Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Sydney Liang SURF SMART

Not Your Campus’s Movement: UC Berkeley and the Politics of Solidarity in the post-Civil Rights and Power Movement Era

With recent cases of violence against the Asian-American community in mind, it is now more relevant than ever to examine Asian-American history, and efforts that have been made for greater rights and representation. This summer, I will be working with my mentor researching materials that characterize the Asian-American Movement of the 1960’s. The research will be focused around the 2010 novel I Hotel by Karen Tei Yamashita, and specifically her exploration of the historical parallel between Japanese-American Internment and Native-American incarceration on Tule Lake. I will conduct archival research with the Bancroft Library, looking at collections relating to the legal defense for the Tule Lake internees, the International Hotel Eviction, and the Third World Liberation Front with the objective of finding intersections between the aims of the Asian-American Movement and American-Indian sovereignty. I will also use this opportunity to research minority allyship between the Black Panther Party and the Red Guards and other Asian American coalitions during the Asian-American movement in the 1960’s and 70’s.

Message To Sponsor

I would like to thank the Johnson fund for providing me with the opportunity to conduct research this summer in the SURF-SMART program. I learned a lot through working under my graduate student mentor Maia Rodriguez, especially with gaining hands-on experience with archival research. This summer has helped me find my passion in research, as well as what research in the humanities at the graduate level looks like, which has confirmed for me my wish to continue on with research in a Ph.D. program after graduation. I was also able to, for the first time in college, work closely with Asian American literature, which is something deeply connected to my identity and personal interests. Overall, this was a very fruitful summer, and I am thankful for my sponsor and the SURF program.
Profile image of Sydney Liang
Major: English, Japanese
Mentor: Maia Rodriguez
Sponsor: Johnson Fund
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