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About this reading and discussion

Join us for an evening of storytelling by past and present CUNY students on the struggles, challenges, and hopes of immigrant and working-class New Yorkers in the 21st century.

The evening will feature authors reading their works, followed by a discussion with faculty and authors on the power of storytelling, including autoethnography, a qualitative social science research method that reflexively turns the lens back onto the writer. This method emerged in the 1970s among scholars of color and feminists as a challenge to the prevailing scholarship and has grown in popularity since the 1990s. Many of the original works are told through an autoethnographic lens, critically reflecting on society and how the writer’s life and identity are shaped by multiple social forces, such as immigration, racism, US militarism, cultural trauma, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, gender inequality, structural violence, and social injustice.

The featured writings were created in a writing workshop held in fall 2017 led by acclaimed novelist and poet Bushra Rehman at the Asian American Writers Workshop as part of the Autoethnographies of Public Education and Racial (In)Justice research group co-led by Rose M. Kim and Grace M. Cho. Other works were produced in an autobiographical writing class led by Our Stories, Our Voices: Community Archives research group faculty co-leader Kathy McDonald, both groups are part of the the Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research from The Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY.

The line-up of featured presenters include:
- Tohib Adejumo, Brooklyn College
- Sylvia Beato, Queens College
- Grace M. Cho, College of Staten Island
- Katherine Jennings, College and Community Fellowship, CUNY
- Rose M. Kim, Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY
- Peggy Pardo, The City College of New York Center for Worker Education
- Bushra Rehman, Hunter College
- Samrah Shoaib, Brooklyn College
- Alaudin Ullah, The City College of New York Center for Worker Education
- Marie Varghese, Bronx Community College
- Alison Wong, Lehman College

Co-sponsored by the Autoethnographies of Public Education and Racial (In)Justice research group, and Our Stories, Our Voices: Community Archives research group, both part of the Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research from the Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY, and The Asian American Writers' Workshop.

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