A part, yet apart: South Asians in Asian America by Lavina Dhingra Shankar, Rajini Srikanth

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By Lavina Dhingra Shankar, Rajini Srikanth

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15 For example, the theme for the Page 7 1997 conference of the Association for Asian American Studies, "Defining the Pacific Century," celebrates Pacific Rim American immigrants but implicitly excludes Asians who do not originate from the Pacific. Scholarship and teaching in the field of Asian American studies have only recently begun to include South Asian perspectiveseven though the first wave of South Asian immigrants to this country dates back to the early part of the twentieth century. In a provocative article "What to Do with All These New Immigrants or Refiguring Asian American History" (1992), Sucheta Mazumdar calls for a rethinking of Asian American studies.

He finds little use for coalition building under such limited labels as South Asian American and Asian American, believing that groups organized on the basis of shared phenotype or shared culture ultimately become ethnocentric. Page 14 The other four essays, however, argue that under certain conditions there is value and even necessity in bringing together disparate Asian American subgroups. In her essay "At the Crossroads: College Activism and Its Impact on Asian American Identity Formation," Anu Gupta investigates campus organizations that include and/or exclude South Asian Americans from Asian American groupsspecifically those at Harvard, Yale, Brown, and the University of Pennsylvania.

And for making] Asian American studies programs pause and think carefully about inclusion and development strategies for Asian communities such as those of South Asians (100)"is also applicable to the others who have followed the initiative of the young editors. Ironically enough, these South Asian women replicated a form of literary self-representation that another well-known group of Asian American student activists had performed two decades earlier. Thus, it is not possible to ignore South Asian writers in a course on Asian American literature today because of the voluminous available material.

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