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Imagine Otherwise: Surbhi Malik on Diasporic Radio

Imagine Otherwise: Surbhi Malik on Diasporic Radio

retro
May 24, 2017

Surbhi Malik wearing a black shirt and gret scarf, in front of trees and a neigborhood street

 

How does place-making help migrants understand and disrupt racial narratives? What role does mentoring play in academic progression and in everyday life? How can scholars move past monetary definitions of self-worth as academia becomes increasingly corporatized?

In episode 38 of the Imagine Otherwise podcast, host Cathy Hannabach and guest Surbhi Malik discuss the complex place-making practices migrants employ, how she mentors students to consider their whole selves even while in academia, how she went from hosting an American music radio show in India to hosting an Indian music radio show in the US, and how public projects like radio and activism inform all of her scholarly work and taught her how to both identify and resist colonial legacies.

This episode of Imagine Otherwise is part of Signal Boosting, a podcast miniseries collaboration between the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, Ideas on Fire, and the Association for Asian American Studies. Each week during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we’re highlighting an emerging scholar who is building new audiences for the field of Asian American studies. The Signal Boosting miniseries aims to show how interdisciplinary scholars, activists, and artists are producing socially engaged work in multimedia forms, as well as inspire you to create your own.

Guest: Surbhi Malik

Surbhi Malik is an assistant professor of English at Creighton University.

As an emigrant twice displaced, from India to Chicago and Chicago to Omaha, Nebraska, she is fascinated by how we imagine place and the role this imagination plays in the direction that diasporic journeys take. Specifically her research on South Asian diasporic literature and film thinks about place as a repository not simply of individual memory or national identity but of the cultural imagination of transatlantic geopolitics.

She is currently working on her book-length project titled The Diasporic Itinerary: Place and Transatlantic Geopolitics in South Asian Diaspora Cultures, which argues that place-based imagination explains the comparative mythologies, histories, and fictions of Anglophilia and Americophilia and how these forces have differentially shaped the racial meanings of South Asians.

Her work has been published in Journal of Creative Communications, Journal of Religion and Society, South Asian Review, and is forthcoming in the anthology Worlding Asia: Asian/Pacific/American/Planetary Convergences.

She was the recipient of an American Association of University Women (AAUW) Fellowship, an honor that has intensified her commitment to mentoring women students.

She has also hosted radio shows in both India and the United States.

We chatted about

  • Place-based imagination in the South Asian diaspora (03:00)
  • How South Asian scholars have disrupted concepts of the “model minority,” Anglophilia, and Americaphilia (07:45)
  • How Surbhi’s own placement in the American midwest shaped her scholarship and mentoring (13:00)
  • Finding voice through radio (21:00)
  • Rewarding public scholarship in an era of corporatized academia (23:45)
  • Imagining otherwise (29:30)

Surbhi Malik wearing a black shirt and gret scarf, in front of trees and a neighborhood street. Text reads: Place-based imagination helps explain the complex histories, mythologies, and fixations of Americophilia and Anglophilia that have long defined the arcs and lives of South Asians.

Takeaways

Place-making and displacement

Usually our response to the idea of place in the case of displacement is placelessness, or metaphorical homelessness. I am trying to instead really think about what places mean in that context.

Gaining new perspectives through the immigration process

I was really struck by how the experience of colonialism is almost every day. It is ingrained into your life and you don’t really notice it. That distance that immigration gave me helped me process some of that.

Shedding a positive light on mentoring

There is a lot of stigma attached to women seeking help in all the spheres, whether it’s at the professional level or at the student level. That has something to do with how we view ambitious women in society….When men seek help, when men seek mentoring relationships with seniors or role models, we call it networking. When women seek similar relationships and help, they are seen as inherently deficient and therefore in need of help. I want to change that narrative.

Seeking a broad audience for scholarly work

The one thing that I would like to urge all my fellow scholars, fellow colleagues, and fellow researchers to note is that even though there might not be institutional rewards built in, getting out into public forums enriches my scholarship, enriches my pedagogy, and honestly it makes me a better teacher.

The importance of speaking frankly about race in the current political era

I want my language to be very cognizant of my own exclusions and marginalizations. This particularly resonates with me as an Asian American scholar working in the midwest.

Imagining otherwise

I want to strive for a world in which our worth as a person, our measure of success is not money. That topic is particularly important to me as I think about the corporatization of the university.

More from Surbhi

Projects and people discussed

About Imagine Otherwise

Imagine Otherwise is a podcast about the people and projects bridging art, activism, and academia to build better worlds. Episodes offer in-depth interviews with creators who use culture for social justice, and explore the nitty-gritty work of imagining and creating more just worlds. Check out full podcast episodes and show notes at ideasonfire.net/imagine-otherwise-podcast. Imagine Otherwise is produced by Ideas on Fire, an academic editing and consulting agency helping progressive, interdisciplinary scholars write and publish awesome texts, enliven public conversations, and create more just worlds.

About Signal Boosting

This episode and the Signal Boosting miniseries is a collaboration between Ideas on Fire, an academic editing and consulting agency that works with progressive, interdisciplinary academics, the Association for Asian American Studies, the primary research and teaching hub for Asian American Studies as a dynamic, interdisciplinary field, and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, a migratory museum that brings Asian Pacific American history, art and culture to you through innovative museum experiences online and throughout the United States.

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Episode transcript

Cathy Hannabach [00:03]: [upbeat music in background] Welcome to Imagine Otherwise, the podcast about the people and projects bridging art, activism, and academia to build better worlds. Episodes offer in-depth interviews with creators who use culture for social justice and explore the nitty-gritty work of imagining otherwise. I’m your host, Cathy Hannabach. [music fadeout]

[00:22 Welcome to Signal Boosting, a podcast miniseries collaboration between the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, Ideas on Fire, and the Association for Asian American Studies.

Each week during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we’re highlighting an emerging scholar who’s building new audiences for the field of Asian American studies. The Signal Boosting miniseries aims to show how interdisciplinary scholars, activists, and artists are producing socially-engaged work in multimedia forums, as well as inspire you to perhaps create your own.

In this fourth episode of the Signal Boosting miniseries, I talk with Surbhi Malik, who’s an assistant professor of English at Creighton University.

As an emigrant twice displaced, from India to Chicago and Chicago to Omaha, Nebraska, she is fascinated by how we imagine place and the role this imagination plays in the direction that diasporic journeys take. Specifically her research on South Asian diasporic literature and film thinks about place as a repository not simply of individual memory or national identity but of the cultural imagination of transatlantic geopolitics.

[01:30] She is currently working on her book-length project titled The Diasporic Itinerary: Place and Transatlantic Geopolitics in South Asian Diaspora Cultures, which argues that place-based imagination explains the comparative mythologies, histories, and fictions of Anglophilia and Americophilia and how these forces have differentially shaped the racial meanings of South Asians.

Her work has been published in Journal of Creative Communications, Journal of Religion and Society, South Asian Review, and is forthcoming in the anthology Worlding Asia: Asian/Pacific/American/Planetary Convergences. She was the recipient of an American Association of University Women (AAUW) Fellowship, an honor that has intensified her commitment to mentoring women students. She has also hosted radio shows in both India and the United States.

Surbhi and I discuss the complex placemaking practices that migrants employ, how she mentors students to consider their whole selves (even while in academia), how she went from hosting an American radio show in India to hosting an Indian music show in the US, and how public projects like radio and activism inform all of her scholarly work and taught her both how to identify as well as resist colonial legacies.

[to Surbhi] Thank you so much for being with us today.

Surbhi Malik [02:44]: Thank you. I’m delighted to be here.

Cathy [02:46]: So you’re writing a really interesting sounding new book called The Diasporic Itinerary: Place and Transatlantic Geopolitics in South Asian Diaspora Cultures. What’s that book cover?

Surbhi [02:57]: My book is about how we imagine the place and literature and art of diaspora, literature and film more specifically and the creative arts more generally. Usually our response to the idea of place in the case of displacement is placelessness or a metaphorical homelessness. I am trying to instead really think about what places mean in that context.

Specifically, I am examining South Asian diaspora literature and film. I want to make the case that in this particular scenario, place is not simply a repository of personal memory or national identity. Rather, place is a repository of the cultural imagination of transatlantic geopolitics.

And what I’m struck by particularly is how place-based imagination helps explain some of these complex histories, [inaudible], fictions off Americophilia and Anglophilia, which have long defined the arts and lives of South Asians.

[04:14] These forces have hardly been consistent. There has been a lot of push and pull. I’ll give you a couple of examples to explain what I’m thinking. So for an earlier generation of South Asian authors like V.S. Naipaul, it is the British countryside that defines Naipaul’s Anglophilia. And it is more complex than a simple love of the British countryside. But the place of the British countryside is very important for Naipaul in defining his Anglophilia.

But then, and most of my book picks up on this moment of 1989 when we see a shift in South Asian culture. 1989 is the year of the fall of the Berlin Wall, but for the South Asian diaspora, it is an important moment because of Salman Rushdie’s fatwa. He wrote The Satanic Verses and a fatwa was issued against him and that was kind of a pivotal moment.

[05:10] So in this particular moment as the global geopolitics is moving towards a language of the “special relationship” between Britain and America and we see more of a transatlantic confluence. South Asian authors and filmmakers are imagining more of a contrast, a stark contrast, between Britain and the United States. So thinking about Rushdie’s life and his fleeing from Britain to the United States, we see, this contrast between the two places that these two authors make.

Following Rushdie’s journey, at this moment, from Britain to the United States, so follow the South Asian dreams, longings, desires, even disillusionments. This is what I’m calling the diasporic itinerary: this particular directionality of salvation, longing, desire, and dreams.

For Rushdie then, it is a specific place. It is the city, it is the metropolis of New York that defines his transatlantic relationship. New York attains meaning for him or acquires meaning for him through this specific opposition and being defined against London.

[06:33] But I’m also interested in this idea of the transatlantic as not only endowing places with meaning, but also as rendering these places strange. So, New York is a place of refuge and emancipation, not only in opposition to London but also in opposition to the rest of America. So he’s able to claim belonging there while at the same time critiquing the American racial system and his position in it by dissociating New York from the rest of the rest of the nation.

We use the term model minority to understand Asian Americans’ position in the racial system, which is the idea that they’re the “good minorities” and America is an exceptional place for these people. But the way I see it, Rushdie is almost making the model minority a place-based concept—it is only in the metropolis that he gets to feel that, but in the rest of the country maybe not so much.

[07:38] So that brings me back to that earlier Naipaul moment, the power of this transatlantic contrast to render places strange. He is in the countryside, in the British countryside, but it is not the grandeur of the British countryside that appeals to him. It is the British countryside as a site of imperial ruin. He’s living in a cottage in the gardens of a manor in the British countryside. And it is in that moment of ruin in that he feels an equality, a kind of parity, with his colonizer. So even in those ruins, he finds grandeur and when he comes to America, he says, This is a landscape of small ruins, this is not my ruins, this is not my colonizer. That is the power of place to disorient us from this usual narrative, even how we understand Anglophilia in the South Asian diaspora, that is particularly appealing to me.

Cathy [08:47]: Do you find that that plays out in other places in the US? I mean, the New York example is so iconic and in many ways it is a city that is positioned and sometimes positions itself as exceptional. And we could disagree with that in all kinds of ways. But, I’m wondering how this works for those same authors or different authors or filmmakers that you’ve come across, how that plays out in other cities that are maybe not giant metropolises or are not super well-known places with large South Asian diasporas. How does this work in other places in the US?

Surbhi [09:22]: Yeah, absolutely. It just so interesting how we view place in terms of whether it’s a familiar place for the diaspora or not—for instance, American suburbia. At some point, South Asians [in the US] were mostly an urban population and that is how we thought about South Asian literature and film. But you know, you look at an author like Jhumpa Lahiri and for her, it’s the suburb that constitutes the iconic South Asian diasporic landscape. For her, that’s the attainment of the American dream for South Asians.

But if you look at many of her texts, it is always interesting to me that even that moment of attainment of the dream, there is a critique of the American racial system and that these people are intensely isolated and it’s a life of extreme loneliness. That to me is particularly fascinating, as is her ability to render that suburb and transatlantic arc.

[10:32] I’m thinking here of her really widely anthologized story called “The Third and Final Continent” from her Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Interpreter of Maladies. This guy, the protagonist, has lived in London before, in Finsbury Park, where he had a small cramped apartment. There are a bunch of bachelors living there and they are eating out of their hands living a bachelor life. It’s a communal life, but it’s not the attainment of the ultimate destination. He ends up coming to the US and it’s the ownership of a suburban home that, for him, becomes almost akin to the Moon landing. But it is also a life of extreme isolation. To me, the double-edged critique that she’s able to levy through her use of place that is really compelling to me.

[11:33] Even if we think of it in terms of filmmakers. I’m thinking here of Mira Nair’s movie from the early 1990s, Mississippi Masala, which talks about the [US] South as a particular way of belonging but also a place of extreme alienation. We have that famous ending, which many scholars read as very celebratory. The two main characters are in the southern fields and many people read it as the ultimate notion of this is their incorporation in America. But the protagonist Mina has actually left her family and left her business and it’s a moment of great uncertainty and precariousness for both of them. So it does play out in a number of different regions and a number of different ways and it doesn’t just localize to the metropolis.

Cathy [12:36]: I’m wondering if your interest in place and the complex ways that loneliness or alienation or longing for community, or facing certain obstacles to finding that, has played out in your work with students. I know mentoring is very important to you. It’s something you’ve done for a very, very long time and you’re very outspoken about it. What drew you to mentoring? Does it relate in some way to your scholarly interests or is it just an additional thing that you feel very strongly about?

Surbhi [13:12]: I’m particularly cognizant of place in terms of that I work as an Asian American scholar in the American Midwest—in Omaha, Nebraska. And uh, so they’re pretty good conversations that I have with my students that I did not have, for instance, when I was getting my doctorate and taught at the University of Chicago, which is a very urban place. So it does play into the way I mentor students.

Mentoring women students is very important for me. I see that the concerns of women are different in Chicago than in the American Midwest. This is especially so because of the class background here. We do get slightly more privileged students. There is a difference in terms of how I approach the mentoring. So, here women, for instance, are not necessarily burdened with caregiving as much as I saw it in my previous urban institution where women were carrying on most of the burden of caregiving in their families, or have they had to work long hours, or many of them had small children that they were dealing with. I felt that that put them in a very vulnerable position and I really wanted to support that. But

[14:36] In general, and this is across class differences that I have seen, there is a lot of stigma attached to women seeking help in all the spheres, whether it’s at the professional level or at the student level. That has something to do with how we view ambitious women in this society. What I have noticed is that when men seek help and men seek mentoring relationships with seniors or role models, we call it networking. When women seek similar relationships and help, they are seen as inherently deficient and therefore in need of help. And I want to change that narrative. I really want women to feel confident and proud of seeking mentoring relationships and seeking help because that is one thing that puts you in good stead in your professional career, no matter what it might be.

[15:40] So that is one thing about mentoring that is very, very appealing to me. The second thing that mentoring helps me do is it allows me to embrace the quotidian, everyday life. So it’s not just in terms of crises that I will help my mentees, but in that everyday give-and-take, challenging them and pushing them but also providing them with a lot of resources all the time and building a relationship with them.

I don’t see academic life as completely removed from your personal life. It is an interesting in-between place where we mixed the affective and the intellectual and that enriches the mentoring relationship. That is what I feel compelled by.

Cathy: Who are your favorite mentors, if we could flip the question?

Surbhi [16:50]: I would not be in academia had it not been for two women of color scholars who completely changed my life. I was an immigrant and was extremely uncertain about what I wanted to do. We did not have any academics in my family. And as a new immigrant, it was very hard for me to find a footing in the academic life. I never thought I would teach because I was just completely taken aback by the use of popular culture, for instance, in the classroom. I did not watch Seinfeld or some of the other references.

So the two scholars that are really want to mention are Professor Helen Jun and Professor Madhu Dubey at my alma mater, the University of Illinois in Chicago. I still call them professor because that is what I feel, you know, I feel a lot of indebtedness to them. They were the first people to show me, that scholarship is a viable path for women of color, that this is something that you can make a living at, which was a completely foreign idea to me.

[17:48] My first graduate seminar was with Professor Helen Jun and I remember that for a month, I did not even follow what she was saying. But from that place of great discomfort at not being able to follow things up. She was the smartest person I knew and she really pushed me on to that next level where I started getting the hang of things. She is still today, really very helpful to me in my academic life.

Professor Dubey has just been phenomenal. She’s my role model when it comes to mentoring in terms of challenging me to the next level, in terms of giving me infinite resources and support, and building that long-term relationship that you do with a mentor. Also being protective of work and having those conversations that nobody has with you about how to balance out things with family and work. That to me has been truly phenomenal about both of these mentors.

Cathy [19:03]: I’d love to switch gears just a little bit. We’ve been talking about your work in the academy, your work in classrooms, your work in mentoring, but you also have a background in radio. And I’m curious about that transition.

First of all, what did you do in radio? What kind of shows did you work on? What did you enjoy about that? And then how did you use some of those skills that you gained in the radio field in your scholarly work and in your teaching work?

Surbhi [19:33]: You’re talking about some of the most exciting periods of my life. So I’ll just talk a little bit about what I did and then talked about what that did for me.

I grew up in a small town in India and my first job out of that small town was on All India Radio. I had grown up in a Catholic school so pronunciation was very key to us. Now I obviously have a different understanding of what our pronunciation was doing and how the Catholic school itself was the residue of British colonialism. But that was my first job. I used to host shows about jazz music and country music. Now I think back on it and wonder what people in India were doing listening to country music, but they were listeners. 

[20:38] My longest stint was a request show called A Date with You. There were a number of soldiers on the India–Pakistan border who used to write into the show and request songs for their girlfriends and for their families. It was just a thrill because that was my first experience with two things. First, it hit me that I could do things even though I came from a small town. With my background and with my writing, I could do this and make a life outside of that small town. So that was the first thing.

The second thing was because we had to write our own scripts. That is the one experience that helped me find my writing voice, my speaking voice, and gave me a great deal of confidence.

[21:35] So it was almost all western music. I did some recorded Indian classical shows, but largely it was western music. When I came here [to the US], I really missed that part of me and I had a really great honor of being able to host a show called Lotus Beat coming out of Northwestern University Radio. Just to relive that thrill of being on air, of communicating with a wide audience while being sequestered in my little studio had a lot of appeal for me.

Radio has a lot of mystique about it so I was thrilled to be able to have that opportunity. So I have hosted western music shows in India and Indian music shows [in the US].

[22:32] When I started doing my academic work, I really looked back upon those radio days, especially in India, with a grain of salt. What was a small-town girl doing on All India Radio, auditioning and being asked to pronounce words like Bach and Beethoven and Mozart? That I think really connected me to that longer history of colonialism in India and why there were people listening to country music shows in India. It made me question a lot of those things.  I was really struck by how the experience of colonialism is almost every day, it is ingrained into your life and you don’t really know any different. The distance that immigration gave me really helped me process some of that stuff.

Cathy [23:23]: Do you have any advice for other scholars or emerging scholars who are interested in exploring mediums like radio or film (since you also write about that) or other platforms that allow them to get their voice out to different audiences—to more diverse audiences beyond just the walls of the academy?

Surbhi [23:43]: Yes, absolutely. First of all, this is not just advice. This is just, you know, we need more of that. We need more of that.

Cathy: I agree, I totally agree.

Surbhi: We need more. I can talk a little bit about why that doesn’t happen very often. The first and foremost thing is vulnerability. I think scholars and my colleagues sometimes feel vulnerable about getting out into the public and performing their scholarship or engaging with scholarship. And I’ll tell you what I mean by that.

Recently at my institution here at Creighton University, we had a conference called You Are Here: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Place, Space, and Embodiment. We had a panel of scholars and it was an off-the-cuff engagement with scholarship. My first thought was, “Wow, we use our papers as crutches!” That panel asked us to keep it away. So the first thing is this vulnerability and fear and I understand that.

[24:48] The second thing, and the next generation of academics that’s coming up will have to think about this, is how to reward public scholarship. I’m not very familiar with very many institutions who do reward public scholarship. The one thing that I would like to urge all my fellow scholars, fellow colleagues, and fellow researchers to note is that even though there might not be institutional rewards built in, I feel that getting out into those public forums enriches my scholarship and my pedagogy. Honestly, it makes me a better teacher. I say that teaching is a performance—not in the terms of doing drama or entertaining my students. But we perform our presentation of materials, we perform an engagement with the students, and I think that is very enriching.

I would also say that I think that doing public scholarship, getting out into and facing the vulnerability and facing that risk and facing that lack of reward, can really draw undergraduate students into the research arena. And I think that is extremely rewarding.

Cathy [26:20]: So we’ve talked around it, but I’d like to focus more specifically on the different realms that you’re bringing together. You have this history in radio, you have this history in an artistic or creative field. You obviously have your scholarship and you also have a kind of social change bent or social justice focus to the kinds of work that you do across those different fields. I’d love to hear you talk a little bit more explicitly about why you bring together activism, academia, and art and what that does for you. What you find particularly rich about that nexus?

Surbhi [26:59]: The beauty of working at a Jesuit institution is that you are by institutional mandate supposed to embody this and live this every day—this particular combination, this particular nexus that you speak of. Every single day, every single thing you do—your research, your pedagogy, your service—everything has to be in the mission of social justice. So I teach composition courses around social justice. I feel that there is a lot of institutional support for me to do that every day.

I also kind of push back a little bit on the activism as ideology because it is not always about ideology, whether it’s conservative or liberal. I see activism as a means of trying to reckon with the complexity of lives every day without resorting to judgment. I think that serves you, that ideal of going in and reckoning with the complexity of these lives, of trying to see where people come from and what defines their humanity and our human vulnerability—all those messy, messy, messy things. I think all of these three things allow me to do that. That is why it enriches all the three spheres.

[28:17] I want to particularly point out that we have this Ignatian characteristic of cura personalis, which means you are a whole person. We take care of you, the whole person. So for me, all these three things are inseparable. I bring them in my whole person to the class every day, to my writing every day, to my research every day. That provides constant intellectual, emotional, and spiritual nourishment that we all need on a constant basis. I just find it so rewarding to have that hope and faith replenished all the time.

I understand that there are differences between the three, of course there are, but also we as people bring our whole selves to these endeavors every day.

Cathy [29:25]: I think this is a really nice dovetail into my final question, which gets at the heart of why you’re doing all of these varied activities and all of these various practices in the places and the communities that you’re working, which is the version of a better world that you’re towards. What kind of world do you want?

Surbhi [29:45]: I think that I would think about it two different ways for myself. The first is, and this has become particularly urgent to me in the light of recent developments and the light of recent politics. I want my language to be very, very cognizant of my own exclusions and marginalizations. This particularly resonates with me as an Asian American scholar working in the Midwest. I’ve worked in urban arenas and I feel that as a scholar in the Midwest and as an Asian American in the Midwest, some of my concerns are not the concerns of the people in other institutions.

[30:50] For instance, I have to begin conversations around race on a very fundamental level. I have to begin building an audience for these conversations, which I honestly used to take for granted when I was in another place. So again, that idea of place bringing about a radical change in what our imagination fosters. That is something I want to examine.

The second thing is that I really want to strive for a world in which our worth as a person, our measure of success, is not money. This topic is particularly important for me if I think about the corporatization of the university. What does that agenda look like, what does that striving look like in an increasingly corporatizing university? How do we dismantle what we understand to be a meritocratic system or what is termed as meritocracy? Being in the university, we are not totally out of hierarchies, or that meritocratic system for that matter, in our universe, in our little world and our little place. That is something that strikes me.

[31:58] How do we do this? That’s a difficult question and I don’t think I have an easy answer, but it has to be imagining otherwise of our own institutions, of our own place, in research and in teaching.

I ask my students actually to do this exercise in class: imagined otherwise. So imagine your home otherwise. It helps them and sometimes it really is a crisis of imagination because I find that our narratives, our imaginations, are so entrenched in certain ideas that we are unable to break free of them and that is why I want to do is break down that barrier and really allow ourselves to be free and imagine all these difficult things, difficult topics, and change how things are.

Cathy [32:51]: Well, thank you so much for being with us and sharing how you work with your students and you work with your colleagues in really critical ways around place and around mentorship and community and how you imagine otherwise.

Surbhi [33:03]: Yes, thank you Cathy for giving me this opportunity. It was wonderful.

Cathy [33:11]: [upbeat music in background] Thanks for joining us for this episode of Signal Boosting. You can view the show notes for this episode created by Priyanka Kaura on the Ideas on Fire website at ideasonfire.net, as well as find links to the people, projects and resources we discussed.

The Signal Boosting miniseries is a collaboration between the Association for Asian American Studies, the primary research and teaching hub for Asian American studies as a dynamic interdisciplinary field; Ideas on Fire, an academic editing and consulting agency that works with progressive interdisciplinary academics; and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, a migratory museum that brings Asian Pacific American history, art and culture to you through innovative museum experiences online and throughout the United States.


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