Presenting at ECAASU 2013!

This is a pretty huge departure from the usual content of this blog, but whatever, it’s still Rilakkuma-related: I’m so excited to announce that I will be presenting a workshop for the ECAASU 2013 conference to be held next month at Columbia!

ECAASU 2013 - Rilakkuma

Rilakkuma with last year’s ECAASU conference materials.

ECAASU (East Coast Asian American Student Union) is a national, nonprofit intercollegiate Asian-Pacific American advocacy organization and is the largest and oldest conference in the country for Asian American students. The ECAASU conference invites college students from across the country to engage in debate and understanding about current, past, and future issues pertinent to Asian Americans.

At this year’s conference, I will actually be leading a Rilakkuma-related discussion! I’m holding a workshop titled Kawaii Iconography: the racial dynamics of cuteness.

For the workshop, I’ll be discussing the cute character market (San-X, Sanrio, etc.) as it relates to Asian-American identity and culture, as well as gender performance and masculinity/femininity. As someone who absolutely LOVES Rilakkuma, this subject is so important to me because I want to understand and discuss how popular icons (like Rilakkuma) reflect cultural attitudes and social dynamics.

The conference will be held at Columbia University in NYC from February 22-24. Registration is now open, and I highly encourage any university students interested in APIA activism to attend! For those who cannot attend, I will be doing a write-up anyway, so you won’t miss out on anything.

Yay, can’t wait!

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