendering a substantial portion of the global LGBT population illegal. Overturning a High Court decision, the Indian […]

Meet Miss Saigon, Not the Box Office Kind

Meet Miss Saigon, Not the Box Office Kind

“[S]mall, weak, submissive and erotically alluring…eyes almond-shaped for mystery, black for suffering, wide-spaced for innocence, high cheekbones swelling like bruises, cherry lips…. When you get home from another hard day on the planet, she comes into existence, removes your clothes, bathes you and walks naked on your back to relax you … She’s fun you […]

Book Review: Shoal of Time

Reviews
shoal of time cover

Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders occupy an awkward space in the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) coalition. Many groups call themselves API, but the PI is often absent. In some cases, it doesn’t appear that PIs were ever present to begin with. With this in mind, I undertook a project of reading everything I could […]

Book Review: Aloha Betrayed

Reviews
alohabetrayed cover

A must-read for those interested in Hawai’i. Much of the colonial history of the islands is built around the notion that the “bloodless revolution” was an indication of the passive consent of the Hawaiian people to the takeover of Hawai’i by white business interests. This book uses Hawaiian language resources to demonstrate that Hawaiians did […]

Book Review: The Glass Palace

Reviews
glass palace cover

At the risk of sounding cliche, Amitav Gosh’s The Glass Palace is an important book. It’s importance begins with the subject matter – a one-hundred year span of history that unfolds in India, Malaya (now Malaysia) and Burma (now Myanmar), all countries of which most Americans, myself included, know precious little. The book addresses the […]

Regarding Blackness is the Fulcrum

Blackness is the Fulcrum continues to be, by far, the most read post on Race Files. Many of the conversations I’ve had about it begin with the assumption that Asian Americans are less likely or even unlikely to step up on issues of racial justice. The suggestion is that I’m an exception to a rule […]