Asian Adoptee Event in Berkeley

a colloquium
Sunday November 11, 3-5:30 p.m.
at the UC Berkeley Art Museum

Museum Theater
2621 Durant Avenue (between Bowditch and College Ave.) Berkeley Free with museum admission Reception following

What are the identity issues facing adoptees from Asia? How do they experience being Asian American? How have they expressed their experience creatively? These and other questions about Asian American identity comprise the subject of this timely and multi-facetted program, presented in conjunction with the UC Berkeley Art Museum’s major fall exhibition

“One Way or Another: Asian American Art Now,” on view through Dec. 23.

The presenters represent Korean-American, Vietnamese-American, and Chinese-American perspectives. They will explore Asian American identity as it is experienced by young adult adoptees from Asia, as well as probing other issues related to adoptions from Asia. Scholars specializing in transnational adoption will be joined by a poet, a musician, and a filmmaker, all of whose work has been influenced by their personal experiences.

Sara Dorow, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Alberta, is the author of a book on transnational adoption from China, and a former social worker who specialized in adoption. She will discuss how Chinese adoptees in the US and Canada narrate intersections of race, kinship, and the spaces of “home,” and how they have become “poster children” for adoption.

Rebecca Hurdis, UC Berkeley PhD candidate, Korean adoptee, and author of a book on Korean adoption, will examine how ideologies about race are shaped and transmitted through family structures.

Derald Wing Sue, Professor of Psychology, Columbia University Teachers College, is co-founder of the Asian American Psychological Association. Bringing an important psychological perspective to the discussion, Dr. Sue will address the multiple dimensions of Asian American identity confronting adoptees from Asia.

Lee Herrick, poet and Professor of English, Fresno City College, will read from his new poetry collection “This Many Miles from Desire,” and discuss how notions of identity, time and ambiguity in his poetry relate to his adoption from Korea.

Jared Rehberg, New York based composer and musician, will perform “Waking Up American”, written to his Vietnamese birth parents, and “Scrapbook,” composed for a new generation of adoptees, and talk about the relation between his life and his music.

Deann Borshay Liem, filmmaker (“First Person Plural,” 2000), will present an excerpt from her new film-in-progress, which features interviews with Korean adoptees from all over the world, and discuss the political, social, and ethical dimensions of international adoption.

Catherine Ceniza Choy, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies, UC Berkeley, has published on adoption from Asia and social constructions of American childhood. She will introduce the program and provide historical context for it, as well as moderate the discussion.

Following the colloquium, the audience is cordially invited to a reception, which will offer the opportunity to talk further with the presenters.

This program is supported by UC Berkeley’s Consortium for the Arts, the Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities, and the Asian American Studies Program, and co-sponsored by Asia Society Northern California.

For further information, please consult museum website, or call Director of Education Sherry Goodman at (510) 642-8344.


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