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Music Of Asian America Conference: Day 3

Music Conference Free, Free Events / Presentation / 135 mins

Music Of Asian America Conference: Day 3

Institute of Contemporary Arts
November 11, 2018 10:15 am


10:15–11:45am | ICA

Chair: Mandi Magnuson-Hung (Wells Fargo History Museum)
One of the most enduring stereotypes in North America is the emasculated Asian male. Created in the late 19th century, this belief arose partly because early Chinese immigrants often had queues and wore silk gowns, and partly because they were forced to take jobs doing what many White Americans considered “women’s work.” As several recent polls and Steve Harvey’s putdown of Asian men demonstrate, this stereotype is still alive and well today. This panel explores how Asian American musicians and the World War II Museum in New Orleans have dealt with issues of Asian masculinity.

Alan Parkes (New York University)
Asian American Hardcore: Defying Inveterate Conservatism in Subculture
The economic and social conditions of the 1980s offer insight into the era’s youth cultures. The ways in which these conditions affected race and how this was mirrored among youth unveils the influence of prevailing conservative principles on youth cultures, particularly within hardcore punk and its largely white membership, in which purported opposition to larger social structures alternatively turned to subcultural conservative representation. Limited Asian American participation in hardcore stems from this representation. Employing oral histories from Asian American hardcore members, this paper emphasizes their participation in the music scene, how they defied the racial makeup of the subculture, and consequently its adherence to conservatism.

Dan Blim (Denison University)
Music for the Pacific Theater: Scoring Asian Identities at the WWII Museum
In this paper, I consider how three spaces in the World War II Museum in New Orleans continually recast visitors’ understanding of the Japanese and Japanese Americans – drawing on exhibition theory, fieldwork at the museum, and interviews with the museum and audio installation staff. Comparing these three spaces together illuminates both the broader challenges museums face when tackling legacies of race and violence and how sound specifically works to meet those challenges.

Donna Kwon (University of Kentucky)
Empathetic Asian American Queer Masculinity, Juxtaposed Narratives, and Double Consciousness in the Music of St. Lenox
In this paper, I focus on singer-songwriter Andrew Choi, who goes by the moniker St. Lenox. Through video analysis, I hone in on his prominent use of juxtaposed extra-lyrical narrative and horizontal split-screen video production. I posit that these techniques reinforce a sense of “double consciousness” (Du Bois) often experienced by many “hyphenated” Americans. By drawing on performance observations and interviews, I will examine Choi’s double-ness (or other potential hyphenations) in light of his immigrant experiences and queer identity.


11:45am–12:30pm | ICA

Presented by Byron Au Yong and Aaron Jafferis
Chair: Lei Ouyang Bryant (Swarthmore College)
Join composer Byron Au Yong and writer Aaron Jafferis as they teach material from Activist Songbook, a collection of 53 songs and raps to counteract hate.

Material for Activist Songbook is based on interviews of Asian American, immigrant, and refugee organizers. The project continues in multiple cities with interviews, workshops, and performances through the next U.S. Presidential Election on November 3, 2020. Join us for this interactive workshop using story-sharing, songs, and raps to regain hope and activate change.

Created as part of (ex)CHANGE: History Place Presence, a project of Asian Arts Initiative,

Original support for (ex)CHANGE: History Place Presence was provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, Philadelphia.
Additional support from Montalvo Arts Center Lucas Artists Residency Program and Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience.


1:15–2pm | ICA

A Hip-Hop Exploration of South Asian American Identity with Seti X
Chair: Annar Desai-Stephens (Eastman School of Music)

Join Los Angeles born, South Asian American Sikh Recording Artist SETI X for this workshop exploring Hip-Hop Culture and its relationship with South Asian American youth and their development of self-identity.

As a co-founder of India’s First All Hip-Hop Collective, SETI X has travelled the world representing South Asian American Hip-Hop for the last 10 years. Participants will be able to hear music and watch videos of the development of this scene from the early 80’s onwards.

In this workshop we will explore the trajectory of artists who have pioneered this space, as well as the current musical landscapes of South Asian American artists reclaiming their culture and expressing themselves through Hip-Hop Music. We will explore influences that have crossed over from the “Asian Underground” Movement in the UK, as well as explore ideas of cultural pollination across the world from the US to India.

Dates & Times

Music Of Asian America Conference: Day 3

Institute of Contemporary Arts
November 11, 2018 10:15 am