Current Media Announcements
Date Title Outlet Notes 6/05/2018 Can Green Diplomacy Take Root in the DMZ? Edge Effects David Fedman [assistant professor of] history at the University of California, Irvine, writes, “Indeed, whatever their disagreements on denuclearization and unification, both Koreas recognize the value in environmental coordination and natural disaster management. … The environmental challenges posed by climate change and sea level rise likewise offer a natural path for dialogue and cooperation, as coastal regions and fisheries across the peninsula share these risks.” 6/04/2018 Are Chinese youth desperate for uncensored internet access? OZY Jeffrey Wasserstrom, a historian at the University of California, Irvine, says it’s not that the Chinese aren’t aware of censorship, but rather they might not care because most of the things they do on the internet — like people the whole world over — aren’t about finding edgy news stories. 6/03/2018 Food waste is destroying the planet. Doing something about it starts at home Los Angeles Times Alumna Sharon Kunde '18 (Ph.D. English) writes, “Food is part of the fleeting pleasure of being mortal on this Earth. Appreciate that. Value it. Buy ugly produce. Ignore the expiration date if the food smells fine. Use vegetable scraps to make stock. Compost. Plant a garden or a fruit tree." Date Title Outlet Notes 5/15/2018 Identical Twins Hint at How Environments Change Gene Expression The Atlantic Erika Hayasaki, associate professor in the Literary Journalism Program at the University of California, Irvine, writes: “Twin studies have historically been some of the most valuable genetic research tools in the world—contributing a century of data to our knowledge of human behavioral, medical, and physical traits.” 5/15/2018 From the Little Red Book to the Big White one The Times Literary Supplement Jeffrey Wasserstrom, professor of history at UC Irvine, writes: “Looking back to the 2009 Frankfurt Book Fair, when China was controversially selected to be the “guest of honor” nation, I find that the back and forth over dissent and freedom of expression (which fascinated me then) seems less interesting than something I barely noticed at the time: a dog that didn’t bark. I don’t recall seeing any books by or images of Hu Jintao, then China’s paramount leader, in the Chinese official display area.” 5/14/2018 Trump’s Wall: A Conservative Conceptual Art Installation The New York Times Héctor Tobar, associate professor of Chicano/Latino studies and literary journalism at UC Irvine, writes: “President Trump’s new wall would be more insult than injury. For a man who began his campaign degrading Mexican immigrants, it’s another ugly, empty rhetorical flourish; only this one would be made with concrete and rebar.” 5/11/2018 There will be no Nobel Prize in literature this year. And that's a shame. The Los Angeles Times Just consider the writers who never won a Nobel, which can be awarded only to a living author …. Then consider those who ought to win. For the last several years, I've been holding out for Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, the 80-year-old Kenyan author who directs the International Center for Writing and Translation at UC Irvine. 5/11/2018 New in Paperback: ‘The Ministry of Utmost Happiness,’ ‘Where the Water Goes’ The New York Times Surfing with Sartre: An Aquatic Inquiry into a Life of Meaning by Professor of Philosophy Aaron James is featured in the NY Times. 5/03/18 Student-run InSight Magazine explores poverty and inequality in Southern California Daily Pilot Aditi Mayer [UCI literary journalism major] surveyed the gathering crowd in the Viewpoint Gallery inside UC Irvine's Student Center. She alternated between craning her neck and subtle pacing as the room began to fill up before the start of InSight Magazine's launch event on April 24. The student-run publication out of UC Irvine's Blum Center for Poverty Alleviation focuses on poverty and inequality in Southern California. 4/26/18 RTP 180 | Language: John Smith on Learning Another Language (video) UNC-TV John H. Smith, professor of German at the University of California, Irvine, discusses the value of learning a foreign language and why he ended up learning German. 4/19/18 International authors take center stage at festival SFGate Currently a professor of English and comparative literature at UC Irvine, [Ngugi] wa Thiong’o will appear at the Freight & Salvage at 11:45 a.m. Saturday, April 28, to talk about “Wrestling with the Devil: A Prison Memoir,” written in the early 1980s but not published in the United States until last month. 4/19/18 ‘Viet Stories’ exhibit highlights the struggles and achievements of Vietnamese in the U.S. Daily Pilot "Most Americans may not know a lot about Vietnamese Americans," said Linda Vo, an Asian American studies professor at UC Irvine and co-curator of the exhibition. … The idea for "Viet Stories" originated years ago, when Vo and Le were organizing a Vietnamese American oral history project out of UC Irvine. 4/12/18 Guilty or not guilty? It’s Shakespearean drama as UCI law school deans face off in mock trial of Hamlet Daily Pilot For one night, the Irvine Barclay Theatre was transformed into a courtroom where Song Richardson, the dean of UCI Law, defended the fictional Danish prince against a charge of first-degree murder in the killing of Polonius. The prosecutor was played by Erwin Chemerinsky, UCI Law's founding dean and now dean of UC Berkeley's law school. U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford moderated the event as the two presented their case to the jury — the audience — which ultimately determined Hamlet's fate. 4/08/18 Pedagogic, Not Didactic: Michael Cart on Young Adult Fiction Los Angeles Review of Books Jonathan Alexander, Chancellor’s Professor of English at UC Irvine, writes, “I recently “sat down” (virtually) with Michael Cart to pick his brain about the continuing commercial success of YA, its cultural relevance, and his thoughts about the genre’s future.” 4/06/18 Steamship globalisation [Subscription required.] Financial Times Jeffrey Wasserstrom, [UCI Chancellor’s Professor of history], writes, “In A World of Empires, Edyta Bojanowska opens an intriguing window on to this earlier age of globalisation. She does so by focusing in tightly on a long journey from St Petersburg to Japan made in the 1850s by the steamship Pallada, part of a squadron of Russian vessels whose mission was to establish trade relations.” 4/05/18 Refugees who left post-war Vietnam document their journeys in 'Viet Stories' NBC News “We wanted to explain, ‘Who are these refugees?’” said Linda Trinh Vo, co-curator of the exhibition and professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Irvine. … “Viet Stories,” which grew out an oral history project that Vo started at the University of California, Irvine, is also a call to other Vietnamese Americans, said Vo. 4/05/18 Guggenheim Memorial Foundation announces new fellows — and pays tribute to grantees from California Los Angeles Times “It involves an extremely rigorous screening and selection,” says newly named fellow and UC Irvine humanities professor Edward Dimendberg. “You don’t just get a Guggenheim. There are all these levels of screening, committees and then the board of trustees.” … “I’m on cloud nine still,” he says of receiving the award. 3/23/18 The Book List: Author of the Week [Subscription required.] The Week Ngugi wa Thiong’o [UCI distinguished professor of comparative literature] … has used his writing to defy every force that would circumscribe his freedoms, and his latest memoir, Wrestling With the Devil, revisits one of his most storied acts of imaginative rebellion. 3/16/2018 National Geographic Replaces Racist Fictions With Post-racial Fantasies New York Magazine Last year, I predicted 2017 (and the era of Trump more generally) would be a time of renewed faith in the political efficacy of interracial romance and procreation. This prediction was informed by two recent books — one by UC Irvine professor Jared Sexton, the other by NYU professor Tavia Nyong’o — which probe the way racial hybridity is used to avoid reflection and recollection on how white supremacy works 3/16/2018 A forgotten hero stopped the My Lai massacre 50 years ago today Los Angeles Times Jon Wiener, professor emeritus of history at UC Irvine, writes: “We know that Americans committed a massacre 50 years ago today; and we also know that an American stopped it.” 3/23/2018 A Kenyan author examines his life and times in 'Wrestling With the Devil' Pittsburgh Post-Gazette In “Wrestling With the Devil: A Prison Memoir,” Mr. wa Thiong’o, currently a Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine, adds yet another important book to his literary canon, where he deconstructs the language of colonialism, as much as he continues pounding away at the ills of capitalism, religion and the neocolonial estate as tools of subjugation. 4/25/2018 President Xi Jinping's Indefinite Rule Denounced by Chinese Intellectual Real News Network China concluded its annual National People's Congress on Tuesday. Normally the 16-day National People's Congress, which is China's legislature, is a routine affair. This time, however, it took many momentous decisions. … Joining me now to analyze the Congress is Professor Jeffrey Wasserstrom. He is Chancellor's Professor of History at UC Irvine. 3/08/2018 Overlooked The New York Times But scholars say the enduring strength of Qiu’s legacy lies not only in her leadership, but also — and perhaps more important — in her willingness to ultimately sacrifice her life for the cause. “She argued that it wasn’t enough for women to just sit around and ask for equality,” said Hu Ying, a professor of Chinese literature at University of California, Irvine. “She believed you had to be willing to put your life on the line. And the fact that she really did put her life on the line is what made her words stick.” 3/12/2018 Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o: 'Resistance is the best way of keeping alive' The Guardian Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o believes in the imagination. Perhaps that seems obvious for the decorated Kenyan novelist, [UCI Distinguished Professor], scholar and playwright, who’s been publishing for over 50 years. But imagination, and all art, for him, is not just a form of creativity; it’s a form of resistance. In his case, once imprisoned for his political beliefs, it was his most important possession in a brutal environment meant to break him. 3/10/2018 Socialism with Chinese characteristics? Beijing's propaganda explained CNN Jeffrey Wasserstrom, professor of history at University of California, Irvine, said, "(The phrase) explains how it can be that China is headed by a Communist Party yet has abandoned some of the main things typically associated with Marxism, such as working toward a future in which wealth is fairly evenly distributed," 03/10/2018 Women in China, past and present OUPblog Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Chancellor’s Professor of History at University of California, Irvine and Maura E. Cunningham, [UCI Ph.D. in Chinese history], write: “Shifts in the status of women—or the lack thereof—offer evidence for the need to think about variations as well as continuities across dynasties. … In their own ways, elite Ming and Qing women carved out spaces for themselves, creating vibrant intellectual, cultural, and social networks.” 3/09/2018 All Quiet on the Campus Front—Contrasting the 1910s and 1980s with the 2010s China Policy Institute: Analysis Jeffrey Wasserstrom, Chancellor’s Professor of History at UC Irvine, writes: “When news broke that Xi Jinping would not be limited to serving just two terms as President, while some commentators turned to international ruler-for-life comparisons, others looked to China’s own past for illuminating parallels and contrasts. As someone who began his career studying student-led activism and remains interested in the subject, I was struck immediately by references to two decades that figure centrally in the history of that topic: the 1910s and the 1980s.” 3/08/2018 5 wonderful new books for Southern California readers Orange County Register The Sea Beast Takes a Lover: Stories by Michael Andreasen. The title may have echoes of “The Shape of Water,” but this debut collection of stories by a University of California, Irvine MFA graduate is definitely not like anything you’ve seen before. Filled with fantastical fables full of futuristic moments, time travelers, mermaids and exploding children, the collection is playful and heartbreaking all at once. 3/08/2018 Feeling the Fear of Difference: Celebrating “A Wrinkle in Time” Los Angeles Review of Books Jonathan Alexander, Chancellor’s Professor of English at UC Irvine, writes: “I have been ridiculously excited about the release of Disney’s film adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time, which is due out March 9. I say “ridiculously” because I’m a 50-year-old white man whose passion for L’Engle’s work strikes some of my colleagues and friends as … odd.” 3/08/2018 Want insight into China's political situation? Keep an eye on new animal memes Los Angeles Times Maura E. Cunningham, [UCI Ph.D. in Chinese history] and [UCI history Professor] Jeffrey Wasserstrom, write: “Chinese authorities obviously do not want free and open conversations about Xi Jinping’s possible ascendancy to president for life.” 3/07/2018 'You're Not My First Enemy': In Long-Lost Jewish Songs Of WWII, Pain And Defiance NPR At a recent appearance at the University of California, Irvine, presented by the school's Center for Jewish Studies under the title "Last Yiddish Heroes," they began the program with "Babi Yar." … The audience, a mix of young undergrads and older Jewish couples and families, listened, rapt; by the song's end, more than a few were dabbing their eyes. 3/06/2018 The lemongrass burrito is the new America. Can either party keep up? CNN "If you look [in Orange County] at the city councils, the mayors, to school boards, those Asian-Americans for the most part have been Republicans, and Republicans have done more outreach," says Linda Trinh Vo, a professor of Asian-American studies at the University of California, Irvine. "And because Orange County is so Republican, that's how they thought they could win. So the two kind of reinforced one another." 2/22/2018 ‘My god is more of a god than your god is ungodly - the same applies to languages,’ says writer Ngugi Wa Thiong’o Hindustan Times Ngugi Wa Thiong’o, a titan of world literature, was born in a colonised Kenya in 1938. Along with Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka, Ngugi is one of the pillars of African literature. Currently, Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine, USA, he has been in exile from Kenya since the early ’80s. 2/21/2018 Spain helps keep alive archaic language of Sephardic Jews AP Jacobo Sefami, a Sephardi born in Mexico and now a professor at the University of California, Irvine, is pessimistic. “The truth is that no children are speaking it anymore and its progress toward extinction seems irreversible,” he wrote in an email to the Associated Press. 2/15/2018 Ngugi wa Thiong’o urges intellectuals to rally against the ‘destroyers’ of the world Scroll Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, [professor of comparative literature at UCI], writes: “The challenge for the intellectual is to make words become flesh, to make them breathe distinctly.” … “We only have to connect, to help put faiths and doctrines and languages, big or small, into dialogue. And if, in this connection, I quote Cesaire, it is because what he says of culture contact was our organising motto at the International Center for Writing and Translation at the University of California, Irvine.” 2/14/2018 Review: The Restless Generation of ‘Young China’ The Wall Street Journal [UCI Chancellor’s Professor] Jeffrey Wasserstrom, writes, “Flash forward to the 2010s and what leaps out from Zak Dychtwald’s engrossing “Young China” are the many contemporary parallels between growing up in China and the United States. … What was once a chasm is now often just a gap.” 2/01/2018 Report Highlights Diversity of California’s Asian American Community in the Real “OC” NPQ Sylvia Kim, regional director for Asian Americans Advancing Justice–Orange County, notes that “People always say that Orange County has the third-largest Asian American population in the country, and that Orange County’s population is 20 percent Asian American. But what does that really mean?” A new 150-page report authored by Linda Trinh Vo and Laureen D. Hom of the University of California, Irvine, that Kim’s group has published seeks to answer that question. 2/05/2018 UCI Jewish community gets its own Torah and its 304,805 letters Orange County Register Matthias Lehmann, director of the UCI Center of Jewish Studies, called the new Torah “a beautiful symbol of the Jewish tradition. … I love the idea that this is called the Unity Torah,” he said. “I think it’s important for all of us to come together and to show UCI is a welcoming place for all students.” 2/01/2018 Study shows how Asian Americans are transforming O.C., and highlights diversity and disparities Daily Pilot "This is our chance to really make the case that immigrants and refugees do not drain the society — that we are contributors to society," said Linda Trinh Vo, professor of Asian American Studies at UC Irvine and co-author of the study, at the report's launch. 1/31/2018 James Kyung-Jin Lee, professor and priest, contemplates Lunar New Year Orange County Register [James Kyung-Jin Lee] is an associate professor of Asian-American studies at UC Irvine and assisting priest at The Church of the Messiah in Santa Ana, which welcome members of the LGBTQ community. 1/31/2018 UC Irvine to host free forum on America’s identity featuring Jill Lepore Orange County Register UC Irvine will host a forum to explore America’s identity at home and abroad on Feb. 9 and 10. ... Panelists, including keynote speaker Jill Lepore … will try to address and to answer the question, “Who Do We Think We Are?” 1/31/2018 Court rules Spotify and Apple Music must pay artists more for songs Mashable UC Irvine media studies professor Peter Krapp told Mashable it would take about 4 million Spotify streams for a songwriter to make minimum wage in California over the course of a month. 1/28/2018 Orange County Report: AAPI are a lot more complicated than a simple stereotype AsAmNews Dr. Linda Trinh Vo, study co-author and UC Irvine School of Humanities professor of Asian American Studies said, “Despite these numbers and the rapid growth of the AA&NHPI population, there is little research available that describes the distinct cultures and histories across ethnic groups, their social, political, and economic contributions to the county, or the needs of a population whose majority is immigrants and refugees." 1/27/2018 We Need Protests. And Paintings. The New York Times Héctor Tobar, associate professor at the University of California, Irvine, writes, “To defend the place of millions of immigrants and their progeny in American society, we need not only protest of political changes but also more art. We need to bring the ambitions, the foibles and the soul of immigrant America into the collective American mind. And for that we need television shows and movies, and more novels, poems, paintings and songs. High art and low.” 1/25/2018 Living in the Present: On Kieran Setiya’s “Midlife: A Philosophical Guide” Los Angeles Review of Books Karl Schafer, professor of philosophy at the University of California, Irvine, writes, “Popular philosophy seems to be in season. Even confining ourselves to the modest universe of my social media feed, this past fall alone offered us a philosophical analysis of misogyny, a defense of the “ethics of awesomeness,” a meditation on surfing and existentialism, a philosophical conversation about the later stages of life — and, our topic, a philosophical guide to middle age, Kieran Setiya’s Midlife.” 1/19/18 China and the US: 2 different approaches to culture Shine “In the Chinese language there is wenhua (文化) for culture but also wenming (文明) for civilization,” says Jeffrey Wasserstrom, a China scholar and history professor at the University of California Irvine. “They go together, and the root has something to do with creation and texts and things passed on. 1/18/18 UC Irvine theater professor’s new production tells a story through physical movement Daily Pilot The perennial theme of the directionless child’s search for identity is told in the book She by author and UC Irvine English professor Michelle Latiolais. The 2016 book has been successful, receiving rave reviews from various outlets, and the tale will unfold in a new medium Jan. 25 through 28 with a free theater production adapted by fellow UCI professor Annie Loui. 1/08/18 Trump and the Protesters: From Iran to Orange County CounterPunch Roxanne Varzi, associate professor of anthropology and film and media studies at University of California, Irvine, writes, “I’ve spent my adult life researching and writing on Iran as an anthropologist and living between both countries. I increasingly see more similarities than differences.” 1/03/18 Former Orange Coast Editor Martin J. Smith on His New Book Orange Coast Magazine Barry Siegel, formerly from the LA Times and the current director of the Literary Journalism program at UC Irvine. He wrote story called “A Death in White Bear Lake” that he later turned into a book that I just thought was a masterwork of narrative journalism. 1/03/18 China’s ‘Long Arm’ Inside Higher Education Jeffrey Wasserstrom, the Chancellor's Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine, ... added that scholarly publishers have leverage they can use. “The reason why I'm particularly distressed about the situation with Springer,” he said, “is that with the desire to compete internationally, the Chinese authorities actually really care about the journal Nature" -- a premier scientific journal published by Springer.