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.

White Noise

Thursday, March 8, 2012, 7PM
CUNY Graduate Center, The Proshansky Auditorium, 365 5th Avenue, New York, NY
Free to the public


Featuring: DAN CHARNAS (The Big Payback: The History of the Business of Hip Hop), NEGIN FARSAD (50 Funniest Women, Huffington Post) CHRISTIAN LANDER (Stuff White People Like), DAVID ROEDIGER (Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class), REIHAN SALAM (Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream), JAMIA WILSON (Women’s Media Center), NEELA VASWANI (You Have Given Me a Country)

Exhibits: Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby,” Grunge, Sassy Magazine, Multiracial White Identity, The White Audience

Titled after Don DeLillo’s White Noise, in which identity politics reaches its reductio ad absurdum in a Hitler Studies department, our second AFTER 1989 installment explores the curious phenomenon of white ethnic identity in the 1990s. Think back to a time when Bill Clinton was called the “first African American President,” when Samuel Huntington claimed we were in a “Clash of Civilizations,” when the militia movement erupted in the Waco shootout and the Oklahoma City bombings—and when Asian Americans were positioned as “honorary whites” in the affirmative action debates. We’ve asked influential US labor historian and pioneer of critical whiteness studies, David Roediger (Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class, University of Illinois), to join Christian Lander, the mind behind the meme and NY Times bestselling book Stuff White People Like, and National Review Contributing Editor Reihan Salam to talk about white racial formation. Dan Charnas explains what Vanilla Ice can tell us about race. American Book Award-winner Neela Vaswani, a multiracial author of Indian and Irish descent, talks about her white ethnic heritage. Jamia Wilson (CSPAN, CBS News, Good Magazine) talks Sassy Magazine and Negin Farsad (Nerdcore Rising, The Watch List on Comedy Central) talks about doing stand-up for white audiences.

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

  1. jamiawilson reblogged this from after1989 and added:
    So excited to join this panel on race after multiculturalism in the 90s and talk about growing up, young, black & loving...
  2. after1989 posted this