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‘Yellow Peril’ and Anti-Asian Prejudice in the Shadow of Coronavirus
March 31, 2020 at 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Please join the Carolina Asia Center Tuesday, March 31 at 5:00PM for an online panel discussion with Heidi Kim, Barb Lee, and moderator Sophie To!
Please register for the Zoom meeting at go.unc.edu/prejudiceCOVID19. Then, use the link on the next page or confirmation email to join the event on Tuesday. Note: Only those who join through Zoom will be able to ask questions and interact with panelists during the event.
For any questions, concerns, or comments, please contact us at email@example.com.
Since the COVID-19 (popularized as simply “coronavirus”) outbreak began spreading from Wuhan, China in December 2019, anti-Asian prejudice has become painfully visible in daily life, echoing the “Yellow Peril” rhetoric of the 19th century. News and social media are bursting with cruel jokes and misinformation about Asians—from mocking what they eat to assuming that they are agents of contagion. These stereotypes are not only offensive and hurtful; they perpetuate underlying institutionalized racism and xenophobia. This panel will discuss recent episodes of anti-Asian prejudice in historical perspective, and debate how the global coronavirus scare is impacting the conversation.
Barbara Lee, Founder and President at Point Made Learning
Barb Lee is the founder and president of both Point Made Films, a documentary film company that focuses on American identity, and Point Made Learning, a consulting company that, using the stories of Point Made Films, provides organizations with creative, story-based education regarding issues of diversity, equity and inclusion.
She has dual degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Speech Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she has volunteered in numerous leadership roles including chair of the UNC Board of Visitors, vice-chair of the UNC Performing Arts Board of Advisors, chair of ACRED (Alumni Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity) and as a member of UNCs School of Media and Journalism’s Board of Visitors. She is the 2015 recipient of UNC’s Alumni Diversity Award, the university’s highest honor for work in racial justice and was the 2016 commencement speaker for the UNC School of Media and Journalism. She is also a trustee of the foundation board of John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
Heidi Kim, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature, UNC Chapel Hill
Professor Heidi Kim’s work ranges through nineteenth and twentieth-century American literature and Asian American studies. Her monograph Invisible Subjects: Asian Americans in Postwar Literature (Oxford UP, 2016) resituates the work of Ralph Ellison, William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and the Melville Revival critics through recent advances in Asian American studies and historiography. Her next book extends this focus on the Cold War to the writing of and about Chinese Americans, who were dogged by the stigma of illegal immigration and paranoia about Communist infiltration. She also researches and speaks extensively on the literature and history of the Japanese American incarceration, including Taken from the Paradise Isle (UP Colorado, 2015). Professor Kim’s new research looks at environmental narratives in the United States and around the world. She is currently collaborating with a team of environmental and social scientists to create models and shape narratives about food security in dryland west Africa, funded by an NSF grant.
Moderator: Sophie Bao-Chieu To, doctoral student, Gillings School of Global Public Health