Association of Asian American Studies, 17-20 April 2013

Over the next few days, I will be in Seattle for the Association of Asian American Studies‘ annual conference. This is the annual gathering for scholars in Asian American studies.

I organized a panel that was featured as one of the events relating to the Asian Pacific American and Religion Research Initiative (APARRI). The session is titled Empire and the Study of Asian American Religions, partly inspired by Kwok Pui Lan’s 2011 presidential address at the American Academy of Religion, ‘Empire and the Study of Religion.’ Our panel will be held on Saturday, 20 April, from 8:15 AM to 9:45 AM at the Westin-St. Helen’s. We will be chaired by Carolyn Chen (Northwestern University), and our discussant is Christopher Lee (UBC Vancouver). The presenters are as follows:

Christopher Chua, University of California, Berkeley
Imperial Intentions on American Soil: Missionary Work at San Francisco’s Chinese Presbyterian Church in the Late 19th Century

Helen Jin Kim, Harvard University
Constructing Yellow Empire: A History of the Neo-Evangelical, Anti-Communist Matrix in the Korean Diaspora (1951-1982)

Justin K. H. Tse, University of British Columbia
America, Return to God: Chinese American Evangelical Social Conservatives as Ironic Perpetual Foreigners

Timothy Tseng, Canaan Taiwanese Christian Church
Color-blinded By the Light: The American Evangelical Empire and the Deconstruction of Asian American Racial Identity in the San Francisco Bay Area

After some conversation with our discussant Chris Lee and further progress on my doctoral dissertation, I’ve changed the title of my presentation slightly to: ‘America, Return to God? Chinese American evangelicals and ideological antagonisms in Asian American studies.’ Focusing on my San Francisco field work, the paper will demonstrate that Asian American studies should be reconceptualized as a field of political ideological antagonisms between conservatives and progressives, and it will do so by examining Cantonese evangelical opposition to same-sex marriage.

We look forward to seeing you at the Association of Asian American Studies. Please visit the APARRI events for exciting developments in Asian American religious studies. These include:

Friday, April 19, 2013
4:30-6:00pm           APARRI Scholars Analyze and Discuss the Pew Research

PARTICIPANTS:

  • Janelle Wong, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Jane Iwamura, University of the West
  • David K. Kim, Connecticut College
  • Chair & Facilitator: Sharon Suh, Seattle University

7:00-9:00 pm         APARRI Reception and Roundtable Discussion at Seattle University:
“Challenges to Global Christianity in an Era of Secularism and Pluralism”

PARTICIPANTS:

  • Peter Phan, Georgetown University
  • David K. Kim, Connecticut College

**** The APARRI Roundtable and Reception will take place off site at:****
Seattle University
Admissions and Alumni Building
824 12th Ave. (corner of 12th & Marion)
Seattle, WA 98122

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Saturday April 20, 2013
8:15-9:30              
Empire and Asian American Religions

PRESENTERS:

  • Christopher Chua, University of California, Berkeley
  • Helen Jin Kim, Harvard University
  • Justin K. H. Tse, University of British Columbia
  • Timothy Tseng, Canaan Taiwanese Christian Church
  • Chair: Carolyn Chen, Northwestern University
  • Discussant: Christopher Lee, University of British Columbia

1:00 -2:30 pm        Author Meets Critic:
Joseph Cheah’s:
Race and Religion in American Buddhism: White   Supremacy and Immigrant Adaptations

PARTICIPANTS:

  • Jane Iwamura, University of the West
  • Joseph Cheah, University of St. Joseph, Connecticut
  • Duncan Williams, University of Southern California
  • Tamara Ho, University of California, Riverside

2:45-4:15pm  Violence against Asian American Religious Communities

PARTICIPANTS:

  • Jaideep Singh, California State University, East Bay
  • Janelle Wong, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Chandan Reddy, University of Washington
  • David Kim, Connecticut College
  • Sylvia Chan-Malik, Rutgers University
  • Sharon Suh, Seattle University

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If you are in Seattle for the AAAS, we’d love to see you at all of these events.

APARRI 2011

The 2011 Annual Meeting of the Asian Pacific American Religions Research Initiative

APARRI
Call for Papers

Here and There: Race, Religion, Law and Immigration

Dates:  August 3–5, 2011
McCormick Theological Seminary
Chicago, IL

APARRI is a community advancing the interdisciplinary study of Asian Pacific Americans and their religions. Through conferences, mentoring, and collaboration, APARRI promotes the professional development of scholars and the emerging field of Asian Pacific American religious studies. The APARRI conference began in 2000 among a group of doctoral students and early-career scholars of religion and theology who sought to develop a community of mutual support for the development of interdisciplinary scholarship on Asian Pacific American religion.  The conference continues this cross-disciplinary work by organizing concurrent sessions. Presenters are encouraged to share their research and works-in-progress with other APARRI participants by organizing panels, presenting papers, and/or by structuring small group dialogue sessions on an important topic of inquiry in the study of Asian North American and Pacific Island religions. Selected papers/sessions will be scheduled during the concurrent panels.

Entitled “Here and There: Race, Religion, Law and Immigration” the 2011 conference will be held August 3–5 on the campus of McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL.  The conference will feature a plenary as well as concurrent sessions that showcase research-in-progress. Additionally sessions focusing on professionalization (“Research and Writing: Staying Productive and Sane” and “I got the Job: Now What?”) will be available for students and faculty.

Debates around immigration have become increasingly fraught in the U.S. and abroad.  The impact of these debates has affected the lives of Asian Americans in predictable and unexpected ways, especially when considerations about citizenship take into account religion, law, and race.  The 2011 Annual Meeting of the Asian Pacific American Religions Research Initiative (APARRI) will explore the nexus of race, religion, law, and immigration through papers, working groups, and experimental keywords sessions.  Among the questions the meeting will consider are: How have changes in legal, civic, and cultural understandings of religion and race affected the formation of immigration policies in the U.S. and in other nations? What role have Asian American religious communities and traditions played in the fight for the rights of immigrants? How have race relations among Asian Americans and other racial and ethnic groups affected attitudes about immigration policies and religious affiliations?  What discourses about social justice have Asian American religious communities developed?  We invite working papers that will address these and related questions.

Deadline for Submissions:  June 1, 2011.
Email submissions to:  We encourage work in multiple and diverse religious contexts. Proposals should be sent by e-mail to Joe Cheah at jpcheah@aol.com
Acceptances will be sent out by June 15, 2011.

APARRI 2010: McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL (5-7 Aug 2010)

I have returned from Singapore and Hong Kong, and I am leaving tonight for CHICAGO!

The conference is part of a movement called the Asian Pacific American Religions Research Initiative.  Started originally by religious studies academics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the movement was taken on by the PANA (Pacific and Asian North American) Institute at the Pacific School of Religion at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.  This year, the conference has moved to Chicago and is organized by the Centre for Asian American Ministries at McCormick Theological Seminary.  Some of the major publications from the movement include New Spiritual Homes: Religions and Asian Americans (1999, ed. David Y. Yoo), Religions in Asian America: Building Faith Communities (2002, ed. Pyong Gap Min and Jung Ha Kim), and Revealing the Sacred in Asian and Pacific America (2003, ed. Jane Naomi Iwamura and Paul Spickard).  The conversation every year is a very interesting dialogue among theologians, academics in other disciplines (like me!), and religious leaders.

This year, the conference theme is: Bridging Yesterday and Tomorrow: Memory and Generational Change in Pacific and Asian America.  As the call for papers has it:

Plenaries feature a discussion on memory, the role of personal faith in academia, and an intergenerational panel.  Plenary Speakers include Anju Bhargava (Member of President Obama’s Council on Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships), Bandana Purkayastha (Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Connecticut), Peter Cha (Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School), Soong-Chan Rah (Milton B. Engebretson Associate Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism, North Park Theological Seminary), Roy Sano (Bishop, the United Methodist Church), and Mai-Anh Tran (Assistant Professor of Christian Education, Eden Theological Seminary). Concurrent sessions will showcase research-in-progress, and structured mentoring sessions will be available for students and junior faculty members.

I am presenting a paper entitled The Silent Exodus in a Trans-Pacific Migration Context: The Challenges of Youth in a Hongkonger Church in Canada.  It will be similar to the paper earlier this year I gave at the Association of American Geographers’ Annual Meeting in Washington DC.  It will focus more on Generational Change, the session I have been slotted in for 7 Aug at 8:30 AM (early!!!).  Here is my abstract:

Students of ethnic religious congregations in North America have often noted the phenomenon of “the silent exodus” (Carjaval, 1994), a quiet departure of the young people from ethnic religious congregations that has resulted in both diminishing numbers within ethnic congregations and the emergence of second-generation ethnic churches. The often-cited reason for this exodus is language: while the ethnic church tends to operate in an ethnic tongue, the second generation that has been educated in North America prefers English as a lingua franca. But the case of St. Matthew’s Church—the Hongkonger congregation in Metro Vancouver at which I conducted nine months of ethnographic research—has contributed nuance to this view in two ways. First, while the departure of English-speaking youth has been an ongoing concern to members of the church, I also note members of the second generation who have decided to learn Cantonese as a way of preserving their contribution to Canadian multiculturalism. Second, I demonstrate that trans-Pacific migrations also affect generational dynamics in the transnational Hongkonger church: 1) the second generation that knows Cantonese may migrate back to Hong Kong for work and become too geographically distant to attend the migrant church and 2) a ‘second wave’ of migrants from the People’s Republic of China currently takes up more attention in the Hongkonger church than issues of youth and generational transmission. This paper contributes to the study of generations in migrant religious congregations by placing their spiritual needs in the context of in a specific transnational geography of religion that problematizes the dominant view that young people pose the dominant challenge to the ethnic religious congregation in North America.

I’d love to see you there if you’re at APARRI! I can also make my paper available if you’d like a copy.

Chicago, here we come!!!!!