March 31, 2023
AAS News and Events

Oct. 26: The Pressure to Be Grateful: On Debt and Sacrifice in Asian American Life

4 to 5:30 p.m.
Nolte Center for Continuing Education room 140 – East Bank
315 Pillsbury Dr. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455

Join us in a workshop to discuss with Dr. Mimi Khúc the feelings of debt that arise in Asian American families and the structures that shape them–and the subsequent costs to Asian American mental health. We will read and discuss daughter-to-mother letters published in Open in Emergency: A Special Issue on Asian American Mental Health, and then write the letters to our parents that we’ve always needed to write.
Dr. Mimi Khúc is a Vietnamese American scholar, teacher, and writer on race and religion, queer of color politics, mental health, and Asian American motherhood.
Free and open to all.
Co-hosted by Asian American Studies, Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, University of Minnesota and Rigs Umn (Race, Indigeneity, Gender & Sexuality Studies Initiative)

4 to 6 p.m.
Andersen Library room 120
 – West Bank​
222 21st Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55455 
Asian American Studies invites you to an evening with Mai Neng Moua
Join us for a fish bowl conversation featuring award-winning author Mai Neng Moua, professor of Hmong and Southeast Asian history Dr. Mai Na Lee, and Asian American literature and drama scholar Yuan Ding as they discuss Hmong American histories, cultures, traditions, and the courageous and heartbreaking ways we navigate these age-old issues.
This event is FREE and OPEN TO ALL.
This event is made possible because of generous sponsorship from theImmigration History Research Center, (RIGS) Race, Indigeneity, Gender & Sexuality Studies Initiative – RIGS UMN, the Asian Pacific American Resource Center, the English Department, and a partnership with the Minnesota Historical Society Press
When Mai Neng Moua decides to get married, her mother, a widow, wants the groom to follow Hmong custom and pay a bride price, which both honors the work the bride’s family has done in raising a daughter and offers a promise of love and security from the groom’s family. Mai Neng, who knows the pain this tradition has caused, says no. Her husband-to-be supports her choice.
What happens next is devastating, and it raises questions about the very meaning of being Hmong in America. The couple refuses to participate in the tshoob, the traditional Hmong marriage ceremony; many members of their families, on both sides, stay away from their church wedding. Months later, the families carry out the tshoob without the wedding couple. But even after the bride price has been paid, Mai Neng finds herself outside of Hmong culture and at odds with her mother, not realizing the full meaning of the customs she has rejected. As she navigates the Hmong world of animism, Christianity, and traditional gender roles, she begins to learn what she has not been taught. Through a trip to Thailand, through hard work in the garden, through the birth of another generation, one strong woman seeks reconciliation with another.
Mai Neng has been hailed as the mid-wife of the modern Hmong literary movement by The New York Times and is the founder of the first Hmong literary journal Paj Ntaub Voice, among many many more accolades. She recently released her memoir, The Bride Price (MN Historical Society Press) earlier this summer.

Community News and Events
Hmong Resource Fair
Saturday, October 7
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
270 Larpenteur Ave. W., Saint Paul MN 55117
Together we are stronger! and in celebration of the Grand Opening of Community School of Excellence. There will be vendors, door prizes, refreshments, flu shots and health screenings, and MORE! For more information:
The Native Canoe Program
11 a.m., Saturday, October 7
East River Flats (U of MN campus)
The Department of American Indian Studies presents the formal launch of the Native Canoe program presented by the Native Watercraft and Water Traditions of the Great Lakes and Oceania course, which is being offered this Fall 2017.
This course looks to Indigenous watercraft and water traditions for teaching, research, and especially community engagement with Ojibwe, Dakota, Pacific Islanders and other Indigenous peoples of and in Minnesota.
Activities will begin at 11:00am at the East River Flats (behind the UMN boathouse), lunch to follow, canoeing if the weather is agreeable.
Please contact Vince Diaz at [email protected] or call (612) 624-1338 for more information or questions.
Friday, October 27
10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Walter Library room 101, East Bank
In this one-day symposium, we invite nationally renowned scholars, staff, and students to reflect on how to imagine truly equitable “cultures of access”. What are cultures of access? How can we think them inter-sectionally across the axes of race, gender, sexuality, and ability? What would it look like to rethink mental health on college campuses as a structural / collective issue, rather than an individual struggle?

10 a.m. to noon: Keynote Addresses
Dr. Mimi Khúc, University of Maryland
Dr. Margaret Price, The Ohio State University
1:30 t0 3:30 p.m.: University Roundtable with Keynote Speakers
Heather Lou, Office for Equity and Diversity. Nina Hernandez Beithon, Student Counseling Services. Abeer Syedah, UMN Alum/Director of Equality & Inclusion for Students United.
Please email Angela at [email protected] with any access needs or accommodation requests.

For questions​ regarding AAS events or to share events and news contact Saymoukda Vongsay, communications outreach coordinator at 612-625-4813, email [email protected] and visit

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