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Showing posts from September, 2013

Jewish Refugees History: China and Houston

The other museum I visited today in zone 4 of Houston's Museum District is the Holocaust Museum. I am particularly interested because I had been to other Holocaust memorials, museums, centers, and even my high school had one. I also visited the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum, so I wanted to compare the two.

The Holocaust Museum in Houston had architecture and design that was very... black metal gate chamber esque. I wish I have the right words to describe it, but it gives a very somber feeling. The outside of the museum is a upward incline hill with stone tiles that named various Jewish communities that were annihilated during the Holocaust. Visual representation and memorial of history is very fascinating, as you can see all these communities lined up from bottom to up, and it only included a portion of the Jewish communities, many others also suffered.

Inside, the permanent exhibit is called Bearing Witness. The beginning of Nazi propaganda against Jewish peoples was set up wit…

Museum Day

Houston's Museum District Zone 4 museums were having special programs today, so I went to check them up. I wanted to go to the Children's Museum, the Health Museum, and the Holocaust Museum. The weather was not very good, it started to rain quite a bit by the time I left Rice (~2pm). Nonetheless, I was ready to go adventure despite the rain. In fact, last time I went to the Houston Museum of Natural Science with my friend Andy, and we had so much fun despite the rain. Also, the rain probably also means less people are going to visit the museums, so MORE MUSEUMS FOR ME!

I didn't go to the Children's Museum because I'm pretty sure you need a child with you to go in and I do not have one, so what a bummer, I can't go in and melt because of adorable kids and fun hands-on exhibits designed for humans many years my junior.

So I headed over to the Health Museum, which was pretty neat. A couple of organizations were there promoting themselves, one of which featured a g…

West Side Story and Gender: What if Tony lived?

Instead of writing my 7-page paper due tomorrow on West Side Story and the youth's intersections of race, gender, class, and how all that contribute to nation-making, I'm taking a break from writing my outline to do some creative exercise for my brain.

There's a lot of gender going on in West Side Story. Anybodys is the tomboy who really really really wants to be in the Jets, but on multiple counts the boys dismiss her and ask her to conform to feminine standards of beauty. Anybodys even incessantly hangs around the Jets boys and imitate their masculine behavior, including spitting on the ground and insulting girls.

Then there is the divide between the Shark boys and girls. They all acknowledge the opportunities and luxuries that America accords them, but while the girls really enjoy the new found freedom with all the nice buildings, roads, glamorous lives in New York City, the boys lament that they are discriminated against in America and the girls are getting too out of …

Playing Playboy

My best friend, Leslie, sent me a few articles today talking about how Playboy apparently released their annual top party schools list, except this year they are making consent the priority and released a list of "Top Ten Part Commandments: the Ultimate Guide for a Consensual Good Time." News of this spread like wild fire, and everyone is questioning, mostly commending, Playboy for their willingness to make talking about consent a priority. Check out the initial webpages here and here. Except as some of you may have predicted, it is indeed too good to be true.

Funny thing is, I sent these pages to my suite mate and fellow feminist Clara, who thought it was strange that it is "news" that a magazine is saying rape is not okay and that consent is cool. I agreed with her, because while it is great news that Playboy magazine, who reaches a large demographic of men, is endorsing the idea of consent and teaching men not to rape, it is kind of ridiculous that in 2013 we ne…

Who Needs Feminism

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A few friends of mine at my residential college have bravely taken up the cause of bringing feminism to the forefront of our lives. Today is the debut of Who Needs Feminism at Rice, and I'd like to say a few words in honor of this noble beginning.

For your information, Who Needs Feminism is a PR campaign that 16 students from Duke University started to dispel negative associations and misconceptions surrounding feminism, including the belief that society no longer needs feminism. Who Needs Feminism works primarily through asking everyone to share what they think of feminism and taking photos of people who finish the sentence on a white board "I need feminism because..." These photos are then shared via social media to inspire conversations about feminism and its misconceptions. Visit their website here to see the amazing photos of people sharing why they need feminism.

In preparation for launching Who Needs Feminism at Rice, my friend and suite mate Clara wrote down a di…

Carnal Knowledge and Screw Yer Roommate

Excuse me for being pretentious but this is really exciting. So my suite mate Clara mentioned to me that for this annual event at Rice where you find a blind date for your roommate and make them both dress up as something and embarrassingly go to dinner, people are vigorously advertising their roommates with elaborate descriptions, many of which were encoded with race-and-exoticism- heavy language.

What does KC mean by that? Well, we recently read Ann Laura Stoler's chapter on "Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Gender and Morality in the Making of Race" for my Sexual Debates in the U.S. class. How race, gender, and sexuality were managed and constructed were crucial to upholding imperialism. And now, race and exoticism are crucial to how we participate in this event where we actively find the perfect match.

And this is where it gets juicy. If a person was not Caucasian, their heritage was mentioned quite often. And sometimes, their ethnicity became a point of discussion…

Katsura Sunshine!

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One of my goals this year is to continue seeking out awesome opportunities and do something different other than my daily routine. Our residential colleges send out a ton of emails every day, but I do try to make time to skim through the daily announcements email. Here's why: AWESOME EVENTS AND OPPORTUNITIES GET POSTED IN A SEA OF 10 OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS.

The Consulate-General of Japan in Houston brought an unique aspect of Japanese culture to Houston last night in the form of a tall Caucasian Canadian man in a cowboy hat and American flag-themed kimono. His stage name is Katsura Sunshine, and he is a rakugo comic storyteller. His lovely assistant gave us background on rakugo in Japan, and Sunshine told us funny stories which end in a punch line. Here's a video of highlights for those of you who are interested!

His opening joke? "I love that we're presenting Japanese culture, at a place called RICE!"

Apparently, there is a substantial Japanese population in Houst…

Hello from the Rice Bubble

I've been meaning to write a blog post for a while since coming back to school for my junior year, but alas I've been busy with coursework and extracurricular activities. Forgive me blogosphere for leaving you hanging!

I'm really happy to continue studying Chinese this semester, which has significantly stepped up its difficulty. I woke up late this morning, did not finish my assignment or study for the quiz. Thankfully both were postponed upon request. I'm also continuing my studies in sociology and women, gender, and sexuality studies. What I really enjoy is that this semester my courses feature more multimedia - videos, clips, news articles, films, songs, etc. They make the conversation so much more relevant and interactive. I sometimes live tweet my classes because so many interesting things are happening one after another.

There are certainly overlaps and connections between my courses. For example, what I study in youth studies often interact with the same authors…