Saturday, February 29, 2020

Week 9_ Andrea Gomez_ ASA150E

Cathy J. Schlund-Vials' book, War, Genocide, and Justice: Cambodian American Memory Work, gives context to our theme this week of post-war critics by detailing the experiences and lives of people after the war, and how the war continues to influence their lives. The rap music of praCh, a Cambodian-american musician, in particular focuses on the Khmer Rouge and his families escape from genocide. The music itself is an outlet, not only for his own self expression and processing of his history, but for his community as well. The rap music serves as a vehicle for conversation about the genocide and the Viet Nam war. His rap is about his families traumas, his communities trauma, and everything that is still infecting their memories.
Similarly, Viet Thanh Nguyen´s piece, Just Forgetting, educates on memory and delves into how it can impact those who are trying to move forward and continue on their lives. Memory keeps us hostage, not only in our own experiences, but in those that we inherit. The general trauma model of experience is present in many minority communities in the U.S., but it is especially difficult for those of us to process it when we are not given the outlets to do so. When no one will talk of the war, of what happened, or will only give the same censored lines, it does not help anyone else to heal from those events. Healing differs for everyone, but there has to be an open conversation and support for others in order to move forward as a community. Certainly, we don't need to dwell and victimize our own situations, not when most of us only know of the war from the memories of our families. But to truly accept what has happened, and continue on to what will come, that trauma does need to be addressed in one way or another.
 Image result for cambodia khmer rouge

Week 9 Ellen Hickman ASA 150 E

In both the readings for this week a common theme was remembering those who had died unjustly in wars and how this continuum of remembering should be approached. From this, two main ideas emerged, forgetting and remembering. For some this meant upkeep of historical locations like the killing fields in Cambodia, or this meant creating art to cope with the struggle of family trauma and unspoken history. In the Cathy J. Schund-Vials reading there was a comment that countries with troubled history should “dig a hole and bury the past and look ahead to the 21st century with a clean slate” (Schund-Vials 52). Although this idea in principle may sound good, in practice it could be detrimental with those wronged afraid to speak about their experience with others. This culture of silence does cause a difference in not only allowing the history to be forgotten but also allowing others to not remember the struggles of those who came before them. In the above article it went into recreating the layout of the museum with words that can paint an image so that the reader has a glimpse into the time the museum was created to document some of the atrocities committed in Cambodia. It’s hard to clean blood stained floors to be as shiny as a clean slate.

The next article by Viet Nguyen took a more philosophical note by focusing on how forgiveness as a concept could work. It was noted however that both parties needed to acknowledge the problem so that they could work together. This was contrasted with those who tried to hide the history under the guise of forgiveness.  Although forgiveness is the act of giving up the ability to take vengeance it was noted in a quote from Thich Nhat Hanh that, “Every person involved in the conflict is a victim” (Nguyen 291).This puts the situation into a more nuanced position that accepts the complications of life and the situations that we find ourselves in. Through both it is clear that remembering, although hard, needs to be confronted so that people can learn the full situation for a brighter future for their countries.

Although I myself am not from Vietnamese or Cambodian heritage, I am from Taiwanese lineage which was controlled by Japan during WWII. Even today, there are those who do not want to acknowledge what happened in Taiwan or how it was colonized by Japan. However, people still died, the island itself was bombed, and many of the young children from that time considered Japanese as their main language. Like what was talked about in this chapter, I think Taiwan and Japan should also acknowledge this portion of history and what happened than to sweep it under the rug.

My question is: Are there other countries that you can think of who need to confront situations that happened because of another countries involvement?

Japanese soldiers occupying Taiwan. 

Week 9_Melody Yan_ASA 150E

This week’s reading introduces work by Cathy J. Schlund-Vials, titled War, Genocide, and Justice: Cambodian American Memory Work. In  Chapter 4 of “Lost Chapters and Invisible Wars: Hip-Hop and Cambodian-American Critique”, we are introduced to a Khmer-American rapper named praCh. His family escaped the war between the Khmer Rouge and Vietnam to a Thai refugee camp in the 1980’s. Eventually, they were able to immigrate to the U.S. and settled in Southern California. praCh uses music to speak about the past, the struggles of his upbringing and family, and about the Cambodian-American experience. In praCh’s track, “Child of the Killing Fields”, he remembers the Cambodian genocide:

“I love my land to death,
a child of the killing fields.
now I’m on a quest,
for the truth to reveal,
cuz I still feel the pain”

It demonstrates just how important music can be as a source of expression and healing. praCh
utilizes hip-hop to remember his country and the people who were lost during the regime. Once again, this is incredibly important because history books barely touch on the Khmer Rouge and Vietnam, and music allows history to be told from a personal narrative. It allows for fellow Cambodian-Americans to connect, and it also exposes more people to what had happened.

Question: Why aren’t there more mainstream Asian-American artists in the industry, especially when they are producing music about issues that matter to the community?

Image result for praCh rapper

Week 9_Miguel Flores_ASA 150E

Viet Thanh Nguyen´s Just Forgetting engages in a conversation about memories and how one can forget it to move on with the past, but the problem with that it diminishes the recognition of the past and the histories that have become part of our understanding with our current realities. Nguyen simply puts memories as critical recordings of what happened no matter how awful or memorable it is. It challenges the notion of whether or not the preservation of traumatic memories is even necessary to bring attention to the atrocities of the war. Forgetting memories is not a form of justice, but a form of suppression that only promotes the recognition of dominant narratives. In a class where we study countering narratives, we discussed previously in class that being silent is enough to surmise the trauma and pain that happened in the past. In the minds and hearts of those people who were involved, they never forget no matter how much they suppress it. It has been embedded in their personal stories and experiences; it has become their identity and has been a defining moment of their lives.

Last week we discussed the topic of Agent Orange and how that triggered traumatic memories for mothers and parents alike – this could be one of the reasons why many children are abandoned because of their disfigured form and the memories that remind their parents. Viet Thanh Nguyen’s Nothing Ever Dies is a book that contests the accounts of the Viet Nam War; it reframes our stories of the war through the recalling of unspoken accounts that continues to haunt the people that experienced them. In the book, memory is such a sentimental concept that it is caught in a split in terms of recognizing or suppressing them. Memories as counternarratives are powerful mechanisms that contradict the dominating stories of hardships, trauma, and pain. These are the types of memories that are of historical value and significance in our continuous struggle to acknowledge unheard voices. Just Forgetting is a chapter that deals with renegotiating people’s history and memories of the past as they are caught up in the process of moving on. This chapter in the book initiates an argument on whether or not we should recall traumatic pasts as a form of healing or should we stick to silence as a form of healing? 


Viet Thanh Nguyen. Nothing Ever Dies. “Just Forgetting.”

“Viet Thanh Nguyen Still Remembers His Traumatic Refugee Experience” YouTube. uploaded by Late Night with Seth Meyers, 10 February 2017,

Week9_Kao Kang Kue Vang_ASA150E

Upon reading about Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Choeung Ek and learning about their histories and current status a tourism site, it perplexes me why the Cambodian government would do such a thing. I understand the concept to embrace one’s past through the good, the bad and the ugly, but how would encouraging people to visit and put these places on public display forge the future from the past? I believe Schlund-Vials makes a great argument by stating “…while Choeung Ek and Tuol Sleng memorialize Khmer Rouge atrocities, they do so at the expense of victims, who remain fragmented, incomplete, and anonymous” (Schlund-Vials, 2012, p. 49).

Through this course we have talked about the different atrocities different groups of people experienced as a result of the Vietnam War-some directly others non-directly. The heart felt loss and heart ache as millions of people die and suffer from war. And then to complicate matters, there’s the matter of respecting one's culture and practice. In this instance, many Cambodians practice cremating their dead. However the government decisions to maintain these “historical sites” for research conflicts with the views of many Cambodians. Yet how is this ok? I do not understand the justification that instead of putting innocent victims’ bodies to rest, they would rather study and “conduct research” on facilities, mass casualty grave sites, prisons and torture chambers.

What do you think Cambodia’s motivates are? Do you really think it’s a learning movement for Cambodia to remember and embrace’s its past?


Is Cambodia using its history as a learning/training ground, for another war? Interrogation and imprisonment tactics? What’s useful and what’s not? I mean why else would you not let the past be laid to rest but rather continue to study on it?

Image: Killing Tree which executioners beat children at Choeung Ek <--- How do you study this?
Schlund-Vials, C. J. (2012). War, Genocide, and Justice: Cambodian American Memory Work. University of Minnesota Press.

Week 9_Vivianne Lee_ASA150E

     In this week's reading "War, Genocide, and Justice" by Schlund-Vials, the author discusses the horrific stories of the Khmer Rouge and how many innocent Cambodian people were killed. Khmer Rouge targeted and killed anyone who were educated or spoke out. Vials states in her book that "the Khmer Rouge found little resistance from Cambodians wary of illegal bombings, chaotic civil war, and ceaseless military violence (1)." Vials then goes on and describes how the Khmer Rounge regime "systematically evaluated Cambodia's cities and forcibly relocated residents to countryside labor camps (1)." Within just three years, Khmer Rouge resulted in the death of many Cambodians. It was shocking to read about the killings of school teachers. To remember the genocide and to make sure that history is not forgotten, a museum was built to educate the Cambodians and Cambodian Americans about the horrific event. This ties back into the importance of narratives. In order to understand what really happened during the Khmer Rounge and to preserve history, it is important to fully understand the history by visiting museums and hearing narratives. The Khmer Rounge reminded me of the Holocaust because they were both genocides that were run upon by new leaders. Both the Nazi's and Khmer Rouge had camps that they sent the prisoners of war to where they were forced to work many hours and treated inhumanely. One question I have is, why did the U.S not intervene during the Khmer Rouge genocide?

Image result for Khmer ROuge

Week 9 _Janine Nguyen_ASA 150E

Following the theme of Post War Criticism and the Viet Nam Syndrome as Praxis, the readings for week 9 strongly emphasized how it is crucial to remember the past, in order to validate those who suffered as result of war conflict, particularly to offer proper representation for those who are often reduced to silence or have little say. These readings, particularly "War, Genocide, and Justice" by Cathy Schlund-Vial, were interesting, especially since I got to learn a much more in-depth portrayal of Cambodia and the history of the nation during the Killing Field and Khmer Rouge era. Consequently, this reading made me think about how the traumas this community has dealt with for generations, and how much of the history of the nation has been impacted, due to this intricate past, which was largely influenced due to the Vietnam War, and its role in the development of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

Documenting memory pieces can be difficult, especially since people’s experiences are distinct and vary from one another; so, as a result, it can be difficult to condense peoples’ memories altogether. It pains me to see how the Cambodian government committed such atrocities against its own people, and it is something that I cannot fathom, due to the extent of the damage that the government inflicted on the innocent people. It is a conflict of interest, in how the Cambodian government refuses to let the people heal and recover from these traumas, especially since they are adamant on conducting research on these “historical sites”, which were in fact torture chambers, mass grave sites, and places which do not respect the cultural practices that Cambodians practice, such as cremation.

This class has made me realize, alongside my other ASA classes, that Southeast Asian history is largely excluded in history textbooks and is often overlooked; this is something that is disheartening and is an ongoing problem. That brings to me the question, how can we commemorate the histories of those who come from marginalized communities? How can we offer better representation of this history of memory? It makes me recognize how these cultural practices are strongly tied to the sense of community and connectedness among a group of people, in order to feel human, as well as feel as if their life has significance. I think one of the biggest things in many Southeast Asian communities, is how the dead is laid to rest, whether it be through ritual practices, or keeping an altar to remember those who have passed away. These are things I personally think about, since it is really important in my own culture to remember those who have passed away, to carry on their oral history.

The following picture shows the cremation site of Pol Pot and how it has become part of the ‘historic’ tourist trail.

Buncombe, A. (2011, October 22). Cambodia puts the cremation site of Pol Pot on 'historic' tourist. Retrieved February 29, 2020, from

Week 9_Dyana Lam_ASA150E

This upcoming week's reading was focused on bringing light to how Cambodian's experienced the Vietnam War, destruction from the Khmer Rouge, and how this trauma has carried over and manifested itself to today's Cambodian-American communities. The readings relate to the current issue of intergenerational trauma and being heavily marginalized in the SEA community. Many people who are not Asian, view all Asians as living the Chinese, Japanese, or Korean experience. That is obviously far from the truth because "Asian" encompasses a lot of different ethnic groups with so many varying levels of income levels, education, etc. I believe SEA communities are some of the lowest in terms of income and educational attainment when compared to many other Asian ethnic groups, but these struggles remain invisible to the dominant culture. This allows for communities to continue suffering and pushing against a system that wasn't built for them.

The reading connects to the theme of the week because the reading mentions how the history of the Vietnam War is still heavily connected to people today who were not even alive or have any recollection of it, yet it is such an important thing to compare and focus on today. It is this Vietnam War Syndrome that allows a continuing cycle of people viewing SEA communities as refugees needing saving. The reading also connects to the current issue of how the current administration views those immigrating from South America and the Middle East. Our country has caused direct issues and destruction that leads to these people having to uproot from everything they know and search for safety and asylum, yet the current administration paints them with this evil, dangerous facade to mask the true evil the U.S. has done. My question for this upcoming week is: Would providing true history and information to young children in SEA communities help to create more leaders in these communities that will strive for equality and heal the intergenerational trauma that is so widespread in these communities?

Image result for cambodia town long beach

Week9_Anson Saechao_ASA150E

This idea of remembrance and memory was one of the main topics in which I had to ponder after discussing about it in class once. At first, it was used as a way to “never forget” and to acknowledge that our histories were persistent in the overall Southeast Asian narrative. However, these readings have indicated the impactful ways in which to further reflect on the experiences that Southeast Asians (and others who were involved).

The use of the story cloth is one of the more direct and visual ways in which the Hmong folks have kept their tragic history together through this physical living artifact. Again, it was used to emphasize the diaspora in which Hmong people are now displaced and being able to use it as a map to further distinguish this Westernized concept of what a map should be has become a symbol of what remembering can be now. Using this as an example, we have to critically discuss and think about the war and how what its role is now within the community. Being able to discuss and further break it down into what has been done to Southeast Asians then and Southeast Asians now. Further diving into this perspective of deeper cognitive recognition, then the community is able to seek more than what has already been established in the past.

Question: What are different ways in which shaping the history of Southeast Asia can be revitalized and claimed back to Southeast Asians and to be recognized further?

Week 9_Christine Chau_ASA150E

Christine Chau
Week 9

In this week's theme of Post War Criticism and the Viet Nam Syndrome as Praxis, it brings me to a quote that I find controversial from Viet Nguyen's Just Forgetting, "People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar [...] As always, remembering and forgetting are in seesaw relationship, never, perhaps, to achieve equilibrium". As much as I can agree on why holding on to suffering seems familiar to people, often people do not realize that the reason why they hold on to history and what suffering has been done is due to the lack of recognition of the suffering people have gone through. When it comes to the post war and actually taking accountability of what happened, America took the war as a lost in their end, but a victory in having the veterans come home and a lesson learned. They never acknowledge the extensive damaged they have done in the countries in Asia. The amount of bombs placed, the amount of Agent Orange scattered throughout the vegetations, and the thousands of families displaced, is still being affected this day, 40 years after the war.

So now it brings me to the question of how do we keep our government accountable for these actions? How do we as an individual basis or community basis bring light into the continuing suffering of these people in the countries that have been affected by the war? I find the hardest part in doing so are educating the people who have been taught this false narrative of the war, the people whose generations have been taught that the war was a lost cause for the Americans, and that we had suffered the most in loses within the Viet Nam war. Many people are not educated on how many bombs were placed and how there are still millions in the land, or how the generations following have multiple birth defects leaving them as orphans. It baffles me to see people on social media being very uneducated about topics like these and believe that what America has done was right, or that the countries deserved it. How do we start a dialogue of what actually happened in the war?

I chose this image because it's probably how majority of America feels like in times of war, the passion and "greatness" for America.

Image result for bombs in the vietnam war


Diane Tran - Week 9

Diane Tran
ASA 150E
Professor Valverde

     In this week's theme which is about post-war criticism and the Viet Nam Syndrome as Praxis. In the article "War, Genocide, and Justice" by Cathy Schlund center more about Cambodia and their struggle. While we focused much on the Vietnam war, we are now focusing on the Kmer Rouge's terror. The article depicts, "the Khmer Rouge 'scattered libraries, burned books, closed schools, and murdered schoolteachers'" (2). Due to the Khmer Rouge, Cambodians have faced trauma and eventually experienced what is known as the Cambodian syndrome. In addition, "Concentrated on 1.5 generation Cambodian Americans (defined as those who were children during the Killing Fields era or individuals born after the dissolution of the Khmer Rouge regime), War, Genocide, and Justice enrages the collected memory of the Killing Fields era and the legacy of Democratic Kampuchean authoritarianism for in-country Khmers and diasporic Cambodians"(3). This indicates how many Cambodians that were affected during this time. Also, Cambodian syndrome is known as what people remembered of the political memories of the genocidal past. Schlund states, "the struggle between history (as a dominant a priori linear narrative) and memory (as a radical recollection and processing of the past) foregrounds Sim's keynote address, which opens with the hopeful Buddhist wish that 'all the millions of people who died during the Pol Pot regime will be reborn in paradise'" (5). This arises the question that I have is how do we keep these tragedies from happening?

Image result for khmer genocide

Week 9_Rosanna Oung_ASA 150E

Cathy Schlund-Vial’s War, Genocide, and Justice recalls the historical era of the Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge was a group seeking to eradicate any Western influence by any means to restore Cambodia back to its pre revolutionary society. The group implemented extreme measures to prohibit religion, outlawed education, forbid private property, and forcibly relocated Cambodian residents into labor camps (Schlund-Vial 2). With all this trauma that Cambodians endured, it is no surprise that many of them experienced Cambodian Syndrome.

Cambodian Syndrome consists of “political and selective processes of remembering the genocidal past” but this strategic remembering is an issue, because it reflects fragments of memory and provides an incomplete framework for understanding the Khmer genocide (Schlund-Vial 13). Within this transnational context, artists in U.S. have connected this era with forms of art, literature, cinema, and performance as “alternative sites for justice, healing, and reclamation” (Schlund-Vials 17). For example, Loung Ung’s book First They Killed My Father recently became a film adaptation in 2017. As a daughter of a Cambodian genocide survivor, it was powerful and shocking to watch a movie adaption that displays scenes of horrific events and actions that took place. Watching this film provided a better context and displayed obscured perspectives of how traumatizing and disheartening it was for Khmer victims to endure this brutality. It also explains why it’s so painful for my parents to speak about their past, because they had to suffer an era of genocide, in which many individuals can not truly understand the pain and hardships they faced. Therefore, it’s important to educate community members about the atrocities and wickedness that occurred in 1975 to prevent history from repeating itself and to fully empathize with Khmer genocide victims.

Image result for first they killed my father

Source for image:
Citations: Schlund-Vials, Cathy J. War, Genocide, and Justice: Cambodian American Memory Work. 2012. Introduction: Battling the “Cambodian Syndrome”

Friday, February 28, 2020

Week 9_Uyen Ngo_ASA 150E

While much of our focus has been on the Vietnam War, this week shifts to Cambodia and their struggle with the Khmer Rouge's terror. I was surprised to learn from Schlund-Vials' War, Genocide, and Justice that former members of Khmer Rouge still currently occupied multilevel positions of governmental powers. On top of that, only ONE Khmer Rouge official has ever been trialed and convicted for the war crimes, even more than 30 years after Democratic Kampuchea's dissolution. This raises the question of whether or not there really was ever victory on this genocide and this battle against inhumanity, as it seems as justice was never really served.
This surprised me as how can the leader Minister Sen urge his fellow Cambodians to forgive the Khmer Rouge and "bury the past" when 1) what they did was the peak of inhumanity and evil, 2) those that participated continue to reap benefits of power and wealth when they took away the lives of their people's loved ones, and 3) those who had the most influence and play in the genocide were never held accountable for their actions. And while it is important to eventually move from tragedy, to ask for forgiveness for the Khmer Rouge seems unthinkable to me, and certainly not the right way to start honoring those who gave up their lives to win over the genocide.


This week's reading talked about Agent Orange and the use of chemical warfare in general. In particular the section "Generations" really stood out to me and the story of Dang Van Son and his daughter Dang Thi Hoa. It surprised me and also impressed me how they have the grace to not complain or pity themselves or is even angry of how this has affected them, though they fully deserve to. It made me think of all the other children who are limited from opportunities through something that was not done by their people and was done before they were even brought into existence. It made me think of generations from now will still be affected by this. It reminds us of how the suffering of the war did not just end at the fall of Saigon in 1975, and how the people continue to suffer even after it all. The soldiers who survived did not get to come home to spend the rest of their days living a normal life. And it amazes me the courage and grace they continue to have despite it all.

Week 9 Jennifer Nguyen Bernal ASA 150E

Jennifer Nguyen Bernal
Professor Valverde
ASA 150E
In the reading "War, Genocide, and Justices: Cambodian American Memory Work" by Cathy J. Schlund- Vials express how hip pop, rap, and poetry become a way for Cambodian Americans to express themselves. Through music, they were able to express their stories and experience from the Khmer Rouge and in America. I knew that Cambodian Americans had a community in Long Beach, but never knew the name of their city, which they called Little Phnom Penh. They were pushed in these ghettos community and had to fend for themselves. No one knew who they were and discriminated against by American society. Many Cambodian Americans didn't feel like they belong anywhere, which causes gangs to form to have a sense of community. Cambodian American have found a way to voice through stories through hip hop with lyrics of the recollection of the Killing fields and the Cambodian experience. PraCh was able to express his and his people's stories through his music, reaching Cambodia and the Cambodia diaspora. The Khmer youth were attracted to this music and the bilingual lyrics. I am thinking about how these songs were able to express how the kmer's youth hearts and show what they are going through. Many songs are usually about love, and heartbreak, but do discuss hardship. These songs identify them of who they are, represent their community, and discovery of unspoken history. PraCh uses a form of traditional music to present Cambodia culture. The history of Asian Americans has not been discussed, including Southeast Asian history. He explains how this is the voice of the youth; they want to know what happens to their families, this unspoken history, and curios of their history. I wanted to know my history and what my family went through since it is difficult for my family members to discuss their past. I am curious and frustrated that my history is not talked about since America wants to hide it from the public. Many Asian Americans and Southeast Asians feel this way also, so they decide to discover the history themselves and represent their community.
Was PraCh's music able to connect with other Southeast Asian like the Kmer youth or earn the respect and connect with other communities to speak out their stories through hip hop?

Week 9 _Raymond Trinh_ASA 150E

Raymond Trinh
ASA 150E
Prof. Valverde

In the Epilogue: Remembering and Forgetting, Viet Thang Nguyen presents that the United States military and the Republic of Vietnam lost the protracted civil war in the Indochinese Peninsula, the Americans seems to have won the second war, the memory war. Viet Thanh Nguyen elaborates on the memory war, which is in fact fought after any war, and may continue for decades upon decades after the original conflict has ended. It involves the the transformation of gravesites into memorials, the construction of monuments, the building of museums, the creation of photography and history exhibits, the publication of works of literature and production of films. Nguyen argues “If we repeat a history of violence, then we have not addressed the root causes of that violence”. Therefore, this leads to our current predicament in America: we are caught in a time warp of perpetual violence. America’s wars have seemed to go on forever, at least for Americans, who live eternally in the present. The wars in the Middle East are known as “The Forever War”. 

How do we continue to help war veterans dealing with post traumatic disorder? 

Image result for memorials

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Week 9_Daphne Lun_ASA150E

In Schlund-Vials’ book “War, Genocide, and Justice”, chapter 4 mainly discusses the impact of praCh’s Cambodian-American rap music on the transgenerational and transnational healing of Cambodian and Cambodian-American people. This connects with the issues discussed in class since there is a fine line between reliving the past through the identity of our parents and/or grandparents and establishing a new narrative and identity as Asian Americans. praCh, specifically, uses rap music to connect the old history and narrative to younger generations as a way to inform and establish a method of healing so a sense of self can be established. In understanding the lives and perspectives of Cambodian-Americans today, I can understand how one cannot heal from the trauma of the past if there is not adequate recognition and education of the truth of the war and genocide. I have had conversations with African Americans that believe that instead of relearning African American history, where civil rights and MLK are repeatedly acknowledged, contemporary issues need to be acknowledged and we need to set initiatives to actually promote change, not just talk about the situation we need to change from. The person I was talking to assumed Asian Americans would assume the same for our diaspora, but I reminded her that our wide range of histories have not been acknowledged by the government or school textbooks yet. Without the education of the truth, Asian Americans cannot move on and focus on how to move past our injustices. Even though I acknowledge the Asian diaspora is broad and so different, are we as a race ready to move onto a new narrative of healing if we do not have proper acknowledgement of our history? Attached is a picture of a Taiwanese textbook on the Japanization movement. I think this is an important image because the Asian diaspora is so complex and the American education system likes to clump all ethnicities together, which fails to recognize the intricacies within our diaspora.

Sneider, D. (2019, March 6). Divided Memories: History Textbooks and the Wars in Asia. Retrieved from

Week 9- Sidney Siu

Sidney Siu
ASA 150E
Week 9

Memory is a tricky thing. There is so much more to memory than just remembering a past action. In Viet Nguyen's Chapter of Nothing Ever Dies, Just Forgetting, she discusses the ways in which memory essentially has two categories and within those two categories are subcategories. The two categories involve remembering and forgetting. She notes that both have cycles that are just and unjust. For example, an unjust cycle of forgetting may be when one leaves their past (intentionally ignoring it) behind without dealing with it in "adequate ways." Another example is how a memory can be so painful, or fatal even, that we force ourselves to reconcile, such as the saying "forgive and forget" or "forgive, but never forget."
Every situation is different, however, I choose to "forgive, but never forget" in most. I believe in the process of healing by forgiving and making amends, but I usually never allow myself to ignore the trauma that one might have inflicted on me. Oppositely, Nguyen's example of international peace treaties-- countries agreeing to be "friends" without acknowledging the history of violence behind them-- is an extreme, yet notable analogy of "forgive and forget." This unjust type of forgetting is problematic because billions of lives have been impacted and continue to release trauma to future generations due to the consequences of war. So, simply leaving the past (of war) behind is unrealistic.  So, do nations really "forgive and forget" after calling truce?

Image result for nation peace treaty shaking hands cartoon

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Week 9_Melanie Manuel_ASA 150E

Melanie Manuel
ASA 150E 001
26 February 2020

In the chapter titled, “Lost Chapters and Invisible Wars” of Cathy Schlund-Vials’s War, Genocide, and Justice: Cambodian American Memory Work, Schlund-Vials examines Cambodian-American rapper, PraCh Ly’s Dalama trilogy. Ly cites this trilogy of music he self-created as means of justice as he recounts the tales of what it was like to be ruled under the Khmer Rouge and expose the truth about the Killing Fields through the stories and experiences of his friends and families, while also juxtaposing these experiences of war in Cambodia to the struggles faced in the United States. In a way, he seems to claim that the war in there (Cambodia) is no different to the war here (U.S.), which isn’t a far cry from the truth. The system oppression and state-sanctioned silencing made against Cambodian-Americans is tragic. The autogenocide in Cambodia came as a result of U.S. interference, and the only thing that the U.S. could offer as support is the permission for Cambodian refugees to enter the land of the so-called “free.” But what this chapter reified for me is the importance of understanding the histories happening in the homeland, and how the lack of discussion of what happened in Cambodia plays a role in how Cambodian-Americans are perceived in American society. Their silencing allows Cambodian-Americans to fall away from the American narrative, and so their oppression and misunderstanding of selves begins. 

I think music is a powerful way of helping an individual understand themselves—to have one’s own histories reflected in music is resonating, because generations to come can even understand their own histories when it is already untalked about. 

I’m sharing one of his songs:

The uploader’s comment in the description was interesting, because he said he wanted to share this so it wouldn’t become lost… and that’s the beauty of music, it can be shared over and over again. 

Works Cited
Schlund-Vials, Cathy. “Chapter 4: Lost Chapters and Invisible Wars – Hip-Hop and Cambodian American Critique.” War, Genocide, and Justice: Cambodian American Memory Work, 2012.