Literature highlights diversity within AAPI community – Kansas City, Missouri

Date:

Kansas City, Missouri 2022-05-25 09:10:07 –

Kansas City, Missouri — Even after the semester, Anthony Shiu, an associate professor at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, was walking around the campus with books.

“I’m trying to figure out what to teach in the fall,” said a professor of literature and cultural studies for Asian-Americans and African-Americans.

Mr. Shiu said that mainstream publications include mainly Chinese-American and Japanese-American writers. And often their story confronts first-generation families with second- and third-generation relatives. And they all affect mainstream perceptions.

“Japanese Americans, especially Chinese Americans, are either considered or defaults. I think when people think of Asian Americans,” Shiu pointed out.

However, the terms Asian Americans and Pacific Islands cover much more than Japanese Americans and Chinese Americans. During AAPI Heritage Month, Shiu said it is important to understand the wide range of cultures, people and ethnicities under AAPI. Asia is the largest continent in the world.

“You have to realize that there is a difference in the identity of the generic name,” he said.

Shiu uses literature to help start those conversations. He recently noticed that he was reading a book by a Vietnamese writer and has seen references to Hmong culture in more literature.

“How can we recognize these different areas, or these different groups?” [within AAPI]But also, how can we rethink what Asian Americans are? I think it’s always a continuous and productive conversation, “said the professor.

It’s a conversation that is constantly reflected in the literature we read.

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