First Fall 2016 East Asian Studies Speaker Presentation: Pei-te Lien

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Born and raised in Taiwan, Pei-te Lien is a professor of Political Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who also holds professorship in Asian American Studies and Feminist Studies. She is the author of numerous publications on the political participation and representation of Asian and other nonwhite Americans. She will present a lecture entitled “Demystifying the Political Participation of Asian-Americans” on September 13, 2016 from 12-1:30 p.m. in Mergenthaler 266.

The political participation of Asian Americans has been a subject of curiosity for observers of U.S. racial and ethnic politics. Depending on how political participation is defined as well as when and where it is practiced and by whom, Asian Americans may be considered either politically apathetic or hyperactive. They may be characterized as politically conservative in one context but progressive in another, while radical is also a term that can apply to participants in movement politics. This chameleon characteristic has made the ethnic community vulnerable to suspicion, misunderstanding, and stereotyping by the American mainstream of their political identities and motivations. To help unpack the complicated, multi-faceted, and shifting phenomenon, my talk shall begin by providing a quick review of community formation and political activism over time, followed by a discussion of patterns of political attitudes and behavior in the early 21st century.

This report was written by undergraduate Daniel Kim, a member of the EAS SAC Speakers Committee.