AFTER 1989: Race After Multiculturalism

The '90s are back! Although they're being resurrected as the age of Cosby sweaters, animated gifs and 16-bit Nintendo soundtracks, the 1990s were stranger and more complex than youth culture nostalgia. As the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and the Cold War came to a close, the US found itself in the age of multiculturalism, premised on the belief we could all just get along, and a decade divided with tense, often surreal, racial spectacle. The Asian American Writers' Workshop presents an alternative racial history of the 1990s through a feisty five-part event series that's part symposium, part late night talk show, part Youtube nostalgia-fest.

I LOVE THE 90S

Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 7PM
Brecht Forum, 451 West Street, New York, NY
$6 Admission

Purchase Tickets Here


Featuring: SOPHIA CHANG (A Better Tomorrow), CAROLINA GONZÁLEZ (WNYC), DREAM HAMPTON (Vibe, Rap Pages, Jay-Z’s Decoded), VIJAY PRASHAD (Trinity), RINKU SEN (Applied Research Center), JOHN KUO-WEI TCHEN (NYU)

Exhibits:  Wu-Tang Clan, “Heritage Holidays,” Gender + Hip Hop

DJ hit replay! Or shall we manually rewind this nostalgic cassette tape with a discerning finger to your favorite awkward 1990s multiculti blunders? The ’90s gave us “Sister Souljah moments,” the OJ Simpson hearings, the rise of xenophobic legislation (Prop 187 and 209) and homophobic punditry on national television (Jerry Falwell vs the Teletubbies). Carolina González (WNYC, Nueva York: the Complete Guide to Latino Life in the Five Boroughs) discusses the rise of “The Crossover,” by which ethnic pop products migrate to the mainstream. Music producer Sophia Chang talks Wu-Tang Clan and John Kuo-Wei Tchen (New York Before Chinatown: Orientalism and the Shaping of American Culture) sits us down for the origin stories of “heritage holidays” and “multiculturalism centers.” Vijay Prashad (The Karma of the Brown Folk) gives a short talk on how the demise of multiculturalism has left racism alive and kicking in colorblind Obama-America. Prashad joins a panel conversation with dream hampton, Vibe contributing writer and collaborating author of Jay-Z’s Decoded, and Rinku Sen (Accidental American: Immigration and Citizenship in the Age of Globalization), president of the Applied Research Center and publisher of Colorlines

A project of The Asian American Writers’ Workshop, where we’re inventing the future of Asian American intellectual culture.

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