In this short documentary about the landmark 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, I talk about the role that early South Asians played in transforming American immigration.
Check out the documentary, “Immigration Reform, A Work in Progress” on KCTS’s website!
Photo credit: © 2013 Carina A. del Rosario
On March 1, 2013, Nalini and I had the pleasure of launching Roots and Reflections at a fabulous event hosted by the University of Washington Libraries and the University of Washington Press. We did a reading from the book and the Libraries honored each of the narrators who participated in the South Asian Oral History Project with a copy of the book. Over 100 people attended the event!
(R-L) Sonora Jha, Amy Bhatt, and Shahana Dattagupta at the Aaina South Asian Women’s Focus Book Reading, May 12, 2013. Photo credit: Dinesh Korde (StudioDisha)
In May, I had the chance to participate in a book reading with local authors Sonora Jha and Shahana Dattagupta as part of the Aaina: South Asian Women’s Focus sponsored by Tasveer and hosted at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. We had a great turn-out and the authors dialogued around the themes of story-telling, creative and material history, and the move between various mediums of authorship.
Spring semester is over and the Baltimore summer is quickly heating up. It’s been a busy few months–in April, Nalini and I gave a talk on Roots and Reflections at the University of Washington South Asia Center. During the same trip to Seattle, I organized a panel for the Association of Asian American Studies entitled “Contestations and Collaborations: Creating Asian American Archives and the Challenges of Representation” with Samip Mallick from the South Asian American Digital Archive, Neena Makhija from the Sindhi Voices Project, and Theo Gonzalves, professor of American Studies at UMBC. My paper, “From Observer to Insider to Observer: The Challenges and Possibilities of Community Based Research” explored the issues that arise when representing community histories and working with institutional and community partners who are invested in retaining historical narratives of South Asian success.
I also gave a workshop for the University of Washington Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies Department titled: “What’s Next: Moving Beyond Graduate School with Your Feminist Studies PhD.”
On April 17, 2013, Nalini Iyer and I were interviewed by Steve Scher, host of KUOW Seattle’s Weekday show about Roots and Reflections. Check out the link below for the full interview!
Roots & Reflections on Weekday KUOW
Roots and Reflections is officially available through the University of Washington Press, Amazon.com, and many other retailers! Please order a copy today and encourage your colleagues and libraries to add it to their collections.
We have gotten some great press coverage about the book-check out the “Book” page for more details.
In March, we will kick off the publication of the book with book readings in Seattle. On Saturday, March 2nd, Nalini and I will do a reading at Elliott Bay Books in Capital Hill at 5:00pm and on Monday, March 4th, we will be at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park at 7:00pm. Hope to see you there!
Great news! My co-authored book with Nalini Iyer is ready for purchase through the University of Washington Press.
You can watch a trailer about the book here: Roots and Reflections: South Asians in the Pacific Northwest
Roots and Reflections: South Asians in the Pacific Northwest
AMY BHATT AND NALINI IYER
FOREWORD BY DEEPA BANERJEE
Immigrants from South Asia first began settling in Washington and Oregon in the nineteenth century, but because of restrictions placed on Asian immigration to the United States in the early twentieth century, the vast majority have come to the region since World War II. Roots and Reflections uses oral history to show how South Asian immigrant experiences were shaped by the region and how they differed over time and across generations. It includes the stories of immigrants from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka who arrived from the end of World War II through the 1980s.
Personal stories combine with historical, media, and popular culture accounts to illuminate themes of departure and arrival, gender relations, education, work, marriage, parenting, ties with the home country, and community building. By exploring the local Pacific Northwest dimension of a global immigrant phenomena, this important study deconstructs stereotypes and cultural assumptions made by non-South Asians and South Asians alike.
Amy Bhatt is assistant professor of gender and women’s studies at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County. Nalini Iyer is professor of English at Seattle University.