Research Grant Projects

Refugee Reconnections: Vietnamese-American organizing in the California Carceral State

Victoria Huynh
Graduate Student, Ethnic Studies
University of California, Berkeley

This research project centers Vietnamese-American grassroots organizing as a site to theorize a framework of healing from refugee trauma. As Vietnamese refugees in the United States are continually displaced by war, incarceration, and deportation, this project asks: how do Vietnamese refugees draw from their spiritual and cultural traditions in order to address the fractures of trauma? How might these embodied, epistemological practices help activists to challenge the state structures responsible for displacement? To examine these questions, in-depth interviews and participant-observation will be conducted with a California-wide network of organizations fighting to free Vietnamese communities from incarceration and deportation: the Asian Prisoner Support Committee, API-RISE, and VietRise. This research project aims to interrogate refugee trauma as the consequence of the U.S. carceral and immigration systems, and to explore spiritual modalities of healing.

Unheard Soundscapes: A Close Listening to Asian America

Chanhee Heo | Graduate Student, Religious Studies | Stanford University

Kathryn Gin Lum | Associate Professor, Religious Studies and History (by courtesy) | Stanford University

Chenxing Han | Independent Scholar 

Xianfeng Shi | Graduate Student in Religion | Boston University

Elaine Lai | Graduate Student in Religious Studies | Stanford University

Unheard Soundscapes is a podcast series consisting of interviews, soundscapes, and conversations with people and places where Asian and Asian American religions have been underrepresented in history and society. Our project explores the intersection of Asian and Asian American resistance and religious practice. By attending to multisensorial perceptions and experiences and bringing creative attention to Asian and Asian American religious spaces, Unheard Soundspaces unsettles western-centered epistemologies and modes of knowledge production. Through the podcast series and an accompanying website, our project targets scholars, students of religious studies, practitioners, and activists. As a community-engaged project, Unheard Soundscapes aims to achieve three goals: 1) name and honor marginalized religious spaces and ontological pluralities; 2) empower Asian and Asian American individuals to connect over soundspaces that bridge racial, ethnic, and generational differences; and 3) cultivate decolonial research methods and pedagogical practices.

* For the 2023-24 cycle, a person can only be a part of one working group.

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