The Department of Asian American Studies at UC Irvine presents
in conjunction with UCI Kababayan’s (Kaba) Pilipino Visibility Week
A book launch & reading with
R. Zamora Linmark & Jessica Hagedorn
Wednesday, May 4th
Dr. White Conference Room, Cross-Cultural Center
Join us for a book launch & reading with critically acclaimed authors R. Zamora Linmark & Jessica Hagedorn. Both writers will be reading from their highly anticipated latest releases—Linmark’s LECHE (Coffee House Press, 2011) and Hagedorn’s TOXICOLOGY (Penguin, 2011).
Books will be on-hand for sale and signing. This event is FREE and open to the public. RSVP highly suggested. Visit our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/uciasianam) for more details.
Poet, novelist, and playwright R. Zamora Linmark is the author of the bestselling novel Rolling the R’s (Kaya Press) and two collections of poetry, Prime Time Apparitions and The Evolution of a Sigh, both from Hanging Loose Press. A recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including two from the Fulbright Foundation, a Creative Writing Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a U.S.–Japan Friendship Commission, he has published in numerous journals and anthologies in the U.S. and the Philippines. His stage adaptation of Rolling the R’s premiered in Honolulu in 2008, and was a critical and commercial success. Linmark divides his time between Manila, Honolulu, and San Francisco.
Jessica Hagedorn, a novelist, poet, and playwright, was born and raised in the Philippines and moved to the United States in her teens. Her books include the novels Dogeaters (a finalist for the National Book Award and the recipient of an American Book Award), The Gangster of Love, and Dream Jungle (a New York Times Notable Book), and Danger and Beauty, a collection of selected poetry and short fiction. Hagedorn was the editor of the Asian American fiction anthology Charlie Chan is Dead. She lives in New York City.
Co-sponsored with the UCI Bookstore, UCI Humanities Center, International Center for Writing & Translation (ICWT), Departments of Comparative Literature, English, Studio Art, Women’s Studies, and the Creative Writing Program.
April 15th, 2011
Please join us and feel free to spread the word to colleagues, students, classmates, staff/community members and friends!
“The Oriental Monk in U.S. Popular Culture”
book reading/signing with Jane Naomi Iwamura
(Assistant Professor of Religion and American Studies & Ethnicity, USC)
Wednesday, February 23rd
3341 Humanities Gateway
Saffron-robed monks and long-haired gurus have become familiar characters on the American popular culture scene. Jane Iwamura examines the contemporary fascination with Eastern spirituality and provides a cultural history of the representation of Asian religions in American mass media. Encounters with monks, gurus, bhikkhus, sages, sifus, healers, and masters from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds and religious traditions provided initial engagements with Asian spiritual traditions. Iwamura’s recently published book Virtual Orientalism: Asian Religions and American Popular Culture (Oxford University Press, 2011) shows the evolution of these interactions, from direct engagements with specific individuals to mediated relations with a conventionalized icon: the Oriental Monk. Visually and psychically compelling, the Oriental Monk becomes for Americans a ”figure of translation”–a convenient symbol for alternative spiritualities and modes of being. Through the figure of the solitary Monk, who generously and purposefully shares his wisdom with the West, Asian religiosity is made manageable-psychologically, socially, and politically–for popular culture consumption. Iwamura’s insightful study shows that though popular engagement with Asian religions in the United States has increased, the fact that much of this has taken virtual form makes stereotypical constructions of “the spiritual East” obdurate and especially difficult to challenge. In her presentation, Iwamura will read from selections of her book and reflect on the implications of her study on more recent expressions (such as Kung Fu Panda and The Last Airbender) of the Oriental Monk.
This event is FREE and open to the public.
Books will be on-hand for sale & signing immediately following the reading.
Jane Naomi Iwamura is Assistant Professor of Religion and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California (USC). Her research focuses on Asian American religions, race and popular culture in the United States (with an emphasis on visual culture), and her publications include the co-edited volume, Revealing the Sacred in Asian and Pacific America (2003).
This event is co-sponsored with the UCI Bookstore, Departments of Film & Media Studies and Religious Studies, and the PhD program in Visual Culture.
February 15th, 2011