American Anthropology Association 2018

I will be presenting at the 2018 American Anthropological Association (AAA) Conference. The conference will take place in San Jose, California in November. I will be presenting my installation "Talking Lei" on Saturday, November 17 from 2:00pm-4:00pm.

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Talking Lei is a multimedia storytelling installation that explores the process of lei making as a metaphor for the embodiment of the connectedness of storytelling in physical space. This installation includes a gallery of autoethnographic written vignettes and visual arts elements. The written vignettes address issues of race, culture, and kinship. The visual arts elements include light boxes, photographs, and watercolor paintings. This installation includes a performance element in the form of interactive lei making that is ongoing throughout the installation.

Talking lei is an autoethnographic study that explores local Hawaiian identity, local Hawaiian knowledge, and the everyday practices of teaching and learning in contemporary Hawai’i. This project centers the importance of researcher identity, positionality, and reflexivity. In particular, the researcher considers how her positionality as a hānai (adopted) daughter in the context of Hawai'i intersects with her identity as a Korean Adoptee raised in the American South to create the unique experience of a twice-adopted daughter. The written vignettes of this installation examine the researcher’s identity and positionality in the context of this ethnographic study of local Hawaiian knowledge.

This installation includes an interactive lei making performance. The researcher will make hakulei, a style of lei created by bundling flowers and wrapping them together. This installation extends this metaphor of bundling and wrapping into physical space: the multimedia elements are displayed in a lei around the room, and visitors are encouraged to move freely throughout the space and interact with these pieces in whichever order they choose, creating a narrative lei of their own.

As an autoethnographic multimedia storytelling installation, Talking Lei considers emerging and unconventional understandings of methods and representation that can contribute to the ways researchers enact qualitative methodologies and envision future research. 

This installation was supported by the Rackham Graduate School and the Center for World Performance Studies at the University of Michigan. The written vignettes and photographs are produced by Laura-Ann Jacobs (University of Michigan). The watercolor art is produced by Katie Wong (University of Hawai’i, Manoa).

Click here to learn more about the American Anthropology Association

Literacy Research Association 2018

I will be presenting at the 2018 Literacy Research Association (LRA) Conference. The conference will take place in Indian Wells, California in November. I will be presenting with Dr. Annemarie Palincsar, Gabriel DellaVecchia, Kathleen Easley, and Maggie Hanna. Our paper is titled "Historical inquiry to promote community identity at LRA." We will be presenting in the session "Critical understanding of current trends and issues in literacy research."

My portion of the presentation focuses on the history of disciplinary literacy.


This historical inquiry uses the three most recent volumes of the Handbook of Reading Research and the most recent volume of the Handbook of Writing Research to examine developments in the field of disciplinary literacy over the past three decades. This inquiry focuses on the scope of the field of disciplinary literacy research, the influence of theory in the field, and the connection of theory to methodology. This inquiry has three major findings: (1) disciplinary literacy is an emerging field in literacy research that is expanding in breadth and narrowing in depth, (2) disciplinary literacy research is shifting to align with sociocultural theory, and (3) disciplinary literacy research is shifting to qualitative research using ethnographic methods. The future of disciplinary literacy research is likely to continue these trends and is also likely to explore how context mediates literacy practices and assume a social justice stance.

Click here to learn more about the Literacy Research Association

KAAN Conference 2018

I have made plans to attend the Korean American Adoptee Adoptive Family Network (KAAN) 2018 Conference. The conference will take place in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Since 1999, KAAN has provided annual conferences in the U.S. or Korea. These conferences are unique assemblies of Korean-born adoptees of all ages as well as family through birth, adoption or marriage, other Koreans and Korean-Americans, social workers, adoptees from other backgrounds, community leaders, and more. Through gathering together, we find what we have in common and where we can help one another.

Our conferences provide 30+ sessions on race and identity, family relationships, parenting tools, search and reunion, etc. Presenters include authors, educators, activists, therapists, and grassroots leaders. Each block includes an adoptee-only session as well as many choices open to all. Cultural and social activities are offered as well as vendors, exhibits, and film screenings.

Click here to learn more about KAAN.
Click here to read the KAAN 2018 Conference Program.

National Women's Studies Association Conference 2018

I will be presenting at the 2018 National Women's Studies Association (NWSA) Conference. The conference will take place in Atlanta, Georgia in November. I will be presenting with  Carolyn Hetrick (doctoral student, University of Michigan) and Paulina Fraser (doctoral student, University of Michigan). Our panel is titled "Artistic counter-storytelling as liberatory praxis: Re-imagining and re-storying political identities to reclaim power." 



Responding to the Subtheme 6 call to investigate the question, “What is the role of art in justice and freedom making?”, this panel explores the ways in which three genres of cultural labor and artistic production—stand-up comedy, spoken word poetry, and hip hop music—can serve to advance visions of a more just and equitable world. Panelists all apply Critical Race Theory in their work, and in particular share a focus on developing understandings of artistic counter-storytelling as a political project. Other theoretical lenses applied include critical cultural studies, intersectional feminism, womanism, and performance studies. Together, the panelists hope to engage with the audience in a rich exploration about how various artistic work can function as tools for personal and collective liberatory praxis for people marginalized along multiple dimensions of identity (including race, ethnicity, religion, gender, language, and nationality) in the United States. The panelists, all scholars of education, will discuss implications these liberatory practices may have for working toward social justice in U.S. schooling. The session will be include the viewing of various artistic performances coupled with discussion of these performances as examples of the authors’ theoretical frames and analyses. The aim of the session is to explore the potential for various forms of arts-based discourses to re-imagine and re-story identities and narratives for the purpose of promoting social change.

Paulina Fraser will be presenting on the topic of hip hop.
Carolyn Hetrick will be presenting on the topic of spoken word poetry.
Laura-Ann Jacobs will be presenting on the topic of stand-up comedy.

Click here to learn more about the National Women's Studies Association.
Click here to learn more about the NWSA Annual Conference.



GSCO/BET Conference 2018

I have been accepted to present my paper "Comedic Counterstories: Performing Marginality" at the GSCO/BET Conference on March 9, 2018 at the University of Michigan School of Education.

This year's theme is "Pushing Back and Lifting Up: Inspiring Change Through Educational Research, Policy, and Practice."

What does it mean to push back, lift up, and inspire change? At the School of Education, we are a community of engaged scholars who do work through research, policy, and practice that resists contemporary inequities in education; offers innovative responses to entrenched social problems; and employs methodological approaches that critically question status quo interpretations of the past, present, and future. We are dedicated to lifting one another up and providing inclusive opportunities for members of our community to advance their scholarship.

Thank you to University of Michigan doctoral students Crystal Wise and Ashley Jackson for organizing this event.

Click here to learn more about this year's conference.

2017 Allied Media Conference

Upcoming presentation! I will be presenting with Dr. Patricia Garcia, Ashley Easley, Z Mahmood, and Jennifer Mann (Ypsilanti District Library) at the Allied Media Conference in Detroit, Michigan on June 16. The conference will be June 15-18 at Wayne State University.

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We will be presenting our work with Expressive Electronics as a part of the Allied Media Conference's Radical Libraries / Archives / and Museums track: In this session we will explore how libraries can celebrate girls' intersectional identities and promote computational thinking skills through the use of low-cost, expressive electronics activities. Participants will create an expressive work using paper electronics and learn about a curriculum co-developed by librarians from Ypsilanti District Library (MI), Imperial County Free Library (CA), Tempe Public Library (AZ) and researchers from the University of Michigan’s School of Information.



2017 Association for Asian Performance Conference

Proposal accepted! I will be presenting with Tyler Nichols (MFA University of Hawaii at Manoa) at the 2017 Association for Asian Performance Conference in Las Vegas, NV! The conference will be at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino August 2-3.


Tyler Nichols and I will be part of a panel on Critical Practices & Pedagogies presenting our paper "‘Love in Contention’: An Exploration of 3:10 to Yuma, a Cowboy Western Performed in Kabuki Style."


"Love in Contention": An Exploration of 3:10 to Yuma, a Cowboy Western Performed in Kabuki Style: This presentation explores the effectiveness and appropriateness of kabuki performance to re-tell a distinctly cowboy western story. We begin by examining the intertwining history of samurai epics and cowboy westerns as presented in film for the purpose of exploring how similar settings, characterizations, relationships, story arcs, and themes can be represented on the stage in a fusion piece. This presentation includes the working script of “Love in Contention,” an adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s 3:10 to Yuma in kabuki style. We both suggest and question the need for fusion performances. We challenge ourselves to consider how fusion can maintain respect for the kabuki tradition while providing access to the kabuki tradition for performers immersed in solely Western traditions in American theatre. We consider the potential of fusion pieces to privilege global performance traditions by exploring one cowboy western as a samurai epic. This presentation proposes performance as a space of empowerment for an increasingly diverse nation and addresses concerns related to appropriation for the sake of aesthetic.