Award-winning Artist, Slam Poet and Filmmaker to Present Convocation on Racial Identity

April 24, 2009
By Emily Snyder '11 and Mallory Monsma '11

Kip Fulbeck, award-winning artist, slam poet, and filmmaker, will deliver the weekly Carleton convocation on Friday, May 1 at 10:50 a.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel. Fulbeck is internationally renowned for his work dealing with issues of identity, multi-raciality, and pop culture. His presentation, titled “ What Are You? The Changing Face of America,” will address these topics through a fusion of spoken word, stand-up comedy, political activism, and personal anecdotes. Fulbeck’s appearance is free and open to the public.

Fulbeck’s appearance is the annual Asian-Pacific American Convocation at Carleton. His talk stems from the Hawaiian word "hapa" – literally translated as "half" – a slang term used to describe a person of mixed ethnic heritage with partial roots in Asian or Pacific Island ancestry. Once considered a derogatory term, “hapa” has since been adopted by the growing American hapa population as a term of pride.

In 2003, Fulbeck, whose mother is Chinese and father is English, Irish and Welsh, began The Hapa Project, a personal and professional undertaking in which he traveled the United States and photographed more than 1,000 ethnically mixed Asians. His book, Part Asian, 100% Hapa (Chronicle Books, 2006), features many of those individuals. The simple portraits, blank-faced and taken from the collarbone up, mimic and critique the official photos seen on driver's licenses, passports and other forms of identification.

Fulbeck has also published two additional books: Permanence: Tattoo Portraits (Chronicle Books, 2008) and Paper Bullets: A Fictional Autobiography (University of Washington Press, 2001).

Fulbeck is the director of twelve films, including “Banana Split” and “Lilo & Me,” and has made numerous appearances on CNN, MTV, and PBS.

Fulbeck is a professor of art and Asian-American studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he has been named an Outstanding Faculty Member four times. He is also an avid surfer, guitar player, motorcycle rider, ocean lifeguard, and pug enthusiast. A complete overachiever despite being only half Chinese (he quips), Fulbeck is also a nationally-ranked Masters swimmer.

For more information regarding the convocation and disability accommodations, please contact the Carleton College Relations Office at (507) 222-4309.