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K-State Today

March 8, 2016

American ethnic studies professor presents at the American Philosophical Association

Submitted by Melisa Posey

Shireen Roshanravan, associate professor of American ethnic studies, presented "Where is our Beyoncé? Asian- American Struggle for Voice in U.S. Racial Justice Discourse" at the Central American Philosophical Association on Wednesday, March 2, at the Hilton Palmer House in Chicago, Illinois.

Her presentation addressed the hegemonic public perception of Asian-Americans as uncertain in their claim to U.S. people of color politics. In the presentation, Roshanravan used the example of the public responses to Chinese-American NYPD officer Peter Liang's indictment for the fatal shooting of Akai Gurley. Roshanravan also mentioned Jahlani Smothers-Pugh's charge of anti-black racism in her "Black Girl Dangerous" open letter to Indian-American comedian/actor Aziz Ansari. 

Using these examples, Roshanravan argues that Asian-American reliance on a "we are victims too!" response to address their invisibility in racial justice discourse — concomitant with the "where’s our Beyoncé?!" approach to resistance against racism — silences both Asian-American cultural modes of resistance to the model-minority racial project and the specific genealogies of violence against black peoples on which this racial project depends.

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