Monday, April 30, 2012

Presentation 1 Reflection (Politics)

            This week’s presentation consisted of topics related to Southeast Asian politics such as Amerasian conflicts, contemporary Vietnamese politics, and economic relationships between China and Vietnam.  I found it interesting that these three topics were brought up and presented together to the class because there was no apparent theme that connected them altogether.  Although I found the political topics interesting, I found that each concept were very different from one other and lacked greatly in cohesiveness.  This led me to be feel that the presentation was bit confusing and in a sense, incomplete.
            I found Tien’s presentation of Amerasian problems quite intriguing and very informative.  He brought to light the issues of U.S. governmental involvement with Amerasians from many different Asian countries.  I think it is important for us to acknowledge all spectrums of the aftermath of the Vietnam War and the population of Amerasians deals greatly with the war.  I think it was a smart motive to see the political views pertaining to Amerasians because it did not only affect one ethnic group but many ethnic groups.  I was able to know a glimpse of its importance through Tien’s presentation.
            I found that the topic of contemporary Vietnamese politics to be a very broad concept to cover.  This was clearly evident in the presentation as well.  The article was very dense and there was way too much to cover through such a short presentation.  Along with article being a bit difficult to take in all at once, the presenter did not make a good job of clearing it up for the class.  The explanation of the article was very vague and I am still confused about what I am supposed to take away from it. 
            I found that the concept of economic relations between Vietnam and China particularly interesting.  I thought it was a good idea to tie in economic values within politics.  This presentation allowed us to see one of the conflicting relations of different ethnicities which in this case, dealt with Vietnam and China.  It was interesting to see that China has such a strong hold on Vietnam through benefits and power. 
            For the most part, the presentations were mediocre, but very one note.  I wish there was more analysis of the topics because I felt that most of the presentation composed of background information.  I wish there was more initiation of discussion and I would have liked to see each person’s opinion about the topic they were presenting.  Also, I would of also have liked to see a more diverse presentation such as politics from a different related ethnicity other than Vietnam.  I think we got a strong hold on Vietnamese politics, but it would have been nice to know information about Cambodia or Laos. 
            Overall, I think some topics might be a little too broad and there still needs to be some fine tuning for a paper.  There needs to be more cohesiveness.  Some questions to think about are:  What are some possibly explanations for the outcome of Vietnamese politics today? How has the Amerasian population dealt with the acts?  What will happen if Vietnam did not follow through for China economically?
 - Mimi Dao

Student Presentation #1Response

The presentation of politics in Southeast Asia was pretty interesting but confusing too. I really liked the issue with Amerasians because even though I knew there were Amerasians that came from war and events like that, I didn’t know that Amerasians were being mistreated and discriminated. I didn’t know that there were also groups that try to help these people and that America has been colonizing all over the world and making mixed children. It is pretty sad to see how race still plays an important factor in treatment. I’m surprised to see the U.S. taking Amerasian children in only by the color of their skin and features which is such a discriminatory and racist way to judge a person. This topic really reminded me of the “Madam Butterfly” story with Japan and how the soldiers do not care for the women they have been with. It also got me thinking about the mixed children in America and how do they identify themselves as well as the theory that Asian women are more likely to date white men in college campuses. Hopefully, this issue will be resolved to the point where communities accept each other for who they are and just show love to everyone because we all live in the same world, sky, air, water, and earth.
            Michael’s presentation was very short and confusing. I admit that I just skimmed the reading the night before their presentation but I was still confused. I thought it was mostly about how Vietnam is becoming more like the U.S. by having votes for policies and how what should be changed to stop the poverty in Vietnam is to “change the institution” or the system Vietnam has like irrigation. I thought the article Michael gave was interesting after I gave it a second read as it talked about how Vietnam needed to change to match the economy of others and I’m not sure how I feel about that because this article sounds like it came from a racist point of view. Michael’s presentation did not have much in detail and just provided links for us to do it meaning that he probably didn’t put much work into his presentation and I felt that I missed out on something important or that I did not have someone clarify or simplify the article for the class which will be on our final.
            Ricky’s presentation was pretty short too and I expected powerpoints to supplement the discussion not lead it. I did learn a lot from his article and didn’t realize the connection between China and Vietnam. I guess I didn’t have much interest in the topic of China and Vietnam because I only cared about Vietnam and that I already knew that China was doing better in economics than Vietnam. I also wanted to learn more about other countries’ politics like Laos and Cambodia to get a wider view of Southeast Asia other than Vietnam even though the presenters’ strength was Vietnam.
            I learned from their presentation that my group should try to work together and be on the same page with our topic and go into detail of the topic. We should also try to talk about other countries in Southeast Asia too and not have very different topics that could be too much for the class because that would mean more readings and more work. 
-Tri-Thien Nguyen Lam

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Politics Critique:

Presentation Response: Politics
            I am confused about if they were presenting their own ideas for their projects or if they were just signed up for the politics week, and because of this, I feel that I cannot explicitly critique or analyze their presentations to augment their final research paper.  That said, what I feel that I can contribute are some questions and constructive criticism about the presentation. 
            For Ricky’s analysis, what I got out of the presentation is how Viet Nam has politically and economically become dependent on China for exports and imports.  I don’t know if he specifically wants to address just the political and economic effects of the 2008 crisis or not, but what I would have liked to have addressed is what I think Professor Valverde said about capitalism’s effect on the economy and how participation in these politics continues to negatively effect Viet Nam’s society.  Based on what I was given during the presentation, I would have liked to know what focus he was trying to get to.  Is it interethnic relations between Vietnam and China and its economic and political effects on the economy?  Is it either or? Maybe I’m trying too hard to connect analysis to a global picture, but I believe that extending the analysis would help, but I don’t know if it would be plausible for a research paper that’s being done in ten weeks.  
            For Michael’s analysis, I would have liked it if there were more explanations about his topic.  I understand that the presentation itself represented his article only, but I feel that he could have synthesized more information about the government politics and investigate more about the effects on the people.  To find more analogous articles and critiques that will help shape his understanding of the material.  The article says that that’s the reality for many lawmakers, lawenforcers, and the common people.  Is that really true?  Have there been writers who criticized Fforde’s research? Have there been some who support it?  Considering the small world of academia, I believe that there must have been someone who looked at his article through a critical eye.  I would love to see more analysis there.  
For Thien’s presentation itself, I felt confused because I felt it lacked a sense of logical fluidity.  He kept using they in reference to different groups that for me was confusing.  I may not have been for others.  That said, I think his presentation on Amerasians in conjunction with Professor Valverde’s comments made better sense in addressing imperialism, flawed foreign policy, and the like.  I would hope that he could have addressed these themes in his paper so he can frame his outline in concise and simple manner.  That said, I do understand that a lot of my feeling lost was because I did not finish reading all of the articles on the day of class.  Nevertheless, the explanations in class should augment what someone read.  This brings me to a few questions.  One being: what is Thien’s presentation’s goal in his presentation and paper? To educate others, use base knowledge that was talked about in the article, to present his own research? I’m really confused.
            I feel like my analysis/critique is flawed considering how I don’t know specifically what our presenters wanted to address, leaving me open to a broad grasp on what they might have wanted to specifically target.  I wish I can offer a better critique of their presentations and ideas, but I am limited with my scope and perspective seeing how I don’t have enough information about their personal projects and am not an expert about Amerasian children, Viet Nam’s internal politics, and the interethnic relationship between China and Viet Nam.  

- Justin


For the Spring Quarter 2012, ASA 150E Southeast Asian American Experiences, we will be posting our reflection of student presentations.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

1st Critique

Hue Thao
Professor Valverde
ASA 150 E
        The most interesting fact that caught my attention during the presentation was the
idea of Con Lai. The point of interest lies within the children of mixed blood and what to
do with them. Amongst the controversy of Con Lai, the invasion as well as war creates
situations that become unavoidable. For instance, the United States has no concepts for
the children during World War 2 that were of mixed race. This subject about Con Lai is
definitely worth researching among each subgroup such as the Hmong.
        In terms of presentation skills, the first student seems to understand his facts.
Though he lacks the projection of his voice, he is making certain parts of his presentation
unclear. The only question I would ask him is to focus more of Con Lai, simply because
of the field of interest that conjures up when elaborating such idealism. Other than that,
the presentation was well informing. The lecture style presentation seems well fit with
the concept of politics, but I feel like the most I understood from his presentation was the
Admiration Act and the Con Lai.
        The second student, I felt as if I did not comprehend his subject matter. The three
slides he had up contain a big portion of information from the text that he gave out. With
that said, there was simply too much information to take in. The power point should be
more of a visual aid to assist in teaching the subject. A slide with just information from
the text that was already given does not seem to help. Despite that, the part where he
was able to present the slides and talk a little more in depth about the subject was good.
Even though Professor Valverde was criticizing the presenter about whether or not he had
interpreted the document correctly. With misunderstanding of your own article, there will
be invalid facts; thus, they become less useful. This is understandable because reading
the article first time can be confusing. However, reading the article more would perhaps
increase the understanding of his subject matter.
         Last but not least, the third student had a more ideal power point slides. There
were less information on the slides and was attached with some illustrations. He was
able to give more facts through verbal expression instead of information from the slides.
Overall, his presentation was good. At the same time, I did not get much from his