Monday, April 5, 2010

Speakers Series presents Hip Hop, Lao American Youths, and Performative Blackness

WHAT: University of Illinois Springfield Engaged Citizenship Common Experience (ECCE) Speakers Series presents Hip Hop, Lao American Youths, & Performative Blackness. The featured speaker for this event is Monica Chiu, Associate Professor of English and University Honors Program Director at the University of New Hampshire.

WHEN: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 at 2 p.m.

WHERE: Brookens Auditorium on the lower level of Brookens Library

(The event will be available via video on demand at

DETAILS: A long standing goal of immigrant children has been to become “Americanized” as a key to their future economic and social success. In the particular case of Lao American youth, "becoming white" is closely associated with performing blackness. This talk discusses how Lao American boys' refashion themselves with the blackness inspired by media in order to achieve the so-called social acceptance among their American peers. It also highlights how their efforts to "fit in" are related to their academic struggles. Taking ethnographical and cultural approaches, this talk addresses how this cultural phenomenon reflects the dilemma of social acceptance for adolescents, the perception of community, as well as U.S. immigration history and the relationships between different racial groups.

Chiu specializes in Asian American Studies, she is the author of Filthy Fictions: Asian American Literature by Women (2004), the editor of Asian Americans in New England: Culture and Community (2009).

For more information and a list of other speakers series events visit or contact Kimberly Craig at 217/206-6245 or

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