Celebrating the “Wonderfully Subversive Power of Libraries and Librarians” as Robert Ji-Song Ku’s Dubious Gastronomy Wins APALA Literature Award for Adult Nonfiction

APALA-raffle_bracelet

One of the raffle items at the APALA awards dinner—a bracelet with mini book covers of the winning titles.

APALA-logoIn conjunction with the American Library Association annual conference in San Francisco, the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) literary awards were presented at a lively dinner ceremony on Saturday, June 27. Dubious Gastronomy: The Cultural Politics of Eating Asian in the USA by Robert Ji-Song Ku, associate professor of Asian American studies at Binghamton University–SUNY, received the top honor in the adult nonfiction category. While Professor Ku regrettably was unable to attend the event, his prepared remarks were read by UH Press development director Colins Kawai, who accepted the award on his behalf. The speech is worth sharing here:

“It is a privilege and an honor to win the 2014-15 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in the adult non-fiction category. I am especially honored to receive this award from an association of librarians because, you see, I was practically raised by librarians since I was eight years old when my family immigrated to Hawaii from Korea in the early 1970s.

Ku-Dubious GastronomyHaving to work several jobs between them from before sunrise to long after sunset, my parents could not afford any sort of childcare, after-school programs, or summer camps for their three children. My mother’s solution was to drop us off at the public library for hours on end. And this is how I fell in love with books, which plunged me into the world of dinosaurs, great white sharks, and faraway galaxies. It also led me to C.S. Lewis’s Narnia, JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth, Thomas Hardy’s Wessex, and Maxine Hong Kingston’s girlhood among ghosts, white tigers, and shamans.

I believe it was the filmmaker Michael Moore who said of librarians: “They are subversive. You think they’re just sitting there at the desk, all quiet and everything. They’re like plotting the revolution, man. I wouldn’t mess with them.”

Ku,RobertI couldn’t agree more. The fact that I went on to earn a PhD in English literature, become a professor of Asian American studies, and author books about Asian Americans is a testament to the wonderfully subversive and revolutionary power of libraries and librarians. No, I don’t mess with librarians; I give them props!

I thank the University of Hawai‘i Press for publishing my book, and especially my editor, Masako Ikeda, for believing in my book from the very get-go. I thank my family—my wife Nancy and twin boys Eliot and Oliver—for everything under and above the sun. But most of all, on this day, I thank the members of APALA for bestowing upon me this incredible honor.”

All of us at UHP join him in giving props to librarians everywhere!

UHP in Illinois this week | Geography in Chicago and Asian American Studies in Evanston

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Association for Asian American Studies

2015 Conference

April 22-25 | Chicago/Evanston, Illinois

Contact Acquisitions Editor Masako Ikeda: masakoi@hawaii.edu

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—UHP series celebrates 15 years!-

Intersections

Asian and Pacific American Transcultural Studies
a collaborative series of University of Hawai‘i Press in conjunction with the UCLA Asian American Studies Center
For complete title listing, go to the Intersections series page on our blog.

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Association of American Geographers

Annual Meeting
April 21-25 | Chicago, Illinois

Contact Acquisitions Editor Nadine Little: nlittle@hawaii.edu

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Out of the Dust Poetry Reading by Janice Mirikitani at UCLA

EVENT | FIRST IN PAPER

San Francisco poet and community activist Janice Mirikitani reads from her latest collection, Out of the Dust, at noon tomorrow, January 15, on the University of California, Los Angeles campus. Her appearance is presented by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, with which UH Press jointly publishes the Intersections: Asian and Pacific American Transcultural Studies series. Originally published in cloth last summer, Mirikitani’s powerful volume is newly released in paperback and will be available for sale at the event.

Click here for the event flyer.

Out of the Dust: New and Selected Poems
by Janice Mirikitani
January 2015 (First in paper) | 208 pages
978-0-8248-5516-1 | $19.00
Intersections: Asian and Pacific American Transcultural Studies

Queer Compulsions Talk by Amy Sueyoshi at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose

AUTHOR EVENT


Join Dr. Amy Sueyoshi as she discusses the subject of Queer Compulsions: Race, Nation, and Sexualities in the Affairs of Yone Noguchi on Sunday, October 19, 1:00 p.m., at the Japanese American Museum of San Jose. In her work she explores the complex interaction between lived sexualities and socio-legal mores, tracing how one man negotiated affection across cultural, linguistic, and moral divides to find fulfillment in unconventional yet acceptable ways.

Read more about the event on the JAMsj site.

Fighting in Paradise Author Gerald Horne Headlines Third Annual LaborFest Hawai‘i


FREE PUBLIC EVENT


University of Houston historian Dr. Gerald Horne, author of Fighting in Paradise: Labor Unions, Racism, and Communists in the Making of Modern Hawai‘i will lead off the Third Annual LaborFest Hawai‘i held this Friday, September 19, starting at 6:00 p.m. at ARTS at Marks Garage. The gathering will bring together scholars, workers (both union and non-union), organizers, and interested individuals to offer multiple perspectives of working-class culture and celebrate Hawai‘i’s important labor history.

Dr. Horne’s talk will be followed by that of labor journalist/lawyer Steve Early and a panel discussion. Panelists include:

  • William Puette, faculty director of UH West O‘ahu’s Center for Labor Education & Research;
  • Jonathan Dial, Graduate Student Organization advocacy chair;
  • Jim Dator, professor and director of the Hawai‘i Research Center for Futures Studies, UHM Department of Political Science;
  • Susan Schultz, professor of English, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa

Agenda:
6:00 – 6:30 Reception, pupu and music
6:30 – 7:00 Professor Gerald Horne presentation
7:00 – 7:30 Steve Early presentation
7:30 – 8:00 Panel of students, adjunct faculty, professors, teachers and other public workers respond.
8:00 – 8:30 Ray Catania and Bart Dame discuss the fight for a raise in the minimum wage.
8:30 Audience discussion plus resolutions and feedback for the 4th Annual LaborFest Hawaii.

The event is free and open to the public. There will also be a cash bar at the event.

John Rosa Presents Backstory to Local Story, His Book on the Massie-Kahahawai Case

AUTHOR EVENT Rosa-LocalStory_NativeBks

Please join us on Sunday, August 10, 2 to 4 p.m., at Native Books/Nā Mea Hawai‘i, as UH-Mānoa history professor John Rosa gives an illustrated talk on his book, Local Story: The Massie-Kahahawai Case and the Culture of History. He will discuss how he researched the book and why the 1931-1932 case continues to have relevance in today’s Hawai‘i. While other books have told the “true crime” details of this case before, Dr. Rosa retells the story and shows how this narrative explains the beginnings of a non-white, “local” identity among Hawai‘i’s working-class people.

Light refreshments will be provided at the free presentation and books will be available for purchase and signing. Native Books is located at the ‘ewa end of Ward Warehouse (1050 Ala Moana Blvd.); phone: 808-596-8885.

Read more about Dr. Rosa’s research on the book in Kaunānā, UH-Mānoa’s online research publication. Also, listen to his April 2014 interview on HPR2‘s The Conversation.


2014 | 176 pages | 978-0-8248-3970-3 | Paper | $19.99