Monday, October 26, 2009

Conversations and Coffee Hour: Week 4

Hello All,

Thanks to everyone that came out to Conversations and Coffee Hour despite the rain. I think we had a very informative conversation. The next meeting will be about immigration reform. There is a push to change the distribution of what type of immigrants are going to be accepted into the US each year. The change will lower the proportions of reunification immigration to increase the proportion of skilled workers. Below is the link to that article. There are also links within the article for additional information for anyone who is interested. As always everyone is invited and welcomed.

Report: U.S. Should Give Preference to Skilled Immigrants Over Relatives:

Meeting Date: Thursday Nov. 5

Time: 8-9 pm

Place: Steep and Brew



Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Conversations and Coffee Hour: 3 Meeting

I think that the last discussion we had was great. I learned a lot about Wisconsin's health care and about the personal stories and issues that are in our group. From the feedback of last week's meeting I think that we want to stay on the subject of health care for one more week but to have it more policy orientated. So below is an op-ed from the Wall Street Journal that I thought we can discuss. So come with your agreements or disagreements and lets discuss it. - Opinion: At the Table, but on the Menu*
FYI: -The Senate Finance Committee just approved the Health Bill today. -The America's Health Insurance Plans released a report out yesterday that says that the new health bill will increase family health-insurance policy in the near future.
For additional information:
*****I thought the BBC did a great job explaining, in more simple terms, the system we have and what we want we may change.
The BBC news website explains the Obama administration's attempts to reform the American healthcare system.< >
*****This was from Liz and it goes into a lot of details on where the cost of rising health care is coming from.
The Factors Fueling Rising Health Care Costs
*****NPR also has a great interactive chart that helps us to understand what each of the health proposals mean to us depending on our health insurance status.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Additionl links for AAAGS Reading Group Week 2

I know that it is a little late but I found some nice resources concerning our discussion topic for this Thursday. I just wanted to pass the information on for those who are interested.

This is from the Wall Street Journal where it has many links to articles concerning the Health-Care Overhaul:

This is also from the Wall Street Journal but it is a quick table comparing the different proposals:

The Economist is also hosting a debate on health care that just opened today. They are usually very insightful.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

SAVE THE DATES: April 30 - May 2 Campus-Wide Asian American Heritage Month | Reclaiming Our Past


CONTACT: Vorada Savengseuksa, AASU Board Member

PHONE: Asian American Studies Program staff at (608) 263-2976
WEBSITE: (Coming soon:

The University of Wisconsin Asian American Studies Program, Asian Pacific American Law Student Association/ South Asian Law Student Association, Association for Asian American Graduate Students, and Asian American Student Union present . . .

“Reclaiming Our Past: The Untold Stories of Asian America:
A Three-Day Series of Arts, Academic Scholarship, and Commemoration”

DAY 1 | Performance Arts Show: “Go Back to Where you Came From, The Show”

WHEN: Thursday, April 30 @ 7:30pm
WHERE: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Memorial Union, Tripp Commons Room
DESCRIPTION: Come join students, staff, and faculty to re-imagine the statement “Go Back to Where You Came From” through visual and performing arts. Performers will highlight James Wakasa, one of the seven Japanese American internees murdered during World War II on US territory. The show will also address the issues of internment, civil liberties, identity and the renegotiated concepts of “home” and belonging as they relate to minority groups today.

Day 2| Academic Symposium“The Body of Evidence: Recovering the New/Forgotten”

WHEN: Friday May 1 @ 4:00pm-8:30pm (Dinner served 6:00pm)
WHERE: Wisconsin Law School, Room 2260 (entrance on Bascom Hill)
ADMISSION: RSVP to participate and reserve a FREE buffet dinner:

4:00-5:45pm Panel Presentation

Moderator: Leslie Bow, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Victor Jew, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Kent Ono, University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign
Elena Tajima Creef, Wellesley College

6:00pm Buffet Dinner (RSVP required)

6:30-8:00pm Keynote: Professor Sumi Cho, DePaul College of Law, “National Security and the Racial Sovereign: From Internment to Incarceration and Immigration”

DESCRIPTION: Come and listen to a panel discussion about the relevance of understanding the Japanese American Internment to U.S. civil liberties today. Discussants are experts in Asian American Studies and will examine the numerous and newly re-examined aspects of the Japanese American Internment along legal, cultural, gendered, and social dimensions. Panelists will explore such matters as the film images of Japanese Americans and other Asian American groups in the wake of the Internment. This discussion will also touch upon the gendered cultural dynamics that shape the portrayal of Japanese American women after World War II.

Day 3: “The Badger State Reclaims its Forgotten Asian American Heritage: Remembering James Wakasa”

WHEN: Saturday May 2, 2009 @ 3:00pm-4:30pm
WHERE: Humanities Building Courtyard (follow the signs)
DESCRIPTION: A memorial service for internment casualty and former University of Wisconsin student, James Wakasa. The service will honor and commemorate Mr. Wakasa’s life and acknowledge Wisconsin Asian Americans who had witnessed the internment and related events that resonate with this theme.

James Wakasa was born in Japan in 1884, and immigrated to the American Midwest during his teenage years. He attended Hyde Park High School in Chicago and eventually completed a two-year post graduate course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1916. Working as a cook, he lived in Iowa and became a U.S. Army cooking instructor during the First World War. He eventually moved to San Francisco where in 1942, Wakasa and other innocent Americans of Japanese descent (including second and third American generation children) were forcibly removed from their homes, rounded up and sent to the Tanforan Assembly Center, then to Topaz, the War Relocation Authority camp in Utah.

On April 11, 1943, Wakasa was shot to death by a military police sentry. At the time of his death, he had been in the US for forty years. The act of remembering the life of James Wakasa, acknowledging the historical circumanstances of his death in the internment camp, and reflecting upon the lessons of the US internment of Japanese Americans can help inform contemporary government crimes against the civil liberties of its own citizens in the name of homeland security. The detainment of unprosecuted prisoners at Guantanamo Bay (Git-mo) and immigrant raids reported in the new today suggest that memory is history as remembered in the present day.

This three-day event was brought to you by organizational and fiscal collaboration between the The University of Wisconsin Asian American Studies Program (AASP), Asian Pacific American Law Student Association/ South Asian Law Student Association (APALSA/SALSA), Association for Asian American Graduate Students (AAAGS), and Asian American Student Union (AASU). Please direct all questions to Vorada Savengseuksa or the Asian American Studies Program at (608) 263-2976.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Spring Wine

Were you disappointed in missing our first wine tasting event? Fret not then for we have a pleasant treat for you. The powers to be have decided to kill two birds with one stone and hold another Wine as our end of the semester mixer. And why not? For what better way to usher in the start of spring and thoughts of warmer weather than to enjoy a crisp and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc from Margaret River or a light and fruity Pinot Noir from Yarra Valley?

If you're familiar with the wine-growing areas mentioned, then you probably already guessed that the focus of this Wine will be Australia. So moving from old-world wines to new-world wines, we're now going to explore everything from the grapes that put Australia on the map, Chardonnay and Shiraz, to the up and coming varietals like Pinot Noir.

Vanessa Merina has once again generously offered to hold our wine enlightenment at her place and in keeping with the spring celebration theme, weather permitting, we'll be having Wine outside on Vanessa's patio on Friday April the 17th. The plan is to start at 6:30 p.m. So bring a wine from Australia, come learn a little bit more about wine, and of course enjoy some wine outdoors in celebration of spring.

Date: Friday, 17th of April
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Vanessa Merina's apartment
Check evite for more details

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bone Marrow Donor Registry

TL;DR: Come to Rennebohm Hall 2339 Feb 26 at 6pm for informational meeting on the bone marrow donor registry and how to join

Bone Marrow Donor Registry Informational Meeting
~Hosted by PGHIG and MAPP, but ALL students, staff, faculty are welcome!

WHEN: 6PM Thursday, February 26th

WHERE: Rennebohm Hall Room 2339

  • Ben Rouse: Leukemia survivor to share his experience with the disease and bone marrow transplant
  • You:
    • this is an INFORMATIONAL meeting only. You will not be asked to sign up for or donate anything at the meeting
    • even if you don't think you will become a donor, come learn about the facts, needs, and process of the program so you may pass the information on to those who will consider it
  • DVD: learn about the National Marrow Donor Program ( and the process of becoming a donor
  • Each year, more than 30,000 patients are diagnosed with a life-threatening disease treatable by a marrow or blood cell transplant.
  • 70% of patients in need of transplant do not have a suitable family donor.
  • At any given time, 3,000 patients are searching the National Marrow Donor Program Registry for an unrelated donor.
  • Think about this:
How many times have you donated blood, seen a blood drive around campus, or received information on the importance of donating blood?
Now...How many times have you seen a bone marrow donor registry drive or received information on it?
This cause is just as important...

Please come learn about the registry, help raise the awareness, and provide support for those patients, families, and friends who await your help!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Attention fellow appreciators of wine,

You have spoken and by popular accord, the ball has been rolled into action. Wine shall be held on the 28th of February 2009 at the apartment of Vanessa Merina, whom we would like to thank for so graciously hosting us, and your presence is cordially requested. The focus of the wine shall be the country of Spain. Bring forth a bottle of Spanish wine to share and savor. The varietal matters not for we are sampling all that Spain has to offer, though Spain is better known for their reds.

Okay enough with the posh language. So what better way to close out the month of February then to have a completely relaxed and informal sampling of wines from Spain? No worries if you're new to wine for this is a nice way to start learning about wine while amongst the company of good friends. For those who aren't familiar with the vernacular, varietal means grape type, e.g. Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon (a little more about the varietals that Spain has to offer later). So just bring a bottle of Spanish wine to share and come and learn a little more about the nectar of the gods. Mostly importantly though, come and enjoy some good wine with some good company.

Date: Saturday, 28th of February
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Vanessa Merina's apartment (please email if you want directions on how to get there, it's close to campus).

Some helpful tips in selecting your wine. If you're unfamiliar with a producer of Spanish wine, you could look for the special designation, Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOCa), Spain uses to control the quality of its wines. In theory the special designation Denominación de Origen (DO) would also indicate a quality wine, but for a while the Spanish government was handing out DO status like candy to wine-growing areas until it lost its significance.

As mentioned earlier, Spain is more known for their red wines. You'll most likely find their two native red grapes, Tempranillo and Garnacha. Spain's three major red wine growing regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero, and Penedes. Rioja is where Spain's red wine wineries started and considering its proximity to the French border it's no coincidence. A certain amount of additional age and quality go hand in hand with red Rioja wines. Some important terms to look for on the label to help you make your selection are "Crianza", "Reserva", and "Gran Reserva". Crianza refers to a wine that has undergone a total of two years of aging with a minimum of one year in an oak barrel. Reserva refers to a wine that has undergone a total of three years of aging with a minimum of one year in an oak barrel. Gran Reserva refers to a wine that has undergone a total of five years of aging with a minim
um of two years in an oak barrel.

While better known for their robust red wines, Spanish white wines have recently revealed a fresh and vibrant side. Look for white wines made from the Albariño grape in the Rías Baixas region or the Verdejo grape in the Rueda region. For the more familiar Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc look for wines from the Penedés region. Chardonnay produces a fuller bodied wine so those of you who would like a lighter bodied wine would enjoy the crisp wines produced from the Albariño grape.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Hmong Critical Studies

Coming up on Feb 12-13, several events about Hmong American Experiences and Scholarship....

Film Screening

Thursday, 7-9:00 pm, 259 Educational Sciences Building, 1025 West Johnson Street

“Media for Social Justice: Hmong American Media Productions”

Va-Megn Thoj with Louisa Schein

We will show a documentary and a narrative short by Va-Megn Thoj and a preview of Thoj and Schein's current project. All films address Hmong immigrants in relation to their reception in the US. Presenters will discuss how media may be used for promoting social justice.


Discussion Reading Group **Pre-reading required**

Friday, Feb 13, 9:30-11 am, 340 Ingraham

Race, Violence and Hmong Hunting Incidents

Discussion of reading with authors Louisa Schein and Va-Megn Thoj

In this reading seminar participants will dialogue about the Chai Soua Vang hunting incident in Wisconsin based on a pre-reading of Schein and Thoj's article "Occult Racism: The Masking of Race in the Hmong Hunter Incident."

**Please email to get a .pdf of the reading,

"Occult Racism," American Quarterly 59(4), December 2007


Public Talk and Discussion, Friday, 13, 2-4 pm, 206 Ingraham

“Media and Hmong Masculinity: From Immigrant Misfits to Perpetual Warriors to Gran Torino Gangbangers”

Critical Perspectives in Hmong American Experiences and Scholarship

Louisa Schein with Va-Megn Thoj

This talk is about Hmong racialization, and the unintelligibility of Asian race, questions of Hmong in/hypervisibility and social consequences of these. We use the theme of violence (including symbolic and epistemic) to tie together several high profile incidents to develop an analysis of racialization.


Louisa Schein is a professor in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick campus. She is interested in cultural politics, ethnicity, nationalism and transnationalism. She is the author of Minority Rules: The Miao and the Feminine in China's Cultural Politics, (2000, Duke University Press.). She has researched Hmong in the U.S. and China for almost three decades and collaborated on documentary films on the Hmong.

Va-Megn Thoj directs and produces films about the Hmong and Asian-American community. A community activist as well as a filmmaker, he is a founding member of the Center for Hmong Arts & Talent, a non-profit community arts organization in St. Paul, where he has also been an instructor. He is also founder of Community Action Against Racism (CAAR) and owner of Frogtown Media Productions. He has received grants from the Bush Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board, the Jerome Foundation, and the New York State Council for the Arts. He is also the recipient of a Telly Award and the 2004 Rockefeller Media Arts Fellowship.

Louisa Schein and Va-Megn Thoj are the authors of “Occult Racism: The Masking of Race in the Hmong Hunter Incident: A Dialogue between Anthropologist Louisa Schein and Filmmaker Va-Megn Thoj.” 2007. American Quarterly 59(4), December: Pp.1051-1095.

All events are sponsored by the Asian American Studies Program as part of the "Critical Perspectives in Hmong American Experiences and Scholarship." For more information, please contact Lynet Uttal at or the Asian American Studies Program as

Asian American Mentorship Mixer Feb 2 6:00-7:30pm Catered Dinner - MSC Satellite (near Gordon Commons)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Free Ballroom Socials

Well it's that time of year again. There will be two free ballroom dances this week to start off the new semester. The one on Thursday is sponsored by the ballroom competition team will be in Memorial Union (room to be determined) from 7 p.m. to midnight. As with these free start of the semester dances, there will be free beginner lessons. Here information about this dance can be found here: . Check TITU for the room.

There will be another ballroom social, this one hosted by the ballroom club, the following night on Friday. It will be also at Memorial Union with room to be determined from 7 p.m. to midnight. Again there will be free beginner lessons. For more information go to: