This Week in Southeast Asian Studies (TWISEA)
April 26, 2016
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Language Study & Social Justice
“I hope that by learning Vietnamese I can work collaboratively with the Vietnamese community so that together we can advocate for health equity,” said Nalani Yoko.
Nalani Yoko (right) is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health (MPH) in the Community-Oriented Public Health Practice at UW. She is also a FLAS recipient for Vietnamese. After graduating, she hopes to work together with the Vietnamese community in King County to effect change in health inequity.
From a young age, Nalani has been aware of social justice challenges, noticing things at home like food waste. As she got older, her eyes were opened to domestic and global inequities and how our actions here in the United States also affect countries globally. This led her to health advocacy through community collaboration.
After Nalani graduate from college, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Zambia. “My experience in Peace Corps really showed me the strength in collaboration and gave me more experience in community-based work,” she explained. “I think it’s essential to use a bottom-up approach and to empower communities to decide what change they would like to see, both in Zambia and here in the United States.”
After two years in Zambia, Nalani decided to return to the US and began her MPH. During her service, she realized that the growing inequities in America really tugged at her heart, and that she wanted to work in pubic health domestically. "How could one of the richest nations in the world who has the highest GDP spending rank 35th in life expectancy?" It didn’t make sense to her until she learned about the 10-year life expectancy gap in King County.
For Nalani, one’s overall health depends on many environmental factors, such as access to grocery stores with healthy food options, sidewalks, public transit and employment. While some neighborhoods have access to all of the above, others are disproportionately served. "Unfortunately, many of the neighborhoods [in Seattle] where people of color or immigrants and refugees live have limited access to the things above," Nalani exclaimed. “To me, this fact is unacceptable and as a Public Health practitioner, I want to do all that I can do change reduce the 10-year life expectancy gap.”
Seeing these health disparities in the US, Nalani decided that she wanted to work with in neighborhoods that face such injustices and collaborate with community members. Knowing that many such communities have a limited-English proficiency, she also realized that if she wants to work with communities one possible way to earn trust and respect is to learn another language. After finding that Vietnamese is the third most commonly spoken foreign language in King County, she decided to apply for the FLAS to learn Vietnamese and hopes that by learning Vietnamese she can work collaboratively with the Vietnamese community so that together they can advocate for health equity.
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Upcoming Events (5)

Today, April 26, 3:30-5:30pm
Communications Building, Room 202
The Southeast Asia Center invites you to a presentation by renowned Indonesian author and journalist Leila S. Chudori. She will speak about her most recent novel, Pulang, which delves into the lives of Indonesian exiles after 1965. It was just released in English translation under the title Home.

Please note that the location has been changed to CMU 202 (Simpson Center)

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How Asia Works:
Two Kinds of Economics and the Rise of a Divided Continent

Thu, May 19, 3:30-4:30 pm
CMU 226


This talk will explain that the story of East Asian development is the means to understanding the nature of economic development worldwide. Joe Studwell dissects the region’s history to show how, for many years, heady economic growth rates masked the most divided continent in the world – a north-east Asian group of states that is the most extraordinary developmental success story ever seen, a south-east Asian group that proved to be a paper tiger.

Joe Studwell has worked as a freelance writer and journalist in east Asia for more than 20 years. He has written for the Economist Intelligence Unit, The Economist, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Far Eastern Economic Review, the Observer Magazine and Asia Inc. From 1997 to 2007, Joe was the founding editor of the China Economic Quarterly (CEQ), the recognised English-language journal of the Chinese economy. He was also a founder and director of the Asian research and advisory firm Dragonomics, now GaveKal Dragonomics.

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In and Out of Academia:
Non-academic Career Path and Possibilities

Joseph Bernardo, PhD
with Jon Olivera (Career Counselor, UW Career Center)
and John Charlton (Director of Career Services & Alumni Relations, JSIS)

Monday, May 23, 12-1:30 pm
Thomson 317

What can one do with a Ph.D. in Humanities or Social Sciences outside of academia? Is it possible to move in and out of academia?

Our own former PhD student Joseph Bernardo will share his journey, advice and reflection on graduate school and his nonacademic career path. Also, Jon Olivera and John Charlton will bring their experience and expertise in career counseling to help students explore the possibilities and services offered at UW.

Joseph earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of Washington in 2014.  He has worked in government, philanthropy, and the non-profit sector in Los Angeles.  His professional interests include Ethnic Studies, Philippine and Filipino American history, urban planning, and diversity policy.  He currently works as a Research Associate for the Office of Intercultural Affairs at Loyola Marymount University, researching and developing projects and policies aimed at increasing institutional diversity.

Light lunch and coffee will be served.

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Artificial Life:
Filipino Labor and Capital Under U.S. Empire.

Allan E. S. Lumba


Wed, May 25, 3:30-5:00 pm
Thomson 317

"Artificial Life" explores the official and public debates over Philippine Independence during the Great Depression, paying particular attention to anxieties over the free movement of labor and capital across the U.S. Pacific empire. On one hand, pro-colonial Americans argued against independence, citing the disorder and discontent of peasant communities and the immaturity of the archipelago's markets. Filipino statesmen, on the other hand, appropriated the language of imperial paternalism, asserting that while the Philippine economy had initially benefited from racial tutelage, it had now matured beyond American supervision. Surprisingly, Filipino statesmen also established tense and fleeting solidarities with American anti-immigrant activists and several U.S. cartels. Finally, this talk examines other visions of Philippine freedom that emerged during this period. Instead of nominal independence, some envisioned a future beyond colonialism through anti-imperial and internationalist revolutions.
Allan E. S. Lumba is a Postdoctoral Scholar in the Society of Fellows and an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of Michigan. Before arriving in Michigan, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Global American Studies at Harvard University. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of History at the University of Washington. His forthcoming book Monetary Authorities: Economic Policy and Policing in the American Colonial Philippines explores the historical intersections between race, capitalism, U.S. empire, and Filipino politics in the first half of the twentieth century.

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KERATON 2016: Indonesian Festival


Saturday, May 28, 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm
University of Washington
HUB Lawn

Experience and witness the beauty of Indonesian culture through ISAUW's highly anticipated event.

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Recommended Resources (3)

This section lists news items and other recently-published resources that have been recommended by faculty and grad students over the past week. To submit an item for next week, email

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Jobs (2)

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Fellowships and Funding (3)

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For general information on funding sources, including FLAS, visit the SEAC website
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Conferences and Calls for Papers (3)

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