12/2 | WEBINAR – Asian American Stories: Diversity, Defiance, and Dignity

On December 12 from 6-7:30pm (ET), USCET will hold a special webinar on Asian American Stories: Diversity, Defiance, and Dignity, featuring iconic Chinese American writer Maxine Hong Kingston, Pulitzer Prize winning Vietnamese American author Viet Thanh Nguyen, and literary critic Professor King-Kok Cheung as moderator. The authors will discuss how their writing has reflected and changed society, such as Maxine Hong Kingston’s 1976 memoir The Woman Warrior, which tackled issues of gender and ethnicity in the lives of women. Kingston has received multiple awards for her contributions to Chinese American literature, including the National Book Award for Nonfiction in 1981 for China Men (1980). She will be joined by her former student at the University of California Berkeley, Viet Thanh Nguyen, whose 2015 debut novel, The Sympathizer, won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It tells the story of a man of two minds, whose political beliefs clash with his individual loyalties. His 2016 nonfiction work, Nothing Ever Dies, examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today. This stellar panel will speak to AAPI diversity, defiance, and dignity, and how literature can give tangible voice to Asian Americans.

Speakers

Maxine Hong Kingston

Maxine Hong Kingston is an award-winning poet, memoirist, fiction writer, and Professor Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley. The daughter of Chinese immigrants, Kingston writes about her experiences with gender and ethnicity in her numerous works, including I Love a Broad Margin to My Life (2011), The Fifth Book of Peace (2003), To Be the Poet (2002), National Book Award-winner China Men (1980), and National Book Critics Circle Award-winner The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts (1976). She is also the author of the novel Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book (1989) and edited the anthology Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace (2006), compiled from the work of participants in poetry workshops she has led for more than 500 veterans of war. Her honors include the National Medal of Arts (presented by former President Barack Obama), the National Endowment for the Humanities’ National Humanities Medal (presented by former President Bill Clinton), the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Award in Literature, the National Book Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the title Living Treasure of Hawaii. She is a professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley and lives in Oakland, California.

Viet Thanh Nguyen

Viet Thanh Nguyen is a University Professor, Aerol Arnold Chair of English, and Professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity, and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America (Oxford University Press, 2002) and the novel The Sympathizer, from Grove/Atlantic (2015). The Sympathizer won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, an Edgar Award for Best First Novel from the Mystery Writers of America, the First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction, the Carnegie Medal for  Excellence in Fiction from the American Library Association, le Prix du meilleur livre étranger (Best Foreign Book in France), a California Book Award, and the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in Fiction from the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association.

King-Kok Cheung

King-Kok Cheung is Professor of English and Asian American Studies at UCLA. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she received her PhD in English from UC Berkeley; she was also the UCEAP Study Center Director in Beijing (2008-2010), UCEAP Study Center Director in Shanghai (2015-2017), and Chair Professor of Renmin University of China (2018-21). She is author of Articulate Silences: Hisaye Yamamoto, Maxine Hong Kingston, Joy Kogawa (Cornell UP,1993; Japanese edition, 2015; Chinese edition, 2020) and Asian American Literature without Borders (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017; Chinese edition, 2020); editor of Words Matter: Conversations with Asian American Writers (U of Hawaii Press, 2000), An Interethnic Companion to Asian American literature (Cambridge, 1996), “Seventeen Syllables” (Rutgers, 1994), Asian American literature: An Annotated Bibliography (MLA, 1988) and former co-editor of The Heath Anthology of American Literature. She has received an ACLS fellowship, a Mellon fellowship, a Fulbright lecturing and research award, and a resident fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford. She is the 2012-2013 Recipient of the UCLA Hoshide Teaching Award in Asian American Studies.