Common Ground#748

Expanding Asian America

Featuring Dorothy Wang, Al-An deSouza, and Joan Kee, with Margaret Rhee


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Scholar Dorothy Wang and artist Al-An deSouza join Rail Editor-at-Large Joan Kee for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading by Margaret Rhee.

In this talk

Dorothy Wang

Photo of Dorothy Wang
Dorothy Wang is Professor of American Studies at Williams College, where she spearheaded the founding of Asian American Studies. Her monograph, Thinking Its Presence: Form, Race, and Subjectivity in Contemporary Asian American Poetry (Stanford, 2013), won the Association for Asian American Studies’ award for best book of literary criticism in 2016 and made The New Yorker’s “The Books We Loved in 2016” list. The only national conference on race and creative writing is named after it. Wang conceived of and co-founded the Race and Poetry and Poetics in the UK (RAPAPUK) initiative. She has been an ACLS Frederick Burkhardt Fellow.

Al-An deSouza

Photo of Al-An deSouza
Al-An deSouza is an artist working across photo-media, installation, text and performance. They draw upon official and informal archives, remaking them through strategies of humor, fabulation, and (mis)translation. deSouza has exhibited extensively in the US and internationally, including at the Johnson Museum, Ithaca, NY, Krannert Museum, IL; Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; Pompidou Centre, Paris, and the Mori Museum, Tokyo. deSouza, a professor of Art Practice at University of California, Berkeley, has published numerous essays and two recent books: How Art Can Be Thought, A Handbook for Change (2018), and Ark of Martyrs (2020), a polyphonic, dysphoric replacement of Joseph Conrad’s infamous Heart of Darkness.

Joan Kee

Joan Kee
Photo by Stuart Comer
Professor Joan Kee teaches in the History of Art at the University of Michigan and is a Ford Foundation Scholar in Residence at MoMA. Her forthcoming book, The Geometries of Afro Asia: Art beyond Solidarity, engages with Black and Asian artists and the vibrant worlds they initiate through their works and will be released by the University of California Press this April. Kee’s other books include Models of Integrity: Art and Law in Post Sixties America (2019) and Contemporary Korean Art: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method (2014). An occasional public interest lawyer in Detroit, she is an Editor-at-Large at the Brooklyn Rail.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poetry reading, and we’re fortunate to have Margaret Rhee reading.

Margaret Rhee

Photo of Margaret Rhee
Margaret Rhee is a poet, scholar and media artist. Her debut poetry collection, Love, Robot was published in 2017 and has been named a 2017 Best Book of Poetry by Entropy Magazine and awarded a 2018 Elgin Award by the Science Fiction Poetry Association and the 2019 Best Book Award in Poetry by the Asian American Studies Association. Forthcoming books include The Watermelon Woman for the Queer Film Classics Series from McGill University Press and Poetry Machines a collection of lyrical essays on poetry, diasporic feminism, and technology under contract at Duke University Press. Rhee is an assistant professor at The New School in the School of Media Studies, and teaches in the Creative Writing MFA.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.