My profile can be found on page 7.
In May 2012, I was selected to be a McNair Scholar at Cal Poly Pomona. As a 4th year studying Gender & Ethnic Studies and Non-Profit Management, I created an IRB-approved research project on queer femininity. Through weekly seminars, workshops, conferences, and mentorship, McNair demystified research and doctoral study, allowing me to view the pursuit of a PhD as both viable and necessary. The intellectual curiosity I developed in McNair rerouted my life for the better. Less than a decade later, CPP's McNair Scholars Program featured me in their annual newsletter. In a calendar year that saw me complete the PhD, their invitation brought me to reminisce on the journey I've ventured on. In seeing the feature in print, in the midst of our ongoing suffering, I'm overcome with what feels like a rare feeling nowadays: joy.
My profile can be found on page 7.
I’m always touched by Jennifer Ling Datchuk's ceramic work, so much so that a collection of her pieces inspired me to write an essay, “Half and Both: On Color and Subject/Object Tactility,” which was just published in “Performances of Contingency: Feminist Relationality and Asian American Studies After the Institution,” a special issue of Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory. I'm so grateful to Summer Kim Lee and Vivian Huang, the issue's editors who handled my piece with tremendous vision and generosity.
In the essay, I use Datchuk's work on porcelain as a touchstone to think about Asian femininity, the subject/object "divide," mixed race subjectivity, touch, and color. I consider Datchuk's racially motivated pieces with my own mixed race in mind, which is to say, the piece interweaves theories of object life and ornamentalism with intimate relation to my life. I ask us to pay special attention to the "and" in subject and object. Rather that the "or," and inhabits a tactile and adhesive quality that comes close to the way I understand racial mixture.
If you’d like to read it, contact me and I'll be happy to send you a pdf.
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) is nearing an end. The various months dedicated to the heritage and history of racial, gender, and sexual minorities are, for many, life-sustaining bursts of representation; they not only offer an increase in visibility, telling the stories of minoritized communities, but they also evidence the deep legacies of violence and inequity that continue to penetrate our times. This APAHM saw the premiere of the PBS original "Asian Americans," a 5-hour film series documenting the history of the fastest growing racial group in the nation. A thorough and unparalleled documentary, "Asian Americans" is a crucial addition to the archive of ethnic studies. Nevertheless, it is imperative we pay attention to the project's governing statistic; deeming Asian Americans as "the fastest growing population" is a piece of data not to take lightly. In our efforts to build and imagine a world without racism, we must understand the foundational tenet that racialized groups are not treated equally within white supremacy. That Asian Americans are the fastest growing population in America means, simply, that other racialized groups are dying at an exorbitant rate. [And no, I am not including white people here. The decrease in white Americans can be traced to an increase in interracial relationships; a history of racial mixture in which I just completed a dissertation on].
One need not look further than our current crisis -- COVID-19 -- to observe how death has racist preferences. Due to the long legacy of slavery, mass incarceration, and health and economic disparities, Black people in particular are the most vulnerable to dying from coronavirus complications. What's worse is that while the world seems to be operating on pause, the police have only carried on with their targeted violence against Black people. We are now months into the global pandemic, and while the virus still infects at an unprecedented rate, many are unwisely removing their masks and protesting for the reopening of the economy. Others are rightfully protesting the stolen life of Black people. The recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, as well as the recording of Amy Cooper threatening the life of Chris Cooper, are, unfortunately, not unprecedented. We are too familiar with this violence. Why then is there a surge to condemn anti-Asian racism?
It is true that the past few months have shown an increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans. On the one hand, the increase in anti-Asian racism demonstrates the fragility of the model minority myth. Asian Americans -- primarily those with class privilege -- are often designated as “honorary whites” or as people who occupy a close proximity to whiteness despite not being white. The pandemic has been swift to remind us of how exclusionary and conniving whiteness can be. To regard Asian Americans as model minorities is to disregard the historical and contemporary dangers of yellow peril, orientalism, and xenophobia. On the other hand, the COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity to remember the long history that connects Asians to disease. The racialized charge against Asian Americans that we are seeing currently stems from a moment long before the novel coronavirus emerged in Wuhan, China and well before western leaders weaponized rhetoric of “Chinese virus” or “kung flu.” We must remember that the first race-based immigration bans -- the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Asiatic Barred Zone Act of 1917 -- both suggested Asians are more likely to carry and bring disease, and thus should be prohibited from entering the country. The racist myth that Asians host and disseminate disease and illness conveniently conceals the nation’s practice of white supremacy and, with it, the exclusion of certain immigrants.
Last month, Rachel Chang interviewed me for a piece on Anti-Asian racism in the context of the pandemic. Today, I find myself reiterating my point on
“thinking creatively” about more effective ways to report incidents and learning from Black community organizers “who have built alternative models of safety, support, and healing.”
I was asked about how traditional Asian cultures grapple with the politics of reporting hate crimes. The numbers show how Asian Americans are less likely to report harassment. Shame, citizenship status, and a distrust in or fear of law enforcement may impact whether an Asian person feels inclined to report a hate crime. Of course, the degree of the attack matters. We must recognize how violence functions on scales - stabbing, acid attacks, verbal assaults, the petrifying stares. While we may attempt to look past the microaggressions, they still bear a burden. The more explicit attacks are almost impossible to ignore. Calling the police very rarely results in rescue, and often only perpetuates violence. Police brutality persists even during quarantine. Asian Americans can learn a lot from those who organize against anti-Black racism. Community organizers in the transformative and restorative justice movements have built alternative models of safety, support, and healing. Anti-Asian racism is experiencing a devastating surge, but calling the police does more harm than good.
As APAHM comes to a close, the work to hold each other accountable continues. The celebration of culture and identity need not mean denying our complicity in systemic violence. We can begin by acknowledging the culpability of the unnamed Asian cop who watched as George Floyd died from being pinned to the ground by a white cop's knee. There is space for an understanding of anti-Blackness even as we are attacked for being Asian. The common enemy is white supremacy. So, for those like me - both Asian and queer - there is more work to be done in June *Pride month* when so much attention will be on celebration, I hope we make room for criticism: against white supremacy and its disproportionate targeting of Black life.
A few years ago, my dissertation advisor--the inimitable Alexis Lothian-- invited me to collaborate on the keyword entry on “Sexuality” for the MLA’s online volume Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities. It was a joy to co-write with Alexis, an invaluable lesson in collaborative writing. In light of the global pandemic, the volume's editors decided to expedite the publication in an effort to provide a resource for professors who were forced to transition into online teaching in a pinch. The volume is one of a kind and is an excellent resource for those interested in learning about or teaching on the number of topics that makes the humanities such a vital means in which we can construct a more equitable and life-sustaining world. A complete list of the keywords is available here.
“During the course of your research, was there any finding or revelation that you did not expect or challenged your preconceptions?” This was what my mom was going to ask me during the q&a portion of my dissertation defense. As soon as I finished my 20-minute presentation, my mother raised her hand (on Zoom) and prepared to ask me what would’ve been the most difficult question I’d have to answer. Instead, while holding back tears she told me how proud she was of me. When we Facetimed afterwards, mom said she wanted to ask a question that would stump me, but her emotions took over. Leading up to the day, I was nervous to see how my family would receive my work. In spite of the jargon and the content on racial fetish, they felt only joy for me. I’m happy to report, also, that I passed with flying colors and have only very minor revisions to complete.
Soon after I finished writing my dissertation, the president deemed the novel coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. This official designation was unsurprising news to me as I had been following the COVID-19 headlines for some time. It was, nonetheless, a crushing reality to accept. In a matter of days, I had to cancel my travel plans to DC, where I was to defend my dissertation in person, and quickly prepare to host the event on Zoom. After coping with the disappointment that my 6 years of doctoral training would culminate in my Vermont apartment, I settled into a comfort knowing that there was a silver lining to defending online: my family could tune in. And that they did. In addition to sharing the experience with some of my favorite colleagues and best friends, I had fam Zoom in from Manila, Vancouver, and all over my home state of California.
After the fact, I celebrated with a handful of patient friends who stayed online throughout. We raised a glass together. My advisor sent me a gift basket with champagne and snacks. My partner had a funfetti cake delivered from Milk Bar in DC and surprised me with flowers. The plan, before the pandemic, was to splurge at the LINE Hotel in DC. We scored reservations at Bad Saint, a celebrated Filipino restaurant with a notoriously long line. We’d take a trip over the summer, but for the time being we’d celebrate in the city we called home for 5 years.
I’m still reeling from it all; there is no replacement for liveness, but in its place the internet facilitated something I’ll never forget. As I settle into the moment, one that finds me now a Dr., I do so with an air of self-confidence - knowing I did it, I finished my PhD - as well as a more complicated feeling of somber gratitude - we are enduring so much loss, and yet, there is still much left to embrace.
For the sake of archiving, I’m posting the abstract to my dissertation here:
A Host of Memories: Mixed Race Subjection and Asian American Performances Against Disavowal
This dissertation develops the concept of racial hosting to conceptualize mixed-raceness as an embodied palimpsest of past, present, and future. A Host of Memories: Mixed Race Subjection and Asian American Performances Against Disavowal argues for the importance of uncovering the disavowed, residual, and violent conditions of racial mixture. The project situates queer theories of temporality and feminist theories of situated knowledge in relation to Asian Americanist critiques of memory. I contend that the Asian/white subject is both an index to track the colonial condition across time, and a host that harbors the colonial desires we have come to name as hybridity, multiracialism, and post-racism.
Each chapter builds towards a methodology of memory to, on the one hand, track the sensorial life of mixed-raceness, and on the other hand, document how the discourse of multiracialism obscures mass violence and the colonial ideology of racial purity. Chapter one advances the framework of white residue through an examination of the case of Daniel Holtzclaw, the Japanese/white police officer serving 263 years in prison for assaulting 13 Black women. I then narrate the life of Elliot Rodger, the Chinese/white mass shooter and involuntary celibate. Opening the study in this way dispels the notion that racial mixture renders racism’s past obsolete. I then shift to mixed race artists whose performances of desire, memory, and time include a fervent belief in queer and feminist possibility. Chapter two illuminates how a femme aesthetic of retribution surfaces as a response to racial fetish. This chapter spotlights performances by Chanel Matsunami Govreau and Maya Mackrandilal. Chapter three forwards the concept of muscle memory to study how the accumulation of history is deposited into the body and enacted through movement. Here, I contemplate the queer and trans dance of Zave´ Martohardjono. Chapter four de-idealizes hybridity through the oeuvre of contemporary artist Saya Woolfalk. To end, I refer to the photography of Gina Osterloh to force a reckoning with the pressures to remember and claim ancestry. Mixed race subjection, I conclude, is an embodied phenomenon with reverberating implications for the structure of racial form writ large.
I'm thrilled to share that I defended my dissertation prospectus in May and am now ABD! Completing and defending the dissertation is my final requirement before I secure the doctorate. My eyes are set on a May 2020 graduation.
It's been a busy few months since I became a candidate: I taught an online course on LGBT Film and Video, conducted research at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, attended a week-long summer institute in Performance Studies at Northwestern University, and I presented at the Affect Theory Conference in Lancaster, PA this past weekend.
My dissertation is titled Bad Memory: Colonial Afterlives in Mixed-Race Asian American Art and Performance. I argue that the formal institutionalization of the “multiracial” category in the 1990s has left little room for minoritarian and speculative practices of racial hybridity to emerge. Narratives of racial mixture not only render the mixed-race person as a harbinger of post-racism, but reinforce the hegemony of reproductive futurity and conceal the ways in which war and empire continue to haunt the construction of mixed-race. My dissertation examines mixed-race Asian art and performance in order to, on one hand, inquire into the colonial legacies that the contemporary language of multiraciality obscures, and on the other, build a methodology for tracing how the body retains, remembers, and contests those colonial legacies. To these ends, Bad Memory reveals moments in art, record, and practice in which memory has failed, gone awry, or is otherwise incomplete, imagined, dangerous, fantasized, or defiant. The contemporary works of art and performance featured in this dissertation compile an archive of decolonial and queer aesthetics which I analyze as alternative modes of entry into the politics of multiracialism.
While much of the research conducted in studies on multiraciality utilize qualitative and quantitative methods such as ethnography, data analysis on the census, observation of media, or journalism, this project examines art and embodied performances as sites where the convergence of racial histories linger both in the body and outside the bounds of linear straight time. Drawing from queer theory’s perspective on temporality, its critique of reproductive futurity, and its historical speculation into undocumented moments of queer desire, this dissertation considers the racialized, gendered, affective, and temporal projects of mixed-race Asian art and performance. The ultimate goal of this project is to envision a methodology of memory that tracks historical silences through the body.
My use of the term “bad” raises a critical eye towards multiracialism’s reparative and celebratory stance as well as its reification of interpersonal and systemic racial violence. Badness at once denounces the well-held notion that mixed-race citizens will cure America from its racist past and muses over how mixed-race people may actually be bad themselves. I locate badness, then, in various colonial afterlives - the enduring restraint of linear straight time, the shifting terrains yet lasting presence of toxic white masculinity, hidden, shameful, or untranslatable narratives of war and exile, and growing levels of environmental decay. Each chapter is an attempt to trace how and at what consequence the mixed-Asian body confronts these colonial afterlives. I argue throughout the dissertation that a focus on colonial afterlives in studies on Asian multiraciality in particular unearths elusive, corroded, and queer lineages of transpacific history.
The first chapter I’ll write is the dissertation’s last. Chapter 4, "Transpacific Collapse, Apocalyptic Aesthetics, and Bad Futures of Multiraciality," engages new materialist thought in order to ask the following question: What remains concealed if the politics of multiracialism is not examined with a thorough attention to accelerated environmental decay? I examine Jenifer Wofford’s 2016 solo exhibition “Collapse” and Saya Woolfalk’s multi-year and mixed-media project “The Institute of Empathy.” Wofford’s “Collapse” is a collection of paintings featuring roads destroyed by seismic rupture across the Pacific Rim; Woolfalk’s “Institute of Empathy” creates a fictional race of women able to alter their genetic make-up to fuse with plants. Where Wofford’s work draws our attention to the earth’s deterioration and demise, Woolfalk’s project imagines a feminist praxis of hybridity in a post-apocalyptic world. By placing “Collapse” against “The Institute of Empathy” I juxtapose two historical events: seismic rupture and the looming multiracial majority in order to exhibit utopian performatives and multispecies possibilities of biocultural hope.
In the winter I'll begin writing Chapter 1 “White Residue.” This chapter features a comparative case study on mixed-Asian and white monsters: serial killer Andrew Cunanan, mass murderer Elliot Rodgers, and serial rapist Daniel Holtzclaw. I bring together the cases of these three mixed-Asian and white men in order to explore the ways in which their proximity to whiteness breeds a legacy of mass violence. Quite opposite from the figure fastened to multiracialism’s often exemplary depictions of mixed-Asian and white bodies, Cunanan’s, Rodgers’, and Holtzclaw’s deviations from this tenet of multiracialism demand an interrogation of the shifting terrains of white masculinity. Set against both the historical interpretation of mixed-race monstrosity (Nakashima, 1992) and the contemporary celebration of growing numbers of mixed-race citizens, this chapter articulates what I name to be "white residue."
Chapter 2 “How To Be a Monster” analyzes performance artist Chanel Matsunami Govreau and her evil alter-ego Queen Gidrea and feminist artist Maya Mackrandilal and her photography project “How To Be a Monster.” Both Govreau and Mackrandilal’s project’s illuminate a relationship to femininity that merges the desire to kill with the desire to seduce. Through these artists’ projects, I document the aesthetics of mixed-race Asian monstrosity as I argue that a queer femme positionality reverts the narrative of violence to reveal the lasting presence of coloniality through a queer articulation of femininity.
The 3rd chapter, "Muscle Memory," continues my project’s focus on the body as a site of imperial debris by exploring the performative ways the mixed-Asian body remembers and relays colonial trauma. I trace the intersections of affect studies, critical trauma studies, and performance studies’ theories on hybridity and cultural memory in order to articulate the ways the mixed-Asian body houses afterlives of conquest and memories of migration and exile. I highlight the performance art of Zave´ Martohardjono. I read Martohardjono’s work outside linear time thus situating the enigmatic figure of the queer mixed-Asian body as one that emerges and fades beyond the frequency of straight time.
I am part of the organizing committee for Making Interventions, the 3rd biennial Interventions symposium organized by the Department of Women's Studies Graduate Student Association at the University of Maryland, College Park - to be held on Friday, October 13, 2017. Please consider submitting a proposal!
We envision “interventions” as opportunities for learning and teaching with our students, colleagues, and communities within and outside the University. Making Interventions provides a forum for sharing and developing collaborative, creative, and interdisciplinary feminist scholarship.
What do you make when you’re making change? What does it look like? How does it work, what work does it do? With whom do you make it? We invite submissions of presentations on work, and performances of work by scholars, artists, makers, practitioners. Proposals may take the form of (but are not limited to) a paper, round table, art exhibition, performance, workshop, skillshare, or training that speak to the following commitments:
Art Activisms | Collaborative Praxis | Making/Maker Culture
Creative Ecologies | Digital Humanities | Public Humanities
Social Practice | Critical Curation | Play/Play-making | New Materialisms
Queer of Color Critique | Critical Pedagogy | Labor & Solidarity
Economies | Environmental Justice | Transnational feminisms
Decoloniality | Critical Race/Ethnic Studies | Affect Theories
Reproductive & Healing Justice | Prison Abolition
Disability Studies | #BlackLivesMatter | Trans* Studies
Sex & Sexuality | Citizenship | Borders | Migrations
Fat Studies | Queer Aesthetics | Femininities/Masculinities
Religion & Spirituality | Queer Kinship
We invite proposals from graduate and undergraduate students as well as activists, artists, and scholars without institutional affiliations. Abstracts for individual projects should be no longer than 300 words and proposals for group projects should be no longer than 500 words and should include a description of each participant’s role. Please submit individual or group proposals through our online form: https://go.umd.edu/interventions17
If you have any questions please contact us at interventionsUMD@gmail.com
New, extended deadline for submissions is Friday June 30, 2017 at 5:00 PM EST. Notifications will be sent out at the end of July 2017.
The writing muscle requires constant flexing to stay sharp. It also requires various exercises. My writing in the past year has been geared towards conference papers, grant applications, and the occasional handwritten self-reflection. For instance, since last December I’ve implemented a monthly writing exercise - If you were to look at my calendar you would see an event titled “so what?” scheduled on the 1st of each month. When the months change I turn to my journal and write a response to the “so what?” question. Each month’s response looks different. In December I used the question to explore why my work on Asian diasporic art may serve as a heuristic to notions of authenticity, sexuality, and queer femininity. January I responded to “so what?” simply:
“To encourage/demand/impel others to think otherwise. To think otherwise about racial politics - the mixed-race future, the flexibility of whiteness. To think otherwise about intergenerational and ancestral trauma - how do we remember histories we were not present in, but are so intimately present in us? So what? - To think otherwise. To think otherwise, with and alongside others.”
February was centered on my journey - I wrote about how rigorous graduate school is, how I’m gripping onto many projects&students&deadlines and struggling to tend evenly to each of them; but despite how much it all is, I still kind of love it. So, clearly&queerly I wrote about how graduate school and academia are forms of BDSM. Most recently, March’s response featured teaching and my interactions with students. Teaching is to orchestrate, it is to facilitate, it is to perform. Teaching in the Women’s Studies classroom is both invigorating and depleting. Teaching about power, privilege, and resistance in our (and every) political moment presents an opportunity to unpack all the shit happening and to introduce models of communication where listening is valued more than speaking and where facts exist beyond stats. What are ways of organizing and ways of knowing that fall outside the bounds of what we see on our screens?
A few days ago I participated in Common Threads, an interactive and interdisciplinary symposium put on by the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland. The symposium brought together graduate students and faculty members under three themes - ‘Identity and Art,’ ‘Class, Public Relations, and Politics,’ and ‘Performance and Identity.’ We spoke informally about our projects and offered suggestions to others. As I was listening to people talk about the possibilities, challenges, and execution of collaborative interdisciplinary work, my mind began to drift towards my research’s lack of travel outside the confines of the university. I’ve been preoccupied with my work in the classroom or my time buried in books or crunching over the keyboard. Yet, I also recognize the stage I am in - I’m still finding my footing.
But, I’m almost in my 4th year and each year is a quest. Yesterday I spoke on a panel at UMD's National McNair Conference. The panel brought together McNair Scholars currently pursuing their PhDs. We spoke to an audience of undergraduates about our pathways to graduate school, our research interests, and lessons we’ve learned. When asked about the transition from undergrad to grad school, I told them to embrace their unique position in the journey. That the transition is strict and sharp. We all come into graduate school from such divergent paths. It is too easy to compare your training to another’s - To compare your practice and work ethic to another’s. My tita told me to always keep my feet on the ground. Push yourself and do the work, but breathe. I told the undergrads to own where they are and do the work they need to do. Collaborators and friends will come in the process. I was once in their seat and, in a queer-temporal perspective, I still am. So, I’m taking my own advice.
The writing muscle is one that requires constant and various flexing. While “the blog” has a representation of a quick and informal snippet, I’ve found that this form of writing is the most challenging. Maybe it is because grad school is training me to write for an academic audience. Maybe my writing practice is more familiar with a drawn-out pace. Whatever the reason, I’d like to start flexing a bit more.
Last Friday April 22, I presented a paper titled "The Glorification of Mixed-Race as Reparations | M!xedness Beyond Repair" at the DC Queer Studies Symposium. The theme of this year's symposium was Queer Beyond Repair. I juxtaposed Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha's memoir Dirty River: A Queer Femme of Color Dreaming Her Way Home with the case of Daniel Holtzclaw in order to explore counterdiscourses of mixedness in general, and mixed-Asianness in particular. Much of the conversation on mixed-race identity formation and embodiment regards multiraciality as an indication of a post-racial contemporary moment; the acceptance and proliferation of mixed-race bodies is seen to be on the right side of history. Within this train of thought, mixedness serves as a reparative tool that positions the nation as a progressive entity. In writing this conference paper I read the phrase “beyond repair” as a call and demand to situate our questions of queerness, difference, and recovery alongside a critical mixed race perspective that both complicates dominant processes of racialization and emphasizes the mutability of race. How can mixed-race be employed to do things other than repair histories of slavery and exclusion, to indicate something other than a hybrid future?
I concluded my talk with a musing on m!xedness. Rather than perpetuate narratives of repair, my use of m!xedness with an exclamation served as an exclamation: a sudden reaction, remark, and demand that racial mixture does so much more than signal progress.
I'm blogging this morning with another exclamation. It's been more than a week after the symposium, and I'm still thinking about conversations on repair. What is beyond repair? How might we consider queer critique beyond repair? The symposium featured an amazing slate of panels. I find my thoughts of the day, however, hinged on the keynote address delivered by Kathryn Bond Stockton.
Queer critique needs repair!
I'm posting the open letter to Stockton in full here:
On Friday April 22, you closed the 9th Annual DC Queer Studies symposium with a keynote titled, “Impure Thoughts and All They Birth: What Does the Dildo of the Future Look Like?”. After a long day, the four of us (one black queer woman, two mixed-race queer women, and one white queer woman) were excited to listen to your talk. As we sat down and your talk progressed, a flood of emotions overtook our bodies: confusion, anxiety, disgust, anger. We began shifting in our seats, looking around, fidgeting. These corporeal movements transformed into visceral responses: a churning stomach, nausea, an accelerated heartbeat. Our bodies were under attack.
While most of your talk was unsettling, we would like to focus on our larger concerns:
Ultimately, we are writing this letter because we cannot let this violation of our bodies, knowledges, and experiences remain invisible. Your keynote was a visceral reminder of not only (white) queer theory’s limits but also that the Academy is in need of desperate repair. You asked us if we felt you “penetrate” us and we can guarantee that we did and continue to feel this violation. In fact, your non-consensual “penetration” birthed this letter.
Other than teaching, coursework, and conferencing, this semester has seen the beginning of SPREAD.
One cold winter evening in Northeast DC, two queer-mixed dumplin’s (who are also housemates) fell into a bout of nostalgia - Where was our Asian and Pacific Islander community? One dumplin is from California and the other has made homes in California, Seattle, and New York. In these spaces, the two dumplins were able to cultivate a strong Asian (and mostly queer) community. As they’ve created a group home and community in DC, they found themselves sipping tea one night and reminiscing on their API community and the delicious food they shared with one another.
Dumplin’ A was sipping some Yogi Ginger tea and, as she always does, read the message on the tea bag.
This particular tea bag came with the following words of wisdom: “Live to share”. Dumplin’ A looked at Dumplin’ M. Light bulbs went off. They decided that instead of lamenting about not having a community, they needed to cultivate a space where good people can come together and share good food. The two dumplin’s decided to bridge community and cuisine.
After weeks of deliberation, they decided that the bridge would be: the dumpling. Why dumplings? Dumplings can be found in all cuisines but they go by several different names: the Nepali momo, Puerto Rican pasteles, Indian samosa, Italian ravioli and more (seriously. check out the Wikipedia -https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumpling). Dumplings are small pieces of dough wrapped around a filling. This concept of an ingredient wrapped in dough can be found in all cultures.
We came up with an idea. Now, came the issue of naming.
SPREAD is a recurring dumpling night joining cultural cuisine with community comradeship. In its beginning stages SPREAD will be an intimate gathering of our Asian and Pacific Islander community. Eventually, our dream is to invite other communities to participate in the dumpling nights, but for now SPREAD is an event that makes space for us to talk about our days, our politics, our hobbies, and our quirky API selves.