Author Interview: Donna Miscolta on “Living Color”

Donna Miscolta’s two previous books each reflect one side of her ethnic background, a Filipino-American family in When the Dela Cruz Family Danced (Link) and a Mexican American family in Hola and Goodbye (LINK). Her latest book is Living Color (Link), a collection of stories tracing the life of a Mexican American girl, Angie Rubio, from kindergarten through high school. This book trailer provides a peak at the book’s protagonist and themes. (Link)

Donna and I spoke on Skype when she was at home in Seattle and I was at home in the Read More

Author Interview: Human Rights Violations in North Korea, Part 3

Recently, Dr. Sandra Fahy and I had three interviews about her second book,  Dying for Rights: Putting North Korea’s Human Rights Abuses on the Record. Our first interview deals with four categories of human rights abuses (Link), our second with the history of the development of the DPRK police state (Link), and this final one with the international dimensions of rights violations: overseas workers, treatment of foreign nationals and state representatives and rhetoric. Her first book was based on her interviews with North Korean famine refugees. (Link)

We spoke over Skype when Sandra Read More

“Trailblasian,” Black Women in Asia, Part 2

Part 1 of this interview focuses on Trecia’s anthology of essays by black women about living in Asia. In Part 2 we share our observations. Unfortunately, her dealings with her employer were not atypical of those of westerners in general. Trecia is now back in North America at a job which suits her talents and experience in intercultural relations. Since the interview she has taken on a job as intercultural co-coordinator. (Link)

Trecia’s story

In my two and a half years, seeing other westerners come and go wore on me. Because on the one hand you’re not really … Read More

“Trailblasian,” Black Women in Asia, Part 1

The title of Trailblasian is a coinage of ‘trailblazers + black + Asians. The book is an anthology of personal experience stories written by black women living and working in Asia. The editor, T.K. McLennon, Trecia, found most of the contributors online. She was inspired by the Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who in a TED talk warned against “the danger of a single story.” Trecia explains, “When you only hear one story or a narrow set of stereotypical stories about a group of people, it keeps you from knowing or having a better balanced understanding of that group.” Trailblasian … Read More

Evolution of an Intercultural Text

I’m a staunch believer in using materials designed to meet the particular needs of particular students—their current circumstances, their culture, their preparation for the jobs they were most likely to have. I came to this conviction in 1984 when I arrived at Xiamen University in Fujian Province, China, and was told that the fourth-year composition classes I’d been hired to teach had been given to someone else. I would be doing first-year and graduate-level conversation. Instead of the box of composition books I’d brought with me from the University of Pittsburgh, I needed conversation materials. In the stacks of the … Read More