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“American Dreams/Asian Nightmares” Pre-Webinar Event

The National Endowment of the Arts grant award performance event, “American Dreams/Asian Nightmares” addresses the histories of Chinese American communities on the West Coast; it aims to enrich understandings of what constitutes humanity by exploring the prejudices that have fueled anti-Asian American prejudice in the USA.

The preliminary Zoom webinar proposes to set the stage for the concert on October 29 in Garrison Theater. Hosted by Scripps College with co-sponsor USC Pacific Asia museum of Pasadena, its purpose is to uncover the histories of the Asian American experience from the 1871 LA Chinatown massacre to the present; also to engage with the NEA commissioned composer and artistic director Micah Huang to explore the concepts and motivations behind this project; lastly to inquire why and how this issue should matter to non-Asian Americans.

Click here to join us for this pre-webinar event on Thursday, October 20th at noon.


Jih-Fei Cheng is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Scripps College. He has participated in various queer and trans of color community-based organizations addressing the issues of health, immigration, gentrification, youth homelessness, policing, and prison abolition in Los Angeles and New York City. Cheng is co-editor, with Alexandra Juhasz and Nishant Shahani, of the book volume AIDS and the Distribution of Crises (Duke UP 2020). His first book-length manuscript, “Materialist Virology,” historicizes the field of virology within the contexts of Euro-American settler colonialism and racial capitalism. He is at work on a second project that historicizes the colonial histories of virology and genetics as they have structured global industries and geopolitics from the twentieth century, known as the “American Century,” to the twenty-first century, which economist Joseph E. Stiglitz calls the “Chinese Century.” 


Hao Huang is the Bessie and Cecil Frankel Endowed Chair in Music at Scripps College. He  served as a United States Information Agency Artistic Ambassador on several overseas tours to Europe, Africa and the Middle East. His scholarship includes the Article of the Year Award of American Music Teacher (MTNA journal) and other articles in refereed journals of Great Britain, Hungary, Greece, Japan, Russia, China and the USA, that span general music studies, popular music, ethnomusicology, jazz, anthropology, American Studies and Humanities. Awarded grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, the New York and Colorado Councils of the Arts and the California Meet the Composer Series, he has been featured  on the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Washington Post and National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition”. 

Micah Huang is a musician, composer and writer. He wrote, composed and produced the music for the podcast/audio novella “Blood on Gold Mountain,” which gained recognition on the national stage in 2021 as part of the movement against Anti-Asian racism, ranking as high as #23 in the history category of Apple Podcasts. His other contributions to this cause include acting as artistic director for live events including Asian Nightmares/American Dreams (2022),Chinatown Elegy (2021) and The LA Chinatown Massacre Commemoration (2019), respectively funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the UCLA Chancellor’s Award Initiative, and the Kellogg Foundation Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Grant, the Holmes Performing Arts Fund and other sponsors. 

Emma Gies is an improvising violinist, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, with a masters degree from The New England Conservatory in Contemporary Improvisation in violin/voice.  She was an artist in residence at Wairarapa , New Zealand, where she performed at the Aratoi Museum of Art and History as part of their “Art is a Living Thing” exhibit. She was a founding member of “Under Our Skins,” a performance series combining storytelling and improvisation to combat stereotyping and prejudice in higher education. She served as director of communication for “Blood on Gold Mountain,” which was covered by NPT, the Washington Post, the Southern California News Network, and NowThis News. 


October 20, 2022


12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Via Zoom
CA + Google Map