Document Type

Article

Journal or Conference Title

Religious Studies News

Issue

Spotlight on Teaching: Teaching Asian American Religions and Religiosities

Publication Date

5-2014

Department

Religion and Philosophy

Abstract

Article Excerpt:

Our 87 year-old Elder, a third-generation descendent of a Chinese American fishing village in Northern California, gives us a timid smile from behind the bar of the small diner that he and his family have operated since the 1940s. My students and I have just set up a laptop and microphone for recording a first-person account of his life story. The Elder looks over our shoulders, where a man stands with a stern face and his arms crossed—this is a member of the non-profit organization that now operates the village as a park. The twinkles in the eyes of the Elder’s eyes dims, but ever a shrewd businessman, he composes himself immediately. With his usual charm mixed with a fragility that comes with his age, the Elder gives us a narrative that is consistent with the official story of the location, a story that evolves around ecological explanations of the decline of the local fishing industry. Having interacted with the Elder for months before the formal recording, we have started to hear bits and pieces of another version of the history—one that is not going to be caught on tape.

Rights

Copyright © American Academy of Religion. All rights reserved.

Publisher Statement

Originally published as: Wu, Emily. (2014). Teaching Asia religions from within the Asian American community. Religious Studies News, May (Special Issue: Spotlight on Teaching).

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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