Wednesday, October 21, 2009

November 4th, 7-9pm, meeting hosted by Jennifer Hayashida.

About me, Jennifer Hayashida:

Born in Oakland, California in the early 70s, I spent the first seventeen years of my life living in the suburbs of both Stockholm and San Francisco, between the golden state and the welfare state. I grew up bilingual and bicultural and feel at home everywhere and nowhere, finding comfort in practices rather than spaces. I received (or claimed) my undergraduate education through the University of California campuses at Davis and Berkeley, and remain indebted to my teachers there for educating me in the pleasures and contingencies of being a critical scholar and practitioner of many things.

I moved to New York in the fall of 1999, with my two close friends A and M. We flew TWA. I worked at MoMA, index Magazine, and doing various odd jobs to put myself through graduate school at Bard College. Since completing my graduate degree, I have made a living and a life as an educator at various public universities, including UC Davis, Montclair State University, and now at Hunter College, where I am Acting Director of their Asian American Studies Program.

My practice continues to center upon dislocation, translation, intertextuality, and memory. I recently completed a manuscript of poems, entitled A Machine Wrote This Song, and I am in deep with a long essay entitled “The Autonomic System.” In addition, I am restarting my “Projections” project, looking at maps, the law, and the language of forgetting.

Focus for discussion Nov 4th: Two Majorities
The two texts I’d like to share are taken from an ongoing project entitled "Two Majorities" – the title intended to address the impossibility of multiple ruling bodies/the hope that ruling bodies will consume each other/my objections to the American usage of the term “minority” as an identificatory category. "The Autonomic System” is a speculative essay investigation into what it means to lose, and try to trace, what’s been forgotten/re-named/occluded, prompted here by the death of a parent. Ideas that circulate throughout the text include trans-lation/-nationalism, racialization, and intimacy. These narrative strands extend into the second piece, "Svenska," a series of questions and hypotheses around my Swedish mother’s emigration to the U.S. in 1965. Each project (all of my work, really) begins with fragments – anecdotes, photographs, glimpses – and extends into interstitial explorations around race, gender, language, dislocation, (be-)longing, and border-crossing(s). My hope is that the NPBIAC evening can involve not only excerpts from these texts, but also broader discussions/hopes/experiences around (fragmented) narratives of belonging, exclusion, and/or forgetting.

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