Unconditionally Asian Americans: A Conversation on Korean Diasporic Identity in the U.S. South

S. Moon Cassinelli is an assistant professor in the department of English and the women’s and gender studies program at Virginia Tech. Using feminist and queer of color critique to examine how interracial genealogies are formed as a result of U.S. militarization, Cassinelli’s research focuses on contemporary narratives of transnational adoption and kinship in the Korean diaspora. He thanks Al Evangelista and Kathryn Walkiewicz for their time and insights on “Unconditionally Asian Americans.”

Lorraine Dresch’s experiences in the U.S. South are lifelong: she grew up in Wise County, Virginia, completed her English BA at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise and her English MA at Virginia Tech, and now teaches English, journalism, and Africana studies at a high school near Charlottesville. As an educator, she creates interdisciplinary learning experiences rooted in authentic inquiry about legacies of historical injustice. Her MA thesis research focuses on ambiguous racializations of nonhuman characters in children’s animated film franchises.

Sing to the Lord an Old Song

Alex Stayer-Brewington was born and raised in Wilmington, North Carolina, and currently lives on Occaneechi Saponi land in present-day Durham with his wife Caroline, daughter Rowan Wilder, two dogs, and four banjos. He spends his days reading, going for walks, and serving as a pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church and is passionate about Indigenous sovereignty, inter-tribal solidarity, healthy waterways, and prison abolition. He is a proud member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.

Vegan Jollof Rice

Chika Unigwe is the author of Better Never than Late (Cassava Republic, 2020) and Night Dancer, On Black Sisters’ Street (Random House, 2012). Her work has been translated into several languages. Her stories and essays have appeared in The Guardian, the New York TimesAl JazeeraGuernica, Kenyon ReviewAGNI, and Mslexia. Born in Enugu, Nigeria, she has taught at Brown University and Emory University and is currently an assistant professor of writing at Georgia College and State University and the creative director of the Awele Creative Trust. Her next novel is forthcoming in 2023.

Aush-e-Reshteh (Persian Herb, Bean, and Noodle Soup)

Suzi Ehtesham-Zadeh, an accomplished continent-hopper and culture-straddler, grew up in the Shah’s Iran, attended university in the post-Watergate United States, returned to Iran to witness the Islamic Revolution, and later spent large portions of her life in Spain. Paradoxically, her permanent home is a six-acre farm she owns in Woodstock, Georgia. A lifelong teacher, she holds a BA in philosophy from Stanford University and an MFA in creative writing from Boston University. Her work has appeared in Fiction International, Glassworks Magazine, Narrative Northeast, Mobius, Quiddity, and elsewhere.

The Hindu Hillbilly Spice Company: Indolachian Flavors Blend

Neema Avashia was born and raised in southern West Virginia to parents who immigrated to the United States and has been a history and civics teacher in the Boston public schools since 2003. Her essays have appeared in outlets such as The Bitter Southerner, Catapult, and Kenyon Review Online. Her first book, Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place, was published by West Virginia University Press in March 2022.

Khí Công with the Wind

Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis is curator of Asian Pacific American Studies at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, where he oversees the Smithsonian Literature + Museum Initiative, devoted to rethinking collective responsibility for what we write and read, and why. The lead organizer for the Asian American Literature Festival, co-hosted by the Smithsonian, Library of Congress, and Poetry Foundation, he is also a co-founder of the pop-up Center for Refugee Poetics and co-founding director of the arts antiprofit The Asian American Literary Review. 

Busonma

Chika Unigwe is the author of Better Never than Late (Cassava Republic, 2020) and Night Dancer, On Black Sisters’ Street (Random House, 2012). Her work has been translated into several languages. Her stories and essays have appeared in The Guardian, the New York TimesAl JazeeraGuernica, Kenyon ReviewAGNI, and Mslexia. Born in Enugu, Nigeria, she has taught at Brown University and Emory University and is currently an assistant professor of writing at Georgia College and State University and the creative director of the Awele Creative Trust. Her next novel is forthcoming in 2023.

All Errors Are My Own

Deepa Varadarajan is a legal academic and a graduate of Yale Law School. Her debut novel, Late Bloomers, will be published by Random House in 2023. Raised in Texas, she now lives in Atlanta with her husband and two children.

 

Stealthy Freedom

Suzi Ehtesham-Zadeh, an accomplished continent-hopper and culture-straddler, grew up in the Shah’s Iran, attended university in the post-Watergate United States, returned to Iran to witness the Islamic Revolution, and later spent large portions of her life in Spain. Paradoxically, her permanent home is a six-acre farm she owns in Woodstock, Georgia. A lifelong teacher, she holds a BA in philosophy from Stanford University and an MFA in creative writing from Boston University. Her work has appeared in Fiction International, Glassworks Magazine, Narrative Northeast, Mobius, Quiddity, and elsewhere.

Past Issues

Summer 2022

Spring 2022

Winter 2021

Fall 2021

Summer 2021

Spring 2021

Winter 2020

Fall 2020

Summer 2020

Spring 2020

Newsletter