Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with the State and Jurisdictional Humanities Councils

May 29, 2021

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with the State and Jurisdictional Humanities Councils

What is decolonization? “Decolonization is not a metaphor…It’s more than a word. It’s a process, it’s a material shift,” explained Aiko Yamashiro, executive director of Hawai’i Council for the Humanities, in a Federation Wednesday Webinar on May 19—just one of many discussions focused on Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage that happened across humanities councils this month. Listen to the conversation here and read about others that happened!

STORIES OF CHAMORRO WOMEN WITH NORTHERN MARIANAS HUMANITIES COUNCIL

Through the lens of intersectionality, a concept conceived by Kimberlé Crenshaw that understands social constructs like race and gender overlap in systems of discrimination, Tydingco narrowed her scope to women who were of CHamorro descent born between 1940 and 1945 and focused on family, education, and occupation. She settled on CHamorro values, US colonization, and Catholicism as three essential points of intersectionality that determined agency and influenced the choices these women made. Read more.

IMAGINING JAPANESE MONSTERS WITH DR. BILL TSUTSUI (Federation Blog)

If you walk into a room only to immediately forget what you went there to do, you might find the kiokusaru, a yōkai or Japanese folkloric monster, hanging from the door frame above you. The kiokusaru takes the form of a smiling, long-limbed monkey with a ghostly blue hue, and it steals short-term memories. Though this may sound alarming, the kiokusaru doesn’t mean you any harm—in fact, the playful monster often returns the memories it steals—and like many traditional yōkai, responds to something in our day-to-day lives that we can’t explain. Read more.

A CONVERSATION ON DECOLONIZATION WITH HUMANITIES GUAHAN (Federation Blog)

“For over 500 years after Guåhan’s first contact with foreigners, our path has been driven by colonization, and today our people, our culture, and even our history continue to be shaped by the words and actions of world powers. However, we must remember that Guåhan has never stood idly by,” said the Chairwoman of the Commission Governor Lou Leon Guerrero as introduction. “We must acknowledge that our present political status does not meet our needs.” Read more.

“THIS IS OUR VOICE:” JUST FUTURES YOUTH SUMMIT, HAWAI’I COUNCIL FOR THE HUMANITIES (Federation Blog)

“There are so many youth out there who are excited about civic education, who are so excited about taking on these issues and so excited about participating in a political process,” Gillespie said. “[By the end of the summit] they had confidence in being able to talk to their state legislators and say ‘hey, we have these issues, you said that you promised to be willing to listen to us, this is our voice, let’s put this into action.’” Read more about Hawai’i Council for the Humanities Why It Matters Just Futures Youth Summit here.

 

This post is part of “Humanities in American Life,” an initiative to increase awareness of the importance and use of the humanities in everyday American life.

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