While 2018 saw unprecedented representation for certain Asian groups in Hollywood blockbusters, it also saw continued struggles for community members at the margins, from deportation to displacement. This history of underrepresentation and differentiation within the pan-Asian community prompts us to revisit the roots of the term “Asian American.” How can we learn from the student activists in the ‘60s, who coined “Asian American” as a statement of solidarity—a commitment to unite in the name of social justice?
The theme for this year’s conference, Collision, aims to explore how the Asian American experience emerges from our communities’ converging movements. Collision—the act of worlds making contact—characterizes the Asian American experience, whether broadly, as with migration, or individually, as with assimilation. When our paths collide, how does that inform, engage, and challenge our own understandings of what it means to be Asian American?
We invite attendees to think about collision within and amongst Asian American experiences as an active process of developing identity, expressing oneself, and exchanging narratives. Through this year’s NYCAASC, we seek to create a more nuanced understanding of Asian American identity that is shaped by our stories.