Asian American Identity Resource List

Compiled by Rochelle Youk

This is in no way meant to be a comprehensive list of resources concerning Asian American Identity. It’s just a list of stuff that I’ve currently been ingesting. Feel free to take it or leave it...thanks for checking it out! If you have recs, I’d love to hear them. You can reach me through my website: www.rochelleyouk.com, or you can find me on instagram: @roachyface. 

 

Books:

  • Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong

    • This is a must read. I finished it in a couple of days and then immediately wanted to read it again. It gave name to so many thoughts, feelings, and experiences in my own life that have always been difficult for me to pin down. 

  • Dictee by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha

    • I picked this up again because of its mention in Minor Feelings, and was reminded by the role of language in identity as it relates to power.

  • Racial Melancholia, Racial Dissociation by David L. Eng, Shinhee Han

    • Super-academic, written through the lens of clinical psychology and critical race theory. A more technical look at the same concepts described in Cathy Park Hong’s book, but I thought the way they follow the concept of loss through generations was revelatory. 

  • Dear Girls by Ali Wong

    • Another quick, enjoyable read from an Asian American woman expanding what it means to be seen as Asian in this country.

  • On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

    • Just beautiful...he is somehow able to describe the multi-generational complexities of identity in a way that is simple, heartbreaking, and real.


 

Podcasts

  • April 10, 2020 Episode of the Daily

    • An Asian American journalist talks about an experience of racism she recently had during the covid era. I just really appreciated the way that she talks about her own processing of the experience.

  • Dave Chang Podcast, episode 45: Cooking as an Art with Rikrit Tiravanija

    • To be honest, this podcast can get on my nerves because Dave Chang just talks too much. But when they finally get going in conversation, they cover a lot of relevant topics. 

  • 1A Episode: What the Controversy Over ‘American Dirt’ Tells Us about Publishing and Authorship

    • The episode mainly talks about the Latinx community, but it’s such an interesting conversation, super applicable to representation of all racial minorities. It had me thinking about cultural appropriation for weeks. 



 

Movies & TV

  • PBS Television Series: Asian Americans

    • Parts of it are rather intense, but there’s so much great historical info. I learned  about a lot of events that I never knew had taken place. It really brought home the ways that Asians have been made to be invisible in this country. 

  • Netflix series: Never Have I Ever

    • This series, created by Mindy Kaling, is getting a lot of love and hate right now. Some people say it’s reinforcing stereotypes and the model minority myth, while others say it’s breaking them down. I’ll just say that I thought it was very entertaining, and that I found the way it deals with the representation of all non-white characters to be surprising and refreshing.  

  • Feature Film: Columbus, Kogonada 2017

    • This was a lovely movie. I was pleasantly surprised by how much it was able to communicate through the cinematography and seemingly everyday human interactions. Cross-cultural identity issues are seamlessly woven into the story, much like the iconic modernist architecture that it also features. 

  • Feature Film: The Farewell, Lulu Wang 2019

    • This movie got overshadowed by the critical reception of the Parasite last year, but I really enjoyed its portrayal of a multigenerational family deal with the complexities of multiple cultural identities.

 

Other

  • GYOPO, LACMA, and StopDiscriminAsian (SDA) Panel: Racism is a Public Health Issue: Addressing Prejudices Against Asian Americans during the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

    • Panelists include VP at Race Forward Jeff Chang; author of Minor Feelings Cathy Park Hong; SF State Chair of Asian American Studies Russell Jeung; SNL actor-comedian Bowen Yang; and visual artist Anicka Yi.

    • It starts out slow, but by the time they get to the discussion at the end, I wished they had had more time. I definitely would have liked to hear more from this group of people. 

  • Online Museum Resources on Asian Art

    • I find it pretty interesting to see what kinds of pieces museums deem  ‘worthy’ of being put into online archives. I also love being able to learn about so many traditional artifacts from the comfort of my own home. It’s a useful place to start research for a lot of my work. 

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Rochelle Youk

still life, chaekgeori

gouache on panel

24” x 24”

2018