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Intellectual Extremist to Present Convocation on Asian Americans, the Iraq War, and the Upcoming Election

April 24, 2008
By Esther Pak '09

Dr. Vijay Prashad will present a convocation entitled “Watada’s Election: Asian Americans and These Asian Wars” on Friday, May 2 at 10:50 a.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel. Prashad’s presentation will examine Asian Americans, the Iraq War, and the upcoming election, with reference to Hawaii-born First Lieutenant Ehren Watada, who was the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse deployment to the Iraq War and occupation. Following the convocation, Prashad will sign copies of his books, which will also be available for purchase at the event at a 15% discount. Prashad’s appearance is free and open to the public.

Prashad is a professor of international studies and the George and Martha Kellner Chair of South Asian History at Trinity College in Connecticut. An intellectual extremist, Prashad believes that nothing is forbidden to think about, and everything is open to investigation. Whether exploring poverty, oppression, or nonviolence, Prashad urges his students to understand the material intellectually and viscerally. His fundamental goal for his students is for them to be able to “walk out into the world looking at things critically and being analytical about everything.”

Prashad is the author of twelve books, including two chosen by the Village Voice as books of the year: “The Karma of Brown Folk” (University of Minnesota Press, 2000), a South Asian American response to W.E.B. DuBois’s “The Souls of Black Folk,” in which Prashad challenges the stereotype of Asians as a model minority and reveals how South Asians are deployed as “weapons in the war against black America;” and “Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting: Afro-Asian Connections and the Myth of Cultural Purity” (Beacon Press, 2001). His most recent work is “Darker Nations: A People’s History of the Third World” (New Press, 2007), and he is currently working on a book titled “An American Radical: the Writings of Kumar Goshal,” anticipated for publication in 2008.

Additionally, Prashad’s work has been published in many scholarly journals and he frequently contributes to a variety of popular magazines in both India and the United States, including zMagazine, ColorLines, and The Indian American. Prashad also writes a monthly column entitled “Letter from America” for Frontline magazine. Prashad also serves on several boards, including the Center for Third World Organizing, United for a Fair Economy, and the National Priorities Project.

Prashad received a BA degree in history from Pomona College and a MA and PhD in history from the University of Chicago. He has also been awarded numerous fellowships and honors, including the Dean Arthur H. Hughes Award for Outstanding Achievement and Performance in Teaching for Trinity College (2000).

For more information, including disability accommodations, contact the Carleton college relations office at (507) 222-4308.